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McKee out of fight with Aoki; search for replacement is on. (Jami Varner in?)

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Who should fight Aoki?
Jamie Varner 6 67%
Jorge Masvidal 1 11%
Pat Heely 0 0%
Akihiro Gono 0 0%
Jadamba Narantungalag 2 22%
Antonio McKee (should man up) 0 0%
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MMA-San

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Initially, MMAJunkie.com reported on Monday that McKee (Pictured) had withdrawn from the bout due to visa issues. However, Dream official Mike Kogan asserted that visa problems were not the reason the fight fell apart.

According to Kogan, Monday’s report was how he found out that the fight was no longer a go.

“That’s actually why it upset me. I’ve got to read [on the Internet] that the guy who I fought for [to be on the card] is all of a sudden not fighting and making it sound like it’s beyond his control,” Kogan told Sherdog.com. “The visa issues were never a problem. I figure that part out first, before I book fighters. I have a very good travel agent that I’ve been working with forever on [acquiring] visas, even on last-minute notice. Here, we almost had three weeks, so it wasn’t an issue.”

...“He needs to come up with a better excuse as to why he isn’t fighting, because it isn’t the visa. As a matter of fact, I can get him his visa today. It’s still not too late. All he has to do is drive to [Los Angeles].”

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Post #1   5/17/11 4:38:29PM   

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It is so hard to find an opponent who:

1. Is not under UFC contract.
2. Is not a champion in a separate promotion (Strikeforce, Bellator, ect)
3. Aoki has not previously beaten.

Technically the contract between Dream and Strikeforce is still valid until it runs out (no way ZUFFA will reknew that deal), so they could bring in strikeforce compeetitors...but Zuffa would have to approve. No way is Dana White going to let a top prospect in the promotion possibly lose to somebody not under contract.

In that case Pat Heely is the best they could get from Strikeforce.

Using (the only non-biased ranking system on the net). FightMatrix Rankinsg

The following is a list of the top 10 non UFC competitors.

1. Gilbert Melendez (Strikeforce, the only one ranked higher than Aoki)
2. Eddie Alvarez (Bellator)
3. Jadamba Narantungalag (World Victory Road)
4. Tatsuya Kawajiri
5. Jorge Masvidal (Strikeforce)
6. Satoru Kitaoka (DEEP)
7. Brian Cobb (World Victory Road)
8. Akihiro Gono (World Victory Road)
9. Michael Chandler (Bellator)
10. Drew Fickett/Antonio McKee (Free agents, tied in the rankings)

Champions are out. So goodbye Melendez, Kitaoka, and Alvarez. The challengers to said belts are out, goodbye Masvidal and Chandler. Those who he has beaten previously are out. Goodbye Kawajiri. Thats left with a bunch of World Victory Road guys, the only one of which is currently markettable is Gono. Or McKee.

Or Fickett!!!

Kind of missed the chance to place Fickett on the poll, but man would that be a weird matchup.

In all reality, if DREAM can go ahead and grab Heely that would be best.

Other than that, Varner is actually really good matchmaking. However, Varner just had a match a couple days ago. Is he ready?



Post #2   5/17/11 4:50:58PM   

DeadHead988

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Varner just fought 3 days ago at welterweight on xfo 39

Post #3   5/17/11 5:02:31PM   

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McKee is pretty ornery, he probably caught wind of how they dont pay fighters and backed out. Also, stylistically he cant beat Aoki with what he does. Theres not even an upside to fighting in Japan at this point. The regional US shows have more stability and more career advancement possibilities.

As a side note, Fight Matrix is unbiased but still produces awful rankings. They favor ridiculously underground fighters based on win% and punish top level veterans who always take tough fights. its entertaining to look at but not to be taken seriously. If you're 10-0 in Bulgaria Fight Matrix puts you ahead of top UFC guys. they have Narantungalag as 9th on the world at LW. Bahadurzada 13th overall with a win over John Alessio....please tell the guys who are grinding it out in the top 30 UFC WW how this guy is so much better than them. Its just a highly flawed math formula they use to get these rankings.

Post #4   5/17/11 5:49:29PM