Why Does Leites Get A Crack At Silva?

I have been confused lately by Joe Silva and Dana White’s decisions and matchh making for middeweight champ Anderson Silva.  Dana has been quick to proclaim Silva as the best pound for pound fighter in the world.  I don’t disagree with that statement, however I do not think he is defending his belt against the number 1 contenders.

Case 1 – It was proclaimed that when Patrick Cote met Ricardo Almeida that the winner would get a title shot.  Many were confused by this as neither seemed like the number one contender.  They may have been able to climb the ladder, but they were not there yet.  Silva showed he was in a different league than Cote by toying with him.

Case 2- Travis Lutter.  I understand the Ultimate Fighter winner getting a title shot, but Lutter jumped tons of guys for a title shot.  He missed weight and then got submitted. 

Case 3 – Thales Leites.  I know Leites is good.  He is superb on the ground.  He owns a win over Nathan Marquardt.  However, that win is controversial.  I have Leites ranked 8.  I understand that the 6 guys between Anderson and Leites may not be able to beat Silva.  I also understand that he has already fought many of them including Dan Henderson, Rich Franklin, and Nate Marquardt. 

Well, if not Leites then who?  I understand not giving a re-match to Henderson or Marquardt yet.  They may get their shots.  Henderson is slated to fight Rich Franklin in January and Marquardt appears to be fighting Wilson Gouveia in February.  The winners inch closer to a re-match.  That moves Henderson and Marquardt off the map for now.  Rich Franklin is now at 205 it seems, plus he got destroyed by Silva twice.  Michael Bisping is nearing number one contender status, but he will coach the Ultimate Fighter season 9 opposite the Henderson/Franklin winner.  The two TUF coaches would then square off for the title shot.  That takes Bisping out for now. 

 That leaves two guys between Silva and Leites: Demian Maia and Yushin Okami.  Both of these guys are more deserving than Leites.  I suppose that the UFC in their looking for the next opponent for Silva was left with three names as I am: Maia, Leites, and Okami.  Let’s check out their respective resumes and see who should have gotten the “job”.

Demian Maia –  Maia is 9-0 overall and 4-0 in the UFC.  He has looked very, very impressive.  He has 4 submissions wins.  He has UFC wins over Nate Quarry, Ed Herman and Jason MacDonald.  He has earned the reputation of having the best functional jiu jitsu for MMA.   Most everyone agrees that Silva’s achilles heel may be a jiu jitsu practitioner of very high calibur. 

Yushin Okami –  Okami is 6-1 in the UFC and 22-4 overall.  He has UFC wins over Evan Tanner, Jason MacDonald, Mike Swick, and Alan Belcher.  His sole UFC loss came to Rich Franklin.  He was slated to have a title shot before an injury allowed Cote to step in and take it.  Okami is set to face Dean Lister at UFC 92.  A win would make him the clear number one contender in most rankings.  Oh yeah, did I mention that Okami has a win on his record over Anderson Silva.  I know it was a DQ win, but it is a win. 

Thales Leites – is 14-1 overall and 5-1 in the UFC.  His UFC wins come over Pete Sell, Floyd Sword, Ryan Jensen, Nate Marquardt and Drew McFedries.  He does have good ground skills and has finished 3 fights by submission. 

Breaking it down: Based on resumes alone Okami would get the job.  The runner-up would be Maia and the one left looking in would be Leites. 

So…why not Okami?  The answer is I have no flippin clue.  I can appreciate his upcoming bout with Lister.  However, what does the UFC do with Okami if he beats Lister?  If he looses then it settles it.  The UFC should have waited a week to book Silva’s April opponent.  If Okami had won he should have gotten the shot.  Okami was excluded because they do not see him as marketable.  The problem with that is that Leites is not Mister Personality.  I have no problem suggesting Maia is one or two wins away.  He does have better quality wins than Leites though. 

Here is my problem.  Leites is on a 5 fight win streak.  He will get a title shot coming off of a win to Drew McFedries.  Come on.  Make a dude fight someone good for the title shot.   Before that Leites scored a win over Nate Marquardt, but Marquardt won that fight.  He only won because Nate lost two points in the contest and Leites still only won by split decision. 

I am not anti-Leites.  He is a good fighter.  He may pose serious problems to Silva.  However, this is not the fight I want to see.   Leites is not ready.  Okami has earned his shot and further seals it with a win Saturday.  Maia should be at least considered. 

Tell me what you think….

Breaking Down the UFC Middleweight Division

The Champion: Anderson Silva

The Top Contender: ?

The Next Tier:

·         Yushin Okami

·         Nate Marquardt

·         Michael Bisping

·         Dan Henderson

·         Demian Maia

·         Thales Leites

·         Patrick Cote

·         Chael Sonnen

 

On the Rise: 

·         Demian Maia

·         Michael Bisping

 

Other Notables:

·         Denis Kang

·         Rousimar Palhares

·         Martin Kampmann

·         Chris Leben

·         Ricardo Almeida

·         Nate Quarry

·         Jason MacDonald

·         Wilson Gouveia

·         Goran Reljic

·         Dan Miller

·         Dean Lister

·         Kendall Grove

·         Alan Belcher

·         Ed Herman

·         Jorge Rivera

·         Alessio Sakara

·         C.B. Dolloway

·         Mike Massenzio

·         Matt Horwich

·         Jake Rosholt

·         Amir Sadollah

 

Scheduled Fights:

·         Nate Loughran vs. Tim Credeur at UFC Fight Night 16 on December 10

·         Jason MacDonald vs. Wilson Gouveia at TUF 8 Finale on December 13

·         Yushin Okami vs. Dean Lister at UFC 92 on December 27

·         C.B. Dolloway vs. Mike Massenzio at UFC 92 on December 27

·         Denis Kang vs. Alan Belcher at UFC 93 on January 17

 

Match Ups I’d Like to See:

·         Yushin Okami vs. Anderson Silva

·         Thales Leites vs. Rousimar Palhares

·         Demian Maia vs. Michael Bisping

 

Other Thoughts:

·         The UFC Middleweight division is very, very underrated!  I believe it is because of Anderson Silva’s dominance.  The middleweight division does not have a clear number 1 contender, but from top to bottom I would put this division with any.  Albeit, the UFC’s competitors have some middleweight talents in the likes of guys like Gegard Mousasi, Jacare, Vitor Belfort, Matt Lindland, Jorge Santiago,and  Kazuo Misaki.  Not to mention the few solid middleweights from EliteXC such as Robbie Lawler, Joey Villasenor, Scott Smith, Frank Shamrock and Benji Radach.  The UFC is sure to pick some of those guys up

·         Rumor has it the UFC is in negotiations with top middleweight Yoshihio Akiyama.  I do not know if they call pull him away from DREAM and Sengoku, but that would be a huge add. 

·         The middleweight division is growing with adds like signing Denis Kang, the move of WEC’s division which will add Chael Sonnen and Jake Rosholt as well as guys like Aaron Simpson and Danillo Vilefort likely to come over.

·         Paulo Filho will not be in the UFC…yet.

·         TUF 9 will feature middleweight coaches with Michael Bisping being a lock.  The other names being thrown around are Dan Henderson, Rich Franklin, Nate Marquardt and even Demian Maia

Compustrike Stats For Silva vs. Cote Fight

A lot of people are talking about Silva’s tentativness, but look at the compustrike.  No doubt this was not a typical Anderson Silva.  Perhaps there is a reason for it that we do not yet know.  Anyways, the point is that it wasn’s as bad as it looked and Cote didn’t do as good as some will say.  He only made it 3 rounds because Anderson let him.

Cote
Silva
14/72
Total Strikes Landed/Thrown
28/55
19%
Percentage
51%
7/47
Total Arm Strikes Landed/Thrown
9/23
15%
Percentage
39%
5
Power Strikes Landed
8
2
Clinch Strikes Landed
1
6/23
Total Leg Strikes Landed/Thrown
15/24
26%
Percentage
62%
6
Kicks Landed
11
0
Knees Landed
4
1/2
Ground Strikes Landed/Thrown
4/8
50%
Percentage
50%
0
Takedowns
0
0
Submission Attempts
0
0
Reversals
0
0
Dominant Positions
0

Glossary
Total Strikes = Total Arm Strikes + Total Leg Strikes + Ground Strikes
Total Arm Strikes Landed = Power Strikes Landed + Clinch Strikes Landed
Total Leg Strikes Landed = Kicks Landed + Knees Landed

Round 1

Cote
Silva
8/42
Total Strikes Landed/Thrown
9/20
19%
Percentage
45%
4/25
Total Arm Strikes Landed/Thrown
3/10
16%
Percentage
30%
4
Power Strikes Landed
3
0
Clinch Strikes Landed
0
4/17
Total Leg Strikes Landed/Thrown
6/10
24%
Percentage
60%
4
Kicks Landed
6
0
Knees Landed
0
0/0
Ground Strikes Landed/Thrown
0/0
0%
Percentage
0%
0
Takedowns
0
0
Submission Attempts
0
0
Reversals
0
0
Dominant Positions
0

Round 2

Cote
Silva
5/23
Total Strikes Landed/Thrown
18/32
22%
Percentage
56%
3/16
Total Arm Strikes Landed/Thrown
5/10
19%
Percentage
50%
1
Power Strikes Landed
4
2
Clinch Strikes Landed
1
1/5
Total Leg Strikes Landed/Thrown
9/14
20%
Percentage
64%
1
Kicks Landed
5
0
Knees Landed
4
1/2
Ground Strikes Landed/Thrown
4/8
50%
Percentage
50%
0
Takedowns
0
0
Submission Attempts
0
0
Reversals
0
0
Dominant Positions
0

Round 3

Cote
Silva
1/7
Total Strikes Landed/Thrown
1/3
14%
Percentage
33%
0/6
Total Arm Strikes Landed/Thrown
1/3
0%
Percentage
33%
0
Power Strikes Landed
1
0
Clinch Strikes Landed
0
1/1
Total Leg Strikes Landed/Thrown
0/0
100%
Percentage
0%
1
Kicks Landed
0
0
Knees Landed
0
0/0
Ground Strikes Landed/Thrown
0/0
0%
Percentage
0%
0
Takedowns
0
0
Submission Attempts
0
0
Reversals
0
0
Dominant Positions
0

 

I might add that I wish that the UFC would show the compustrike stats during the televised portions of the show.  If EliteXC did anything well, I liked the compuStrike stats in between rounds and after fights.  Just food for thought.  I wonder if anyone knows if Dana has ever said why they don’t do it or if they ever would.

Many Questions Arise in Wake of UFC 90?

I believe several questions arose in wake of UFC 90.  I will post the questions in poll form so my readers can voice their opinions.

1. 

Personally, I think it is a mix of a few things and none of them involve anything Cote did.  I think Anderson Silva was trying to confuse Cote.  Part of me feels he was playing around and trying to get in a groove.  I really feel that a KO was coming.  He showed flashes of it.  I was highly disappointed with the fight, but stuff happens.  Silva had a game plan and we don’t like it because Cote’s knee blew.  Silva didn’t know that would happen.  Perhaps he planned on becoming more aggressive.  Anyways, as Dana White said, I would hate to be Silva’s next opponent.  I have a feeling he will be fighting sooner than later. 

2. 

Here is my take on it.  I think Thiago Alves is for real.  I was not on his bandwagon, but I think he is a very good strike, however I see two problems.  He is very predictable.  He loved the flying knee and superman punch.  A good striker could give him problems too.  Also, I don’t know how he would do off his back.  I do not know if he could beat either GSP or B.J. Penn.  I am leaning towards Penn winning the super fight on January 31, and I think if B.J. can get Alves down to the ground he can submit him and pound him.  I think style wise both Penn and GSP are tough matchups for anyone.  So, I say he is for real, but he cannot beat GSP or Penn right now.  GSP was impressed with Alves and thinks he may see Thiago after Penn, but Georges better not overlook B.J.

3.

I am not quite on the bandwagon, but I think he could be a solid fighter.  He needs to prove himself more.  I do not know if he is that good or if Werdum just underestimated him.  He has great training and could be a star, but I’d like to see one more fight before I jump on the bandwagon.  I seem to remember a few guys like Houston Alexander and Sokoudjou coming out of nowhere with a couple of big names KO’s and then disappointing.  I don’t think Dos Santos fits into that mold because I think he will be a more well rounded fighter and trains with some of the best.

4.

I think several impressed.  I guess I would have to say that I was impressed with Thiago Alves the most.  He looked very sharp.  I also was impressed with Josh Koscheck in his loss.  He is tough as nails.  I thought Sherk was impressive and showed good stand up.  Of course Dos Santos was impressive as well.  I enjoyed the Miller vs. Horwich fight and think that both are solid fighters.

5.

My answer depends on how literal you take this question.  Most disappointing to me was Anderson Silva.  I expected a KO.  However, it wasn’t all his fault.  The Cote injury was disappointing, but that wasn’t his fault either.  I really expected more out of Aurelio as well.

MMABlog’s Middleweight MMA Rankings

The middleweights were hard to rank down towards the last 10.  Sorry if I left some good guys out.

Rank

Name

Organization

Next Fight

1

Anderson Silva

UFC

 Cote (#12), 9/25

2

Paulo Filho

UFC

Sonnen (#16) 11/3

3

Rich Franklin

UFC

Next Fight at LHW

4

Dan Henderson

UFC

Next Fight at LHW

5

Robbie Lawler

EliteXC?

 

6

Kazuo Misaki

Strikeforce

1/4

7

Nate Marquardt

UFC

 

8

Matt Lindland

Affliction

Sobral (LHW) ) 1/24

9

Yushin Okami

UFC

Lister (NR), 12/27

10

Gegard Mousasi

DREAM

Belfort (#25,) 1/24

11

Thales Leites

UFC

McFedries (NR), 9/25

12

Patrick Cote

UFC

A. Silva (#1), 9/25

13

Michael Bisping

UFC

 

14

Yoshihiro Akiyama

 

 

15

Ronaldo “Jacare” de Sousa

DREAM

 

16

Chael Sonnen

UFC

Filho (#2) 11/3

17

Demian Maia

UFC

Quarry (#18), 11/15

18

Nate Quarry

UFC

Maia (#17), 11/15

19

Joey Villasenor

EliteXC?

 

20

Cung Le

Strikeforce

 

21

Jorge Santiago

 

 

22

Chris Leben

UFC

 

23

Jason Macdonald

UFC

 

24

Martin Kampman

UFC

 

25

Vitor Belfort

Affliction

Mousasi (#10) 1/24

 

Others Considered: Ricardo Almeida, Rousimar Palhares, Dean Lister, Jason “Mayhem” Miller, Frank Trigg

UFC News: Anderson Silva vs. Patrick Cote at UFC 90

Okay, so we knew that Cote would get a title shot.  First, we suspected it would be after Yushin Okami got his shot, but then Okami broke his hand opening the door for Cote.  We then knew this fight would happen.  At first we thought it would be at UFC 88 in September.  Then some speculated it would be at UFC 89, on the free SPIKE card.  Well, it appears the fight will happen at UFC 90 on October 25th.  Here is what Cote had to say:

I’m telling all my friends to bet on me because they’re going to make a lot of money…. This guy will need 10 punches to my face to knock me out, and I’ll just need one. I have a good chance. He won’t exchange with me, and I’m not scared of him.”

I am sorry, but Cote bette rbe scared.  He is right, he has one punch knockout power, but it is nothing Silva hasn’t seen in guys like Leben or Franklin.  Cote didn’t knockout Almeida, he won’t knockout Silva. Here are Dana’s comments on the fight. 

Anderson Silva once again showed why he’s the greatest pound-for-pound fighter in the world when he moved up to light heavyweight and destroyed James Irvin,” White said. “Now he drops back down to middleweight to defend his world title against Patrick Cote, a fighter on a five-fight win streak [including one win outside of the UFC] with a style that guarantees an incredible fight, wherever it goes.

I think this is a good fight, but it is only good ebause it is a chance to see Anderson Silva.  If Cote wins that stinks for the UFC.  I hope UFC 90 gets another good fight.  They have the Sanchez vs. Alves and that is good for a third or fourth fight.  I hope they get one mroe solid fight.

UFC News: Anderson Silva vs. Patrick Cote at UFC 88 Possible

It has neen no secret that the UFC and Anderson Silva hoped to work out a title defense for Silva’s middleweight belt in September.  The expected fighter was to be Yushin Okami.  Dana White made clear that if Silva go out of his fight with Irvin injurt free then he would most likely fight September 6th and then again in December.  Here is what Dana White said now:

Okami’s out of that fight. He broke his hand. If (Silva) fights in September it’ll be (Patrick) Cote,” stated White at Saturday night’s post-fight press conference at the Palms in Las Vegas.

Patrick Cote is coming off a lackluster win over Ricardo Almeida. The fight was billed as determining who would geta  shot at the title.  It looks like Cote will get that shot and get it earlier than expected.  Okami’s hand is broken and that will allow for Cote to fight for the title.  I am sorry, but Patrick Cote is way out of his league here.  At least it will be one more step before Silva cleans out the divison.  I presume he has 3-4 more fights to officially clean out the divison.  I would say he needs to beat Kampmann, Bisping, and maybe Quarry to officially clean out the divison.

 There seems to be more plans for Silva than any other fighter in the UFC.  Why not?  He is the best and his popularity is growing quickly.  Dana White added more speculation…

“(Silva) said he wants to defend his 185-pound title. He said he wants to test the waters at 205. He did (on Saturday night),” continued White. “He’s going to defend his title again in September and then probably try to take another fight at 205.I think he wants to take his time. I think he wants to stay at 185 and completely clean out that division, go from there. (Silva) took the fight (with Irvin) on short notice, moved up to 205, wants to fight all the best guys in the world at 185 pounds, wants to fight all the best guys at 205 pounds, wants to fight every three months… uh, yah. It’s a little difficult for us to move things around, but when a guy has that mentality… I love it.”

I believe Silva’s win over Irvin means he is not done at 205.  I kmow Silva is very close to Machida and feels right now the belt is Machida’s at 205, I respect that and I really like Machida, however many people don’t like Machida.  The UFC’s worry about Machida is his marketability.  He has a upcoming bout with Thiago Silva, and a win there makes a title shot inevitable.  Perhaps Machida and Silva will never fight, but there are appealing fights out there for Silva, more than Silva-Cote.  We can think of a move of WEC middleweight champ Paulo Filho to the UFC and get a title shot, but he has to get through Chael Sonnen in September first.  We can think of a dream match at 205 between Liddell and Silva, but Liddell has to get through Evans first and he would call for a title shot if he does.  We could imagine Wanderlei vs. Anderson.  The list goes on and obviously there are more appealing fights for Silva at 205 than 185.  For now, it looks like it is right back to the grind for Anderson as he prepares for a possible Sept. 6 fight with Patrick Cote at middleweight, no sweat.