(This man has several advantages over you in a fight. One is that he has absolutely no concern about what you might do to his pretty face.)
We’ve already covered what might generously be called an ‘enthusiasm gap’ surrounding tomorrow night’s UFC Fight Night 19 in Oklahoma City, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t anything worth talking about here. If our mothers taught us anything, it’s that the best way to deal with a problem is pretend there is no problem, pushing that anger and resentment way down inside until you can blow up over something that’s completely unrelated at a later date. With that in mind, we bring you some of the note-worthy storylines that are lurking in the sub-text of Wednesday night’s Spike TV event:
1. Is Brock Larson Getting the Shaft, or an Easy Payday?
So let me get this straight. Brock Larson comes back to the UFC after the WEC dissolves its welterweight division and he beats Jesse Sanders at Fight Night 18, then Mike Pyle at UFC 98, both via first-round submissions, and he gets rewarded with a fight against a UFC rookie on the dark portion of Fight Night 19? Am I the only one who doesn’t see the logic there?
Look, Mike Pierce seems like a tough guy and all and maybe he can really give Larson a go, but it kind of seems like Larson is getting the CB Dollaway treatment only without turning in CB Dollaway performances. The guy’s a stone cold ass-kicker who hasn’t lost a fight since 2007. Come on UFC, give him somebody tough and tested, and put it on TV. If it means Carlos Condit and Jake Ellenberger get bumped, so be it. On a related note…
2. Mike Pyle Gets a Chance to Show What He Can Do on a Full Stomach
If you thought Pyle looked out of his league when Larson swarmed all over him at UFC 98, that might have been because he only found out he was getting that fight a few days earlier, and that meant a brutal last-minute weight cut just to get his ticket into the UFC. Think of that one as a favor from Pyle to Joe Silva. He cut the weight, nearly passed into the spirit world doing it, then took the late-notice beatdown. Now he gets a real fight against Chris Wilson, the guy he filled in for back in May, and he gets an actual chance to put on a show. Pyle has a ton of talent and everyone down at Xtreme Couture knows it. Now he just needs to find a way to bring it all with him in his second UFC fight, or else there may not be a third.
You heard it here first. The actual monetary award might go to the headlining bout even if it isn’t actually the best fight, and that would be consistent with the UFC’s M.O., but Quarry/Credeur has the makings of the best pure scrap on this card. Both these dudes are well-rounded, tough guys on the verge of jumping to that next level. They can both bang, just like they can both take a shot, so this one could turn into a shootout in a hurry.
If Credeur wins he’s 4-0 since his TUF stint and deserves a shot at someone higher up in the middleweight class, like maybe a Kang or an Akiyama. If Quarry wins, he might finally generate a highlight that will make them stop playing that horrible KO loss to Rich Franklin. So you see, both men have a lot to gain here.
4. At Last, Ryan Jensen Gets a Reasonable Opponent in the UFC
One of the reasons Ryan Jensen is at the very bottom of an unspectacular lineup is that he is 0-3 in the UFC. That sounds pretty bad, but take a look at who the three were: Thales Leites, Demian Maia, and Wilson Gouveia. He actually looked like he was on his way to beating Gouveia before getting caught in a second-round armbar, but sadly they don’t give you any extra points for that.
What they do give you, after taking a few losses, is an opponent more in line with your experience level. Steve Steinbeiss is 4-2 and making his UFC debut, so here’s one that Jensen should actually win. If he does, maybe he gets a chance to build something without being thrown to the wolves. If he doesn’t, well, something tells us there’ll be a great yard sale at Jensen’s place when the rent comes due next month.