From Dana White saying that there is depth in the women's bantamweight division to Strikeforce's last card looking increasingly week with each injury dropout and more, 411's Scott Kuczkowski looks at the most absurd MMA news of the week!
Welcome to the first edition of the MMA Rant, the article that promises to bring you all the rant without any of the spin. For those of you that have been loyal 411 readers for a while, you probably remember me as the author of The View From the Cheap Seats. Well, that column pretty much ran its course, and after about a year off, I'm ready to get back in the saddle again.
First and foremost; if you like articles that blow sunshine up the UFC's ass and revere everything about MMA as though it is the second coming of Christ, then you should probably surf away from this page. I'm not one of those guys that sees sunshine and puppies with every news release. While I'm also not a "doomsday scenario" type of guy, I will call things as I see them and take a lot of pleasure at pointing out the stuff that is incredibly stupid. I don't think that I'm smarter or better than anyone else, but I also resist putting people on pedestals, especially when they say something stupid. Read onů
To get started, let's take this quote from Dana White in regards to signing Ronda Rousey and the 135 pound division being deep enough for the UFC to "try out":
"You can never tell how fights are going to go, and she's got four or five good fights lined up. The next two years we've actually got really good opponents for her, and it's going to be really interesting, we'll see what happens... There is [enough depth] in that division. In the 135 lb. division there is. These other women's divisions? No, there's not."
Am I missing something here? Where is all this depth in the women's Bantamweight Division? Who (or where) in the hell are these 4 or 5 really good opponents? Is the UFC planning to have Rousey fight men? Because that is the only way I can see 4 or 5 good opponents in her future.
Right now, the only reasonable opponent for Rousey is Sara McMann. McMann won a silver medal in the Olympics in free-style wrestling and is a beast in the cage. If she is signed by the UFC, she would be an awesome opponent for Rousey, simply because it could be promoted as Olympiad vs. Olympiad, with the added bonus of being the first women's fight in the octagon.
Who else is after her? Both Miesha Tate and Sarah Kaufman were easily thrashed by Rousey, so there isn't any reason for either of them to get a rematch until they can both put together 3 or 4 wins. Christiane "Cyborg" Santos isn't even worth discussing at this point; she's still under suspension, she isn't under UFC contract, she doesn't seem to want to fight Rousey, and she had difficulty making weight as a Featherweight, which makes me thing Bantamweight is all but impossible for her. Who else is left? Where are these other good fights?
The fact is that nearly every women's division is paper thin when looking for serious contenders, so pretending there are quality opponents hiding somewhere is absurd. The UFC will have to put for an effort to really build up this division if they want to seriously give it a try. If Dana White thinks throwing Ronda Rousey in there with just anyone will sell a PPV, he may end up being seriously mistaken.
As much as I think trainers and coaches are an important part of this sport, sometimes they need to keep their opinions to themselves. While they may have great insight to the training regimen and personality of their fighters, they really have no reason to voice their opinions about who should get the next title shot. Doesn't everyone realize that their opinions reek of conflict of interest?
Firas Zahabi recently opened his mouth about who he feels is the #1 contender to fight Georges St. Pierre, and in doing so, made me feel like both he and his camp might be afraid of Johny Hendricks.
"I think Diaz is the guy who deserves it most. His fight with Carlos (Condit) was so close. Who knows? People judge it both ways. [Diaz is] the guy who is the Strikeforce champion. He climbed up the ladder all the way. Johny deserves it very much, but Diaz has been there longer and done more fights and has bigger wins. If you want to be really fair about it, he is the guy who beat the most amount of names in the biggest fights."
Firas, I think you're a great trainer, but you sound like a complete jackass in this interview. Nick Diaz? Really!?! Nick freakin' Diaz? Where do I begin?
Nick Diaz has a single UFC win, and it came against an out-of-shape Lightweight fighter who sported an unimpressive UFC welterweight record of 2-3-1. His only other fight was a loss; and folks can bitch about the decision as much as they want, but I scored that fight for Condit.
Nick Diaz hasn't done anything else besides what I've stated above. Folks can pretend that a win over Paul Daley or KJ Noons means something, but it doesn't. By my estimation, Nick Diaz is at least two wins out of title contention, perhaps more if someone like Jon Fitch can put together more wins and remain impressive while doing it. For Firas to claim he deserves a title shot the most makes me think GSP probably has a game plan all prepared for Diaz, but also thinks he's going to be the easiest opponent coupled with the biggest payday. The whole thing sounds like a bag of shit to me.
In light of the plethora of injuries that have plagued the (final?) Strikeforce: Champions card, a replacement bout has been added (for whatever damn reason).
Pat Healy (28-16 MMA, 6-1 SF) vs. Jorge Masvidal (23-7 MMA, 5-1 SF) is in the works for the January 12th Strikeforce: Champions event, which takes place at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City. Pat Healy was originally going to face Gilbert Melendez for the Lightweight Title, but the bout is off, due to Melendez being injured.
Just let this freakin' promotion just die, already. This is like giving an aspirin to a 100 year old man with cancer. Is this fight really supposed to mean anything? It bothers me that this fight is utterly meaningless because they are vying for a title that won't even exist for them to challenge for after this event. And while it may come as a shock, but I really don't think either of these guys have much of a chance of getting into the UFC, especially considering the depth of the UFC Lightweight Division. More to the point, is this bout really supposed to draw ratings? Just forget the whole thing and do what should have been done 18 months ago; close the doors on Strikeforce and bring over the fighters that have a chance of making an impact or at least putting on watchable fights.
Apparently Bellator might start being run like an actual fight promotion, and not like a bad episode of American Gladiators. Why it took this long to make this decision still has me shaking my head.
Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney posted an open letter to Bellator fans today, and announced that the promotion would now allow championship fight rematches.
The actual wording is "when a rematch is called for, we will deliver." What the fuck does that mean? The ambiguity of this kills me. When is a rematch "called for"? Like when the judges make the wrong call? Or like when your Light Heavyweight Champion loses in a non-title fight and you make the guy he lost to compete in the Light Heavyweight Tournament, where he eventually loses? I mean, c'mon Bjorn, your Champions are defending their titles about once every two years; do you think they need to deal with rematches too? What, are you running some type of prison camp?
Don't get me wrong, I think Bellator puts on a good product and I generally enjoy it, but bonehead announcements like this make me wonder if Rebney is in the wrong business.
And that's it for this week, fine readers (or those of you who has someone read this to them). Tune in next week when I slather your screen with more acrid interpretations of the day's news.
Actually, I hope you at least got laugh. Thanks for reading.