(In a way, we were all the “Screaming PRIDE Lady” that night. / Photo courtesy of Esther Lin, MMA Fighting)
By Jason Moles
The suits on Wall Street keep whispering about a ‘Halloween indicator‘ and how now is not a time to sell; rather we should sit back and let our riches mount. Call it what you will, but millions watched UFC on FOX and UFC 139 and concluded the same thing: Most fighter’s stocks are rising steadily. Even if you’re not sure which is the true Fight of the Year from this weekend — Dan Henderson vs. Marucio Rua or Eddie Alvarez vs. Michael Chandler — you’ll know how to safeguard your hypothetical MMA portfolio’s worth after playing another round of ‘Buy, Sell, Hold’.
Stephan Bonnar: Buy
It’s hard to believe that any TUF veteran could take nearly a year off from the sport and return with the engine firing on all cylinders, but Stephan Bonnar did just that. The BJJ schooling he dished out was almost as surprising as his apology to Josh Koscheck for making those damn shirts. Even that wasn’t the most unexpected thing to happen; one judge gave the ‘American Psycho’ a 30-25 victory. Grab hold of any unclaimed stock before he starts getting big fights and Dana declares him “in the mix.”
Kyle Kingsbury: Sell it like a dog with fleas
When Kyle Kingsbury comes to mind, so does the letter ‘O’ – as in Outclassed, Outworked, and Oxymoron. Not once did this guy look like he belonged in the Octagon despite his four-fight win streak since losing his UFC debut against “Filthy” Tom Lawlor at the Ultimate Fighter 8 finale. Do not let critics scare you into keeping an underperforming stock by calling you a prisoner of the moment. After all, this is mixed martial arts where you’re only as good as your last fight.
Martin Kampmann – Buy
While some would argue that Martin Kampmann should be riding a five-fight win streak right now — with his previous decision losses to Jake Shields and Diego Sanchez falling somewhere between “questionable” and “straight bullshit” — the truth is that the Hitman was one pitch away from being struck out. Just like baseball, MMA has its own set of unwritten rules, one of which is ‘three losses and you’re cut’, unless you’re Dan Hardy. Thankfully for the Danish fighter, he decoded the opponent’s signals, managed to hit a solid line drive, and made it on base. Keep your eye on this guy; big things are on the horizon.
Rick Story – Hold, Please
There are still a few chapters yet to be written about Rick Story‘s mixed martial arts career. What seemed at first to be a low comedy is now looking more like a familiar tragedy. The hype train derailed after Story was dominated by late replacement Charlie Brenneman at UFC Live: Kongo vs. Barry. Being fully aware that Story took that fight a little less than a month after defeating Thiago Alves, I still don’t like this investment at the moment because everything has to go right to make the stock go to the next level, and that’s a very tough call in this particular environment. Maybe he should listen to Joe Rogan going forward; at least he could tell Rick that giving up your back in the third round is not the wisest decision.
Urijah Faber – Buy it like they’re giving it away from free
Dominick Cruz” href=”http://www.cagepotato.com/urijah-faber-earns-rubbermatch-with-dominick-cruz/” target=”_blank”>Dominic Cruz will defend his Bantamweight title against “The California Kid” in a rubber match after Urijah Faber took out top contender Brian Bowles via submission. If it seems like we’re experiencing deja vu it’s because these two took Fight of the Night honors this past summer at UFC 132, a mere four months ago. Faber methodically picked his opponent apart and managed not to break his hands in the process. Kudos are in order. It won’t matter if he beats Cruz this time around just as it won’t matter if he never wins a belt in the UFC. People love this guy and so should you. TCKUF is MMA’s version of MEG.
Brian Bowles – Dump it like a Kardashian
Brian Bowles‘ calm acceptance of not being “one of the cool kids” is like me being okay with not being nominated for Journalist of the Year in the sense that any other reaction is complete nonsense and no amount of objection to the contrary would do a damn bit of good. The fear of breaking his hands again alone is enough to make the former champion hesitant and uncomfortable fighting the same style that lead to him headlining fight cards. I doubt he will ever be a legitimate contender again; for this reason I’m dumping all BB stock I own and suggest you do likewise.
Cung Le – Hold
I find it difficult to fault the Hollywood action star/three-time Wushu World Championships bronze medalist/2007 Kung Fu Artist of the Year/Former Strikeforce Middleweight Champion/lover of many slashes for coming up short in his UFC debut. Those pesky Octagon jitters are real, knowmsayin? Questionable stoppage or not, Cung Le was not going to win that fight. It just wasn’t meant to be, which leads me to the rest of the fighters on the UFC 139 PPV…
Wanderlei Silva, Dan Henderson, and Shogun Rua – Buy, Buy, Buy
Three former champions from PRIDE, Strikeforce, and UFC, all of whom are future Hall of Famers, looked defeat in the eyes and declared that they would not go down without a fight. “The Axe Murderer” got clipped, went down, and came back to welcome the aforementioned Cung Le to the big show the proper way — by punching and kneeing him into a bloody pulp. There’s a certain country in the Pacific Ocean that is just dying to see Wanderlei Silva return to the Land of the Rising Sun that will undoubtedly yield massive short term dividends.
Immediately after, Dan Henderson and Maurico “Shogun” Rua battled it out in what Dana White says is one of the top three fights in MMA history. Despite the initial reaction of the masses after seeing undefeated Michael Chandler choke out Eddie Alvarez for the Bellator lightweight championship, Hendo vs. Shogun is quite possibly the single best fight anyone has ever had the privilege of watching. Both men were rocked, bloodied, and generally pretty banged up entering the final round, one that never would have happened if Josh Rosenthal had his way. Henderson may have got the ‘W’, but both are winners in the eyes of the fans, even if some insist the fight should have been ruled a draw requiring an immediate rematch.