We’re back for another edition of the Duel. But I should warn you that in no way is this really a Duel…. it’s more of a Hug. This week 5 Oz. of Pain Presents: The Hug. This week due to a late cancellation I will be Dueling against Duel All-Star, Sherdog’s Lotfi Sariahmed. We’ll start by discussing the fall of EXC and follow that up in the second half with a preview of some of Saturday’s UFC bouts.
Let us Duel:
1. EXC’s fold will be good in the long run for mixed martial arts.
Huckaby: TRUE. Errr that was tougher to answer than I thought it would be. On one hand it was rather amazing the number of people (even those wanting serious UFC competition and holding a resentment of Dana White) laughing about the fold of EXC. On the other hand this brand wasn’t the best the sport had to offer and it was being shown to larger audiences than had ever viewed the sport. The sport was being set back a few years with the dancing ramp girls and Kimbo Slice hype giving many people a poor impression. So I suppose it’s up to every person to decide for themselves (unlike other times when I feel I should decide for them); would you rather have the exposure and upward growth or would you not want to ruin the purity of the art for the potential future benefits?
Sariahmed: TRUE. I’m going with good in the long run because it rids us of the Shaws and Jeremy Lappen (at least for now in Lappen’s case). Don’t forget this was a promotion that was run (poorly) by men who decided that Kimbo Slice was going to take them to the promised land. Couple that with trying to create their own minor league system and spending too much money too quickly and they died with it. Don’t get me wrong, I never had a problem with Kevin Ferguson but EliteXC didn’t try to bring him along like that. They wanted everyone to see the YouTube sensation. There were some good things that came out of EliteXC, primarily the women’s division of MMA, but it’s not enough to make up for everything they screwed up while they were in business.
2. With only a couple very minor plausible options for big money, Kimbo Slice’s MMA career is over.
Huckaby: FALSE. Japan is all that makes any sense to me unless another backer that wants to lose tons of money pops up thinking he can make a promotion in the states. I don’t see Slice fighting on three or four tiny shows, the only way I could see him getting a possible trip to the UFC down the line. I don’t see Affliction, I don’t see Strikeforce and believe it or not I am not picturing some Iowa Challenge-type show. I just can’t see him investing all of this time into training the sport, seeing the money he’s making, then deciding to try a new career field. He has to fight again to get his bread. I now tried to make a rye bread/wry smile joke here for if he loses again but I’m trying too hard and it’s just not working out for me today.
Sariahmed: FALSE. Japan will pay him the money he was making with EliteXC because they love the freak show fights. If he wants to go that route it’s there for him. If he doesn’t want to go to Japan (though most reports say he’s looking at it) he’d have to take much less money and work his way up. Affliction, Strikeforce and the UFC will not go the way of EliteXC and put too much time and money into him. If he wants to stay in the States he’ll have to work his way up.
3. Jake Shields will be in the UFC within 6 months.
Huckaby: TRUE. I guess by “be in” I mean signed to a contract and not technically having to fight. Nothing else makes sense for Jake Shields and he’s already played the middle of the road with EXC so he’s certainly not going to Affliction or Strikeforce or anywhere. Of course this is must easier to answer as earlier in the week after this statement was made he said he felt that was next for him. If all of the statements were like this one they’d be much easier to answer. Plus no one would read the columns full of obvious, out-dated information.
Sariahmed: TRUE. He’s made too big of a deal about fighting the best that going anywhere else besides the UFC makes absolutely no sense. He’ll be on the roster soon enough and maybe fighting a Karo Parisyan at UFC 94 (Parisyan has already said he’ll be on that card)? Just throwing it out there but if I’m right you heard it from me first.
—-SWITCH IT UP—-
4. Patrick Cote will last two full rounds with Anderson Silva.
Sariahmed: FALSE. I stopped myself from laughing uncontrollably when reading this question but come on. Patrick Cote is not better than Dan Henderson and that’s essentially what you’re implying here by saying he’s lasting past the 2nd here with Silva. There isn’t anything in his last few performances that tells me Cote will do anything different than normal. His training camp could have been outstanding. He could be in the best condition of his life. Lutter, Henderson, Franklin (twice) and Marquardt probably all said the same thing at some point. Cote is useless on the ground (go back to the Finale against Lutter for proof) and barring a miracle shot early I don’t see him withstanding the onslaught from Silva. Mind you I have one caveat to my answer and that’s Cote pulling a Kalib Starnes…but that would make me a sad panda.
Huckaby: FALSE. I almost disagreed with you here just for laughing but I was in a pickle. You say one round and it’s easy to say he will and you say two rounds and it’s easy to say he won’t. But in an attempt to rip apart your argument I must tell you previous opponents don’t matter. MMA, as you should know by now, is 90% matchup. A guy can beat Tim Sylvia in 30 seconds but need almost two minutes to beat Hong Man Choi. This is all over the board on every fighter’s record. If this were to stay a standup fight with Cote moving away a bit (but not Starnesing) I think it’s very possible. But the second Silva gets him down this fight is over and between the two facets I just can’t do it.
5. Thiago Alves will continue his run by defeating Josh Koscheck.
Sariahmed: TRUE. I actually like Alves better in this fight than I did when he was facing Sanchez. Koscheck, for as much as he’s improved his striking, is not the dynamic striker that Alves is. He’s a great wrestler but Alves isn’t exactly a novice down there and Koscheck will be the smaller fighter in this fight. So he’ll have to contend with having to take the bigger fighter down. Alves is a better fighter on the feet and is capable enough to hold his own with Koscheck on the ground to the point where, barring Koscheck laying and praying his way to a win, should go home with the win here.
Huckaby: TRUE. *$#$#(!@! I want to disagree so badly here but I’d rather be bland and right than be interesting and wrong. Look, I think Josh Koscheck has a good 40% chance to win this fight. But you see this leaves 59% for Alves to win (I’m good with math). So therefore I have to say Alves will keep winning even though something deep in the back of my head is telling me history will make it so that Alves goes no further and the WW division goes crazy again. Alves of course has the striking but I see this fight being very GSP/Koscheck in that Alves may dominate position for a bit but he’s not as good as GSP so I don’t think the results of the exchanges will be the same. Oh and for those wondering about my math above I always leave a 1% chance that a meteor will hit or Owen Hart will drift down as the Blue Blazer.
6. Sean Sherk, fighting Tyson Griffin on Saturday, will earn another UFC title shot before his retirement (he’s 35).
Sariahmed: TRUE. His cardio and all-around physical shape makes him a guy who I think could fight as long as he wants. He keeps himself in too good a shape physically and that could only help him moving forward. Now of course his skills could start to decline, though we haven’t seen it yet, so that’s a possibility. I think of it like this, if there are 2-3 lightweight title fights a year, there would be another nine fights for him to get a shot (I’m using the very arbitrary age of 38 for when Sherk retires). I think Sherk is up there to where he could get one of those shots. It’s a very vague question to say no to considering what could happen at lightweight.
Huckaby: TRUE. Bah. I was set to say FALSE here but then I remembered BJ Penn won’t stay around there forever so he’s bound to be the next best choice. Penn and Sherk are so far and away better at LW than every other man in that organization that it’s not even funny. The second Penn is gone and the title is out there, be it vacated or a Penn loss, Sherk should be able to step right in. As for this fight I don’t see how it’s any different from the Hermes Franca fight other than Tyson Griffin is better. Oh well.
I am sorry for this “Duel.” You should know I am rightfully ashamed and promise to do better next week.