The MMA 5&1 2.13.13: Renan Barao vs. Michael McDonald &1 With Carly Baker
The Part at the Beginning
Welcome back to the latest edition of the MMA 5&1! Thinks are picking back up this week as Bellator continues to chug along, and the UFC returns with UFC on FUEL TV 7. This week Carly Baker is our &1 model of the week, Renan Barao battles Michael McDonald in VS, we talk about the UFC trying to re-write MMA history, Josh Barnett not heading to the UFC, a look back at Bellator 88 and why that is a good thing and a whole lot more! Once again, I thank you for checking out my humble offering to the 411 MMA Zone, enjoy and suggestions are always welcome!
Also, I’m on the old Twitter machine… Follow @jackmcgee411
They make you get this damn thing at 411. Social media and all. I know, you won’t follow me, it’s cool, it’s cool.
Tracking My MMA Picks
I do not claim to be an MMA expert, simply a guy that loves to follow the sport. But part of the gig is to make fight picks, so I will track the picks for as long as I am doing the column. Here we are thus far…
* UFC on FX 7: 2-2
* UFC on FOX 6: 3-1
* UFC 156: 3-2
* Bellator 88: 2-2
* Overall: 10-7
* NOTE: I just want to say, I once again talked myself out of a pick. I had Alexander Shlemenko locked and loaded, and talked myself out of it right before submitting the column. Just a lesson to me to not back away from my initial picks. I have done that on every show this year and it cost me each and every time. Note to self, do not think too much, obviously I am not good at that thinking thing!
WHO YOU GOT? – BARAO vs. McDONALD
Word came out last week that Josh Barnett had not signed with the UFC, even though it was reported that negotiations were going well. Reports were that the two sides had reached “a sticking point,” despite agreeing on guaranteed compensation. Apparently this upset a lot of people, and I guess that is because the UFC Heavyweight Division is nothing special, and that Barnett would add something to that. Now I love Josh Barnett, but the facts are this: he is going on 36 years old, he got wrecked by Daniel Cormier and he has had past issues with drug test failures. If I am the UFC, I want no part in this. But that doesn’t mean that Barnett is useless. Barnett has a ton of charisma, beats the guys he is supposed too, and is the perfect guy to be the big fish in a little pond. And I do not mean that in a bad way. Now I know that Bellator’s Bjorn Rebney seems to have a stick up his ass when it comes to Barnett, and doesn’t seem all that interested in him. But with some exciting fighters under contract in lighter weight divisions, he needs to consider Barnett to try and make their heavyweight division interesting. On top of that, they could broker a better deal by going to Spike TV and TNA wrestling and make him a two sport athlete as it were. Now I know that they have King Mo, who is all well and good, but Barnett is usable NOW. He has a pro wrestling background and is good at it, he would likely plow through their list a c-level heavyweights, and could be the real star that they wanted Mo to be. I know that some think that the end al be all of MMA is the UFC, but I think that this could be good for Bellator, and good for Barnett; but that’s just my opinion.
Last week we discussed the whole Randy Couture-UFC split, as it was announced that Randy Couture, Frank Shamrock, Joe Warren and Greg Jackson would be the hosts of the Bellator Fight Masters reality show. Dana White immediately went on the attack with Couture, but as we all know that is nothing new. Case in point, Frank Shamrock. Outside of the UFC, and not including his awful commentary, Shamrock is widely respected for his career accomplishments. Some consider him the first of the modern MMA fighters to use a hybrid style of training and such. I for one generally agree with this, and I feel that it is not only a shame that the UFC has written the man out of history, but it is a crime. Dana White seems to be taking the Vince McMahon way of thinking, in that he basically controls the industry, so he thinks he controls the history. But while Dana is being childish about all of this, Shamrock is taking the high road. When recently asked about this, Shamrock stated the following…
Frank Shamrock: “I don’t feel much about it. It was my personal journey. I love the sport because of what it gave to me personally. That’s all that mattered to me. I came out of it healthy and a good person. If we can get anybody else on that journey, that’s more than enough for me. My ego’s fine. I’ve got more than enough money, belts, and all that stuff. What I want is to help this community, because if you’re not helping people and you’re just taking from them, eventually people will wear down and not be real supporters any more.”
I for one commend Shamrock for taking the high road. I also commend him for not being bitter against the sport, instead, he is thankful for what the sport gave to him. I wish that there was more of that in the world.
In closing I want to address one thing, and that is the blind members of the MMA media that decide to follow the UFC line on this. The fact that there are members of the MMA media out there that have bought into the UFC’s line in regards to Frank Shamrock is pathetic. While most will agree that Frank wasn’t a good commentator in Strikeforce, we cannot forget what he meant to the promotion and to the history of the UFC. But I guess that most of them are too afraid to poke the bull, because God forbid that they lose their interview access or precious press credentials. But I guess with wrestling out of the Olympics, ass kissing can become an official Olympic sport now.
* Pre-Fight Notes: First of all I want to comment on something other than the fight; and that is the TV presentation from SPIKE. I felt that SPIKE was very smart here, using the end of Impact (which was a big angle) and doing their best to keep the lead in audience by going almost immediately into a fight. That is smart, since TNA delivers the best ratings for SPIKE, and by running Bellator right after, they are trying to maximize their newest investment. I just wanted to touch on that because that was some smart shit right there.
* Alexandre Bezerra defeated Genair Da Silva via submission (armbar) – Round 1, 1:40 – featherweight tournament opening round : Alexandre Bezerra defeated Genair Da Silva in very impressive fashion, finishing things off with a round one arm bar. This was one of those fights where if you could draw up your game plan and have it actually play out that way, this would almost be a flawless victory. Bezerra simply activated beast mode, did what he wanted, and walked away with the clean victory. He can now prepare for the semifinals with virtually no damage done to him. That’s all you can hope for in tournament fighting.
* Mike Richman defeated Mitch Jackson via TKO (strikes) – Round 1, 4:57 – featherweight tournament opening round : While not nearly as clean as Bezerr’a victory, Mike Richman defeated Mitch Jackson via TKO late in round one. This was a huge rebound victory for Richman, who was coming off of a loss at Bellator 79, where he lost to Shahbulat Shamhalaev via TKO in the first round. We’ve all seen it, some guys either come back hungry, or they simply aren’t the same guy. Richman looked good, finishes early, and heads to the semifinals.
* Marlon Sandro defeated Akop Stepanyan via majority decision (28-28, 29-27, 29-27) – featherweight tournament opening round : Marlon Sandro’s big mission is to be successful in his third Bellator tournament and win a title. Well, he better keep wishing, because I do not have much faith in him. Sandro is getting older (he’s 35) but for the first time, I felt that he LOOKED old in the cage. Akop Stepanyan was a sub par opponent, and should have been an easy win for Sandro. Now while anything can happen in MMA, the fight was way too close, and I did not think that Sandro looked good at all. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him gone in the next round, because unfortunately, I think time is catching up with him. 28 fights since 2004, 14 of those decisions, that’s a lot of fighting for any man.
* Alexander Shlemenko defeated Maiquel Falcao via KO (punches) – Round 2, 2:18 – to win vacant middleweight title : In the main event of Bellator 88, Alexander Shlemenko defeated Maiquel Falcao to win vacant middleweight title. I HATE that I talked myself out of the Shlemenko pick. I did so because I have been burnt so many times on guys, like a Marius Zaromskis, who looks great but crumbles in the UFC or against someone that has fought in the UFC. But that’s on me. Shlemenko looked very good, and dominated his opponent en route to winning the vacant title. Since losing to Lombard back in 2010, he has now won 10-straight fights, and as of now, he’s the man at middleweight in Bellator.
So I watched the Rousey vs. Carmouche Primetime special, one so I could write about it, and also because I am very interested in the fight. Now I am a fan of women’s MMA, and I am very glad that it is getting the big stage it rightfully deserves in the UFC. I was also thrilled that they announced Miesha Tate vs. Cat Zingano for the TUF 17 Finale. But we’ll discuss that later. Anyway, I watched the show, which I have embedded above in case you missed it, and felt that it was a good show. They did a great job setting Rousey as the women who worked hard, was kind of a bitch and got famous enough to get the women into the UFC. They also portrayed Carmouche as the perfect underdog. Hard working, has a real job because she doesn’t make big money, and the exact opposite of Rousey. Also, the humanizing of Rousey at the end where she had to deal with the fact that she “felt like shit” for discussing her father’s death so many times and the way it became a promotional tool. This was good stuff, some good story telling, and if it would have aired on FX in a good timeslot instead of on FUEL and FSN at random ass times.
Now with that all being said, I do want to say something that will upset some folks. Stop overcompensating to supports women’s MMA. Some of you guys go way overboard with the “WMMA Praise” that you piss people off and then turn them off of the women’s side of the sport.
Ok, I cannot verify the final two, but you get what I mean. Support the women’s side of the sport, praise it when it deserves it, and try to help create new fans; but do not blindly praise, because it doesn’t do anyone any good.
* Che Mills vs. Matthew Riddle: Matthew Riddle
* Ryan Jimmo vs. James Te Huna: James Te Huna
* Gunnar Nelson vs. Jorge Santiago: Jorge Santiago
* Cyrille Diabate vs. Jimi Manuwa: Jimi Manuwa
* Dustin Poirier vs. Cub Swanson: Dustin Poirier
* Interim Bantamweight Title Bout – Champion Renan Barao vs. Michael McDonald: Renan Barao
* PLEASE feel free to make your main card predictions in the comments section!!
This week’s & 1 model of the week is the new European UFC Octagon Girl Carly Baker…
“Where the music stinks, and they water the drinks, the nudie bar.
Where the girlies dance in their underpants, the nudie bar.
Where you see their butt, and their trap stays shut, at the nudie bar.
Where you can’t touch a breast, but you can cave in a chest, at the nudie bar.
Where you look at a thigh, and blacken an eye, at the nudie bar.
Where the beer gives you gas, but the Bundy’s kick ass, at the nudie bar.”