The MMA Roundtable is back on our NEW home on Fridays
With me is the standard crew Joao “Braniac” Pedro, Jim “Luthor” Jacobs, Collin “Sinestro” Caprini, and I am your host, David “Slade” Snipes
1. Other than Anderson Silva, who impressed you most on UFC 153
Joao: Probably Demian Maia. Not because he was able to submit Rick Story, because we all know the high caliber of BJJ Maia possesses (the best in the UFC, it could be argued).
But what impressed me was his ability to go forward, take a punch (Story went for a Nate Marquardt moment there, it seems), work for the takedown, get it, having the patience to recognize that Story was going to get up with the help of the fence, but keeping the pressure and the positioning, and then getting that nasty crank. And it was quick, very quick.
Collin: Skill wise? Maia. He showed that he can take down a solid, powerful wrestler at 170 and really flex his formidable BJJ. Super bright future for him at 170. I am usually little skeptical when a struggling fighter drops a weight class, but Maia is so far becoming one of the most sterling examples of how successful that can be. Heart wise? Fabio Maldonado is a beast. What fighter in recent memory has taken such a savage beating and been so genuinely upset when the doc stops the fight? Mad respect for that guy, can’t wait to see him come back.
Jim: Glover Teixeira. I know most thought he would win, but he put on one of the most one sided beatdowns you’ll ever see in the cage. Not only did he drop Maldonado with punches in the standup but he was able to pass Maldonado’s guard and mount with relative ease. He showcased a very slick BJJ game and the man is a murderer on the feet. Glover is a handful for anyone in the 205 division.
David: Maia. I love Damien, and even though he made me look stupid for saying for a year and a half that he was the one to beat Anderson Silva, he’s a MONSTER at 170, as Rick Story isn’t going to keep GSP up at night, but Maia might.
2. What do you do with Jon Fitch now?
Joao: This might not be a popular solution, but go ahead and give him the loser of the fight between GSP and Carlos Condit. I still think Fitch is the second best welterweight in the world.
Collin: Koshceck? If he comes back strong from his back surgery, with the animosity between AKA and Josh, that would be a really fun style clash with lots of personality pushing through. Josh is the kind of wrestler who can make Fitch stand, and Fitch is a decent enough striker to make that a really fun fight. Makes a lot of sense for me.
Jim: You have to feed Fitch to Jake Ellenberger. Both guys just came of losses with good wins and both were lined up to fight one another a little over a year ago. Both guys have very good wrestling, Ellenberger holds the advantage in the standup depatment, but Fitch is a better grappler overall. This would be a extremely competitive matchup and one that makes the most sense.
David: I like Fitch, and like Joao said, I also think he’s the second best in the world. I’m the only one that sees the other answers, so -m going to steal a bit.
Wait for the GSP/Condit fight.
If GSP wins, do Jake/Condit and Fitch/Koscheck.
If Condit wins, then GSP/Diaz, Condit vs Kampmann/Hendricks. Fitch gets the loser of that fight.
3. Nog wants a top 10 heavyweight, who is the best matchup?
Joao: What about Bigfoot or Werdum? All riding some momentum and the three have excellent BJJ (well, Werdum, then Nogueira, then Bigfoot, but you know what I mean) and heavy hands. Could even be the main fight for a medium sized event.
Collin: Nog really needs to get into better shape before he starts worrying about top 10 HWs. Nog is my favorite fighter of all time, and I have nothing but the utmost respect for him. His experience and BJJ skills were able to carry him over a outmatched Dave Herman, but he wasn’t moving very well at all. His hips looked painful, he looked slow and he obviously wasn’t in the best shape of his life. Give him a Mike Russow type fight for the meantime, maybe give him Stefan Struve. Struve would be a really fun fight right now, and how cool would it be to see those two tangled up on the ground?
Jim: Stefan Struve. Struve is coming off a good win over Miocic recently so the timing makes a lot of sense. I would also say that with his win over Miocic, Struve is a viable top 10 HW at this point. He’s won 4 straight in the octagon and has improved in every matchup. The two fighters also have very similar skillsets and I think it would be a perfect fight for both guys at this point in their careers.
David: I’ll give you a name.
You are gonna love this.
He’s a top 10 HW, has a name, people over in the Orient love him, he’s perfect for a UFC in Australia, China, Japan etc.
4. IF Strikeforce is done, who does Gilbert fight first?
Joao: Gray Maynard would be the logical option. Benson Henderson and Nate Diaz are going to war for the title and Maynard is the other guy close to the top. Melendez needs a high profile fight in the UFC before getting a title shot – if he does get one. So a fight with the very tough Bully would clarify his situation in the UFC. Nothing less than a high profile fight is to be expected for Melendez at this point.
Collin: Jim Miller. Even if he is top 3-4 in the UFC when he comes in, he needs to prove it. Miller is a pretty safe fight for Gilbert, that would be a cool fight between fringe top 5 LW’s. Miller is a tough matchup for anyone, but Gil might have the kind of defensive wrestling that could give him fits.
Jim: I don’t think Strikeforce is done, but if it was I think a fight with Jim Miller would make a lot of sense. Miller is a bulldog in the cage. He has good wrestling, boxing, and BJJ. What better way to start your career in the UFC than fighting a veteran like Miller, who’s 9-3 in the octagon and has only lost to the best lightweights on the planet. We’d know right off the bat if Gilbert could hang with the very best the UFC has to offer.
David: I love the Maynard matchup, but if Maynard wins then he’s back in a title fight. I don’t think Dana’s gonna blow Gilbert’s title shot with a top guy. So he’s going to the the 155 version of Martin Kampmann: Clay Guida
5. We have almost a month until the Next UFC show, what should the MMA Fan do now?
Joao: Watch former WWE wrestler Batista beat up a fatty in his debut?
More seriously, either watch some of the smaller events or take a trip down memory lane and watch some older events and fights. All MMA fans have true gems they have never watched before, so it is definitely a good time to do so.
Collin: Rest. We have had another one of those crazy little spurts of cards every week for a while now, time to just kick back, maybe watch TUF if you need your UFC fix. Check out some old Pride FC DVD’s or something. Enjoy this downtime, because with the card volume we have now it won’t last very long.
Jim: Easy call here. Watch Bellator. There’s a Bellator card every Friday night on MTV2 until the next UFC card. Anyone who saw the Eddie Alvaarez vs PiatrickyFreire knows that Bellator fights put on a show. In the coming weeks you can catch the Featherweight tournament and skilled Welterweights in Lyman Good, Maruis Zaromskis, and former UFC fighter Paul Daley. Right after the Bellator cards you’ll also have the TUF season, Team Carwin vs Team Nelson. There will be plenty of MMA from now until the next UFC card on November 10th.
David: LOCAL MMA!
Go support the stars of tomorrow!
Drop 25-50 bucks and go see some of these guys and gals.