SBNation's Luke Thomas joins Comcast's Dustin Green for another installment of The Fight Fix. They chew through UFC 127, Jon Jones vs Ryan Bader, UFC 128's upcoming light heavyweight title fight between Mauricio Rua vs Jon Jones, Anderson Silva's kick to Vitor Belfort's chin, Georges St Pierre vs Jake Shields and Fedor Emelianenko vs Antonio Silva.
Here's what Luke Thomas had to say, complete transcript in the full entry:
Jon Jones vs. Ryan Bader. I was surprised Jones didn't have more trouble with Bader's wrestling even though I thought he'd win.
Anderson Silva's front kick of Vitor Belfort. My sense is that, yes, the kick is amazing, but not unheard of. What's more impressive to me is how he hit in when the stakes where extremely high against a super dangerous opponent.
Georges St. Pierre vs. Jake Shields. I talk about how this fight may look and what both fighters need to do to win.
Fedor Emelianenko vs. Antonio Silva. I reiterate the case that Fedor is the best heavyweight ever in MMA no matter what detractors say at this stage of the game.
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1:18 - Luke on Jones vs Bader: "I kind of thought Jon Jones was gonna have a little more of a harder time with the wrestling of Ryan Bader. Turned out that really wasn't the case. Now I don't know about some of the tactical decisions that Ryan Bader made in that second round. Pulling half guard? I don't really know how that was to his advantage in any real circumstance. It looked like Jones - and I don't mean to be disparaging of Ryan Bader who is an incredible fighter and will rebound from this fight quite well - it looked like Jones was fighting his little brother, his girlfriend in many ways...Whatever Jones wanted to do, he did. And that was the end of it. I mean, almost hitting a D'arce choke from half guard? You just don't have physical gifts that way.
1:58 - Luke on Shogun vs Jones: "For me the X factor coming up as we saw, [Jones] gonna fight Shogun at UFC 128 for the UFC Light Heavyweight title. My sense of things is I favor Jones a little bit. I think the ceiling for him...we don't really know where it is. The issue for me though with that fight - Shogun presents one thing Jones has not tasted in mixed martial arts: he has never been hurt. He's never really been rocked. He's never had a guy in his face push him in a way Shogun's gonna push him. Shogun's wrestling is a huge liability against Jon Jones. I just think if he put Shogun away early, that's a dangerous, dangerous fight for him late."
2:49 - Luke on Silva's front kick vs Belfort: "If you look at that kick, that front kick he did. I don't think Steven Seagal had any role in that whatsoever. But be that as it may, for me, guys have done that kick in karate tournaments, guys have done that in K-1 before. You can go on youtube and you can see this before. But never has anybody done it against the caliber of opposition like Vitor Belfort and never has anybody done it when the stakes were so high. The UFC middleweight title on the line. The fight called th "fight of the century" in Brazil.
3:16 - Luke on GSP's strategy vs Silva: "What does George St. Pierre need to do? George St. Pierre cannot play Anderson Silva's game. He cannot wait on the outside. Accept for th switch he hit on Nate Marquardt, I don't think Anderson Silva has very good takedown defense...For me, he has got to get to him quickly. Put him down on the mat where Silva's guard is good, but shouldn't be that good against St. Pierre's submission defense. And what Chael Sonnen didn't do which he needs to do: position advancement on the ground. However, I gotta say, I don't know about St. Pierre's attitude in terms of striking. Is it really the best attitude to have against a guy like...Silva where he thinks 'it's just a tossup.' It's not a tossup. It's only a tossup if you are sort of at equal level of skill. Not on the same level as Anderson Silva. All I'm pointing out is you cannot be afraid in that pocket. You cannot be afraid to dominate the pocket positionally. St. Pierre's gotta do that if he has any chance of winning and I hope that fight gets made."
4:26 - Luke on St. Pierre-Shields: "I thought Bader was gonna give Jones a bit of a hard time and he didn't. ..but I think that Shields might actually last a lot longer than some people think. I mean, if I'm ever in my life half as good a grappler as Jake Shields, I could die very happy. But the issue for me is....Dan Hardy went 5 rounds and didn't get submitted by George St. Pierre. Jake Shields is about a billion times better grappler than Dan Hardy. At a minimum he should be able to last 2, 3 rounds against St. Pierre unless St. Pierre really does an excellent job of keeping that fight on the feet."
5:21 - Luke on the loss of Fedor in the Strikeforce HW Grand Prix: "Strikeforce was saying it doesn't really hurt them. The tournament's still in good shape. It's gonna go forward. There's still big matchups left. I think people are really looking forward to seeing what Alistair Overeem can do. But let's be serious, when I was there, the two biggest pops for anybody were for Andre Arlovski, who got brutally knocked out, and Fedor Emelianenko. Everyone knew going in those were the 2 big fan favorites and they're gone now. Now, they said they might reintroduce Fedor as a tournament alternate in case some guy gets injured. I think that's really rigging and altering the integrity of the of the tournament. So I don't know if i like that idea, but i guess it's good for the future of the tournament. The tournament's still okay. If Overeem has a big performance, that's great too. But I just think losing Fedor, losing Arlovski and the way that they did. It wasn't even really that close - 1st round was close, that second round was a 10-8 round. I don't care what anybody else says. It was bad. It's bad."
6:15 - Luke on Fedor's legacy: "He's the greatest mixed martial arts heavyweight of all time. Dana White has his issues. Dana White has a job to do which is to promote the UFC. Promote UFC heavyweights. You can't really fault him for that. But the record is very clear. In the early 2000's, he had a better run than anybody. Period. Yes, his record is filled with guys who aren't that good, but the reality is he has enough accomplishments for enough period of time and defending at the right moments to clearly give him the mantle of the best heavyweight of all time. He shouldn't be competing anymore. I think he should retire. The game that he used to get to the top, speed, is kinda gone. But that being said, anyone who says anything other than Fedor being the top heavyweight of all time is ignorant or negligent and either way, should not be listened to."