The MMA Roundtable
Welcome back to the Roundtable. As always, Questions are welcome. This week we have Joao “Picard” Pedro, Collin “Janeway” Caprini, Jim “Kirk” Jacobs and I am of course David “Khaaaaaaan” Snipes
Jon Jones vs Vitor or Sonnon or Lyoto?
Joao: Of the three I believe Belfort would always be the biggest underdog, because Sonnen has the takedowns and ground control ability and Machida is a natural 205er who handled himself very well against Bones in the first round of their fight.
But my problem is that – as captivating as all 3 possibilities are – only Machida would deserve the title shot through this rematch. Chael is coming off a loss and Vítor has not been fighting at 205. So I will side with Bones vs Machida.
On the other hand, Jones vs Dan Henderson would trump those 3 possibilities. But we all know what happened to that.
Jim: Lyoto. I’ve always thought Machida had the right style to beat Jones. His movement in and out, his great takedown defense, and his sold grappling skills make for Jones toughest fight at 205. I actually think Belfort has a better chance than Sonnen because I do not think Chael could take Jones down and hold him down consistently. Vitor still has great hands and power, and could catch Jones and finish him. But, in the end, Machida vs Jones is the fight I care the most about.
Collin: Jones/Belfort, for sure. For a handful of reasons, including that it is for the light heavyweight title, the bizarre circumstances that led to it happening and Belfort being one of my favorite fighters. Belfort has had such a long and storied career: from beating Tank Abbot in his Prime in the early UFC to fighting Jon Jones in his Prime today, no one else can say they have been at the highest level of the sport for that long. Beyond that he is skill wise the most talented fighter of the contenders, the best boxing and ADCC level Gracie Jiu-Jitsu black belt. And his career is missing a huge, crowning achievement, and I think this is it.
If someone in there is going to beat Jones, Belfort is the most and least likely to do it.
David: If I have to pick one of the three, I’m thinking Sonnen. Sonnen is going to put Jones where we havn’t seen him a lot, on his backside. Lyoto isn’t going to do as well the second tiime around, and Belfort needs time. I’d rather see him come into the cage at 225 or 230 and fully ready. Belfort comes into the cage at 210- missing that much muscle mass makes me think Jones is going to truck him.
2. Will the UFC 151 cancellation actually make the UFC stronger in the long run?
Joao: I do not think it will have any positive or negative effect. There was some sort of commotion regarding this cancelled event, but was it really that big of a deal? One year from now no one will be talking about this. Things happen, fighters get injured; it is not the first time an event has been hitm, only this time it was actually cancelled. Move on.
Jim:Short term? No. Long term? Doubtfully. I think the UFC is still going to put together as many cards as they possibly can and the cancellation of UFC 151 will not deter the UFC from continuing that trend. I think what happens is when a Jon Jones card pops up they will try to deepen the card he is main eventing because they no longer trust him. Other than that, I don’t see anything changing.
Collin: Not really, no. Basically they lost a huge fight, a huge payday on a holiday weekend, made a heel of one of their biggest stars. None of those are good things in my mind. They did make a ton of commotion and that draws interest, but will that make the next show draw more than 151 would have? Doubtful.
David: I think so. Dana has been more than happy to sell one-fight shows, he’s making the UFC like Boxing. Problem is, MMA fans like DEPTH on the shows. Dana hopefully has learned this. If this gives us 2 main event-level fights, “just in case” I’ll be happy.
3. If you could bring ONE participant from UFC 1-5 and have him start his career today, who would it be?
Joao: Dan Severn. 54 and still fighting, over 120 MMA fights. For some reason they call him “The Beast”; very strong and powerful and his wrestling base would fit today’s MMA landscape like a glove. Put a young Severn training today at a good MMA camp and he will slam and ground ‘n pound more opponents than not.
I also considered Royce Gracie and Ken Shamrock. But Royce’s BJJ would be extremely outdated today and we did see a glimpse of, albeit not so young, Ken Shamrock in the mainstream days of the sport.
Jim: Guy Mezger. Mezger was the most well rounded fighter from those early UFC events. His kickboxing was fantastic and he had a good submission game, but he had some bad luck along the way. His decision losses to Arona and Lil Nog come to mind. He was forced to retire early because of health reasons but Guy would still be able to compete with today’s fighters because of his skill set.
Collin: I love the Guy Mezger pick, very well thought out. I would have to say that I would pick the King of The Lions Den, Ken Shamrock instead though. Ken was one of the most skilled grapplers in the world at his time. He started out as a one dimensional fighter, and by the time he started rounding out to fit the times his body was already falling apart. His sprawl and brawl style that he employed in the Otsuka and Fujita fights showcased great boxing and terrific defensive wrestling. Add to that his unmatched skill in leg locks at that time, and you have a super special fighter.
David:Ohh Mezger, forgot about him. Stunned no one said Gracie. I’m really shocked Collin didn’t go Oleg Taktarov. Oleg was the original Iceman in the cage, and unlike other one-dimensional guys in the early days, Oleg knew Sambo and Judo, and went on to learn submission wrestling.
4. If someone says he/she is a UFC expert, what question do you ask to test his/her knowledge?
Joao: It is probably easier to ask several ones, but if only one I would go with “What was the original purpose in creating the UFC?”
Jim: I always have two questions for people who think they’re an expert. One is, tell me the difference between a kimura and americana? And the other is, tell me what two fighters have won a UFC title in two different weight classes? More often than not they don’t get past the 1st question.
Collin: I usually don’t ask them anything, I just wait to let them show their level of knowledge. In the course of a normal MMA conversation, eventually someone will say something like “Yeah, like when Igor Vovchanchyn fought Tre Telligman” or they’ll say something along the lines of “Brock Lesnar is the best eva. Rickson who?” Just let them keep talking, they will show themselves eventually.
David: Who is your favorite fighter and why. When someone says something like Jon Jones, cause he just blasts people. I kinda know what I’m dealing with. When Someone says Chuck Liddell, cause he just blasts people. I know what I’ve got. MMA Knowlegde isn’t just knowing a double handed wristlock. Its knowing the history and the people. I can excuse not knowing who Otto Graham is, but If you don’t know Jerry Rice? You ain’t an Expert.
Joao: My money would be on “yes”. And, you know what, if they cancel one event a year it isn’t really that shocking. Just don’t make it happen every month!
Jim: No. I just can’t see it after the fallout from UFC 151. I think the UFC will make sure it doesn’t happen again. There’s just too much money at stake for all parties involved.
Collin: My gut says no, but with the recent string of injuries I say yes. They should actually shitcan more in my opinion. Anyone here think UFC 108 should have happened? It takes a perfect storm, but that is becoming more and more common.
David:As I said on the Podcast, He should have just thrown it on Fuel. I bet that is EXACTLY what happens next.
Thats it this week, come back tommorrow for the PODCAST, and as always, support your local MMA.
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