411 Fact or Fiction MMA: Should Georges St-Pierre Face Demian Maia In His Return?
Welcome back to another edition of 411 Fact or Fiction MMA! I’m your host, Lorenzo Vasquez III, and thank you for coming back for another round of the fact and the fiction circulating the world of mixed martial arts. Thank you for your votes and comments last week. It is always appreciated and encouraged! Last week, Alex Rella tried to get one back from Evan Zivin as they discussed subjects like a possible bout between Demian Maia and Stephen Thompson, Rory MAcDonald jumping ship to Bellator MMA, and Paige VanZant’s next opponent in addition to other topics. Unfortunately, for Alex, a win over Evan just wasn’t in the books. To his credit, he made sure Evan struggled to keep the lead, by trailing not too far behind. Thanks for the effort and contribution Alex. And, congratulations to Evan for his 12-to-9 victory.
This week, “The Vile One” slithers into the cage for a one-on-one battle with Scott “Kuch” Kuczhowski. They will lock horns until one is left standing as they dive right into subjects like a potential GSP vs. Demian Maia fight, Tim Kennedy’s comments on PTSD, Ryan Bader’s walk-off knockout, and much more. This is shaping up to be a nice tangle so grab some grub and get comfortable because it’s time for another round of, 411 Fact or Fiction MMA! Let’s get it going…
TALE OF THE TAPE
Scott “Kuch” Kuczkowski
Contributor, 411 MMA Zone
Jeffrey “The Vile One” Harris
Contributor, Various 411 Zones
Georges St-Pierre offers to fight Woodley, Maia, or Diaz at UFC 206 in Toronto https://t.co/JC8dKqcyhj
— Bloody Elbow (@BloodyElbow) September 1, 2016
If Georges ST-Pierre is coming back for certain, a fight with Demain Maia makes the most sense, and it sets the winner up for a title shoot while capping off the return of one of the greats, or giving Maia the biggest win of his career.
Scott Kuczkowski: FICTION There’s an old adage when booking fights that goes like this: “Make the fights you want to make, when you can make them.” The point is to not book senseless set-up fights when you can easily book two guys right off the bat. GSP walked away from the UFC Welterweight Title without ever losing it and without tasting defeat in his last 12 fights. He was easily the most dominant Welterweight Champion the UFC ever had. If GSP were to return to action, not booking him in an immediate title fight would be foolish and an incredibly stupid missed opportunity. Plus, from a marketability standpoint, GSP vs Tyron Woodley sells much better than GSP vs Demian Maia, simply because there is a better chance that a Woodley fight will be exciting whereas a Maia fight would consist of GSP defending takedowns and Maia demonstrating poor standup skills. And frankly, we’ve seen GSP defeat a highly skilled submission artist who’d beaten Demian Maia in Jake Shields, and that fight was kind of a snooze-fest; I’d rather see something a little more exciting. Booking anything other than GSP vs Woodley would be stupid.
Jeffrey Harris: FICTION I got to be honest, that fight doesn’t get me interested at all. I think if Georges St-Pierre does return to fight for the first time in over three years, it will have to be a bigger match-up than Demian Maia. Also, I don’t get the sense that GSP is too interested in coming back to fight for the welterweight title. Either way, GSP has no deal lined up to fight for the UFC yet, so I’m not counting this chicken until it’s hatched.
— MMAFighting.com (@MMAFighting) August 31, 2016
Joe Silva giving notice of his resignation/departure from the UFC so soon after the official completion of the UFC sale is somewhat concerning.
Scott Kuczkowski: FICTION Joe Silva has been with the UFC for over 20 years, and given the stress of being the matchmaker that long, I’m not surprised he’s taking this chance to step away from things. I don’t think he has any problems with the UFC and I don’t think this is something people should be concerned with; I just think he’s correctly assuming some changes might be made in the coming months/years under new management and is taking this chance to depart before he has to adapt to those changes. And this is a smart move on his behalf. I assume that Joe has done well for himself over the past 20 years, so he owes it to himself and his family to enjoy the fruits of his labor. He’s going to be known as one of the best matchmakers in the business, so it’s smart for him to step away on his own terms.
Jeffrey Harris: FICTION Not really. It seems that, based on what I’ve read, Joe Silva is continuing on in some capacity until the end of the year. I do believe Joe Silva has been a big part of UFC getting to where it is today. I think he has a thankless job. And considering all the stress he’s under when he has a plan out a card and it can all fall apart just days out, I can say i would never want Joe Silva’s job. The way I see it, Joe Silva, who has worked for the UFC since the pre-ZUFFA days, has earned his retirement. Even if he wants to take a sabbatical from the sport and come back later on, he’s earned that as well. That being said, this is the nature of the business. Regimes change. Executive staff changes. Ownership changes. In addition, I don’t think Joe Silva is the only guy on the planet who can be a great match maker. Look at Sean Shelby. He was the matchmaker for the WEC in its ZUFFA era, and he did a fantastic job there. He joined the UFC, and he’s done a great job for the lower rate and women’s divisions, which have seen the creation of two of the top draws in the sport in Conor McGregor and Ronda Rousey. While whoever tries to fill the void of Joe Silva might not do a better job, I’m not going to lose sleep over him leaving the UFC.
— BJ PENN (@bjpenndotcom) August 31, 2016
Watching McGregor return to training while visible limping, and so on, leads you to believe he has a fight lined up, and it will mostly likely take place at UFC 205.
Scott Kuczkowski: FACT The rumor-mill is saying that the UFC is hoping to get Conor McGregor to rematch Jose Aldo to crown the undisputed Featherweight Champion at UFC 205. I think this is a really good idea. If that’s the case, then McGregor needs to hit the gym early to effectively cut the muscle mass he gained to fight Nate Diaz at 170. This fight will probably be a watershed moment for McGregor, where he will have to decide if he wants to stay at 145 or instead take fights at 155 and 170. I think either door is open for him, but I don’t think he can do both. The cut to 145 has always been difficult for McGregor, and I expect this cut to be the most difficult yet. McGregor moving back to 145 is actually the best thing for the division, because no one talks about it unless he’s involved with it. I’d expect him to beat Aldo again and then defend against Frankie Edgar or Anthony Pettis. If he loses, I’d expect him to move up in weight for good.
Jeffrey Harris: FICTION First, I will say it wouldn’t surprise me if does fight in New York City. However, I wouldn’t bet on it for sure. He could’ve just been getting a light workout in. It doesn’t necessarily mean he definitely has a fight lined up for UFC 205.
— UFC (@ufc) September 3, 2016
The last thing you expected from UFC Hamburg was Ryan Bader delivering the most impressive walk-off knockout of the year.
Jeffrey Harris: FACT I will go ahead and say Fact here. The reason I do is because I expected if Bader was to win, it wouldn’t have been with a big knee strike walk-off TKO. I figured Bader would’ve grinded out a decision win, or even use an overhand right to get a knockout. He’s never really pulled that knock out before. In fact, it’s been several years since he even got a finish in the UFC. The last time Bader finished someone in the UFC, it was Vladimir Matyushenko with a guillotine submission over three and a half years ago. Either way, Bader picked a good time to pull off one of the more impressive wins of his career.
Scott Kuczkowski: FACT Ryan who? I kid…it was nice to see Ryan Bader get a good win, but I’d be fibbing if I said I cared. Ryan Bader is a really good wrestler and an exciting fighter, but he does really poorly against anyone with decent striking skills. And frankly, at this point of his career, he seems like a gatekeeper to the Light Heavyweight division. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing; I think he’ll have a job with the UFC so long as he shows up to fight and wins more than he loses, but he’s failed to win the big fights too many times, which means his chances of ever winning the gold are almost unmentionable. So was it a nice surprise to see him score the big win? Yes. Will it amount to anything more than a question for this column? Probably not.
Tim Kennedy admits to some horrific things, while explaining how he's able to move forward.https://t.co/Uv5C4i6uTX
— BJ PENN (@bjpenndotcom) September 2, 2016
Unfortunately, under consideration that life was taken away from individuals, word spreading about Tim Kennedy killing women and children during warfare will make the middleweight a bigger commodity because more causal fans and outsiders are going to want to tune in, and see what this wartime killer of women and children is all about.
Jeffrey Harris: FICTION I’m not really all that comfortable with this question and the way it was formatted and asked. For one thing, I’m not going to stand in judgment of what Tim Kennedy might have said or done while away at war. If he did in fact kill women and children as he mentioned he did…well let me put it this way. I don’t want this to turn into a moral political debate. Barring that, I say no, fiction to pretty much everything in this question. What Tim Kennedy said isn’t exactly getting mainstream coverage. It’s not really a story that’s gone viral through ESPN or SportsCenter or being picked up by major news outlets. So I don’t see this spreading to the casual MMA viewing audience who are going to tune in and see what he’s about. I saw Kennedy’s initial comments, and they were regarding to how he avoids dealing with things like post-traumatic stress as soldier who fought in war. Unless I’ve missed something, this story hasn’t really snowballed all that further. Once again, without taking this further, this is a big no.
Scott Kuczkowski: FICTION This is such a non-issue. So Tim Kennedy said he killed women and children during combat. Big surprise. Probably the only people surprised by this are the folks who know nothing about combat. I spent 20 years in the Armed Forces, so here’s a little secret for anyone who didn’t already know: Innocent people, including women and children, are often killed in combat. There; it’s out there. I won’t say they are specifically targeted (there’s usually no reason to), but they are usually part of any collateral damage. I know for a fact that efforts are made to avoid killing non-combatants, but I also know that they won’t stand in the way of our forces killing a high-value target. This has happened in every conflict during the course of human history and it will probably happen in all future conflicts. It is what it is, which is probably why Kennedy is as cavalier about it as he is.
— Sherdog.com (@sherdogdotcom) September 6, 2016
It wouldn’t be too shocking if the UFC let GSP walk away from his return to the octagon, after failed negotiations, and allowed him to resume is fight career elsewhere.
Jeffrey Harris: FICTION I will be shocked if GSP fights again outside of the UFC. I could be wrong, but I think the back and forth so far is part of the public negotiation period. It’s like when actors say they won’t play such and such role again, and then they do. That’s really just double-speak for, “Send me an offer with the right amount of zeroes behind it.” Part of the deal might be figuring out his Under Armour sponsorship, since he wouldn’t be able to use that in the Octagon anymore. Now would it shock me if GSP doesn’t come back at all? No. Fighting somewhere else? Yes. The UFC can definitely use GSP coming back right now, especially with Ronda Rousey’s future in the sport so uncertain.
Scott Kuczkowski: FICTION Both GSP and the UFC know that there is a lot of money to be made upon GSP’s return, so I don’t think this is something that either side is interested in letting slip by. GSP held the Welterweight Title longer than any other fighter, was a huge PPV draw, is beloved by the majority of fans, and has spent the majority of his career in the UFC; I don’t think the UFC execs are going to let him go to somewhere like Bellator and finish his fighting career. I do however think there will be some sticking points during the negotiations, specifically with the Reebok deal, but I suspect the UFC will pay GSP an amount that assuages those sticking points. At the end of the day, I see both sides coming to some type of agreement that both are happy with.
So who won? Did Jeff walk down Kuch? Or, was Scott able clinch on to victory? 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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