These days, its always just a little bit dangerous when you tune in to an Anderson Silva fight, since it presents the opportunity for you to be cheated out of time/money/entertainment. Last nights card, however, appeared stacked enough so that the other contests would ease any pain inflicted by a lackluster main event. To my surprise it turned out to be the exact opposite. Silva vs. Belfort delivered while the “co-main event” (a term I truly despise) fell flat, at least in my opinion.
Forrest Griffin and Rich Franklin fought a tough fight but not with any real urgency. It was a mess of a fight, sure, but not the battle we’d come to expect from these two. The Zuffa hype machine certainly didn’t help much either, all but guaranteeing that we’d be treated to another Griffin/Bonnar episode of epic proportions. Before the announcement of Jon Jones filling in against Shogun Rua, I thought the winner of Griffin/Franklin or maybe Rampage would make for a good next step up for Jones. So much for that.
Perhaps if the audience had a better angle on the choke Jon Jones used to tap Ryan Bader the finish would have been less anti-climactic. Then again Jones was tooling “Darth” and after the first round, I guess we all knew it was only a matter of time.
- After UFC 126, Silva vs. St. Pierre should be absolutely inevitable. Yes, this means I am assuming that GSP starches Jake Shields in Toronto. At this point, its a fight that needs to happen almost as badly as Mayweather-Pacquiao. I was never entirely sold on GSP’s chances against a significantly larger Silva, but I can’t sit here and say that there are any more compelling match ups for either fighter. Both men have demolished everything in their respective divisions, and we know that Silva can’t have a future at 205lbs due to good buddy Lyoto Machida. Zuffa needs to put the wheels in motion for this if they haven’t already. Silva-Belfort was not a super-fight, Silva-St. Pierre is. Here’s hoping to see it in 2011, you know, before the world ends.
- Is Jon Jones ready for Shogun? Probably not, especially on such short notice. But Jones would be glue-huffing insane to turn down such an opportunity, and its not like he doesn’t have a seriously good chance at stealing the belt. Shogun is clearly the more refined striker, with excellent muay thai and a killer instinct that can’t be taught. Shogun also has very crafty jiujitsu and should be able to avoid the submissions that Jones has been tapping pure wrestling-based grapplers with. On the other hand, Jones is gigantic for the LHW division, meaning he can play it a lot safer with Rua and utilize his absurd reach advantage. If Jones can get Rua down, which I suspect he can, “Bones” should be able to control Shogun with his wrestling pedigree and stretch-armstrong limbs. This means one thing in my mind: Elbows to the dome. They TKO’d Brandon Vera and broke his orbital bone. That kind of ground n’ pound might be Jones’ best route to victory. I can’t wait to find out.
- I know its already on your mind: If Jon Jones beats Shogun, will he face his Team Jackson comrade “Sugar” Rashad Evans? We can only hope.
- Miguel Torres phoned in his must underwhelming performance to date. Torres commented that he followed new coach Firas Zahabi’s plan, which was apparently to put viewers to sleep. They nailed it. If this keeps up Torres may never absorb another punch in the octagon, because he’ll be fired.
- Steven Segal is apparently taking credit for helping Anderson Silva perfect the night- ending front kick to Vitor Belfort’s jaw. All I have to say about that is: Seriously?
- My Frenzy cohorts were actually in Las Vegas for UFC 126 while I had a surely less exciting evening here in snow covered Philadelphia. Hope you guys come back with some good stories.