Locked in the Guillotine MMA News Report 9.14.12 Injured Edition
Posted by Robert Winfree on 09.14.2012
Thoughts on Jose Aldo's injury paving the way for Anderson Silva and Stephan Bonnar to step up and be the new main event of UFC 153, Big Nog stepping up as well, Glover Teixeira scaring off another former UFC champion and more!
Hello again one and all who come seeking enlightenment in the world of MMA, and perhaps an outlet for some hatred, you've come to the best Friday column here at 411mania. I am your host and author of all that is good, and bad, within this column Robert Winfree. This was a pretty busy week, news was fast and furious, and very little of it was good. Such seems to be life in the MMA world these days, the injury "bug" is getting dangerously close to epidemic proportions in the UFC. And since injuries are cropping up all over the place, I might as well vent my anger in the Hate section. Better lend me your neck so you can get Locked in the Guillotine and start reading.
Guest#5456 had the first comment, and wondered what happened as he was able to finish the column in roughly three minutes. I'd like to say your reading comprehension has gone up, or your speed reading is improving, and both of those might well be true, but I'll also admit that last week was rather a weak entry on my part. There were a variety of elements that conspired to make it so, and I do apologize to all of you for that. Hopefully this week is much more up to snuff. Guest#3945 agreed with my use of Chad Mendes as the example for the Generic Fighter, and went one step further by calling him a painfully generic human being. I've never met him so I can't say one way or the other, but it wouldn't shock me. He also gave a little R.I.P to Frankie Edgar, though circumstances have changed since last week. JK said that I forgot the further Generic Fighter line "(My opponent) is a really tough guy." Indeed I did overlook that oft repeated bit of dialogue, perhaps because I'm just so sick of hearing it. That is indeed another hallmark of the Generic Fighter, and how I'm coming to hate them.
Thank you for the comments, I always enjoy reading feedback. With that done, let's take a look at the news.
Aldo is out: It turns out that Jose Aldo's little vehicular accident where he was hit by a car while riding his motorcycle had a slightly worse effect on him than originally thought. Aldo was forced to pull out of his scheduled title fight with Frankie Edgar at UFC 153 in Rio de Janeiro, thus compromising another main event for the UFC. This is pretty awful news, because a lot of people including myself were looking forward to that fight. Hopefully the injury isn't serious and we still get that fight a little further down the road.
Jackson out: Quinton "Rampage" Jackson was also forced out of his fight at UFC 153 with an injury. Jackson was set to face Glover Teixeira in Jackson's last fight under his current UFC contract, unfortunately that will now be postponed. Wednesday it was announced that Teixeira would instead face Fabio Maldonado, in a fight that now looks to be a confidence booster for Teixeira. Either way it should be a fun fight.
Big Nog is in: Former UFC interim heavyweight champion Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira has stepped up and will fight on the UFC 153 card to help out after the above mentioned injuries. Nogueira will be facing Dave "Pee Wee" Herman. Herman is coming off of a knockout loss to Roy Nelson, while Nogueira will be returning to the cage for the first time since Frank Mir broke his arm with a kimura. Should be an easy enough fight for Nogueira, but his name means a lot in Brazil so it should also help boost tickets.
The Spider is IN: Late on Wednesday it was confirmed that the new main event for UFC 153 would be pound for pound king and greatest of all time Anderson Silva taking on Stephan Bonnar. Silva already completely dismantled Forest Griffin, so demolishing the other half of one of the most remembered fights in UFC history makes sense on some level. The fight will take place at 205, and really should be a pretty easy fight for Silva. Now on the flip side Stephan Bonnar has never been finished with strikes, the only times strikes were involved in his losses have been due to cuts. Really this is just a showcase for Anderson Silva, but I'm not going to complain, because let's face it, who doesn't love a good showcase for the Spider?
Cole Konrad bows out: Bellator heavyweight champion Cole Konrad has retired from MMA competition to begin a career as an agricultural commodities trader specializing in dairy products. Anyone else think that sounds like the pitch to an awful episode of Seinfeld or some similarly mediocre product? In all seriousness this sucks for Bellator, but I wish the guy the best of luck with his new career.
Chris Leben returns: Chris Leben is ready to get back into the octagon after a suspension following a failed drug test in his last fight against Mark Munoz. Hopefully Leben has got his personal stuff together, because the guy is actually a pretty entertaining fighter and the middleweight division could always use a few more live bodies. His return fight will be against Karlos Vemola, and it should be an interesting one. Welcome back Chris, hope your life is in order now.
Injuries. Let's be honest, injuries have always been part of the game as far as MMA goes, and by and large they didn't take a huge toll on things. Yes it always sucks to hear a fight you wanted to see, or a fighter you're a fan of, get derailed by injury. But until last year or so it wasn't a huge deal. You could actually get excited about an upcoming fight and the chance of it being spoiled by injury were relatively small. Yes it still happened, but it was relatively infrequent. Well ladies and gentlemen, those days are behind us. We live in a world where injuries are much more commonplace than they have been before in the history of the sport.
In the last little bit we've seen a plethora of cards that have been just gutted by injury. UFC 147 was never going to be a great card, but at least Vitor Belfort and Wanderlei Silva had a season of TUF behind them and legitimately don't like each other. Not a great fight, but one that had a bit of intrigue leading into it. Then Belfort broke his hand and we got stuck with a really mediocre main event of Wanderlei Silva vs. Rich Franklin. Outside of the second round that entire fight was pretty forgettable. Just a few weeks later we got UFC 149. Do I even have to go over all the crap that went down with that card? At one point UFC 149 was set to be the super show of the summer with two title fights, one between Dominick Cruz and Urijah Faber in the bantamweight division, the other the huge rematch between Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen. After the bout between Sonnen and Silva was moved to UFC 148, the featherweight title fight between Jose Aldo and Erik Koch was set to headline this event, then Aldo go injured and his fight with Koch was rescheduled. Then of course Dominick Cruz got injured and was replaced with Renan Barao who then fought Faber for the interim title. There was actually another big blow to the card when Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira was forced to pull out of a fight with Cheick Kongo because his arm wasn't healed enough after it was broken, and instead we got the crap fest that was Cheick Kongo vs. Shawn Jordan. I know, I'm sorry I brought that up at all.
Then we come to what happened at UFC 151. First the co-main event of Jake Ellenberger vs. Josh Koscheck was scrapped when Koscheck injured his back and was replaced by Jay Heiron. That took a marginally interesting fight and turned it into something totally forgettable. Then of course there was Dan Henderson's injury to his knee that resulted in his inability to fight. I've talked enough about how that entire situation was mishandled by everyone and I don't wish to go over it again. The point is just look at how many injuries have come up this last year. It's not just main event talent either, lower level guys are getting plagued with this too. At UFC 150, Yushin Okami was originally set to fight Luiz Cane who was making his middleweight debut. That's somewhat interesting as Cane had a decent run at light heavyweight and Okami is a good measuring stick. Then Cane got injured and was replaced with Roushimar Palhares. Palhares may not be a world beater, but I like watching the guy fight, and a fight between a proven finisher like Palhares and Okami would be fun to watch. Then Palhares got injured and was replaced by Buddy Roberts. Roberts was already scheduled to be on the card facing Chris Camozzi, but Camozzi got injured and Roberts got bumped up to fight Okami. For a mid card fight, that's a ridiculous number of replacements.
Look back up at the news this week, the main and co-main event of the upcoming UFC 153 had to be completely reworked due to injury. Let's also not forget this was originally headlined by Jose Aldo and Erik Koch, but Koch got injured and was replaced by Frankie Edgar. Now thankfully Anderson Silva stepped in and saved the day here, but he's fighting a guy who more or less retired a couple of months ago while he was in the press room for the Weidman vs. Munoz event on Fuel TV in the form of Stephan Bonnar. And now people are complaining about it.
People, what is wrong with you?! I'm not going to try and defend this is a relevant fight. I'm not going to pretend Bonnar has looked great in his last several fights and that I'm intrigued by his chances of beating Anderson Silva. But why on Earth would you complain about watching Anderson Silva fight? He isn't fight a guy like Demian Maia or Thales Leites, Stephan Bonnar always comes to fight. This isn't a relevant fight, but it's two guys who are healthy and willing to fight each other. What more do you want at this stage? We'd all love to see relevant fights, or match ups that have us analyzing styles and chances of each fighter, but we're not always going to get that. We're going to have fights and cards ravaged by injury, at this point it's just an inevitability as far as MMA goes. So when someone of the caliber of Anderson freaking Silva is willing to step up and take a fight against just another pig hostage I am not going to complain about it. I'm going to keep my mouth shut and be grateful we got something that I'm willing to watch.
What I hate most about injuries, and there's plenty, is that it keeps me from getting excited about a fight. I wanted to see Frankie Edgar fight Jose Aldo. I think that is an incredibly exciting fight and I was really looking forward to it. I wanted to see Jon Jones fight Dan Henderson. When those fights were announced I got excited. Now, I can't get excited for announced fights because there's a better than average chance it wont happen. I hate not being able to get excited about a fight, or a fight card. I love this sport, and I want to be excited about upcoming events. I want to spend my time thinking about styles, variables, and anticipating the physical contest. I don't get to do that anymore, I get to pray that neither guy gets injured. Injuries will make you a jaded MMA fan faster than anything, and that includes bad decisions, and I do not want to become jaded. I want to look forward to fights. I want to hear about a fighter I like signing to fight and let the anticipation build as the fight approaches. Injuries have robbed me of much of that.
Damn you injuries, you suck.
And on that depressing note, we're done for the week. Last week I said I'd preview UFC 152 this week, but I suck at math and it's actually next week. I'm sorry, my bad. But next week I'll preview UFC 152, headlined by the title fight between Jon Jones and Vitor Belfort. Hey, injuries happen and I'm just going to be grateful both guys make it to the cage. You've survived my Guillotine again, you guys are harder to choke out than Benson Henderson. I'll see you here next week.