Welcome to the MMA Roundtable!
This week the panel talk Chad Mendes, Bellator, Hunt/Werdum and more! Enjoy!
David: It could be a long road back for Mendes, even though this bout is a perfect test case for 7 round title fights in the lower weight classes. I’m not sure if going up to 155 is something he should do, as the water is much deeper there and instead of being the bigger guy in almost all his fights, then being the smaller guy in most.
If it were me giving advice to his camp?
Stay where you are. Aldo is going to move, since the paydays and the pressure to do so is only going to grow. Mendes can wait to get the strap then, and there are worse things than being Urijah Faber.
Collin: Mendes is now the pretty clear number 2 behind Aldo after that fight. His stock went nowhere but up after than crazy back and forth war, so I don’t see anything for him but top 3-type pairings for a while. I’d like to see him scrap with Conor, assuming the Irishman can get past Dennis Siver in January. I think that the winner of Edgar vs Swanson deserves the next shot at Jose, but I wouldn’t be shocked to see Conor jump the line because of his immense drawing power. In that case, give the Edgar/Swanson winner Chad.
Brian: It’s tricky because Mendes is now in the same position that Urijah Faber is in where he has two losses to the champion. All he can really do is keep winning fights, stay active and he may have a third fight with Aldo or a new champion if Aldo is defeated. I’m of the opinion that Mendes could make 155 fairly easily because he is a big 145 pounder so that’s another option. The one silver lining in his loss to Aldo is that fight was so entertaining that people will be excited to see him fight in the future.
Roni: Back to the drawing board.
He cemented himself as #2 of the division.
If it was me, I would start a campaign for a fight against McGoat (if he beats Siver). IMO it makes more sense than propelling Connor to fight Aldo, bypassing all top 10 fighters (and fighting virtually no wrestlers in this division.
David: I love this. I almost wish this was the UFC doing this. Bellator has a great hook here. “You will never see Jon Jones or GSP or Conor fight on free TV, you will have the chance to see every champion here fight, instead of watching a fighter vanish to PPV.”
Collin: I think yes. They maintain their weekly presence, something I thought they would lose when they did away with the tournaments. They also can put on some pretty slick bigger cards with their bigger stars like Rampage and Tito. Allows them to build new fighters while simultaneously capitalizing on the drawing power of their bigger stars.
Brian: I think with Bellator’s new format it’s a little too early to tell if it will hurt or help the promotion. The tournament format was what set the promotion apart but there are some positives in ridding of it including giving fighters more recovery time. I think the lesser amount of shows will also allow the product to not become over-saturated and can give the promotion the chance to stack the fewer cards they have.
Roni: I think so.
This is what I would like UFC to do. Add some structure to their cards.
David: Bellator is seemingly looking to do whatever it can to look fighter-friendly, and there isn’t a fighter in Bellator history that can draw the fans of even Ken Shamrock at this date to an autograph signing. Casual fans need to know who to watch, and the best way to do that is for fighters/”experts” to let us know.
Collin: Not really. The UFC and Bellator relationship will likely take on a different dynamic now that Coker is running things. We’ve seen this already in the way the Alvarez release went down. And by the way, who wouldn’t tune in to watch Ken fight Royce again? Or to see them finally put together the Ken vs Frank match that has been tossed around for years? They would be wise in my opinion to get these legends in the cage instead of just at the expo.
Brian: I don’t think it’s that odd. When a fighter retires, they still have a lot of their lives left and being a retired fighter does not bring much income in. I think at this point Dana White doesn’t seem to hold too much of a grudge if fighters want to go out and try to make money in other places. Very few fighters make enough money in their careers to be able to never work again. Matt Hughes and Chuck Liddell are two exceptions. As legendary as Royce Gracie is, he really didn’t make much in his fight career so I’m not surprised he’s looking into other avenues for money.
Roni: No. This is normal business. Bellator did a good job in acquiring those guys, and it is using their name recognition to further their product.
Obviously the UFC should not be happy about it, and I see their re-signing of Silva as a reflex of it.
David: Not really, but I do like Phil Davis wanting to build a gimmick around being sent to Brazil because he can’t draw a dime in the US. Not quite the “Gracie Hunter” but still.
Collin: Of course. Remember the last light-heavyweight nicknamed “The Brazilian Killer” who called out Anderson? Maybe not, his name was Alex Steibling and the fight ended with Anderson’s shin slamming into his skull. I’m always down to see big super fights, and I think that is what Anderson should do with the rest of his career. He is still a fairly large middleweight, and the size difference won’t be as big a factor as some assume it will. Classic striker vs grappler match, I’m always down for that.
Brian: I’m a diehard Anderson Silva fan so I will always tune into his fights no matter who he faces. It is always interesting to see Anderson fight wrestlers and guys that are bigger than him as well.
Roni: No. There’s no sense to this match. I don’t know what Phil is thinking, but this was as good as AO calling a retired Lesnar.
David: Damn, how thin is this division. Mark Hunt is a fun story and all, but to get a title shot? Then again, he is on a 5-1-1 streak, but the loss is the JDS. I just wonder about having a champion who lost to the legendary Sean McCorkle.
Collin: Absolutely. Cain basically never fights at this point, and I’m saying he is a coward but he hasn’t defended the oldest belt in the UFC in over a year. Hunt is one of the biggest fan favorites in the sport, and Fabricio is the true number 2 in the world right now. Not to mention that there is no way that I can see that fight being anything but spectacular. I’m more excited to see that fight than I have been for any heavyweight fight since Hunt vs JDS.
Brian: I think it’s the right move, but the UFC needs to be consistent with this policy in other weight classes as well. It’s been over a year since Anthony Pettis defended his Lightweight title but there is no talk of an interim title there. The most recent report says Velasquez may be out for quite a while because the surgery revealed more damage than anticipated so it’s the right move in this instance because the interim champion may have to defend that belt before Velasquez returns.
Roni: I don’t think so.
But then again, who would they call? Browne just lost to Werdum and the only other name that is that high up in rankings is Junior. but he did not fight since his humbling loss to Cain.
Hunt is on a nice win streak, and the division is shallow as it can be, so I understand why they did this.
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