MMA Roundtable: 1/14

Welcome to the First MMA Roundtable of 2013! This year we will se the End of Strikeforce, and Bellator moving to Spike, as well as some major changes to Showtime, Fox and the MMAPlayground picks group we have.

That being said, lets get to the questions, If you have a question, just post it below! This week we have Roni, Joao, Collin and of course, myself, David.

1. Chandler has turned down a rematch with Eddie- is this a smart move?Chandler

Roni: Turning down a fight is never good, specially for the champ.
But Chandler is about to face the LW Tournament Winner Rick Hawn while Eddie is in the limbo with this UFC bid & Bellator’s matching it. After Eddie clears things up and Chandler defends his belt, Bellator should make this fight. Weasther the champ wants it or not.

Collin: I don’t think so.  I can see his  reasons for doing so, as it could be very bad for his career if he loses to Eddie.  He beat Eddie once, and has little more to gain in the minds of some by beating him again.  Eddie is a dangerous fighter for sure, and the fact that he will most likely bolt to the UFC very soon makes it a more dangerous proposition to Bjorn and Chandler, as they risk their organizational pride if their star loses to a guy that immediately jumps ship to another promotion.  If however, he is a fighter who is looking to fight the toughest competition in the world and prove his skills and demonstrate his art of fighting to the world, then he would take the match without hesitation.  He appears however to be an athlete looking out for his own future interests than one with a “fighters” mentality.

Joao: I am actually not sure that is the case. Just a few days ago, already in 2013, Chandler gave an interview stating that “I think pretty much every MMA fan out there wants Chandler-Alvarez 2, so give the fans what they want. If he stays in Bellator, let’s fight. Let’s do it two times, three times, four times, who cares.”
The problem might be a question of timing. Chandler is scheduled to face Rick Hawn next, the excellent olympic Judoka who has shown a far better than expected striking game. And the UFC is trying to sign Alvarez, with Bellator attempting to match the offer.
So the fight may never happen… at least not in Bellator. A rematch would be exciting, though, as their first fight was tremendous.
Latest news are that Eddie is scolding Chandler’s latest interviews, saying that he has changed his mind because Bellator is telling him what to say. Nevertheless, Alvarez was submitted by Chandler and should just refrain from talking too much about this.

David: Chandler really has nothing to prove, he went through the tournament, earned his title shot, and won it. I do think that Bellator needs to give Main Event caliber fighters title shots as WELL as tournament winners, but if the Powers that be want to keep title shots tourney only, a non-title fight does nothing but weaken the belt if Chandler loses.

Considering Rampage is on his LAST fight with the UFC, is the UFC doing a smart thing in making him a major part of the NFL Promo’s?

Roni: Sure thing! Use his image until he is out.
Besides, it’s Rampage!
He can say crazy things and who knows if he will really leave after this fight or if he is just trying to get a money contract from UFC? Sure UFC can and would pay!
But first he needs a convincing win over Glover to prove he is still relevant!

Collin: Yes.  Rampage is a huge name with huge drawing powers.  His highlight reel is also one of the most impressive to casual audiences   People love the power bomb of Arona, the single leg pickup of Ishikawa, the guillotine escape slam of Vovchanchyn, the knee to Randleman, and especially the left hook destruction of Wanderlei.  I think it is actually showing a little maturity of the company to use one of their most marketable fighters when in the past they probably would have spited him by burying him on the undercard like they did with Ricco Rodriguez.

Joao: It is obviously a gamble, but perhaps the UFC brass knows something we don’t. Even though Rampage has expressed a desire to leave the company, fact of the matter is that there is nowhere else for him to go in the MMA world and, at age 34, he should still have something in the tank. I bet movie offers aren’t raining on him these days.

David: No. Rampage is going to get beaten, and the ads have not done anything to show that Glover is on the same plane as him. Strikeforce did a better job building up Dion than the UFC has done Glover. If Tex is going to be the next big thing, we have to see him as an equal to Rampage BEFORE he knocks him out.

Dana said if Bisping wins, he gets the next title shot, is this a wise move pre-fight?

Has he climbed to the top of the rankings?

Roni: Of course it is! it hypes the fight! And this is exactly what Dana wants to do with it.
What I do not like is that the same is not true for Vitor beating Bisping, and I have a hard time understanding the logic of it. If Biosping beating Vitor makes him #1 contender, why beating Bisping wouldn’t make Vitor become the #1 contender?

Collin: It doesn’t matter.  How many of these “if this guy wins he is next in line” hype talks will people listen to before they realize it really doesn’t matter.  All it does is create this over inflated sense of “this guy deserves a shot” when in reality he is not the most deserving challenger and will probably get overlooked in favor of a more interesting and marketable matchup.  I liked it better when Dana just ambigously said that people were “in the mix.”

Joao: Dana White does this a lot and it is annoying, not to say unprofessional. Because many times he has had to backtrack from similar positions. I do understand he is trying to motivate the fighters and, more than that, to sell interest in the fight and the overall event, but it just doesn’t make much sense. What if Belfort wins? And if Bisping wins in less than spectacular fashion? And if there is some kind of controversy?

David: As an admitted Bisping fan, I hate this. Every time Bisping gets close to the title shot, he slips (Hendo, Wandy) or gets screwed (I think he won BOTH the Sonnen and the Evans fight) but the question here is what happens if Belfort wins? Bisping isn’t exactly fighting Ed Herman here. If Bisping wins, yes he should get a title shot, but If Belfort wins, does he have to fight Jacare to get a title shot?

Nick Diaz has again stopped showing up to press events for his fight with GSP, should Hendricks start getting ready?

Roni: There are two parts on this question I’d like to touch.
1) They are fighters. They are paid to fight. Press events should not make you more or less deserving of a fight. You KNOW Diaz by now. Stop trying to make him part of the media Circus. Cancel all press conferences or inteview them in his gym!
2) it is however the deal nowadays. Fighters have to stop training to go face a bunch of reporters. Even though i disagree with it, I do understand it’s part of the package. Diaz should know too. He already lost his title shot because of that, and as such he should know he needs to be there. If he’s a no-show, then put Hendricks in. but then do not come back in 6 months and try to do this again! Diaz won’t learn! Either use my #1 or stop trying to turn Diaz into media-friendly.

Collin:  If you are the backup plan and the success of the primary plan rides on the behavior of one of the Diaz bros you should be ready at all times.

Joao: Who knows what is going on through Nick Diaz’s mind. I think GSP showed, in the Jake Shields fight, how he would beat Diaz, but the fans clearly want this fight to happen. If it doesn’t, through Nick’s fault, I think Diaz’s future in the company is in serious jeopardy.
Hendricks deserves the title shot more than Diaz does, at this stage. So yes, he should get ready to be called on short notice. Even though he isn’t nearly as known as Diaz is, he packs a vicious punch and has tremendous wrestling, so that would be an interesting fight versus the current champion.

David: I just don’t get it, this is an undeserving title shot, and now that he’s got it, he can’t be bothered to do the same thing that every main-eventer does? Doesn’t Sonnen, er Diaz understand that he gets a cut of the PPV buys and all this mess is not exactly endearing himself to Zuffa? Diaz’s lack of caring for growing the sport is simply sad, and only the fact that he’s a top 5 WW saves him from having to go play in Bellator. Considering Dana owes all, you can bet it won’t be long that Nick’s gone- especially after Gilbert losses in the UFC. If Dana didn’t see gold in his Brother and Gilbert, Nick might be gone already. Hendricks should be ready at all times to get the shot HE deserves.

Scale of 1-10. how excited are you for this season of TUF?

Roni: 0. As in zero!
I don’t like trash talk. Didn’t like it before Silva’s fight and i don’t like it now.
TUF should be 2 guys who deserve to fight each other. Or 2 guys that hate each other.
Sonnen does not hate Jones. he is talking his way to the title.
Jones does not hate Sonnen. He’s been thrown into this because of UFC 151 debacle which IMO smells fishy.
Sonnen does not deserve a title shot. Why make this TUF? Ratings only? Then do not make a title shot at the end of it.
I hate the idea, the reason and the fact that UFC cheapens its belt to this point. All for ratings!
TUF is supposed to be about the new fighters. Not about the trainers!

Collin:  I haven’t watched TUF in years, and don’t plan to start again any time soon.  The only reason it is a 2 is because there is a chance Chael might really get under Jones’ skin and make for some interesting sound bytes.

Joao: I’ll give it a 5. TUF has worn out its welcome. The first seasons were groundbreaking and made for great viewing material, not to mention the enormous contribution they did to lift the UFC and MMA in general in North America. But season after season the talent keeps getting thinner and the theatrics seem ever so predictable and scripted.
With Chael Sonnen we are all in for a string of soundbytes and catchphrases, obviously. But Sonnen is an actor who didn’t exactly deserve the title shot he’s getting, and I personally don’t enjoy seeing him in a coaching role. Just listen to his interview, some years ago, while fighting for Bodog, regarding what he thought of BJJ in MMA.

David: I’ll go about a 7. I actually have a longer peice on the cast coming this week, so I’ll let that go for a bit, but lets just say this COULD be an interesting season, Jones is going to bring Jackson, so he’s got a great team behind him, but Sonnen is bringing in Hendo and some good fighters of his own, so the chances are we might get some good fights out of the cast.

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