This week we are rolling with the troika of Roni, Joao and Collin! Don’t forget to join the MMA Playground group, and If you have a question you want answered, place it below.
1. Is the sexuality of Liz a factor in selling this fight?
Roni: Not in the least! Unless she wants to make up with Ronda during their fight, no one would care.
Collin: They aren’t marketing it that way, but it is a kind of an interesting dimension to the card. Dana is always finding creative ways around problems, and to me this is a very convenient way to market a gay fighter to UFC fans. Think of the average UFC fan, in the 18-35 male bracket (or whatever the exact numbers are). If you introduce a male gay fighter, you will hear a lot of criticism, and many in the fan base won’t tune in to watch an openly gay fighter roll around in tights, it is just the way the average dude wearing flaming foil skulls thinks. But, if you introduce a gay woman, the idea is far less offensive to these people. And now if people criticize Dana about being biased about gay fighters he can say “hey, we not only have an openly gay fighter, but she fought in the main event of a huge show, higher on the bill than Dan Henderson!” A very well played strategy by the UFC in my opinion.
Joao: I don’t see it as a factor. Look, I am not sold regarding women’s MMA, and I will probably never be. But I also think that this Rousey vs Carmouche fight has no gimmicks attached. Rousey is an extremely accomplished judoka who finishes everyone by armbar, and Liz is a tough opponent even if technically miles away from Ronda.
Sexuality will play no part in this fight, I believe. What I cannot understand – and I am straying away from the original question – is how this fight is the main event, and a fight of the caliber of the one between Machida and Dan Henderson is relegated to the second spot. I think the UFC is simply trying too hard here.
2. Bigfoot/Cain II- Do you care?
Roni: Yes. IMO the first fight was a fluke. Not in the sense that Cain would lose; for I think he is the favorite. But in the sense that Silva is an accomplished BB in BJJ, and he couldn’t show it because he was blinded by the blood.
Take that cut away (or the blood in his eyes), and we would have an intriguing matchup on the ground!
Collin: At least a little. It does feature the best HW in the world facing off with a guy who is the number 1 contender. Who else are you going to argue as more deserving than Antonio? Seeing that Werdum is tied up in a fight with Nog for TUF, I really don’t see a better option.
Joao: It is an interesting fight but, even though Bigfoot has a puncher’s chance plus size and BJJ, Cain is just an overwhelmingly favorite here. He will be able to take Bigfoot down at will, will outcardio the Brazilian and can even end the fight with a standing KO.
Most fans were eager to see Overeem facing off with Velasquez, but fact of the matter is that Bigfoot earned this title shot fair and square. So let’s see what happens.
3. Are you watching TUF18?
Roni: No, but I am getting curious (I have it DVR’d). Personal issues did not allow me to watch it yet, but I am hearing very good things about it.
Collin: No, and no turning side kick can make me care
Joao: Not sure if TUF 18 means “The Smashes” or “Jones vs Sonnen”, but I watch both. Even though the format is clearly outliving its life expectancy, it is MMA on TV, so I will watch it. But nothing terribly exciting happening there.
4. Does Anthony Pettis deserve the next shot at Aldo?
Roni: yes and no. He was supposed to get a title shot against Bendo, but he is fighting Melendez. SO in a sense, it is a good option. besides, this fight have fireworks written all over it! AND it is a good fight. A win for Aldo qualifies him to fight bendo for the LW belt. A win for Pettis brings new excitement to a division who was set with one champ since it’s inception, with little challenge to the champ. A win by Pettis brings a lot of new matchups and title shots!
Collin: Anthony Pettis deserves whatever title shot he wants. Pettis was promised a title shot upon entering the UFC, instead he fought a non-contender in Clay Guida, whom he beat and was robbed. Then he was promised the shot with a win over Lauzon, and after he slammed his shin into Joe’s skull he was looked over again. Now he is coming off a devastating win over yet another top contender, and if he wants to fight Aldo he should be able to.
Joao: I am inclined to say yes. Even though he is coming down in weight he has earned that title shot with 3 impressive consecutive wins at a heavier weight class, in this case as a Lightweight. Cerrone, Joe Lauzon and Stephens are a collection of worthy enough opponents to give Pettis the title shot.
And it could very well just might be one of the most exciting fights of the year, hold your fingers crossed.
5. Scale of 1-10, how excited for this Fuel Card are you?
Roni: I give it a 6.
If in the last card almost every fight had a hand on the future of 5 different divisions, this card is almost completely the opposite. The fighters are not the greatest names, and even the title fight is with the interim belt. However, I do like a lot of the matchups, and invariably, when you expect less, the fighters show up to prove you wrong! So all in all, it is a free card which we can watch and enjoy; even if it does not shake up any division.
Collin: 4. The main event isn’t particularly interesting to me, but Poirier/Swanson is one of the best matchups we have seen, and Nelson/Santiago is really interesting. That isn’t enough to carry a card in my opinion though. Put it this way: I won’t be ordering Fuel for this one.
Joao: I call it a 7. Renan Barão is an absolute beast and the rest of the card is stacked with violent fighters who are making their way up the rankings. The inclusions of the likes of Cub Swanson, Jorge Santiago and Terry Etim make this an exciting card, at least on paper.
And let us not forget the strange feud that has been brewing between Matt Riddle and British referees and fans. It is curious to see how the mind games will affect that fight.
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