Two judges screwed up the UFC’s plans this past weekend, but it may ultimately be for the best.
When Sal D’Amato and Brian Puccillo decided that Benson Henderson did enough to earn a split decision victory over Josh Thomson in the main event of UFC on FOX 10, the lightweight division had a wrench thrown into it. Had he received the judges’ decision, Thomson was already confirmed by UFC president Dana White as the next title challenger for currently-injured UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis.
“Showtime” has stated that he wants to return in July and his timeline would have matched up well with Thomson’s. Not only that, but Thomson had been scheduled to fight Pettis back at UFC on FOX 9 before the titleholder pulled out with an injury. Many thought Thomson got that fight with Pettis more due to timing than anything else, but had he defeated the former champion this past weekend, Thomson would have truly earned his title shot.
But then Henderson had his hand raised. As soon as that happened, the UFC lightweight division had to be rejigged because Henderson has already lost to Pettis twice and isn’t anywhere close to getting a trilogy fight with him. The other top contender, TJ Grant, has been out since last summer with post-concussion symptoms and isn’t even training yet, so he’s out of the picture. Nate Diaz, who has been vocal on Twitter about wanting a title shot, isn’t getting one anytime soon because c’mon. Former Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez is still out there, but it’s hard to say he deserves a title shot just because he defeated Diego Sanchez at UFC 166, even if his resume is amongst the absolute finest in the division. There’s also guys like Rafael Dos Anjos, Khabib Nurmagomedov, Donald Cerrone and Jim Miller, but none of them are deserving of a crack at the crown right now.
If George Shunick’s piece on Fallox Fox and transgender athletes in MMA proved anything to me, it’s that – regardless of whether you agree with Joe Rogan’s stance on the issue (or how he chose to express that stance) – Fallon Fox vs. Cris Cyborg is a fight that FANS NEED TO SEE DAMMIT. One fighter is arguably the most devastating female in MMA, yet is also constantly accused of being a man. The other fighter is undefeated, used to literally be a man, and now calls herself “The Queen of Swords” because of course she calls herself that. In fact, I’m willing to write that Fallon Fax vs. Cris Cyborg – if it were to happen – would go down as the single greatest superfight in the history of MMA, because hyperbole is a pretty rad figure of speech that we don’t use nearly enough around here.
“She wants to be a girl. I don’t agree,” said Santos, who for the first time in almost a year and half will return to fighting on April 5. “I think you’re born a girl, you’re a girl. You’re born a guy, you’re a guy. But I don’t choose opponents. The commission needs to check and make sure she doesn’t have testosterone.
When the UFC makes budget cuts to put a fight together, the marketing department is the first place to feel the impact. Props: jinxonhog.
According to the welterweight champion, the answer is “no.” Or rather, not nearly as much as has been rumored.
On yesterday’s edition of The MMA Beat, Mike Straka of Fight Now TV reported that a source close to the welterweight champion told him that GSP was asking the UFC for $50 million to fight Anderson Silva.
Despite the fact that St-Pierre is currently on vacation in France, he dismissed the rumor during a recent conversation with 985Sports.ca. In his own words:
(Diaz, seen here preparing the only gameplan that hasn’t been thwarted by Anderson Silva in the octagon yet. And no, that’s definitely not a hash pipe next to the dartboard. Props be to MiddleEasy.)
Nick Diaz may be a shortsighted, virulent, pot smoking, press conference-skipping delinquent who didn’t go to college for buying houses, but damn it, we can’t help but love the guy’s “take on all comers” attitude when it comes to fighting. Blame it on the increased popularity of the sport, the ridiculous string of injuries, or whatever you want, but suffice it to say, the Diaz mentality of accepting fights is a fading one. It seems we can’t go a day without hearing that so and so turned down a fight with this guy, or that this champion will maybe fight this one under a ridiculous set of circumstances, and honestly, this prima donna nonsense has all but completely quelled our interest in seeing the “superfights” we would have killed for just a couple months ago.
But before you jump down our throats, we (or at least I) do not blame Georges St. Pierre for turning down the Anderson Silva fight. Because like GSP said, there are still several viable contenders in his division and he is just coming off an 18 month layoff. Plus, if Anderson wants to fight the smaller man, he should pony the fuck up and drop down to his weight class. And since Silva is (for whatever reason) dead set on fighting a smaller opponent next, Cesar Gracie recently threw Diaz’s name into the fold as a potential future opponent, because why the hell not at this point:
We’re pushing for the GSP fight. That’s what we’re going to push for, GSP or Anderson Silva. That’s the two fights that interest us the most, and that’s the one’s we’re going for.[Silva's] people are into it. We’re into it. The fans, I think, would be into it. We’ve got convince Dana about it now. Obviously the fight that makes sense to them, and I don’t disagree, is Anderson-GSP, and like I said, I would watch that fight. That would be great to watch. But let’s get real. If GSP just absolutely says no, then what? You can’t make a guy fight. That’s the thing. And Anderson, if they want to promote a superfight and if the stars align, I think Nick would be into it.
In either case, we figured we would dedicate one post as the official battlegrounds for this debate, with you, the most distinguished and intelligent audience an MMA blog could ever ask for. So join us after the jump to vote on the poll that dares to ask: Who should Georges St. Pierre fight next now that he has successfully put the kibosh on this whole interim champ/actual champ nonsense? After you’ve finished voting, make your case in the comments section, using as much profane language, personal attacks, and outright trolling attempts as possible. Seriously, we kind of miss that stuff, so don’t get soft on us Taters.
At the conclusion of the UFC 154 main event, I fully anticipate Bruce Buffer to get on the microphone and begin his enthusiastic spiel:
“At the end of five rounds we have a unanimous decision. All three judges score the bout 50-45 for your winner and the undisputed UFC welterweight champion of the woooooorld – Georges “RUSH” St. Pieeeeeeeerre!”
The Canadian crowd will erupt; Molson will be sprayed about and empty Poutine containers will be trampled as the joyous celebration begins. Dana White will put the championship belt around GSP’s waist and then Joe Rogan will approach for the post fight interview. It is at this point that Bizzaro Georges will snatch the microphone out of Rogan’s hand and jump into a tirade while speaking in his native French language. The only two words we will understand during his entire outburst will be “Anderson” and “Silva” as he walks to the edge of the octagon and points directly at The Spider, who will be mocking him all the while from cageside.
In a way, the World Jiu-Jitsu Expo got everything they asked for last night. When you contract Nick Diaz for a bout, you sign on for a fair amount of trials and tribulations; the Nick Diaz package extends well beyond his formidable fighting skills. The very behavior that spikes a promoter’s blood pressure draws media attention and fan speculation—added interest that may not exist were it not for the Stockton native’s puzzling behavior. It’s a trade off, a roll of the dice that you make in hopes that you get the best of both worlds–the amazing prize fighter and the polarizing figure. But there’s a problem with counting on a tortured soul unable to cope with the most mundane aspects of life: you can’t count on him.
If you haven’t gotten the sense that all did not go well for Nick Diaz’s BJJ superfight with Braulio Estima last night, let me spell it out for you: the bout didn’t happen.
The details, as far as anyone knows, are after the jump.
The stumbling block, besides the queue of challengers lining up to face both men is the fact that they compete in different weight classes — St-Pierre at 170 and Silva at 185. It would almost make more sense to have “The Spider” face 205-pound champ Jon Jones since they walk around at a closer weight and Silva has fought and won at light heavyweight, but “Bones” has stated that he has no interest in the fight.
One of the biggest proponents of a GSP-Silva pairing (which St-Pierre says he’s all for in the next 12 months) is UFC president Dana White, who stated this week that he would love to do the fight in St-Pierre’s home country,which would guarantee a sellout even if it was the only bout on the card.
“I want to put on big fights. I want to put on fights the fans want to see. I know how big that fight is. Imagine if we did Anderson Silva versus Georges St-Pierre anywhere in Canada, how big that fight would be. Believe me, I’d love to do it. We’ll see what happens,” he told MMAWeekly. “Obviously it’s a fight that people have been talking about for a long time. So like Georges said, first of all, he has to get healthy. Then he’s got to fight [Carlos] Condit. Anderson is fighting Chael [Sonnen], and then we’ll see where we go from there. I know that Anderson couldn’t make 170 [pounds], so it would depend on Georges moving up or those guys meet at a catchweight or something like that.”
“He’s probably the greatest fighter in history. He hasn’t lost and has been champion since 2006. I think he has two more title defenses and I do not know what he’ll do next or if he will retire,” he said. “He could end his career with a super fight against Jon Jones or George St-Pierre. He could end his career like that — fight in a different weight class. I would be happy with that. Then he could take a boat and sail into the sunset.”
Although he doesn’t think Jones’ youth would play a major factor in the fight, “The Baldfather” says Father Time and his effect on fighting skills is one of the leading causes of retirement in the sport, even amongst the sport’s best.