Well-Rounded Skills #3

I put in some long hours for The Man yesterday so I never got around to publishing this – so here’s a rare Saturday post from Intelligently Defending.

Props to MMAjunkie and MMAmania where I found all of these stories.

1) UFC to induct two new members at UFC 100 Fan Expo

The most illegitimate Hall of Fame in professional sports will be adding two members in July.

Here are my early wagering lines on who is getting the nod:

- Evan Tanner — 1-1

- Charles “Mask” Lewis — 3-1

- Chuck Liddell — 6-1, I don’t think he goes in until his retirement is official

- Matt Hughes – 10-1, Not sure he doesn’t have another fight in him pending what happens with Serra

- John McCarthy – 30-1, I’m pretty sure he’s currently on Dana’s bad side which means we wont be seeing him in there anytime soon.

- Don Frye – 100-1, I love the old dog, but I don’t see him ever getting in.

- Fred Ettish – 5,000-1

- Tito Ortiz – 1,000,000-1

2) Shaq is training MMA

Apparently, the big fella is training MMA:

I don’t have anything to say about this, but figured it would give me the opportunity to post my all-time favorite Shaq video:

For the record, the 2002 Western Conference Finals was one of the most bad ass playoff series ever.

3) UFC releases a bunch of fighters

A number of UFC fighters were given pink slips over the past week, let’s go through them one-by-one:

- David Loiseau – not very surprising given how soundly he was defeated by Ed Herman.  He just never took his game to the next level – the Franklin fight can be pinpointed as start of his downward spiral.  It’s hard to recover from such an epic ass whooping.

- Ryo Chonan – the Japanses vet never impressed in his UFC fights.  It’s back to Japan where he can probably still make a nice pay day.

- David Bielkheden – he was pretty highly touted when he came into the UFC, but never lived up to the hype.

- Jason MacDonald – I’m very upset about this one.  Jason was always an exciting fighter and most of his losses were to top competition.  He just needs a few wins outside the UFC and then they will be happy to bring him back I imagine.

- Jason Day – defeating Alan Belcher was the only thing of note he accomplished inside the Octagon.

- Vinny Magalhaes – one of the best BJJ players around, but he cant take a punch to save his life and seems to lack heart.  He’s still very new to the game though so we could see him again if he is able to put some wins together.

- Antonio Mendes – I liked his fight with Thiago Silva – that’s really all I got to say.

That’s it – see everyone Monday.

-Ken

http://www.IntelligentlyDefending.com

Well-Rounded Skills #2

There’s a lot going on in the world of MMA, so let’s take a quick look at some of the bigger stories.

Props to MMAjunkie and MMAmania where these stories are being reported.

1) Voting is underway for “UFC’s Ultimate 100: Greatest Fights”

Spike TV will air the 100 greatest UFC fights based on fan voting the Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday leading up to the historic UFC 100 PPV.

This idea is straight-up money.  Just awesome.

I went to the voting site and it looks like Spike has narrowed the field down to 177 and you can go through the entire list and rank the fights on a scale of 1-10.  This system is going to highly favor the more recent fights since I can’t imagine many people making it through the entire 18 page list.

Anyway, Griffin vs. Bonnar from the TUF1 Finale is a mortal lock for first place – and given how good it was, along with its historical significance, you would be hard-pressed to argue.

Hughes/Trigg 2 and one of the Chuck/Randy fights will definitely be in the top 10.  After that, I’m really curious to see how this list unfolds.

2) Okami injured – Sonnen to replace him against Dan Miller at UFC 98

Damn, my man Yushin Okami is forced to withdraw from a fight again.  He is going to get lost even further in the middleweight shuffle now.

Dan Miller vs. Chael Sonnen does nothing for me on the excitement meter.  It could be a decent fight, but I won’t be holding my breath in anticipation.  I suppose it gets to stay on the main card – which is fair.  However, it baffles me that the newly signed Drew McFedries vs. Xavier Foupa-Pokam bout gets main card status instead of Phillipe Nover’s fight.

UFC 98 has been the biggest plague for injuries since UFC 85.  Mir, Rampage, Koscheck, Okami and Irvin have all pulled off the card since it was announced.  I may be forgetting a few too.

3) Demian Maia vs. Nate Marquardt set for UFC 102

Dear MMA gods,

I asked for this awhile back and its nice to know you were listening.  Thank you.

Signed,
Ken

Hell yes!  I wanted this fight as soon as UFC 95 was over and it has been delivered.  And really, it makes perfect sense since whoever wins could now justify getting a title shot because, as it stands now, I think both their recent resumes are just a shade under deserving of a chance at the gold.

This is going to be a great fight and right now I’m leaning towards Marquardt stopping the Maia freight train.  Demian had trouble submitting Jason MacDonald and I believe Nate’s grappling is a touch above The Athlete’s.  On top of this, Nate is the most well-rounded fighter to face Maia to date and it’s going to be tough for the BJJ master to get this to the ground.

As always, I reserve the right to flip-flop approximately 100 times before this fight happens.

4) Anderson Silva to face Forrest Griffin at UFC 101

Dear MMA gods,

Wow, I didn’t even ask for this one – you just decided to surprise me.

Thanks!
Ken

Oh baby, baby, baby!

I seriously did not see this coming – no one did – but I can’t wait!

Silva wanted a challenge and now he’s got one.  Forrest is as legit as they come and, more importantly, he is a HUGE light-heavyweight.  We will see how well Anderson can do at 205 after this fight because I think Griffin will give him all he can handle.

I don’t think he’s the best or anywhere near it – but, Forrest is a gamer and he is one man I would never feel comfortable betting against.  If he wins this fight, his legacy as a ‘giant killer’ is going to be cemented.

B.J. vs. Kenny AND Anderson vs. Forrest?  Yea, you’ll be seeing me in Philly.

5) Joe Stevenson to train at Greg Jackson’s Camp for upcoming fight with Nate Diaz

Good move by Joe as a change of scenery was needed.

This guy was such a blue-chip prospect after TUF2, but it seems like he has hit the ceiling on his potential.  Don’t get me wrong, he has had a lot of success in the UFC, but it seems like he has remained stagnant in his skills.  It looks like they will only be good enough to bring him to his current role as a gatekeeper of sorts.  Hopefully, the new camp will change things around.

It all goes back to what I’ve always said.  The fighters that become the biggest stars from TUF are the ones with potential – like Florian, Evans and Forrest.  Not the ones who win their season because they are so far ahead of the other competitors in terms of experience – like Joe Daddy and Danzig.

That wraps up this week at Intelligently Defending.  Check back for a mailbag on Monday – I am chomping at the bit to talk about Jose Canseco’s MMA career, but I’ll save it.

Also, if anyone would like to make some money, I Want Revenge is winning the Derby tomorrow.  You can take that to the bank.

Have a good weekend – leave some love and/or hate in the comments section.

-Ken

http://www.IntelligentlyDefending.com

Well-Rounded Skills #1

This is a new feature here at ID to run on Fridays.  Basically, just a mixed bag of quick thoughts on the stories flying around the world of MMA.

I’m not married to the name, so let me know if you got something better.

Note: Big-ups to the folks at two of my favorite websites – MMAjunkie and MMAmania – where all of the below stories are being reported

Here we go…

1) Fedor Emelianenko to face Shinya Aoki in a special grappling match at M-1 Challenge.

What in the blue hell is the point of this?

Whatever, it’s being held in Tokyo and the Japanese crowd loves stuff like this – so more power to them. And, not that I dislike Fedor, but I would laugh my ass off if Aoki subbed him.

2) UFC Undisputed 2009 demo for Xbox Live now Available for download.

My current video game rotation includes Tetris on my computer and the occasional game of Wii Bowling at parties – so the release of the new UFC video game doesn’t do much for me.

Truth be told, I don’t see how this is going to be true-to-life.  MMA is such a complex sport with so many variables that I would think it damn near impossible to make a video game that does it justice.  This isn’t to say the game won’t be fun; it just won’t be realistic – which would annoy me to no end if I was a player.

Should the game prove me wrong however, I may have to shell out the money for an Xbox 360.

3) TUF 8 Champ Efrain Escudero in talks to face Cole Miller at UFC 103

Damn, that’s a tough first fight for my man Efrain.

Miller has the huge reach advantage and the better BJJ credentials.  Efrain can most likely put him on the canvas though.   I don’t see him doing much damage from the top however, and Cole has shown to be very spry from his back.  Interesting fight.

4) Matt Brown vs. Anthony Johnson at TUF9 Finale

This should be an exciting one.

I hear some people saying ‘Johnson is going to crush him’ and other saying ‘this is an easy win for Brown.’  I agree with neither side and see this being a highly competitive fight.  Johnson continues to get better and Brown has looked good since TUF8 – which I never expected.

The TUF9 card is filthy.  We have this fight, Joe Daddy vs. Nate Diaz and Diego vs. Guida in the main event.  That is by far the best trio of non-TUF fights to be on a finale. I can’t wait.

Now if I could only get interested in the current season.

5) Mike Swick hopeful ‘exciting win in Germany’ over Ben Saunders will earn him a title shot.

Whoa, let’s slow down there, Mike.

I’m a big Swick fan and feel he’s one of the most underrated fighters in the UFC – his 8-1 record is legit.  Still, a welterweight title shot is still a few wins away.

Wins over Burkman, Davis and Goulet are solid, but not championship material.  A dominating win over Saunders won’t get him over that hump either.  He really needs to beat one of the division’s top dogs before he gets a shot at GSP.

For Swick, getting a top-level opponent is a little tricky since he’s training partners with both Koscheck and Fitch and, therefore, would never fight them.   Of course, this is also a good thing for him since they both would be terrible match-ups stylistically.

If Mike gets by Saunders a fight with either Martin Kampmann or Dustin Hazelett would make sense.   We can start talking title shot if he gets by one of those two fighters.

Leave comments below with any thoughts.  Have a good weekend everyone!

-Ken

http://www.IntelligentlyDefending.com