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411 Fact or Fiction MMA: Will GSP vs. Conor McGregor Happen?

March 22, 2018 | Posted by Lorenzo Vasquez
Conor McGregor Goerges St-Pierre

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 this edition of 411 Fact or Fiction MMA! The boys have been on a break but they’re back and we’re glad to bring you an entertaining look at the world of professional mixed martial arts. Please be sure to vote and leave your comments below. This week, we have two of the hardest hitting animals stalking the helpless prey roaming 411mania. Dino Zee and Robert Winfree will lock horns over Fabricio Werdum’s recent loss, Demetrious Johnson’s legacy, whether GSP will fight Conor McGregor or Ben Askren, and much more! Grab some grub and strap. It’s time for another round of, 411 Fact or Fiction MMA!

TALE OF THE TAPE
RED CORNER
Dino “Salad Bar” Zee
Contributor, 411 Wrestling Zone
13-1-1

VS

BLUE CORNER
Robert “The Last Rider” Winfree
Contributor/Live Coverage Guru/Host, 411 MMA Zone/411 Ground and Pound Radio Show
9-5-2


Fabricio Werdum’s time has passed; while the heavyweight division is paper thin, his loss to Alexander Volkov suggests he is on the decline which shouldn’t be surprising considering Werdum’s had a 15-year professional MMA career.

Dino Zee: FICTION This was tough. I do agree with the idea that he’s on the decline, and I agree that this shouldn’t be surprising considering his career. However, I disagree that his time has passed. The loss to Volkov is a setback, but this is the heavyweight division we’re talking about here. Alistair Overeem is proof that it doesn’t matter how many times you get KO’d, you can always put together 2-3 wins, and you’re right back there in contention.

I think Werdum is still a Top 5 heavyweight at this point, or at least can still be one. Even in his loss to Volkov, he had his moments of dominance, and I think we’re also short-changing Volkov by not giving him all the credit for the win here. The man is a former Bellator Heavyweight Champion and is undefeated in his UFC run, so perhaps he was just really undervalued by many heading into this fight?

Regardless, yes, this was not great for Werdum, but he’s still more than capable of turning it around with a few wins.

Robert Winfree: FACT This is a very speculative fact on my part. The reason I’m OK essentially prognosticating here is Werdum’s age, the man is 40 and while heavyweight lends itself towards greater career longevity once a fighter begins falling off of the metaphorical cliff things only tend to accelerate. Werdum is still an elite level heavyweight, but time is catching him and I feel somewhat safe calling this loss a precursor of his decline into retirement.


While it seems Bellator will ease Dillon Danis into MMA with a winnable fight, don’t expect the promotion to up Danis’ competition: they will give Danis, much like Michael Page, favorable fights in a marketing effort.

Dino Zee: FACT This is a usual thing with Bellator and the prospects that they truly adore, and has been since the Bjorn days. Michael Page is a fine example, as well as James Gallagher, whose toughest opponent thus far is best known for being Lyoto Machida’s brother. Bellator likes to take their time with people they have pegged as a future star, and take great care in providing matches that should hopefully see them emerge victorious. I fully expect this to happen with Danis, and whether I agree with it or not is more irrelevant than usual, as it’s just how Bellator operates. I’ve just learned to live with it.

Robert Winfree: FACT The UFC tends to lean towards the other end of this particular spectrum, not giving up and coming fighters enough time to develop before thrusting them into high profile bouts, while Bellator can easily become a graveyard of unrealized potential. Since the question brings up Michael Page, consider that he’s been in Bellator since 2013. In that time he has faced no top fighters, and welterweight is one of the few divisions where Bellator can boast a handful of elite level competitors, and has subsequently never entered the title discussion. There’s a difference between allowing developing talent to develop and allowing them to stagnate, Page is stagnating. If the past is prologue, and historically it is, Danis likely winds up following a similar path for the duration of his time in Bellator.


Demetrious Johnson does not need to fight T.J. Dillashaw for the sake of his legacy.

Dino Zee: FACT If DJ is happy going down as the greatest Flyweight of all time, as well as one of the greatest ever, then I agree with this wholeheartedly. TJ Dillashaw is a bantamweight and has accomplished absolutely nothing at 125. A fight with TJ at 125, in my opinion, is not necessary for DJ’s accomplishments to count. If anything, it’s just a fancy feather in the cap. If DJ were to move up to 135 and fight TJ, with hopes of staking a claim to the greatest pound for pound fighter of all time crown, then I could see that fight as being *more* necessary for the legacy, but again, he could duplicate that by fighting another top bantamweight, again rendering the idea that it needs to be TJ moot.

It’d be a fun fight, and I wouldn’t mind seeing it, but I do not believe that Mighty Mouse needs to fight TJ for his legacy to be cemented in any way.

Robert Winfree: FACT Legacies are unique to the individual and somewhat mercurial over time, no one could have realistically imagined the essential erasure of Frank Shamrock from the annals of the UFC back when he was their champion. In the case of Johnson, his legacy is tied to the length of his title reign and number of wins he accumulates. Anderson Silva’s was tied as much to the spectacular finishes as it was the number of wins, GSP’s rests with his dual champion status along with an absurd level of dominance over high-level competition, and in the case of Johnson, it’s less about the pure level of opposition and more about his remarkable consistency. He has no need to defeat Dillashaw to affirm that, his record to this point speaks for itself. A fight with Dillashaw, especially a theoretical win, would add a significant dimension to it but if the fight never happens I doubt it becomes this looming specter over him historically.


SWITCH!

Luke Rockhold vs. Alexander Gustafsson is more compelling than Rockhold vs. Michael Bisping III.

Robert Winfree: FACT I suppose fact, though mostly based on the fact that I don’t find Michael Bisping compelling at this point. I’m well aware that’s a hugely personal perspective, but there’s only so much objectivity to be reasonably used when answering a question like this. I’d rather see Rockhold and Bisping for a variety of reasons, not tying up a top contender, letting Rockhold get his footing up at light heavyweight, the rubber match between two men who hate each other, and this potentially being the retirement fight for Bisping, being a few, but on a purely competitive level I find Gustafsson more interesting in general than Bisping.

Dino Zee: FICTION Sorry, but I need to see Rockhold maul Bisping one more time. I need to know that their second fight was just a case of a super arrogant champion completely disregarding his opponent while fighting injured and paying the price for it. I need it so that I can write off Bisping’s reign as the fluke that I feel it is, but now with proper context. Or, I need to know that, actually, Bisping can beat Rockhold, it wasn’t just arrogance or injuries, and Bisping earned his title. But I can’t let this series sit at 1 apiece, both rather one-sided, and have them call it a day. Let Gus sit tight for a minute because I just don’t see Gus/Rockhold as the more compelling fight than Rockhold getting the chance to show what a farce Bisping is by mercilessly beating him into retirement. In my unbiased opinion, of course.


Frankie Edgar’s only shot at staying a relevant top five contender is to move down to the bantamweight division.

Robert Winfree: FICTION By definition Edgar is still a top-five contender at featherweight. Furthermore, if we look at the top five at bantamweight we see a much more difficult path for Edgar, assuming Edgar isn’t about to drop off of the performance cliff due to age and accumulated damage. Bantamweight’s top five hosts Cody Garbrandt, Dominick Cruz, Jimmie Rivera, Marlon Moraes, and Raphael Assuncao. That’s a serious murders row in terms of talent, and he’s a team mate of Moraes and is unlikely to take that fight. While I can see an argument for Edgar beating Rivera or Assuncao and intellectually salivate over the possibility of Edgar vs. Cruz or Garbrandt, that is a much more difficult path as opposed to simply retaining his current spot at featherweight.

Dino Zee: FICTION Frankie’s losses at 145 are to Jose Aldo and now Brian Ortega. He has yet to face Max Holloway, which will always keep him fresh as a challenger should Holloway get past “T-City.” A win or two, and Frankie will be right back in contention at 145, which is how the UFC likes it. I tend to believe that Frankie got by for a few years on the grittiness he showed in the Gray Maynard fights, while his 2 losses to Benson Henderson were ignored, just for the sake of clarity. And frankly, while I may not like it, Edgar has earned that respect, since he has shown a willingness to fight anyone to prove he’s the best. I’m not necessarily against this whole “Frankie goes to 135 now” idea, but I don’t think he’s shot at 145 as far as being at top 5 contender is concerned, not at all.


We’ll see Georges St-Pierre vs. Conor McGregor before we see GSP vs. Ben Askren.

Robert Winfree: FACT Sure, I’ll buy that. GSP has downplayed wanting the McGregor fight, but there’s a ton of money to be made off of those two locking horns and the UFC is much more likely to go that way as opposed to bringing in Askren then having to spend money educating their audience about who he is to drive up interest. I don’t think we’ll see either one personally, but the GSP vs. McGregor fight is more likely.

Dino Zee: FACT But will we see either? That’s the real question. But in a battle of Who Fights GSP?, who do you think wins: The guy that Dana White hates and has buried countless times to any and all media? Or the guy that he would do anything for, just to see him smile? Your honor, I rest my case.


So who won? You’ve got until midnight eastern on Tuesday 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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