Welcome to the MMA Roundatble where Roni, Brian and Collin talk UFC 181, and some featherweight action!
Brian: I don’t think it’s a mistake at all. The pay-per-view business is at an all-time low for everyone including the UFC, boxing, wrestling, everyone. So by putting two title fights on one card the UFC has a better chance of bringing in more viewers especially fans of this season of The Ultimate Fighter who want to see Pettis and Melendez fight. When the company’s biggest stars in Jon Jones and Ronda Rousey can only draw about half a million buys at most, the UFC stacking these cards with multiple title fights may become a regular thing unless Georges St Pierre and/or Brock Lesnar return to fighting.
Collin: No, I don’t think so. I think that Gil and Pettis probably don’t have giant drawing power yet, and so putting them under two fighters who are more established in the UFC fanbase is a smart move.
Roni: Well, yes and no.
They could spread them more.
But in reality, all Cards should be like this one.
Brian: When you look back on 2014, one could make a very good argument that Robbie Lawler had a better year than just about any fighter. I have been blown away by Lawler’s comeback and I think he’s going to shock the world on Saturday. The first fight came down to the takedown by Hendricks in round 5 but up until then I thought Lawler had more precise striking and since then he’s only gotten better while Hendricks has been on the sidelines nursing injuries. Ring rust is real for everyone, and I think it will be a factor Saturday. Having said all that, I’m very confident in saying Lawler will be walking out of the Octagon with the title on Saturday.
Collin: I hope Lawler. Hendricks is not stylistically my favorite fighter. Anytime he fights a decent striker he is forced to revert to trying to steal rounds with takedowns in the last 30 seconds, a stratagem that I philosophically despise. I think that if you give an atomic puncher like Robbie enough time, he’ll find a way to finish a wrestler.
Roni: This is a 50-50 IMO.
Lawler knows he lost a close fight. He will be more determined to end it now.
On the other hand, Hendricks was injured, and still managed to win that fight.
I am expecting a great fight!
Brian: As critical as I have been about Pettis when it comes to his long layoffs and injuries, there’s no denying he’s one of the most talented fighters in the world. He very well could be the 2nd best striker in the UFC behind Anderson Silva and has a ground game that’s just as impressive. I believe that Melendez is not the true number one contender and the UFC gave him a title shot to keep him from going to Bellator but that’s not to say he isn’t a game and dangerous opponent who is hard to finish. However, I don’t see any scenario where Pettis doesn’t leave champion.
Collin: Ohh, this is a really tough fight. Pettis is for sure a more dynamic striker, but Melendez has better hands and is battle tested in the championship rounds. I probably favor Pettis ever so slightly, but would not be surprised at all if Gilbert prevails.
Roni: I’d like Melendez to win. But I think Pettis is just pure talent, and will dominate him.
Brian: In my opinion Frankie is barely in the top 3 contenders. His win over Swanson was impressive, but he’s lost to the champion once before and his only other notable featherweight win was an over the hill BJ Penn who hadn’t fought in over a year. Conor McGregor brings in more viewers, has been more active and has been far more impressive in his wins. In my mind Edgar needs another win at featherweight over another credible opponent in order to get the shot. Anyone who thinks Dana White doesn’t want to make Aldo vs McGregor if McGregor beats Dennis Siver truly doesn’t understand how the fight business works.
Collin: For sure. I love me some Poirier, as I know you do, but a win over top ranked Cub and legend Bj means way more than beating Siver and Dustin.
Roni: They should fight each… oh!
Yeah. IMO Frankie got the top spot and should fight Aldo before Connor.
Beating Siver should not allow you to leapfrog all top 5 guys in the division!
Brian: I’m always excited for a card with two title fights. The undercard is also impressive with two heavyweight fights including the return of Travis Browne and Urijah Faber; two guys that are always fun to watch. I would say my excitement is at about an 8 because the chances of this card not having at least a few fun fights are pretty slim.
Collin: 8. This is a really good card, two big title fights and both should be fun to watch, plus I’m always excited to see Tony Ferguson fight.
Roni: I’ll give it a solid 8.
Not the best card ever, but (at least) a solid one with two title fights.
No one should be able to complain about it.
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