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MMA Stock Market — “UFC 134: Silva vs. Okami” Edition

By Jason Moles

After a spectacular night of fights at UFC 134 in Rio, we’re going to try to make sense of it with a little game called ‘Buy, Sell, or Hold’. I’ll take a fighter and either buy, sell, or hold him like a stockbroker would. (It’s kind of like the real stock market, except you won’t want to throw yourself off a building afterwards.) Take my advice and you’ll end up with a nice MMA portfolio. Without further ado…

Anderson Silva: Buy! Buy! Buy!

The Spider‘ has everything you’d want from a blue chip stock: an x-factor that makes people want to see him fight, major corporate sponsors, and hilarious commercials. Oh yeah, and his fighting isn’t that bad either. Silva’s complete and utter domination of Yushin Okami at UFC 134 just reinforces what we already knew — we are witnessing the greatest fighter of all time every time he steps inside the Octagon™.

Yushin Okami: Dump it like your autographed picture of Carrot Top.

He is currently ranked as the #3 best Middleweight and yet it seems all for naught. Okami showed up to a gunfight with a pair of flip-flops and a bag of Skittles against Silva. Despite working with the only man to dominate the champion, he never once came close to showing a spark in Brazil. I have a feeling he’ll face the same fate as Jon Fitch to Get Another Title Shot” href=”” target=”_blank”>Jon Fitch while his stock becomes more cursed than Monster.

Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua: Buy it like they’re giving it away for free.

The ‘Shogun’ Rua that showed up Saturday night is not the same man who Jon Jones Fight” href=”” target=”_blank”>fought and lost to Jon Jones earlier this year. He proved that he has completely recovered from his past knee surgeries, and destroyed a Top 10 light-heavyweight fighter without breaking a sweat. Rua will once again rise to the top — you can bank on that.

Forrest Griffin: Sell

The two-time New York Times bestselling author and former UFC Light-Heavyweight champion is an open book when it comes to his feelings about fighting overseas, training, and why he continues to fight. Likewise, I too shall be an open book about where to put your money in the MMA stock market, and it’s not here. In his last five fights, Griffin has won only twice against guys who peaked five to seven years prior. Liquidate whatever stock you have in the TUF 1 winner.

Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira: Sell*

At the ripe old age of 35, Big Nog did the unthinkable in knocking out a rising star in 28-year-old Brendan Schuab. Modern medicine, or maybe witchcraft, has given Nogueira an unforgettable night in front of his compatriots and you’ve gotta know he deserves it. Nevertheless, that in no way means you should buy Big Nog stock considering the likelihood that he’ll retire in the next few years and won’t be getting a crack at the title anytime soon.

*Note: If the UFC returns to Brazil in 2012, you’d be best served to make a Bed and Breakfast deal on this stock. Just be sure to dump once you think you’ve hit the tipping point.

Brendan Schaub: Hold

People have been a little high on the Hybrid. Sure, he’s promising, but his seemingly glass chin gives me pause. You won’t get rich on him, but you could definitely go broke on him. Let’s slow down on Schaub and watch it play out.

Edson Barboza: Buy

Buy this stock now and sell it early next year, right before the bubble pops. Like we mentioned here yesterday, Barboza barely got by a hand-picked opponent. Not convinced? Consider his fight against Anthony Njokuani at UFC 128 where he struggled to take home a decision win. Listen, you’re only as good as your last night and there will be a sucker that only remembers he beat a guy who won The Ultimate Fighter and will line your pockets with hundies.

Ross Pearson: Hold

There are too many talented fighters in the Lightweight division to buy more stock of the TUF 9 winner. Although he lost, he did look much better than he has in the past, so there’s no reason to sell what stock you already have. If the Brits didn’t have such a bad reputation for having a non-existent wrestling game, I may have bought some of this stock myself.

Luiz Cane: Sell

Winning just one of his last four fights — and that was against a guy who is no longer employed by Zuffa — Luiz Cane is a sinking ship. He is the only Brazilian to lose at UFC Rio, which will stick with him for years to come. He is now the answer to a trivia question. Get out while you still can and cut your losses.

Spencer Fisher: Sell, Sell, Sell

Jordan Breen said it best on Twitter last night: As much action as he’s given us over the years, Spencer Fisher is a spent force as an enterprising UFC lightweight.

Cagepotato Comments

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macreadysshack- August 30, 2011 at 8:34 am
I'm 100% with RwilsonR in the respect that I buy into Silva having a rib injury during his fight with Chael. I think Silva vs Chael 2 will be significantly more competitive than Silva vs Okami but will end with Chael having a flashlight shined in his eyes sometime during round 2 or 3.
SnackDaddy- August 30, 2011 at 5:14 am
I was really impressed with Pearson's performance against Barboza. I think Pearson vs Miller or Pearson vs Siver would make great matches.
Barboza displayed the kind of striking i haven't seen before. The guy hits fast and hard. I'd like to see him fight someone like the Cowboy, Clay Guida or Pettis to put him in the title mix.
Does anyone else feel that our current champion and contender, Edgar and Maynard are no longer valid. I like Edgar, but it does seem the competition passed him by.
k-onda- August 29, 2011 at 7:46 pm
If near submissions shouldn't count for anything, then just holding a guy down shouldn't either.
A lot of these wrestlers are only considered "so good" because they get a break in the rule book - needs to be looked at.
nickyroose- August 29, 2011 at 2:56 pm
As a former wrestler I have to agree with much of the anti-Chael going on. I think Chael for all his bullshit is the most talented wrestler in MMA. Arguments could be made for GSP but I honestly think the edge goes to Chael. And while I got into MMa because I knew good wrestling beats good boxing, I cannot argue the fight between Chael and Anderson means anything. Chael is a top notch wrestler on 6x the amount of hormones allowed. whether he had medical clearance or not there is no clearance fro that kind of deviation. Therefore I concede only, Yes a Top 3 wrestler in all of MMA can take down Silva at will if he is chock full of 'roids and connects with a haymaker that stuns Silva right off the bat.
sethro250- August 29, 2011 at 2:53 pm
Can I get a borrow to short Forrest Griffin? I'll take some far out of the money LEAP call options on Edson Barboza; couple years from now he will be outstanding.
ArmFarmer- August 29, 2011 at 1:14 pm
I've also won bjj matches by taking the guy down, letting him up, and taking him down again.. those were the only points scored in the match. I'd get 2 he'd get 1. So, you actually can lay n pray your way to victory in bjj, wrestling, and mma. It works in all of them (as long as your bjj opponent is dumb enough to keep standing up). Anyway, the point is that's not really a valid argument. I'll stop beating the dead horse now.
ArmFarmer- August 29, 2011 at 1:12 pm
Just to clarify, in folkstyle (high school) you get points for the following: Takedown: 2 Escape: 1 Reversal: 2 Backpoints (brief): 2 points Backpoints (prolonged): 3
Those are the only points scored in wrestling, and I think college is almost the same. So no, you don't get points for advancing your position on the ground unless you are putting them on their back.

I'm not sure how it works for some of the other styles, but that's what I remember.
ArmFarmer- August 29, 2011 at 1:08 pm
Actually if you want to score it as a wrestling match Chael would have won far before the 5th round. You get two points for a takedown, 1 for getting back up. You also get points for having the opponents back exposed to the mat, and after enough of those rack up they just stop it. There's kind of a mercy rule, in high school at least, they stop the match after a 15 point lead. He would have been pinned far before that anyway. Not really the best argument to make, but not really relevant to the discussion anyway. It's not a wrestling match.
I have to disagree about near submissions though.. honestly I don't think they should count for hardly anything. Nearly getting an armbar does no damage to your opponent, so if you don't get the sub then it doesn't really mean dick imo.
Get Off Me- August 29, 2011 at 12:59 pm
I think wrestling is overscored in MMA right now. Hopefully moving forward there are some changes on both the commissions front as well as the UFC's front to help rectify this matter.
At the end of the day it is not only Anderson Silva who is at risk of losing a fight to a talented wrestler, every fighter who grapplers on their back is, Anderson fights off his back, he does not get any credit for submission attempts while controlling a fighter inside his guard. Fortunately Anderson is talented enough to finish fights off his back and did not allow Chael to make a mockery of the MW title(post fight test results).
If you took the cage away during Chael's fight with Silva and asked a wrestling judge to score that fight, you would find that Chael did not advance his position on the ground enough to score any real points in a wrestling scored bout. Wrestling is about controlling on one side but it also demands advancement on the ground. Wrestlers know in the octagon that simply being on top constitutes winning, which obviously is flawed. Scott Jorgensen vs. Ken Stone is a prime example of what type of damage a fighter can do from inside his opponents full guard, compare that to what Chael did for almost five rounds and you can begin to see that maybe the guy on the bottom is not in as much trouble as you may believe.
Sho Nuff- August 29, 2011 at 12:52 pm
Holy shit, Stak40, you disqualified yourself from the discussion. You clearly have no idea what the hell you're talking about. "Fitch (really?)" you say? Yes, the guy who has fought in the UFC for 6 years and has only lost to GSP. Yes, really. The guy who came into the UFC at 11-2 and 6 years later is 23-3-1 (which should be 24, we all know he beat BJ). Yes, really, him.
Get Off Me- August 29, 2011 at 12:49 pm
"Henderson, Lutter, and Chael took Anderson down without much trouble, all the guys with american wrestling backgrounds"

If this is the best way to beat Anderson, so far it's 0-3.
Silva wins by KO 8 times, Sub 3 times, UD 2 times and once due to injury of opponent. Nobody has this type of porfolio with the UFC, nobody has defended the title longer, nobody has finished fights in so many different ways and nobody is as entertaining to watch if you look at the body of work he has in the UFC.
Shit on him all you want...enjoy.
ArmFarmer- August 29, 2011 at 12:41 pm
Anderson fights in the only division that isn't stacked with powerhouse wrestlers.. I think that's a pretty compelling argument. If there were 5 or 6 elite ncaa all americans at mw like there are in most other divisions, he probably wouldn't be so dominant. Franklin, Forrest, Okami, Leites, Maia, Cote, Leben.. non of these guys are elite strikers OR elite wrestlers. His submission wins over Hendo, Lutter, and Sonnen are impressive though. Have to give credit where credit is due, Silva is a beast and highly skilled both on the feet and on the ground, but he doesn't have a division full of powerhouse wrestlers to deal with like everyone else. You have to admit, mw is the weakest division in ufc without question.
Stak40- August 29, 2011 at 11:57 am
Can yall please get off Sonnens baby nuts already. Fuck! Thats all you Silva haters have to hang on to. The guy who doped up, took down a hurt Silva, did no damage and got choked out. No he didn't lay and pray, he threw 300 pussy punches from the top and looked like he got hit in the face with a bat!

Fedor, overrated. Ability to take damage from garbage oppenents and come out the victor. Heavies back then were less skilled and really were only looking for haymaker KOs. Not the case now. Fedor was before his time and showed skill over strength. Now that heavies are just as skilled as everyone else Fedor now struggles. Lets not forget Fedor is younger than Silva and has about the same number of fights.

GSP. A true champ but his opponents aren't that stellar either. Hughes (legit), BJ(way smaller opponent, legit), Serra (all it takes is one lucky punch) Kos (legit, one sided), Fitch (really?). So how are these opponents any more skilled or dangerous than Silvas?
ArmFarmer- August 29, 2011 at 11:37 am
Henderson, Lutter, and Chael took Anderson down without much trouble, all the guys with american wrestling backgrounds. It's not like the guys impossible to get to the ground, don't overestimate his td defense just because he stops jiu jitsu guys from getting him down. I don't much about Okami's wrestling background, but Chael sure as hell made him look like an amateur in that department.
ArmFarmer- August 29, 2011 at 11:35 am
Okami usually uses body lock takedowns which I think are less effective against Anderson. Chael has an excellent outside shot that he sets up with strikes and combines with reshoots and all kinds of other wrestling tricks, and he's just a far superior wrestler in general compared to Okami. Guys like Leites, Marquardt, and maia don't have wrestling backgrounds so their takedowns are not aggressive and kind of suck. I think Chael will take Anderson down at will if they fight again, the only question is will get ko'd inbetween, or subbed on the ground. I doubt Anderson will stuff his takedowns though.
madcowboy- August 29, 2011 at 11:34 am
Bones Jones is the best challenge for Spider out there, what a super fight that would be. Dont forget that bones has not had his chin seriously tested yet... thats the x factor. one day Jones might be as good as silva, he only has 8 title defenses to go against whoever. I love how people say all these chumps silva has been fighting, well we know none of the keyboard warriors have ever fought because every damn fighter in the UFC is a good fighter and had to get thru most local promotions first.
madcowboy- August 29, 2011 at 11:28 am
enough of the silva has a weakness, really if he did some people should have been able to take advantage of it then. I guess you really cant call it a weakness if the man hasnt been beat in like 15 fights 9 defenses ect ect against ground experts like lutter,hendo & stale kale all beat on the ground... imagine that. not so weak I guess and of course he was injured against kale. I hope they do the rematch with Kale so he can look like okami the second time around except Spider will beat him so bad he will retire. I cant recall any light heavyweights waiting in line to drop down to 185 and take on silva. They better hope he doesnt move up.
SumDumGuy- August 29, 2011 at 11:27 am
@dano: how can some one have a "glaring weakness" that nobody is able to exploit? Isn't the way we know strenght from weakness they way they are exploited?
RwilsonR- August 29, 2011 at 11:17 am
Anderson does have weaknesses, but it isn't for lack of trying that nobody can exploit them. Anderson lacks wrestling, and would be submittable by some top level jiu-jitsu guys. Problem is that bjj guys can't take him down, and wrestlers don't seem to have the ability to pass his guard and lay on any real damage. I was rooting for Chael Sonnen in that fight as much as anyone, and I think he dominated the fight, but I also fully buy into Anderson's rib injury that night. He looked very off. Normally Anderson has the superb footwork to avoid most takedowns and make up for his shitty wrestling.
Sho Nuff- August 29, 2011 at 10:29 am
Agree, danomite. Nicely stated. Bones is one scary dude.
danomite- August 29, 2011 at 10:26 am
I've been a Rua fan for a long time and I think he's top 3 or 4 at lhw, but he didn't lose to Jon Jones because of any injuries. He lost because Jon Jones is much, much better than everyone else. He will lose to Jon Jones almost every time they fight. Hopefully Jones isn't the champ next time Rua gets a title shot, because obviously I want shogun to be the champ again. Jon Jones is a guy that could dominate everybody in his division and I would say it's because he is just that good, and not because he is in a division full of bums. That's because I've seen, and been very impressed by, every aspect of his game. Anderson Silva on the other hand is a guy who is great at certain aspects of fighting but has a glaring weakness that nobody in his division seems willing or capable of exposing.
ArmFarmer- August 29, 2011 at 10:17 am
You guys have some selective memory... watch Sonnen vs Silva again.. please. He was getting his ass handed to him, not just lay n prayed. Chael owned him bad the first couple rounds especially, he was posturing up and dropping bombs. Yeah, silva didn't show much damage, but that doesn't mean he was just laying on him. Seriously, I challenge anyone that thinks Sonnen just laid on him to watch that fight again.
Sho Nuff- August 29, 2011 at 10:11 am
@Ninjay: I didn't mean that Fedor is currently the best fighter in MMA. I meant that I would still put Fedor in the #1 spot of "greatest fighter ever". His reign over the world heavyweight division was legendary and a decade long. You can't claim that "he shoulda come to the UFC" because the UFC heavyweight division sucked, and he beat those former champions. Now, the UFC has a solid heavyweight division, and no, Fedor could not compete today at the upper echelon of the division.

@RWilsonR: You left out Coleman and Fujita. Randelman was no joke (then). Who else was top 10 during Fedor's pride reign that he did not fight? Just Silvia and Arlovski and he kicked the shit out of both of them right after. He never got to face Randy (would have LOVED to have seen that one) and never fought Barnett in Pride, but that was about it.

Now, I agree GSP would be on this list. He's beaten some of the greatest fighters of his day - BJ, Matt Hughes, Jon Fitch, Shields, Paryisan when that meant something. He just needs to get away from Greg Jackson and remember what it means to be a man and actually fight instead of play for points.
nickyroose- August 29, 2011 at 9:40 am
Sho Nuff -- you best be trolling.

The only person you can say was top 5 when Fedor beat him is Nog and maybe overrated Cro Cop. Don't get me wrong I liked Cro cop but right leg hospital left leg morgue if you wrestle it's still a double leg takedown.

Fedor is the GOOAT -- greatest Overrated of all time.
RwilsonR- August 29, 2011 at 9:32 am
Fedor didn't even come close to clearing out the Pride HW division of contenders, and outside of CroCop and Nog, he was not fighting the best at the time. What a silly comparison.
If you want to talk about difficulty of schedules, GSP has had the hardest road and beaten the best fighters. But everyone complains about how he dominates, so you just can't win.
I've said it before... Okami is a very high quality fighter, who has always been right in the fight no matter how tough the opponent. That he looked woefully inadequate on Saturday night is not a statement on how bad Okami is, but how good Anderson is.