The rounds are going by fast and furiously. Round 14 is the latest round in the books, which you can now check out by clicking below.
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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 fourteen are available below.
14.1 Sam Cupitt: Stephan Bonnar
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), Cung Le (round 7), Michael Bisping (round 8 ), Nate Diaz (round 9), Clay Guida (round 10), Joe Stevenson (round 11), Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (round 12), and Yves Edwards (round 13)
Analysis: I’ll begin the 14th round by taking Stephan Bonnar. I’m aware I don’t have the most awesome roster of light heavyweights but it is interesting. I don’t mean interesting as in what your girlfriend calls your garage bands “art”, I mean interesting as in filled with fighters who are kind of “unknowns” talent-wise who have not reached their full potential. Stephan Bonnar falls into that category. Besides just being a likeable fan-friendly guy he’s also, in my opinion, just starting to come into his own as a fighter. Going into his fight on the Ultimate Fighter finale, he and Forrest Griffin were basically the same fighter. However since then Forrest moved on and got better training partners while Bonnar stayed in the same camp. This led to Griffin growing more as a fighter, which was evident in their clash at UFC 62. Bonnar has now moved to Vegas and trains in Xtreme Couture with Griffin which should lend itself to him improving his skills all round. I’m actually kind of surprised Bonnar fell to the 14th round considering how talented and how much of a fan favourite he is.
14.2 Sam Caplan: Frankie Edgar
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), Rich Franklin (round 7), Jason “Mayhem” Miller (round 8 ), Gabriel Gonzaga (round 9), Antonio Silva (round 10) , Robbie Lawler (round 11), Chris Horodecki (round 12), and Frank Trigg (round 13)
Analysis: I’m going to continue to build my lightweight division up with this pick, and as such, I am taking Frankie Edgar. Before his loss to Gray Maynard, a lot of people considered him a top ten lightweight. In spite of the loss to Maynard, he’s still top-ten caliber and will be a nice complement to Chris Horodecki. Edgar’s wrestling is excellent and his boxing skills are very underrated. Most of his fights have been very entertaining and I think the best is still yet to come from Frankie Edgar.
14.3 Matt Cava: Chael Sonnen
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), Paulo Filho (round 7), Aleksander Emelianenko (round 8 ), Nick Diaz (round 9), Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou (round 10), Yushin Okami (round 11), Tyson Griffin (round 12), and Chris Leben (round 13)
Analysis: I’ve liked this guy for a while, ever since he gave Babalu a hell of a fight a couple years ago in the UFC. Sonnen doesn’t get much main stream MMA coverage b/c he went the Bodog & WEC route instead of UFC, EXC. He can fight at 205 and 185, and is a solid performer out of Team Quest.
14.4 Ram Maramba: Mark Hunt
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), Frank Mir (round 7), Gilbert Melendez (round 8 ), Miguel Torres (round 9), Vladimir Matyushenko (round 10), Nathan Marquardt (round 11), Joachim Hansen (round 12), and Ronaldo Souza (round 13)
Analysis: I was hoping everyone had forgotten about Mark Hunt, but all this talk on the comments about the big boy has me worried. I’m taking Hunt here to fill out my ironically slim heavyweight division. The K-1 GP champ has had an up and down MMA career but has earned wins against Cro Cop and Wanderlei Silva, both admittedly much smaller fighters than the super heavyweight. Though imposing, the iron-chinned Hunt is physically unimpressive and sports a mediocre MMA record, but this is a guy who escaped an early Fedor armbar attempt into side control and controlled him for the majority of the 1st round of their PRIDE bout. I’ll even go one step further and claim that if Hunt had any idea how to sink in a tight keylock, the New Zealand kickboxer would have a submission win over the Sambo champ. Let that sink in.
Couture has had no problems fighting ogre-ish fighters before, he won’t think twice about accepting a fight with Hunt. The mantra is that styles make fights, and a bout between a world-class grappler and a world-class kickboxer is exactly what MMA is all about.
14.5 Mike Huckaby: Shane Carwin
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), Tim Sylvia (round 7), Fabricio Werdum (round 8 ), Thiago Silva (round 9) , Seregi Kharitonov (round 10), Brian Stann (round 11), Renato Sobral (round 12), and Roger Gracie (round 13)
Analysis: Carwin is often compared to top pick Brock Lesnar, even mentioned a couple of times by our own Sam Caplan. The undefeated former college wrestler and All-American football player is an undefeated 8-0 and unlike Lesnar he doesn’t have the years of failed moonsaults and Matt Hardy chairshots on his body. He also took to the sport more slowly and after some impressive wins gained the UFC’s notice as they signed him to a big contract. Shane Carwin might just be the top HW prospect in the world and I’m happy to take him this late.
14.6 Adam Morgan: Gina Carano
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), Josh Koscheck (round 7), Shinya Aoki (round 8 ), Matt Sera (round 9), Eddie Alvarez (round 10), Ben Rothwell (round 11), Thiago Alves (round 12), and Karo Parisyan (round 13)
Analysis: While all these other characters in the draft are focused on drafting the big, bad men, somehow the world’s most marketable woman fighter has fallen all the way to the 15th round. With TV exposure from being on American Gladiators, an exciting fighting style, and most of all being extremely hot, Carano is the figurehead of women’s MMA. Whether or not she’s the best fighter in all of women’s MMA is still yet to be determined but she’s been marketed better than any other fighter in the division. Nobody has gone to the women yet, so I will. They’re always fun to watch and whether or not she is the best fighter, she’s the only woman fighter who matters in MMA right now. And I’ve got her.