Thoughts on Shogun-Griffin

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POLL: Who Should Shogun's First UFC Opponent have Been?
Forrest Griffin 68% (21)
Ryoto (Lyoto) Machida 32% (10)
DCRage
8/15/07 9:49:46AM
Ever since Forrest Griffin was announced as Mauricio "Shogun" Rua's first UFC opponent instead of the original plan of Rua vs. Ryoto (Lyoto) Machida, I've been curious as to why UFC would really do it. They're both great fighters, Machida's even unbeaten (10-0 career MMA), but I think they're doing this for 2 reasons that are kinda related:
1-Name recognition. Griffin's well-known for his memorable TUF1 finale against Stephan Bonnar and some Xyience commercials he's done since. Machida's maybe well-known in Japan.
2-Drawing power. Although given PRIDE was big in Japan and that's where Shogun made a name for himself, wouldn't it make sense there to have Machida be the opponent? The Japanese media would eat that up even more, but I know Griffin, for reasons above and others, would naturally be more a ratings draw despite Machida perhaps being a more worthy opponent and making it sound a little less like a "booked to win" debut fight. So while I would've rather seen Machida be the opponent instead of Griffin, who would've you rather have seen, and for what reasons? (If they're different from mine listed above)
cowcatcher
8/15/07 9:54:16AM
i think the name recognition is the #1 factor here, i really dont think the ufc is as concerned with the japanese media as they are with what people in the states want to see because they make their money on PPV buys. as a fan of mma id rather see machida in there just to see where hes at against a guy like shogun, but from the ufcs standpoint($$$$$) they made the right call.
EddieBowers
8/15/07 10:17:31AM
I see what you are saying... but to be honest, I like Forrest. He is fun to watch fight, he puts on a good show. Of course the UFC wants money, so they are going to put Griffin in there to draw the new MMA fans... the ones that only know about pride becasue the UFC bought it out. So in a nut shell I don't care who they but up against Shogun, as long as it is a good fight, and that is something I know Forrest will put up.. a good fight.
Branwest
8/15/07 10:38:27AM
I think the UFC did this for a couple of reasons:
#1: I think, for future fight scheduling purposes, they (the UFC) want Shogun AND Machita, to win their first fights (in the UFC). If they would've matched him up against Machida first, one of them would've lost (probably Machida, IMO).
#2: Forrest will draw ratings. Due to the rise of the popularity of MMA, and the influx of new fans, the UFC knows that many of these new fans know who Forrest is, and they like him, as do I. He's got a ton of heart. Personally though, I would rather see Shogun v. Machita.
Hopefully, as time goes on, the temporary, 'trying to stay hip with what's cool now' type of fans will be weeded out and the other new fans who will continue to follow the sport will become more educated. I've followed this sport since the 90's and I've seen more growth in the last couple of years than in the previous ten.
Shogun, along with GSP, is my favorite fighter. He's ruthless. Unfortunately, he can't use his brutal stomps, and vicious soccer kicks to the head, while his opponent are on the ground. The addition of him being able to use his elbows will help with that absence.
Mastodon2
8/15/07 10:45:28AM
Just like cowcatcher said, its about the name he is fighting. 2 relative unknowns (at least to the casual UFC fan) fighting isnt that big a draw, but now lot of fans are going to be saying "Oh who is this new guy coming in to fight Griffin, I wanna see this!", and when Shogun (hopefully) trashes him in a spectacular fashion, Shogun will start to gain himself a following in the UFC, at least with the fans who didnt already know who he was.

Furthermore, I think Machida would have been more dangerous to Shogun, Griffin is a safer fight, he will look good getting beaten by Shogun, Rua can show off a bit while he is taking it to him. Griffin has less chance of beating Shogun, and taking stifling his momentum.
fullerene
8/15/07 11:18:20AM
Good posts so far.

Another way to look at it is that Forrest vs.Shogun is a big draw in the U.S. and Shogun vs. Machida is a huge draw in Japan. I'm sure the UFC has some plans to put on a show in that market in the future (they're crazy if they don't).
cowcatcher
8/15/07 11:21:39AM

Posted by fullerene

Good posts so far.

Another way to look at it is that Forrest vs.Shogun is a big draw in the U.S. and Shogun vs. Machida is a huge draw in Japan. I'm sure the UFC has some plans to put on a show in that market in the future (they're crazy if they don't).



i would expect that if they do a show in japan they would probably use the pride name on the event, and feature a lot of japanese talent so who knows, maybe in the near future we could see this matchup over there. right now i think the ufc is concentrating on getting a strong foothold in the us and uk(which theyre doing a good job of) before moving to japan.
JWils
8/15/07 3:58:52PM
I think the UFC hit a homerun with this matchup......

Here's my take on this matchup:
1) Forrest Griffin is one the most popular fighters in the UFC and a very solid fighter - personally I don't know how anyone can NOT like the guy.
2) The UFC knows that Rua is one of the baddest men on the planet.

Therefore, the average fan sees that Forrest Griffin has a fight coming up and tunes into watch. Probably the entire pre fight build up to this fight will be how great and tough Shogun is and how Griffin the underdog. So, Joe Blow is sitting there like "man, Griffin is tough so this guy must be awesome"....

Now when the actual fight takes place the UFC is in a win/win situation. If the fight goes as most think, which is a pretty dominant win for Rua, people will walk away thinking "I can't wait to watch that guy fight again"....

On the other hand, if Griffin pulls the upset, then instantly, the UFC has one of their most popular fighters as a major title contender. So, then we could possibly see Rampage vs. Griffin or Griffin vs. Liddell (that fight would sell out an arena in a heartbeat)

The UFC can't lose in this fight. I know that Machida is a very good fighter, probably better than Griffin, but their popularity is not even close to being equal which makes Grifin a more valuable commodity.
Jackelope
8/15/07 4:13:08PM

Posted by JWils

I think the UFC hit a homerun with this matchup......

Here's my take on this matchup:
1) Forrest Griffin is one the most popular fighters in the UFC and a very solid fighter - personally I don't know how anyone can NOT like the guy.
2) The UFC knows that Rua is one of the baddest men on the planet.

Therefore, the average fan sees that Forrest Griffin has a fight coming up and tunes into watch. Probably the entire pre fight build up to this fight will be how great and tough Shogun is and how Griffin the underdog. So, Joe Blow is sitting there like "man, Griffin is tough so this guy must be awesome"....

Now when the actual fight takes place the UFC is in a win/win situation. If the fight goes as most think, which is a pretty dominant win for Rua, people will walk away thinking "I can't wait to watch that guy fight again"....

On the other hand, if Griffin pulls the upset, then instantly, the UFC has one of their most popular fighters as a major title contender. So, then we could possibly see Rampage vs. Griffin or Griffin vs. Liddell (that fight would sell out an arena in a heartbeat)

The UFC can't lose in this fight. I know that Machida is a very good fighter, probably better than Griffin, but their popularity is not even close to being equal which makes Grifin a more valuable commodity.



damn it, you beat me to the punch on this one!

It's doubtful that Griffin will win, but take a serious look at it-

How much does Griffin have to gain by winning this fight? Holy shit.. it's immeasurable. If Griffin pulls off the upset that automatically puts him in the title contention slot. Up to this point he's had some great fights but he doesn't quite have that decisive victory that puts him on that level, and this would be just that. We all know how the UFC plays favorites (Liddell) and as much as I like Griffin, he is definitely one of those played favorites. Even if Griffin loses this fight he's lost to one of the best p4p fighters in the world. He only stands to gain and it's not like he's got an unblemished record to preserve.

Machida, on the other hand to the average wife-and-kids-having-weekend-beer-drinking TUF watcher is a relative unknown who has a perfect record which the UFC has not been able to exploit. To throw that perfect record away before being able to hype it up for a big match up in the future would be a waste on Zuffa's part.

Way smart move on the UFC's part. I also think it will make for an exciting match up. Forrest is going to come in bombing and most likely Shogun will pick him apart like Dick Cheney picks off hunting partners. Who wouldn't want to see that????
LR
8/15/07 4:26:41PM
Actually, I see it a tad differently. I think this is JUST like the Rampage/Liddell fight except for the fact that Griffin just doesn't match up well against Shogun at all. Liddell and Rampage were both strikers, so it had the potential to be a great fight. I personally thought Rampage was going to just stomp him for 2 rounds and end it, but it ended up being a one punch fight. Anyways, on topic here, a few points.

First, Griffin does have a recognizable name. Anybody who somewhat kept up with UFC and TUF is going to know who Griffin is, much like anybody who watches UFC or knows about UFC knows about Chuck Liddell, even people who barely ever watch UFC know who Chuck Liddell is.

Second, they bring in Shogun, one of the most tenacious fighters in MMA. Nobody knows who he is, at least not MMA fans who are as into MMA as we are. And right now, that's the main draw, they are trying to attract new fans. So they put in a recognizable name like Forrest Griffin, against an unknown, Gee, sounds like Liddell vs Rampage where before the fight, every idiot in the crowd was saying Liddell was going to cream Rampage because they didn't know who Rampage was. Hmmm, interesting. David Spade bet wrong, didn't he? Randy Couture was the only guy saying this was a horrible matchup for Liddell, and he was right, and so was my fantasy pick. Fact is, people may get that shock value from this fight. That "OMG" factor. If Shogun comes in with the tenacity he usually displays, what will happen?

Well, in my mind, two things, first... the "OMG" factor where fans will be amazed that Griffin was beaten. Now, this will only be worth a damn if Shogun brutally KO's him, but the potential is there. And secondly, it showcases one of the best MMA fighters in the game, and it instantly makes him a huge star, he'll get more fans, which gets more people interested, which gets more people to watch the PPV and come to the events. Shogun is a revenue maker in this fight.

And look at the whole Rampage thing now, now that Liddell was beaten by Rampage, people think Rampage is a God, but to the people who actually watch MMA know, he matches up poorly against Chute Box fighters, and can't handle superior Muay Thai. We know he's beatable, but to the average UFC fan, he's unstoppable because he beat Liddell. That's how UFC is making money. Rampage is this huge deal now, and bringing in new fans, and they can continue that model by bringing in these new fighters. And we love it because we know how the fights could go, and we buy the PPV, but to the average fan, they are finding all this out for the first time.
Jackelope
8/15/07 4:49:53PM
I don't really see how that's different than the rest of our viewpoints, to be honest.

The greatest thing is knowing that Rampage's reign will be short lived because there is that much talent coming into the UFC
JWils
8/15/07 5:12:21PM

Posted by LR

Now, this will only be worth a damn if Shogun brutally KO's him, but the potential is there.



That's a good point. If Shogun ends up grinding out a close decision, there really isn't the "wow" factor. But, in the MMA world, Griffin would still earn a lot of respect.

But your right, for the casual fan, Rua probably needs a TKO to become a "fan favorite".
EddieBowers
8/15/07 5:25:48PM
So what we are all saying is new fans+old fans= good move by the UFC and lots of money for the UFC
cowcatcher
8/15/07 5:31:50PM

Posted by EddieBowers

So what we are all saying is new fans+old fans= good move by the UFC and lots of money for the UFC



on the nose
Jackelope
8/15/07 6:27:15PM
Or as Bas Rutten would say- BANG right on the button
Kastro
8/15/07 7:10:05PM

Posted by Jackelope


Posted by JWils

I think the UFC hit a homerun with this matchup......

Here's my take on this matchup:
1) Forrest Griffin is one the most popular fighters in the UFC and a very solid fighter - personally I don't know how anyone can NOT like the guy.
2) The UFC knows that Rua is one of the baddest men on the planet.

Therefore, the average fan sees that Forrest Griffin has a fight coming up and tunes into watch. Probably the entire pre fight build up to this fight will be how great and tough Shogun is and how Griffin the underdog. So, Joe Blow is sitting there like "man, Griffin is tough so this guy must be awesome"....

Now when the actual fight takes place the UFC is in a win/win situation. If the fight goes as most think, which is a pretty dominant win for Rua, people will walk away thinking "I can't wait to watch that guy fight again"....

On the other hand, if Griffin pulls the upset, then instantly, the UFC has one of their most popular fighters as a major title contender. So, then we could possibly see Rampage vs. Griffin or Griffin vs. Liddell (that fight would sell out an arena in a heartbeat)

The UFC can't lose in this fight. I know that Machida is a very good fighter, probably better than Griffin, but their popularity is not even close to being equal which makes Grifin a more valuable commodity.



damn it, you beat me to the punch on this one!

It's doubtful that Griffin will win, but take a serious look at it-

How much does Griffin have to gain by winning this fight? Holy shit.. it's immeasurable. If Griffin pulls off the upset that automatically puts him in the title contention slot. Up to this point he's had some great fights but he doesn't quite have that decisive victory that puts him on that level, and this would be just that. We all know how the UFC plays favorites (Liddell) and as much as I like Griffin, he is definitely one of those played favorites. Even if Griffin loses this fight he's lost to one of the best p4p fighters in the world. He only stands to gain and it's not like he's got an unblemished record to preserve.

Machida, on the other hand to the average wife-and-kids-having-weekend-beer-drinking TUF watcher is a relative unknown who has a perfect record which the UFC has not been able to exploit. To throw that perfect record away before being able to hype it up for a big match up in the future would be a waste on Zuffa's part.

Way smart move on the UFC's part. I also think it will make for an exciting match up. Forrest is going to come in bombing and most likely Shogun will pick him apart like Dick Cheney picks off hunting partners. Who wouldn't want to see that????

jocksmall
8/15/07 8:28:51PM

Posted by JWils


Posted by LR

Now, this will only be worth a damn if Shogun brutally KO's him, but the potential is there.



That's a good point. If Shogun ends up grinding out a close decision, there really isn't the "wow" factor. But, in the MMA world, Griffin would still earn a lot of respect.

But your right, for the casual fan, Rua probably needs a TKO to become a "fan favorite".


i think about this fight and i just see shogun walking forrest down and giving him a brutal beating with kicks , knees and punches
LR
8/16/07 9:54:43AM
Well, Shogun is a stalker. He stalks his opponent and never lets up. I've never really seen him back off. Diabante was able to keep his at a distance with his long legs, etc, but once he was able to get inside that range, Shogun would put him down. I think it's gonna be very hard for Griffin to stop him.
Branwest
8/16/07 9:57:49AM
I would say that Forrest is training harder for this fight than he ever has for any other. And if not, he should. He's got more heart than most ppl, but heart will only get you so far. This isn't a Rocky movie. Ppl think that Shogun will have to have a spectacular knockout or finish for the new fans to take notice, but as much as they'll probably hype Shogun in the month before the fight, and during the event/show before his fight, they should realize who he is anyway, and if not, they're stupid.
I have a huge problem with some of these new fans and some of the bandwagon fans. Some watch because they really like it and they'll continue to watch, but the others are watching just because it's "the hip thing right now." But my problem is, if the fight isn't finished in spectacular fashion, with a brutal knockout or whatever, they boo and talk smack. Since the UFC has been going to California for events, like ARCO Arena, if the fight is on the ground for more than 30 seconds, they start booing. I wish these ppl would understand and appreciate the intricacies of the mma game. I love a good knockout to, but I also appreciate the skills necessary to pull of a gogoplata or any other submission. Hopefully, these bandwagon fans will be weeded out and stop watching, and let the real fans, along with the new fans who really appreciate mma, enjoy it.
cowcatcher
8/16/07 9:59:47AM
the great thing about griffin though is that he'll trade with shogun, at least while hes vertical. its hard not to like the guy, great personality, and he doesnt show any fear at all. rua should win this one but there could be some fireworks along the way.
SicJits
8/20/07 11:35:10PM

Posted by DCRage

Ever since Forrest Griffin was announced as Mauricio "Shogun" Rua's first UFC opponent instead of the original plan of Rua vs. Ryoto (Lyoto) Machida, I've been curious as to why UFC would really do it. They're both great fighters, Machida's even unbeaten (10-0 career MMA), but I think they're doing this for 2 reasons that are kinda related:
1-Name recognition. Griffin's well-known for his memorable TUF1 finale against Stephan Bonnar and some Xyience commercials he's done since. Machida's maybe well-known in Japan.
2-Drawing power. Although given PRIDE was big in Japan and that's where Shogun made a name for himself, wouldn't it make sense there to have Machida be the opponent? The Japanese media would eat that up even more, but I know Griffin, for reasons above and others, would naturally be more a ratings draw despite Machida perhaps being a more worthy opponent and making it sound a little less like a "booked to win" debut fight. So while I would've rather seen Machida be the opponent instead of Griffin, who would've you rather have seen, and for what reasons? (If they're different from mine listed above)





you hit the nail on the head! None of the ufc post TUF fans know who lyoto is let alone shogun, and they make up a significate portion of the ppv buys. Forrest has a huge fan base, so shogun will actually gain more credability by beating Forrest then by beating Lyoto, and in my opinion Lyoto is a way harder fight then Griffin. Griffin has showed so far he can bang and has average striking, and can consume alot of punishment. He has showed nothing on the ground and KJ showed that his chin IS not made of rock. DW and Joe Silva realize WHO shogun is and thats exactly why he is fighting Forrest. Forrest will still have his fan base, because he was suppose to lose to shogun, and he was never really in a title hunt after getting ko'd by KJ anyways.
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