By: Brian Chapman
Here are four thoughts on the UFC
One. Dan Cormier and Jon Jones have some real beef.
These two light heavyweights were supposed to fight for the championship belt until UFC 178 on September 27 and were not wasting any time building up anticipation and hatred in advance of the bout. Since then Jones injured his leg in practice and the fight has been pushed back until UFC 182 on January 3 which means we have three more months to get more of the tender juicy beef that we’ve gotten from these two in the last couple of weeks.
Last week the two brawled at a UFC prefight promotional event. They didn’t just tussle, push and shove. They landed punches, wrestled and caused mayhem. Then later in the week the two were interviewed on ESPN from separate locations. With the cameras still rolling, but not live on the air, Jones and Cormier hurled verbal assaults at one another including Cormier threatening to spit in Jones’s face and Jones threatening to retaliate by murdering Cormier.
Click HERE to see the video… WARNING THIS VIDEO CONTAINS STRONG LANGUAGE THAT’S NSFW
And if that wasn’t enough Jones later took the beef to Jimmy Kimmel Live to tell his side of the story.
Oftentimes in boxing and MMA we see dislike between a pair of fighters that is manufactured solely to sell tickets, sell pay-per-views and drum up interest in the fight. This does not seem to be one of those cases. I expect more of this over the next three and a half months, I can’t wait for the next round of it and, as long as we don’t see someone taking a cheap shot after the bell or spitting in someone’s face, I think this will all lead to an insanely entertaining fight at the start of next year.
A fight that Jones will win by TKO in the 4th round.
Second. The Spider is returning, but he won’t get his belt back.
Anderson “The Spider” Silva is one of the biggest reasons why I got into the UFC so to say that I was disappointed when snapped his shin on Chris Weidman’s leg in December (a la Kevin Ware and Paul George) is an understatement. I was devastated. Then July 30 came and the UFC announced that Silva would make his official return to the octagon in UFC 183 on January 31, 2015 against Nick Diaz which is fantastic news for me as a fan and is great for the UFC.
As much as fans are anticipating the Jones vs. Cormier fight in UFC 182 in January or the TJ Dillashaw vs. Renan Berao rematch in 16 days in UFC 177 or whenever Ronda Rousey fights next, UFC 183 has to be the most anticipated event on the schedule. Silva is the greatest UFC fighter of all time and whether you root for or against him, you simply cannot miss his fights.
That said, I just can’t see him getting his belt back. I thought he was the better fighter than Weidman in their first fight last summer, but for the first time in his career, Silva played around too much, got caught and lost the fight. Weidman was winning the rematch, but it was close and who knows what would have happened if Silva’s leg had not given out. If Silva can get back to his pre-Weidman form, he can certainly jump back to the top, but it’s just so unlikely.
That shin break was catastrophic and horrifying. Some people never even return to jogging after an injury like that so it’s amazing that he’s made it back to the point where he can train for a UFC fight, but that doesn’t mean he’s destined to regain the middleweight championship belt. Plus, Silva is 39 years old. That’s pretty old for a professional athlete and it’s stunning that he was able to remain the best in the world for as long as he did, but it probably won’t last. I’m not even fully convinced that he’ll be able to handle Diaz.
Third. There is a new weight class for women’s UFC fighters.
Introducing the strawweight division for women’s UFC fighting. This new class of 115lb fighters becomes just the second weight class for women in the UFC, joining the 135lb bantamweight division dominated by Ronda Rousey. These strawweight women will make their debuts on the 20th season of The Ultimate Fighter and the first champion will be crowned at the end of the season. One of the craziest things about the new division is that Paige Vanzant is arguably the division’s best fighter she wasn’t even eligible to participate in the show because she had not yet turned 21 years old.
Regardless of who the favorite is to win the belt, this new division is critical for the growth of women’s UFC fighting. As great as Rousey is, there have to be more women fighters and more women star fighters if they are to grow the sport and the best way to get more is to open up the UFC to more divisions.
If they’re anything like their male counterparts, these women in the strawweight division will have a tougher time knocking out their opponents, but should be faster than bantamweight fighters. The next step should be to start a weight class above 135lbs at say 155lbs or 170lbs to see how UFC commissioner Dana White and the public receive larger women fighters who pack a little bit more thump in their strikes.
Fourth. Chael Sonnen is the A-Rod of MMA.
Actually, calling Sonnen the A-Rod of MMA is too kind because at least Alex Rodriguez allegedly used his PEDs to help his team win a championship and to help himself win an MVP. All Sonnen has ever done is lose championship fights at various weight classes every time he’s gotten a chance. When you never win anything and you lie about being a blatant PED abuser, it makes you the Rafael Palmeiro or the Sammy Sosa of MMA.
Earlier this year he was suspended by the UFC for a positive drug test. Sonnen claimed he used one banned substance to help with fertility so that he could have children with his wife. Then in an act of defiance, during a live taping of UFC Tonight on Fox Sports 1, he announced his retirement, citing family over fighting.
Then on July 23, the truth was unveiled to the world. Sonnen he had so many PEDs in his system that he was basically treating his body like a lab rat. He tested positive for anastrozole, clomifene, human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), human growth hormone (HGH) and recombinant human erythropoietin. In response the Nevada State Athletic Commission suspended him for two years, the UFC terminated his contract as a fighter and FOX terminated his contract as an analyst.
When you cheat that much, you get what you deserve and what he deserves is to lose to a no-name fighter on a no-name circuit. And guess what happened last Saturday: Click HERE to find out.
One last thing. There’s a free UFC fight card this Saturday night on Fox Sports 1. In the top three fights, I’m taking all of the underdogs to win: Saint-Preux over Bader, Maynard over Pearson and Boetsch over Tavares.