The MMA Rant 12.29.12: Paul Daley, Dana White Wishing 2012 Farewell, More
Hello, faithful MMA fans, and welcome to this week’s edition of the MMA Rant.
I hope you all had a festive Christmas and are planning a total blow-out for New Year’s. I was out last week, but luckily there wasn’t much buffoonery in the news due to the Holidays. However, ‘not much’ is a far cry from ‘none’.
Before we get to that, let’s review our reader feedback from last week:
PWNICON writes: For a while I thought Rory McDonald was acting like a complete douche. Think it was his last fight before this, where he was talking about how he has no idol, and supposedly he is his own idol etc. After watching these press conferences I’m wondering precisely how much of it is all an act, like some joke that only he is in on.
I see what you’re saying, but a joke that only he is in on really just means he’s a freakin’ whacko.
Regarding Baroni, I watch his fights for the same reason most of my friends who are long time MMA supporters watch his fights. That being because he has been fighting for so long, and he’s one of the few old guard who still fight and you’d like to see him win with his limited skillset… But these guys simply don’t belong anymore due to the game changing so much, but it’s great to see them win. Same as when Tito beat Bader.
The big difference between Phil Baroni and Tito Ortiz is that Tito won a title and held it for a record-long time while Baroni has always been a sort of middle-pack fighter. In fact, then you’re losing to TUF winners, you’re probably lower then middle-pack.
BJ Penn could easily be a top-3 guy at LW, but I think his mentality is that he used to beat up the bigger guys so why can’t he still do that. Ben Henderson fought much better than I thought he’d do against Diaz who destroyed Cowboy. About the toothpick? Seems like a dumb idea to me, since if Diaz caught him with the right punch he could have ended up swallowing it and doing damage to himself, but…whatever the guy wants to do.
Yes, B.J.’s desire to fight bigger fighters isn’t going to work for him anymore, so I agree, he needs to stay at Lightweight.
OrangeChapeu chimes in: Mach Sakurai is older than baroni and just as irrelevant, but its japan on new years, they just want people with name value, even if its dated.
This is precisely why Japanese MMA has been a joke since the demise of Pride and why that probably won’t change anytime in the near future. Quite honestly, nearly every Japanese fighter is overrated (IMO) and built their careers off wins over cans and other overrated fighters. Shinya Aoki is a good example of this, but Takanori Gomi and Kid Yamamoto are better examples of fighters who enjoyed a large amount of success in Japan but floundered anywhere else.
And now for the news from the past few weeks:
Strikeforce officially announced that their January 12 event Strikeforce: Marquardt vs. Saffiedine will be their final card to be broadcast on Showtime.
I can’t imagine anyone has been surprised by this announcement. While Zuffa initially said things would be “business as usual” for Strikeforce after their purchase, business has been anything but usual. First, Zuffa plundered away two of their bigger draws in Dan Henderson and Nick Diaz; then they failed to renew Fedor Emelianenko‘s contract after he fulfilled all his fights. Next came the inability to find a suitable opponent for Daniel Cormier. After that, they brought Ronda Rousey over to the UFC. How much did Zuffa think Showtime was going to put up with? Who else was going to be left in Strikeforce that they could use to put on fight cards?
Personally, I think this was purposely executed by the UFC in order to break ties with Showtime and bring the Strikeforce fighters that they wanted over to the UFC. Dana White wanted things done a certain way during Strikefore events, but the execs at Showtime wouldn’t budge, and that pissed Dana off. So, instead of putting up with a partner that wouldn’t bend to his will, he tanked the Strikeforce product to the point that Showtime didn’t want it on their network any longer. I guess the end result is we get to see some of the Strikeforce talent fighting for the UFC sooner rather than later, but I can’t help but think that dirty politics played a role in the finale.
Bellator released former Bantamweight Champion, Zach Makovsky. He was the first Bantamweight Champion, but has lost his last two bouts.
This was a little shocking to me, especially since Makovsky was easily one of the better Bantamweights in the world when he held the strap. I guess Bellator has a lot of stock in Eduardo Dantas to carry the division and didn’t think they needed any more depth than what they have. Either way, I think Makovsky would be a good edition to the UFC Flyweight division.
Jose Aldo spoke about fighting at Bantamweight: “I have made that weight once, and it has been a dream of mine to win three titles. Nobody has beaten that record yet. Someday I hope to achieve that. I’d like to make history. For a fight for the title, I could make 135 pounds. I’m not saying it would be easy. It would be difficult, but I think I could do it.”
I think Jose needs to wear a helmet when he rides his motorcycle. Aldo has a notoriously difficult time making weight for his Featherweight bouts, which makes me believe that dropping another 10 pounds, whether or not he’s done it previously in his career, would kill him. For him to make statements like this force me to question how much bullshit his trainers and coaches feed him on a daily basis to make him believe he could do this. Aldo’s time as a Featherweight will probably end in the next year or two, which means a move to Lightweight is all but a sure thing. For him to fool himself into believing that fighting at 135 is an option is ridiculous.
Paul Daley, who was expected to be part of Bellator’s Season 8 welterweight tournament, has been pulled from the lineup. Officials have confirmed the news, which is due to Visa issues reportedly stemming from an assault charge following a bar fight.
Way, to go Paul…keepin’ it classy. Frankly, I’m not surprised that crap like this doesn’t happen more often with Paul Daley. It’s pretty evident from his previous actions that he doesn’t play with a full deck, so I doubt he turns the other cheek very often when someone challenges him in a bar fight. Anyways, hopefully this will be a lesson to Bellator that someone like Daley is just a piece of trash and doesn’t deserve to be fighting anywhere other than bars in England.
Dana White has revealed he is “very happy” to see 2012 come to an end considering the number of fight cards that have been hit with the injury bug.
Is this for real? Does Dana think that injuries will someone cease to occur when the calendar flips? If anything, they will probably increase, and they certainly will if the UFC doesn’t do something about it.
What can the UFC do about it? Well, that’s sort of a big question.
First off, the UFC needs to collect data on injuries to determine what the most common injuries are and how they are occurring. Are they knee injuries that occur during grappling? Shoulder injuries from wrestling? The UFC needs to find out what are the top 3 injuries and the respective workouts that are keeping guys on the sidelines.
Next, the UFC needs to take that data to doctors, sports trainers, and physical therapists, and allow them to dictate or perhaps even create exercises that will still offer the same benefits but will not pose the same risks. The goal should be to offer this information to fighters so that they will still be able to train those muscles and skills, but not be as prone to injury. Some of those exercises (like grappling) can’t be substituted; in those cases the experts will hopefully be able to provide insight into what stretches and warm-up exercises can reduce injury coupled with daily limitations on those high-risk exercises. The UFC needs to encourage their fighters to use exercises and drills that are less-likely to cause injury while still allowing them to train to their desired level.
Lastly, the UFC needs to sit down with all their fighters and candidly talk about their expectations when it comes to signing bout agreements. While some injuries and illnesses are unavoidable, many injuries that occur in training are preventable. These injuries, especially when they threaten an entire fight card, are unacceptable. In order to limit the amount of preventable injuries, the UFC needs to encourage fighters to train smartly, especially leading up to fight time. Part of this encouragement means the UFC could create an internal rankings system similar to the public Top 10 rankings. These rankings will be kept internal to the UFC. Not only will these rankings reflect wins and losses, but they will also record when a fighter pulls out of a fight due to injury. Upon creating these rankings, the UFC would notify fighters that pulling out of a fight will be the same as losing the bout. Thusly, if a #1 contender gets injured and can’t compete in his contractually agreed upon bout, he won’t return as the #1 contender when he heals.
A lot of folks will have heartburn about this and a ton of people will say it isn’t fair, but the fact is that injuries are affecting business and the UFC needs to do something to stem the tide before they ruin even more fight cards. He UFC needs to play a bit of hardball if they want their guys to start training smarter, not harder.
And that’s it for this week, gentle readers. Junior dos Santos and Cain Velasquez square off again this weekend, so I’ll probably have a few choice words for that next week.
Now go do something with yourselves…