UFC News: Mac Danzig vs. Josh Neer at UFC Fight Night 17

It looks as if Mac Danzig will take on Josh Neer at UFC Fight Night 17 on February 7th.  I doubt that will be the headliner, but it will be ont he main card for sure.  Perhaps Josh Neer is the guinea pig for TUF winners.  Next up will be the TUF 8 lightweight winner I reckon.  This should be a good fight, but Danzig better look better against Neer than he did against Guida.  Josh Neer is a tough opponent who is coming off of a close fight with Nate Diaz, who may also grace this card.  I expect this plus UFC 95 to start coming together in the next few weeks.  However, the Danzig vs. Neer fight will be a tough fight to pick.  I look forward to that one.

MMABlog’s Lightweight MMA Rankings

Rank

Name

Organization

Next Fight

1

B.J. Penn

UFC

St. Pierre (#1 WW) 1/31

2

Takanori Gomi

World Victory Road

Golyaev (NR), 11/1

3

Shinya Aoki

DREAM

 

4

Eddie Alvarez

EliteXC?

 

5

Sean Sherk

UFC

T. Griffin (#15), 9/25

6

Mitsuhiro Ishida

DREAM/Strikeforce

 

7

Tatsuya Kawajiri

DREAM

 

8

Kenny Florian

UFC

Stevenson (#10), 11/15

9

Josh Thomson

Strikeforce

Edwards (NR), 11/21

10

Joe Stevenson

UFC

Florian (#8), 11/15

11

Gesias Calvancante

DREAM

 

12

Joachim Hansen

DREAM

 

13

Gilbert Melendez

Strikeforce

 

14

Jamie Varner

WEC

 

15

Tyson Griffin

UFC

Sherk (#5), 9/25

16

Roger Huerta

UFC

 

17

Gray Maynard

UFC

Clementi (NR), 9/25

18

Frank Edgar

UFC

Wiman (NR), 12/10

19

Vitor Ribeiro

 

 

20

Nate Diaz

UFC

 

21

K.J. Noons

EliteXC?

 

22

Joe Lauzon

UFC

 

23

Nick Diaz

EliteXC

 

24

Spencer Fisher

UFC

Gugerty (NR), 9/25

25

Caol Uno

DREAM

 

 

Others Considered: Clay Guida, Hermes Franca, Marcus Aurelio, Jim Miller, Jorge Masvidal , Rich Clementi, Matt Wiman, and Mac Danzig.

UFC News: Hermes Franca vs. Frank Edgar at UFC 87

It appears that the UFC has tapped Hermes Franca to fight Frank Edgar at UFC 87.  We knew Edgar was going to be on the card, but we didn’t know who he would fight.  This should make for an interesting fight.  Both guys are coming off of losses.  Edgar lost his last UFC bout to Sean Sherk and then was suspended for testing positive for a banned substance.  He unlike Sherk didn’t appeal and has been serving his one year suspension.  Edgar is coming off of a loss to Gray Maynard.  Honestly, I am surprised by the match making.  I know Edgar is still considered one of the top guys in the UFC lightweight divison, but I hope Gray Maynard gets a quality next opponent as he has proven to be more than capable.  Regardless this should be a good fight.

Also, it was rumored that Mac Danzig would be fighting Clay Guida at UFC 87, however on his website it says,

Forget what you heard! Mac is NOT fighting at UFC 87, or in August at all! Mac will most likely fight in September, and the fight has not yet been signed.

Could this fight be the headliner of UFN 14?  That would sound like a serious possibility.  Also, it would make more sense than UFC 87 seeing as how there are already two lightweight bouts confirmed for UFC 87, including the super bout between Roger Huerta and Kenny Florian and the newly learned Franca vs Edgar fight. 

TUF 7 Episode 9

There is no way I can compete with some of the other sites TUF recaps and I don’t intend to.  For a great show recap check out MMAMania or MMAJunkie. However, I do want to say a few things about the show in general and episode 9. 

Thoughts on Episode 9:

The first fight of the quarter finals was Jesse Taylor vs. Dante Rivera.  This wasn’t much of a fight.  Jesse took Dante downeasily for two round and Dante laid there and took some punishment.  There was some frustration from fill in coach Ramapage that the corner kept yelling out every submission Dante attempted.  The bottom line is that neither guys was too impressive.  I will give Jesse Taylor credit that he got on top and did his thing.  He can win against anyone because he is so strong and big at middleweight.  He just isn’t very exctiing to watch.  Dante looked horrible.  I don’t know if Dante will fight at the finale, if he does I expect a match between him and Matthew Riddle as they have gone back and forth a bit in the house.  I think Riddle would destroy him.  I don’t even know if Dante really beat Brandon Sene in the first fight.  Anyways, Jesse won that fight easily, I don’t know if he even took a punch.

       The second fight of the quarterfinals was Amir Sadollah vs. Matt Brown.  During the interviews Matt Brown came across very confident and Amir came across very doubtful of himself.   Everyone knew this fight would be a war.  The first round featured a lot of stand up.  I honestly do not know who won the round.  It could be scored either way, but I would give it 10-9 to Matt Brown, but Amir did have the harder shots and stayed aggresive.  Round 2 came out and Amir got some good hits.  Finally, he took Brown down where he submitted him with a triangle choke.  Let me just tell you that Amir is for real.  He impressed Dana.  White said that he thought Amir had a great chin and great heart.  I agree.  Amir could shock people in this.  He didn’t impress me against Gerald Harris, but against Matt Brown he did great. He just lacks some confidence.  An Amir with confidence can be great.  Perhaps it isn’t quite his time, but if he could hook up with a solid camp he could be a force anywhere.  Nevertheless, he is no pushover now and is in the semifinals.

Next week we will see the other two quarter final matchs of C.B. Dolloway vs. Cale Yarbrough and Tim Credeur vs. Dan Cramer.  Cale appears to be C.B.’s sacrifical lamb.  Tim and Dan was said in the previews to be a brawl.  That may favor Dan even though Tim is the favorite to win that fight.  Also, we will see a feud between Jesse Taylor and the incredibly annoying Jeremy May.  It looks like he causes Taylor to flip his lid.  Additionaly, the semi-final match ups will be announced.

Thoughts of TUF 7 (In General):

Many people have been critical of this season of TUF and I know the ratings are down lower than ever, but I have enjoyed it.  The big complaint was all the antics in the house got too much attention.  I agreed.  I am thankful that the focus is on the fighters and on the fights.  Some episodes have even shown two fights.  I loved the fight to get on the show aspect, even though I don’t know if the best 16 got on the show.  I think the house antics undermined the intent of the show and for the casual viewer turned people off not just to The Ultimate Fighter, but to MMA.  The fighters in the house showed themselved season after season to be foul mouthed, disresectful, violent, and destructive.  I was entertained by it, but it doesn’t represent MMA well.  I think in a society which is skeptical of mixed martial arts, the fighters need to go above and beyond and show people that MMA fighters have class and character.  TUF highlighted the opposite. So I think this season of TUF has been great.  I have enjoyed the fights.  I don’t know how many of these guys will make it in the UFC, but they have put on some good shows.  I think the fighters are better than last season, where Mac Danzig was the favorite to win from day 1.  I think C.B. Dolloway and Tim Credeur are still the favorites to sqaure off in the finale and the most likely to make an impact in the UFC.  Both are capable top 10 guys at middleweight.  I also think that Amir has shown some skill and heart.  Jesse Taylor can ground and pound well and may have a UFC future.  I even think Matthew Riddle could do well, as can Gerlad Harris.  Dan Cramer is a great fighter, who I am excited to see fight next week against Credeur, and I think Cramer could surprise some people.  That means I am picking 7 guys to be around in the UFC in a year.  That would fit the mold well with other seasons.  TUF 1 has 8 guys still in the UFC, TUF 2 has 9, TUF 3 has only 3, TUF 4 has 6, but also featured just recently cut Lutter and Din Thomas.  TUF 5 has 8 guys still around the UFC.  TUF 6 has 6 guys, but msot likely many of them will be cut this year. 

 

UFC News: Mac Danzig vs. Clay Guida

It is being reported by MMAjunkie that Mac Danzig will fight Clay Guida at UFC 87: Seek and Destroy

The Ultimate Fighter 6″ winner Mac Danzig (18-4-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC) will look to continue his ascent in the UFC’s lightweight division when he meets Clay Guida (23-9 MMA, 3-3 UFC) at UFC 87.

A source close to Guida told MMAjunkie.com that the fighters recently agreed to the August bout.

Should be a good fight and could be on the main card.  This will determine a lot about these two fighters.  I don’t know who I will pick for this.

Tournaments in the UFC

What if UFC had a 16 man tournament.  In other words a little bigegr version of what DREAM is doing with lightweights and middleweights.  A tournament would doa  lot of good things.  It would give an underdog the chance to win and fight the top dog.  You would have to have some type of ranking to do it and seed the guys like with the NCAA basketball tournament.  It would ease match making.  It would give exciting fights and intriguing possibilites.  Can you imagine all the possible scenarios of what could happen and who could fight one another?  I bet guys would fight passionatley.  There would be upsets.  So…I played around and came up with this…I took my 16 top guys in each class and made a bracket.  The fight one winner will fight the fight 2 winner and so on…

Lightweight:

Round One Match ups:

B.J. Penn vs. Rich Clementi

Clay Guida vs. Gray Maynard

Marcus Aurelio vs. Frank Edgar

Kenny Florian vs. Manny Gamburyan

Sean Sherk vs. Spencer Fisher

Nate Diaz vs. Joe Stevenson

Joe Lauzon vs. Tyson Griffin

Roger Huerta vs. Mac Danzig

Welterweight:

Georges St. Pierre vs. Chris Lytle

Thiago Alves vs. Mike Swick

Karo Parisyan vs. Matt Serra

Josh Koscheck vs. Ryo Chonan

Jon Fitch vs. Roan Carneiro

Diego Sanchez vs. Luigi Fiorvanti

Marcus Davis vs. Akihiro Gono

Matt Hughes vs. Chris Wilson

Middleweight:

Anderson Silva vs. Thales Leites

Martin Kampmann vs. Nate Quarry

Patrick Cote vs. Ricardo Almeida

Yushin Okami vs. Demian Maia

Rich Franklin vs. Evan Tanner

Nate Marquardt vs. Jason MacDonald

Chris Leben vs. Michael Bisping

Dan Henderson vs. Jorge Rivera

Light Heavyweight:

Quinton Jackson vs. Goran Reljic

Mauricio Shogun Rua vs. Matt Hammil

Wanderlei Silva vs. Sokoudjou

Chuck Liddell vs. Houston Alexander

Keith Jardine vs. Jame Irvin

Forrest Griffin vs. Wilson Gouveia

Thiago Silva vs. Rashad Evans

Lyoto Machida vs. Stephan Bonnar

Heavyweight:

Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Dan Evenson

Cheick Kongo vs. Eddie Sanchez

Heath Herring vs. Cain Velasquez

Frank Mir vs. Christian Wellish

Fabricio Werdum vs. Antoni Hardonk

Gabriel Gonzaga vs. Shane Carwin

Brock Lesnar vs. Justin McCully

Brandon Vera vs. Neil Wain

 

This all could make some interesting match-ups.  What you would do would be take all five divisons and make 5 fight cards with 8 fights each.  You could split them up or have a “lightweight card”.  5 cards would finish round one.  Then you could have two 10 fight card and that would finish round two.  Then you could have another card that would do the semi-final match ups and another card for the championships.  Try making an un-televised undercard out of any of these fights.  That would be awesome.  Of course you could put more thought into match ups and potential second and third round “dream match up” in where you placed fighters, but it is a great idea.  The one flaw is that if the UFC had one card a month this tournament would take 9 months to finish and that would keep a lot of fighters from fighting in that time.  I guess you could break it up and have non-tournament fights mixed in there too.  Just food for thought…

The Stars of the UFC

There is a recent shift in stars of the UFC.  Those stars are the great investments, the money makers. The stars are not necessarily your best fighters, but they are well liked by the fans and they draw a crowd.  The stars are the people that the UFC will market and set up to be successful.  The stars get the most money and the best fights.  The stars have a louder voice with the UFC brass.  Some of those stars have been discontent like Randy Couture, Tim Sylvia, Andrei Arlovski and Tito Ortiz.  Those guys leaving hurts the UFC.  The guys the UFC recognizes as their stars are the ones they need to cater to more.  The stars are prized in all MMA organizations.  The WEC has Filho, Faber, Condit, and Stann.  PRIDE had Fedor, Cro Cop, Barnett, Wanderlai, Dan Henderson, Gomi, Arona, Shogun and the Nogueira brothers.  EliteXC has Lawler, Kimbo, Frank Shamrock, and Carano.  Strikeforce has Gilbert Melendez and Cung Le.  The stars are not always the champs, but they may be.  In the UFC there is a shift.  The old guard is moving on.  They are still there, and still draw a crowd and are still good PPV fights, but in a few years will be gone.  The old guard consisted of Chuck Liddell, Randy Couture, Ken Shamrock, Tito Ortiz and Matt Hughes.  There is a star level, then there is a second tier level of guys you want to hold onto at all costs, who have a following, and then there is the emerging star tier. Then you have your great fighters who perform in the octagon are respected, but may not have the charisma to be the face of the organization.  These guys can win and hold belts, but they won’t be the Chuck Liddell’s.  This system explains why the UFC gives a title shot and coaches spot to Forrest Griffin, who i no way has earned the title of number 1 contender.  He is good, but not that good.  He may eventually earn that, but this is premature.  Why did he get it?  Because he is popular.  He will sell PPVs and people will watch TUF because of him.  Personality will carry a guy a long way, just look at the Houston Alexander bandwagon. A lack of personality will hurt a guy, just ask Yushin Okami and Nate Marquardt, who if they had the charisma would be stars because they have the ability.  These guys can move up and down these different levels, but some guys have already been crowed as stars and can do little to harm that.  Your stars are the guys you hold on to at all costs.  Your second tier you want to keep because they are your contenders and can become stars.  Your third tier you be careful with because they can become stars if you play your cards right.  Your fourth tier are some of the best fighters, they put on good fights, they win fight night bonuses and they should be signed and kep in the organization if you can.  The effect of a star leaving the UFC is much greater than when someone else does.  The UFC is hurt by loosing their four biggest heavyweight stars Couture, Cro Cop, Arlovski and Sylvia.  The UFC is not so much hurt by loosing Jake O’Brien.  It would be nice to keep O’Brien, but if you can’t you move on.  Also, you sign MMA free agents based on this tier.  I and many others consider Fedor for example a star level guy, an instant smash hit and a great investment.  You pay him well, but he will make you money.  Dana White apparently considered him second tier, and didn’t sign him.  My opinion you give the Fedors and the Couture and the Liddells whatever they want.  My system looks like this:

UFC’s Stars:

  • Anderson Silva
  • Georges St. Pierre
  • B.J. Penn
  • Rich Franklin
  • Chuck Liddell
  • Quinton “Rampage” Jackson
  • Forrest Griffin
  • Tito Ortiz
  • Matt Hughes
  • Wanderlai Silva

Second Level: UFC’s Near Stars:

  • Brandon Vera
  • Matt Serra
  • Jon Fitch
  • Diego Sanchez
  • Dan Henderson
  • Josh Koscheck
  • Sean Sherk
  • Kenny Florian
  • Mauricio “Shogun” Rua
  • Rashad Evans
  • Michael Bisping
  • Joe Stevenson
  • Gabriel Gonzaga
  • Chris Leben
  • Karo Parisyan
  • Clay Guida

Third Level: The UFC’s Emerging Stars:

  • Brock Lesnar
  • Roger Huerta
  • Mac Danzig
  • Joe Lauzon
  • Cain Velasquez

Fourth Level: UFC’s Stud Fighters, but Not Stars:

  • Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira
  • Fabricio Werdum
  • Keith Jardine
  • Frank Mir
  • Thiago Silva
  • Heath Herring
  • Lyoto Machida
  • Marcus Aurelio
  • Yushin Okami
  • Marcus Davis
  • Patrick Cote
  • Evan Tanner
  • Stephan Bonnar
  • Martin Kampmann
  • Marvin Eastman
  • Ricardo Almeida
  • Mike Swick
  • Thiago Tavares
  • Nate Quarry
  • Wilson Gouveia
  • Nate Marquardt
  • Kauhiro Nakamura
  • Jason MacDonald
  • Demian Maia
  • Thiago Alves
  • Thales Leites
  • Frank Edgar
  • Matt Hammil
  • Nate Diaz
  • Akihiro Gono
  • Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou
  • Gray Maynard
  • Hermes Franca
  • Cheick Kongo
  • Din Thomas
  • Spencer Fisher
  • Tyson Griffin

Note: The reality show really helped some of these fighters draw a fan base, because people saw them on TUF they root for them to suceed in their careers