Welcome to the relaunch of the MMA Roundtable! Coming Tuesdays right here. If you have a question, by all means, put it on the comments.
1. Does Hector Lombard have a case in saying the fight should have been stopped in Round 1?
Roni: Yes, he does. IMHO if any fighter face-plants the mat, it is time to stop the fight. However, Magny proved me wrong with his amazing recovery.
I don’t like it, because most fighters do not recover as well as he did, and the ref’s job is to protect the fighters.
Brian: No. Magny was constantly trying to get to a better position and his legs and body never gave out completely. He was always trying to stand up and he was covering up from more than half the shots. Based on what happened in the third round when Magny finished Lombard, he was right to let it continue. I had more of a problem with the ref not stopping it in the 2nd. Lombard should have never came out for the third and sustain more unnecessary damage.
Collin: This is a really grey issue.
I think in this particular instance, Neil was always defending; digging for underhooks, trying to control posture, fighting to get half guard. At no point did it look to me like Magney was not intelligently defending himself, which is more than you can say for Hector in round 2. I personally like referee’s who give fighters every possible chance to recover over guys who are over cautious. I understand the concerns over long term trauma, but if the fighters are that concerned about incurring trauma before losing the ability to defend themselves, they always have the option to tap to strikes. Who would Nog be if Herb Dean was the ref in the Cro Cop fight? Or Sakuraba if Yamasaki was the third man in the Galesic or Smirnovas fights? Hendo x Shogun 1 would have just been an average first round KO, and Frankie Edgar would have just surrendered his belt to Grey Maynard, ect. Let fighters fight at the highest levels.
Roni: I don’t think so. But he keeps winning.
You can’t really discredit his wins.
Brian: Absolutely! He’s only had one loss in the last three years against Demian Maia who is arguably one fight away from a title shot. Magny has been flying under the radar for a long time and to give a guy like Hector Lombard his first stoppage loss ever, if that’s not a case for top five I don’t know what is.
Collin: I think so.
It’s tough to say anyone is top 5 in that division with so many killers, but he’s right up there with Wonderboy, Hendricks, Robbie, Rory, Woodley and Condit. Once you get to about the top 7 in the 170 pound division right now, anyone can beat anyone. I think at this point you can comfortably include Neil in that group.
Roni: I don’t think so. IMHO The UFC did a piss poor job into helping him. I mean Mir is known to do the chicken dance if any good hit gets close to his face. Pairing him against Mark Hunt was an obvious failure (if the intention was to help Mir climb the rankings). Even the top fighters (Cain or Werdum) would provide Mir with with a better chance of winning than Hunt.
Brian: I don’t think so. Mark Hunt can knock out anyone on the planet and the heavyweight division is so thin right right now that if he can come back and win another two in a row, he’s automatically back in title shot talks. He’s also a draw for the company and has been with them since the beginning of the Zuffa days so he’s always a favorite amongst the hardcore audience and fans who started watching in the Brock Lesnar days.
Collin: Not necessarily.
His days as a title contender are behind him, but he is still a technical fighter in a relatively thin division. He still has a fairly decent chin and good power standing. And on the ground he can probably roll with all but the top 5-7 guys in the division. He can still win fights and make some decent paychecks for sure though.
Roni: I think it is a desperate, but Genius move. Well, obviously a huge F.U. to the FW division. But think about it. The fight will be at 155. Conor will have a better understanding of what he is facing while Diaz will be able to go though a full-camp. If Conor wins, all his megalomaniac matches will be back as a possibility. Probably RDA will be next for the LW belt, but more importantly, Conor hype will be back and that loss will be scratched from the history book while praises of Conor fighting anyone, anytime will be sung by his adoring horde.
And if he loses, he STILL is the FW champion and UFC will simply claim he is too “small” to fight against those big LW’s.
So a lot more positives, while simply delaying any of the negatives.
Brian: I’m absolutely against this for the simple fact that if Conor McGregor loses again, there goes the UFC’s biggest star’s stock. I’m a Conor fan but I’m also not big on him holding up the 145 lb division either. If he decides to take another fight against Nate Diaz, he should give up that belt. Simply put, Frankie Edgar deserves better than this.
Collin: I don’t think that is the best fight, but it’s not awful either.
It’s tough to not see them putting Connor on there somewhere, but I think Edgar is the better fight to make. You can’t let a guy hold on to a belt while he spends 6 months out of a year taking cotton-candy fights instead of defending in one of the deepest weight classes. And if he can’t make 45 now that the IV ban is in effect, maybe Diaz at 155 makes some sense, but I’d rather see Diaz get his crack at RDA. Diaz x RDA, Conor x Edgar or Cowboy, those are the fights I’d like to see on 200. McGregor and Cerrone are both about the same walk around weight, and if we can’t have a relevant title fight, that is as fun a fight as any for him without retreading old ground.
Roni: Both. It is hyping Hall (which they called Andy 2.0) while allowing Anderson Silva to fight a good name. If Silva wins, he will be “back” on top. If he loses, they can use the “passing of the torch” to Uriah.
Brian: The UFC knows that Anderson Silva will never be at the championship level he once was, but he will always be a draw in the UFC. He may not be as dominant as he was but he still has the ability to beat a lot of top 15 middleweight fighters, and he arguably won the fight against Michael Bisping. I personally love this matchup and it will be a huge test for Uriah Hall. I think it’s a combination of both Uriah on the rise and whether he can make that leap to being a legit top five fighter but it’s also a fight to see if Silva still has the ability to be a top 10 fighter in the UFC.
Collin: Anderson and Hall are kind of meeting in a the middle.
Anderson’s best days are most assuredly behind him, and Hall is about as valuable a commodity as he will ever be, and that is a really fun fight that doesn’t necessarily need to have any title implication.
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