It's a slow day and the Bloody Inbox is getting full so I decided that this week we'll have a special two-part mailbag segment with part one going up today and part two going up tomorrow. I've been blown away at the quality of questions coming in so keep up the good work. I do ask that you include your username or how you'd like to be identified in your e-mail since not everyone wants their full name out there.
Remember, you can submit your questions to: BloodyElbowMailbag@Gmail.com
Question from KStone1: Do you believe we'll see a death in mainstream MMA (i.e. UFC, Belator, Dream, One FC, etc) in the immediate future? In the next 10 years? In our lifetime?
Yes, I do. It's impossible to predict exactly when, but to say that it won't ever happen in my life is something I can't do. But that's not due to any issue with the sport not being safe (or as safe as a fight sport can be). People on Twitter thought I was overreacting in the moment to how close we came to Ryan Bader being paralyzed or even killed when Rampage slammed him, but really look at this photo Esther Lin of MMA Fighting took in that moment:
Then look at footage like this video of Rutgers football player Eric LeGrand being paralyzed in 2010. It's a matter of inches and had Bader come down just slightly different there is a real possibility for his neck to have been broken. Were that to happen in MMA we know that there is usually a few seconds between a fighter going defenseless and the referee stepping in. That could result in a few very heavy shots to a person who needs to not be moved at all.
With that possibility for a fluke injury along with the always present chance of a death caused in cage/ring by an undiagnosed medical issue or the possibility for a guy to take too much punishment and suffer a brain injury, it just seems more likely than not that a tragedy of that sort will eventually hit mainstream MMA.
On an only slightly related note, this question led me to want to re-read the ESPN piece on boxer Paco Rodriguez's passing from a bout where he did take punishment but nothing that seemed highly out of the ordinary for a fight sport. Out of that tragedy came a pretty incredible and inspiring story of the gift of life, I suggest you give it a look if you have the time.
Question from Castleeb: I don't know about you but I am totally shocked at King Mo's swift dismissal from StrikeForce subsequent to his inflammatory tweets. Zuffa doesn't have a track record of fair and equal treatment of fighters but for StrikeForce at least, Mo is a star. Do you think there is any chance that this is a ploy to bring Mo over to the UFC, similar to Alistair Overeem's experience?
It was surprising to see Mo released for the tweet and that's probably an issue of Zuffa's fairly uneven application of their "Twitter policy." Sometimes a quick delete of a tweet seems to be enough, sometimes it's a public apology, sometimes nothing happens and sometimes you get released. Miguel Torres' release was over a tweet that was certainly in poor taste, but didn't seem worse than Forrest Griffin's "rape joke tweet" and subsequent freak-out on people, including a rape victim, and it didn't seem particularly worse than Rashad Evans' Sandusky joke.
There's certainly a chance that this is a showy move with no real impact. It's going to be quite some time before Mo can get back in the cage after the serious medical scare. They can release him now, make nice with the NSAC, not suffer any PR hit and then re-hire him in early 2013 when he's been back in the gym and ready for another fight.
There's also the chance that some people in Zuffa just don't like Mo for his outspoken nature. That's been a popular theory going around over the past few days and I suppose it makes a degree of sense.
I will say that I don't get the vibe that this is an elaborate plan to bring him to the UFC. The need for some light heavyweight depth is stronger in Strikeforce than it is in the UFC right now.
Question from Mike in Riverside: Do you want the UFC to stick to running 6-8 shows in the span of about 12 weeks and than take a break like they have done in the first quarter of 2012? Or have them just run all the time? I like the latter since for about 12 weeks I've got MMA just about every other week and than get to recharge my batteries, Having all those events one after another while awesome really tired me out.
Complicated question to answer. The guy who works for Bloody Elbow wants there to be a UFC event every weekend because it's good for the site. The version of me that wants to have a life is pretty happy to have patches hit where I can actually leave the house on the weekend.
This break has felt so long that I've wanted to complain about the need to space shows out so we don't have weekend after weekend and then a six month break. But UFC 145 was originally planned to have been last weekend (March 24) which would have put a big event right in the middle of the lull.
I think the UFC scheduling is handled pretty damn well honestly and they're still going through a bit of a learning process now that they've got the PPV shows plus shows on Fox, FX and Fuel. We'll probably see an increase in show numbers next year, but for right now, no complaints from me.
Question from Discoandherpes: Pacquiao vs. Bradley, who ya got and how?
Also do you think Pacquaio is on a decline, or did he just fight a guy in Marquez that is equally as great of an all time pound for pound fighter?
I haven't really sat down and tried to figure out who I'm picking, but I do like Bradley's chances. He's strong, a little bit slick and totally willing to dirty up a fight. I think the answer to why ties into the second part of your question as well. How long has it been since Manny faced a young, hungry fighter? Marquez was old and most people thought that he stood no chance because of his age and recent performances, we knew for sure that Shane Mosley was shot before he fought Manny, Margarito was big but had also been exposed and everything about him was tainted and who the hell knows what Joshua Clottey was doing? You have to go back to the first Cotto fight to really come close to the kind of fight this will be for Manny.
As for the Marquez fight? I think Marquez just has the prefect style to bother Manny. It's just how those two match up that seems to bring these great performances out of an already great fighter. It's hard to say if Manny is declining off of that fight given the history between the two.
Thank you guys again for all your questions and we'll have another segment with more of your questions tomorrow.