Eight things to expect in '08 (ESPN)

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Bemin
1/3/08 1:37:26PM
Consider where MMA was a year ago. Who had the better fighters, UFC or PRIDE? Could anybody beat Chuck Liddell? Would somebody stand up and challenge Tim Sylvia?

One year later, those questions have been answered. PRIDE guys struggled. Yes, Liddell could be beaten -- more than once, actually. And Sylvia, well, we all remember Randy Couture's stunning comeback to reclaim a UFC belt. So 2007 answered plenty.

But 2008 presents a new wave of questions. Here are eight things to expect in '08.

Link
Bemin
1/3/08 1:44:41PM
I don't agree with many of the things this guy says, but its a good read and good to see more MMA coverage on ESPN.
tuvok500
1/3/08 1:48:59PM
LOL !!

i desagree completely about Lesnar beating Mir and Big Nog !! lol


I think GSP will kill Serra for sure and i would LOVE to see a battle of top P4P fighters between GSP and Silva, wow !!!!

cmill21
1/3/08 1:56:28PM
Is Forrest and Rampage a mega fight?
tuvok500
1/3/08 2:05:20PM

Posted by cmill21

Is Forrest and Rampage a mega fight?



YES !!

Specially after forrest destruction of Shogun !!

and also because he will destroy Rampage aswell !! lol


Leland
1/3/08 2:31:14PM

Posted by tuvok500


Posted by cmill21

Is Forrest and Rampage a mega fight?



YES !!

Specially after forrest destruction of Shogun !!

and also because he will destroy Rampage aswell !! lol





Yeah im on the fence with Forest/Rampage. Both are such good strikers. Forest is learning more and more everytime he fights so he may outwork Rampage with strategy.
decken
1/3/08 3:05:28PM
If you read the article carefully it says that Flyod will never make the transfer over to MMA, because "even a novice mixed martial artist would humiliate him in a MMA bout." So, really your "disagreement" with the Article is what the Article actually states.

Above is in response to tovok500's first post, the third post of the forum. I forgot to quote him.


Also, does anyone else think that waiting for the end of the TUF show is ridiculous. Jackson should face a challenger sooner than that. Also, No offense to Forrest but I don't think he deserves a title shot, yet. Two wins in a row and a fighter gets a chance to fight for the title? Giving fighters title shots they don't deserve is how you end up with Matt Serras as champions, which is crap.
Rush
1/3/08 3:05:39PM
My responses are in bold.


1. Randy's re-return

Sure, Couture seems done with the UFC, and probably is a huge legal upset away from his much-desired bout with Fedor Emelianenko. But look for Couture to fight in the Octagon this year.

For one, Couture just sat down with Dana White a few weeks ago to air his grievances. Not much progress was made. But his chief beef all along has been money, and this feud could turn out to be a gigantic money-generator. Say Antonio Nogueira beats Tim Sylvia and Brock Lesnar mauls Frank Mir in upcoming fights. Then Lesnar beats Nogueira, or the other way around. Can't you see White in the Octagon, mic in hand, announcing Lesnar's first title defense will come against … drumroll please … Couture?

"I hope that's the case," White says. "For me, the door is definitely not closed."


I don't what will happen with Randy, but even if he does come back he will not be fighting Lesnar in 2008, even if Lesnar pulls off all these upsets. If Randy comes back to the UFC it will be for one fight and it will be the winner of Sylvia and Nog.


2. A year of mega-fights

M-1 has the people in place and the resources to follow through on finding a big fight for heavyweight hotshot Fedor Emelianenko. But the UFC already has a few mega fights lined up. Dan Henderson and Anderson Silva will go at it in March. Quinton Jackson and Forrest Griffin will fight at the end of this year's "Ultimate Fighter" show. It's conceivable that we get a big heavyweight matchup, and White says Georges St. Pierre vs. Matt Serra (in Canada, by the way) will get the green light. While some fans may complain about some of the other fights they'll have to pay for (and rightly so -- BJ Penn vs. Joe Stevenson?), the year should be balanced out with plenty of huge matchups.

Huge match-ups yes, but the only mega fight there is Silva vs. Henderson.

3. A boxer will cross over, but it won't be Floyd Mayweather

Tom Briglia/WireImage.com

Is it possible we'll see James Toney, left, in an MMA cage in the near future?
Mayweather is a smart businessman, and he's surrounded by even more smart businessmen. They have to realize that even a novice mixed martial artist would humiliate him in a MMA bout. Now James Toney … well, he's a different story. Expect somebody else (does Ray Mercer really count?) to try it … and get choked out the same way Mercer did.


The only boxers I see jumping into MMA are those either looking for a reputation or ones that don't have a big name in boxing. i.e. low to middle tier fighters. The money is just not there in MMA for a top boxer to risk makign the transition

4. Here come the lightweights

The 2007 year was not a great one for UFC's 155-pounders and many of the division's top stars still aren't in the organization. But 2008 could change all of that. Things get going with the Stevenson-Penn fight. But with Kenny Florian, Roger Huerta, Manny Gamburyan, Frank Edgar, Clay Guida and Mac Danzig all in the UFC -- and with Sean Sherk back in the mix soon as well -- '08 may very well end up being an explosive year for the lightweights.

I don't think the LW division will be as big as it was in 2007. There already seems to be some parity developing amongst the ranks. Just look at where the WW division was right before GSP took the belt and look at it now. One thing I am pretty sure of is that the LHW division will have it's time in 2008

5. More fighters will flunk steroid tests

Big-time athletes take performance-enhancing drugs? No way! The dream scenario in all sports is that nobody takes performance enhancers. The reality of it is this: People cheat, and athletes are no different as they seek a competitive advantage. So yes, there will be more positive tests in 2008. But at the end of the day, a flunked drug test means that, as far as the shady world of drug testing goes, at least a plausible system is catching people.

I don't think more or less fighters will flunk tests unless they increase testing frequency. In the UFC I almost see a decrease in usage if clean fighters continue to do well.


6. St. Pierre and Silva become the consensus Top 2 pound-for-pounders

[+] EnlargeRic Fogel for ESPN.com

Anderson Silva, left, is as good as it gets when he's in top shape.
If St. Pierre is anywhere close to peak form, he's unbeatable. The problem, of course, is that St. Pierre has had some blips in his career. Don't expect any of them in 2008. The guy's a world-class striker, knows submissions and is perhaps the most complete physical specimen in the sport. Oh, and he has dominated two of the UFC's best wrestlers, Hughes and Josh Koscheck, with his own wrestling skill. He should hammer Matt Serra to get rid of the "interim" championship, and there's really nobody else who can push him.

Silva is a similar case. He's explosive, well-rounded and nobody fights better off his back (if he ends up there) than the crafty Brazilian. Expect him to be tested by Henderson, but win. Then what? How about GSP vs. Silva?


I agree with Silva and GSP for the top P4P fighters, but there will not be a chance of GSP movign up to MW unless Silva continues to dominate through 2008. There are still enough decent fighters in WW for GSP to fight in 2008.

7. A crazy "TUF" year

Big changes are coming for the UFC's reality show "The Ultimate Fighter," though Spike TV execs and the UFC aren't revealing exactly what they'll be just yet. They're just saying it'll be a crazy year. And with Rampage and Griffin as coaches, here's betting they're not exaggerating.


I have a feeling that "crazy" is being over used in this sense. I just hope TUF will be a better show than the last two seasons.

8. A new era of fighters

Money is still not great for fighters in smaller organizations, and even UFC undercard fighters aren't exactly millionaires (at UFC 77, for example, Jorge Gurgel and Kalib Starnes made $7,000 for their fights; four other fighters earned less than $10,000 that night). That needs to improve, especially in the UFC. One big incentive has become bonuses for "Fight of the Night," "Submission of the Night," etc. Those have skyrocketed to more than $30,000. And the UFC is known to hand out other bonus money. But the sport still has a long way to go. Look for 2008 to be another step in the right direction, with fighters earning salaries more proportional to what they bring in. There are still quite a few small steps to go, though.


As long as the UFC continues to run a near monopoly in North American (or even the world) MMA, they will continue to set the bar for fighters' salaries. In some cases it's ridiculous, but in many cases it is pretty fair as a whole. I think athletes get paid too much as it is. It's not right for any fighter to be overpaid just as much as it is for them to be underpaid. I think taking home 50-100 grand per fight is fair.
cmill21
1/3/08 3:05:45PM

Posted by tuvok500


Posted by cmill21

Is Forrest and Rampage a mega fight?



YES !!

Specially after forrest submission of Shogun !!

and also because he will destroy Rampage aswell !! lol





Fixed your mistake. I think it's funny how after a loss to Jardine, and a weak decision win over hector, a win over shogun makes him a serious threat. Oh well at least you guys are consistant with the "one win changes everything" theory. I'll hold you to it when Cro Cop, Shogun, Wand and Soko win!
prozacnation1978
1/3/08 3:38:13PM
espn needs to leave mma alone they don't know anything about the sport go back to your football and baseball coverage, alot of those questions to expect where just plain dumb
tuvok500
1/3/08 3:40:59PM

Posted by cmill21


Posted by tuvok500


Posted by cmill21

Is Forrest and Rampage a mega fight?



YES !!

Specially after forrest submission of Shogun !!

and also because he will destroy Rampage aswell !! lol





Fixed your mistake. I think it's funny how after a loss to Jardine, and a weak decision win over hector, a win over shogun makes him a serious threat. Oh well at least you guys are consistant with the "one win changes everything" theory. I'll hold you to it when Cro Cop, Shogun, Wand and Soko win!



Man man man , everybody know ( atleast those who follow the UFC ) that Shogun was fighting Forrest just to set up a fight with Rampage .
so now Forrest won the fight, and it is perfectly normal that it is him who face Rampage.

It gave forrest a 2th win in a row and the last one was against a guy who was fighting to be the next in line to fight Rampage.
so you can continue to bring back Crocop or Wandy or god himself but it was not 1 win , it was 2 in a row and it was fair to give to the winner the same reward than the other guy would have received .

same thing happen with GG, it was only 2 win in a row but the last one was against a guy who was fighting to be next in line to fight Couture, GG won, GG took the place of Crocop against couture.

so, the best thing if you are not believing that it is a big fight is to not look at it man, simple, you will save almost 50$ !!

cmill21
1/3/08 3:49:11PM
I know what you were saying. Remember this when someone you don't like wins one against someone like Ramirez, and then beats someone noteable and gets a shot. Forrest's last 5 fights are as follows, loss to Tito, win over Bonner, KO loss to Jardine, UD over Hector, and a 3rd round sub over Shogun. One very good win in his UFC career does not make this a "mega" fight, sorry. Rampage's last 6 fights are all wins and include 3 T/KO's, wins over Lindland, Liddell, and Henderson. To me this fight should have Rampage heavily favoured.

Edit: I also don't think GG vs Couture was a super fight, and I don't think GG deserved that fight, and it showed he was out classed.
tuvok500
1/3/08 3:50:53PM

Posted by cmill21

I know what you were saying. Remember this when someone you don't like wins one against someone like Ramirez, and then beats someone noteable and gets a shot. Forrest's last 5 fights are as follows, loss to Tito, win over Bonner, KO loss to Jardine, UD over Hector, and a 3rd round sub over Shogun. One very good win in his UFC career does not make this a "mega" fight, sorry. Rampage's last 6 fights are all wins and include 3 T/KO's, wins over Lindland, Liddell, and Henderson. To me this fight should have Rampage heavily favoured.



Yeah, well, i can give you that the word MEGA was not the best choice !! lol

maybe more like an interesting fight ??

gartface
1/3/08 4:04:44PM

Posted by prozacnation1978

espn needs to leave mma alone they don't know anything about the sport go back to your football and baseball coverage, alot of those questions to expect where just plain dumb



They're working with Sherdog. And their coverage is getting better and better because of it.
juanez13
1/3/08 4:24:29PM

Posted by tuvok500

LOL !!

i desagree completely about Lesnar beating Mir and Big Nog !! lol

i also desagree about floyd, the guy will NEVER be an MMA fighter, unless it is an arrange fight with no takedown, no knee, no clinch, no elbow etc.. so basically a boxing match.

I think GSP will kill Serra for sure and i would LOVE to see a battle of top P4P fighters between GSP and Silva, wow !!!!




i disagree with the lesnar thing too.....

but saying you disagree about the floyd mayweather thing, i think you got it backwards, because if you actually read it, it mentions the Floyd will NOT cross over to MMA, bit instead they mention james toney......

i also disagree abot the lightweights, because in my eyes the lightweight had an amazing year, full of exciting matches.......
emfleek
1/3/08 4:44:26PM

Posted by prozacnation1978

espn needs to leave mma alone they don't know anything about the sport go back to your football and baseball coverage, alot of those questions to expect where just plain dumb



I personally welcome ESPN to the world of MMA. They're coverage on everything else is stellar. There are going to be growing pains considering MMA is relatively new to the world as a whole. Other sports (baseball, football, boxing and [God forbid] Nascar) have been around for years and years. That's why ESPN covers them so well. Give it some time...and if you know it all, apply @ ESPN to be the MMA expert. I'm sure they're looking for one...
tuvok500
1/3/08 4:46:40PM

Posted by juanez13


Posted by tuvok500

LOL !!

i desagree completely about Lesnar beating Mir and Big Nog !! lol

i also desagree about floyd, the guy will NEVER be an MMA fighter, unless it is an arrange fight with no takedown, no knee, no clinch, no elbow etc.. so basically a boxing match.

I think GSP will kill Serra for sure and i would LOVE to see a battle of top P4P fighters between GSP and Silva, wow !!!!




i disagree with the lesnar thing too.....

but saying you disagree about the floyd mayweather thing, i think you got it backwards, because if you actually read it, it mentions the Floyd will NOT cross over to MMA, bit instead they mention james toney......

i also disagree abot the lightweights, because in my eyes the lightweight had an amazing year, full of exciting matches.......



yeah, i know , when i saw the word Floyd it make be think about the post about floyd fighting in MMA.
well, the article was correct , so basically , i agree with them on that !!

silverbullet
1/3/08 5:15:37PM

Posted by tuvok500


Posted by juanez13


Posted by tuvok500

LOL !!

i desagree completely about Lesnar beating Mir and Big Nog !! lol

i also desagree about floyd, the guy will NEVER be an MMA fighter, unless it is an arrange fight with no takedown, no knee, no clinch, no elbow etc.. so basically a boxing match.

I think GSP will kill Serra for sure and i would LOVE to see a battle of top P4P fighters between GSP and Silva, wow !!!!




i disagree with the lesnar thing too.....

but saying you disagree about the floyd mayweather thing, i think you got it backwards, because if you actually read it, it mentions the Floyd will NOT cross over to MMA, bit instead they mention james toney......

i also disagree abot the lightweights, because in my eyes the lightweight had an amazing year, full of exciting matches.......



yeah, i know , when i saw the word Floyd it make be think about the post about floyd fighting in MMA.
well, the article was correct , so basically , i agree with them on that !!




Should we agree to disagree?
tuvok500
1/3/08 5:25:20PM

Posted by silverbullet


Posted by tuvok500


Posted by juanez13


Posted by tuvok500

LOL !!

i desagree completely about Lesnar beating Mir and Big Nog !! lol

i also desagree about floyd, the guy will NEVER be an MMA fighter, unless it is an arrange fight with no takedown, no knee, no clinch, no elbow etc.. so basically a boxing match.

I think GSP will kill Serra for sure and i would LOVE to see a battle of top P4P fighters between GSP and Silva, wow !!!!




i disagree with the lesnar thing too.....

but saying you disagree about the floyd mayweather thing, i think you got it backwards, because if you actually read it, it mentions the Floyd will NOT cross over to MMA, bit instead they mention james toney......

i also disagree abot the lightweights, because in my eyes the lightweight had an amazing year, full of exciting matches.......



yeah, i know , when i saw the word Floyd it make be think about the post about floyd fighting in MMA.
well, the article was correct , so basically , i agree with them on that !!




Should we agree to disagree?



Yes, we agree to disagree about floyd being an MMA fighter !!

kevietre
1/3/08 5:41:19PM
WTF does ESPN know about MMA?
RampageOwnedYou
1/3/08 6:19:56PM
WOW Lesner has had 1 fight and you guys think he is the next best thing.
I think Lesner has a bad matchup vs Mir, the style will kill him. Even big john was on off the record here in Toronto, and he thinks Lesner will lose vs Mir as well.

ALSO Mega fight Rampage vs Forest. Give me a break. Forest got lucky vs Shogun. If any of you watched the fight you would have noticed a different Shogun. He got injured, and he just got married. Being married is alot different then dating and training all the time. He just got back from a honeymoon, and clearly wasnt the same guy.
D0wnUnd6e6r
1/3/08 6:31:31PM

Posted by RampageOwnedYou

WOW Lesner has had 1 fight and you guys think he is the next best thing.
I think Lesner has a bad matchup vs Mir, the style will kill him. Even big john was on off the record here in Toronto, and he thinks Lesner will lose vs Mir as well.

ALSO Mega fight Rampage vs Forest. Give me a break. Forest got lucky vs Shogun. If any of you watched the fight you would have noticed a different Shogun. He got injured, and he just got married. Being married is alot different then dating and training all the time. He just got back from a honeymoon, and clearly wasnt the same guy.



It's actually not us guys that think that, it's ESPN. Now as for the rest of your post please tell me your kidding or something. Forrest followed the gameplan against shogun and wtf u talking about getting married and that honeymoon crap. Enough with the excuses when a Pride guy loses!!! Emfleek recently welcomed ESPN to the world of MMA, I guess it's '' us guys' " turn to introduce u to it.
tuvok500
1/3/08 6:36:33PM

Posted by RampageOwnedYou

WOW Lesner has had 1 fight and you guys think he is the next best thing.
I think Lesner has a bad matchup vs Mir, the style will kill him. Even big john was on off the record here in Toronto, and he thinks Lesner will lose vs Mir as well.

ALSO Mega fight Rampage vs Forest. Give me a break. Forest got lucky vs Shogun. If any of you watched the fight you would have noticed a different Shogun. He got injured, and he just got married. Being married is alot different then dating and training all the time. He just got back from a honeymoon, and clearly wasnt the same guy.



LOL !!

come on man, every times a guy from pride lose he was not himself ??


RampageOwnedYou
1/3/08 7:17:27PM

It's actually not us guys that think that, it's ESPN. Now as for the rest of your post please tell me your kidding or something. Forrest followed the gameplan against shogun and wtf u talking about getting married and that honeymoon crap. Enough with the excuses when a Pride guy loses!!! Emfleek recently welcomed ESPN to the world of MMA, I guess it's '' us guys' " turn to introduce u to it.


Hey Man, just telling you like it is. How would you feel if you did not get to train like you usually do. Then to top it off, you get married, and go on a honeymoon, and this taking away from your training. Then to fight the following week.
Regardless Shogun wasnt himself. And next Shogun fight be sure to hit me up and ill bet the pot on Shogun to win. This goes for anyone.

iwannabesedated
1/3/08 8:19:28PM
All i can say is 2008 hopefully will be as entertaning and awesome as 2007.

On another note...I blame Matt Hughes losing to GSP because he had a newborn child at home.Remember on TUF he said that he left a 5 week old baby or someting like that to be there to train those guys..So hey if we're doing this excuse things for a fighter we like losing I.E Shogun then yeah Hughes lost cause he couldn't see his newborn and had to be on TUF.

Cause You know having a baby,Being Married,and coaching TUFers really hurts you.
telnights
1/3/08 9:38:23PM
2007 the year of the excuse?
Manak
1/3/08 9:55:45PM
shougun has no excuses but didnt he tear his acl before the match
ufcboss
1/4/08 12:15:50AM

Posted by RampageOwnedYou

WOW Lesner has had 1 fight and you guys think he is the next best thing.
I think Lesner has a bad matchup vs Mir, the style will kill him. Even big john was on off the record here in Toronto, and he thinks Lesner will lose vs Mir as well.

ALSO Mega fight Rampage vs Forest. Give me a break. Forest got lucky vs Shogun. If any of you watched the fight you would have noticed a different Shogun. He got injured, and he just got married. Being married is alot different then dating and training all the time. He just got back from a honeymoon, and clearly wasnt the same guy.



I can tell you love Rampage, Shogun lost and that's that. It's just a shame we have to wait 6 month's for Forrest V Rampage, So Forrest can prove himself, And silence all his haters.
RampageOwnedYou
1/4/08 2:32:00AM
hey dont get me wrong, forrest is good. But Shogun looked hurt and didnt seem to be himself. Watch his fights prior and he looks Wayyyyyyyyyy different. Not trying to make excuses but it just didnt seem like the same guy. And no way Forrest is as good as he seemed. Good yes, top of weight class no. Just my opinion. Dont hate me, just speaking on how i feel.
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