Welcome to the return of the MMA Roundtable! This week we have Roni, Collin and David talking MMA and the UFC 174 fallout!
1. Did UFC 174 live up (or down) to expectations?
Roni: So far, Down.
Too many cards, and most fo the too watered down.
They are also in transition. Most dominant champions left, and the remaining ones are either controversial (like Jon’s eye pokes, debatable win and subsequent refusal to fight Gus) or hurt (Pettis, Cain).
Collin: Yes, it was about what I expected. The Arlovski/Schaub fight was pretty boring, not what I thought would happen but not all fights can be slugfests. DJ did what DJ does, tons of movement and technique but not a lot of damage. We got to see a cool submission in the OSP/Jimmo fight with that nasty chicken wing. The real winner of the night was Rory though. That was a brilliant display of dominance over a very dangerous top 5 fighter at 170.
David: I didn’t expect much, and I got it, pretty much every fight went the way I expected, with the one fight I wasn’t sure on, and Rory made me feel bad for even thinking Woodley had a chance. If Rory can do that every fight, he could quickly take his mentors place at 170.
2. Did Johnson do anything to his status as a draw?
Roni: Nope. He is what he is.
Not that exciting, but gets the job done.
Collin: Nope, he wasn’t much of a draw before, and that fight won’t change that much. I hate to side with Bisping, but fans simply don’t care about watching the little guys fight.
David: Not really his fault, as Johnson is a high-volume guy without a ton of power, nothing wrong with that, problem is- when you do that for 25 minutes, people seem to get that there isn’t much power there. It hurts him, but its better than watching Jon Fitch for 99% of casual fans. The problem of course, is getting them to PAY to see it for 25 minutes.
3. Do you think Dana regrets bringing Arlovski back?
Roni: Not yet. THough IMO he was given a win that he did not deserve.
It could be that he was nervous and conservative, but I expected more out of him over a guy like Shaub.
Collin: He shouldn’t. AA fought the kind of fight he needed to against a stylistic nightmare for him. Someone with big power who throws a lot of leather will always be a dangerous fight for him. Staying in close enough to avoid big KO strikes is what we realistically should have expected. Now if he does it over and over, then he will regret bringing him back, but for now I think he just regrets that the fight sucked.
David: Arlovski’s chin is gone, and he is a little afraid of power, that being said, it takes two guys for a fight to suck, and both guys did their best to make sure someone else got the performance bonuses. I don’t think Dana regrets it, but had this been a bigger show, he would.
4. Should Rory be up on the radar for a title shot?
Roni: He should be at the top of the division, but not up for a title shot.
Maybe a fight against Robbie Lawler would cement him as #1 contender.
Collin: Rory should be either next in line himself or right after the winner of Lawler/Brown. Is there any doubt that he is the most talented fighter out of that group? I know he faltered against Robbie but I still think that he is the best welterweight in the world since GSP retired. His domination of Woodley reinforced that in my mind.
David: I’ll agree with getting the next shot. Canada should be supportive and the UFC needs the PPV buys. I’d give him the next shot, if Matt Brown loses. Otherwise, I’d go Matt Brown, then Rory.
Unless Robbie just dominates Brown, he can wait.
5. What can be done for the UFC Heavyweight Division?
Colin: Nothing needs done. Heavyweight certainly thins out a lot once you get past the top 10, but that division is has a lot of really interesting fighters in it. Any combination of Browne, Hunt, Barnett, Bigfoot, Ubereem, and JDS is a great fight. Almost all of those guys are also great characters with interesting personalities. And in my opinion Valasquez vs Werdum is the best heavyweight title fight in terms of skill level of the combatants since the Pride era.
David: They need a TUF episode, and they need some guys on the show that cannot cut to 205. They have only had them on twice, once was filled with guys that were better at 205, and the other was almost a gimmick show, filled with ex-NFL players and Kimbo. With the explosion of shows, maybe the UFC needs to allow some one and done contracts with local guys just too get some guys some exposure.