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411 Fact or Fiction MMA: Can Conor McGregor Beat Tyron Woodley?

April 19, 2017 | Posted by Lorenzo Vasquez

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Welcome back to another edition of 411 Fact or Fiction MMA! I’m your host, Lorenzo Vasquez III, and it is my pleasure to bring you 411 MMA Zone’s Fact or Fiction. By the way, thank you, for your votes and comments last week. It is appreciated and encouraged. Let’s jump right into the flames. Last week, I stepped in on short notice to tangle with Wyatt Beougher over Gegard Mousasi’s controversial win over Chris Weidman, NYSAC’s incompetence, and Anthony Johnson taking the wrong approach against Daniel Cormier in addition to other subjects. Wyatt hit an immediate high pace sticking and moving while at range. I fired back with precise counters in what turned out to be a technical bout. Fortunate for myself, I was able to out point Wyatt as his pace slowed, and pick up a hard earned victory. Thank you, Wyatt, for your effort and contribution.

This week, the “Headshrinker” battles the “White Tiger” in what should be a downright gritty affair. Mark Radulich and Evan Zivin will collide over Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson’s right to the throne of G.O.A.T., Cris Cyborg asking for her release, Conor McGregor beating Tyron Woodley, and much more! Go grab some grub and sit back because it’s time for another round of, 411 Fact or Fiction MMA! Let’s us proceed…

TALE OF THE TAPE
RED CORNER
Mark “Headshrinker” Radulich
Supreme Overlord,
Radulich in Broadcasting Network

5-3-0

VS

BLUE CORNER
Evan “White Tiger” Zivin
Contributor, 411 MMA Zone
3-4-0


If Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson loses his next title defense—meaning he only ties Anderson Silva for the record of consecutive title defenses—he would still be considered to be a greater mixed martial artist and champion than Anderson Silva (or anyone of those likes – Jon Jones, GSP, etc.).

Mark Radulich: FACT I think it’s safe to say that when you look at the caliber of fighter Johnson has fought vs Anderson Silva, he’s definitely faced more fierce competition. The same goes for GSP. The sheer volume of high-caliber opponents Johnson has defeated to me makes him by far, in terms of pure sportsmanship and competitiveness, the greatest UFC champion of all time. I would think that in order for someone else to have claimed that title they would have to have had a longer win streak with better opponents. Johnson cleaned out his division, arguably at it’s height and even took on the best fighter from outside the promotion. His only knock is he never defeated Cruz for the bantamweight title but even that’s a stretch given the question we’re debating is in regards to his flyweight championship.

Evan Zivin: FICTION It’s hard for me to say which I hate more: discussions about who the best pound-for-pound fighter on the planet is right now and who the greatest fighter of all time is. They both are awful because it’s all based on speculation and theoretical constructs and personal opinion, which is always a quality combination for a good, civil discussion. I mean, these are guys who are still fighting. Shouldn’t we wait until after these guys retire before we can definitively say who was better than who?

No? Well, all right then.

If Demetrious Johnson only ties Anderson Silva’s record for title defenses and doesn’t surpass it, do I consider him to be a greater MMA fighter? No, I don’t. While it’s impressive that DJ has defended his title 10 times, it’s hard to argue that he’s done it by defeating a greater field of competitors. DJ has wins over Joseph Benavidez, John Dodson, and Henry Cejudo. Anderson has beaten Rich Franklin, Vitor Belfort, Dan Henderson, and Chael Sonnen. You can definitely argue whether that is a stronger field, but it’s definitely a more well-known field, one that’s resulted in being in some of the biggest fights in MMA history.

If our definition is based solely on who the better fighter is skill wise, there’s a case that can be made for DJ, even though he only finished 6 of his 10 title defenses while Anderson finished 8 while also taken random trips up to light heavyweight to smash those fools. If our definition includes other elements, such as drawing power and overall significance to the UFC and the sport of MMA, then it’s not even close, at least not right now. That could be true as well when comparing DJ to other fighters in the GOAT discussion, but that’s as far as I’m taking this.


Ideally, Rose Namajunas still needs work and a fight or two before fighting for the strawweight strap; but, in this era of matchmaking and due to a shallow division she’s likely next in line for a title shot that’s a bit too early.

Mark Radulich: FACT Thug Rose has name value for her division and as the question indicates, pickings is slim. However, after a 3 fight win streak, she lost a squeaker to Karolina Kowalkiewicz. She needs at least one more win, maybe a return on one of the ones she lost previously to Tecia Torres or Carla Esparza before getting a shot at the strap. There’s still time to book one more fight before being fed to Joanna Champion.

Evan Zivin: FICTION More work? Every fighter could benefit from more fights, especially a grappler who is still learning the striking game, although I will say that Rose’s win over Michelle Waterson was very good. One of the most complete performances of her career. She’s really made a lot of strides since her UFC debut. Do I think she needs to fight again before fighting for the title? Not really, considering the three women ranked ahead of her right now are 1) The woman who has lost twice to JJ, 2) The woman who just lost to JJ, and 3) The woman who is about to fight JJ, and the women ranked right behind Rose are ones she has beaten already. So she’s in the driver’s seat for the next shot. Whether you want to say that’s because the division is shallow is your prerogative but I wouldn’t say a title shot would be coming too early for Rose. I’d say it’s just about right. Joanna demands fresh meat and she is not fun to be around when she is hungry…


The UFC should scrap the women’s featherweight division/title and grant Cris Cyborg her requested release as the division lacks depth in and out of the UFC.

Mark Radulich: FACT There’s a case to be made for aggressively seeking out 145ers to fill out the division but it doesn’t look like the UFC is committed to doing so. They seem to just want to feed Cyborg some fights and use her as a main event player but are not really interested in building a division as such. I think there might have been some interest when it looked like Holly Holm could be standard bearer but of course, that plan went out the window with Holm’s most recent loss. At this point Cyborg may be better off plying her wares across the universe, taking big money fights where they are offered. Meanwhile, the UFC should just scrap the division and focus on rebuilding some of the others that need restocking (Light Heavyweight).

Evan Zivin: FICTION I can agree with the first part, since it’s not really a division. It was just UFC’s desperate answer to creating a main event for a card that needed one while providing a justification for keeping Cyborg on the roster without forcing her to fight at a weight she isn’t comfortable trying to make (of course, that partly backfired when Cyborg wasn’t even part of that main event).

What I don’t agree with is letting Cyborg go. I love watching Cyborg fight. She is the most dominant female athlete in the sport and UFC will do well to feature her regardless of whether she has a belt around her waist. I mean, she’s pretty popular in Brazil and her controversial nature is enough to get casual fans in this market interested in what she does, even as we pepper her with steroids jokes we all first heard in junior high gym class.

Get her fights, Dana. That is, unless you hate money and media exposure. Then, by all means.


SWITCH!

Robert Whittaker was by far the biggest winner to come out of UFC on FOX 24 and it makes it more shameful that we have to put the middleweight division on hold for Michael Bisping and Georges St-Pierre.

Evan Zivin: FACT Robert Whittaker really made a statement on Saturday night. He’s been a fun fighter to watch through his career and we’ve been seeing him get better and better with each win on his 7 fight streak. It’s awesome to see someone come into their own in the UFC and really cement themselves as someone not to mess with. I don’t know if I would have considered him a contender before Saturday but the win over Jacare proves he’s worthy of consideration.

Of course, that consideration won’t be coming anytime soon, as he’s going to be stuck fighting one or two more times because we have to get through Bisping vs. GSP, whenever that’s going to happen. I won’t lie and say I’m not interested in that fight but it is a pisser how the situation forces all the middleweight contenders to have to either wait or beat up on each other before they can get a chance to fight for the gold. It definitely sucks but at least now, everyone will know the name Bobby Knuckles, even though Whittaker wishes we didn’t.

Mark Radulich: FACT Money talks baby and yes it stinks that Whittaker, who now deserves a shot at the title, will have to wait until God knows when for it. I’ve said it before, the UFC is one part circus now and that’s just the way it is. As much as people might not want to admit it, Bisping vs GSP sells tickets and PPV buys. Bisping vs Whittaker probably doesn’t sell as much and isn’t nearly as sexy. These are things we have to consider in this modern age of ours.


You would rather have Conor McGregor fight for a third title against Tyron Woodley than pursue a boxing match against Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Evan Zivin: FICTION Why would I want to see Conor attempt to take another MMA weight class hostage? If Conor fights in MMA again, I’d rather him defend the lightweight belt he still has for whatever reason and prove he can at least do that. Or, if that’s not possible, then something bordering on dream fight territory, like a clash with GSP.

None of that matters right now, though, since the only fight that Conor wants is against Floyd and I am completely on board with that. No matter whether Conor wins or gets violently knocked out, no matter whether Conor is serious with his boxing aspirations or he’s just playing a long con to make the biggest money he will in his professional combat sports career, you know we’re going to be in for a show.

Mark Radulich: FICTION You’re asking me?! I’d rather see Conor McGregor fight a bear! But seriously folks, Conor McGregor is already over. He sells no matter who he is fighting or what he is fighting for? Why does he need a 3rd belt? Here’s an even better question, why can’t he fight Mayweather now and Woodley later? Even if he loses to Mayweather he still has cache in the MMA world so for McGregor there is no bad outcome. If he wins his cache, in general, goes up. If he loses, he’s still a viable fighter for the UFC and can certainly make a claim for the WW strap. This doesn’t have to be a matter of either/or.


Conor McGregor would likely have an easier time defeating Tyron Woodley’s technique and style than he did with Nate Diaz’s.

Evan Zivin: FACT If we’re just talking pure boxing technique, I would think that Nate has the advantage over Tyron, as he’s spent many more years studying the art of punching dudes in the face. Tyron has learned a lot since making the transition to MMA but he’s still mostly a brawler with heavy hands, which may be where Conor would have more difficulty with Tyron vs. Nate. Nate throws hard but he rarely knocks guys cleanly out. Tyron, on the other hand, has some beast mode in his mitts. If he lands a clean shot on the chin, he could take anyone down, maybe even McGregor.

You know whose technique and style Conor will have a really hard time with? Floyd Mayweather. LET’S GET IT ON ALREADY!

Mark Radulich: FACT Provided he can take a punch from Woodley, he should have an easier time defeating him than the difficult to read Nate Diaz.


So who won? Did Mark break down the “White Tiger” or did Evan have his way with the “Headshrinker?” You’ve got until midnight eastern on Saturday to vote, so make sure you make your voice heard!


And that’s it for today but, as always, we’ll be back next week with another contest! And please, be sure to vote!

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