Ask Bloody Elbow: Favorite fighters, UFC 167 buyrates, why we love a broken sport and more

Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sp

A collection of reader questions answered by Brent Brookhouse, managing editor of

With Bloody Elbow's website issues last night and much of the early part of today, I took to Twitter to ask people to submit some questions. A kinda sorta Ask Me Anything, spurred on by the fact that I had multiple half finished articles that I couldn't finish at the time.

I asked for ten questions and the batch was pretty solid, and it even features a surprise appearance. So let's get down to it.

God knows I love a good joke about the way that there is always an excuse for disappointing buyrates and ratings, I don't know that they need an excuse right now. That's not a horrible number and Joohny Hendricks isn't exactly a huge B-side. I've never bought Chael Sonnen as a massive draw, though I did admit surprise at how well he drew on the first Fox Sports 1 show and Rashad Evans came into the Sonnen bout with a string of bad performances in terms of entertainment.

Yeah, it's the lowest number for GSP since 2008, but it's not like it's a huge dip from the Condit fight. And this is clearly a down period from a lot of those years from 2008 to now, so I don't think they have to say much about it beyond just...letting it be what it is.

There are three that stick out off the top of my head. UFC 171's top two fights, Hendricks vs. Lawler and Condit vs. Woodley are both exciting fights. Woodley/Condit could be bad if it goes the way of Woodley's worst performances, but Condit doesn't really allow for that. Hendricks/Lawler can't really miss.

Also, as a Dominick Cruz fan I'm excited for his return. If he's back in his old form, his bout with Renan Barao is crazy compelling on paper. There's not a ton of fights between clear top guys that haven't happened yet, so I'm in.

It's always hard to say exactly how things are going to play out. Heavyweight seems very secure to me, but if Jon Jones jumps divisions, suddenly it might not be so safe anymore. Light heavyweight seemed safe, but Cormier to 205 could change things. Middleweight...let's hold off a week. Welterweight is clearly in a transitional period and I don't know that I trust Pettis at 155 to not make a mistake and lose the belt.

I'd say Aldo's title isn't going anywhere, but 145 is a place where guys are going to continue to move from 155 so I think the moment where someone gets it just right against him could come. 135 is going to see some sort of title shake-up with Barao/Cruz. And then 125 is Johnson's division.

I guess right now I'd say 125 and women's bantamweight are the titles I feel are the safest as the champ just seems that far above the competition. Though, if someone can figure out how to turn a Rousey fight into a stand-up fight, it's pretty clear she can be beaten.

Hey! Mike Fagan!

Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira is my number one and it's possible he always will be. His time in PRIDE was just incredible. It's like he was incapable of having a bad fight. Bob Sapp didn't know he was Bob Sapp yet, so even Nogueira vs. Sapp was incredible. And I don't know of any moment since then where I got as emotional as when he pulled off the sub on Cro Cop.

I'll do the other nine not in any particular order.

- Wanderlei Silva
- Kazushi Sakuraba
- Shogun Rua
- Anderson Silva
- Matt Brown (yes, really. He's so damn fun!)
- Fedor Emelianenko
- Georges St. Pierre
- Jose Aldo
- Anthony Pettis

I guess that's a boring list, but what I enjoy most is greatness. I suppose Jon Jones belongs on there too, maybe in place of Matt Brown, but I really love watching Matt Brown fight.

I gotta get that Bruce Wayne money.

It's been a good year for them, right? But mainly I think they're just coming to take over Bellator.

I'm a big Max Nunes fan. Even though he picked up his first loss a few months ago. I think he has tons of upside.

If the UFC hasn't signed Cathal Pendred yet, he'd be a great signing for anyone.

But I'd really prefer to see both of those guys in the UFC.

If I ran Bellator I probably would vulture a lot more UFC guys when they get cut and try to mix my signings with the UFC's cuts. I think you'd have a more interesting product that way, but everyone is so hyper-sensitive to looking like you're playing second fiddle.

He's undefeated for his career and 5-0 in the UFC so...yeah, there's totally a chance.

Beating Tibau, Tavares, Trujillo and Healy is a hell of a run. He could be a few wins away from a title shot.

There is a question of how many title shots there will be in 2014 though. Anthony Pettis' knee surgery was scheduled for a little over a week ago and could take nine months to fully recover from. So it could be a year before he fights. So if Nurmagomedov does get a title shot in the coming year it may very well come in the form of a shot at an interim title.

Probably no presser, but I thought they did squash whatever beef there was a few months back here on Bloody Elbow. And I'm pretty sure I saw ol' Kid Nate comment on or share something or like something that Jon posted on Facebook earlier today.

So rest easy, everybody love everybody.

First of all, this dude is writing some great stuff lately. So...go read the article he linked there and read the brief history of MMA thing he wrote in the wake of the GSP retirement.

While I don't think I agree with Dana White's phrasing he loves about how everyone would watch a streetfight or whatever (I'd probably call the cops), there is a part of fighting that people are drawn to the idea of professional fighting. Boxing and MMA are organized in such weird ways with oversight by people who routinely fail at their jobs but are protected at all costs.

These are sports that guarantee no fair outcomes, which is frustrating and awful..etc. And, in a just world, when judges and referees fail to do their jobs, they'd no longer have those jobs. That doesn't happen.

But there's never a point where I look at two good fighters who are going to fight and am not captivated by all the possibilities for how it could play out.

As long as that intrigue doesn't fade, the love isn't going anywhere.

But, god damn, do these issues get old sometimes.


This was fun, we should do this again.

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