Welcome to the MMA Roundtable! I am your host, David Snipes, and with me is Collin Caprini, Joao Pedro and Roni Holzer
If you have Questions, post below for Next Week!
Roni: This has to be Fedor’s losses.
After an unsuccessful negotiations with the UFC, Fedor joined an organization whom, at that time, surprisingly had a much better HW division (than UFC), and seemed poised to take MMA to a new level with the likes of Fedor, Overeem, Barnett, Werdum, Kharitonov amongst others.
But then Fedor lost to Werdum and they lost simply their biggest asset, which was the decade undefeated by the Russian. That was, in my opinion, the turning point from Strikeforce.
Collin: Fedor loses to Werdum. With Werdum’s current run in the UFC it is less surprising than it was then, but when the man who survived over 20 minutes in Nogueira’s guard didn’t survive a minute in Werdum’s. It should never be a surprise when an ADCC champion submits someone who charges with punches into his guard, but in the minds of most that was an enormous mismatch. Fedor’s losses in general are shocking: when Fedor signed with the Strikeforce after the death of Affliction and he was originally signed to fight Ricco Rodriguez, and ended up debuting against Brett Rogers, who thought he would leave Strikeforce at 1-3?
Joao: Fedor loses to Fabricio Werdum on June 2010.
Even though Strikeforce had many other memorable moments, this was the fight that shocked everyone. Fedor was coming in riding a decade long reign of heavyweight supremacy and Werdum, on paper, looked outmatched.
A crucial mistake on the part of the Russian allowed the BJJ black belt and ADCC winner Werdum to snatch a submission victory, easily the biggest victory of his career.
It was dramatic to behold, even for those who never rooted for Fedor. It was a reminder that the sport of MMA can be unforgiving and that no fighter remains invincible if he stays in the game long enough.
The reign of the “Last Emperor” was finally over and it was puzzling to see that overconfidence was the key factor… for a fighter known for his humility.
David: Keep in mind, no one sees the other answers, but me, so I’m going to go a different route- That being the CBS Brawl, I have a Strikeforce column coming (Promise) but that moment has to be the biggest nail in the SF coffin. You removed the MTV star, the largest mainstream star in the promotion, and then you took the bulk of the most important camp out as well. Imagine if the UFC had to do without any Greg Jackson fighter at all for a year, and then on top of that, Sonnen couldn’t do anything either. Impossible? No, Damaging? Of course. Add to that, the fact they were thrown off CBS.
2. In 10 years, what will Strikeforce’s legacy be?
Roni: Unfortunately, I don’t think many will remember Strikeforce, unless when talking about Fedor.
They were the #2 organization in the world. If Fedor would have remained unbeaten, or if the HW tourney turned out better, with fights between Fedor & Werdum, then Fedor & Overeem and finally Fedor & Barnett for the finale, they could probably have fronted UFC.
But since things didn’t work that way, they died with a wimp. Not much will be remembered about them – unfortunately.
Collin: We will remember it for Fedor’s losses, for what it did for WMMA (whatever the outcome of that is in the UFC), and for the epic at the beginning but eventually disappointing Heavyweight Grand Prix.
Joao: It is, overall, the second most important defunct MMA organization, after Pride. Clearly more important than the likes of EliteXC, Cage Rage or even Dream or Hero.
It had several remarkable moments, from the one I mentioned in the first question, to Cesar Gracie’s fighters, Frank Shamrock, Cung Le, women’s MMA, Scott Smith’s comeback against Cung Le, Herschel Walker, the brawl with Mayhem Miller, the heavyweights, the event at Playboy Mansion, among many others.
I think there are several fights and events that will be talked to for years to come, and newcomers to the sport would do no wrong to check them out.
David: The little promotion that got swallowed up the UFC. Strikeforce will be be remembered not as Pride, as an equal to the UFC, but more or less another WEC, especially if Benson continues to dominate.
Who will be the first SF fighter to hold UFC gold (not Rousey)?
Roni: I was betting on DC, but his way is blocked by Cain who’s the current Champion. (We will see if he fights Jones in the fall).
Other than him, Melendez is the only one I see with a chance to beat Bendo.
Collin: From the group of guys that were under contract when it died or those who were snatched over once Zuffa bought them? If it is the former, than it is Melendez. DC is overrated in my mind since his biggest win is still over a Barnett who broke his hand in the first round. And I’m also not sure that he can keep his hands in one piece long enough to win UFC Gold. If we are counting guys they stole already, Nick Diaz is the easy choice for me. He has the endurance to dance with GSP, the boxing to wear him down and the guard to tap GSP (yeah, I said it.)
Joao: Gilbert Melendez. The UFC’s Lightweight division isn’t as deep as some of the other divisions and Gilbert has the talent and experience to win gold there. I am not saying he will win gold there, but he is arguably most likely to do so, looking at the LW division.
Other guys, besides Rousey, who could have something to say in terms of title shots are Cormier and Barnett (but I don’t think they will ever become UFC champions), Mousasi (if he drops to Middleweight and if/ when Anderson retires), Jacaré (I can see a title shot in his future) and Ryan Couture. Yes, the latter is a joke.
David: I’m gonna say NONE. Unless Jacare gets REALLY lucky. Thats right, I said it. I don’t think Gilbert beats Benson (or Maynard or Pettis or maybe even Cerrone) I don’t think Cormier beats Jones and I bet he can’t beat JDS either. The middle 3 are going to reign until they retire.
Will Coker stay in the UFC or will he end up in another promotion
Roni: I pray every night for him to take over Dana as the face of Zuffa. It’s not that I don’t like Dana. But his f-bombs and the way he speaks to the media is not the best way to present MMA to the main stream public from Fox. So I’d like for him to keep doing what he is doing (on the background), but let Coker perform the interviews.
Collin: He is probably going to start up another small promotion in the San Jose area. That is the smartest thing for him to do. There is really no job for him to do in the UFC now, and he still has a lot of contacts in the San Jose area that he can use to make a decent living.
Joao: I see no reason for him to stay in the UFC. Perhaps during a transition period but not after that. Unless the UFC wants him to spearhead some sort of international expansion initiative, there is really no place for him.
As to whether he’ll end up in another organization or not, I have no idea what’s on his mind. But people like these rarely leave the sport altogether.
David: I honestly think he stays, Dana has been streached almost to the breaking point, and it would be a smart think to let him take over the Fuel cards, and let Dana keep the PPV and Big Fox shows as special events. maybe split the FX shoes. maybe even split the duties with Dana and Joe taking 155 and above and Scott/Shelby can take the 145/125 and female divisions.
People will say I am biased. But I like the cards in Brazil. 🙂
Even though many fighters are unknown (or not big household names), we invariably have a lot of action. Add the dynamic, the public, in Brazil who are just insane, etc. Brazilian fighters invariably come to put up a show for the public, and winning or losing, they deliver.
Add the drama of the main event who is pivotal for the Middleweight division, and you have an intriguing card!
Collin: 9. I’m not paying for it and it has one of my favorite fighters of all time in the Main Event (Belfort). This is what the FX events are for; one great fight, one semi-relevant but exciting scrap (Gonzaga vs Rothwell), and the rest of the main card is populated by up and coming guys who are too good to be buried of Fuel.
Joao: A 6 for the 7. The main card is stacked for a non PPV event and the prelims have some match-ups on the lower weight classes which are bound to provide excitement.
Belfort and Bisping are obviously the main draw, especially now that Bisping has been promised a title shot if he wins. The Count has been close to a title shot on occasions but now he has to survive, like Wanderlei has stated, the first 2 minutes of this fight. And there’s always excitement in the air when Vítor fights, because people always think he can return to his old form.
A Brazilian heavy and interesting card.
David: 7. I’ve got a roster breakdown coming Monday, and I’ll get into it then.
Thanks for reading, and submit your questions below!
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