Some of 5 Oz.’s readers voices their frustration with the slow pacing of our first annual “Fantasy MMA Mock Draft” so the crew got to work and sped things up. After posting round three yesterday, we’re already back with round four.
But to make a long story short, this is not a pound-for-pound top fighter list. What we’re doing is essentially pretending that every fighter in the world is suddenly declared a free agent with six new organizations selecting talent through a draft format.
The idea is to see how six different fans would construct their organization and which fighters they would select to help them execute their vision. Much like real world MMA, every promoter has their different philosophy with each organization establishing its own identity.
To see who the staff drafted in the fourth round, just click below.
ROUND 4 -
4.1 Sam Cupitt: Takanori Gomi
Previous Picks: Frank Shamrock (round 1), Tito Ortiz (round 2), and Gesias “JZ Calvan” Calvancante (round 3)
Analysis: Gomi is also considered by some to be the best in the world when it comes to the lightweight class. Just like J.Z. he is also a very exciting fighter.
The addition of Gomi to my organization adds further legitimacy to my lightweight tournament as I now have arguably, No.1 and No.2 in the division participating.
On a side note, I’m struggling to come up with a name for my organization so if you have any ideas… post them in the comments section.
4.2 Sam Caplan: Mauricio “Shogun” Rua
Previous Picks: Brock Lesnar (round 1), Fedor Emelianenko (round 2) and Josh Barnett (round 3)
Analysis: Wow, have the mighty fallen? If we had conducted this draft a year ago, I don’t think Rua makes it past the first round. Here we are and I’m getting him in the fourth round. I bet if I rolled the dice and waited longer that I might have been able to take him in the fifth.
Rua currently is dealing with a recurring knee injury but at 27, it’s way too early to write him off. He’s a dynamic fighter with a style that is entertaining to watch. If he can get over his knee problem, I think he could become a cornerstone of SAMMA’s light heavyweight division even though his English isn’t the best. My feeling is that he’s a unique talent and that if marketed properly, fans in the U.S. will really get behind him.
Again, the knee is a concern but this isn’t football or baseball where he will be constantly running. With the right amount of time and rehab, I think Shogun will revert to his old form in PRIDE.
4.3 Matt Cava: Jon Fitch
Previous Picks: B.J. Penn (round 1), Anderson Silva (round 2) and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (round 3)
Analysis: With most of the “flashier” names already taken, I’m going to continue to bolster my league with guys who ‘just win baby’. Ranked the #2 WW by “Inside MMA” and 5 Oz of Pain, all Fitch does is win (he’s 17-2). Fitch hasn’t lost since 2002 (six years without a loss!!) and has put together 15 wins in a row. Fitch wins with strikes, submissions and can grind out a decision. He has stated in interviews how he is in this game to prove how good he is; he’s not in it for the fame, not for the money, just for the pure competition.
In this Fantasy Draft, the fighters from each league would fight each other to prove who is best. There is no doubt that Matt Cava’s National Chainlink Warrior Alliance (NCWA) will be beating down everyone else. The other fantasy owners can pick the fighters with ‘big’ names, my guys will be holding all the belts.
4.4 Ram Maramba: Keith Jardine
Previous Picks: Quinton Jackson (round 1), Randy Couture (round 2) and Urijah Faber (round 3)
Analysis: By the third round, it should be easier to predict what your competitors are thinking, but the MMA world requires a different approach. After staring at P4P rankings long enough to make my eyes bleed, I still found myself feeling much like Matt Millen: absolutely clueless, but leaning towards drafting a receiver.
With most of the big-time heavies and light heavies off the board, I’m in a bit of a panic mode to match up my two marquee names. Caplan loaded up on the lard and took any decent competition off the board for Captain America. Now I have to bank on hoping I can talk Couture into fighting a couple of talented late-rounders before hanging up his spikes and heading to the booth.
Rampage’s prospects aren’t looking great either. Silva and Rua are gone, but I wouldn’t trade Faber for either guy so I have to make do. A little out of desperation, my fourth-round choice is Keith Jardine. The benefits are two-fold: a legitimate top-10 LHW for Rampage and sniping a fighter who makes sense on Huck’s roster. Yoink.
P.S. Jones, Jenkins and Bennett: NFC CHAMPS.
4.5 Mike Huckaby: Andrei Arlovski
Previous Picks: Chuck Liddell (round 1), Forrest Griffin (round 2) and Wanderlei Silva (round 3)
Analysis: Yoink yourself Maramba, Jardine wasn’t even in my top 5 of next picks. He might be a bit of a forgotten man after the yawnfest against Werdum and the prelim against O’Brien but you know what? He won. And he’s a massive name and a big puncher and he’s going to put butts in the seats and gets me PAAAIIID. You’ll never get into my head and know what I’m going to pick. Just when you see a pattern BAM I switch it up.
4.6. Adam Morgan: Carlos Condit
Previous Picks: Georges St. Pierre (round 1), Kimbo Slice (round 2) and Jake Shields (round 3)
Analysis: While everyone else is fighting over light heavies and heavies, I’ll take the highly underrated and undervalued Carlos Condit to add to my stable of welterweights. Condit has steamrolled his competition in the WEC and gave Jake Shields a hell of a run for his money at Rumble on the Rock a few years back. A rematch between these two down the line is something that a lot of hardcores will want to see. With the right buildup behind it, it’s a fight that could interest casual fans as well. Picking Condit allows me to bolster my welterweight division with top level talent and gives me a ready-made fight between he and Shields whenever I need it.