411 MMA Fact or Fiction 01.26.06: UFC 80 and UFN 12 Retrospect
Posted by Michael Huckaby on 01.26.2008
Should BJ Penn be the favorite over Sean Sherk? Will Tito Ortiz's next UFC fight be his last in the organization? Does Fabricio Werdum really deserve the next HW title shot? Should Mike Swick and Josh Burkman have been a draw? All of this and more in the latest edition of 411 MMA Fact or Fiction.
And welcome back to a slightly late edition of 411 MMA Fact or Fiction. Tonight I'm going to cover UFC 80 and UFN 12 results with our local UFC event reviewer, History of the UFC's Matt McEwen. And we're off:
1. BJ Penn should be the favorite over Sean Sherk.
McEwen: FACT. After watching BJ essentially toy with a game Joe Stevenson, I think you have to make him a favorite over ANYONE at 155. That being said, Sherk has the (illegitimate?) strength, stamina and wrestling ability to stifle some of BJ's strengths, but now that BJ looks fully committed to being the best in the world, I don't see Sherk posing much of a threat. This may not be the most scientific way to evaluate them, but when you look at their shared opponents, I can't see BJ letting this go past 2 or 3 rounds.
Huckaby: FACT. I'll agree with your points (and your illegitimate joke) outside of BJ stopping him within the first two rounds. I would point out that Sherk has only been taken out with strikes in the GSP fight but that would kind of ignore the fact, like Liddell, he hasn't exactly fought alot of heavy handed guys. That said, BJ also adds better BJJ to the better striking and frankly I think it would be rather wrong to just assume Sherk will be able to get him down. The problem with this is the same with the Stevenson fight, if the fight lasts longer than two rounds how will BJ be able to stand up against Sherk the cardio machine or win a decision if he's on his back? None the less I'll take BJ, especially with a strong reason to fight in his dislike of Sherk.
Score: 1 for 1.
2. If the UFC can't work out a deal with him, Andrei Arlovski's final UFC fight with Jake O'Brien will be an unseen undercard bout.
McEwen: FACT. And to be honest, even if this wasn't most likely Arlovski's swan song, that's where it should be. Arlovski is living off a reputation that he had almost 2 years ago as an exciting, dominant heavyweight, but ever since Sylvia knocked him out in their rematch he just hasn't been the same. The only way this fight airs is if Arlovski scores a highlight reel KO and signs a new contract. Or, I guess, if O'Brien embarrasses him, they could air it just to hurt Arlovski's stock that much more.
Huckaby: FACT. Even if he scores a highlight reel KO that's probably less reason for it to be shown. I was joking earlier that on that night if we hear "action from earlier tonight" and Arlovski and O'Brien's pictures pop up on the screen that it means O'Brien scored a big upset and kind of gives the fight away before it's ever shown. If he does leave it will be interesting to see which company gives him the money. You'd think EXC wouldn't pay him enough and honestly he seems like a great opponent for Fedor as I don't think he'd have any real chance but would provide name value.
Score: 2 for 2.
3. Even with a weakened heavyweight division, there is no way Fabricio Werdum should have the first title shot at the winner of Nog/Sylvia.
McEwen: FICTION. I was going to say "Fact", but who else is there to fight for the title right now? They're doing a decent job or rebuilding the dvision from the ground up, but realistically, this isn't going to be a dynamic weight class for about a year or so, unless Randy Couture decides to come back of course. Werdum beat Gonzaga, and looked good doing it, so maybe he'll actually put a decent fight on against Sylvia or Big Nog. Maybe.
Huckaby: FACT. And this comes from a guy that's always been a big backer of "I don't care what they've done in the UFC, if they're the best competitor put them in there for the belt." See: Rampage and Anderson Silva getting a shot after one fight. Werdum is technically the best guy they have that could take the fight but really I'd rather see them give it to Kongo. Would Kongo beat either Nog or Sylvia? No. Could Werdum? Possibly. You know what, I'll just convince myself. Screw this, FICTION. I make strong points.
Score: 3 for 3 after some debate.
----SWITCH IT UP----
4. As per his word, his upcoming fight with Lyoto Machida will be the last in the UFC for Tito Ortiz.
Huckaby: FICTION. I went back and forth on this for awhile. It's especially hard factoring in the decent chance he'll lose to Machida in May and that wouldn't exactly help his cause. I could see him in EXC or somewhere but if I have to pick do I really see him outside of the UFC? What, fighting Rogerio Nogueira or Babalu in HCF? I don't see how any of these companies would offer him enough money. I suppose the best chance would be Gary Shaw giving him a % of revenue on the event which is a possibilty, but between that and staying in the UFC or retiring I'll go with the latter.
McEwen: FACT. I think this time, Tito really, really means it. He's getting thrown in against a guy who will most likely make him look very bad, and after that it's on to (he thinks) greener pastures. Those pastures most likely, as mentioned above, belong to Gary Shaw and EXC. They're starting to throw just about anything at the wall to see what will stick, and a Ortiz/Frank Shamrock rematch definitely would. Tito's ego is big enough that he would see himself as a conquering hero for making a move like that, but in all honesty, does he really mean enough to the UFC anymore that they'll pay him anywhere near what he wants? Yes, he main evented some of the biggest shows of 2006, but he lost most of those and, in all honesty, the sport has passed him by.
Score: 3 for 4.
5. Picking up his third straight UFC win, Patrick Cote will one day get a shot at the UFC Middleweight title.
Huckaby: FACT. Hardly sold on all of this but the fact is the middleweight division is so weak I'd be hard pressed to say fiction. You figure Dan Henderson has the next shot and then the Okami/Tanner winner but after that it's wide open and another Cote win should put him right in there. Would he win a fight against any of those people? Probably not, but he's been around the UFC for years and picking up four straight wins should be enough for a filler co-main event.
McEwen: FACT. I've gotta agree with everything said above. In any other division, Cote would be a good solid undercard guy, but in the middleweight division right now, he could actually get a shot. His chin is good
enough to give anyone short of Anderson Silva problems on their feet, but he is susceptible to top level wrestlers and submission artists, but other than Henderson, there's not a lot of those guys around either. Two or three more wins - and for some reason I'm envisioning a Cote/Bisping fight somewhere down the line - and a title shot should be there for
Score: 4 for 5.
6. Mike Swick and Josh Burkman should have been a draw.
Huckaby: FACT. Not that you couldn't label Swick the winner (I did 29-28), but because you hate to see a guy get a loss on his resume for something so even. Think of fights like Bisping/Hamill, sure most people feel Hamill won but a draw would have been better than a Bisping win. I bet UFC would love to have Jardine/Bonnar be a draw now. Obviously the judges can't plan this out but why not a discussion between them? What if all three agree it's too close to give a win and a loss in the bout? These close fights don't deserve to have a loser, I know ties are like kissing your sister (which is stupid because kissing your sister is awesome) but having the wrong guy win is like kissing your brother. You're talking about peoples careers and futures and for three random people that may or may not have any idea what they're looking at to have so much control is ridiculous.
McEwen: FACT. I have a hard time believing a guy can win a fight on points based almost solely off of his takedown defense. Other than watching Burkman fail at the takedown time and time again, neither guy really did
much to take the fight. Normally in a close fight, I'd like to see a rematch, but in this case, no thank you. Styles make fights or, conversely, they sometimes make boring fights. But yeah, my general boredom aside, this should have been a draw. No way either guy won two rounds here.
Score: 5 for 6. Oddly enough that might have been my scoring reason. To me it seems like if a guy's entire plan is a takedown and he fails the entire fight that's not much different than getting punched in the face each time. But that's just me.
Join us next week as we preview UFC 81 with special guests and top MMA bloggers, Fightlinker and Luke Thomas from BloodyElbow.