The 10-Point Must (10/23/13)

Wednesday has rolled around again and, as expected, the 10-Point Must is back! Every week I’ll give my thoughts on ten topics from the past seven days with hopes the readership will contribute their takes as well in the Comments section. This time around, subjects range from Diego Sanchez targeting Nate Diaz to Mike Tyson vs. Royce Gracie to the Chael Sonnen-Wanderlei Silva rivalry moving to TUF Brasil and much more in-between! (Photos by USA Today Sports Images)

29 COMMENTS
  • SBERG says:

    When it’s said and done Cain will go down as the best heavyweight ever….No one can touch him at this point. I don’t see anyone on the horizon that even close to his skill set. And I absolutely believe a prime Cain beats a Prime Fedor. Cain is that good.

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  • MCM says:

    Not to rag on you specifically SBERG, but the MMA-blogasphere in general. Can we please stop with the “Cain best ever” talk. Yes Cain is a great fighter, yes he’s the #1 HW in the world at the moment, but until he goes on a double digit winning streak, there’s no way he can be counted as the best HW of all time.
    Would a prime Cain beat a prime Fedor? Of course, because MMA (like every other sport) has evolved. The next generation of athlete is always better than the previous one. Ali is the undisputed greatest boxer of all time, but he’d get picked apart by a Klitschko. John Hathaway is a pretty good fighter, but he’d beat the Gi off of Royce Gracie. Does that make Royce less of a HoF’er?
    Right now, I have Fedor at #1, Big Nog #2, and guys like CroCop, Randy and Barnett all ahead of Cain. As for how great Cain will be in the future…., remember nobody could touch Machida, Penn (at LW) or Jones either. Let the man earn his spot before we go anointing him the unrivaled king of 265.

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  • AlphaOmega says:

    I agree MCM but it’s always been like that, Brock won the belt and everyone said he was untouchable and a beast, then JDS won it and everyone said the same thing

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  • SBERG says:

    Not to rag you MCM but your wrong…sorry. The author of the article put the greatest tag out there I only agreed and took it a step further. Yes he was referring to UFC but being UFC is the alpha male of fight orgs, it carries weight all over.
    Your wrong about Ali too..Sorry but Ali in his prime whoops Klitschko…Remember George Foreman…He was a big boy that was supposed to present all sorts of issues for Ali and he solved that puzzle. Not sure about Gracie either..he was a tough little son of a gun.
    And I didn’t anoint him No.1…I only said when it’s said and done. Sure he could lose in the meantime again…Doesn’t look like it . He seems to be a Gsp type that learns from his mistakes and works his ass off the make sure they don’t happen again. That’s a mark of greatness. Cain has that…He’s shown that thus far. So I stand by my comment that when it’s over he will be the best.
    Sorry people who still hold Fedor in high regard have a problem with it.

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  • THEGUNNER says:

    lets not forget about fedors fights in strikeforce. Cain is and will be the best hw by the time he retires.he koed big nog beat thcrap out of lesner and jds and will beat anyone else on a top hw list. If barnette gets a title fight hell get beat up worse than he did by dc. Cro cop got retired by entering the ufc but couture in gis prime is one id consider to beat cain.

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  • fanoftna33 says:

    There is not 1 HW on the planet right now that will surpass Fedors incredible 31 fight unbeaten streak. Fedor had a great skill set along as the ability to absorb some serious punishment and not go out. He is the greatest HW I have ever seen but that by no means means ( Dodgeball reference there ) that he is or will be the best of all time. Just because a fighter is ranked #1 now he could go downhill in a hurry and for a guy like Cain who is a great fighter but with only 13 fights I dont think we should be considering him the greatest of all time just yet.

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  • SBERG says:

    For a comparison you could look at Bernard Hopkins who had a record 20 straight title defenses when he was middleweight champ but people still don’t consider him the greatest middleweight ever. I personally always liked Hagler but that’s me.
    You could look at Klitschko who’s held the heavyweight belt longer than anyone I believe at this point but few would grant him the label of best ever.
    I don’t knock Fedor But Seeing what happened when he came stateside and just got demolished in three straight fights leaves a bad taste in my mouth. The loss to Antonio silva being the worst, I mean Fedor just got beat to hell in that one and he wasn’t old by any means. Sure he’d been in a ton of fights at that point but at 33-34 yrs old he should’ve been able to take out someone like Silva. Instead the fight was never close and I mean not even a little bit close.
    Then there’s the steroid issue in Japan, not saying Fedor juiced but It’s hard to believe that with the way things were run out there that the possibility didn’t exist and I mean that for all fighters from pride. But that’s another subject entirely.

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  • Screenplaya says:

    Dan Henderson KOed Fedor. To me, that fight eliminated Fedor from any “best ever” discussions.

    Henderson was both older and smaller than Fedor when they fought. Do people really think the HW division is such crap that an all-time top 5 MW would dominate the best ever HW? Puh-lease.

    And the comparisons to boxing don’t work for me, either. Boxing in the 70s is very similar to boxing today, while MMA today is still maturing and growing at a crazy rate. You almost can’t compare MMA fighters today with their counterparts just 10 years ago.

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  • SBERG says:

    The comparison was only to add point to the mention of Fedor’s streak…Not so much comparing the fighters themselves….But no Boxing is not like it was back then at all. Back then young athletes aspired to be boxers. That isn’t the case anymore. Most athletically gifted kids steer far away from the fight world and look more towards football, basketball and baseball. There was a time when I was growing up when kids wanted to be a golden gloves champ and make it to the olympics and such, that mentallity has seemed to change. Maybe cause I’m older, possibly, but the landscape of boxing has far changed.
    At the same time I totally agree that MMA is still at a infancy stage, I mean were only like 13 yrs into the modern age of UFC. It was 2000 or 2001 I believe when Lorenzo, Frank and Dana took over and changed the game. So yes UFC has a long way to go yet and things are progressing nicely.

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  • THEGUNNER says:

    Cain has beat tougher opponents including big foot twice. Cain would ne hendo fedor didnt. The pride fights had guys that would never be considered for the ufc. Im sure if fedor showed intrest hed get in the ufc koed by some up & comer like brown the go fight somewhere else like overeem is about to do. Imo fedor gets no hof status until he gets ufc gold and fights top level.

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  • Niv says:

    I have to say this argument that has been happening for years now is tiring. To say that Fedor fought nobody and the level of competition was higher in the UFC is a myth.

    Looking at a fighters age alone does not qualify an argument either as miles on your body, and cumulative injuries are far more important than the number attached to your age. To make statements like Cro Cop and Big Nog came to the UFC and suffered as a result of doing so is simply ignoring the fact that timing is everything. By the time these guys came to the UFC they were definitely on the wrong side of their careers, yet Big Nog still managed to hold an interim HW title.

    We can look at Chuck Lidell and agree he was the most dominant LHW fighter in the UFC up until now. While he was in his prime he fought in PRIDE and had his ass handed to him by a guy that couldn’t win the strap there. Do we use this so called evidence to diminish Lidell’s accomplishments?

    When Fedor had his wars with Big Nog, there’s no doubt that Big Nog was the most feared and dominant HW on the planet until Fedor displaced him. There were many legendary fights and the way Fedor won his wars are what made him the icon that he has become.

    MMA fans will wage this war forever it seems, but I can’t get past the fact that Cain Velasquez, Randy Couture, BJ Penn, GSP, and almost every fighter that has ever been interviewed still states to this day that Fedor was the greatest ever. When Brazilian MMA fans were polled about who they felt was the greatest fighter of all-time the answer was somewhere in the 85% mark for Fedor. Stop and think about all the great Brazilian MMA fighters to ever fight, and Brazilians themselves keep saying Fedor.

    Sorry guys Fedor is hands down the greatest ever, and it will take something super human to surpass his great achievements in MMA.

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  • SBERG says:

    It won’t take a super human effort..just a few more wins for Cain is all it will take…
    I know i’ll get ragged but im not sold on the level of comp Fedor had in pride…ok Nog was really good…Crocop im not sold on. Watching him come stateside and just look like a shell of whatever he was in japan was kinda weird…amazing how his talent just eroded that fast(roids maybe). Sure Cain needs more quality wins i get that but at the rate he’s going and with the talent thats there he’ll have the resume. He beats Werdum that gives him three wins over two of the three to beat fedor. Don’t care how ya slice it but that’s impressive…so we’ll see how it all plays out…should be fun…

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  • THEGUNNER says:

    Maybe when cain beats hong mang choi he ll get more respect or sapp.

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  • Niv says:

    Sorry you’re not sold on Cro Cop, if you watched him in his prime you would’ve been. What he did to straight up killers like Igor Vovchanchyn was unbelievable. Vovchanchyn was in his time an absolute beast and was one of the most feared fighters of his time.

    Did you watch the 1st Big Nog fight vs Fedor, or see Cro Cop vs Fedor? If you guys are impressed with Velasquez’s athleticism you should be in awe of Fedor’s in those fights. Have you ever seen a guy get suplexed directly onto his head, and instead of dying (as he should have), he rolls over and kimura’s Randleman.

    Hung Man Choi is a joke, but when a 5’11 guy arm bars an arm that might be longer than he is tall, it’s still kinda impressive.

    Remember Heath Herring? Well Fedor destroyed the dude when he actually was a top dog, not his last fight of his career when he was washed up, that usually does make a difference.

    If you guys are going to ignore timing and place in their career, comparing Fedor at the end of his career makes as much sense as it will comparing Tito Ortiz today in Bellator to Tito Ortiz in 2004.

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  • SBERG says:

    Didn’t say I didn’t see Crocop in his “prime”. Just said i’m shocked that he comes to the states and all of a sudden is a shell of himself. My honest opinion is he was roided out back then and had to stop to fight in the states and it caught up to him….
    Of course i can’t prove it based on lack of testing out there but again it’s pretty amazing he comes here and gets hammered. Same with Overeem and sadly same with Fedor, although i’ll respectfully give Fedor the benefit of the doubt about roids. Heck you can throw wandy in there as well….sorry but i believe he juiced…rag me if you want but it’s how i feel.
    Please don’t get me wrong here I respect Fedor alot but with all that went on in japan its hard to fully give full support to the GOAT status everyone else wants to put on him…..but it’s cool i enjoy the debate. Lol

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  • Richard Stabone says:

    Cro Crop was 35 when circumstances finally brought him to the states. I don’t care what pro sport you’re talking about – for a guy to be washed up by the time he reaches his mid-30s is the exact opposite of shocking.

    Back to Brendhan’s commentary, he qualified his statement about Cain as being the greatest HW to fight in the UFC… and on that front, I don’t see how anyone could disagree. He’s beaten the baddest wrestler the HW division has already seen, he’s now twice dominated the best striker the HW division currently has to offer, and next he’ll have a chance to take out one of the most dangerous BJJ practitioners. Cain is an absolute monster… an incredibly well-rounded fighter with almost unbelievable cardio/pace for the HW division.

    But Fedor… in his prime there’s just really no way to overstate how awesome he was. If fans want to look at what he did when he finally made it over to the states, also well on the wrong side of 30 with a ton of mileage on his body, to largely form their opinions… well, that’s why they’re opinions.

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  • SBERG says:

    Just seemed like a pretty drastic drop off with Crocop is all. Maybe shocked was a strong word but It’s just weird that within a years span he goes from Knockout of the year in the pride semi against Wandy and a win in the final against Barnett to a Knockout from Gonzaga and a UD loss to Cheick Kongo.
    Fedor was 33 when he fought Werdum and 34 when he fought Silva And Hendo ( Who was 40!!!! and a blown up middleweight). Fedor had milage, yes, but I’m not buying the age thing. He was still young enough to be dominant and he wasn’t. And as I stated in my earlier post Silva just mauled him.
    And I did make reference to what Brendhan said about Cain and the UFC and admitted I went a step further with it. Only because of what was said after.
    Look I see Fedor more as a Babe Ruth type figure…He’ll carry mythical status no doubt but he wont be considered the best ever as time goes on. And I’m a Yankees fan and I’m telling you the babe wasn’t the best ever, lol.

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  • Richard Stabone says:

    Was it more weird than Chuck going from defending his UFC belt for the 4th straight time to losing 5 outta 6 fights and being literally shoved into retirement? What’s the theory on that one?

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  • Richard Stabone says:

    Of course there’s room for debate around level of competition across different eras/organizations, different testing standards, etc. But pay attention — age catches up to the best of them. Father Time remains undefeated, as the saying goes. And as Niv touched on, “age” is more than just a number.

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  • SBERG says:

    With Chuck it was a different situation, he spent the bulk of his career fighting at the UFC. He fought the best and lost to top notch comp in the end. No shame in that.
    Crocop just won the biggest event in pride and then 7-8 months later he’s knocked out cold by Gonzaga in the first round with the same kick he put everyone else out with? Sorry but with all Crocop was he shoulda walked through Gonzaga. Then the loss to Kongo. Sorry Richard but Crocop was a different guy once in the states. Same as Overeem.
    And you should pay attention as well Richard…..Fedor was 34 when he fought a BLOWN UP 40 YR OLD MIDDLEWEIGHT AND GOT PUT TO SLEEP!!!!!! I guess Hendo didn’t have the mileage? What’s the theory on that one?

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  • Richard Stabone says:

    Hendo is a legend of the sport who’s been fighting off Father Time via PEDs for who knows how long. No mystery there.

    And of course Chuck was legitimately great during his peak. The point is when the decline started it was as if he off a cliff… in losing 5 of 6 to close out his career, of the 5 guys who beat him Rashad is the only one with a better than .500 record since beating Chuck. Top notch? Somewhere along the way, sure, but if you take a closer look it gets harder to make excuses for Chuck other than to simply say he reached the end of the line. Nothing to really be shamed about though. This isn’t unique to MMA… football, basketball, baseball, tennis, basically any pro sport reliant on physical prowess… age catches up to guys and it’s not typically a graceful exit for most of the greats.

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  • AlphaOmega says:

    Its not just age that’s the cause of a lot of it, there’s other factors, nerves, excitement, overlooking/underlooking opponents. Plus once you start a slide of losing, it gains momentum and it’s hard to stop, even if the fighter is an amazing fighter and fighting crap fighters, if he’s on a losing streak it’s there in his mind and can affect his fighting. Case in point, Hardy (not saying he’s an amazing fighter), it took him 5 fights to finally get a win after going on a long long long streak of losing. Hardy was no where near to old for the sport when that happened.

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  • Richard Stabone says:

    Definitely more to it than just age. And to reiterate, age is more than just a number.

    But when it comes to these guys that made their mark in MMA overseas and then came to the states with mixed results, age is by far the most overlooked aspect from my POV. Of the big name guys that fit into this category, which of them weren’t already on the wrong side of 30 by the time they came to the U.S.?

    Cain (31) and GSP (32) are the only current UFC champions on the wrong side of 30. As I’ve commented on here before, I’ll be surprised if we ever see another UFC champ that’s 35+. Not gonna say never (hell, Anderson might do it before year’s end) but it’ll be the rare exception. As MMA continues to catch on with the mainstream, with kids training from a young age, elite athletes pursuing MMA in addition to over above other sports, we’ll see that age dynamic continue to shift even further where skill/talent/experience starts to really coalesce with the peak physical around the mid-20s.

    Anyway, I feel like I’m starting to wander off topic. Fedor at his best was unlike any HW I’ve ever seen. But I’ve also said for the past 2-3 years Cain is the most dominant HW on the planet (including when he lost to JDS while fighting on a bum knee & weighing in the heaviest he ever has for a fight), so he’s certainly making a rapid ascent. Both those guys are pure awesome, and any comparisons beyond that are pure speculation.

    Prelims starts in less than 10 hours, boys!

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  • SBERG says:

    We all have valid points covering a wide variety of things , I just can’t get over the fact that three of the supposedly top guys in the sport( Fedor, Mirko, Overeem) all come stateside and just look awful. Something is really fishy there. We know with Reem it’s roids, that’s been proven and I can’t help but believe the same about Mirko. As I stated I’ll give Fedor the benefit of the doubt here but not by alot. And then there’s Wandy…….Yes I absolutely believe he was juiced in Japan. I also believe he should stop fighting before he ends up a vegetable later on in life.

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  • Richard Stabone says:

    With Reem I can’t help but wonder how things would’ve played out for him if he hadn’t taken things to the extreme with his physical transformation. What if instead of blowing himself up to the upper limit of the HW division, he had settled in somewhere around the 240lb mark we see guys like Cain & JDS competing? Whatever he’d lose in the size & strength department would seemingly be more than offset by speed/explosiveness & cardio.

    In any case, I still think people have been too harsh on Reem. Yeah his results have been a big disappointment, but he was easily beating Big Foot for 2 rounds before getting lit up in the 3rd (see Okami vs. Boetsch) and he had Browne on the absolute brink of defeat before the tide changed there (see Carwin vs. Brock). Point being, it’s not like he’s been overmatched or outclassed… he just hasn’t been able to put guys away, and with the body builder physique he brings into the cage his cardio/stamina is always going to be a liability in fights that make it past the first round or two.

    That’s part of why Brock was such a force. He was bigger than everybody else but still had the ability to maintain a strong pace beyond the 1st round. We can play the what-if game in a million different directions, but if Brock had gotten an earlier start with MMA there’s a good chance we’d be including him in the best ever discussion.

    90 minutes to prelims!

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  • SBERG says:

    And one more thing about Liddell….
    Rampage- Chuck lost the belt.
    Jardine – Ehhh…That’s a headscratcher…still surprised chuck lost that one.
    Rashad – Wore UFC gold at one point.
    Rua – Wore UFC gold at one point.
    Franklin – Wore UFC gold at one point.
    So out of the five loses here only one is to a questionable foe, everything else was to championship caliber competition.
    That’s alot better resume than losing to Gonzaga and Kongo.

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  • Richard Stabone says:

    Right but like I said last night, of those 5 guys you just mentioned only Rashad has managed to post a winning record since beating Chuck. There are just lots of variables with timing, etc. that make these sorts of discussion both interesting & tricky.

    Does a prime Chuck lose 5 outta 6 fights to that list of fighters? Highly unlikely. But by the time those matchups came around Chuck was clearly on his way down. But that really doesn’t take away the dominant run he put together before his body & skills started to deteriorate. Same with Fedor and any other pro athlete. Again, it’s really tricky but we have to try to put things into reasonable context. And so when legends of the sport come state side on the wrong side of 30, and have mixed results, that doesn’t automatically tarnish how good they were at their respective peaks. That would be shoddy logic.

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  • SBERG says:

    I don’t know about Brock….I mean I fell for the hype at first but when a guy gets exposed that bad about his unwillingness to take a punch it really makes you wonder about him. I mean sure if he started earlier it might have made a difference but you see the way Cain or Randy or other greats have gone about things, they weren’t afraid to exchange in the trenches.
    Brock didn’t have that kind of heart, his first reaction is to run and turtle up. Since im in the imaginary world now, what if somehow we could put Diego Sanchez’s heart in Lesnar? Now we’re talkin!!!!! LOL.

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  • THEGUNNER says:

    If brock had stand up hed be a beast. Dude couldnt even throw a good jab. one way to settle this. Fedor vs cain. That would be fun to see.

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