411 MMA Fact or Fiction 7.23.14: Conor McGregor, Nate Diaz, Gunnar Nelson, More
Posted by Wyatt Beougher on 07.23.2014
Is Nate Diaz talking his way out of his UFC contract? Will Conor McGregor become the most popular UFC fighter not from the US, Canada or Brazil? 411's Robert Winfree and Todd Vote debate these topics and more!
Welcome back to another week of 411's MMA Fact or Fiction, and I'm your host, Wyatt Beougher. I hope everyone's had an enjoyable week since last we brought our particular brand of Fact or Fiction mayhem your way. Last week's contest pitted Jack McGee against Alex Rella, and voting was relatively even throughout the contest. When the polls closed, Rella picked up the win, edging McGee out 11-9. Great effort from both guys last week, and I can guarantee you'll see them both in action again.
This week's contest will see Robert Winfree stepping into the Fact or Fiction cage against Todd Vote in a battle of two of the more prolific competitors during my tenure as host. Todd's looking for the third win in this tournament cycle, while Robert is looking for his second. I expect a solid contest here, and I'm sure these guys won't let me down.
TALE OF THE TAPE RED CORNER
Robert "The Last Rider" Winfree
Contributor/Host of The Ground and Pound Radio Show, 411 MMA Zone
Todd "The Man Without a Zone" Vote
Contributor, 411 Games Zone (as well as various Fact or Fictions and other columns around the site)
Would those be considered "Con-rows"? *rimshot*
1.) Conor McGregor will be more successful at attracting fans in his home country than any other fighter outside of the UFC's three most represented nations (the United States, Canada, and Brazil).
Robert Winfree:FACT Pretty easy fact here. Conor McGregor generated a ton of his own hype, he talks a good game and so far has been backing it up in the cage. Plenty of fighters have been calling him out or taking issue with his tendency to talk, all of which just generates more interest. Ireland seems to have a solid MMA fan base if last week's card was any indication, and having a guy who talks a big game and has good fights from that country makes the marketing easier. The only guy who could challenge for this particular crown would be Michael Bisping, but with some layoffs and his loss to Tim Kennedy I'm inclined to say McGregor will be leading the other Irish fighters in their successful quest to turn Ireland into an annual staple of the UFC's schedule.
Todd Vote:FACT If this past weekend is any indication at all, Conor McGregor is well on his way to becoming a Superstar in the UFC. Conor seems to have all the tools to draw eyes to the UFC, more specifically Irish eyes. Everybody loves to support their countrymen.
Whoops, wrong Gunnar Nelson.
2.) Another strong win for Gunnar Nelson moves him into the top ten of the UFC's welterweight division, and he should see a step up in competition for his next fight.[Editor's Note: This statement was sent out over twenty-four hours before the UFC official rankings moved McGregor into their top 10, and also remember that rankings are, for all intents and purposes, subjective. -W]
Todd Vote:FACT He is 4-0 inside the Octagon, with three of those wins by way of submission. He is ranked #13 in the UFC's official rankings. I would say a jump up to a top ten opponent would be a great next fight. I don't know who is booked up in the immediate future, so I am not sure who his next opponent could be.
If I am booking the fights, I would definitely try to get him a fight with either a top ten opponent, or someone just outside the top ten. Maybe match him up with Kelvin Gastelum. Or if you want him to face a top ten opponent, maybe Tarec Saffiedine. Either way, Nelson's next fight needs to be a step up in competition.
Robert Winfree:FICTION I don't think I can put Nelson in the top ten just yet. To place Nelson in the top ten I'd have to be placing him ahead of slightly more proven fighters like Jake Ellenberger, Dong Hyun Kim, Demian Maia, or Tarec Saffiedine who are at the bottom of the top ten in the UFC right now. I'd rank Nelson just outside the top ten right now, 11 or 12, but he absolutely needs a step up in competition. Any of the aforementioned fighters would be a great test for Nelson and should he win his next fight, unless it's a last minute replacement cab driver, he'll be in the top ten anyway.
Is it bad that I want Creepy to quit MMA in favor of wrestling so that he can join the Vaudevillains?
3.) Should the UFC match up Ian McCall with John Lineker in a contendership fight for the flyweight title, McCall will get a third fight with flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson.
Robert Winfree:FACT Ian McCall has been using a point oriented style of fighting recently, sticking and moving, flurries of action, mix in a few takedowns and some top control, and it's a proven formula for success. Not many fighters have the necessary tools to cut off the cage, counter strike effectively, and patiently use incremental attacks to try and overcome that style, most guys get frustrated and resort to winging wild punches that almost never land and taunting their opponent. Lineker has some of the most powerful punches in the division, but given his style of fighting I think McCall could easily outmaneuver him and win a decision and a date with Johnson. With Benavidez being brutally knocked out in his last fight with Johnson and Dodson on the shelf with an injury the division is wide open for anyone to get a couple of wins and claim a shot at the belt.
Todd Vote:FICTION Honestly, I am not familiar enough with either fighter to say how this one would turn out one way or the other. So, going solely off of UFC records, and what each has done thus far, I don't think you could, with all certainty, state that McCall would get the nod in this fight and go on to a 3rd fight with Johnson. [Editor's Note: Todd, if you're just going by UFC records, then you'd probably expect Lineker to miss weight, which means either Creepy would move on to face Johnson or neither of them would. -W]
Is Cerrone one win away from a lightweight title shot?
4.) With an impressive finish of Jim Miller, Donald Cerrone is one win away from fighting for the lightweight title.
Todd Vote:FACT I would say fact. But considering the way things went down the last time Cerrone faced Pettis, I could see the UFC wanting him to fight a couple more times first. The first fight didn't leave much reason to want a second fight with Pettis outside of Cowboy's fans (myself included) hoping he would fare a bit better in a rematch. But I would be right there to watch the fight again. Book it, Joe.
Robert Winfree:FACT The fact here has a couple of conditions, the first being that Cerrone's next win is not only impressive but also over a top five opponent. If Cerrone beats someone outside of the top five, like Gray Maynard or Michael Johnson, it means a good deal less than a hypothetical rematch with either Raphael dos Anjos or a third fight with Benson Henderson. Heck, if Josh Thomson beats Bobby Green let him fight the Cowboy. It would also help Cerrone immensely if Anthony Pettis either gets injured again or loses to Gilbert Melendez, because Pettis absolutely demolished Cerrone in their first encounter and he's shown nothing to dissuade me that Pettis wouldn't just crush his liver again. All that said, he's on an impressive win streak and beating Jim Miller is nothing to sneeze at, another impressive win coupled with a key injury or losses from other guys and he could be fighting for the belt.
Is Nate typing his way out of the UFC?
5.) Between Nate Diaz' own comments on Twitter, those of his manager Mike Kogan, and Dana White's assertion that Diaz isn't a "needle mover", it's only a matter of time before the UFC cuts bait with him.
Robert Winfree:FACT I'm not sure the history records will look terribly kindly on the management of the fighting careers of the Diaz brothers. Both are talented and entertaining fighters who, through their own personality issues as well as mismanagement, have fallen by the wayside. If Diaz continues to sit on the sidelines the UFC will eventually release him and sign someone who will actually get in the cage. If Diaz were actively fighting his comments would actually be helping his drawing power because people would be talking about him and his war of words with the UFC, as it stands the angst between those parties is a minor conversation point before much more relevant things are brought up. Any fighter can only make so much negative noise while not producing any kind of positive results for the promotion before they just aren't worth the headache anymore, and Nate Diaz is rapidly approaching that point.
Todd Vote:FICTION This is a rare occasion where I would be in total agreement with the UFC if they decided to leave this douchebag under contract. Don't let him go fight anywhere. Let him sit at home and pout with his brother. I used to be a big fan of the Diaz brothers. I liked the way they fought, I enjoyed the way they would hype a fight. But I've lost any and all interest in them now.
So who won? Did Robert return to action with a win, or did Todd continue to beat anyone not named Wyatt Beougher? You've got until midnight eastern on Saturday to vote, so make sure you make your voice heard!
Will Lucy help Black Widow's prospects if it does well?
Bonus) If the Luc Besson-helmed, Scarlett Johansson-starring Lucy is a box office success, it will all-but-guarantee that Marvel and Disney release a standalone Black Widow film.
Todd Vote:FACT Hell, I think they should do that anyways. If not a standalone Widow film, perhaps one with her and Hawkeye front and center. Neither character has any super powers, so you could probably do the film with a limited budget. Even if the film isn't a money maker, do it right.
Young girls need someone positive in the comic-cinematic world to look up to. Widow was good in The Avengers, but she is still, for lack of a better word, a second string player.
Robert Winfree:FICTION There's a few issues here that need to be addressed. I'm not sure if Johansson's name value was the only thing keeping a Black Widow film on the shelf, the character in general has been portrayed in a supporting role and hasn't been shown with any outstanding super powers. Yes you could easily do a reality based story, but Marvel Studios seems to be moving more towards the fantastical type of stories so I'm unsure they'd be willing to commit to something like an old school spy thriller which is what a Widow solo film should be. The other issue here is that Marvel seems to have a loose plan for their cinematic universe going out to a third Avengers film and it's unlikely that the success or failure of Lucy will have too significant an impact on that, unless it makes over $500 million because at that point things change. Barring some monumental financial and critical success from Lucy I think Marvel will just continue forward with things as they have them planned out regardless of most external events.
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!