411 MMA Fact or Fiction 03.15.13: GSP on Silva/Weidman, Cyborg's Invicta Debut, Cain Velasquez/Erik Perez, More
Posted by Wyatt Beougher on 03.15.2013
Is Georges St-Pierre using the Chris Weidman/Anderson Silva bout to stir up interest in a GSP/Silva fight? Will Cyborg's debut in Invicta overshadow the other bouts on the card? 411's Samer Kadi and Robert Cooper debate these topics and more!
Welcome to another edition of 411's MMA Fact or Fiction, and it's finally Friday! As befits the last traditional workday of the week, we've got West bracket number 1 seed Samer Kadi in action today, and, as always, he's done a fantastic job of responding to the statements that I've proposed. However, don't count out 8th seed Robert Cooper yet - the metalhead ended another Fact or Fiction competitor's undefeated streak already, going to a draw against Stewart Lange and turning in an impressive performance against Patrick Mullin, who was also unbeaten when they met. Robert's a definite underdog going into this contest, but he did an excellent job himself, and I don't envy you readers for having to pick a winner.
And again, here are the brackets, which have been updated to reflect the results of our first two contests. And while voting has closed on those match-ups, you can still vote for Wednesday's bout between Mark Radulich and Robert Winfree here, or yesterday's bout, between Steve Cook and Jonathan Butterfield here.
TALE OF THE TAPE
Samer Kadi (#1 seed, West)
Co-Columnist, Occupy the Throne
One of the faces UFC would like to put forward to the Hispanic market?
1.) Between signing Cain Velasquez to an 8-fight deal and Erik Perez to a six-fight deal, it seems as though the UFC has found the fighters that they believe they can trust to make further in-roads into the Hispanic market.
Samer Kadi: FICTION It's not that I entirely disagree with that statement, but I don't believe the two events are necessarily connected. Beyond the UFC's hopes of using him to appeal to the Hispanic audience, Cain Velasquez got a contract extension for being the UFC heavyweight champion. It would only make sense that the company would look to hold on to him, in order to avoid any potential contractual headaches in the future where Cain holds on to the title for a couple of more fights and his deal closes on expiring.
Erik Perez is a promising fighter with a 2-0 UFC record, but for the time being, he is just that. I doubt the UFC has seen enough of him to believe he can produce any sort of serious impact on the Hispanic market. Keep in mind, Perez fights in the bantamweight division – a weight class that gets very little exposure in the UFC. And while Latinos have a rich history of producing elite lighter weight boxers, those weight classes are far less established in MMA, where the UFC doesn't see to be putting any sort of confidence or weight (no pun intended) behind them.
Most importantly, long-term deals don't mean much under the Zuffa structure when the UFC holds the right to release any fighter following a loss, without incurring significant -- if any -- financial consequences.
Robert CooperFACT I, at first, was not quite sure what I was going to answer for this. Cain Velasquez is a definite yes when it comes to being an in-road. The dude has a great story to him. The son of an illegal immigrant father who worked his ass off, and inspired his son's great work ethic. Not to mention he's the heavyweight champ,well spoken, and bilingual. So if there were to be anyone on the roster who I would use to break into the Hispanic market, it'd be Cain Velasquez.
Erik Perez is a bit different. He's young, undefeated in the UFC with a three fight win streak, and all of the wins have been first round finishes. But I wasn't quite sure that these three facts make him the best person besides Cain, until I looked at the competition. With a thorough search of the UFC roster, I noticed that there aren't exactly a lot of choices to begin with, and most of them aren't bigger names (besides the Diaz brothers and Diego Sanchez (I'm pretty sure they're Hispanic Americans)), and most of them don't have great records either. Perez is a fighter on the rise, who seems like a nice guy, and unlike any other fighter on the roster, is a native Mexican. Having a native on the roster who has a good attitude and an exciting style is a great way to get that Hispanic market to tune in. Barring anything odd happening to either of them, I think that they UFC has indeed found their two guys to help make in-roads into the growing Hispanic market.
Casting a large shadow on Invicta FC
2.) The Jessica Penne/Michelle Waterson atomweight title fight on Invicta FC 5 will be overshadowed by Cristiane Santos making her promotion debut against Ediane Gomes.
Robert CooperFACTI think it will. Cyborg Santos is still a big fish in the women's MMA pond. Granted, she isn't as big as she was before the new dominant thing Ronda Rousey came into town (and the other thing that came into town, drug testing), but she's still a name, and I'm pretty sure that most of the talk about this event will be able her fighting Ediane Gomes. I honestly didn't know there was an atomweight division (I don't keep up with Invicta), but now that I do know about it, I'll be tuning in. I don't think that the focus being on Cyborg is necessarily a bad thing. As long as people stay tuned after the Cyborg fight to see the Flyweight and Atomweight title fights, perhaps the fighters in those fights will gain a few more fans. Kind of like how the last UFC on Fox event had the Flyweight title fight right after the Rampage Jackson fight. Use a popular/name fighter to reel them in, exciting fight hopefully happens, thus making people fans of the people in the Flyweight fight, in theory. Hopefully said theory will work for Invicta!
Samer Kadi: FACT It is safe to say Cyborg's debut with the promotion will be so big Invicta will double their fake ratings. In all seriousness, "Cyborg" Santos will undoubtedly be the most heavily discussed fighter leading up to the event, and unless something exceptional happens in another fight, she will be the main talking point in the aftermath as well. Not only is she the biggest star in the promotion, but the second biggest star in Women's MMA at the moment (though competition isn't exactly stiff), and let's face it, had she worked out a deal with the UFC, she would have been headlining a PPV in the next few months. Therefore, it is only logical that she would overshadow the main event, title fight or not, as the promotion hasn't been around long enough to where titles mean that much quite yet anyway. People are aware of who Cyborg is, which is more than can be said for any other fighter on the card, and that will earn her the most attention by default.
Talking up a former training partner, or drumming up interest for a future fight?
3.) GSP claiming that Chris Weidman will finish Anderson Silva in short order is nothing more than the welterweight champion drumming up interest for the long-rumored superfight between he and Silva.
Samer Kadi: FICTION Sadly, it has become quite evident that St-Pierre isn't exactly keen on a fight with Anderson Silva. Therefore, unless he explicitly expresses his desire to take part in the biggest fight in MMA history, nothing Georges St-Pierre says should be interpreted as hype towards a showdown with "The Spider." Keep in mind, St-Pierre is hardly the most vocal person in the world, and engaging in any sort of "hype" is something he rarely does, let alone for a fight that won't take place any time soon.
If there's anything history has taught us, it's that fighter predictions should be taken with a grain of salt. "Experts" or not, fighters often predict outcomes based on their friendship with a certain fighter, the fact that they've trained together, or their disdain for one of the involved parties. If you want the real reason St-Pierre made this statement, look no further than his very first sentence: "Chris Weidman is my friend, and I see him in training. I believe he's going to beat Anderson Silva."
This is nothing more than St-Pierre playing up the chances of someone he's got a good relationship/trained with in the past.
Robert Cooper:FICTION I certainly hope not. It's not the best idea to drum up interest in a fight with someone by declaring that they'd lose in a quick fashion. That's not going to make their fight look very good. It sounds to me like GSP is telling what he thinks will happen out of just pure honesty, no real ulterior motive behind it (call me naive). If I were him, and I wanted to drum up interest in the fight, I'd build Anderson up, while still saying Weidman would win. But say that he'd win in a long, hard war. Not get destroyed and tossed away like a dirty tissue in a matter of a minute of two.
Can surgery help prevent this from happening again?
4.) With Joe Lauzon now dealing with heavy scar tissue after his fight with Jim Miller at UFC 155, and his recovery using the Graston Technique to break up the scar tissue admittedly taking more time than he had expected, he should consider having the surgery that Nick Diaz had after losing to KJ Noons, in which the scar tissue is removed completely and the bone underneath is shaved down slightly to make future cuts less likely.
Robert Cooper:FACT So I'm no doctor, I doubt that'll surprise anyone, but after searching on the interewebs for a good 10 minutes; apparently what causes this bundling of scar tissue is that when fighters get cut, they get sewed back up, but it's only the skin that heals. So what happens is that when they get punched again, the skin is like tissue paper and it just busts back open. I can't find any reports that talk about any downside of the surgery that don't have to do with the no sparring for 6 weeks after the surgery. That is a very long time in the life of a fighter, but at the same time, it should be a one shot deal, you get the surgery, don't get punched in the face for a little over a month, and you're going to be good to go for a long while. It'd be quite the shame if Joe Lauzon got busted open and they had to stop the fight, because 8 of his last 9 fights were "of the night" fights, and I'd be a shame if his next outing were cut short by a cut.
Samer Kadi: FICTION I can't imagine any of us being qualified enough to answer this with any form of certainty. Generally speaking, when it comes to this sort of medical procedures, there is no "blueprint," and decisions should be made on a case-by-case basis. This surgery could be what Lauzon needs, but too many factors are involved in this, starting with the amount of scar tissue dating back to before the Miller fight, how easily Lauzon generally cuts (I don't believe it happens to him nearly as often as Diaz for instance), etc… Furthermore, any form of surgery will likely mean an additional spell on the sidelines for Lauzon, something he may not be ready to endure.
Heartwarming when MMA critics look so out of touch with reality
5.) OnMilwaukee.com columnist Dave Begel's appearance on Inside MMA last week, in which he openly criticized the Ronda Rousey/Liz Carmouche fight as being a sexist exploitation fantasy and MMA as a whole as being "disgusting", "barbaric" and not even worthy of being called a sport, was actually beneficial to the MMA community because Begel came off so poorly.
Samer Kadi: FICTION I don't believe that by other people/sports looking bad, MMA can look good. The MMA community benefited when Rousey and Carmouche delivered inside the cage. Likewise, the MMA community benefited when the PPV did extremely solid numbers. The MMA community is also benefiting from the multiple media appearances Ronda Rousey has been doing, and the impressive attention she has managed to garner. An ignorant columnist coming off as unsurprisingly ignorant is detrimental to him and what he represents, though that does not make it beneficial for the MMA community. Given who the man who runs the sport of MMA is, and how bad he often looks (look no further than his laundry list of controversies), it is a tad rich to suggest that an MMA critic looking bad benefits the sport. The validation for women's MMA lied in the fight itself, not in the post-fight critics.
Robert Cooper:FACT There is no way that this isn't positive for MMA. This old asshole sounds like he was plucked straight out of the asshole of John McCain circa 1996. He was trying to demonize the sport, and then when boxing got brought up, he kept changing the subject back to how vile MMA is. The way he described women's MMA is nothing short of horny teenager levels of bad fanfiction, with him describing in very minute details what is going on, with the sweat and the lesbian fantasies and all that jazz. I know why this guy was brought on, because he had very extreme views, and they wanted to try and see why he thinks the way he does. But all this Dave Begel does is make him sound like a dunce. He's on an MMA show, totally shitting on the sport, while trying to sound like he has any clue about the sport, with such great quotes as, "Bas, you created the liver shot". Bas quickly tells him that he created the term, but a punch to body is a bit older than him. What this guy has done is just look like another dumbass crusader who doesn't know his ass from a hole in the ground, and will argue with you to prove that stupidity, as well.
At least I don't think we'll be seeing much more of him, because I've never heard of OnMilwaukee.com, but I can certainly tell you that I don't think some old sexist cocknob is going to impress many people on the talk show circuit with his words of wisdom. All in all, if we get more people like this, who just spout venom against the sport, MMA is going to be looking pretty good, considering detractors like this guy can't get off of the subject of how two women on a mat looks too much like porn, so it must be as smutty and exploitative as it. Not to mention he's an uneducated dinosaur. But enough of him, I think his 15 seconds of fame is up, and he's overdue for some Geritol.
So it's all on you guys now, and draws are off of the table, as there must be a winner in these tournament bouts! In the event of a draw in voting, I will cast the deciding vote.
And that's it for another day! I'll be back again tomorrow night for live coverage of UFC 158, and then we'll start the whole thing over again next week with East Bracket action! Voting will remain open until midnight on the third day after the bout took place. And if you haven't done so, make sure you sign up for the new comments system, so that you can let us know what you think about the tournament thus far! As always, if there's anything you'd like to see featured in a future edition, leave your statement in the comments and I'll add it in. Let us know what you thought in the comments, on Twitter, or on Google+.