By Zach Arnold | August 25, 2011
500,000 views of Pat Curran’s KO of Marlon Sandro last Saturday in the Bellator cage. One of the many interesting comments Joe Rogan made during this Tapout Radio interview is how he would love to see a lot of the Bellator fighters in the UFC and that he thinks they would do well. For instance, he would like to see Pat Curran, Ben Askren, Hector Lombard, and Eddie Alvarez. In fact, Joe went as far as to say that he thinks Alvarez could be the #1 Lightweight in MMA and that the #1 spot in that weight class can be claimed by several guys right now (both inside and outside the UFC).
“You see how high-level [Eddie's] striking has gotten. He’s a gamer, he goes after you.”
We won’t be seeing Eddie any time soon in the UFC if you believe Tony Loiseleur’s report at Sherdog that Alvarez will get to fight Shinya Aoki in 2012 in Bellator.
Joe Rogan also thinks Gilbert Melendez has the right to stake a claim at the top of the 155 pound division.
“There’s so many
fucking good guys in that division. It’s such an exciting time.”
Which leads us to the comments he made on the Tapout radio show about the upcoming Frankie Edgar/Gray Maynard trilogy fight and why it’s such an important fight for UFC’s Houston event.
“Just from a cinematic point of view, that last fight was so
fucking dramatic! There was so much going on in that fight, you know, Frankie Edgar getting ROCKED bad in that first round and it looked so close to being stopped so many times. I mean, you wondered like how does a guy come back from this, he’s getting fucking battered and then what he did do? He comes back in the second round and he fucking wins it and then he wins the third and he might have won every round other than the first and the real question became, how much damage did Gray Maynard do in the first? Some people think it was like a 10-5 round, a 10-4 round, it was ridiculous. He knocked him down, he hurt him, I mean is it just 10-8? If that’s just 10-8, that seems a little silly, that’s as close as you can get to stopping somebody and not stopping and beat him up for the whole round? To me, it might like 10-6 or 10-7, you know, it seems like a big round.
“So, then that became the debate, how many other rounds did Gray Maynard win? Did he win one other round? And it’s like, how the
fuck did Frankie Edgar come back from that? Frankie Edgar is a MONSTER, you got to put that guy away, his heart is INCREDIBLE! I mean, the beating that kid took in that first round to come back and start teeing off on Gray in the second round was ridiculous, incredible. I didn’t know if it was even possible for him to make it to the finish. I was like, is he going to be able to go five rounds after the first round, is his body just going to give out on him? I mean, that was a crazy first round.
“So, I’m really curious to see what kind of alterations either guy has made, you know, they must have watched that fight 100 times, they must be thinking about the moment what could have been different. For Gray Maynard, maybe if he picked his shots more and didn’t swarm, maybe he could have stopped him. For Frankie Edgar, what was it that caused him to get hit, what silly mistakes did he make, what did he do when he dropped his hands, what was it? They’re going to study those tapes and they’re going to come back and it’s going to be a fascinating fight. So that one I’m looking forward to just from maybe not even stylistically, just as a story, you know, just an amazing fight.
“Plus, that division is so crazy right now. With Ben Henderson’s victory over Jim Miller and then (Donald) Cerrone destroying (Charles) Oliveira, it’s like that
fucking weight class is STACKED, God damn what a crazy shark tank that weight class is. You know, everywhere you look at 155 there’s another killer, it’s a weight class filled with savages. It’s almost too competitive, it’s crazy.”
From there, the interview discussion took an interesting turn in regards to how quickly someone’s career can turn on a dime and the name Jamie Varner was mentioned. Guys who were on top of their game just a few years ago now are now often considered ‘washed up’ and finished, both physically and mentally.
Fedor should have had this conversation with Greg Jackson before he fought Werdum
Then the name Fedor came up… and whether or not he will be able to make a come back as a competitive MMA fighter.
“I think Fedor probably got tired of fighting but I also think Fedor never fought the guys that he fought even when he lost before. That Bigfoot Silva guy would have given him a hard time at any point in his career, I firmly believe that. That guy takes a tremendous shot, he’s a legitimate BJJ black belt, and he’s a big
fuck. That guy’s big. He’s like 290, cuts down to 265, he’s got giant hands and feet, if he hits you it’s like getting hit by a fucking tree, you know? And he gets on top of you… that legitimate black belt beast and he’s dropping bombs on your fucking head, try peeling that guy off of you, try hip escaping when that guy’s got the mount on you. YOU’RE FUCKED! You know, if a real BJJ black belt mounts you, there’s a certain feeling like, OH SHIT, like this is like let Jean-Jacques Machado mount you, let Jacaré mount you, and you get this creepy feeling like OK, I’m never getting out of this, never, and that’s the kind of mount that fucking big guy has and he’s punching you in the head? If Fedor fought that guy in PRIDE the guy might have beat him. If the same Bigfoot Silva of today fought Fedor in PRIDE five years ago, he might have beat him. I’m not saying he would have but he might of.
“I think it’s also him being an undersized Heavyweight that quite frankly is fat, you know? He’s obviously very skilled, you know, you can’t look at the way he came back and won the Brett Rogers fight and not be impressed. You can’t look at the way he timed Andrei Arlovski’s knee and KO’d him, you can’t look at that and not be impressed. You can’t look at the armbar that he nailed (Mark) Coleman with, the
fucking kimura that hit (Kevin) Randleman with, you can’t look at those and not be impressed. I’m forever going to be a Fedor fan, he’s amazing, he’s an amazing fighter. But I think when you compare him to the greats of all time, if there was a 225 pound weight class you know he might have been one of the greatest of all time. But as a heavyweight? I think there’s always going to be guys that are like just going to be able to beat him, I think that there’s a few guys that are just too big and too strong and he’s certainly not the same guy that he was back when he was in PRIDE, he doesn’t even physically look like that guy in any more. He’s lost a considerable amount of muscle mass. I know that he doesn’t lift weights any more, he talks about it, but he just does fight training. I need think he needs to life weights, man, I think your body needs to be fucking strong.
“Who am I to question Fedor’s motivations or techniques for training but I just think that strength & conditioning is part of the
fucking program, man, you got to be strong to pull shit off sometimes. A lot of it is technique but there’s time where you’re going to rely on your body and if you look at Fedor’s body from 2001 and Fedor’s body from now, he’s a different dude. He always had the gut but he used to be way thicker, he used to look like a guy that’s throwing kettlebells around all the time, he used to look like what he was, this fucking Judo/Sambo champion.
“There is a problem in losing the way he’s lost three times in a row and the last two in really kind of devastating fashion, he was really destroyed and that takes a lot of your motivation away, man, it just does. But, technically, there’s no question about it. He has to get in there and train with a camp of really good guys that are going to test him, that are going to test him hard. He can’t hang out with that Baby Fedor kid and a couple of others and his brother and a few other fighters, it’s not enough. He needs a world-class camp. I mean, he’s going in there against Dan
Fucking Henderson, he’s going in there against Alistair Overeem, he’s going in there against a Josh Barnett, he needs a God Damn world-class camp. He needs a strength-and-conditioning coach. He needs someone to push him. He needs someone to feed him correct food, you know. He needs people to monitor his heart rate to make sure that when he gets up in the morning that he’s not overtraining. He needs a lot of shit. There’s a lot on the line when you compete at the highest levels of the game, you know, and Fedor I don’t think is getting the kind of training that he could have. It was enough in the beginning, he’s so fucking skilled, the Sambo, he’s so skilled with striking, he’s such a wild man, he’s so fearless, it was enough to beat a lot of people for a long time but I don’t know if it’s going to be enough to beat the guys of today. I think there’s a different breed today and he’s not the same guy any more.”
Dan Henderson’s name was mentioned as someone who is heading in the opposite direction for his career.
“Dan Henderson is a lot hungrier than him at 40 but Dan Henderson is a
fucking savage. Dan Henderson is one of those guys that just, look, you have to remember that he came from a wrestling background, a pure wrestling background with really very little striking training and he went and became one of the most dangerous one-punch knockout artists in the history of the sport and that’s for real, man. That knockout that hit Michael Bisping with, that shit is going to be on highlight reels to the end of humanity. They’re going to carve that in little cartoon blocks on a stone wall after the nuclear holocaust, people that are going to be alive that remember that knockout.
“There’s knockouts that he hit like when he put Babalu away and Babalu’s eyes started rolling in his head, dude… Dan Henderson is a monster. He can
fucking punch and he knows he can fucking punch. He knows that all he has to do is clip you one time with a clean one and you’re fucksville, you know, and the fact that he was able to do that Fedor and the fact that he was able to do that to Feijao, how quickly that Feijao fight turned around, he’s a monster, man. At 40. But you know why? Because he still likes to fight.
“Everyone’s different, man, you know, you got your motivations and it’s different than Tom up the block, everybody’s got their own
fucking thing for why they’re doing this sport but a certain point and time some dudes start to question why. They don’t know what their motivations are any more, they don’t know if it’s smart, they don’t know if there’s other things to pursue but there’s money involved in this and so they keep doing it but they lose the passion (for) it. The guys that don’t lose the passion, the Randy Coutures, the Dan Hendersons, they can compete well into an elevated age that we have never considered to be competing at like the highest level of combat sports just a few decades ago. You know, there was no fucking 40 year old bad motherfuckers in 1988, you remember 1988 when (Mike) Tyson was the king? Man, fucking 40 year old dudes were done. If you were 40 you had a gut and you looked stupid and you got your ass kicked always…”
‘Elevated’ is an interesting word choice here. A lot of guys in their 30s and 40s back in 1988 weren’t using Testosterone Replacement Therapy, either. Amazing how that works.
The irony of listening to this radio passage hit me when Geno Mrosko wondered whether or not Fox & mainstream media outlets would investigate issues like TRT & steroid usage in MMA because UFC will soon become ‘mainstream.’ You can read my response here. When FNC is suddenly pushing Dana White & UFC as what President Obama should start studying in order to create new jobs, do you think that big media outlets are going to apply heavy scrutiny in regards to UFC business practices or the drug usage by fighters? Not a chance. Two years ago, Dana White had his infamous rant on Loretta Hunt on Youtube. It sure didn’t hurt UFC’s bottom line in getting $100 million USD a year from Fox, did it? I expect UFC to largely get a free pass from the mainstream media when it comes to potential scandals.