New Talent in the UFC

One of the things that most excited me about UFC 84 was the display of new talent.  What a job by Dana White and the UFC finding new talent.  UFC 84 was a great display of hopefuls. I am stoked about it. Not only did 5 newcomers win their fights, but 2 guys who hadn’t won yet in the UFC won (Wanderlei and Sokoudjou). These newcomers won me over and I became fans of theirs.  The UFC has some top level new talent.  I liked rooting for these new guys and like seeing new talent coming in.  While we can be critical of the UFC losing some talent (Couture, Arlovski, Sylvia, and Ortiz), there are some new guys to replace them.  Let’s face it while the UFC has lost 4 or 5 stars in the past year, they have gained some future ones.  The guys they lost were past their prime anways.  Whata  job replacing lost talent.  The UFC needs to market these guys.  Put them on Spike’s UFC unleashed and put them on a fight night for people to see.  They all got good exposure at UFC 84 except Dong Hyun-Kim.  Let me say a word about the new guys in the UFC.

Shane Carwin: Out of the newcomers on the UFC 84 card Carwin was the most hyped.  I now know why.  He very well could hold a belt in the UFC one day.  I guess his back health is the one worry.  He is said to have great ground and pound and weaker striking.  He had one of the sickest KO’s I have seen with the mouthpiece flying out.  Shane Carwin is going to be super talented.  Can’t wait for his next fight.  Perhaps against the loser of the Vera vs. Werdum fight or a guy like Justin McCully or Collin Robinson.  Wuth an all around game like he has, the wrestling background, the athletic ability and the KO power he could be a glimmer of hope in a weak, weak divison.  The UFC has three bright stars up and coming in the heavyweight divison (Carwin, Lesnar and Velasquez) and somehow they have to delay them fighting each other and fighting top 3 talent as was learned in the Lesnar vs. Mir experiement. 

Yoshiyuki Yoshida: He very well could have killed Jon Koppenhaver in that fight.  That judo throw and the gator roll anaconda choke was awesome.  Usually your Japanese fighters have proven to be less than exciting and have not faired well in the UFC with the exception of Okami.  Yoshida will do fine and he is exciting.  I want to see him against slighly better competition because Koppenhaver was no match for him. Yoshida looked far superior in every way.  I wish he’s learn a little English though.  The post fight interview with Rogan was slightly awkward and a little English could help his marketability.  Perhpas he could fight a Burkman, Hazelett or maybe the Chonan vs. Carneiro winner is a good idea.  Yoshida will do fine in the UFC, great addidition and he and Kim could make UFC big bucks in the Asian market a la Bisping in England.

Dong Hyun-Kim:  Okay, so I watch Kim fight Jason Tan and all I can say is wow!  He is exciting, strong, and has vicious elbows.  He will be a serious force in the UFC.  He very well could be pitted against a guy like Karo next and I would consider picking Kim to win.  The UFC needs to decide if they think Kim can be something great in the welterweight divison, if they think he can they need to give him two more fights that he can win handily.  The flip side of that is beating a top 10 guy gives you instant credibility.  I know Jason Tan isn’t top level UFC talent, but man Kim looked amazing.  Why aren’t more people talking about that fight?  In my opinion, Kim could very well be the best of the newcomer bunch.  UFC 84 showcased some serious new talent and I am excited about Kim.  I liked him and am disappointed he wasn’t on the televised card.  I still hurt from watching his elbows.

Goran Reljic: Is the guy going to be mini-Cro Cop?  His kicks made me cringe.  Of course my knock on him would be all he showed was striking with the left side, but ouch those kids were hard.  Did you see how red Gouveia’s shoulder was?  I had Wilson Gouveia as ranked 12th in a stacked, stacked divison.  Reljic beat a top tier guy.  I don’t know how he would do against a guy like Thiago Silva or Machida, but he can strike with anyone.  He can take a hit too!!  Relijic has serious promise is this divison and does remind me of a slightly smaller and younger Cro Cop.  The Croatian can improve.  If I was him I would get with some different trainer for a bit to diversify.  I would think Xtreme Couture would be a great idea for him.  However, he is a contender right now!  My question will be how can he handle a aggresive striker or a wrestler like Matt Hammil?  Time will tell.  His future is bright.  I think a Sokoudjou match would be interesting, but I reckon he won’t get that highly ranked of a guy next.  Perhaps the Cane vs. Lambert winner. 

Rousimar Palhares: I know Ivan Salaverry isn’t what he once was, but that arm bar may well have been the best submission I have seen in a while.  He controlled Salaverry from start to finish.   He may be one of the best jiu jitsu guys in the UFC.  I wonder how he would do against another jiu jitsu guy like Demian Maia?  My question will be striking for Palhares.  I wondered why he didn’t soften Ivan up with strikes to the face while he was trying to sink in that choke.  He seemed pretty one-dimensional.  That dimension is top level and then some though.  He was a bright spot on the great card.  Can’t wait to see him in action again.

Antonio Mendes: He is the lone newcomer that lost at UFC 84.  Let me say just two things though.  First, he lost to in my opinion the most underrated light heavyweight and a guy that may well hold the title one day.  Second, he did very, very well.  He rocked Thiago.  His striking looks great.  I hope the UFC saw that and gives him another chance against a slighly less talented guy.  Give Mendes a chance to win against some poor sacrifical lamb in the light heavyweight divison.

Other New Talent:

Cain Velasquez: Many people say the UFC Hevayweight divison has collapsed.  I have said that.  The UFC has lost its champ in Couture and two of it’s top 5 talents in Tim Sylvia and probably Andrei Arlovski.  Mir isn’t what he used to be.  Cro Cop just didn’t work out well.  However, Carwin, Velasquez and Lesnar I believe are a step up in the long run.  Couture was great and I am a fan, but he in 44.  Sylvia is past his prime and Arlovski hadn’t shown consistency.  Cain Velasquez is going to be a star in this divison and it is prime for the taking.

Brock Lesnar: Lesnar is the one of those three new guys in the heavyweight divison to lose, but he lost to Mir and in that loss he showed he can fight.  He is the one of the three guys also that can draw a crowd more than anyone.  He could be UFC’s next biggest star.  We will see how he does against Herring. 

Chris Wilson: Wilson looked good in his loss to Fitch and I believe can do very well in the UFC.  I think he can be a top level guy.  Time will tell with Wilson.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: