411 MMA Fact or Fiction 10.31.12: Brock Lesnar, Diaz vs. Koscheck, More
Welcome to another edition of 411’s MMA Fact or Fiction, and, as usual, I’m your host, Wyatt Beougher. Another huge thanks to Todd Vote for stepping in and filling in for Matt White, although he’s probably wishing that he hadn’t, as last week was one of the most one-sided affairs I’ve seen as host of Fact or Fiction. Guest judge Jeffrey Harris and I both scored it in favor of Todd’s opponent, Mark Radulich, and the overwhelming majority of the reader vote went to Mark as well. Fortunately for Todd, this is 411 MMA, not the UFC, and he’s not going to be penalized for losing as a late replacement. In fact, Todd’s back in the saddle this week, and he’ll be taking on Jonathan Solomon in our special Halloween edition.
TALE OF THE TAPE
‘The Man Without a Zone’
MMA Rankings Guru/Columnist, The Juggernaut MMA News Report
And our special GUEST JUDGE
‘Pain in the D***’
Five Quick Rounds Plagiarist Columnist, MMA 5&1
1.) You’re not surprised that Dana White and Brock Lesnar have ruled out Lesnar’s return to MMA, and you believe that Lesnar’s retirement will remain permanent.
Jonathan Solomon: FICTION While I’m sure Lesnar truthfully has little intent on getting back into the grueling process that is training for an MMA fight, why go out of their way to shoot down any prospect of returning? Brock is not in pro wrestling full-time and there’s at least some chance that his stint back in WWE will end next year. What’s he going to do after that? If nothing else, what’s so bad about keeping the public in suspense and talking about Brock Lesnar? Perhaps Dana White is sick of such talk when he knows there’s little chance of him returning. Still, we should know by now not to trust Dana White so this really means little in the big picture.
Todd Vote:FACT Whether you believe it is due to his bouts with diverticulitis, or simply because Brock has decided he doesn’t like being hit in the face, I don’t think anybody can blame him for not wanting to get back inside the cage. The guy is making, if the rumors are to be believed, about $5 million to work 23 days this year… That is over 217k per appearance. Considering how much his disease has hurt his in the cage abilities, and what he can make wrestling a part time schedule, I think it is pretty easy to see that his retirement will stay permanent, at least as an active cage fighter. That doesn’t mean he couldn’t get involved with MMA in some other aspect. Someone who is in the public eye such as him being a spokesman for MMA could be a benefit to the sport.
Judge Wyatt Beougher’s Scorecard: Kudos to Solomon for making an excellent point, that completely shutting the door on a Lesnar return is bad for business, but I think Todd hit the nail on the head here – it wasn’t Dana saying it wouldn’t happen because he doesn’t want Lesnar back, it’s because Lesnar is content to take Vince McMahon’s money for what amounts to a far less rigorous schedule (with a significantly lower chance of being punched in the face). Vote, 10-9
Judge Stewart Lange’s Scorecard: This one goes 10-9 to Vote as I really think that’s it for Brock in the UFC and MMA in general. Jon does make a good point about not listening to Dana, but really. He’s not coming back unless it’s for more money than the UFC would ever offer him.
2.) You agree with King Mo’s sentiment, that the average MMA fan is subject to groupthink and are overly critical of fighters without having a working knowledge of how difficult the sport is.
Todd VoteFACT Mo is right, but he makes it sound as if this is a new phenomenon in sports. Every sport has these fans, in football they are called armchair quarterbacks. They are passionate fans who hate to see things not go the way they should. Granted these fans may share their thoughts with more venom than they do in other sports, and there are certainly better ways to voice one’s opinion, than to say “Fighter A is such a big pussy, he had to pull out of that fight. I bet that bitch is scared, or just sprained a toe or something”. As the sport grows, and the understanding of what these fighters go through just to prepare for a fight becomes more general knowledge among the fans, I would like to think that the fans will mature, and grow and start to appreciate every aspect of the game a little bit more.
Jonathan Solomon: FACT There is no doubt in my mind that your average Dick and Jane MMA fan has little intimate knowledge about the sport. Perhaps they are entertained by fights once a month, they hang out with friends on a fight night, you know the deal. Fans are also a fickle people in general. A guy could be one of the most popular fighters one day and the next, he’s criticized because while being dominant, he’s not dominant enough. Georges St. Pierre has faced that line of thinking for the past few years. Anderson Silva was treated like the plague for not taking certain opponents seriously during a stretch and now he’s back to being loved. If average fans were logical, such criticisms of GSP and Silva don’t make much sense. These are humans taking part in a sport where any person is capable of losing at the drop of a hat.
Judge Wyatt Beougher’s Scorecard: I like both guys’ answers here, so I’m going to call this a Draw, 10-10 (Vote, 20-19 overall)
Judge Stewart Lange’s Scorecard: Both guys argue a great, similar point here, but Vote 10-9 takes this round as he’s right. All sports have these types of fan. Hell, I was just at the national Tiddly-Winks (you have them in America, right?) championships and people were getting all butt hurt about the slightest thing.
3.) Antonio Rogerio Nogueira vs Rashad Evans makes sense as a co-main event to the potential GSP/Anderson Silva super fight (both tentatively scheduled for Super Bowl weekend).
Jonathan Solomon: FICTION I’ll say fiction because the tone of the question makes it seem as though Lil Nog & Evans adds some importance to a show hypothetically headlined by St. Pierre and Silva. It doesn’t. You could put any fight under the sun in the co-main event slot of that show and it won’t mean a single thing. That PPV does well over 1 million buys on pay-per-view, sells out whatever arena in Las Vegas they run. I’ll play devil’s advocate as an aside here and say GSP/Silva doesn’t happen in February in Vegas. With such a big fight, why limit it to some small place that they already do fine business in? Go to Brazil and put over 50,000 people in a stadium or go to Cowboys Stadium and put over 50,000 in Texas.
Todd VoteFact While the fight makes sense, I am not expecting it to be a great contest. Rashad seems to have reverted back to relying solely on his wrestling to win fights. While I can’t fault him for that, I see him getting lil Nog down and holding there fairly easy. Phil Davis was able to win that way, and Rashad is better than Davis in nearly every aspect of the game. I know you can never really count out a Nogueira, but I’m not to excited about this fight. Besides, after my boy Condit beats GSP, what happens to this tentative main event?
Judge Wyatt Beougher’s Scorecard: Points to Todd, for owning his prediction that Conduit will beat GSP, and a tip of the hat to Jonathan for pointing out that a fight of the magnitude of Silva/GSP would be wasted on Vegas (and holding the fight at UFC 156 in Brazil in January is an excellent idea). That said, I have to give Todd the slight nod for actually talking about Evans/Lil Nog instead of just dismissing it. Vote, 10-9 (30-28 overall)
Judge Stewart Lange’s Scorecard: Again, I feel myself drawn to Todd Vote’s answer here and score the round 10-9 in his favor. It does make sense as the co-main as it’ll likely be a coming (back) of age for Rashad on a big stage to set up another title run for him.
4.) Donald Cerrone is right – Zuffa fighters should be able to live their lives as they please, with no restrictions on their outside activities, so long as they don’t have a fight scheduled.
Todd VoteFACT I can honestly see both sides of this argument. I know Zuffa has time and money invested in all of these fighters, and it totally makes sense for them to want to put a stop to their fighters taking part in other dangerous activities. On the other hand I can see Cerrone’s point where as, if a fighter is not scheduled to fight, and the company is not actively promoting them for anything at the time, they should, I suppose, be allowed to do things they want. I went back and forth on this one, being reminded of Jose Aldo and his motorcycle injury, but the bottom line is, there is a chance of the fighter getting hurt training just as much as their is from a fighter riding a motorcycle. If Cerrone had a bull riding competition one weekend, and before it started he got a call from Dana or Joe Silva and a fight ends up being scheduled, Cerrone should drop out of the bull riding competition, and avoid them until after his fight. We have to remember these are still human beings, and they have other interests.
Jonathan Solomon: FICTION I was all set to agree with Cowboy Cerrone because UFC fighters fight on average 3 times per year. However, no, it’s smart for any promotion which bases its profitability on athletes to look to keep that investment safe. In the eyes of the UFC, if a fighter wants to participate in something which would result in a serious injury, they should be able to void their agreement and move on. Why should the UFC be forced to follow their agreement with the fighter if he is unable to compete for them for x amount of months not because of a training injury but because he broke a leg in a motorcycle accident or while skydiving? Obviously, big name stars are not going to get axed, but this is a standard clause in professional sports contracts. Why should MMA fighters be held in a different light?
The one argument I can understand is that fighters are not employees of Zuffa. They are independent contractors, so how could their personal lives be legislated against?
Judge Wyatt Beougher’s Scorecard: As a person, I definitely agree with Cerrone, but as an agent of my company who frequently deals with employee illness and injury, I can completely see why Zuffa would look to limit their fighter’s outside activities that could directly impact their ability to fulfill their contractual obligations. I’m giving the nod to Solomon on this one, for bringing up the fact that as independent contractors, Zuffa’s fighters should be free from restrictions on their personal life. Solomon, 10-9 (38-39 overall)
Judge Stewart Lange’s Scorecard: Solomon very nearly shot himself in the foot at the end there, with his his point about the independent contractors thing, but ultimately, his argument is sound. Why would Zuffa be happy about fighters risking themselves and ultimately, the shows, just to ride a motorcycle or drink drive or whatever extreme sport kids like these days? 10-9 Jon.
5.) Nick Diaz vs Josh Koscheck is a fight you’d be interested in seeing.
Jonathan Solomon: FICTION The only wrestler I want to see Diaz fight is Georges St. Pierre. Besides, Koscheck has had his time in the sun and he couldn’t beat GSP awhile back. So, considering Diaz is still seen as a contender, that fight makes no sense. A rematch with Carlos Condit makes TOO MUCH sense or even a fight against the Johny Hendricks/Martin Kampmann loser in 2013.
Todd VoteFACT The trash talk alone would make this one worth it. Two brash gentlemen who just love to talk shit. One gets hated for it, and the other seems to garner the adoration of the fans for his brash style and confrontational nature. The fight itself may not be great, with Diaz struggling with wrestlers in the UFC’s Welterweight division in the past (Diego Sanchez), he could run into some trouble if Kos is able to get inside and put him on his back. However, the build up will make it hard not to be excited about this fight. Plus it makes sense. When Condit beats GSP a rematch with Diaz, or a bout with Koscheck are both great potential first defenses.
Judge Wyatt Beougher’s Scorecard: I’m awarding this round to Vote, because Diaz didn’t deserve a fight with GSP before he screwed that opportunity up, and he certainly doesnt deserve to be in the cage with St. Pierre now. Vote, 10-9 (49-47 overall)
Judge Stewart Lange’s Scorecard: Again, I’ll agree here with Solomon and give him the round 10-9. Todd almost took the round because while the trash talk would be epic, Koscheck shouldn’t be that close to the top of the division at the moment. Let’s face it, Koscheck will break his eye and be out for ages again anyway, so the loser of Hendricks/Kampann is a great shout.
Judge Wyatt Beougher scored the bout in favor of Todd Vote, 49-47.
Judge Stewart Lange scored the bout in favor of Todd Vote, 48-47.
Another week, another close contest, so who do YOU think won? Make sure you vote and let your voice be heard!
Bonus) What’s the best MMA-themed Halloween costume (these can be ones you’ve actually seen, ones fighters have worn, or just ones you think would be awesome/funny – have fun with it)?
Todd Vote:Chris Pratt as Chuck Liddell on Parks And Rec – Admittedly, I have not seen a lot of MMA themed Halloween costumes as of yet, or many MMA fighters dressed for Halloween. So this was a pretty easy pick. This show is awesome, and Chris Pratt is hilarious in about everything I have seen him in thus far. Plus if I remember right, he spends a large part of the Halloween party trying to get his room mate to punch him in the face so that they can go back to being “okay”.
Behold the Ice Man:
Jonathan Solomon: All you need is a ‘Team Punishment’ shirt and you’re pretty much set to go. If you have a random trophy-blonde by your side, even better! The key to this gimmick is being able to reach into your bag of excuses and pull out a doozy. Forgot to buy your girlfriend a present? It’s okay, your back was broken in at least two spots the night before. Running late to work? Explain to your boss that it was a miracle you’re able to show up at all considering you have a skull fracture. Frankly, this ‘costume’ even works when it’s not Halloween. Don’t feel like fixing the gutters? Explain to your significant other how you had 62.8% of your ACL removed hours earlier. Did your latest college paper receive a poor grade from your professor? Buck up, tell them how you couldn’t do any cardio work recently because of a laceration to your earlobe. It’s amazing you even make it to class in the first place. It also helps if you are well known amongst your friends to have been a gym rat years ago.
Judge Wyatt Beougher’s Scorecard: I read Todd’s answer first, and after clicking the link, I thought he had this one in the bag…
…until I read Solomon’s answer. Kudos, sir, for invoking a Windex moment. Solomon, 10-9
Judge Stewart Lange’s Scorecard: I’m not scoring this round as I have little to no idea what either of them is talking about. I almost decided to go as Chuck Liddell this year, but my hair is far too short to shave into a mohican so I’m Walter White instead. Hit me on twitter for the pictures (@StewartLange411).
And that’s it for this week! Again, make sure you sign up for the new comments system, so that you can let us know what you thought about this week’s contest! As always, if there’s anything you’d like to see featured in next week’s edition, leave your statement in the comments and I’ll add it in for next week. Let us know what you thought in the comments, on Twitter, or on Google+. We’ll see you next week and remember 411Mania for all of your MMA needs.