When I came up with this draft concept, I thought it would be fun. However, I had no idea that the staff would be into it as they are. We’ve got one guy, Ram, who has created spreadsheets and metrics for his rankings. Then, we have another guy, Adam, who has assumed the role of impatient drafter who gets mad when someone filibusters before making a pick.
This draft is no joke. The staff of 5 Oz. has their game faces on and are sincere in their quest of wanting to walk away with the best roster of talent. Round eight is now done and available for your perusal.
In case you’re new to the site , you can re-live the glory of the previous rounds.
- Click here for rounds 1 & 2
- click here for round 3
- click here for round 4
- click here for rounds 5 & 6
- click here for round 7
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.
The results to round eight are available below.
8.1 Sam Cupitt: Michael Bisping
Previous Picks: Frank Shamrock (round 1), Tito Ortiz (round 2), and Gesias “JZ Calvan” Calvancante (round 3), Takanori Gomi (round 4), Roger Huerta (round 5), Kenny Florian (round 6), and Cung Le (round 7)
Analysis: I get the feeling I pissed off quite a number of the rest of my writers with that pick. It is kind of crazy that Bisping made it to round 8 without even getting mentioned. The Brit is the winner of the “Ultimate Fighter 3″, a crowd favorite, has an exciting style, always comes to fight, has headlined a PPV before, can fight at both middleweight and light heavyweight AND he proved against McCarthy that he has some of the most formidable smack talk in the game.
Can you imagine what would happen if Shamrock and Bisping started going at each other in the media in the build up to a fight between them? Bisping was capable of making us interested in a fight between him and CHARLES MCCARTHY. Even if Shamrock and Bisping doesn’t materialize there is still the very real possibility of a grudge match between the TUF 3 winner and his TUF 3 coach in Tito Ortiz.
I can only imagine that Bisping to the rest of you guys was like Mr. T at the mall. You wanted to get him but you thought, “I’ll go a little later, I’ll go a little later” but by the time you came to get him, he had just left.
8.2 Sam Caplan: Jason “Mayhem” Miller
Previous Picks: Brock Lesnar (round 1), Fedor Emelianenko (round 2) and Josh Barnett (round 3), Mauricio “Shogun” Rua (round 4), Brandon Vera (round 5), Dan Henderson (round 6), and Rich Franklin (round 7)
Analysis: I guess it turns out that I will have a decent middleweight division after all. Dan Henderson and Rich Franklin are the cornerstones at 185 lbs. for me but I wanted to roll the dice and go with some upside. Miller is without question one of the most charismatic fighters in the game right now. Despite competing for a variety of promotions, he’s still managed to gain traction because he knows how to promote himself better than anyone else.
He’s someone that comes to SAMMA with an existing following. It’s a following that will only expand with the right marketing reach put behind his personality and antics. MMA’s demographics skew young to begin with but Miller has managed to reach an even younger audience, which I think is great for the sport.
But Miller isn’t just some guy who is just a big personality, as he’s also a hell of a fighter and a legitimate top-ten caliber middleweight. He’s beaten some top guys at 185 lbs. and I think he’s a great addition to my roster. His striking has come a long way and his unconventional submissions are very entertaining. I don’t see any downside to this pick.
8.3 Matt Cava: Aleksander Emelianenko
Previous Picks: B.J. Penn (round 1), Anderson Silva (round 2) and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (round 3), Jon Fitch (round 4), Matt Lindland (round 5), Sean Sherk (round 6), and Paulo Filho (round 7)
Analysis: Some might consider this a reach pick, but in round eight Fedor’s younger brother is a solid grab for the NCWA. This two-time world SAMBO champion is 13-3 and will put on exciting fights with his heavy hands and big throws. Taking Aleks here also goes against the style of my roster as I’ve picked champions and highly technical fighters so far. The tattooed Aleks purposefully brings some controversy and spectacle to my roster. I thought about adding a Rothwell or Werdum with this 8th pick, but frankly those guys are kinda boring personalities.
8.4 Ram Maramba: Gilbert Melendez
Previous Picks: Quinton Jackson (round 1), Randy Couture (round 2) and Urijah Faber (round 3), Keith Jardine (round 4), Kid Yamamoto (round 5), Lyoto Machida (round 6), and Frank Mir (round 7)
Analysis: Some really nice value picks in front of me; Caplan strikes again by nabbing Mayhem, someone I was hoping would fall to me in the double-digit rounds after I nabbed Franklin. I didn’t think anyone had Aleksander E. on their radar, but I guess Cava’s been doing his homework.
I’ll go the opposite way again and hope that good fights trump antics in MMA go for a hardcore favorite: Gilbert “El Nino” Melendez. Going strictly by my draft board, he was the highest rated fighter left regardless of need. He can be my lightweight flagship, but he also has experience at featherweight. A megafight between him and Faber or Kid is a titillating thought. I originally hoped I could match him up with Huerta, but Cupitt’s libido got in my way when he drafted his mancrush in the fifth.
8.5 Mike Huckaby: Fabricio Werdum
Previous Picks: Chuck Liddell (round 1), Forrest Griffin (round 2) and Wanderlei Silva (round 3), Andrei Arlovski (round 4), Mirko Cro Cop (round 5), Rashad Evans (round 6), and Tim Sylvia (round 7)
Analysis: Holding a recent victory over the previously picked Aleks Emelianenko, Werdum did a number on Gabriel Gonzaga not only stopping him but kneeing him in the face so many times it stopped his heart to continue the fight. Sure, he’s had some incredibly boring fights in the past but he’s learning more and more from Cro Cop (also a team Huckaby member) everyday. Werdum trained for his last fight at Chute Boxe and his Muay Thai is obviously improving tenfold from the first time we saw him to Overeem to Gonzaga. I’m happy to have a world class BJJ guy learning serious striking on my team.
8.6. Adam Morgan: Shinya Aoki
Previous Picks: Georges St. Pierre (round 1), Kimbo Slice (round 2) and Jake Shields (round 3), Carlos Condit (round 4), Diego Sanchez (round 5), Matt Hughes (round 6), and Josh Koscheck (round 7)
Analysis: One of the best lightweight fighters in the world is still left at this spot so I will not hesitate to take him. Guys like Florian and Huerta have gone before him but Aoki is likely better than both of them. He gives me a fighter with a stellar record, fantastic jiu jitsu, and he just recorded a victory over Gesias Calvancante this week, so his stock has gone up tremendously. While he may not be a known commodity here in the states, he certainly gives me an inroad to hold events in Japan because the Japanese love this guy and his wacky pants. He also is a fighter that can move between lightweight and welterweight, so he gives me options at both weight classes.