What an interesting weekend in combat sports, that’s for sure. Floyd Mayweather went to hell and back to pull of a win many thought he shouldn’t have gotten, Pat Barry got lamped in his return to kickboxing and Joe Warren is once again a world champion of some sort. Welcome to the wild weekend in combat sports. As always, here’s what we learned.
Floyd Mayweather is only going one way … and it’s not up – Floyd’s an elite level talent who’s arguably among the top five boxers of all time. No matter what you think of the Pacquiao/Mayweather shenanigans … Floyd’s going down as one of the greatest of all tiem and certainly the best of his generation. The problem is that every fighter eventually winds their way down from the top. Floyd is nearing 40 and is still #1 … but Maidana shouldn’t have been in that fight. Floyd took a beating in that fight and a lot of people scored that fight against him for the first time in years.
This was the first time anyone has lasted 12 rounds with Floyd and not been completely outclassed.
The fact that Maidana got so close to pulling off a win, and got a legitimate draw on one card, is proof that Floyd’s decline is happening fast. He only fights once or twice a year, thus we haven’t seen it. It’s been gradual for him, as well, as he’s picked opponents at the right times to help mask it. He’s lost a couple steps more than he did during the Guerrero fight … he’s still the best in the world regardless of weight. It’s just the margin between him and the rest of the field is closing fast.
Joe Warren will get starched by the first good fighter he faces – The only reason why Rafael de Silva lost that fight is because he took it on short notice. Warren won a tough decision against a guy who had a rough weight cut on short notice who gassed harder than he should’ve. I like Warren and I can see why Bellator wants a title on him. He’s the kind of guy you can put in front of cameras, et al, and his Chael Sonnen mini-me act plays right into it. Throw in his wrestling bonafides and Warren should be a star.
The problem is that he’s not elite. He’s very good … but not elite. And Eduardo Dantas happens to be elite. So does Pat Curran, too. It’s why he got his doors blown off by the latter and at some point will from the former. But right now they’re going to protect him; there isn’t a bantamweight tournament this season. At this point Dantas is next, once he gets medical clearance, for a unification bout and depending on how long he’s out Warren’s going to get similar matchups as he did in his tournament win.
Pat Barry needs to retire from fighting – Barry is a great showman and apparently a really nice guy but he’s on the Gary Goodridge path to CTE before 40 right now. Glory 16 marked it an even half dozen times he’s been knocked unconscious since 2011. He’s been put clean out, too, and it scares me as one human being to another. Barry needs to retire, become a great kickboxing coach, and any commission that sanctions him in a combat sport needs to be second guessed on every level that matters.
Adrien Broner is a great showman … and a mediocre boxer – Adrien Broner knows how to provoke a reaction out of people. I’ll give him credit for that; he knows how to get the eyeballs on him when he needs it. You can make a ton of money by getting eyeballs on you in the fight game. The problem is that he took a guy whom he should’ve beaten the brakes off and didn’t look as impressive as he should’ve. Carlos Molina fought a much closer fight than the scorecards reflected … but the fact that he was facing the lesser boxer with the same name and didn’t lamp him in short order tells you more about Broner than either Molina. He isn’t going to be a Top 10 P4P boxer at the rate he’s going … but he has the potential to be a top draw.
Glory has an underdog problem – We complain in MMA about parity in marketing when it comes to the UFC but the thing keeping Glory from potentially becoming the next big thing is their underdog problem. Too often on their Spike TV cards plenty of their big names get upset; Marc de Bonte is the latest example of this. Their first card on Spike TV was expected to be another Saki/Ghita matchup for the ages … and Rico Verhoeven upset them both. Giorio Petrosyan was expected to walk through a Glory tournament … and was knocked out by Andy Ristie. Glory keeps having great cards but the ability for them to grow is going to come from having a couple of dominant stars. So far that’s not happening as its upset city. It makes for a fun card to watch but if everyone is equal then the brand is going to have a hard time standing out. The UFC came to fame with some stars, of course, and Bellator is trying to grow the same way.
Tags: Bellator 118, Boxing, floyd mayweather, Glory 16, Joe Warren, Kickboxing, Mixed Martial Arts, The Moment