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411 Fact or Fiction MMA: Should Sergio Pettis Get His Shot at Demetrious Johnson?

September 13, 2017 | Posted by Lorenzo Vasquez
Sergio Pettis - UFC Fight Night 114

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 another round of everyone’s favorite column! Thank you, for your votes and comments last week. It is appreciated and I encourage you to do the same this week. Last week, I locked horns with the White TIger, Evan Zivin, over Jon Jones and his USADA saga, Chris Weidman moving to the light heavyweight division, and Nate Diaz making $20 million for a trilogy with Conor McGregor. Evan showed up with his A-game. His pressure was unbreakable. I was left to play the counter game, running on my heels until Evan dropped me cold in my tracks. Congratulations, Evan, on your victory and thank you for your efforts and contribution. We appreciate it.

This week, I’m lacing up the boots one more time against the hard hitting and soul crushing, Alex Rella. We will lock horns over Amanda Nunes’ win at UFC 215, Jeremy Stephens fighting Jose Aldo, Sergio Pettis getting the next flyweight title shot over Ray Borg, and much more! Go grab some grub and make yourself comfortable because it’s time for another round of, 411 Fact or Fiction MMA! Let’s this show on road…

TALE OF THE TAPE
RED CORNER
Alex “Little Mac” Rella
Contributor, 411 MMA Zone
5-6-0

VS

BLUE CORNER
Lorenzo “Corpse Grinder” Vasquez III
Host/Contributor, 411 MMA Zone
11-7-2


Ray Borg has proven to be unreliable, especially, after pulling out of his flyweight championship bout with Demetrious Johnson this past weekend; thus, it’s time move on and give Sergio Pettis the shot at Johnson.

Alex Rella: FICTION I think this one depends on how long Borg is going to be out for. If you can reschedule it right away for UFC 216 (a card that could use another good fight), then I would leave Borg as the number one contender. If Borg needs a couple months, then move on and give the title shot to Pettis. Fighters get sick and fights get canceled, it happens. Borg isn’t that unreliable either, he’s missed weight twice by less than a pound. The UFC has forgiven far worse offenders than that. Maybe I’m just numb to it at this point, but I rarely get upset anymore when fights get canceled anymore because of stuff like this – it is just part of the sport. And while Pettis is on a great run at 125 and deserving of a title shot, people aren’t really writing Dana White letters demanding that he get his title shot immediately. But overall, I think it should depend on how much time Borg needs to recover.

Lorenzo Vasquez III: FACT This is a tough one. Demetrious Johnson, in his domination, has created a shallow division. In the sake of keeping things fresh as Johnson looks to break Anderson Silva’s record, the only top five contenders who have yet to fight Johnson are Ray Borg and Sergio Pettis. Under normal circumstances, Ray Borg is next in line and deserves the shot. Unfortunately, for Borg, he has created for himself circumstances beyond normal circumstances. He just isn’t reliable and his record proves it. He’s missed weight and has been pulled out fights on a number of occasions. It would be disappointing for this bout to be rescheduled and then canceled again. It’s time to see if “Mighty Mouse” can break this record and the secure way of doing that is to bump Raay off the boat and give the shot to Sergio Pettis. Pettis is as much deserving as is Borg. While Borg is riding a 2-fight winning streak, Pettis is riding a 4-fight winning streak which includes wins over 2-former title challengers.


The Amanda Nunes vs. Valentina Shevchenko decision was dead wrong; therefore, an immediate rematch makes the most sense.

Alex Rella: FICTION I thought Shevchenko clearly won the fight, but I have no desire to see a rematch at this time. The fight was alright, but unexciting for the most part and I think a rematch would mirror this one. Nunes wanted to shut people up about her stamina, so she let up on her power early on which is what makes her an exciting fighter. And Shevchenko is great technically when it comes to striking, but is mostly a counter striker. The two strategies did not create a whole lot of fireworks and I think a third fight would give us 5 more rounds of that. I’d rather see some fresh match-ups next with Nunes taking on Raquel Pennington and Shevchenko building herself back up after a couple fights with other former contenders.

Lorenzo Vasquez III: FICTION I will say that I disagreed with decision. I don’t believe it was dead wrong. It was a close fight and you can argue rounds 1,3, and 5 were close enough to give Nunes the win. Shevchenko has a good case to claim she deserved the win. It was a tactical fight which translates to boring to the majority of fans. So, was it close enough to warrant an immediate rematch? Sure. But it wasn’t exciting enough to warranted an immediate rematch. In addition, I think Shevchenko would benefit from taking time to rethink her approach. She knows Nunes tries when the fight is clinch/grappling heavy and now she knows that a more tactical approach may not result in the desired outcome. She should take some time, maybe take another fight, let Nunes take another fight, and take things from there.


With his win over Neil Magny at UFC 215, Rafael dos Anjos has earned the next crack at the UFC Welterweight Champion, Tyron Woodley.

Alex Rella: FICTION The UFC’s welterweight division is a little thin right now, but I do not see how dos Anjos is more deserving than Robbie Lawler at this point. He’s looked awesome since moving up to 170, but he’s only fought twice in the division. Lawler has still not received his title rematch with Woodley and he looked great in his return fight against Cerrone. Lawler was a great champion and his return to the UFC has been nothing but amazing as he has given us some of the best fights of all time against the top fighters in the division. Throw Rafael dos Anjos up against another top welterweight like Jorge Masvidal next, but Lawler deserves the next title shot.

Lorenzo Vasquez III: FICTION Rafael dos Anjos scored an impressive victory over Neil Magny at UFC 215. I believe Magny was No. 6 before the loss so that means RDA likely jumps to the sixth spot and close to earning a title shot. He hasn’t earned just yet. I liked to see him beat a top five welterweight before he is granted a title shot. You could make the case Tyron Woodley is in need of a fresh face as he’s blasted Robbie Lawler and nobody is ready for a Woodley vs. Wonderboy III or a rematch with Demian Maia. That leaves Jorge Masvidal who is scheduled for a fight with Wonderboy and RDA. Nonetheless, while Magny is a stiff test, perhaps a gatekeeper into the top five, I’d still like for RDA to build his resume in the division before he earns a shot at the golden strap.


SWITCH!

There is no way the UFC will grant Tyron Woodley his wish and allow him to fight the winner of Michael Bisping vs. Georges St-Pierre.

Lorenzo Vasquez III: FACT This is definitely a fact. It’s time for some normalcy in the middleweight division and Tyron Woodley fighting the winner of Michael Bisping vs. Georges St-Pierre is not in that direction. Not that Bisping vs. GSP is normalcy but once that is set aside we can hope that the winner fights Robert Whittaker to unite the interim title with the title. Sorry, Woodley, your division is not completely cleared and your performances haven’t given you merit to completely call all the shots.

Alex Rella: FACT Absolutely not, nobody wants to see this fight at all. The middleweight division has been held up enough because of that drama, there’s no need to hold up the welterweight division too. Woodley is a great fighter, but nobody cares about him enough to put him in such a huge match-up either. The UFC/Dana White clearly have disdain for him and he’s had two dull fights in a row. Woodley is pissed his fight with GSP got canceled so he’s trying to insert himself into this feud to save face and to get a big money match-up, but it’ll never happen.


With Cris Cyborg’s contract ending in October, it wouldn’t be surprising if the UFC lets her walk away from the promotion.

Lorenzo Vasquez III: FACT There is some speculation in air as Cris Cyborg, aside from her contract which ends in October having yet to be negotiated and renewed, has been granted a boxing license in the state of California. She’s also spoken of transitioning to professional boxing and taking it seriously. This may be a negotiation tactic on her part or it may not. We do not have enough information to make a clear decision, but I will say fact. Would the UFC let her walk? Definitely, and it would not, should not be surprising. It is the UFC, after all. Yes, there is money to be made with Cyborg–Holly Holm, Cat Zingano, and Megan Anderson. So you can’t bank on the UFC letting her walk. They will likely try ring her dry for the lowest price. But, if they can’t get the lowest price, I’m sure they’ll let her walk. And, there’s also the possibility that the UFC is not ready to get the women’s featherweight division going at this juncture and Cyborg is done with fighting at a catchweight.

Alex Rella: FACT Should they let her walk away? Absolutely not, but I would not be surprised at all. The smart thing to do is to lock her up to a long term contract because they need her in order to have a successful women’s featherweight division, but they’ve made a lot of questionable decisions in recent years when it comes to letting top fighters walk away. Also, the UFC has not had a good relationship so far with Cyborg and I would not be surprised if either party just decided to move on. They insisted she fight at 140 lbs initially, they left her out of the inaugural 145 lb title fight, and Dana White has made a lot of personal insults in her direction over the years. Cyborg has been caught cheating in the past and has done things on her own part to make the relationship rocky as well. I could see them giving up on the thin 145 lb division and not thinking she’s worth the headache. And I can see her moving onto Bellator if she thinks she can make more money there and where she’s worked with Scott Coker in the past – plus no Reebok sponsorship limitations. Cyborg also recently got her boxing license, so maybe she wants to move on now that she’s already added UFC gold to her resume.


After a solid performance in his win over Gilbert Melendez, Jeremy Stephens should be looking for a scrap with Brian Ortega.

Lorenzo Vasquez III: FACT That sounds like an entertaining fight. It’s a nice way for Jeremy Stephens to try and climb the ladder while it is a stiff test for Brian Ortega. It sounds like fun. Stephens called out Jose Aldo after beating the legs off Gilbert Melendez but I don’t think Aldo has fallen off the ladder that far. Ortega makes sense and it’s likely a good fight. Yair Rodriguez is also a good idea. You could make the case that Ortega needs to fight a top five featherweight next but fighting a gritty veteran before diving into the top five may prove beneficial.

Alex Rella: FACT Sure, why not. Jeremy Stephens had one of the best fights of his career this weekend, but he needs to put a couple wins together in order to get himself back into title contention. There are a couple fights that make sense for Stephens, he could take on another tough veteran such as Darren Elkins or he could take on a surging prospect like Ortega. They’re close in the rankings and Ortega has been demolishing people since he came to the UFC. The former RFA champ has finished tough vets like Clay Guida and Diego Brandao so far. There a couple good fights to make, but this would be an entertaining one and it would give Stephens a chance to prove he can still hang with the more dangerous fighters in the featherweight division.


So who won? Did Alex hand me another defeat or was I able to shut Alex out? 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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