Last Sunday, I had the pleasure of watching WEC 41: "Brown vs. Faber 2," another outstanding WEC card from the Zuffa sister promotion. Top to bottom this organization produces great shows. I like the announcing, the crowd was electric and the fighters really put on some fascinating bouts.
We can go on and on about the main event and how tough Faber is, but I was also impressed with Donald Cerrone and Jose Aldo, who I believe should be the next one to face WEC featherweight kingpin Mike Brown.
The champ is on a roll and it is going to take someone who possesses much more than just speed to topple him. His strength is amazing and he just does not make the kind of mistakes that another fighter can capitalize on. He fights an intelligent game on top of everything else.
Aldo is a maniac and extremely powerful in his own right as evidenced by his five TKO’s in as many WEC bouts. I think Cerrone is going to take the belt from Varner when they fight again. He might have won their first fight (if it wasn't stopped) and it won’t go as long the next time around.
It is nice to hear that Strikeforce: "Carano vs. Cyborg" will be afforded the opportunity to showcase their skills with five, five minute rounds. They train just as hard as the men do and they should be given the same opportunities to decide a true winner. With three minute rounds the fighters could lose a round by just being on their back for less than two minutes.
It's a great call and it truly shows us who the better fighter is. The fans also deserve to witness a historical bout in the same venue they would witness a men's title bout. With that being said, as much as I love Gina, I don’t see her beating Cyborg. I see a competitive bout but eventually Cyborg’s strength will overcome Carano and put her to bed sometime in round three.
UFC 99 came and went and was an overall good show. Cro Cop not only gets a win in the Octagon to even his record at 2-2, he gets an even bigger victory outside of it. If the DREAM rumors are true, I'm sure he signed a sweet deal and may eventually get a rematch with Fedor. I don’t buy into the whole 'screwing over the UFC' story.
What I see here is a complete marriage of convenience -- nothing more, nothing less. The UFC needed to get someone to help push ticket sales and pay-per-view buys and Cro-Cop needed leverage with DREAM. Dana's been at this a long time, I don’t see him extending the courtesy of a one-fight deal with the promise of two more fights to a guy who was coming off major knee surgery and was a disaster his first go round in the UFC.
Dana is smarter than that and I think they used each other to get what they wanted. Cro Cop beats a can and doesn’t hurt anyone’s career and then rides off into the land of the rising sun where he is undoubtedly more comfortable fighting.
Cain Velasquez was good, but in my opinion, he would have gotten steamrolled by Lesnar, Carwin or Mir. Anyone with any sort of grappling ability or submissions would have exposed him quickly.
Yes, he is overpowering and showed great control, but he got rocked on more than a few occasions and could not finish a guy who was giving up his back constantly and allowed himself to be mounted repeatedly. Vasquez is young but has a lot of work ahead of him.
Franklin vs. Silva was a good but not great fight. Franklin was looking to do what was necessary to win while Silva was willing to do what was necessary to put on a great show. Nothing wrong with either man’s strategy.
They are both great fighters and I am anxious to see how Wandy fits in at 185 pounds. Franklin, meanwhile, will fight these sort of fights and will always be a fan favorite but his days of contending for a title are probably in the past.
Dan Hardy and Marcus Davis packed an awesome punch and I think Hardy did just enough to win. Why not do it again sometime down the road? Mike Swick is a good fighter but he should not be thrown into title contention based on this win even though I like Saunders a lot. He is young and has a lot to learn. Swick needs to fight one of his teammates and win in order to make some serious noise.
After the UFC held another successful event we were brought to the opposite end of the spectrum when Monte Cox held Adrenaline III "Bragging Rights." The main event was an on-again, off-again boxing-MMA bout featuring former UFC heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia, who had been out of action since being dismantled by Fedor at the inaugural Affliction event last July.
His opponent was former heavyweight boxing champion Ray Mercer, who I might add is 48 years old. 10 seconds (26 seconds less than it took Fedor) and Sylvia was out cold. This man has not only become a laughing stock, he has now lost his spot against Paul Buentello at Affliction III which was scheduled for August 1.
Sylvia spoke of his desire to return to the UFC but he'd be lucky to get a fight anywhere at this point. Kudos to Affliction for dropping this stiff, this is the smartest move they have made yet. Monte Cox may have effectively ruined Sylvia's career.
We have The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) Finale 9 which will pit the two remaining welterweights and two remaining lightweights against one another to determine the winners of this year's show. I really haven't had an interest in this show, but I am looking forward to Dan Henderson whipping Michael Bisping next month.
This card carries a bout between Clay Guida and Diego Sanchez, who is coming off a successful debut at 155 lbs against Joe Stevenson. The winner may possibly get a crack at the winner of the BJ Penn vs. Kenny Florian bout at UFC 101.
Some say Sanchez hasn't earned a shot because of this being only his second fight at lightweight but I disagree.
He is marketable and was doing pretty good as a welterweight. In another bout we have Joe Stevenson, who is 1-3 in his last four fights, going against Nate Diaz who just lost to Guida at UFC 94. If Stevenson loses it may be a while before we see him in the Octagon again.
June has been a busy month for mixed martial arts and it's only half over. Still to come is Strikeforce Challengers on June 19 and Ultimate Chaos on June 27.