Pretty strange to see good ole MMBB pick the wrong winners again wasn’t it? I know, for a guy who (supposedly) knows so much about MMA, he sure doesn’t now how to pick a winner. You know you’re bad at picking fights when your wife is constantly making fun of your picks!
OK, now that I’ve made fun of myself more than you guys have made fun of me over the last two days, lets have at it. Overall, UFC 128 was a good card. I wouldn’t rate it as great, just good, but that’s a whole lot better than bad! I’m not going to break down the card, I’m going to break down the buzz surrounding a potential matchup between Jon Jones and Anderson Silva.
Lorenzo Fertitta tweeted, not too long after Jone’s win, "Bones vs. Silva? Who wants it?" I thought it was kind of funny considering from what I have heard is that Silva has no plans to move up to light heavyweight. My thoughts were later confirmed by Dana White who had this to say: "About 75 people" have already suggested an Anderson-Bones super-fight… "Anderson is clear that he doesn’t want to fight at 205, but maybe now that Jones is champ, we’ll see."
Of course Anderson will stay at middleweight, have you seen the size of Jones and the way he takes guys down? Silva is the best pound for pound fighter in the world, and he got there by not only being great, but by being smart and having good management. His achilles heal has always been good wrestlers. Chael Sonnen took him down at will for five straight rounds. Only problem their is that Sonnen is notoriously one of the easiest guys to submit. Jones on the other hand has some vicious ground and pound, and seems to have enough knowledge of submission defense to stay out of them. In a straight kickboxing matchup, Silva beats Jones fairly easily, but in an MMA matchup, I almost give the advantage to Jones.
I for one don’t have much interest in this fight, and it’s a lose/lose for the UFC. The most obvious loss for the UFC is the "mystique" of one of their champions. Simple terms, one of these guys has to lose, and that’s not good for the UFC. Geno Mroksko of mmamania.com had this to say: In pondering this bout, there are no solid arguments against it occurring. Competitiveness? Better than any fight either of the two have had to date. The size difference? Negligible. Box office? Potential record breaker.
I kinda laughed at this for a few reasons. One, Anderson Silva has beaten long time champions and fan favorites (Rich Franklin and Forrest Griffin). Silva has also beaten a who’s who list of challengers from legends Dan Henderson and Vitor Belfort (who Mrosko picked to win) as well as every number one contender the UFC has put in front of him. So "no better fighter to date?" Silva has done this while amassing modest PPV buy rates.
You have to remember, Silva doesn’t speak english (in interviews or to hype a fight), and is thought to be arrogant by many fans. Chael Sonnen was the main reason people bought UFC 117. That show was predicted to get 300k buys before Sonnen started talking, (it was later reported to get 750k-1 million buys). UFC 101 did about the same…due to the fact that a big draw in BJ Penn was on the card as well.
The numbers for UFC 128 aren’t out yet, but no matter how they are, it’s the first PPV headlined by Jones, who was losing fans rapidly as fight night came closer, and hasn’t yet proven to be a draw! Lastly, "competitiveness"… really? Jones has beaten who? There are plenty legit light heavyweights out there for him to fight, and beating an injury riddled, pudgy, former pride (which means nothing at this point) champion, doesn’t mean you’ve cleaned out anything! If anything, at this point, it makes the most sense for the UFC to let Jones try and defend his title a few times, and Silva to either fight Okami or GSP (at a catchweight). No need to ruin the mystique of either fighter at this point.
Oh, and it would smash records…if they put Brock Lesnar on the card…against the Rock (thought I’d appease those of you with a pro wrestling background, whatever that means). What are your thoughts on a potential Silva/Jones matchup?