Before I get into the recap of what went on in these parts today I want to task you all with something. As pointed out in the comments yesterday this new feature should probably have some sort of catchy name. After all "Bloody Elbow Daily Recap" is pretty boring. So name the damn thing for me. Winner gets nothing but bragging rights. But bragging rights are pretty badass.
- Nate's piece "Herschel Walker Lends His Considerable Credibility to an MMA Fighter's Union" got after a subject that is really interesting to me. When you ask around about unionization you get a very clear message from media, fighters and management that the UFC has been using their weight to attempt to make it clear that they will not tolerate any sort of unionization by their fighters. This is understandable and given that the sport is still young and the power is held by the UFC it's not likely to change with the currently involved players.
There is an interesting question of what happens if the UFC continues to make more money and the overall pay structure for fighters doesn't scale with that revenue increase. Right now there are very few people involved with the management side of things that can lead a fighters union that would be able to go heads-up with the UFC. But the idea that potential of more money is going to bring bigger agents into the fold. If a guy with the track record of a Scott Boras were to ever decide to try to be a "union president" or something similar it would mean someone who isn't going to be intimidated by the strong-arm tactics of Dana White and company.
I'm not saying I'm pro-unionization or anti-unionization. But the idea of someone with experience getting tough with players in the big leagues getting involved is deeply interesting.
- Jonathan Snowden wrote a piece asking why more people don't care about Frankie Edgar. He goes on to explain many of the reasons why Edgar vs. Gray Maynard is not going to blow up the box office. And they all make sense.
But as a fan I get off on style clashes like Edgar/Maynard. It's the same fight as their first clash but with much better versions of both men. Has Frankie advanced his game to where he can deal with the style problems that a big, grinding wrestler like Maynard presented? Can Gray close distance on someone who has developed the quick in-and-out game that Edgar has? It's not only intriguing, but it's much more intriguing to me than a fight like Georges St. Pierre vs. Josh Koscheck. We're not wondering if one man has the home run swing in them like we were with Koscheck's "improved striking." We're wondering about the overall picture. Who can execute a five round gameplan here.
I get that finishes are fun and exciting but there is something amazing to me about a man who can get into the cage with the deep amount of weapons at the disposal of a fighter and come out not only doing more than the other man but taking no damage in the process. More times than not both of these men execute a great gameplan that allows for them to do what they want while allowing their opponent to do nothing. Sure, Gray struggled with Nate Diaz and at brief moments with Roger Huerta, but on the whole he's an amazing fighter. And Edgar's striking style is part of the overall evolution of the striking game in mixed martial arts over the past year.
- Todd Duffee hits kind of hard but he has a bit of Leonard Garcia Syndrome. He tends to overswing and the abandoning of technique loses some of the power from his shots. That's what we saw against Mike Russow (well, that and we saw that Russow has a really hard head). Those technical flaws are going to be hell for Todd when he steps in against the best striker in MMA in Alistair Overeem. Duffee has the very definition of a puncher's chance. Nothing more.
- Luke Thomas' great look at what makes SB Nation unique and important as well as how we operate as a site here at Bloody Elbow is must read stuff. If you skimmed past it because you care more about fight news than our business, do yourself a favor and go read it now.
SB Nation Link Round-Up
- On SBNation.com/mma Chad Dukes claimed that Chael Sonnen is a godsend to the UFC for his Twitter tirades and compared his actions to Roddy Piper. The buyrate against Anderson Silva didn't really prove out the idea that Sonnen's "heel tactics" are a huge business driver and I think there are plenty of things to compare what Sonnen does to that are more valid than Roddy Piper hitting Jimmy Snuka over the head with a coconut. But still, it's something to think about.
- Ran today on MMA Mania: Dana White: The UFC will be on network TV when they control the content