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Tag: undeserved title shots

Don’t Worry, You Guys, Chael Sonnen is At Least Two Wins Away From a Title Shot at 205


(Realizing his impending doom, Chael signaled to his wife that her weekly sandwich quota would be doubling in the near future.) 

When it was originally announced that Chael Sonnen would be returning to the light heavyweight division to face Forrest Griffin at UFC 155, we took it as a classic case of a fighter changing weight classes in order to save his career. He had come up short in both his title shots at middleweight, and as Josh Koscheck would tell you if he was aware of it, the chances of any 0-2 fighter receiving a third shot against the same champion is next to impossible. And being that Chael fraking Sonnen is not a man who fights anything but marquee fights these days, his chances to make waves at 205 were clearly better than his chances at 185. The fact that he could barely even make the announcement without drawing Jon Jones into a Twitter war only confirms Sonnen’s devious intentions.

And as is usually the case, Chael was successful in drawing us out of the woodwork to throw his name in with the phrase “title shot,” whether it was in agreement or bitter disapproval of the idea. Because Sonnen is like the entire cast of a heist movie packed into one person when it comes to hustling in the MMA game, capable of releasing more red herrings, smoke signals, and false MacGuffins than Ocean’s Eleven through Thirteen combined. Hell, I immediately launched into a vast conspiracy theory in which Sonnen became the number one contender and Jones possibly faked injury in order to set up a fight between them down the line.

But I live in a world of paranoia, delusion, and fear. One that apparently many of you are living in as well, because in a recent appearance on Las Vegas’ “Dave and Mahoney” show, Dana White addressed the concerns that a lot of us are sharing, another undeserved title shot for Sonnen.

Dana’s remarks are after the jump. 

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The Seven Most Undeserving Title Challengers in UFC History


(Who wants to be #8?? / Image via Sportsnet.ca)

By Ben Goldstein

In case you haven’t been paying attention — or simply refuse to believe it — the next UFC light-heavyweight title contender will be selected from a crop of four guys who have previously been destroyed by current champion Jon Jones. And I mean destroyed. Obviously, the lucky challenger could wind up taking on Dan Henderson instead, but we’re still talking about a quartet of fighters who have already proven that they’re somewhat less than belt-worthy.

Does the weak contender pool at light-heavyweight represent a low-water mark for UFC title challengers? Hardly. Even if the shot goes to Brandon Vera — a guy who has gone 1-2 with one no-contest in his last four fights — he’d be coming in with a win over a legend like Shogun, which is nothing to sneeze at. So let’s put all this criticism into perspective, and take a look at seven guys who really didn’t deserve a UFC title fight when one was handed to them…

TANK ABBOTT
Fought Maurice Smith for the heavyweight title @ UFC 15, 10/17/97

In Tank’s defense, he was coming in on short-notice as an injury replacement for Dan Severn — but still, you’d think the UFC could hustle up a more legitimate challenger for their heavyweight belt. After all, we’re not talking about the Tank Abbott of 1995 who was knocking dudes out then mocking their seizures. We’re talking about the Tank Abbott of 1997 who had already been exposed as hopelessly one-dimensional, and had lost his last two fights against Vitor Belfort and Don Frye. Coincidentally, Belfort was on the UFC 15 card as well, in a heavyweight title eliminator against Randy Couture — and if either of those guys were drafted for the main event in Tank’s place, we might not have been subjected to the sad sight of Abbott stumbling around and wheezing after eight minutes of battle, too exhausted to defend leg kicks.

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9 Olympic Occurences More Likely to Happen Than Brandon Vera Beating Shogun Rua


(If you must ask, Dana, I believe my hype train was headed in that general direction. Then again, it’s been so long since I’ve seen it…) 

If you’re anything like us, you’ve more than likely spent your weekend drinking either Budweiser or Miller High Life cans in front of your television whilst watching various Olympic events and screaming “America!” on loop until your Canadian or Russian neighbors got jealous and called the police, who in turn tried to claim that you are somehow at fault if you like to watch TV in the nude and can’t afford curtains. And indeed, the Olympics have successfully managed to captivate and connect its viewing audience as it always does, uniting entire communities over a common passion. Except, oddly enough, in the case of this year’s host country, wherein failure apparently opens you up to disturbingly hateful critiques from your own countrymen.

Switching gears, it seems that one thing we can all agree on, regardless of our cultural divisions, is the inherent ridiculousness in the possibility that Brandon Vera could somehow receive a title shot if he is able to defeat Mauricio Rua in impressive fashion, or vice versa. We know we’ve been a little hard on him today – it’s not like it was his decision to overhype a fight by implying title implications only to be reamed out by fans for doing so shortly thereafter, that was Dana White — but on the short list of contenders currently in the Light Heavyweight Division, Vera is just a step above Mostapha al-Turk, whom you may recall is a retired heavyweight who was released from the UFC over two years ago. And he’s fighting Shogun f*cking Rua, aka the man who ended The Machida Era. Arguably twice. 

Spoiler: There is no way in hell that Vera is beating Shogun this Saturday, and we’d be willing to wager a bottle of ipecac on it, if you know what we mean. So in honor of what has been a highly competitive Olympic games thus far, and what will surely be a one sided ass whooping at UFC on FOX 4, here are 10 things, ranked in no particular order, we will more than likely see happen at this year’s Olympics than “The Truth” beating “Shogun” on Saturday.

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