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5 Oz. of Pain Presents: The DUEL

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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.

25 COMMENTS
  • Derek B. says:

    pretty cool guys. Very debatable subjects. I’m not sure who won because I liked statements in every answer that they have given for the topics.

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  • Caleb Newby says:

    I give it to Huckaby.

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  • Nick says:

    Interesting idea doing this, should make for some good segments on the page. I seem to agree with Morgan more, but here are my quick thoughts on your questions.
    1. as far as the actually concept of kids under the age of 12 fighting full contact mma? I would never ever let me kid participate, and it is my favorite sport in the world. I would let them train individual skills, but full contact mma should wait until they are done developing. BUT…..my final vote on this is yes. This is america and it is supposed to be a free country. If an educated parent and child want to train and compete in mma, I would never assume that I know better than a child’s parent as to their activities. The family should be able ot decide for themselves, and if they want to fight, let them.
    2. This was a no-brainer in my opinion. You are inocent until proven guilty. Until all the evidence is made public, Garcia is a WEC fighter in my mind.
    3. I agree with Morgan, this was a BAD move by TImmy, and this will blow up in his face. As a paying fan, I was not upset he was leaving, but I would have liked him to stay and get beat up by some more up and comers in the division. The HW div in the UFC is deathly slim right now, but besides that downside this is a lose-lose for Timmy.
    4. The Shamrock-Le fight will not be a fight of the year candidate in my opinion. Considering what last years candidates were, that fight wouldn’t top any of those. Was that even close to diaz-gomi, griffin-edgar, or garcia huerta? thats the end of my argument there.
    5. Until Cung Le is tested on the mat, he will not be top ten. He needs to fight some real competition now. Give him Misaki, and we will see where he is.
    6. As always, Gary shaw is lying again. Diaz should be mad at Gary for f$#%ing him and not sending him flowers the next day.

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  • recently.reaped says:

    Mike, there’s load of 12 yr olds who can kick your ass, none of them have to train in MMA to do it :-)

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  • Zack says:

    Great idea for a recurring feature.

    My 2 cents on fight of the year – I think a fight of the year candidate should feature two fighters playing to their strengths in a back and forth struggle. Frank trying to stand with Cung made the fight entertaining, but wasn’t a great gameplan. Also agree that an injury stoppage takes away from the overall fight.

    Following that thought, I can’t put Cung in the top 10 yet because I think guys like Trigg, Mayhem, and Misaki would take a very different, dirtier fight to Cung than Frank chose to, and in doing so would take away his dynamic striking. I can’t see any of those guys standing on the outside with Cung and allowing him to kick away freely.

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  • Huckaby says:

    Well to be fair those 12-year-olds have so much new testosterone and anger over life and puberty that they have an unfair advantage. Isn’t teaching 7th and 8th grade considered to be the absolute worst teaching job? Middle schools are like little prisons.

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  • Reaser says:

    I scored it a Draw on my OFFICIAL score card. Glad to see my favorite column lives on.

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  • Mike Wolfe says:

    Great idea for a column, and a fun read. So what happens if it’s tied up at the end? There has to be overtime/sudden death/extra rounds or something. Maybe wittiest one-liner on a topic chosen by the judge?

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  • Jim says:

    I really like the idea of this segment a lot. It’s great to read two different viewpoints on the same subject, and the paragraph-or-two answer format really keeps the article moving while still providing the relevant information. I definitely would like to see this continue, maybe a weekly thing with debate on what’s going on in the future and issues of the past week. I’d read religiously. (Not that I don’t already, but you get the point.)

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  • Adam Morgan says:

    Jim-

    This will be a weekly feature for sure.

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  • Jeff says:

    This week’s Fact Or Fiction was great! Oh wait, my bad, The Duel…of course You guys just going to rehash everything from 411 over here?

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  • cyph says:

    This is a great feature for the website. Now add a poll to let the readers decide.

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  • Jeff says:

    Yeah, I wouldnt have posted my earlier comment either you unoriginal hacks. Best to just censor the negatives and only let the people stroking your egos to comment.

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  • Reaser says:

    Dang, everyone seems to have been missing out, Huck has been doing this for a while, glad its on this site now but its been a great column and my favorite weekly to read…

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  • smoogleton says:

    The “verdict” thing is pretty stupid.

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  • Adam Morgan says:

    Jeff-

    The original concept was stolen from ESPN anyways, so who are the real “unoriginal hacks”?

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  • Matt C. says:

    Jeff what the balls are you talking about?!

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  • Reaser says:

    Probably why Fact or Fiction was my favorite and now the Duel is my favorite, seems pretty PTIish (which is a good sports show BTW)…but this is an all MMA version, can’t beat that, only way it can get better is if I was one of the two MMA writers to participate every once in a while…

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  • Evan says:

    “You guys just going to rehash everything from 411 over here?”

    Jeff

    I have been reading such write ups since I was a kid in the newspaper. Relax man.

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  • Fight Fan says:

    First of all comparing contact football to MMA fighting is just silly.
    Sure you can get hurt in football but in MMA you are trying to hurt your opponent.
    I think train for it but fighting is different.
    Do we realy want to see a 6 year old grounding and pounding another 6 year old?.
    The other thing is why do people keep saying they don’t want to see Tim grind out another decision victory.
    Something like 16 of his 24 wins are by tko and only 6 by decision!.
    So stop doing that!.
    Randy has won nearly 50% by decision, so please stop saying that Tim Sylvia dosn’t finish fights.
    Someone says it and like sheep everyone says yeah thats right.
    Look it up.
    Lastly saying that Frank vs Cung will be a “fight of the year finalist” is a bit premature don’t you think.
    Was it that good?. No ground fighting or throws or sub attempts, it looked like a strikers sparring session to me.

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  • Adam Morgan says:

    “The other thing is why do people keep saying they don’t want to see Tim grind out another decision victory.
    Something like 16 of his 24 wins are by tko and only 6 by decision!.
    So stop doing that!.
    Randy has won nearly 50% by decision, so please stop saying that Tim Sylvia dosn’t finish fights.
    Someone says it and like sheep everyone says yeah thats right.”

    Tim hasn’t finished a fight since 2005. I’d say the criticisms against him are pretty fair and accurate at this point.

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  • Fight Fan says:

    How many fights since 2005?.
    And look at the opponents.
    Its a bandwagon.
    More to do with image I think.
    Like I said, Randy only finishes about 1/4 of his fights in his favour and he is loved by many.
    Why hate Tim?.
    Give him easy opponents and you’ll see Knockouts.
    I don’t see anyone finishing him much either.

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  • Adam Morgan says:

    He couldn’t finish Jeff Monson or Assuerio Silva. Even the aging Pedro Rizzo stopped Monson last year at Art of War. Ever since winning the strap, Tim fights not to lose. Period.

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  • Fight Fan says:

    I’m not a huge Tim fan but those punches he’s throwing have bad intent and knockout power.
    Its not often he isn’t willing to trade punches.
    Its more that the opponent is avoiding his power than him not willing to finish them.
    I hate to bag Randy again but talk about grinding out wins.
    How many times do we see him and other wrestlers play “hold them down” and throw little elbows to “grind out” wins (boring!).
    I know what sort of fight I would rather watch, but I think I’m alone on this one.

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  • Fight Fan says:

    Period.

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