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Tag: unsupportable opinion

The Unsupportable Opinion: Thank You, Josh Barnett, for Saving Mixed Martial Arts


(The universal symbol for “I’m choking, and I’m a habitual steroid user.”)

On Friday’s edition of SIRIUS Fight Club, I referred to Josh Barnett as “the most notorious steroid-user in MMA history.” At this point, after two high-profile, career-fucking steroid busts, that statement is pretty much indisputable. But let’s not forget that Barnett’s latest positive test — which sent a stake through the heart of Affliction’s MMA promotion — only wound up hurting Barnett, Affliction, and the handful of fighters on Affliction’s roster who didn’t immediately find new homes. For literally everybody else in the world of mixed martial arts, it was the best thing that could have possibly happened. Seriously. Think about it…

1) Affliction’s collapse saved “Strikeforce: Carano vs. Cyborg” from being one of the most cursed events of all time. On July 7th, we were OMG’ing over the fact that Strikeforce’s 8/15 fight card was going to feature four title fights. By last Thursday, it had lost three of those title fights. Alistair Overeem was out with a hand injury. Joe Riggs was out with a mysterious drug reaction. (In the absence of any other information, we’ll just assume it was a heroin overdose. Get well soon, Joe.) And Josh Thomson was out with a bum toe. It would be a nightmare scenario for any promoter. But instead of a buckshot, ragged-ass event patched in with replacements from their own roster, Strikeforce was able to improve their card using Affliction refugees.

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The Unsupportable Opinion: Rashad Evans vs. Lyoto Machida Is The UFC’s Best Title Fight in Nearly a Year

Rashad Evans vs. Lyoto Machida UFC 98
(Ready to make some magic, gentlemen?)

Right off I’ll admit it: there isn’t anything glamorous about the Rashad Evans-Lyoto Machida title fight at UFC 98 this weekend.  A champion who until recently was known for his split decision victories facing off against a challenger known for being so “elusive” that his fights often resemble a ballet more than a brawl – that’s not anyone’s dream bout, least of all a promoter’s. 

But what this fight lacks in star power and fireworks, it makes up for with sheer, good old-fashioned quality.  In many ways Evans-Machida is the best, most legitimate title fight the UFC has put on in nearly a year.  Here’s why:

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The Unsupportable Opinion: Thales Leites Has a Good Chance at UFC 97

Thales Leites UFC
(He owns at least one working bicep.  That’s a good sign, right?)

Let me be real, son.  Anderson Silva vs. Thales Leites is, on paper, the most one-sided UFC title fight since Georges St. Pierre vs. Matt Serra I.  And yes, we know how that one turned out, but there’s still no plausible reason to believe that the Thales Leites we’ve seen in the Octagon could beat even the uninterested Anderson Silva we saw against Patrick Cote…or is there?

In the interest of trying to make UFC 97’s main event seem a little more competitive than the oddsmakers think it is, here’s our best attempt at making the very difficult case for Thales Leites.

1. Aside From His UFC Debut, He’s Never Lost an MMA Bout
Losing your Octagon debut is almost a rite of passage for young fighters, like getting screwed by a sponsor or doing something so cool it makes Joe Silva leap out of his chair.  Leites lost his first UFC bout via decision to the very credible Martin Kampmann in 2006.  Since then, dude’s been hanging nothing but W’s.  Okay, his win over Nate Marquardt was highly suspect, but his quick submission over Drew McFedries wasn’t. (Sidenote: how did he go from a win over Marquardt to a bout with McFedries, anyway?  Not exactly a step up in competition there.)

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