Welcome to a new feature at 5oz. In “THE DUEL,” two MMA writers are given three questions to answer. They respond and those questions with their answers are sent to the other party to answer. Being egomaniacal, I will be the judge and award a point to the winner of each question. The winner receives nothing.
In our inaugural battle I welcome and thank 5 oz. editor and writer Mr. Adam Morgan and from 411mania.com, Mr. Randy Harrison.
And we’re off:
1. Child MMA competitions are bad for the sport.
Morgan: FALSE: Aren’t there 6,7, and 8 year olds playing full contact football every year? Full speed, full contact football is just as dangerous as any children’s MMA event. My take is as long as the proper precautions are taken, the kids are safe, and there is knowledgeable adult supervision, let the kids fight. The kids training right now are the next wave of future mixed martial arts stars. Take Drake Dudley, for example. The kid is a phenom and he’s like 13 or 14 years old and has been training since he was 7 or 8 years old. Is it hurting the sport? Hell no. If anything, it’s helping it. Some of these kids will eventually realize that MMA isn’t for them. Some of them, however, will realize that they’re not only good at it but that they love doing it. And those kids are the future GSP’s of the world. Kids who have been training BJJ, wrestling, and muay thai since a young age. You think GSP’s good? Wait until some of these youngsters come up. This “bad for the sport” business is nonsense.
Harrison: FALSE: If anything, these competitions are going to end up teaching kids a little more respect about the moves they’ve learned and my hope is that someday, these are no different than any Little Leagues or Pop Warner games in Anytown, USA. As long as these kids are supervised by teachers, trainers and parents, and they’re taught the inherent power and danger involved in some of the moves they’re using, it shouldn’t be considered any different than letting a child take karate, wrestling or tae kwon do. If those combat sports are “safe enough” for children, then there’s no reason that a sport that combines all of the various martial arts can’t be just as safe. Not to mention that these kids are the future of the sport and by getting started at an early age, their skills will be finely tuned by the time it comes for them to potentially turn pro. That should lead to a TON of talent and a ton of great fighters and fights that will move this sport into the next generation and push it even higher in terms of its level of popularity.
VERDICT: MORGAN. 1-0. He who says it first says it best. I think the only downside to this is just the thought that there will be alot of 12-year-old kids out there that could kick my ass.
2. We should wait until all of the facts are in to trash Leonard Garcia.
Morgan: TRUE. That’s the American way, right? Innocent until proven guilty? Let legal action take its course with Garcia and then you can tell us if he’s an asshole or not. I’m tired of everyone coming out of the woodwork to trash the guy about things that are totally irrelevant to the situation. Leonard’s in some deep doo-doo right now and I think the guy has enough to deal with without people taking a dump on him on message boards and websites across the interwebs. If Garcia did something wrong, he’ll be punished in a court of law and that should be satisfaction enough for anyone and everyone.
Harrison: TRUE. Things are still way too muddled to see where he fits into this situation. It’s unfortunate that it had to happen the way that it did, but hopefully some good can come out of it, to where fighters can see that they’re not as bulletproof as they feel. Back to Garcia, I agree that innocent until proven guilty is the way to go, and I will refrain from trashing him. However, I will not refrain from saying that it was fairly stupid on his part to even be in a position to be associated with this kind of thing and that if he ends up guilty I hope that they throw the book at him.
VERDICT: HARRISON. 1-1. I just love the phrase, “throw the book at him.” I assume you meant figuratively but either way.
3. Tim Sylvia leaving the UFC is good for all parties.
Morgan: FALSE. This may be good for the UFC because they’ve effectively gotten rid of one of their most boring but dominant fighters. This allows them to push other UFC talent and take Tim “Decision” Sylvia out of the title picture. This freshens things up a bit in the UFC heavyweight division with guys like Brock Lesnar and Shane Carwin coming in. For Tim Sylvia, it may very well be the worst move in his entire career. M-1 Global just exploded in Monte Cox’s face and now he’s just deciding to start another promotion called Adrenaline MMA with a roster of Tim Sylvia, Ben Rothwell, and Eddie Alvarez? With the nature of this business as it is right now, it’s hard to tell whether or not this promotion will even hold one single show. What does Sylvia do if the show doesn’t get off the ground? You think EliteXC wants to put him on CBS? Doubtful. You think the UFC would really want him back right away? Doubtful. Sylvia has put all of his eggs in one basket and he’s hoping to ride his manager to the promise land. That’s a bad move with the way this business runs.
Harrison: FALSE. It’s great for me because I won’t have to end up watching Sylvia bump and grind his way to decision after decision in the Octagon. It’s great for the UFC because he’s finally out of Dana White’s..umm..scalp, and there won’t be any more of his fights like his snoozer against Jeff Monson or his energy-draining bout with Andrei Arlovski in the third fight of their trilogy. Sure it depletes the division even further, but it could end up clearing some space at the top for some new blood. It benefits Monte Cox because he’s got a name heavyweight fighter in his new promotion to go along with the Ben Rothwell coup. The only person that will probably end up getting burned by this is Tim Sylvia. He’s going to end up having to win over fans in an all-new promotion and he’s going to have to try to get people feeling entertained enough to watch him fight and pay money for the privelege. If Adrenaline flops, like I have a sneaking suspicion it will, he’ll have to end up crawling back to the UFC or begging Elite XC for a shot, at a fraction of his former asking value. Time will tell, but I really think that this could end up being a situation where Sylvia, the noted hunter, shoots himself in the foot.
VERDICT: DRAW. 1-1. My initial thought was it’s true but with both of you doing well in pointing out Adrenaline could fold tomorrow that kind of changes my outlook.
….SWITCH IT UP….
4. Frank Shamrock vs Cung Le will be a fight of the year finalist.
Harrison: TRUE. I’m not saying that it will win the honor, since there’s a good ten months left in the year, but right now it’s pretty damn near the top of the list. Two guys standing and striking, giving it everything they have in front of their hometown fans and leaving their hearts in the cage, all in the pursuit of finding out who the better man is. If the fight had a definitive finish, where one man secured a decision or managed a TKO or tapout, this would probably gain a lot more steam in terms of being a fight of the year, but since it ended up having to be cut short due to Shamrock’s injury, that will more than likely take it out of the running when the end of 2008 rolls around. Maybe they’ll get a chance to do it again before the calendar rolls over and we’ll see a decision rather than a doctor’s stoppage and they’ll get another nomination in the category. I don’t think I’m the only one hoping for that.
Morgan: TRUE. While it probably won’t end up being THE fight of the year, it will be in the conversation. You can spare me the talk about how a fight of the year has to go to the ground or has to involve some aspect of grappling. A standup war can be just as entertaining as a ground war and both can be considered as candidate for fight of the year honors. Shamrock vs. Le had a intangibles that a lot of other fights don’t have. The hype, the build up, the insane crowd, the story of two local guys who are stars in their own right finally meeting in the cage, and the taunting that took place during the fight itself are things that other good fights may not possess. The fight was good, but what puts it at the level of fight of the year candidate is the intangibles.
VERDICT: HARRISON. 2-1. Excellent point about an injury stoppage not being looked favorably upon, even subconsciously.
5. Cung Le’s win makes him a top 10 middleweight.
Harrison: TRUE. But just barely. Frank Shamrock wasn’t exactly a top 10 middleweight to begin with, so it’s more based on the fact that Cung is undefeated in his career, and is possibly one of the most dynamic strikers to come along in MMA in quite some time. I would put him at 10 or maybe 9, because he deserves it for dispatching a legend, no matter how far outside of the upper echelon he was considered. I will have to see how Le does against someone who actually tries to take him down and succeeds, and how he responds to that kind of pressure before I can definitively call him a top 10 fighter, but he’s certainly on his way. I don’t think I would be saying that if Shamrock hadn’t broken his arm because it seemed like Frank had turned the corner and found his timing in the third round, but if’s and but’s don’t count in MMA, so at this point Le is grazing the lower end of the top ten at 185.
Morgan: FALSE. Don’t believe everything that comes out of Gary Shaw’s mouth. Cung Le is in the top twenty middleweights right now and with more fights against better competition he can continue to climb the ranks. But at 6-0 with his only real marquee win coming against Frank Shamrock, a guy who stays relevant with his mouth instead of his skill inside the cage, I don’t see Cung Le as a top ten middleweight at this point. Does he have the potential to be there? Very much so. But no one has tested his ground game yet and to be considered one of the best ten middleweights I think you need to have shown a well-rounded game, something that Le has yet to do. Most of the guys in the top ten at middleweight right now have 20+ fights under their belt and have won at least 15 of them against fantastic competition. Cung Le has yet to do this, so let’s wait before we crown him.
VERDICT: MORGAN. 2-2. Immediately after the event I thought I’d rank him 10th but after the glory of the show went away so did that sentiment. Who would you replace? Frank Trigg? Misaki? I just can’t justify doing that right now.
6. The CSAC were out of line in their backstage handling of the Nick Diaz situation. (note: This question was posed prior to Armando Garcia giving his side of the story.)
Harrison: TRUE. This is another fairly muddy situation and one that probably has a lot more that has to come out, but at this point in time it seems like the CSAC used Diaz to set an example to other fighters. They used Diaz’ past history against him and seemingly passed their own judgment on medicinal marijuana laws that have already been passed by the government of the state that they serve. According to Gary Shaw, Diaz’s papers were turned in in plenty of time, and unless he’s saying it to cover a mistake made in his administration, it looks like the CSAC played judge, jury and executioner on Nick. In the past few months, they’ve managed to alienate more than a few fighters, and it’s starting to look like a pattern is forming. It will be interesting to see if the trend continues to the point where some of the larger MMA organizations begin take a pass on California. Since I live in the state, I would sincerely hope not, but if Armando Garcia continues to rule like a bull in a china shop, that could well be the case.
Morgan: FALSE. Boy, in light of the recent comments made by Armando Garcia on The Fight Network Radio in regards to this situation, EliteXC is looking more and more in the wrong regarding Diaz’s medicals. Garcia stated that Nick Diaz did his medicals on the 13th of March and those were turned into Pro Elite by the 17th. But Pro Elite didn’t turn his medicals in to the commission until the 25th of March, four days before the event. Along with that, Nick never turned in a card for his alleged marijuana use. So if Pro Elite and Nick Diaz both had copies of his medicals by the 17th of March as Garcia states, then why did they wait eight whole days to turn them in to the commission? And why is Pro Elite letting these fighters go out and get their own medicals done? I’m not saying that the commission was 100% guilt-free in this, but when you hear both sides of the story, it’s hard not to believe Garcia. Diaz and Pro Elite/Elite XC messed up. Period.
VERDICT: MORGAN. 3-2. I think it was answered at different times during the week and that’s a horrible reason to lose. Controversy in the first battle, how else could it have ended?
Feel free to say who you think won. Or even better your own opinions on the subject matter.