Hump Day in MMA

Columns, News

Welcome to the 3rd edition of MMA Humpday. Let’s get right to it!

UFC 91: Fallout

While we are all well aware of the results of UFC 91 lets dig a little deeper and see where the winners and one loser are headed next.

Winner: Brock Lesnar:
While many had doubts about the former WWE star, doubt no more. The man is for real and he is a legitimate MMA fighter. Not that he needs my acknowledgment – he is now the UFC’s heavyweight champion of the world.

We all know that he is set to face the winner of Nogueira/Mir, who fight at UFC 92 on December 27th.
What we don’t know is how much more Lesnar can progress between now and his upcoming fight. I was skeptical of how much he could improve after his fight with Heath Herring – needless to say I was impressed.

It now looks like Lesnar may want to stand and box with either Nog or Mir to avoid their BJJ game altogether. He should have the more dangerous stand up game and his takedown defense is impeccable. If Lesnar can keep the fight standing and land his punches, it may not matter who he faces in the heavyweight unification match.

Loser: Randy Couture:
All I can say for the fallen champion is that he looked good in defeat. He was able to clinch, get Brock against the cage, land some crisp shots, and most impressive: get the fight back to his feet, not once but twice. He simply got caught by the ham hocks that are Brock Lesnar’s hands.

To read more about what I think Randy’s future has in store for him read my last article, “What’s next for the fallen champion?”

Winner: Kenny Florian: Before UFC 91, I wrote an article,”Kenny Florian Will Never Get A Title Shot.” And not because I thought he would lose to Joe Stevenson. I simply thought after his win, the UFC would make Florian rematch Sean Sherk, a fight I thought he would lose. I may have to eat those words.

What a difference a fight can make! Kenny looked complete in his domination of Joe Stevenson. If he would have simply grinded out a decision win the call for him to rematch Sean Sherk would have been much stronger. Not only did Kenny outclass his opponent, but the usually soft spoken Florian actually called out BJ Penn.

While the UFC may still have Florian fight Sherk it looks a lot less likely. Don’t be surprised if Florian takes a much deserved break and waits for a fight with BJ Penn, sometime in May or June.  To see Kenny Florian talk about his future click here.

Winner: Demian Maia: If you hadn’t heard of Maia before, then I am sure you are in appreciation. Nate Quarry, an octagon veteran, looked like he was in his 1st UFC fight.  Maia might rightly be thought of as the new & improved Royce Gracie.

Many people may now see Demian as the No. 1 contender; however he has yet to beat a Top 10 fighter in the middleweight division- unless you count Jason McDonald. I think he needs a solid win over someone like Thales Leites or Nate Marquardt before getting a title shot.

Winner: Gabriel Gonzaga:
Gonzaga has looked impressive, or did what he was supposed to do in his last two tune up fights, and looks to be ready for another shot at the title. He is certainly an entertaining fighter to watch. Not only is he a lethal striker but he is very dangerous on the ground. Don’t be surprised if he gets a rematch with Couture to determine the No. 1 contender. A fight with Brock Lesnar could be very intriguing.

WEC in the news

The fight card for WEC 37, which takes place December 3rd, is set. The main event will feature Bantamweight champion Miguel Torres will put his 135-pound belt on the line against undefeated No. 1 contender, Manny Tapia. Miguel Torres is considered by many to be one of the best pound for pound fighters out there.

Check your cable to see if you have the VERSUS channel. They put on great fight cards and if you have the channel it’s a great night of free MMA.

Filho’s Fall out

Reports indicate that Paulo Filho has been released from the UFC/WEC. The news should come as no surprise to people familiar with Filho’s recent struggles. In his last fight, at WEC 36, he didn’t look all there mentally. The fight would certainly win the award for “most bizarre fight of 2008.” I hope Paulo is able to get his life together and overcome his personal problems.

-Thanks to Five Ounces of Pain (on our official blogroll) for breaking this story. To read the full report click here.

WEC = Women’s MMA?

While Dana White may not be ready to sign Gina Carano to a fight just yet he seems to have softened his stance. “Gina Carano is a star, I think she’s talented. I think she’s got all the tools, so what I’m willing to do is bring Gina into the WEC. We could do fights whenever there’s a challenger for Gina. That’s how I’ll test the waters and see how it goes,” White told the press in attendance.

I for one think Gina Carano is great for sport is and having her in the WEC is a great start for woman’s MMA.

-Thanks again to Five Ounces for reporting this news. To read their report click here.

In other news…

Are the rumors true?

Inside Fights was the first to break the news that Anderson Silva could very well be fighting Chuck Liddell at UFC 95 in London England. To read the original breaking news click here.

Liddell was originally supposed to fight in London back at UFC 85, against Shogun Rua. It looks like he might make his return in dramatic fashion. This is already shaping up to be a very controversial fight: People either really want to see it or have zero interest in it. Check back to Inside Fights for all the latest breaking news.

Don’t forget to support the troops

It’s not too early to start thinking about UFC’s free fight card on Spike TV. While many will be looking ahead to Ultimate 2008, also know as UFC 92, this fight card has some solid fights. Josh Koscheck will be headlining the event on December 10th. It is s big fight for Josh and a win will keep him in the mix for a title fight in 2009. To check out the rest of the fight card click here.

GSP vs. Penn: Let the hype begin

While the superfight is over 2 months out that won’t stop people from getting keyed up. To see their recent press conference click here. Check back to Inside Fights for more information as we get closer to fight which scheduled for January 31st at UFC 94.

Also, on the SuperBowl fight card will be the return of John Fitch. MMA Mania was first to announce that Fitch is set to fight Japanese veteran Gono. Gono is a tough out, although he recently lost to Dan Hardy at UFC 90.

I am glad to see Fitch back in action. He was clearly dominated in his last fight with St. Pierre and will have to reinvent himself to get back into the title picture.

Last, but unfortunately not least

I have to report some bad news to MMA fans. MMA Rated (also on our official blog list) has reported that neither UFC 93 nor 95 will be aired free on Spike TV. While it was never a guarantee, the UFC and Spike have made a habit of airing European fight cards. So much for the UFC helping out their cash strapped fans in this economic downturn. To get the full report click here.

-Thanks for reading another edition of MMA Humpday. There is a lot of MMA news out there so I hope I picked out what is of most interest to our readers. This is an ever evolving piece, and reader feedback is more then welcome. Be sure to tune to catch he latest episode of The Ultimate Fighter tonight at 10pm. Enjoy MMA fans.

Brian has been an avid fan of MMA ever since he saw Randy Couture beat Vitor Belfort back at UFC 15. In 2008, he decided to embark on a new career by combining his love of MMA and writing. Brian received his M.B.A. from Texas Tech University and currently resides in New York City.