18 Mar 2009 09:00:00 AM
(Worst Affliction t-shirt ever? Or best Slash t-shirt ever?)
Following his dismal performance at UFC 92 and subsequent release from the UFC (at his request, which is like telling your boss you quit immediately after he’s discovered that you’ve been stealing), Dean Lister is headed back where he belongs: grappling tournaments. Lister will be back at the Abu Dhabi’s and word has it that he’s angling for a move up in weight to take on Fedor Emelianenko, who’s expected to enter this year.
On one hand, it’s good to see Lister back in his element. As great a submissions fighter as he is, he’s not much of an MMA fighter at this point. He tried to pull guard on Yushin Okami for three rounds and got a chorus of boos for his trouble. He then apologized to his fans while reminding us that he could kick all of our asses, just in case you were in any danger of feeling sympathy for him.
But Lister is a middleweight. Fedor is a heavyweight. Even if he weren’t also one of the best fighters on the planet, the weight difference is already a huge advantage. But would it be pretty awesome to see Fedor in a pure grappling match against one of America’s best pure grapplers? It would. He tapped out his brother with no problem, but "The Boogeyman" has a significantly better grappling resume. He is also free of blood-borne diseases (sorry, had to do it).
Regardless, a Fedor/Lister grappling match has the potential to get even the more casual MMA viewers slightly interested in the Abu Dhabi’s. And that’s without the brutal violence of MMA, Bob Reilly. What now?