The MMA 5&1 2.10.14: Rousey vs Johnson, Barao vs Justino
Posted by Jon Butterfield on 02.10.2014
Sara McMann is your "& 1" Model of the Week, Ronda Rousey takes on Demetrious Johnson in Vs, thoughts on Thiago Silva's arrest, Brock Lesnar's possible return and more!
Hello everyone and welcome to a brand new edition of 411mania's MMA 5&1! In case you're wondering, no, you didn't misread the author's name – because today, instead of the ‘Scottish Wrecking Machine' Stewart Lange or ‘Hollywood' Jack McGee, you've got me, Jon Butterfield. With that said, I'll be bringing you the top 5 weekly new stories from the world of MMA, and a certain special 1 final item that may (or may not) involve scantily-clad women. I guess if you want to find out if that's true, you'll just have to read on...
Oh, and because there's a new sheriff here at MMA 5&1, it's time for an ALL-NEW BANNER!
Disclaimer: This work may not be ENTIRELY my own... but I did contribute... slightly...
Oh, and on an unrelated note, thanks to Remo Signori for the original (and now supposedly unrecognizable) banner-work...
For long-time readers, Versus is a familiar concept – we pit two fighters, past or present, against one another, and you, the reader, determines the winner. Simple, right? Only this week, we've got not one, but TWO fights to pick the winner of, with the two victorious fighters going through to a final next week! Yes, indeed, stay tuned for that.
So without further adieu...
Ahh, didn't expect that, did you? That's right, this week we're focussing on the lighter weight classes, INCLUDING the female classes. So who do you think would win this bout between UFC Flyweight Champion Demetrious Johnson and Olympic-calibre Judoka AND UFC Women's Champion Ronda Rousey? And, for the sake of argument, you can pretty much eliminate weight from being a factor – this is fantastical pound-for-pound fare, and I want to know who you consider the more skilled combatant. Now, onto fight two!
One more note: please don't penalize fighters for inactivity! Cristiane ‘Cyborg' Justino may not have been the most active fighter in the world of late, but her past as the most dominant female fighter in the world is undeniable – but can she possibly upset the reigning, defending UFC Bantamweight Champion Renan Barao? You decide! So, will we see an all-male final next week? An all-female final? Or will we get one fighter of each sex? Either way, it's going to be a HELL of an attraction!
So, once you've voted, don't forget to scroll down the comments section at the bottom of the page and tell me how your fighter wins, and more importantly WHY your fighter wins! This should be a lot of fun!
Now, as promised, the MMA 5:
Team Alpha Male trainer Duane ‘BANG' Ludwig recently had something to say about Urijah Faber's most recent title failure – and without putting words in his mouth, here's some of the transcript of what he thought about the finish, and Faber intelligently defending himself:
"He was, there wasn't much more he could have done – one arm was trapped. The arm that was trapped he was giving the freakin' thumbs up, but maybe Herb didn't see that... with the other arm, he was defending himself."
Ludwig went on to say that Faber "didn't really lose this time, it was a bad stoppage", and referred to the first fight between the two as a "very close fight, a decision". So do you agree with Ludwig that there should be a third fight between Barao and Faber? Was Faber robbed of, potentially, his last shot at glory? Was the stoppage premature to begin with?
These are just some of the questions that the UFC matchmakers will have to contend with, but for this writer, Faber isn't in line for an immediate rematch. Barao was clearly on top in their second bout, scorching Faber on the feet and following up on the ground – and I see no real reason to indicate Faber was going to win the UFC Bantamweight title on the evidence of that night. But maybe I'm wrong – let me know what you think – is Faber done in terms of title shots? Would he benefit from a move back to 145 lbs? Where does his future lie? And, while we're on that score, who would you like to see challenge Barao next?
Number four on this week's list concerns the RETURN OF BROCK LESNAR!!! - or not, as the case may be. This past weekend, Dana White came out and had this to say on any potential return:
"Brock Lesnar is not coming back. Brock Lesnar is not fighting. I mean, does he want to come back? We've talked about him wanting to come back, and he feels like he wasn't 100 percent while he was here. He feels like he sold himself a little short and all the stuff I've told you before. But no, he's not. We have not dealt with Brock Lesnar. He's not coming back anytime soon."
While that doesn't entirely preclude Lesnar from returning at a later point, the big question is, is this a worthwhile move for the UFC? During his time in the company, Lesnar helped post some of the biggest buyrates in the company's history, with UFC 100: Lesnar vs Mir II achieving 1.6 million buys, and UFC 116: Lesnar vs Carwin posting 1.16 million buys. These remain the two highest-selling PPVs the UFC has ever put on, but certainly UFC 100 was a blockbuster of a card, and UFC 116 was really a better indicator of just how popular Lesnar was at the time – EXTREMELY popular.
But is that time over?
When Lesnar fought Carwin, the mammoth Minnesota wrestler had a very credible streak behind him, as well as an "invincible" aura – while a subsequent outing against Cain Velasquez would also post over 1 million buys (like Lesnar vs Couture also did long before), the illusion of Lesnar as this unstoppable force was shattered. While a series of struggles with his health and his fitness continued to work against Brock, the fact that UFC 141: Lesnar vs Overeem drew only HALF a million buys could be considered indicative of the market's loss of interest in the former Division I All American.
In Lesnar's defence, it's hard to remain "invincible" when you're physically hampered to the extent that he was during his UFC tenure, but would he really be able to walk back into the company on the back of his latest WWE run and make a worthwhile one-off effort like has been discussed? Would buyrates once again soar? Or is Lesnar no longer as saleable now that he's been comprehensively beaten not once, but twice?
Your thoughts in the comments section please.
Anthony Johnson has rumbled his last opponent outside of the UFC. The former World Series of Fighting star has rattled off six straight victories since he was axed by Zuffa for missing weight by 12 pounds against Vitor Belfort in January 2012 – and though he also missed weight again in his follow-up outing, a victory over Dave Branch in Titan Fighting Championship, he's since faced up to his issues and fought more frequently at light heavyweight –and even once at heavyweight; quite the achievement for a former welterweight!
Still, jumping around the weight classes doesn't seem to have had too much of an adverse effect on Johnson, who has gone 6-0 outside of the UFC, stopping Jake Rosholt, DJ Linderman and Mike Kyle, as well as out-pointing former UFC Heavyweight Champion Andrei Arlovski. His latest win, a first round Knock Out of Kyle, saw his WSOF contract came to a close, and the UFC pounced to bag their man.
Johnson is undoubtedly a UFC-calibre fighter, but his weight issues have bordered on the ridiculous at times. Now that he's back with the company, he'll be competing at 205 lbs – 35 pounds more than when he fought Dan Hardy in 2011 – and SURELY he can't miss weight again. If he does, his UFC career could be over once and for all, no matter the outcome of his upcoming bout with Phil "Mr Wonderful" Davis - but like I say, that's impossible, right? RIGHT?!
One small steps for fans... one giant leap for Anderson
Great news for Anderson Silva fans – the man is already up and walking unaided! Though the footage posted on Anderson's Instagram account certainly doesn't look entirely comfortable or pain-free, this is without question a big step forward (pun intended) in "The Spider's" road to recovery.
The word is, Anderson wants one last run in the cage, and at 39, people were immediately looking to write off the former Pound 4 Pound kingpin - but have those people spoken too soon? Anderson is a determined man and a wonderful athlete, and he's proven himself time and time again – though I hasten to add, that coming back from a career-threatening injury like the leg break received in his rematch with Chris Weidman could yet be his greatest achievement to date.
The question now is, will Anderson fully recover? And if he does step foot in the cage to compete once more, would he still be the force he used to be, or will he be a tentative shadow of his former self given what's happened? But let's be positive and get some fantasy match-making under our belts by answering this one: Who should he face?!
Answers in the comments section please!
Undoubtedly the craziest news story from the world of MMA centres around the troubled former UFC light heavyweight star Thiago Silva. Without going into too much detail about the reasons behind the disturbing incident this past week, the fact that Silva has been arrested for "attempted murder" (since reduced to a charge of "aggravated assault") was reason enough for the Ultimate Fighting Championship to can the Brazilian athlete. Silva was apparently seen waving a firearm around outside Pablo Popovitch's BJJ gym, and making demands about what he wanted to happen. He would later barricade himself in his Florida home, before being brought in by police with the apparent assistance of a SWAT team.
Dana White was quick to comment that "This guy will never fight in the UFC again". Add him to the ‘banned' list alongside Rousimar Palhares, Paul Daley, and Maiquel Falcao...
While this unsavoury incident threatens to smear the name of Mixed Martial Arts as a sport, it's important to remember that these guys (and girls) are all humans, and humans make mistakes – it doesn't matter if you're an MMA star, a bellboy, a porter or a movie star, all people are fallible, and it isn't right to blame an occupation for an individual's extracurricular activities. Thiago has paid the price for his latest misdemeanour in terms of his MMA career, and now the justice system will take care of the rest. Let's just be thankful nobody appears to have been seriously hurt (at least physically) during this ordeal...