Round 18 is in the can and ready for review.
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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 eighteen are available below.
18.1 Sam Cupitt: Josh Thomson
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), Yves Edwards (round 13), Stephan Bonnar (round 14), Tim Kennedy (round 15), Nate Quarry (round 16), and Mitsuhiro Ishida (round 17)
Analysis: The guy is just non stop action. On the feet, he will throw superman punches, spinning back fists and kicks constantly then if for some reason he decides he doesn’t want to do that anymore then he will explode into a takedown or in some instances just pull guard. In my organization Thomson will have no shortage of interesting and exciting match-ups. Rematches with Edwards and Guida quickly come to mind. Seriously people, if you guys didn’t get excited about my organization, then I’d have to either question your pulse or just introduce a six-sided ring.
18.2 Sam Caplan: Jorge Masvidal
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), Frank Trigg (round 13), Frankie Edgar (round 14), Ricardo Arona (round 15) Jake Rosholt (round 16), and Paul Daley (round 17)
Analysis: I’ve become a big Masvidal fans within the last year and I think he fits in perfectly with a SAMMA lightweight division that already included talented 155-160 lbs. strikers such as Paul Daley and Chris Horodecki. By putting Masvidal into that mix, I am creating some very interesting matchups that could produce fireworks. Plus, you throw Frankie Edgar in there to balance it out and things get even more interesting.
18.3 Matt Cava: Alistair Overeem
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), Chris Leben (round 13), Chael Sonnen (round 14), Jeff Monson (round 15), Demian Maia (round 16), and Hermes Franca (round 17)
Analysis: The average American MMA fan does not have too much exposure to the 6’5″ Overeem, and they are truly missing out. Possessing brutal mix of muay thai and submission skills, the “Demolition Man” has had wars with a who’s who of the games most fearsome strikers: Liddell, Shogun, Arona, Buentello, Belfort, ‘Lil Nog, and Kharitonov. Like another champ already on my roster (Rodrigo Noguiera), Overeem can fight at heavyweight or light heavyweight. He’s the current Strikeforce Heavyweight title holder and owns a record of 26-11. At only 28-years old, Overeem can anchor my heavyweight division for several years to come.
18.4 Ram Maramaba: Tatsuya Kawajiri
Previous Picks: Quinton Jackson (round 1), Randy Couture (round 2) , 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), Ronaldo Souza (round 13), Mark Hunt (round 14), Jon Murphy (round 15), Yoshihiro Akiyama (round 16) , and Ricardo Almeida (round 17)
Analysis: Damndamndamn. I’m pissed Cupitt nabbed Ishida, the last lightweight I was zeroing in on. I thought everyone was done with their lightweights and I was taking my time to pick him up. I got caught up drafting for need and missed out on one of my favorite Japanese fighters.
Instead, I’ll take the T-Blood Consolation Prize Pack and pick up Tatsuya Kawajiri. Ranked higher than his stablemate on most top-10s, “The Crusher” isn’t as quick or explosive as the more diminutive Ishida, but he’s a better all-around fighter who can finish. Unlike Ishida, the majority of Kawajiri’s victories have ended in stoppage, usually in the form of wicked ground and pound. He has better standup, relentless takedowns and has skills to finish either by TKO or submission. Now that I think about it, I don’t know why I ever wanted Ishida over this guy.
Oh yeah, I was going to talk him into 145. Since that would be bending the rules a little bit, I’ll have to settle for a featherweight and lightweight division, starting with Hansen, Melendez and Kawajiri. This gives Kawajiri another shot at Hansen sans groin shot and also chance to avenge his decision loss to Melendez in PRIDE. After a couple of paragraphs, I’m glad I saw the light on Kawajiri.
18.5 Mike Huckaby: Pedro Rizzo
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), Roger Gracie (round 13), Shane Carwin (round 14), Brett Rogers (round 15), Melvin Manhoef (round 16), and Semmy Schilt (round 17)
Analysis: Back at my old job I once asked the question if Pedro Rizzo would make another run at a world title and it was unanimous yes. Pedro was 2-0 in ’07, beating UFC HW title contender Justin Eilers and then becoming only the second man since 2000 to stop Jeff Monson. With all he’s been through in his life how could you ever count out Pedro Rizzo? He’s a likable character and when he’s in shape can put on an exciting fight. He’s one of the rare breed left in MMA that would fight anyone at any time and he’s a welcome addition to my HW division.
18.6 Adam Morgan: Wagnney Fabiano
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), Karo Parisyan (round 13), Gina Carano (round 14), Cain Velasquez (round 15), Tara LaRosa (round 16), and Gray Maynard (round 17)
Analysis: Fabiano is one of the most underrated fighters in the world and I’m glad to welcome him into the fold this late in the draft. He is, without a doubt, one of the best featherweight fighters in the world and has also had success at lightweight which is where I plan to use him. He’s the IFL’s 145 lbs. champion and has absolutely laid waste to the competition that’s been put in front of him. Chris Horodecki took Fabiano’s last opponent, Shad Lierley, the distance. Fabiano knocked him out cold in the first round with one of the best knockouts of 2008 so far. Fabiano is a beast on the ground and his striking is nothing to laugh at either. Welcome home, Wagnney.