And welcome back to another edition of The Duel. While I’m not all that interesting you should follow me on Twitter. I have no MySpace or Facebook but on Twitter I give updates on when I’m playing pool and when Caleb Newby and I are discussing inappropriate things on AIM. It’s a can’t miss. And by can’t miss I mean miss. Really you shouldn’t waste your time but if you’re already on Twitter what can it hurt?
Joining me this week are two newcomers to 5 Oz. We have contributors Mr. Cory Brady and Mr. Christopher Dolan. I thank them for joining me and off we Duel:
1. Georges St. Pierre is your number one pound-for-pound fighter.
Brady: FALSE. Determining a pound for pound best fighter has always been the type of subject that is up to tremendous speculation. There are about three or four guys out there that truly deserve mention when speaking of “the” best pound for pound fighter. My longtime personal choice, Fedor, Dana White and a whole lot of other people’s choice, Anderson Silva, followed by the two men that squared off this past Saturday, Penn and St. Pierre. Personally I still have B.J. above St. Pierre in my own personal pound for pound rankings. When discussing the pound for pound best fighter in the business you just have to throw weight right out the window and assume that the two men would meet at fictionally identical weight and determine which fighters skill set is greater than the others. In my opinion, Penn is the best at 155 pounds and St. Pierre is the best at 170 but the better overall fighter is Penn. Fedor is going to have to lose in order for him to fall from grace in my eyes and St. Pierre is a few spots away from number one right now. However, I could see a convincing win over Alves with no Vaseline moving St. Pierre up a notch in the P4P totem pole.
Dolan: FALSE. Prior to this fight I had GSP in the third place on my p4p list. My list is as follows: Fedor, Anderson Silva, GSP, Miguel Angel Torres, B.J. Penn. Now I know that list will be met with a lot of scrutiny but I stand by it. Fedor is hands down the best fighter in the world, although I just gave him the crown following his win over Arlovski. I always had Silva at number one but after looking at his opponents from 2008 I had to drop him one spot. The truth is that Fedor is 1 and Silva is 1A. As for GSP he is creeping up on the other two. Honestly the loss to Matt Serra was the best thing to ever happen to him. Since then he’s looked like a completely different fight, a man on a mission to dominate anyone that comes his way. If he keeps this up he could find himself at 1B by the years end. I know most people won’t agree for me to have Penn at number 5 behind Torres, but I personally think Torres is the most underrated fighter currently out there today.
My Five Cents: I can’t argue with the answer. Anderson Silva and Fedor are the top p4p on the planet. Props to Brady for giving Fedor but negative props for putting BJ over GSP. Come on. Dolan gives a better list (in my personal opinion) but while I love Fedor like a wife loves a husband I can’t give him Sylvia and Arlovski as if they weren’t the two easiest matchups for him in the top 10. I call draw.
2. GSP’s alleged greasing affected the outcome of the fight.
Brady: TRUE. I’m not saying that the outcome would have been different if there had been no vaseline massage but there is absolutely no way to determine that now. The damage has been done in more ways than one. The outcome of the fight was absolutely affected because it put a huge stain on what should have been a definitive victory. There will always be those that question the bouts result from this day forth and there will also be those that will question St. Pierre and his corner’s tactics in the future and more interestingly, the past. The Vaseline was applied between the first and the second rounds, precisely the time when a submission artist like Penn is the most dangerous because his opponent is not sweating as profusely as he would later on in the fight. The Vaseline on St. Pierre’s body undoubtedly made him harder to get ahold of, whether it was in the clinch or on the ground. Anyone that has any experience with something like vaseline knows that it’s not the type of substance that you can just wipe off and it’s gone. It seeps into the skin and combined with sweat could have absolutely affected the outcome of the bout..
Dolan: FALSE. I am going to be in the minority in this one but I don’t think the application of the Vaseline directly affected the outcome of the fight. Yes it will definitely put Penn, a submission specialist, at a huge disadvantage. I don’t think that it directly affected the fight in the sense that I don’t think it ever came into play. Had Penn been more aggressive in the second round and gone for a takedown and had been unsuccessful I would be singing a different tune. Even while GSP was in Penn’s guard I’m not 100% sure how much it affected anything. Penn loves to use the rubber guard and he did use it effectively to shut down GSP at first. Yes, Vaseline stays on the body and seeps into the sink but by the time the third round was underway the amount of sweat and water poured over his body by his corner would have nullified most of its effect. Now I know I could be totally wrong, but it’s just my opinion. I think the greatest damage is that we will always look at this fight and always have questions about it. This should have been the greatest fight in recent history but it will forever be tarnished by the Vaseline. It also hurts GSP going forward. His corner will always been under the microscope. Everything they bring in the cage will be scrutinized and sadly people will go back to old fights and look for evidence of cheating. It might take years for GSP to shake the effects of using the Vaseline vs. Penn.
My Five Cents: I will let everyone judge on their own accord. I’ll just quote Brady: “Anyone that has any experience with something like Vaseline knows that it’s not the type of substance that you can just wipe off….” Ain’t that the truth Brady, ain’t that the truth.
3. Moving to middleweight is a wise move for Wanderlei Silva.
Brady: TRUE. Silva has always been somewhat small for a light heavyweight and found most of his success while competing in Japan against fighters that typically did not cut the kind of weight that UFC fighters normally do. He can find relevance in the middleweight division and hopefully he can reconnect with his savagery he has displayed so many times in the past in the process. Make no mistake, just because Anderson Silva is so dominant as the champion of the division does not mean that Wanderlei will be walking into a weight class with sub par competition. There are plenty of tough fights for The Axe Murderer at middleweight. I feel like Silva will be faster and much stronger at middleweight. Will he lose some of his punching power at 185? Maybe but it won’t be that much. Silva will always have the ability to finish the fight in the blink of an eye. Another possible benefit from dropping weight classes for Silva is the fact that the people that will be punching his face will be twenty pounds lighter than he normally gets punched by so hopefully his chin will hold up better than it has been recently.
Dolan: TRUE. This is the best move Silva could have made to prolong his career and keep him relevant. The UFC’s light heavyweight division has so much depth that Silva would have found himself lost in the shuffle. At 185 he should become a new fighter. It won’t be an easy transition as there is a lot of talent at 185 but Silva will be a major player in the title hunt. His stamina and punching power should greatly improve fighting in the lighter weight class. If everything goes well we could see a potential fight with Anderson Silva by the turn of the new year. That might be a fight that would take place two years too late, but it would still be an incredible draw for the UFC and its fans.
My Five Cents: I have to go Brady here. Excellent point about Japanese fighters not cutting weight, this isn’t discussed enough. That said, I can’t get behind Wandy being lost at 205lbs. He destroyed Jardine as everyone knew he would and Jardine is now fighting Rampage. Wandy would still be a top 5 UFC LHW but when it comes to middleweight how will he fair against the Marquardts and Maias? Well shall see. Just beat up Bisping. Hard.
—-SWITCH IT UP—-
4. Lyoto Machida will get the next LHW title shot.
Dolan: FALSE. I personally think he deserves the next shot and I actually thought that after he defeated Tito. Yes I know he has the reputation of being a “boring fighter” but that doesn’t take away from the fact that he’s one of the best fighters on the planet. Had he delivered a KO to Tito like he did to Thiago Silva then he would face Evans. But Rampage will get the next shot at Evans as long as he gets past Jardine in March. Dana wasn’t lying that Machida will get a shot before the end of the year, just not next.
Brady: FALSE. Machida converted me from a skeptic to a believer in the blink of an eye at UFC 94 and I absolutely believe he should have the next crack at Rashad but I don’t see that happening. If Rampage beats Jardine he’s getting the title shot and I feel pretty sure that Rampage will have the answer for The Dean of Mean. Jardine has a knack for pulling off upsets so I wouldn’t completely count him out and it really would put a smile on my face if Machida got the next title opportunity but the most likely outcome will be that The Dragon will fight the winner of Evans vs. Jackson. Then maybe the winner of Shogun vs. Chuck will get a shot at Machida? Man, LHW is stacked!
My Five Cents: Well played the both of you. After this question was asked Dana White stated that Rampage was next in line, which we all know is crap. Maybe if Lyoto were more entertaining he could lose and then go on a crazy police chase and get a title shot. How about giving Rashad a gimme title fight and having Machida vs. Rampage? That wouldn’t go real well for Rampage and everyone knows it. But he’s the draw so he’ll get the fight.
5. In attendance at UFC 94 and in negotiations, Kid Yamamoto will one day fight for Zuffa.
Dolan: TRUE. I almost can’t picture a scenario in which he doesn’t end up under the Zuffa banner. I don’t think we will ever see him in the UFC but the WEC is a perfect fit for him. The best fighters at featherweight and bantamweight are making their way to the WEC so it only makes sense for him to follow.
Brady: TRUE. I see no way around it for one of the most talented little guys in the business. The WEC is taking over the lighter weight classes and Yamamoto signing with Zuffa is inevitable. It makes sense for him in so many ways. Already a mega star overseas, Yamamoto is easily one of the most talented and least talked about fighters in the business and fighting under the Zuffa banner would give the him the kind of exposure, stateside, that a fighter of his caliber deserves. I expect Yamamoto to flourish in the WEC.
My Five Cents: In a perfect world you’d both be correct. In a decent world you’d both be correct. But you’re talking about a Japanese (wish he was an) Olympic star and he’d be losing a great deal of sponsorships to move from a K-1 type banner to the WEC. He could make much more money fighting WEC loners a couple of times a year than he could actually fighting competition in the US. I hope this is true as we all want Kid vs. Faber but when it comes to a business decision I can’t see this making sense for Yamamoto.
6. Mac Danzig will rebound from his Guida loss and defeat Josh Neer on Saturday.
Dolan: TRUE. Danzig should be able to rebound no problem. Neer has fallen pray to submission attempts in the past and that could play a huge factor in this fight. I don’t think that Danzig will want to have this fight drag on into the third round. Right out of the gate look for him to push the tempo. He will need to be careful though because Neer not only posses the ability to submit Danzig but he can also knock him out. In the end I like Danzig to win this fight with a second round submission.
Brady: TRUE. I just feel Neer is out gunned in this one in too many areas, most notably the ground. Danzig’s submission skills are more polished and technical than Neer’s and that will be the key factor in this fight. I feel like Clay Guida has long been under rated in the lightweight division and his win over Danzig explained more about Guida, to me, than it did about Danzig. Danzig looked amazing in his fight with Mark Bocek who recently looked amazing against Alvin Robinson. Long story short, yeah, Danzig’s taking this one home.
My Five Cents: I’m nowhere near as confident as the both of you. Neer is a seasoned veteran who is ready for anything and everything while Danzig still has more to prove. I’m not entirely sure who I will pick yet but it’s bound to be the most meaningful fight on a ridiculously boring card.
Thank you for joining us for The Duel. Join us next week when two more MMA analysts will battle it out over Fight Night results and the latest rumors in the sport!
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