Completely random thoughts that have no place anywhere else, dropped here to avoid thread-jacking. Make the jump if you're bored, or if you've always had loose, random thoughts about MMA that you needed to drop somewhere and this vacancy just opened up for you.
I think after fighting a catchweight bout at 220lbs, Stephan Bonnar and Cheick Kongo should exchange weight classes. I'd like to see Bonnar take on some of those plodding heavyweights and teach them the value of willpower and cardio. I'd like to see Kongo bring his 82" reach to 205 just for the chaos it might briefly cause...would people start clamoring for him to match up with JJones?
I think Beltran needs to keep dropping down; he looked like a MW that got bloated over the holidays when he fought James TeHuna. The weight cut took away Joe's one-punch power but failed to grant him any speed. He needs to either go back up via strength conditioning, or start chasing chickens while wearing a smelly old sweatshirt, maybe even with his dominant hand taped to his side. Looks aren't everything, and he obviously hurt TeHuna with a couple of shots, so he still has punching power even without the extra forty pounds of counterweight behind them, but he just looked too underdeveloped. Drop more body fat, add more lean muscle if he wants to stay at 205; not only does the UFC like their fighters to look like models, JB needs the strength now that he can't power punch his way out of a bad situation.
Boetsch is literally the definition of winning ugly in my book; he never really looks that good in a match, but he manages to win anyway. He reminds me of the old, old days of pro wrestling, when you'd have the hero, with his really long intro and entrance, and then you'd hear the announcer name his opponent, "Jeff", and Jeff would come out with just some solid color trunks on, and you knew that guy was the Star Trek red shirt, the can being fed to the name. Boetsch looks like he's the can, the red shirt, the "Jeff", then he puts guys like Okami to sleep...I don't tune in to watch Tim fight, but I've learned not to bet against him.
Losing to Rashad Evans and Chael Sonnen has actually made me respect Michael Bisping more. I have actually started to entertain the thought that his completely frustrating movement might actually give him a chance against Anderson Silva, but then I remember, Anderson Silva. Bisping fights all the wrong kind of fight for Silva; he's tough, but tough is meaningless against the striking power of Anderson Silva. When you have a highly skilled sniper that has chosen the battlefield, you either bring out artillery that Bisping doesn't have, or you trade both accuracy and power for a nice compromise of both, matching your assault rifle with its ammo capacity against the sniper's slower bolt action and hope you survive the exchange. You keep the sniper adjusting, don't present him with the same target twice and strike while he's either reloading or trying to line you up in his sights again. Bisping has a bad tendency to repeat his pattern of dancing and jabbing, and jabbing Anderson Silva is like poking a tiger with a sharp stick.
I'm utterly done with ring girls. I could see where they would still add some value to a local promotion, but not at the level of UFC and Strikeforce. It's an outdated concept that needs to go, should have been gone before the gladiator was out.
I used to be so starved for MMA fights and commentary that I DVRd every show that even mentioned MMA and I watched PPVs voraciously. Last year was crazy, so many good fights, so often, it was an overload, and now we're living in the backlash, where title fights are on free tv and we're all...meh. I'm still crazy passionate about the sport, but I'm losing interest in all the stuff that has surrounded it. I love that BE still has insightful breakdowns, judo chops, closer looks at fights; filling my head with more martial arts knowledge makes every fight worth watching again. It's like watching the movie "Airplane"; the more you know about it, the more times you have to watch it just to see everything you missed the first couple of times.
The divisions all seem locked up again. Jose Aldo, GSP, Anderson Silva, Jon Jones and JDS all seem invulnerable, invincible, too good to lose ever again. It's amazing to me that retirement or injury seems the most likely scenarios for new champions at 170 & 185. It's also amazing how a UFC fighter could beat 95% of the MMA fighters in their weight class, and the contender can beat 99%, but the chasm between champion and the top ten is huge. There's a way to illustrate this, my son the math nerd keeps trying to explain it to me, but I remain in awe of the difference between 95% and 99%, 99% and 100% when it comes to fighters. 1% is meaningless until you get to around 95%; then, suddenly, that single percentage might as well be the distance to the moon.
I am and always will be a die-hard GSP fan because of how damned hard that man works to keep improving. Few fighters can hang on to that hunger once they wear the strap; I think that was why 205 got cleaned out. GSP has a phenomenal work ethic, and I can really respect that. It's also why Frankie Edgar has won me over; he makes up for whatever shortcomings he has with sheer determination and willpower.
205 was poisoned with ennui. Liddell lost his hunger, and everyone that had been hunting for his belt didn't know what to do once they got it. Rampage, Griffin, Rashad, Machida, Rua...they were so hungry coming up, but once that belt went around their waist, they thought all the hard work was over and they could just enjoy the view at the summit, completely forgetting the guy they used to be is the guy that is gunning for them now. I absolutely hate when champions get lazy, and I think they all deserved what they got as a result.
Mauricio "Shogun" Rua is done. He may have beaten Vera, but how many short elbows did he walk into to do it? He looked SO SLOW in there, it was like watching Griffin v Ortiz III only with more tattoos. I honestly watched that fight more out of morbid curiosity, wondering if Vera would get knocked out in spectacular fashion or if he would rise like the phoenix and earn some of that hype he generated a while back. Kudos to Vera for overcoming his fear of being hit again, and for throwing the risky strikes he was known for (that have since been jacked by Jon Jones; Vera was throwing those elbows off the cage first, yo) but his cardio, for someone so young, was pathetic. I was impressed by Vera's chin, and I was not surprised by Rua's after the Henderson fight, but both of them stood still so often I was screaming at them "what if it was Jones in the cage with you right now?". Someone made an excellent point about Joe Lauzon fighting for bonuses, going for FOTN or SOTN instead of a title belt, and that's brilliant, but it is too late for Rua.
If I were coaching any fighter in any division, my fighters would get sick of my constant comparisons to fighting the champion, but I can't see any other goal (other than Lauzon and Lytle's strategy). I'm not saying to overlook the upcoming fighter, but you have to constantly be training to fight the top guy, developing the skills to beat the champion, or else, what are you doing? How does a victory over Brandon Vera matter if you would have gotten dismantled by Jon Jones? You train for Jones, because if you have a chance of beating Jon Jones, you'll slaughter Vera, or at least, that's the way I see it. Style wise that won't work, naturally, but having the athleticism, the cardio, the killing instinct, the cliched eye of the tiger, that stuff matters, matters a lot. You can't be gassing in a fight in the UFC, because I can't think of a single champion that isn't capable of taking you the distance. You can't eat elbows from Brandon Vera just because he's not Jon Jones; you have to stop eating elbows, period, completely, done. You can't throw the same predictable combinations and keep coming forward against Brian Stann just because he's not Anderson Silva. Holes in your game are holes, don't disregard them because you're not fighting for the title tonight. And I'm talking about guys that have worn the belt, like Rua, or working their way back up to contender again, like Bader or Bisping. Change it up, guys, evolve, be a different fighter when you face that guy next time.
Speaking of fighters who refuse to evolve, why is Guillard still fighting in the UFC? Cowboy has got this, purely because Donald Cerrone hasn't lost that desire to learn, evolve, improve constantly.
That's about enough for now.