Archive for the ‘ Opinion ’ Category

Dana White Explains Away The Price Increase For UFC 168

Monday, December 16th, 2013

When fans checked their local providers on the details for buying UFC 168: Weidman Vs Silva II they noticed that the charge for the pay per view was five dollars more than what they are used to paying. When UFC President Dana White was asked about it he said something to the effect of ”˜It’s 5 bucks, so just get a couple of more friends to cover and pitch in.’ When White was asked why the charge was increased, he simply said ”˜Cuz.’

I don’t mean to make a big deal out of five dollars, but it seems a little odd to me that the UFC is going about raising prices for the pay per view and at the same time telling everyone how rough the economy is. If White said something like, ”˜Listen, we get charged extra for doing a pay per view so close to the holiday,’ or ”˜its the first time we increased prices in years and it has to be done’ this would sit a lot better with me. The fact that he said “It’s just for that fight. Some guys got together in the office and decided to do that” seems like a giant deflection and a cop out.

The UFC is about to launch their own digital network, and although they promise real value if you are a fight fan, they won’t even tell anyone how much it will be. According to White, it will launch the day of the UFC’s first event in Singapore and if you have to pay right away fans will have little time to prepare for the cost. If you ask White about any of this, chances are he would say something like ”˜don’t buy it, I don’t care,’ and while this seems hip and cool to say as the President of a billion dollar company, it’s honestly starting to wear thin.

If the UFC is going to raise the price for an event because it’s a great event, then how about lowering the price a bit when its not. The UFC is on a good run right now with regards to injuries, but what if a main event and co-main event get sidelined for a pay per view? Are they going to lower the price by five bucks because someone got hurt? A little clarity on the issue wouldn’t hurt the fans or the UFC any, and it seems confusing why it was brushed off the way it was. A simple explanation goes a long way when you have fans around the world who WANT to support you.

Breaking Down UFC 164: Henderson Vs Pettis II

Saturday, August 31st, 2013

UFC 164: Henderson Vs Pettis II goes down tonight in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and as always Fighters.com will be bringing you back to front coverage of the entire event. Get your beak wet with some analysis and picks of the entire card below, and get ready for a solid night of MMA.

UFC 164: Henderson Vs Pettis II takes place tonight at the HMO Harris Bradley Center in Milwaukee. Defending lightweight champion Benson Henderson looks to defend his belt for the fourth time when he takes on Anthony Pettis in a rematch of the final WEC fight in history. In the first fight, Pettis defeated Henderson in a five round back and forth bout by unanimous decision, and the result left Pettis as the final WEC Lightweight Champion.

Benson Henderson Vs Anthony Pettis
While I don’t agree with Pettis’ coach that Henderson’s striking got worse, I will say it hasn’t gotten as good as Pettis’ has. The learning curve advantage definitely goes to Pettis. Henderson likes to land kicks to the body and legs to goad his opponent into coming forward on his terms, and if the fighter bites he takes them down. That barely worked against Pettis last time, and unless we see a 180 degree different game plan from Henderson, I see him dropping his second championship fight against Pettis.

Pettis via unanimous decision

Josh Barnett vs Frank Mir
Both fighters are looking to get back in the winning column, and even those this bout should have happened in 2005, bad decisions by Barnett made that impossible. This fight won’t be pretty as Mir and Barnett get very cautious when in big fights, and both fighters aren’t exactly known for their cardio. I expect a lot of the fight to happen on the feet, and if it does hit the ground I think Mir will have the advantage. If Barnett can force this fight to happen in the clinch, I think he can get a win via an ugly decision.

Barnett via decision

Clay Guida vs. Chad Mendes
This is where the running in circles road ends for Guida. Mendes is better at everything that Guida is good at, and while Guida has baffled some fighters with his footwork, Mendes will have the answer for it. With Duane Ludwig running the show at Alpha Male, I expect Mendes to cut off the cage against Guida and corner him. Mendes will have an advantage early in the bout, and even if Guida survives a round or two, by the end he will have to take chances to get the win. However, I see Mendes getting the stop in the second round.

Mendes via TKO

Brandon Vera vs. Ben Rothwell
This fight was tailor made for Ben Rothwell. Rothwell needs a win, and Vera just can’t seem to put it all together when the lights go on over the octagon. Vera’s move back to heavyweight is questionable, and while Rothwell has a hard time staying healthy, I expect him to wear Vera out and get the stop.

Rothwell via TKO

Erik Koch vs. Dustin Poirier
Both of these guys were streaking across the featherweight division, but both fighters have run into injuries and stumbling blocks in the form of losses. Poirier will have the reach advantage in this fight, but his aggression could get the better of him against the usually calm Koch. Poirier has a few more ways to win this bout, but the slick ground work from Koch will get him the win.

Koch via submission in round 1

Quick Picks

The Fight: Jamie Varner vs. Gleison Tibau
The Pick: Varner by decision. Expect former champion to control where this fight takes place.

The Fight: Louis Gaudinot vs. Tim Elliott
The Pick: Gaudinot gets a finish late in the fight. A late submission is just as likely as a decision for Lou.

The Fight: Hyun Gyu Lim vs. Pascal Krauss
The Pick: Hyun Gyu Lim gets the TKO in this one. Krauss will have a hard time with the 7” reach advantage of Lim.

The Fight: Chico Camus vs. Kyung Ho Kang
The Pick: Camus wins via decision. Kang has a questionable fight IQ, and Camus can win a ground fight because of it.

The Fight: Soa Palelei vs. Nikita Krylov
The Pick: Palelei gets the TKO. Krylov has a chance to end the fight in a hurry, but the moment could get the better of him in Milwaukee.

The Fight: Al Iaquinta vs. Ryan Couture
The Pick: Iaquinta via decision. Iaquinta will need to be ”˜on’ for the full 15 minutes to get the win, and I’m not sure he has ever done that in the octagon or on TUF. Couture is too hittable.

The Fight: Jared Hamman vs. Magnus Cedenblad
The Pick: Hamman via TKO. Expect Hamman to overwhelm Magnus in a hurry in this one.

Breaking Down UFC 161: Evans Vs Henderson - Prelims

Thursday, June 13th, 2013

The UFC touches down for the first time Winnepeg, Manitoba, Canada this Saturday night for UFC 161: Evans Vs Henderson, and as always the preliminary card will be free on facebook and on FX. The main card is sure to be jam packed with fireworks, but make sure you get warmed up properly with the prelims. Check out our breakdown and predictions for the bouts below. The undercard starts on Facebook at about 7:00 EST.

As always, the main card picks will be up Friday, and keep it locked to Fighters.com for complete UFC 161 coverage.

Yves Jabouin vs. Dustin Pague

There are a few fights on the UFC 161 undercard that have pink slip written all over them. Depending on how this one rolls out, either Jabouin or Pague could be hitting the bricks after this weekend. Jabouin is very active with his kicks, and all of his strikes for the most part play off his jab. Brad Pickett was able to notice this right way, and was able to use it to pick apart Jabouin and eventually light him up toward the end of the round. I don’t think Pague will have the chops to do that to Jabouin in this fight, but I expect Pague to make it a lot closer than people think.

Yves Jabouin Via Unanimous Decision

Mitch Clarke vs. John Maguire

While there is a chance that Jabouin could survive being cut with a solid performance, it’s hard that to say about either of these two fighters. Both are coming off of two losses and the loser in this one is more than likely hitting the bricks. Expect this one to happen on the ground, especially as the rounds play out. and it would seem that Maguire is going to be a little quicker in the scrambles when it does. Maguire should be able to lace up a late submission after wearing Clarke out, or pick up the decision. This could be fun as both are very clear on the stakes.

John Maguire Via Split Decision

Roland Delorme vs. Edwin Figueroa

Both Delorme and Figueroa share a common foe as both loss in their last bouts to Francisco Rivera. Figueroa was able to stick around five minutes longer than Delorme, but fortunately for Delorme his lost was turned to a no contest when Rivera tested hot and was suspended. Delorme has an evolved BJJ game that has taught him to stay very composed when the pressure is on. The good news for him, thats when his opponents are likely to make a mistake. Thats what I see happening here in this fight, I expect Figueroa to get very excited after landing something big on Delorme, but that will be Figueroa’s undoing.

Roland Delorme Via submission round 1

Sean Pierson vs. Kenny Robertson

Robertson was able to roll for an unsuspecting knee bar, and pick up a first round win over Brock Jardine at UFC 157, but he is going to need to get lucky if he is expecting that to work on Pierson. Pierson’s experience and grittiness should be enough to overwhelm Robertson late in the fight, and if Robertson survives it will be to be handed a decision loss. Look for the hands of Pierson to be on display in this one, and while I think Robertson will make a fight of this one, I’m not sure he can out wit Pierson to get the Win in this one.

Sean Pierson Via Unanimous Decision

James Krause vs. Sam Stout

Sam Stout was set to face Isaac Vallie-Flagg, but James Krause is replacing Flagg and making his UFC debut. While this will win Krause favor with the UFC and some of the fans, he is set for a tough fight against a guy who has been training for a better version of himself. Krause is riding a seven fight win streak going in this fight, but I expect the wheels to come off against Stout. While Krause is showing a lot of balls by stepping in to fight Stout on short notice, the jury is out as if he was using his brains when he said yes. Either way, Krause will no doubt mark up Stout throughout the fight, but I expect the veteran to pick up the decision.

Sam Stout Via Split Decision

Jake Shields vs. Tyron Woodley

Jake Shields return to middleweight went pretty well for him until he failed his post fight drug test and the result was overturned. Woodley’s wrestling is going to make it very difficult for Shields to get him down, and in fact I expect him to only be able to do it once or twice with little or no advantage gained. That said, Shields needs to be sharp on the feet, and while before the Hieron fight I would have put them as close to equals with strikes, Woodley changed all that when he starched Hieron in 36 seconds at UFC 156. Woodley should be able to get the decision in this one.

Woodley Via Unanimous Decision

Paul Daley Vs Lukasz Chlewicki Signed For Cage Warriors 57

Tuesday, June 11th, 2013

Paul Daley is headed back to Cage Warriors. According to a press release, Cage Warriors and Bellator have reached an agreement to let Daley fight in the promotion he was formerly a champion. Daley will fight Lukasz Chlewicki at Cage Warriors 57 on July 20 at Echo Arena in Liverpool, England.

Cage Warriors CEO Graham Boylan is excited about having Daley back on the roster for the fight, “I’m looking forward to a fantastic main event in Liverpool on July 20 and I’d like to thank Bellator for their co-operation in allowing Paul Daley to compete for Cage Warriors.”

Bellator signed Daley late last year, but Daley’s criminal record has prevented his entry into the US, and Bellator has agreed to let him fight outside of the promotion. Daley is obviously happy to be back fighting, Daley said “I’m excited to be fighting back in the UK again and back at Cage Warriors, which is Europe’s premier show. I pretty much started my career here and it’s great to see how the promotion has grown. I’m happy to be part of it and I can’t wait to entertain all my supporters.”

Bellator hasn't commented on the matter. As always, Fighters.com will be covering Cage Warriors 57.

The Cage Warriors 57 Card to date:

Lukasz Chlewicki vs. Paul Daley
Mauro Chimento vs. Danny Roberts
Lee Chadwick vs. Mats Nilsson
Chris Fishgold vs. Marcin Wrzosek

Mark Hunt: "This is the pinnacle of my career."

Saturday, May 25th, 2013

Streaking UFC Heavyweight Mark Hunt has been on a four fight tear through the heavyweight division, and is not planning to stop before he hits five. If Hunt manages to do the same thing to former UFC Heavyweight Champion Junior dos Santos tonight at the MGM Grand he will likely find himself next to fight for the title. While Hunt has been in huge fights before in K1 and in other big MMA matches, but Hunt won’t hesitate to tell you that you this is the biggest fight of his career.

UFC 160: Velasquez Vs Bigfoot II takes place tonight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. The card will be headlined by a heavyweight title fight between current Champion Cain Velasquez and Antonio ”˜Bigfoot’ Silva. The two fought as potential contenders at UFC 146, but it was Velasquez who won the fight via technical knockout in the second round.

Courtesy of FUEL TV:

Photo Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports

Breaking Down UFC 160: Velasquez Vs Silva II Main Card

Friday, May 24th, 2013

It all goes down tomorrow night at UFC 160: Velasquez Vs Silva II when Heavyweight Champion Cain Velasquez takes on Antonio ”˜Bigfoot’ Silva in the main event at UFC 160 is Las Vegas, Nevada this Saturday night. Yesterday we posted the Fighters.com undercard breakdown, and you can see how the main card stacks up right here.

Donald Cerrone vs. K.J. Noons

While Cerrone tends to make bad decisions when things aren't going his way in the octagon, he is still a very talented fighter. So far he has been the Michael Bisping the lightweight division. He seems to be good enough to get to the number one contender bout, but can’t close the deal. At 30 years old, Cerrone has plenty of time to shore up those holes, and he can’t start the ball rolling again with a win over Noons. This is his fight to win, and while it may be closer than some of the other pundits are making it, I do expect Cerrone to be the better fighter in las Vegas. Noons has a very straight forward style when he is fighting in MMA, and that's basically what Cerrone is going to want him to do. Cerrone will look to take Noons later in the fight before he considers standing and trading with KJ, and will get the takedowns he needs too steal rounds.

Cerrone Via Split Decision

Gray Maynard vs. T.J. Grant

Everyone says the same thing after they fight Maynard, win or lose his opponent always ends up saying along the lines of ”˜I didn’t think he would be that strong.’ It’s almost like the other fighters don’t listen to the people who have already fought him. If you are a UFC lightweight, Maynard is stronger than you. Grant has an aggressive grappling style, and has made a flawless transition to lightweight, but I still don’t think he has the strength of Maynard. Grant has been setting up submissions with his striking, that has been getting better and better, but I don’t think that movie is going to play out again against Maynard. Sometimes brute strength is what wins fights, and its going to win this one for Gray.

Gray Maynard via Unanimous Decision

Glover Teixeira vs. James Te Huna

Hard to pick against Teixeira in this bout. Everyone was waiting for him to get through his visa issues for a reason, and that reason is he is a great fighter with a lot of experience. Te Huna is gifted physically, but just doesn’t have the technical skill that Teixeira has. That said, this bout can change in a hurry with a guy like Te Huna is in the octagon, and if you have him listed in your easy-out list you need to correct yourself. Te Huna is capable of starching a good chunk of the division, but I just don’t think Teixeira is going to make the mistakes that Te Huna would need him to make to get the win.

Teixeira via Technical Knockout round 2

Junior dos Santos vs. Mark Hunt

Hunt is an amazing fighter who has put together one of the most improbable winning streaks in MMA, and his accomplishments to date should be applauded. After this fight, he will likely continue to knockout a good percentage of people he faces, but Junior dos Santos ends the party for him on Saturday. There is a lot going against him in the fight. Lets forget that he just got here from australia THIS week and is likely not acclimated to the US yet, and just focus on the pure hand speed advantage Junior enjoys in this bout. Junior isn’t going to fall for the slip and dip over-hand punches, and when it comes to those moments where both fighters throw punches at the same time, he is going to land first. With a guy who hits as hard as Junior thats bad news, and while I think it will be difficult for Junior to put away Hunt with strikes, I do see him getting the takedown after stinging him a few times. If Sean McCorkle can key lock Hunt than a Carlton bjj blackbelt should be able to lock something up on the dazed Hunt.

Junior dos Santos via Submission round 2

Cain Velasquez vs. Antonio Silva

If you think Bigfoot is coming into this fight looking to do the same exact thing as he did last time, I am not sure what to tell you. No one more than SIlva knows that that game plan didn’t work, and to run out and throw leg kicks at the D1 wrestler was a bad idea. People have downplayed his abilities for a long time, and while he isn’t the alpha dog in the UFC, that doesn’t mean he isn’t one of the most dangerous heavyweights in the world.

Cain Velasquez was the guy we always heard about when we asked west coast locals who to look out for quite a while. His reputation in the sport preceded him, and he has lived up to all the hype. Every single person that worked or trained with him said the same thing, ”˜this guy is a future champion.’ I dare someone to explain to me how he hasn’t fulfilled those prophecies and filled those shoes perfectly.

I think the end of the fight will look like the end of the first fight. I expect Cain to get the finish, and I expect him to get from ground and pound. I just think Bigfoot will be smarter in the octagon with Cain, and I think he can use his experience and durability to try and create more opportunities than he did the first time.

Cain Velasquez via Technical Knockout round 3

Nate Diaz's Decision Making Problem

Friday, May 17th, 2013

In a recent interview, UFC Lightweight Nate Diaz was as candid as I have ever heard him. He said many things that were over the top, and many things I do not agree with, but I had never heard him as relatable as he was during that conversation. It was so fascinating that it prompted me to tweet his manager to encourage him to do more of them.

However, Diaz’s recent comments on Twitter - while not the dumbest thing I've ever seen in cyberspace - are probably in my top ten. For those that don't know, Diaz insulted Bryan Caraway for ending up with the bonus money that would have gone to Pat Healy had he not tested positive for marijuana after his UFC 159 bout with Jim Miller. While it's easy to understand his support, the problem with Diaz’s reaction is that he chose to call Caraway “the biggest fag in the world.”

Diaz’s disciplinary problems started as an unlicensed cornerman at the famous "Strikeforce Brawl" in Nashville when he decided to jump into the foray in the cage that night. For his actions, Diaz was suspended for three months and was fined $7,500. This would be the first bad decision  Diaz would make in a long line of them.

With the new UFC Code of Conduct policy now firmly in place, the hammer came down hard and fast. As soon as UFC President Dana White heard of the post, he vowed action from the UFC, and before the story was six hours old, the UFC had issued a statement and suspended Diaz indefinitely. As I write this, the post is twenty hours old and Diaz has not apologized nor even deleted the tweet. As if things weren’t ugly enough, his manager isn’t doing his client any favors.

Diaz representative Mike Kogan vehemently defended his client, and tried (and failed miserably) to rationalize the unfortunate choice of words from his fighter. Kogan, who obviously doesn’t understand that you don’t get to decide how people take the things you say, basically said by calling him that, he meant Caraway was “a punk, or a bitch." Does this sound shocking to you? How could the guy who manages such high-profile athletes like Royce Gracie, Roy Nelson and Mo Lawal choose his words so poorly? The answer is because that’s what Kogan does.

Not only was I not shocked by Kogan’s comments, I expected them. A while back Kogan wrote an article and he chose to use the term “house niggas” when referring to Quinton Jackson and Jon Jones. While explaining that the racism among MMA fans bothered him, Kogan would go on to say the most ignorant things I have ever heard from a manager.

That's why Rampage and Jon Jones are so popular. They are "house niggas", they are for the white folk, you know what I mean? I'm not trying to put down black folk, but if you sit down and listen to Jon Jones, ain't no black folk saying that shit man, come on. The last person that said that shit is Barack Obama, and that nigga the President, so of course he gonna say that shit- Mike Kogan  (link)

What does this have to do with Diaz? Diaz decided that this was the man who should represent him professionally. Kogan isn’t even telling the fighter to delete the tweet. In this case, Kogan does not have his client’s interest ahead of his. Any smart manager would go into damage-control mode and put together a multi-step plan that included apologies, communicating to the UFC that they would accept any and all punishments, and that they would do all they could to undo the damage done. Part of a good manager's job is to protect their client 365 days a year, and yes they need to protect them from themselves.

If the UFC was going to make an example out of someone since implementing their code of conduct policy, can you imagine a better candidate than Diaz? Diaz has a tremendous amount of abilities as a fighter that I predict will one day outshine his brothers, but it really seems like he is hellbent on squandering them. Diaz’s decision-making GPS seems to be set on Bellator or WSOF.

Photo Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Covering The Fingers Of The MMA Glove Isn't A Realistic Solution

Thursday, May 2nd, 2013

UFC 159 was no doubt a strange event. It was such a weird night that when Chael Sonnen walked to the Octagon, for about four and a half seconds, I thought there was a chance he could win against Jon Jones. The night featured two technical decisions, the first time in UFC history, and they were both over eye pokes. I won’t even get into what a sideshow the Gian Villante-Ovince St. Preux reffing was, but after that tilt and the Michael Bisping-Alan Belcher bout, UFC commentator Joe Rogan had had enough. Rogan has drawn a line in the sand when it comes to eye pokes, and to him the fix is to change the gloves.

According to Rogan, the solution lies in covering the tips of the fingers on the glove that is allowed in MMA competitions. To date, I haven’t heard any fighter or even UFC President Dana White say a change like that is needed. Yet every time a fighter takes a digit in the eyehole, Rogan seems to go on and on about what I can only describe as ”˜finger-condoms’ that will somehow protect the fighters so much that the time to act is RIGHT NOW! What does Rogan’s co-pilot say about this? Well, Mike Goldberg seems to always agree with whatever Rogan says when it comes to the analysis, and that means he is on the finger-rubber train too.

This is a dangerous sport by its very nature. The primary target for most punches and a majority of kicks is the front of the head, and eye injuries happen in every fight as a result. Sometimes these eye injuries are just small cuts, or swelling around the eyes, and sometimes it looks like a man’s brains are leaking out of his skull through an empty socket. We all have a set of eyeballs, and we all wince or tear up a bit when we see someone get poked in the eye, but part of the sport is to disrupt the vision of your opponent. The fighters know the risk, and they sign on the dotted line. To put it more simply they vote with their feet, and If they didn’t like the rules they wouldn’t compete under them.

Some fighters think changes to the gloves should be made, or more time should be allotted for the fighters to break in the gloves. They may have a valid point on this one as some commissions will let you break them in when you get them, and some will only give you a few minutes before you put them on. I have a hard time believing these changes would affect the pokes to the eyes though. Maybe it would prevent the corner of the glove going into the eye, but if a fist is that close to your face, its the fist doing the damage and not the glove. That's the thing to remember here - these guys are trying to go after each others eyes with strikes.

Rogan is one of the best at his job, but he is way off the mark on this one. What’s going to hold these finger covers on? You can’t have these things flying over the cage, and won’t they peel off when their is hand fighting on the ground? Are we going to cover the toes as well? Rogan has good intentions when it comes to protecting the fights, as I highly agree with his Thai Cup advice (it’s like having your boys in a Sherman tank,) but this is not a realistic change or one that could prevent evepokes.

Is there a solution? Tell me what you think in the Comments section below!

Rebellion Roundtable: Jones vs. Sonnen ”“ Bad for the Sport?

Saturday, April 27th, 2013

UFC 159: Jones vs. Sonnen is tomorrow, and with it comes a main event that has left many heads a-scratchin’. Light-heavyweight champ and heralded superstar Jon Jones will defend his belt against”¦ Chael Sonnen? The same Sonnen who’s been competing at middleweight for while now? The same Sonnen who fell short against 185-pound king Anderson Silva twice? He’s challenging Jones for the belt? Yeah, he is. Which begs the question: Is this match-up bad for the sport? Take it away my Rebellion brethren!

John Petit, Fighters.com

Jon Jones vs. Chael Sonnen isn't a phoenix that rose from the ashes of UFC 151, this is as much of a freakshow fight as Randy Couture vs. James Tony. The UFC heads off any notion that Sonnen talked himself into the fight at the pass with an immediate “No he didn’t” that is so defensive it's transparent. The difference between this fight and other fights contenders talked their way into is Sonnen doesn’t have any recent light-heavyweight bouts. When Silva said he wanted a title fight at 205 pounds he was told he would have to fight someone else first, but because of the disparaging remarks Sonnen makes about two defending champions, he finds himself in another title fight. Are fights like this good for the sport? I don’t think the juice is worth the squeeze, but we might get a good fight. However, we might get a fight that looks like “Bones” vs. Vladimir Matyushenko.

Joe Lisnow, FightLine.com

In September, Chael Sonnen and Jon Jones had created a real buzz in the matter of one conference call. Jones took heat for not accepting a new opponent at UFC 151 on short notice and Sonnen looked like the white knight, ready to save a pay-per-view from being cancelled. In typical Sonnen fashion, he used the power of speech to relay his message as Jones remained silent. Sonnen does deserve a title shot for stepping up when all these highly ranked light heavyweights declined. When the UFC was in a dark hour, Sonnen wanted to turn it into another big payout and nobody can blame him. It’s not like he’s going out there and taking a dive. This fight doesn’t hurt the sport as it will draw major numbers, which the UFC is always looking at.

Marco Scolari, CagedInsider.com

Anything with Chael Sonnen involved is great for the sport and nobody can argue with that. Does it look competitive? Maybe not. Is it fair for Chael, after a loss in a lower division, to earn a light-heavyweight title shot? No, but you can't deny Chael's ability to promote a fight, and the UFC knows that. At the end of the day, any publicity is good for the sport and there isn't a single person in the world that can create buzz like the “American Gangster” from Oregon.

Mike Drahota, MMAFrenzy.com

I'd have to say that Jon Jones vs. Chael Sonnen is bad for MMA because it places an emphasis on talking your way into a title shot rather than earning it with wins. Also, even though Chael has had a few good lines recently, fans may be growing weary of his act. The hype of this main event seems forced, and it will have a very tough time living up to the great cards this month. Like mostly everyone else, I doubt it will be anything but a whitewash for Jon Jones. Thankfully we don't see too many title fights that fall into this category, and if Sonnen loses handily, it'll be a long time before we see him in another one.

Dana Becker, FightLine.com and MMAConvert.com

Chael Sonnen makes any talk of "super mismatch" obsolete. This is the guy that took Anderson Silva - the G.O.A.T. - five rounds, and had him beat. Sonnen talks, but he backs it up. This is MMA, the unknown, and yes, these matches are good for the sport

Kelsey Mowatt, MMAFrenzy.com and Caged Insider.com

Considering Chael Sonnen hasn't fought at light-heavyweight since "King of Queens" was still on the air, he has no business fighting Jon Jones for the title at UFC 159 Saturday night. Now does that mean it's bad for the sport? No. While hardcore fans want to see the top contenders get rewarded, the reality is that there will be thousands of people watching Saturday who will have no idea Sonnen's even fighting at a new weight. The sport still needs to grow and "The American Gangster" promotes fights.

Keith Fitzpatrick, Caged Insider.com

This is one of the least interesting title fights I can remember for the last few years. Despite all Chael Sonnen's efforts to convince us to the contrary, I just can't see past another straightforward and dominant Jon Jones title defense. Even Jones seem uninterested in this fight, which may be the only thing that makes this fight competitive in that he may underestimate Sonnen in the same way Anderson did. I just can't see it though. Sonnen will lose by submission in the first three rounds and his assimilation into full-time MMA analyst will begin in earnest.

Chris McDevitt, Fighters.com

Main events like these are fantastic for the sport. The bad matchups are the ones we will get stuck with like Jones v. Lyoto Machida II. A common opponent is a great icebreaker for super fight talks between Silva and Jones. People forget that Sonnen made Silva exciting again. There's nothing wrong with giving the fans a fun fight once in a while; I say as long as the agreed upon weight is made bring on more of the kind of matchups usually only possible in video games.

Sam Genovese, MMAConvert.com

How can increased buyrates be bad for the sport? Chael Sonnen has been on Sportscenter all week promoting the bout. He has also produced two of the highest selling bouts in recent memory in his fights with Anderson Silva. More people buying the event means more people seeing the sport and that is always a good thing. At the moment, there aren't any other clear challengers in the 205 division who seem like clear-cut challengers so it's not like Chael is stepping on anyone's toes. The fight will sell decently well and Jones will probably be able to show off his brilliant skills on a very big stage. That's always a good thing.

Chris Leslie, MMAFrenzy

Match-ups between Chael Sonnen and Jon Jones are generally hit-or-miss when it comes to MMA. In this case, the bout was really diminished by the two fighters appearing on The Ultimate Fighter. Sonnen has always relied on his pro-wrestling gimmick to promote fights, but after his toned down appearance on the UFC reality show (and the law of diminishing returns) the whole shtick feels completely forced now. MMA always needs big bouts, but this fight just lost all of its post-UFC 151 fallout hype with the amicable showing on TUF and people coming to grips with how large the mismatch truly is. Well-sold fights are always important, but when the bout feels like it is more hype than a great fight it can hurt the sport.

Casey Hodgin, MMALinker

I think they are bad. They waste the time of legitimate contenders! I think they should make it a rule that if you can NOT be involved in a title fight unless you have atleast one fight in that division within the last 5 years. Sure, it may hinder the reality of super-fights, but it's much more logical to give the shot to a worthy contender than to someone who doesn't deserve it, but can "sell" it. However, I think this situation in particular is an exception. At the time, you had Gustafsson fighting Jones, and Lyoto fighting Henderson. There wasn't going to be a clear definite number one contender by the end of all that, so a "super fight" probably was a good idea. I just hate seeing worthy contenders being shut in the closet (Johny Hendricks) just because they're other guys who can "sell" the fight more. These guys are athletes, not performers.

Brendhan Conlan, FiveOuncesofPain.com and Fighters.com

As fun as some of the back-and-forth banter between Sonnen and Jones has been, the bottom line is that this match-up never should have been made. Awarding a title-shot to an individual coming off a clear cut loss in a smaller division simply because he can spew smack demeans the essence of the sport and is a slap in the face of deserving contenders like Alexander Gustafsson. Sure, there’s an entertainment component required for MMA to be successful, but at the end of the day it is rooted in competition and without integrity the sport runs the risk of inching closer to WWE territory instead of a spot alongside the likes of the NBA, MLB, and NFL.

Breaking Down The UFC 159: Jones Vs Sonnen Preliminary Card

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

UFC 159: Jones Vs Sonnen takes place this Saturday night on pay per view, and the preliminary card will be broadcast on FX and on Facebook/Youtube. While the conflict between the main event and co-main event combatants has taken center stage in the marketing of UFC 159, there happens to be a solid under-card leading up to the main card action. Here is a fight by fight breakdown of the undercard, and make sure to check back tomorrow for the main card picks. (more…)

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