411 MMA Fact or Fiction 5.08.14: Jon Jones, Drug Testing in MMA, More
Posted by Wyatt Beougher on 05.08.2014
Is Jon Jones' use of social media to mock his detractors a wise move? Would Lorenzo Fertitta's testing program do anything to curb the use of PEDs in MMA? 411's Jonathan Solomon and Robert Cooper debate these topics and more!
Welcome to another edition of 411's MMA Fact or Fiction, and I'm your host, Wyatt Beougher. Welcome to another edition of 411's MMA Fact or Fiction, and I'm your host, Wyatt Beougher. Last week, I pulled double duty, filling in for Paul LaPointe at the last minute when the real world prevented him from completing his obligations to the column. Personally, after editing the column and reading Todd Vote's answers, I expected that I would either lose or pick up a very close win. Instead, I got an email from Todd midway through the day on Wednesday with the one word subject "domination". Not sure what to expect, I opened the column (and once I figured out that the browser extension I was using was blocking access to the polls) and I was floored by how the voting went. When the polls closed on Saturday, I picked up just under 68% of the vote, which was a shock to me. Excellent work to Todd, and I'll make sure you get a crack at Paul down the road.
And that brings us to this week, as we've got Jonathan Solomon in action, taking on frequent guest from the Music Zone, Robert Cooper. With Solomon not competing in our most recent tournament, at least he's getting the eligibility requirement out of the way for the 2015 tournament. And I'd imagine Coop is looking to get back on the winning track after an early exit from this year's tournament, and he'll have that opportunity this week. Best of luck to both competitors, and let's get to the action.
TALE OF THE TAPE RED CORNER
Jonathan "Wisdom of" Solomon
Rankings Guru/Live Coverage Purveyor, 411 MMA Zone
1.) Jon Jones making inflammatory social media posts towards Chuck Liddell and Phil Davis, among others, is actually the best thing he can do at this point, rather than continuing to try to make fans like him.
Jonathan Solomon:FICTION Let me preface this answer by saying I enjoyed Jones' mockery of Phil Davis after UFC 172. For no apparent reason other than to get his name out there, Davis began talking trash about Jones in the days leading up to the event (despite the fact he was fighting Anthony Johnson). Phil has been a slightly above average fighter so far and quite frankly should not be in the same discussion at all as Jon Jones. As for his response to Chuck Liddell, it's all about nothing. Chuck has been a close friend to Glover Teixeira for a long time, so naturally "The Iceman" would be supporting the man leading up to the fight. Jones is just having some fun at the moment, and why not? He's practically untouchable, is considered the best in the sport and whether or not the mass of fans appreciate him or not, he is going nowhere. The best avenue for him to take in my eyes is to push the fight with Alexander Gustafsson and then the legitimate rivalry he has with the next contender up, Daniel Cormier. He does not have to be Chael Sonnen-light, but Jones is the top of the food chain and there are plenty of guys wanting his spot. So far, nobody has made him shut up so if he feels like yapping, he has no reason to do otherwise.
Robert Cooper:FACT I originally went the other way on this, but then I thought about how many people want to hate Jon Jones. With that in mind, making people dislike him is what they want, they want to hate him and bash him, so if him talking smack on Twitter is the way that he's gonna start being a bit more of a villain on twitter and maybe get popularity through infamy, more power to him.
There have been multiple occasions where the UFC president has spoken out against eye pokes in the past, but this was probably the most memorable.
2.) Dana White rationalizing Jon Jones' eye pokes seem hypocritical in the wake of how many times he's talked negatively about them in the past.
Robert Cooper:FACT They do seem very hypocritical, that is what I am agreeing with. Considering that Dana is actually standing up for Jon Jones, I'm fine with it, even if he is going to be a bit hypocritical. Sure, Jones did get a few eye pokes in during his last fight, and that's not cool, but once the ref warned him that second time, it didn't happen again, which makes it more forgivable, I feel.
Jonathan Solomon:FICTION The aspect that may seem like Dana White rationalizing Jon Jones' situation is when he talks about the fact his reach is so abnormally long. The UFC President has said in the past that the act of sticking your hand/fingers out to block punches needs to stop because it easily leads to eyepokes. "You can't reach out toward the face with the hands open in a fight. You can't do it," he said last spring. Now, he has said that while it is something that needs to be curbed, fans who pounce on Jones as a "dirty" fighter are overzealous in part because of their dislike of the man. I agree on that aspect as I don't think Jones is an outright dirty fighter. I don't believe he's actively seeking to poke opponents in their eyes, he's trying to block punches and lead to other strikes (such as short elbows). But, until the UFC gets hold of a new type of glove that keeps the fingers at a curve and away from the eyes when the arm is outstretched, there's nothing that can be done.
Would a rematch benefit the division?
3.) Sarah Kaufman vs Miesha Tate would actually be a good fight for both fighters, as well as for the women's bantamweight division.
Jonathan Solomon:FACT This matchup would easily be a good one for both fighters, aside from the fact both women have publicly been supportive of the idea. Almost exactly five years ago, Kaufman debuted in Strikeforce and scored a unanimous decision win over Tate. Kaufman went on to become their bantamweight champion while Tate did not lose again until the first fight with Ronda Rousey. For Miesha, it's a clear cut case of wanting to avenge a loss. For Sarah, it's even clearer that while she is far from one of the leading names in the division, Miesha Tate is up there in the UFC behind only Rousey. As for the impact of this fight for the division, it would be a fine way to determine where both fighters stand in 2014. Tate remains 2-3 since 2012 while Kaufman's lone defeats as a professional came against Marloes Coenen and Rousey.
Robert Cooper:FICTION It would be a great fight for Miesha Tate, as she has a loss to Kaufman to avenge and has finally won herself a fight in the UFC. It would also be a great fight for the division, because getting two bigger named fighters to duke it out is always good in a division that is just starting to find its legs. But this is actually not a good fight for Kaufman. Mostly because she has nothing to gain from beating Tate, besides maybe a title shot, but I feel like she'll get in due time anyways. So perhaps two out of three ain't bad, but I still don't think Kaufman has anything to prove against a woman who has not been that hot as of late.
"Nope, don't worry, Alistair, no random testing from our end."
4.) Even if Lorenzo Fertitta did foot the bill for full drug testing for each fighter on a particular UFC card, it would do little to curb the use of performance-enhancing drugs within the promotion.
Robert Cooper:FACT While I do think that it would catch quite a few people, I don't feel like it would curb the use of drugs in the long run. Mostly because I don't think it'd catch THAT many people, and it would be incredibly expensive in the long run. I don't think the reward of catching a few people is worth the risk of spending a lot of your own hard earned money in an attempt to clean up a sport. Why not try random drugs tests first and go from there?
Jonathan Solomon:FICTION Short of developing a fail-proof test that can detect the latest forms of anabolic steroids, synthetic testosterone and other performance enhancing drugs, the answer is prolonged RANDOM year-round testing. If that means the UFC pays the heavy expenses of such a program, it would go a long way in weeding out the users. There's no way to completely eliminate cheating in this form because there will always be some percentage of fighters willing to risk their name if they feel they can get an edge and potentially earn more money. But, utilizing random testing for every contracted competitor all year will allow the company to get some kind of grip on those who may be using. [Editor's Note: I actually agree with Solomon completely here, but from the way Lorenzo worded his statement, about how it would cost $45,000 per card, I took it to mean that he was talking about the UFC bringing the testing program in-house, but only testing fighters who were slated for a certain card, rather than true random, year-round testing. I could be mistaken, though, but that's how I took it. -W]
Is this fight good for anyone?
5.) Jon Fitch vs Jake Shields will do little to bolster the WSOF's standing in the eyes of casual or hardcore MMA fans.
Jonathan Solomon:FACT It's 2014, not 2008. The WSOF may be the UFC's little brother, in existence solely to keep fighters out of the hands of Bellator, but I have no interest in seeing Jon Fitch compete anymore, nor do I have an interest in seeing Jake Shields compete. Casual MMA fans have no idea what the World Series of Fighting even is and such a matchup would aid in changing that one single bit. As for the hardcore MMA fans, if they haven't watched and supported the promotion so far, this potential fight will not change that.
Robert Cooper:FICTION While it won't do a damn thing for the hardcore fans, I think this might give the casuals a little something interesting. If they can promote it well, they would get plenty of attention from some of the more casual fans that recognize these guys from the UFC, as well as from their fights with GSP. While those fights weren't great, they were still great exposure and I feel like this could only be good for WSOF.
So who was the winner this week? Did Solomon use his legendary wisdom to pick up the win, or did Coop headbang his way to a victory? Voting will be open until midnight EST on Saturday, so make sure you vote and make your voice heard!
Half of the Sinister Six?
Bonus) Sony and Fox's attempts to build shared Spider-Man and X-Men universes, respectively, will not be as successful as Marvel's have been with the MCU.
Robert Cooper:FACT I think that this is a no brainer, mostly because of one thing. where Marvel is under one umbrella and they don't have to worry about brokering any sorts of deals between the two parties. I think that the fact that there are two companies at play are going to be the deciding factor in this deal. While it might be pretty successful, I don't see it becoming the juggernaut that the Marvel Cinematic Universe has become, but time will tell!
Jonathan Solomon:FACT To date, the Marvel cinematic universe has grossed over two-and-a-half billion dollars domestically. While I'm certain there's plenty of interest in the joint Spider-Man/X-Men material, I'd say Marvel has this on lockdown in terms of being there first and driving the market. Besides, quality-wise, their films are better and the sequel to The Avengers next year should do over the $623 million the original did two years ago. I don't see anything Spider Man & X-Men touching that anytime soon.
And that's it for today, but we'll be back next week with another contest! 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+. And please, be sure to vote!