First, and foremost, it's been a little while, sorry for the delay, plenty to rant about, so let the ranting and hating begin...
1. Liddell's fall from grace- After UFC 88, it is quite obvious that Chuck is going to have a real hard time with the sport's rising stars, especially in the time to come. Evans, an undefeated, superstar in the making took his opportunity and won big, with the year's cleanest, high profile knockout of the year. Evans goes on to face Griffin at the end of the year for the belt, and Liddell is yet, again searching for his place in the division, and in my mind, should forget about a title shot at LHW. It is sad to say, but Chuck might just be the guy to throw the "on the cusp", knocking on the door type guys, sort of a gatekeeper, but not soo much because he is/was a champion. We will see, but think about the matchups left.... the Shogun fight, Hendo, Franklin, Irvin would be a good comeback fight, Boetsch, lots of them, so really Liddell has alot to look for in an opponent, just no title in sight.
2.Affliction's Fall?- As predicted, I knew the fallout from the first event(payouts, return,etc.) would be coming. How can a promotion throw all their chips into one event, and expect to thrive in an industry dominated by a single force? I didn't know if the guys at Affliction thougth the money was better, but I know they couldn't have made much, if any money with the Banned show in July. Exposure was good, but if you're not an mma lover, you weren't paying for that PPV. So, heading into the October event, I just became more and more disenchanted with the card, especially since there was no Fedor, and no Vitor/Lindland, or the rumored Ortiz/Sobral matchup. All in all, it wasn't looking good, on top of the fact that it was reported that they asked/told the fighters they would be taking a pay cut. When it was postponed, I thought, here we go. And to be truthful, I didn't like hearing that they might be struggling, because I do like the fact that there are other fighters out there, and it creates more drama and intrigue to cross-promoting fights with each it's own superstar to decide who is the 'real' champion, And with Fedor not in the UFC, and other Lightweights, the MMA world does have more to look to with the sport, than just the UFC.
Hope to see the Jan, early 09 card come together, I'll be watching...better get Fedor!!!
3. If it's not Affliction, Elite XC?- After watching this past weekend's CBS show, I told myself, there went their t.v. deal. With Kimbo, Elite's cash cow, being knocked out in ten seconds, by a guy fighting on the undercard, because their co-headliner, Ken 'Does anybody have a razor?' Shamrock, pulled a "cut me Mick!" and was yanked from the main event, on top of that, it was on National Television, not cable, or PPV, everybody saw it. Good luck convincing the CBS staff that you will be able to continue, successfully, (didn't it get beat by Unsolved Mysteries?) without giving them complete control, and really I'm serious, I love free MMA on t.v...
4. Kim-ahh Nooooo-The purist has denounced Kimbo's presence in the sport, as a mere novelty. A freak show, a trick, or an entertainment figure in a professional sport. I never took, or take anything away from a man trying to put food on the plate. I look down on the idea of Kimbo being the main event, the main attraction. Because you are not saying "here, watch this, this is mma, this is how good, or how advanced one can be in this sport." you know, when we watch sports, we know the best players, and what they can do. Every year, a new rookie jumps into the spotlight, and we're forced to acknowledge them as 'greatness'? No, but we must recognize, becasue those guys are the future. But, to me, Kimbo, is not, I repeat, is not the future, He is tough, mean lookin dude, that can bang, and brawl with the best of them in the streets, and even most if not all those guys are chumpy, but just don't put him the category of the top guys in the division, or the sport for that matter.
After starting him off with bums, Elite was bound to send another old man down the chopping block, Shamrock. Don't get me wrong, Slice was going to drop Ken, but looked what happened when they gave him a guy who was still young, hungry, and undersized!!!!He knocks him out, not only that, he dropped him with a one-legged backpedalling jab, I mean come on. My point would be that, they should have, and were right, in a business sense to put Kimbo in these main events, but in all actuality, they might have hurt his 'career' by putting soo much value into a guy that only beat people up in the streets, not trained professionals who do it for a living.
5. Couture's return- As excited as I am to see Randy come back, I am fearful that my initial thought of the outcome, would become true. I first thought, esp. after seeing the Herring fight, that Brock will drop Randy with one punch. The more, and more, and more time goes by, I tell myself man, Couture is the only man you don't count out in these situations,(well Seth Petruzelli now, too). If Couture indeed, gets beat down, then what? We will see, but I think Randy needs this win more than ever, if he still will want to pursue the Fedor fight. Fedor will want to fight Lesnar before he wants to fight Randy, I'm sure of that if he wins.
6. Houston Alexander- I'm from Omaha, and if you going to fight in Omaha, you stay and call your home, Omaha, then when it's the UFC, live t.v., and you got one shot at staying in the big show, what do you do? You go out and win d@#$ it!!!! All credit to Eric Schafer, he withstood the barrage, and stayed true to himself and took that fight. Instead of seeing my guy win like it looked like he was, I'd rather see him get beat, then go about another time, doing the same sh@$, and getting the same results. Thanks for putting us out there like that, but next time, remember to win before the after parties!!! For one last time, "Nebraska is in the building!"
7.Anderson "Can you find me an opponent(deserving)" Silva- Now, when Silva does what everyone expects on Oct. 25th, then what? I think another superfight, or change of weight to fight, will be next for the spider. With rumors of the TUF being the U.K. vs. U.S., and even more so, the thing about Bisping and Hendo being the coaches, obviously that isn't what is really happening, but if it were, then what? Filming will be done when? Beginning of '09? Hendo is fighting Franklin Jan 17, so barring no serious injury, Hendo would be ready for Febr. production., which would make for a summertime matchup against Bisping, the winner, I'm sure getting a title shot. Now, what if either lose in the meantime, Bisping against Leben, Dan against Rich? As much as the UFC pumps these TUF fights, and stars, you'd think they'd be ready to throw Bisping in there with Silva after Cote, if they both win. But, then you don't have Bisping for the show, or are they even going to use Michael for the TUF show, I don't know.
So, we've talked about Bisping, Hendo, who is fighting Franklin at 205 mind you, who else comes to mind? Is the winner of Leben/Bisping being primed for a title shot?Who else in the division? If Chael Sonnen beats Filho, will he come into the picture after all the MW comeover from WEC? (Silva says fighting Paulo is out the question) Maia, I don't think has the win, he has the wins, but not the win to put him in there for me. I'm thinking they will give Okami his long awaited shot, if he wins his fight in Dec. I believe? Nate Marquardt has looked very impressive, so a big win for him, I mean big could put his name in there. More than likely, with Anderson's desire to fight soo much, if he beats Cote, he'll go for another fight at 205, and wait for the TUF thing to hatch.
I prolly could keep going but if you read to hear, you have seen enough....
Until next time, let me know if you agree, or disagree, always up for debates,