It looks like Gray Maynard will be eating Brazilian kicks and punches for Christmas in the delicacy’s native land.
The former number one UFC lightweight contender will be in Rio de Janeiro for the next few weeks to help UFC featherweight kingpin Jose Aldo prepare for his January 14 UFC 142 bout with Chad Mendes. Aldo invited “The Bully” to Brazil as his style is very similar to Mendes’. Gray arrived on Wednesday and will stick around until after the event in three weeks.
(This is where we’d normally make some sort of Geico Caveman reference, but those jokes, like the commercials, have been played out to the point of eye-gouging redundancy. So, uh…beauty and the beast?)
Though they may not get your engine revving, a couple of sure-to-be-undercard bouts have been booked for the UFC’s debut on FUEL TV, the first of which being a featherweight match-up between grappling wizards Jonathan Brookins and Rani Yahya. After lateral dropping his way through season 12 of The Ultimate Fighter, Brookins recently saw a four fight win streak snapped at the hands of featherweight contender Eric Koch in a three rounder reminiscent of Couture vs. Vera that saw Brookins unable to get Koch to the mat.
Yahya, on the other hand, is likely fighting for his future in the UFC. Just 1-3 in his past four, with the lone win coming against a struggling (and last minute replacement) Mike Brown, we last saw Yahya on the losing end of a unanimous decision to Jose Aldo‘s next challenger, Chad Mendes. Prior to the Brown win, Yahya was outclassed by Takeya Mizugaki in another decision at WEC 48 and TKO’ed by future flyweight champ Joseph Benavidez at WEC 45.
(Smiling in the presence of a woman? Automatic one-point deduction. / Photo via Sherdog)
As sort-of hazily defined by Nick Diaz back in January 2010, the Unified Rules of Stockton is an alternate MMA scoring system in which the winner of the fight is the guy who would have won if the match had continued indefinitely, and the loser is the guy who looks more fucked up afterwards. Under Stockton Rules, only the final round is scored, and holding onto top position without doing damage actually counts for negative points.
The more commonly used ten-point-must system keeps things nice and uniform, and doesn’t require judges to predict the future. But as we’ve seen time and time again, the fighter who has more points on the scorecards isn’t always who you would call the “winner.” So which notable UFC fights would have different results if the scoring system was a little more gangster? Let’s get an obvious one out of the way first…
DAN HENDERSON vs. MAURICIO “SHOGUN” RUA UFC 139, 11/19/11
UFC matchmaker Joe Silva has chosen a somewhat curious opponent for Yushin Okami for his next fight, considering that the only losses he’s had in the past three years came against arguably the number one and number two middleweights in the world.
The promotion announced today that Okami will lock horns with Tim Boetsch when the Octagon returns to “The Land of the Rising Sun” for UFC 144 on February 26.
(Aldo will make his third UFC title defense at home in Brazil.)
Jose Aldo will be in for a stiff test when he puts his UFC featherweight crown on the line against undefeated 11-0 wrestling standout Chad Mendes on January 14 at UFC 142 in a yet-to-be-announced locale in Brazil.
“Pound-for-pound superstar Jose Aldo will return home to fight in Brazil for the first time since 2007 when he defends his UFC featherweight title against unbeaten powerhouse Chad Mendes,” UFC president Dana White revealed to FoxSports.com this morning. “Aldo hasn’t lost in over five years, but Mendes has yet to lose in MMA, and after clearing out all the contenders put in his way, he believes he has what it takes to beat the champion.”
(Kenny chose brown and blue to match his face at the presser.)
When Kenny Florian fell short in his third UFC title bid Saturday night against featherweight champion Jose Aldo at UFC 136, fans and the media immediately began inexplicably asking “The Ultimate Fighter 1″ finalist if perhaps it would be a good time for him to call it a career. Seems a bit harsh, but everyone loves winner.
Even UFC president Dana White seemed to hint at the post-fight press conference that Florian’s future with the promotion might be behind the microphone as opposed to in the Octagon.
“I’ve got nothing but respect for him, and Kenny Florian will be with us no matter what.
“Kenny Florian’s awesome. He commentated our last show. I think he’s great on camera. I think he’s great on the mic,” White gushed. “He’s a talented guy with a lot of options, and he’s always been a solid guy with us and always been a team player. I love Kenny Florian. There’s a lot of things that could happen with Kenny Florian.”The thing about Kenny is he’s smart. He’s talented. He’s got other options. He’s got things going on outside of fighting, too. It’s just one of those things he needs to sit down and really figure out on his own.”
As a long time UFC fan, I’ve recently noticed that their marketing team has seemingly taken a break from using corny phrases to label their events. In fact, the last UFC pay-per-view to not be named after the fighters in the main event was back at UFC 125: Resolution, which featured the eventual draw between, you guessed it, Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard. You just don’t see that kind of irony everyday.
UFC 136 was actually able to provide us with closure, however — more closure in fact than any card in quite a while. Not only did Edgar vindicate himself in triumphant fashion, but Jose Aldo proved to many of his critics that his gas tank is not an issue, Kenny Florian proved that he will never, ever, win a title fight, and Chael Sonnen proved that ring rust is for the weak. But now, we look to the future, and more importantly, try to predict it for the weekend’s big winners. So if you think our future match-ups are garbage, be sure to let us know in the comments section below.
It’s no stretch to say that UFC 136 was, on paper, the most stacked UFC card since UFC 100. It featured two title fights, the return of the only middleweight to make Anderson Silva look human, a rematch from one of the most controversial decisions of 2010 and a lightweight contender looking to keep his winning streak alive. Add on the UFC Fan Expo being held on the same weekend, and it would seem impossible for UFC 136 to live up to the hype. Yet, impressively enough, it did.
If you’re a fan of “zombie style” fighting, then Frankie Edgar absolutely has to be one of your favorite fighters after last night. In a performance that caused more than a few of us to experience déjà vu, Edgar seemed like he was one punch away from being knocked out throughout Gray Maynard’s early onslaught. But Edgar hung on and managed to take the next two rounds en route to a fourth round TKO. It’s an impressive accomplishment, especially considering that Frankie Edgar is a natural featherweight while Gray Maynard is pretty big for a lightweight, if Mike Goldberg is to be trusted. Any questions about Frankie Edgar’s ability to finish seem to have been answered last night. Especially in the eyes of Dana White, who awarded Frankie Edgar the 75k Knockout of the Night honors.
(“I’m so sick of your friggin’ face.” “No, I’m so sick of *your* friggin’ face.”)
Well, we’re finally going to sort out this lightweight championship mess. Thanks for joining us for the ride. Bear with us as we try a slightly different format to appease the complaints we’ve had about spoilers and such. If you want to read about certain fight, click ”next page.”