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Silva wins. Now what?

October 21, 2007

I’m not sure which question is harder to answer today: Who the hell can give Anderson Silva a challenge? Or, where does Rich Franklin go from here?

Silva’s destruction of Franklin in UFC 77 was so complete and so absolute that it’s hard to imagine anyone inside or outside of the UFC who might be able to beat the Brazilian.

Joe Rogan the master of hyperbole can’t even do Silva justice in his descriptions of Silva. “Anderson Silva is a scary dude,” Rogan said after the fight.

And here’s where it gets difficult for the UFC. Despite the beatdown he took, Franklin is head and shoulders above anyone else in the UFC’s middleweight division. Read more…

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Don’t forget about Gonzaga

October 14, 2007

The showdown at UFC 77 between Tim Sylvia and Brandon Vera now becomes a semifinal bout for the heavyweight title, which was vacated last week by Randy Couture.

The winner will almost certainly fight for the title against a yet to be determined opponent, though one could assume it would be against the winner of the match between Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Cheick Kongo, which is supposed to take place early next year.

Of course, this means that the Sylvia-Vera winner wouldn’t be fighting for the title until April or May at the earliest.

Another option, which I think makes sense is to have the Sylvia-Vera winner fight for the belt against Gabriel Gonzaga on the proposed Feb. 2 card.

Why not Gonzaga? He was Read more…

Randy Couture was the ultimate fighter

October 11, 2007

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Randy Couture’s resignation leaves a huge void in the UFC that might not be filled for quite some time.

Is there another fighter as universally admired, as eloquent, as accomplished, as dedicated and as humble as Couture? He was the perfect ambassador for a sport still fighting for mainstream respect.

Can you think of anyone better? No names immediately come to my mind. Sure, there’s a lot of guys who have some of those qualities, but few who can wrap them up so nicely in a single package.

While fans will be disappointed that they’ll never get to see Couture defend his title, you’ve got to respect and understand his decision.

At 44-years-old and at this stage of his career, there was only one fight Read more…

Sopranos? No, it’s the IFL

October 11, 2007

There’s a fascinating interview with Monte Cox, Ben Rothwell’s manager, posted over at Five Ounces of Pain. While it’s only one side of the situation, Cox makes the IFL look absolutely crazy. Apparently, some IFL enforcers, er, officials took Jay Hieron, another of Cox’s fighters, for a ride and tried to get him to sign a contract in the back of a car, according to Cox. I’m sure Cox is spinning quite a bit but it sheds some light on the earlier news that the IFL was dropping Rothwell and Whitehead from its upcoming World Grand Prix.

Speaking of the IFL, my latest column at 411mania.com addresses what the league can do to turn things around.

TUF6 episode 4: Someone, end the madness

October 11, 2007

I’m not really sure how much energy I’ve got tonight to write a recap about the latest episode of The Ultimate Fighter.

Where to start? The drama over Dorian Price’s supposed rampage, really seemed to have been built up to be a bigger deal than it actually was. After reading Price’s rant about the episode last week, I was expecting something messy. Like Price drop kicking a camera or something.

I don’t think Price came across that bad, at all. The guy was having an emotional breakdown and he had a natural reaction to what was a very unnatural situation — a camera crew capturing your moment of weakness. No big deal. If he crossed the line, Read more…

Breaking down the welterweights and lightweights

October 10, 2007

The 411mania.com’s rankings for welterweights and lightweights are posted. As a 411mania columnist I get a vote on those rankings. For the most part, the top of my welterweight rankings matches up with my colleagues at 411mania, with two notable exceptions.

I inserted B.J. Penn as the No. 4 welterweight, despite the fact he’s the top contender in the UFC’s lightweight division and hasn’t fought at welterweight since his loss to Matt Hughes more than a year ago. I figure it’s similar to our putting Dan Henderson in the 2 spot at middleweight. Henderson has said he doesn’t want to move down to middleweight and hasn’t fought at that weight in more than a year. Read more…

Stupid is as stupid does: IFL drops Rothwell from Grand Prix

October 9, 2007

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Sam Caplan reports on Five Ounces of Pain and his new blog at proelite.com that Ben Rothwell and Mike Whitehead have been pulled from the International Fight League’s Nov. 3 World Grand Prix event.

Apparently, the IFL won’t let Rothwell and Whitehead fight because they have not signed contracts for the 2008 season. The reasoning, according to Caplan, is that the IFL doesn’t want either fighter to win a title and not be able to defend it next season.

I think the IFL is shooting itself in the foot here. But then what would you expect from Read more…