After taking last week off due to unforeseen computer problems (i.e. being a complete idiot when it comes to computers) it’s time for a fresh new edition of the Sprawl ‘N Brawl this week. We’ll take a look at the latest news surrounding EliteXC, the fallout from UFC 89, the announcement of Yves Edwards taking on Josh Thomson for the Strikeforce lightweight title, and more. Let’s get right into it, shall we?
EliteXC folding, Nov. 8 show canceled?
That’s what the most recent reports are saying and it doesn’t sound good. But is it any surprise? This promotion was a house of cards ever since the first CBS show went off with Kimbo Slice in the main event. If Seth Petruzelli hadn’t told the world that he was more or less bribed to stand up with Kimbo Slice in their last show then we might be talking about a CBS purchase of the company instead of the folding of the company. But that’s not Petruzelli’s fault. Instead it’s just a small glimpse into all the things that went wrong with the company as a whole. From top to bottom the organization was poorly run and now it’s been run into the ground. The worst part for me personally? No more Diaz vs. Alvarez on November 8. I was really looking forward to that one.
UFC 89 Fallout
There’s not much to say about the card except the fact that I was extremely glad that I didn’t pay for it. ZUFFA should have paid me to watch those fights. Okay, they weren’t that bad. But they weren’t exactly good either.
Marcus Davis is who we thought he was. A guy with good hands and decent submissions. Decent enough to beat up mid level talent. I still believe that if you throw him up against anybody in the top ten that he gets annihilated.
Chris Lytle rules. The guy could have taken Paul Taylor down to the ground and punished him there but instead he decided to use his boxing and make the fight exciting. He is a fighter’s fighter and he showed on Saturday that there is an obvious reason why the UFC keeps him around. Not only is he always exciting (except when being laid on by Matt Hughes) but he also is the definition of a gatekeeper at welterweight. If you can’t beat Chris Lytle then you’re not cut out for the best in the division. Hats off to Lytle all the way around.
Sokoudjou is a freakish athlete with lots of potential but that is all that he is for the moment. Now that everyone knows about his heavy hands and lack of cardio they know how to take him apart. Luiz Cane did just that on Saturday. Let Sokoudjou wear himself out and then pick him apart when he’s tired. I believe Sokoudjou has a bright future in this sport, I really do. But the UFC might be too much, too soon for him right now. Oh, and regarding Luiz Cane? I’ve been on his bandwagon since his first fight in the UFC and my ass is still firmly planted on it. This was by no means an upset.
Brandon Vera, where have you gone? I liked it better when Vera was destroying the Justin Eilers of the world with brutal knees. He looks like he’s scared to engage now. Before he was so confident in his abilities that he would just go out and tear his opponents apart. Now, don’t get me wrong, he wasn’t facing the level of talent that he is now but still. He doesn’t look like the same fighter anymore since coming back from the layoff.
I surely thought Chris Leben might try to take the fight to the ground against Michael Bisping and test his jiu jitsu but it looks as if all Leben cared about was making the fight exciting. And Bisping did his best to make it not exciting, riding his bike and playing the outside counter punch game. It was a good strategy by Bisping but it didn’t make for a great fight. Leben depended on landing the big left hand the entire fight and it proved to be a strategy that didn’t work out for him. Leben has a lot of tools and to see him only rely on one of them was a bit disappointing.
Yves Edwards vs. Josh Thomson at Strikeforce in November
This is a phenomenal fight. Kudos to Strikeforce for making this rematch happen. The last one ended in brutal fashion with the head kick knockout by Yves and this one should be a barn burner as well. Thomson has risen to elite status in the light heavyweight division and Yves Edwards was on his way back to that territory before getting destroyed by K.J. Noons in the opening moments of their fight. Both fighters have matured and both have had their ups and downs and now, four years, and countless promotions and fights later, we get to see the rematch. Both fighters are now in their prime and this should be a classic war for Strikeforce’s lightweight title. If you made me pick right now, I’ll take Thomson but this is a great fight.
“Mayhem” Miller is retiring
Yeah, just like Paul Daley was retiring. Miller isn’t retiring and we all know it. He can say that he’s made enough money and that he can live comfortably but we all know that there’s still a lot of money to be made for Miller both inside and outside the ring, especially in Japan. Not only that but he’s very talented and still hasn’t even reached his full potential inside of mixed martial arts. I think this “retirement” will be short lived and could be a way of getting people to talk about him while his name hasn’t been in the news for awhile. Miller’s retirement is right up there with the first time Michael Jordan “retired” and when Brett Favre said he was “done for good.” Seeya in the ring in a few months, Jason.
B.J. Penn vs. GSP will be for the welterweight title
This is big news not only because Penn will have the chance to hold titles in two weight classes simultaneously but also because this means we’ll get to see the five round fight that these two deserve. Five rounds means that we’ll most likely see a finish. It will also test Penn’s cardio to see if he can go five rounds at the pace that St. Pierre sets. St. Pierre just recently showed us that he has no problem with going all five rounds. Penn, on the other hand, hasn’t been past the third round since 2003. I know that his cardio has been much, much better but he hasn’t been truly put to the flame by a fighter who can push him. St. Pierre has that ability. Five rounds, 170 lbs. title on the line, and two of the best pound for pound fighters in the world going head to head? You can’t ask for much more than that.
And that about wraps it up for this edition of Sprawl ‘N Brawl. I hope you enjoyed it, and if you didn’t, then oh well. There will be a lot to talk about next week after UFC 90. Maybe even a new UFC middleweight champion. Wait, who am I kidding?