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Monday Morning Fighter

Welcome to Monday Morning Fighter, my new column at Five Ounces of Pain in which I look at what happened over the last week, and anything set to go down this week. This week I’ll look at UFC 112, The Anderson problem, and my shocking/idiotic prediction for the main event of “Strikeforce: Nashville”.

Let’s start with UFC 112:

-Amazing how fast they got the arena up in only a few weeks, and it didn’t look shoddy at all. The crowd was also very respectful towards the fighters considering the circumstances.

-Great fight between Munoz and Grove to open the show. I thought that Munoz was going to be submitted on numerous occasions, but managed to wiggle out. Munoz is still rough around the edges, but he has come along way from being head kicked by Matt Hamill back in March of 2009.

-Grove went for some chokes whenever Munoz shot in, but I think he ended up wearing himself out by going for it every time. It’s another setback for the former Ultimate Fighter winner, as his career progression is really perplexing. He came out of the show running through everybody, loses to Cote and Jorge Rivera, and it seems like he alternates between winning and losing.

-Munoz threw some nasty body shots while in Grove’s guard, just the nasty THWRAP from the leather hitting Grove made me cringe. He also had some great ground and pound to finish off Grove.

-I was confused by Rogan and Goldie’s hyping of Terry Etim. Not that he is a bad fighter, but you would honestly think that Etim was the drunken lovechild of Anderson Silva and Fedor if you never saw him fight and just listen to the announcing. I’m also surprised how much of a favorite Etim was with the fans at the card.

-Very good job by Dos Anjos by getting out of the arm-in Guillotine, but I agree with Joe on why Anjos was given a warning for what looked like shots to the body. Some great escapes by the both fighters during their fight, and beautiful armbar finish Anjos.

-Hughes vs. Gracie was…. very odd. I think Hughes didn’t want to take Gracie to the ground out of respect of Gracie’s ground game. It was a puzzling fight with Hughes deciding to stand with Gracie, although he did land some nice leg kicks.

-Those kicks did do some nasty damage to Renzo, and you could see the damage done throughout the fight. I also got a good laugh when Hughes dropped Renzo with the kick, and Hughes ended up helping him back up. I’m guessing that Renzo will probably fight at the next international card against….Baroni maybe?

-The Penn vs. Edgar fight was just odd. Penn looked off his game, and I honestly think he may have suffered an injury just prior to the bout. It was that or the climate, but I that fight was just surreal to watch live.

-The judge who scored the fight 50-45 was an absolute moro- It wasn’t Cecil Peoples? I had a joke about him set up. Personally, I thought that the fight was a little to close for my liking, and I still can’t make a decision about who actually won the fight. I wasn’t in rage like the people who claim they will never watch the sport again; I was sorta indifferent to the fight.

-I’m thinking that the UFC has its main two fights set-up for their first event in Boston. Edgar defends the belt against Kenny Florian while Penn faces either Takanori Gomi or Grey Maynard. It might not be the automatic rematch that people are calling for, but the fights still make some sense. Gomi and Penn has been a long awaited rematch, and Maynard is an up-and-comer.

-For three rounds, Anderson Silva just beat the living hell out of Demian Maia, landing precise strikes and blocking any sort of takedown attempts by Maia. Sure, he did some clowning around but I am enraged as some of the people who have talked about the fight.

-The taunting reminded me of the sort of stuff that Roy Jones Jr. used to do during his fights. Both are in the same sort of position in the sport: Much more physically gifted than the current opposition and he show’s their inferiority to his skills. Not justifying, but just a thought.

-A lot of people ragged on the matchmaking for this fight since Vitor ended up getting injured. I’m hearing that they should’ve offered the fight to a LHW, but who? Rampage/Rashad was booked, Randy just fought, Shogun was fighting Machida, and Chuck was doing TUF. So who?

-I personally thought that he just shut himself down after the third since Maia really did nothing until the last round. It take’s two to tango in our sport, and Maia did nothing to be aggressive outside of a few takedown attempts. It was nice to see him in try in the last round, but it was too little, too late.

-Phil Davis’s Anaconda Choke was beautiful, a great roll and getting his feet against the cage to add pressure. He has a great future in this sport, and evolved greatly from not being able to finish Brian Stann. In three years, I see Davis vs. Jon Jones for the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship headlining a card, but I just turned a potential Brock Lesnar/Anderson Silva fight into the Montreal Screwjob. The GIF of it is very hypnotic.

Now, let’s get onto my solution to the Anderson Problem conveniently titled: The Anderson Problem.

-I personally think that Anderson, Dana, and Ed Soares should have a meeting in Las Vegas about whether Anderson still wants to fight at middleweight. If Anderson wants to move up, have him relinquish the belt and he can test whatever division he wants for a year. If a year passes and Anderson wants to return, he can fight the number one contender for a title shot. If he agrees, then you can do an eight man mini tournament for the belt. Obviously you can’t do a tournament in one night, but it could be similar to the one that the UFC did in 2002 for the lightweight championship, and in 2008 with the heavyweight title.

Here are some fights you could book for the tournament:

Vitor Belfort vs. Chael Sonnen

Michael Bisping vs. Nate Marquardt

Rousimar Palhares vs. Yushin Okami

Wanderlei Silva vs. Yoshahiro Akiyama

-If Anderson stills at middleweight, then start to aggressively pursue fighters like Gegard Mousasi and Jake Shields to bring in some competition for Anderson.

-I’m hearing that people want to put Cain Velasquez or Jon Jones against Anderson in the near future. Why? If Anderson is serious about moving up, then those fights would be logical in about a year. But to potentially sacrifice two future stars for a potential one-off fight? A good fight for Anderson at heavyweight would Mir since Anderson has shown some interest in potentially fighting him. With Anderson’s diminishing ability as a draw, people would pay after Mir talks trash to see Mir get killed. At light heavyweight, I’d say the loser of Rampage and Rashad would be good since a lost wouldn’t kill their careers.

Time for my stupid prediction of the week!

-I’m picking Jake Shields to beat Dan Henderson by submission in round three on Saturday. Don’t know why, but I got a feeling Shields can pull it off.

-I also believe that Shield’s financial future might motivate him a lot more, since Shield’s is a free agent after this fight. I think the UFC is looking at Shields as a potential opponent for St. Pierre since Shields will be able to fight at welterweight again with no Nick Diaz in the promotion. A victory over Henderson would net Shields a big pay day or the UFC will only send him half-hearted offers to drive the amount that Strikeforce pays.

-If Henderson takes the fight to the ground, I think Shield’s wrestling and Jiu-Jitsu will be able to prevent Henderson from doing significant damage. While Henderson got Silva to the ground, Silva kept Henderson in his half-guard for the most of the round till Henderson got side-control near the end of the round.

-I know Hendo has the chance to nail the big right hand, but I’m guessing that Shields is training to not pull a Bisping and go for the takedown.

That’s all for this week.

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