Locked in the Guillotine MMA News Report 2.14.14: The Dragon meets The Dreamcatcher
Posted by Robert Winfree on 02.14.2014
News and thoughts on Alistair Overeem allegedly ducking Junior dos Santos, Rashad Evans' injury and Daniel Cormier's replacement opponent! Plus a preview of this weekend's UFC Fight Night 36 and more!
Greetings ladies and gentlemen, nice to see you getting Locked in the Guillotine again. We've got a fight card to preview, UFC Fight Night 36 to be precise. And there's news, fighters getting decisions overturned, failed drug tests, UFC President Dana White's latest parade of burials, and Thiago Silva's meltdown. We're going to cover it all here today. While we're doing that, I'd encourage you to check out the Radulich in Broadcasting network and the host of podcasts it contains. You're bound to find something that will spark your interest.
Check Out Pop Culture Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with Mark Radulich on BlogTalkRadio
Alright, now that you're enjoying quality internet talk radio let's get into the MMA stuff.
Jessica Eye on probation: Last week there was some buzz when the split decision win Jessica Eye got over Sara Kaufamn was changed to a No Contest. Initially there was no reason given, leading to tons of speculation, including that the score cards and fight itself had been reviewed and the decision overturned. Well this week we got the reason, Eye tested positive for marijuana metabolites. The decision was changed, Eye served a probationary suspension (which basically means as long as she pays her fine and doesn't fail another drug test she's OK) but also can't appeal the commission's decision. This changes the biggest win of Eye's career to a No Contest, but given her probationary status her upcoming fight with Alexis Davis isn't affected unless she fails a drug test between now and then.
Medeiros fails drug test: Yancy Medeiros was announced to have failed his drug test for Fight for the Troops 3 this week. Medeiros scored an impressive KO victory over Yves Edwards, which is now a No Contest and a suspension retroactive to the event of 90 days. This doesn't really impact Medeiros's upcoming fights, but the biggest win of his career now basically never happened.
Anthony Johnson is back: Anthony Johnson is back with the UFC. Johsnon was cut from the promotion following his submission loss to Vitor Belfort at UFC 142 and his third failure to make weight, this time after moving up from welterweight to middleweight. Since being cut Johnson has won all six of his fights, one being a catchweight bout at 195lbs, one being heavyweight, and the rest in the light heavyweight division. Johnson celebrated his return to the UFC by going on the Tapout radio show and saying that he believes performance enhancing drugs would be less of an issue if MMA fighters were paid on par with Major League Baseball players. The fact that PED's have been a monumental problem in the world of baseball for several years now seems lost on Johnson. Johnson's return fight will be against top contender Phil Davis and will take place at UFC 172, the winner likely being on the short list of possible contenders for Jon Jones. With some of the big names in the division, like Mauricio "Shogun" Rua and Dan Henderson, unlikely to be fighting too much longer bringing back a guy with a bit of name value is a smart decision. Now we just have to see if Johnson can continue making weight and avoid saying anything too stupid.
Thiago Silva melts down: Now former UFC light heavyweight fighter Thiago Silva has been arrested on several counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. The story goes that Silva believed his estranged wife, Thaysa Silva, and Brazilian jiujitsu coach Pablo Popovitch were having an affair and he showed up at Popovitch's gym with a gun threatening to shoot people. He left the gym and barricaded himself in his house before being extracted by a SWAT team. Silva was initially arrested on several charges which included attempted murder, but the judge he was arraigned before reduced that to multiple counts of aggravated assault along with a few other charges, and held Silva without bail, noting Silva as a flight risk and a danger to his wife and others. Silva was subsequently cut by the UFC with UFC President Dana White saying that Silva will never fight for the UFC again. Silva is facing several years in prison based on the current charges, as well as possible deportation to his native Brazil.
Another one bites the dust: Former UFC light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans suffered a leg injury this week and has had to pull out of his scheduled fight with Daniel Cormier at UFC 170. There was speculation that the fight would be rescheduled for UFC 172 as the injury to Evans wont require surgery, but just before this column was submitted news broke of promotional newcomer but undefeated fighter Patrick Cummins would step up and face Cormier. This is a big deal, without Cormier or Evans on this card the co-main event would be a welterweight clash between Rory MacDonald and Demian Maia. Cummins reportedly got the call while working at a coffee shop, he was subsequently fired for taking the call during his shift, but this is a monumental opportunity for Cummins to make a big impression in his promotional debut.
Another week, another couple of burials: Well, this has been quite a week, but it wouldn't be complete without UFC President Dana White verbally taking it to some of his fighters. First up, former Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez. Melendez and his representative have been negotiating for a new contract, but apparently the two parties are at an impasse. Whether this is Melendez and his camp asking for too much, or the UFC not thinking Melendez is worth a whole lot to them isn't yet known, but Dana White's comments were something to the effect of he'd better start looking at other options. Melendez is just 1-1 in the UFC, dropping a close split decision in a title fight with Benson Henderson, and winning an exciting slug fest with Diego Sanchez. Hopefully the two parties can come to an agreement.
Next to earn the ire of Dana White was former Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem. This stems from Overeem turning down a fight with former UFC heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos. According to Dana White he offered Overeem a five round main event fight against dos Santos that would take place in Brazil. Overeem declined, and White offered a three round co-main event fight that would take place in Las Vegas, again Overeem declined the fight. Dana White's response was to claim that Overeem was "literally hiding from Junior dos Santos". Now that is obviously an exaggeration, Overeem is unlikely to be diving under his bed and locking his doors at the mention of the former champion's name. Overeem's position, as stated on twitter after the news blew up over that service, was that he's rehabbing a rib injury and is currently on vacation in Jamaica so he's not thinking about taking a fight right now. White was highly critical of Overeem's last performance, despite it being a dominant win. Overeem defeated former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir by unanimous decision, a fight that saw Overeem land one hundred and thirty nine significant strikes to the five of Frank Mir. This was a dominant performance by Overeem, but he did himself no favors by calling out former champion Brock Lesnar in his post fight interview. Lesnar retired from MMA two years ago and is making a good living working for WWE and has made no indications he wants to return to the UFC. No word yet on who Overeem is likely to face when he returns to competition.
The UFC brings us another Fight Night card this Saturday, this one live from Brazil and again featuring a middleweight fight in the main event. Let's get to the action and see what I think will happen.
Charles Oliveira vs. Andy Ogle: I like Charles Oliveira, he's an exciting fighter with good striking and a great guard. His top game needs some work, but he's also young and should only get better. Oliveira hasn't had the best luck of late, he was knocked out by Cub Swanson then dropped a clear cut decision to Frankie Edgar in his last two fights. Fortunately for "Do Bronx" and his fans, Andy Ogle is a far cry from Cub Swanson or Frankie Edgar. This is a get well fight for Oliveira because the UFC wants to make him into a big deal, and hopefully Oliveira is ready to start performing consistently and at a high level. If Oliveira loses this one, well there's some serious thinking that needs to go on for him and his camp.
Viscardi Andrade vs. Nicholas Musoke: The narrative of "evil foreigner" vs. hometown hero is alive and well, it's just moved from the world of professional wrestling to MMA events held in Brazil. Viscardi Andrade was a contestant on the second season of The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil and won his promotional debut by stopping Bristol Marunde with strikes. Nicholas Musoke also won his promotional debut, submitting Alessio Sakara with an armbar. I'm not sure about this one, it could go either way, but I'm leaning towards Musoke, probably by decision.
Erick Silva vs. Takanori Sato: Erick Silva is a guy the UFC wants to be a big deal. He fights aggressively, is striking based, and has a high finish rate. The UFC loves those things, unfortunately Erick Silva also has serious defensive decencies in his game. He looks great against a certain class of fighter, but if he moves up some of those weaknesses are exposed, such as being knocked out cold with one punch by Dong-Huyn Kim because Silva has no head movement. Takanori Sato is the type of fighter Silva will look like a killer against. Unless Sato is better than advertised, or Silva has another serious mental lapse during the fight, Silva should walk through him in the first round.
Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza vs. Francis Carmont: I love Jacare, his submission skills are probably the best in all of MMA and his striking has been improving lately. Francis Carmont is on a pretty good win streak, unfortunately those have been pretty boring fights and he's more than content to score takedowns and win because he had top position. Souza wont let that happen, even on his back he's active looking for sweeps or attacks. Carmont has a questionable gas tank as well, which makes this an even more dangerous fight as Souza has proven to be able to fight for five rounds. I think Souza lands a big punch and then forces the submission, likely in the first round.
Lyoto Machida vs. Gegard Mousasi: I'm tentatively optimistic about this fight, but make no mistake guys, this one could suck. Machida and Mousasi are both counter strikers, and that can lead to a boring fight if neither man is willing to try something different. Machida is a much better striker than Mousasi, which means Mousasi is likely to try and get a takedown because his grappling is quite good. Unfortunately for Mousasi, Machida is hard to get down, and harder to keep there. I think Machida maintains the form we saw when he blasted Mark Munoz, calculated aggression. I'm going with Machida to finish with strikes, likely round two or three, but the longer this goes the more it favors Machida.
Alright, that's it, you've escaped the Guillotine again. The 411 Ground and Pound radio show will be live this Sunday at 9pm eastern, and we'll be breaking down what happened at UFC Fight Night 36, and previewing UFC 170. Speaking of UFC Fight Night 36, Mark Radulich will have your live coverage here at 411mania, so stop by and see what amusing shots of Clucky he's discovered. I'll be back here next Friday, breaking down the news and UFC 170 for you. Until then keep your heads up and your necks safe.