We’re at it again. In this edition, Cage Potato editors Ben Goldstein and Ben Fowlkes debate whether UFC 85 is worth the money, which match-up will provide the most fireworks, and who’s likely to get cut once this one is in the books.
Is this card worth buying on pay-per-view? If so, do you wait until the evening re-broadcast, or go ahead and blow your load on Saturday afternoon?
Fowlkes: For hardcore MMA fans, the phrase “worth buying” is almost meaningless. Of course we’re going to buy it. We’re suckers. We factor the cost of a pay-per-view or two into our monthly budgets without even thinking about the card.
For a casual viewer, UFC 85 may not be worth the trouble. The main event isn’t exactly compelling for most people, and much of the rest of card is tailored more for the British fans than the Spike TV crowd. Considering all the events that have been crammed together recently, less fervent MMA fans may take this Saturday off and spend time with their families or some stupid shit.
As for when you watch it, some purists might wait until the re-broadcast to simulate the experience they’ve grown accustomed to, but I love daytime drinking too much for that. Normal PPV’s don’t start until 10 pm on the East Coast, and that’s just a touch too late for my tastes. I love the idea of an afternoon of fights. It leaves my evening free to pursue other interests, such as nighttime drinking.
Goldstein: If I wasn’t independently wealthy, this would definitely be a “wait until the fights show up on RuTube” kind of event. To be fair, I think UFC 85′s main card has potential, but where “Bedlam” really suffers is the undercard — no stars, no exciting newcomers, and no fights that have any impact in the league outside of determining who will be sunk in the next wave of roster cuts. (Not that it makes much of a difference in terms of the pay-per-view broadcast, since they’ll only show the most exciting undercard fights anyway.)
Still, if you’re hardcore enough to shell out for this one, there’s no reason not to catch it live. In this day and age, you’d have to go to extreme lengths to avoid having the results spoiled for you before the re-broadcast — like not coming onto this site all day, which is pretty much retarded. When there’s an excuse to get blasted before dinner, the wise man takes it.
What will be the “Fight of the Night”?
Goldstein: Davis vs. Swick, without a doubt. Have you ever known “The Irish Hand Grenade” to be in a boring fight? Recent struggles aside, Swick is also known to finish fights in thrilling fashion, and both these guys will step into the cage with a lot to prove — they’ll be fighting not just to win, but to send a message. A striking war is likely, which will further ensure that they stumble out of the Octagon with some bonus money — something that Davis is no stranger to.
I’m also looking forward to Vera/Werdum, as both fighters have a lot of talent, and it’s a very even matchup. Still, I’m not expecting a finish, and I’m not sold on Werdum as a particularly exciting fighter.
Fowlkes: If Swick is dumb enough or desperate enough to stand and bang it out with Davis in some misguided attempt to prove that he’s not as boring as he looked against Burkman, then we will see an explosive finish one way or another. When your fighting strategy is dictated by your ego, that’s usually what happens. But does a KO finish necessarily equal fight of the night? If so, then Bisping-Day also has fight of the night potential, even though I don’t think it will be particularly competitive.
As far as a real back-and-forth war, I think the Hughes-Alves main event has the best chance to deliver. Call me crazy, but something about the blend of styles in this fight, not to mention the equally frenetic mentalities of Brazilian strikers and Midwestern wrestlers, makes this a very intriguing match-up. While I still don’t think it’s a great main event, it should make for an exciting fight.
Which fighter is in the greatest danger of being cut after UFC 85?
Goldstein: I think every fighter on the undercard needs to prove himself in order to gain some job security. These 12 guys aren’t exactly the UFC’s rising stars; half of them aren’t even gatekeepers. That being said, two of them stick out in my mind as the most at-risk for a pink slip.
Paul Taylor is the only fighter on the card with back-to-back losses, and he has no fanbase outside of the U.K. A third straight loss would be unacceptable for someone of his lowly stature. Luis Cane is another one who should be on his best behavior, as his Octagon debut turned into an embarrassing loss-by-DQ. If he doesn’t prove himself against Jason Lambert, the UFC really has no reason to keep him around.
As for who’s more likely to lose, it’s hard to say. I think Cane will have a little more trouble with Lambert than Taylor will have with Jess Liaudin, so maybe the Brazilian will be bounced out of the league while the Brit will live to scrap another day.
Fowlkes: Taylor-Liaudin is definitely a loser-gets-fired match. It’s not just Taylor who’s on the chopping block. If Liaudin loses that will be two straight for him, and he’ll be another very mediocre fighter in one of the UFC’s strongest divsions. There’s no reason to keep a guy like that under contract.
Cane is also in trouble, though not nearly as much trouble as someone like Matt Wiman. He’s been fed a couple of easy opponents lately, but I think he’s in for a beatdown against Tavares. The UFC has plenty of top-shelf lightweights in their stable right now, and they don’t need Wiman hanging around taking up space. The coffee is for closers, Wiman. I am not fucking with you.