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Argument: Winner of Strikeforce Grand Prix should get a UFC Heavyweight title shot

By Zach Arnold | June 18, 2011

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Not my argument, but the argument presented by Kevin Iole & Steve Cofield of the Yahoo Sports team at Cagewriter.com.

Before we get to what they had to say on the subject, a cursory glance at the odds (via BetOnFighting for the Strikeforce fights tonight in Dallas:

The event airs on Showtime tonight at 10 PM EST and, unfortunately, 10 PM PST on the horrible delayed feed.

Now, onto the video transcript…

STEVE COFIELD: “It’s a wide open field right now with the Heavyweights. I think this decides an awful lot.”

KEVIN IOLE: “I agree, I mean I think that certainly the winner of this tournament is going to be, you know, at least in the Top 4, you would think, in the world at Heavyweight, maybe even higher. Certainly Dana White wasn’t willing to commit that the winner of the tournament would be any higher than the best fighter in Strikeforce but I think it’s a good field and if you come out winning this tournament that you put yourself into position to be able to argue that you deserve a fight against the UFC’s top guy.”

STEVE COFIELD: “I have real concerns about Shane Carwin after the Junior dos Santos fight. I think dos Santos is great but, to me, Shane is kind of a one-trick pony at this point based on power. I think when Lesnar comes back, it’s going to be the same deal. I look at this field and I think Overeem, I think Barnett, and I think Bigfoot Silva all have a chance to be the guy right behind Cain Velasquez and JDS.”

KEVIN IOLE: “Well, I agree with you from one standpoint. I think there’s no doubt that Cain Velasquez is the best heavyweight in the world. I think he’s proven that with what he’s done. I’ve been on this guy for a long time and I’m just get higher on him as I see all these other guys fight. I think Cain, assuming that he’s healthy and with his rotator cuff we don’t know, I mean if he’s healthy and he’s back to what he was I think there’s no question he’s not only the best in the world, I think he’s going to separate himself. I would expect him to beat Junior dos Santos. About Shane, you know, I was disappointed in what I saw from Shane, you know, Shane I had pick him to win the fight. I thought he had two things going for him that would help beat Junior dos Santos, which was his punching power and his wrestling. But you know when you look at it his wrestling has not really been a factor in his MMA game and I thought going into the dos Santos fight I thought that was because he really didn’t need, he used his power so much and I thought, well, okay, the guy’s such a good boxer, he’s going to use his wrestling but it did not seem like his wrestling was a factor, you know, dos Santos stuffed all his takedowns early. I think he’s got to sharpen his MMA wrestling and then work on his boxing skill. I mean Junior dos Santos is a really good boxer for MMA but he won that fight with a jab and takedown defense, that’s really what he did and I think Shane needs to take it up. But whenever you can punch like Shane and you do have the background in wrestling that you’re going to be a factor, I just think that, you know, maybe he hadn’t drilled his wrestling enough and maybe he’s let his wrestling because he hasn’t had to rely on it all that much get away from him, so I think he needs to get back to being a wrestler.”

STEVE COFIELD: “Well, how about the three guys I mentioned in terms of rankings and where they get in the mix with Carwin, Lesnar, Mir behind JDS & Velasquez, if you think they are behind, in terms of Overeem, Barnett, and Bigfoot?”

KEVIN IOLE: “I think right now, Steve, that Cain Velasquez is clearly #1 and I think dos Santos is clearly #2. I think dos Santos showed, you know, he’s not an offensive wrestler but good defensive wrestling, you know, he’s a black belt in jiu-jitsu, we haven’t really had to see that yet but I think he’s good on the ground, he’d be comfortable grappling, and he’s got really good boxing. So, I think he’s got a good mix that he can go and work on. So, I think those two guys right now are clearly #1 and #2. I think #3 is up for grabs. You know, I’ve rated in the USA Today/Bloody Elbow rankings, I’ve had Brock Lesnar sitting at #3 sitting behind Velasquez & dos Santos. But I think that position is up for grabs. Certainly Brock has a lot to prove by coming off the loss to Cain and, you know, he’s got some issues that are going on and certainly the winner of this tournament would have argument, in my mind, to be #. You know, Josh Barnett to me is the best fighter of that group except that, you know, it’s like he fights so rarely and hasn’t been around that you don’t know what to expect. I mean, Barnett has such a good, well-rounded game and I have great respect for what he’s been able to do over the years but, you know, with the steroid problems that he’s had, the suspensions, and the inactivity you know you question whether he can still compete at that highest level.”

STEVE COFIELD: “From an odds standpoint, the fights on Saturday… Barnett, he deserves it reputation-wise, skill set-wise, huge favorite, around -350 to -365 against Brett Rogers. We know Rogers’ biggest skill is, you know, the power punching. Does he have a chance to pull the upset here and, for the reason you just mentioned, I think Barnett fights to the other fighter’s strength sometimes, you know he wants to stand and bang with a guy who can bang, and the other part of it is the activity.”

KEVIN IOLE: “You know, I like Barnett in the fight and I think it’s worth playing the money. You saw Rogers against Fedor have some success so I think a lot of people started to overrate Rogers. We were seeing him fight guys toward the ends of their career, you know, he fought Andrei Arlovski when everybody was knocking out Andrei Arlovski and he fought Fedor, you know, just as Fedor was kind of in that gradual decline stage, I don’t think anybody and his brother would have thought that Brett Rogers would even have been close to Fedor when Fedor was anywhere near his prime, but you know when he fought Brett Rogers he had been around a long time and had a long run at the top and Brett gave him a run for the money. But I don’t see the overall game in him that he’s going to be able to deal with Josh Barnett. Unless Barnett really has totally lost it, I think he’ll be able to handle Brett Rogers.”

STEVE COFIELD: “Overeem, also, a huge favorite against Werdum, they fought years ago, they were both smaller. In this case, some places have Overeem -500, I think that’s outrageous. The normal line is around -350, which is still very big and, you know, I want to make a case for Werdum. I think his grappling is great, I think his experience is big, I have some worries about Overeem in terms of gas tank, you know, if the fight goes on and on. But I can also see in grappling situations where Overeem is just so big and strong, even the best technique is just going to be thrown away and (Werdum) won’t be able to get the fight to the ground.”

KEVIN IOLE: “Yeah, I like Overeem in this fight, too, I mean, I think that Werdum is getting a lot of heat because of the win over Fedor, again. But, you know, I think Werdum, to me, is just a step below Overeem. I think you’re right, you make a very good point about Alistair’s strength, I mean he’s a powerful guy, he’s got really good stand-up, really good kicks. I like him to stop Werdum some time in this fight.”

STEVE COFIELD: “All right, let’s look ahead, so we’re going with the chalk here, which is Overeem and Barnett. You match up the semi-finals, hopefully some time, what, in the Fall, hopefully. Overeem against Bigfoot Silva is I think a completely intriguing fight and then you’d have Barnett against Kharitonov and I think Kharitonov is kind of a wild card in this because of his punching power. So, out of that, who do you think makes the finals?”

KEVIN IOLE: “Well, I’m going to go with Overeem and Barnett and I think that would probably be the dream match-up that Strikeforce would like to see. I think when they made the tournament they were hoping to get Fedor in the finals. But right now, as it stands, I think you know to bring Josh Barnett in there I think that would be the best match-up that they could possibly get. But, again, there’s so many wildcards in this because the same thing with Kharitonov, you know, we haven’t seen a lot of him. Where does he stand? I mean, he obliterated Andrei Arlovski but what do we make of that because who hasn’t obliterated Andrei Arlovski? I think the match-up is going to be Overeem against Josh Barnett and I would favor Overeem in that and then we’re going to look at him as, okay, is the #3 Heavyweight in the world? Does he deserve a shot at the UFC champion? Because by the time this tournament finishes, we would assume that Cain would have defended his title against JDS and, hey, it might make for the Strikeforce Grand Prix winner against the UFC champion. It would be a natural fit.”

STEVE COFIELD: “Do you think that will happen? When you pressed Dana White on that before the last even, he almost borderline laughed at you.”

KEVIN IOLE: “Well, you know, I had asked him a lot of question because a lot of fans had been saying that the winner of the Strikeforce tournament is going to be the best Heavyweight in the world. Now I don’t necessarily agree with that, but I asked that question just like it’s been asked to me by fans a number of times. I asked Dana that question, ‘will this winner be the best Heavyweight in the world?’ and he was very puzzled by my question. I repeated it and he said, “the winner of the tournament will be the best fighter in Strikeforce, the best Heavyweight in Strikeforce.’ But, you know, I think if you look at the track that they’re on, I think it makes a lot of sense especially if you have Overeem, you know, if you have a clear cut win by Overeem. If you get him and then you have the winner of JDS & Cain Velasquez, now who’s the best fighter in the world? Because they’re going to be #1/#2, they’re going to be coming from the opposite organizations, we saw that with Rampage (Jackson) and Dan Henderson when they bought PRIDE. I definitely think that they’ll make that fight, it’ll be far enough down the road… I think the problem making the Strikeforce vs. UFC fights right now is that UFC is very sensitive to not harm Showtime, they want to make sure that Showtime has a quality product because there was a contract that existed. But they can move guys around and do as they see fit, so I think that it would be a big fight and I think we’ll see that Velasquez/JDS winner against the Strikeforce Grand Prix winner when it’s all over.”

Topics: Media, MMA, StrikeForce, UFC, Zach Arnold | 40 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

40 Responses to “Argument: Winner of Strikeforce Grand Prix should get a UFC Heavyweight title shot”

  1. The problem is that nobody in this field has been fighting the best in MMA at heavyweight. There’s a school of thought held over from the glory days of Pride that these Heavyweights are better than what the UFC has to offer, but that hasn’t been true for a long time.

    Barnett arguably hit his peak almost ten years ago now, and then he took himself out of the equation. Overeem is a freak of nature, but we still don’t know what happens when he gets in there against a guy who is actually a contender and/or can survive his onslaught. I thought Werdum was underrated before he triangled Fedor and still think he is, but at best he’s Top 10. Rogers…well, he’s a bust.

    I’m with Dana on this. I think the winner proves he’s the best in this field. But I think with what the field really is and especially the competition they haven’t been facing, I have a hard time just accepting on faith that the winner is the #2 or even #3 Heavyweight in the world.

  2. 45 Huddle says:

    1) I have no problem with the winner of this tournament fighting the UFC Champion. Heavyweight is thin already and there is enough talent in this tournament to warrant a title shot.

    2) I don’t bet but Werdum and Monson seem like some good bets to make some money off of.

    • Isaiah says:

      As for your first point, I was just thinking the other day, “who’s next for the JDS/Cain winner?” Seems like Schaub and Mir are the only possibilities, and neither of those guys is really a main-event-caliber fighter. It’s terrible. Overeem, Werdum, Silva, Barnett, and maybe even Cormier would all be better challengers than either Mir or Schaub.

  3. mr. roadblock says:

    This tournament now actually sets up perfectly.

    Figure the winner is determined in January or early February.

    JDS vs Velasquez is in November. If the winner of that fight is healthy he can have one fight then fight the SF winner.

    Brock should be coming back around that time hopefully too and we’ll see some exciting fights at HW.

    On a side note I don’t agree with the way they were talking about Carwin. The number 3 guy should lose to #1 & #2. That makes sense. That JDS kicked his ass doesn’t mean he sucks. Same thing with Brock losing to Velasquez. Cain and Brock might beat every other HW out there (who knows) but JDS and Velasquez are on a different level right now.

    I don’t think Barnett, Kharitonov or Silva would beat Cain, JDS, Carwin, Brock or Mir. Werdum vs Mir, Carwin and Brock would be interesting.

    To me the big question is Overeem. With the size and the new confidence plus what I think is a gas tank improvement at HW over LHW I’d like to see him in there.

    Cutting 25lbs before a fight is not good for your noggin. You lose all that cerebral spinal fluid when you sweat all your water out before hitting the scale. He’s eaten some huge shots flush to the face in K-1 and kept going forward. Totally different reaction than when Liddel and Shogun tagged him up.

    I predict Overeem and Rogers advance tonight.

    • 45 Huddle says:

      If the #10 guy in the world goes 0-9 to the 9 guys ranked above him, he is still the #10 fighter in the world.

      The entire MMA Media cannot grasp this very simple logical concept.

      • Chuck says:

        If a man goes on a nine fight losing streak to fighters in the top NINE rankings, then he is not top ten anymore. If he loses to number 1-9, how would he NOT lose to numbers 11, 12, etc.? Ranking systems, just like matchmaking, is an art form, not a science. At least not an exact one…

        Let’s say you want to try to science-ize ranking systems, then you have to implement a scoring system (like how Boxrec does theirs, or the IBO). If you win fights you gain points. How many you gain depends on who you beat and how they were ranked in conjunction to how YOU were ranked. If you lose fights, you lose points in the same manner. So even going by that, a formerly number ten ranked man will not be number ten anymore if he loses to everyone ranked 1-9. Sounds like a stupid system, right? It is, it feels too much like a videogame or fantasy football or something like that. Too arbitrary.

        Speaking of rankings, has Sherdog updated their rankings? The last time they did it was May 5, and quite a few stir-ups happened (Rick Story beating Thiago Alves, JDS beating Shane Carwin, etc).

        • 45 Huddle says:

          A fighter should move down in the rankings if they lose to a higher ranked opponent? That’s penalizing fighters for fighting better competition.

          And it benefits fighters who avoid top level guys and just go on long winning streaks against lesser competition.

          With all other things even, the only way a fighter’s position should move is:

          1) He loses to a lower ranked fighter, and therefore must move lower down in the rankings.

          2) He beats a higher ranked opponent, and therefore must move higher up in the rankings.

          Very simple stuff.

        • Chuck says:

          Oh I know. I already said that system was silly. I was just playing devil’s advocate, science-izing ranking systems. But I said that if a fighter loses nine in a row to the top nine fighters then at that point he should go down in the rankings, and make way for guys winning fights. A fighter is only at number ten because he beat whoever was at number ten, or the former number ten was bumped off for whatever reasons so the current number ten was brought up. It’s happened before.

  4. david m says:

    “I think right now, Steve, that Cain Velasquez is clearly #1 and I think dos Santos is clearly #2. I think dos Santos showed, you know, he’s not an offensive wrestler but good defensive wrestling”

    Sometimes I wonder if Kevin Iole has ever watched mma. First of all, why is Cain clear #1? Does getting dropped 3 times by Kongo and stopping Lesnar make someone automatically the best? What the hell is he talking about. With 90% of referees, Carwin would have stopped Brock too. Why would anyone think Cain is clearly better than J2S? Cain is much smaller, not as good of a boxer, has a much worse chin, and a shorter reach.

    Who has Cain beaten who is top 10 besides Brock? J2S beat Werdum, Carwin, Gonzaga, and Nelson, all of whom at the time were floating around top 10 or top 20 in the case of Nelson.

    Further, did Kevin Iole see how J2S took Carwin down with ease 2 separate times? Those weren’t jiu jitsu trip takedowns either, he shot on him like he was fired out of a cannon. How anyone can say J2S doesnt have good offensive wrestling after seeing that is beyond me. Just because he normally doesn’t choose to utilize it doesn’t mean it isn’t there.

    Further, Cain is coming off a serious shoulder injury, and he will have no warmup fight before being thrown back in there with Junior.

    I think Werdum will beat Overeem, and Mike Russow, err, excuse me, Josh Barnett (same body sans roids) will beat Buck Rogers.

    • mr. roadblock says:

      Cain is ranked #1 because he has the belt. I agree with your analysis and I think JDS will probably win when he fights Cain.

      Iole’s coverage and analysis of fights is bizarre at times. He’s that way with boxing too. It’s that fanboy thing of when a guy loses he’s sucked forever and we just didn’t realize it. Now in some cases that’s true and it can be fair analysis that a guy is/was overrated. I don’t think that’s fair with Carwin though.

      Carwin very likely beats everyone in the world aside from JDS and Velasquez. Honestly, Carwin might be able to beat Velasquez. That would be a great fight.

    • 45 Huddle says:

      Cain got dropped by Kongo to his knee and recovered instantly.

      Should Fedor not have been #1 because he got rubbery legs against Fujita?

      • Zheroen says:

        It’s not saying that Cain sucks, just that the only high-level/noted technically-proficient striker he has faced in the UFC (Kongo) was able to drop him when he shot in for the takedown. And when one considers the fact that JDS is a better MMA striker than Kongo, who has exhibited great counter wrestling/TD Defense against Nelson and Carwin while being able to land his strikes, it doesn’t necessarily bode all that well STYLISTICALLY for Cain.

        As we all know, styles don’t always make the fights. Cain has a crazy relentless style, so I doubt he’ll cave or anything when JDS puts the pressure on him, but I think it’s fair to say that JDS is also the best fighter Cain has faced. He’s also taken a more difficult road to his title shot, IMO.

      • david m says:

        45 Cain got dropped multiple times, it wasn’t a lucky haymaker like the one Fujita landed on Fedor’s temple. Cain walked in to take him down, and got fucking nailed, repeatedly. He showed that his chin ain’t that sturdy, although he clearly has a great deal of heart and determination.

        Carmelo Marrero dealt with Kongo better than Cain did.

        In terms of Kongo’s striking prowess, it is non-existent. He hits haahd, but that’s about it. Comparing him to J2S is a joke. Junior will knock Cain out when Velasquez comes in for a takedown.

        I agree with Roadblock that Carwin would have beaten Cain too; what does Cain do against someone he can’t take down who hits a hell of a lot harder than Kongo does, and is much harder to control on the ground?

        • 45 Huddle says:

          I think you are putting too much stock into 3 punches.

          1) Cain took the punches no problem.

          2) JDS couldn’t stop Cro Cop, Nelson, or Carwin.

          Really think about #2 for a second. He couldn’t stop those 3 guys. And he showed that while he can go 3 rounds, the pace that he has in the 3rd round is a huge step down from the first to the point that he isn’t very active.

          Cain fights at a pace that JDS cannot contend with.

          This is Edgar/Penn all over again. I would be shocked if JDS beats him. He has a punchers chance in the first 3 minutes. After that it won’t even be a contest.

        • 45 Huddle says:

          And carwin could beat Cain? You have to be kidding me.

          Once again you are putting too much stock in his earlier fights. Cain has much more punching power in his last 2 fights then he ever showed in his first 5 in the UFC.

          Carwin doesn’t have the gas tank to contend with Cain. Neither would Overeem.

          JDS has the best chance of beating Cain compared to any other HW. And his margin of victory is about 3 minutes. After that nobody will beat him. You can quote me on this….. Cain will have at least 5 straight title victories.

          The only man in MMA who is his equal in 2 years will be Jon Jones. And that would be a 50/50 pick em fight.

  5. 45 Huddle says:

    1) Alistair Overeem looked very very very average. And is still basically the same fighter we saw in Pride. No gas tank, takes a lot of shots with no defense, and nothing overly special. Imagine what Cain Velasquez or Junior Dos Santos would do to him….

    2) Fabricio Werdum should be ashamed of his performance. All of that buttscotting was pathetic.

    • Chuck says:

      Not as pathetic as Valentijn Overeem…

      • 45 Huddle says:

        He makes Joey Beltran and Chad Griggs look World Class.

        Sadly, I had Werdum winning that fight. If you actually look at what happened, Werdum won that fight. He landed more strikes and a lot of better ones.

        But when you buttscoot for 15 minutes, you automatically lose and nobody cares….

        • Chuck says:

          I had it 29-28 Overeem. I had rounds one and two Overeem, round three to Werdum. I almost gave Werdum the first round, but Overeem kind of took it near the end after that really nice and hard left hook he landed on Werdum. I’m actually surprised it wasn’t a split decision. If Werdum kept it standing he probably would have won. Overeem was too stiff and too squared-up.

          Josh Barnett takes the Grand Prix. As much as I like Kharitonov, I think Barnett will beat him almost as easily as he did Rogers. At least Kharitonov will actually throw and land punches.

          Silva beats Overeem via decision or TKO3.

          On Chad Griggs — He is the Matt Mitrione of Strikeforce. He is a big, sloppy heavyweight with a little athleticism and power in his punches. And no matter how sloppy he looks, he wins his fights. Convincingly at that.

          Jeff Monson is stupid as hell. He knows he is terrible at stand up, with stand up with Cormier? Cormier’s stand up is, at the very least, serviceable. He should have tried to jump guard and go from there. Cormier probably would have won, but at least Monson would have made it a fight and would have had a shot of winning.

        • 45 Huddle says:

          Cormier’s hands were really fast, but I can’t take him seriously until he gets rid ofhis fat and competes at LHW. He is just too small for Heavyweight.

          I am also picking Josh Barnett to win the tournament now.

          Then again, Zuffa might put on the next round of the tournament in CA, and we might see Cormier inserted into the tournament instead.

          Which if that happens, Silva probably wins the tournament.

        • Steve4192 says:

          “Cormier’s hands were really fast, but I can’t take him seriously until he gets rid ofhis fat and competes at LHW”

          That seems kind of silly.

          Why not just evaluate him on how he performs rather than on how he looks in his underwear?

          Cormier would have to lose nearly 50 pounds to make LHW (since he can’t cut weight due to health issues). I think that is asking a bit much.

        • Alexander Mogue says:

          Steve, just about anything 45 says is silly. Say about 75 percent of his blabbering is ridiculous. Cormier move down to LH? Dude is like 235-240 lbs. Why dont you try to make that weight down to LHW, 45. People talk like moving down is so easy…lol

  6. RossenSearchTeam says:

    Alright fine.

    Overeem is better then I thought.

    The “Reem”!

    I’ll still take Bigfoot over him, but he’s better then I gave him credit for.

  7. spacedog says:

    Man, that was pretty sad. Noons, Mosdival (sp?) was the best fight by far. JB still looks like a real fighter. Hot tests and all he can still fight. I would actually like to see him win the damn thing and I think he could.

    Roidereem looked like crap. Werdum could have beat him if he’d just kept it standing.
    Werdum should be ashamed. He could have won on the feet and got it to the ground several times and yet was gased so bad he could do nothing.

    JDS or Cain walks through that division. I’d like to see Carwin fight ‘reem, they’d be swing like zombies by the end.

    • 45 Huddle says:

      If you want to see what Carwin/Overeem would like by the end, just watch Kimbo Slice vs. Houston Alexander….

      Arms on knees during the fight.

      God, Heavyweight MMA is so bad….

  8. Jonathan says:

    Glad that I did not bet on Werdum. This just proves that I should never think about betting on fights.

  9. EJ says:

    So much for the winner of this tournament being the best hw in the world smh at Shamrock’s nonsense. That was horrible Barnett should have finished Rogers in the first couple of minutes but looked hesistant in the full mount which was sad.

    And Both Werdum and Overeem looked mediocre as hell and gassed after 1 round, serioulsy all the hype and buzz just left the GP after tonight. Funny thing is that Both Sergei and Big Foot look to be the ones who will meet in the finals and you can just imagine the ratings for that monster match up or not.

    • Zheroen says:

      Yeah, how dare a fighter who hadn’t fought in over two years take a methodical approach and not gas himself.

      Haha, totally forgot about the Mighty Mo and Impact FC fights until I just clicked Submit Comment. Change that up to “hadn’t fought anyone of any note in over two years”, then.

  10. edub says:

    Overeem is now #3 in the world. But his chances against JDS or Cain kinda vanished into thin air tonight. Shitty cardio. Was rubbery legged against Werdum in the second. Just wouldn’t keep up with the top two IMO. Would like to see him go against Lesnar and Carwin.

    The winner of this tournament deserves a shot at the title (UFC). No question. There’s just nobody else ready in the UFC at the moment. Would like to see the tourney runner up go against Mir.

  11. david m says:

    I had Werdum winning first and third. That was a terrible fight to score because even though Overeem got outstruck by Werdum, Flabby Faby’s flopping made it hard to score. The two judges who scored the third round for Reem should be taken behind a barn and shot (figuratively, of course).

    Barnett is still fun to watch. People boo his methodical style, but he is the best combo wrestler/sub guy in the hw division. He also is an underrated striker and an altogether awesome fighter. I think he wins the tournament.

    I think Reem will lose to Silva. Reem literally got outstruck by a jiu jitsu guy for 2 rounds. That is preposterous. The idiot broadcasters thought Reem hurt Werdum, but he actually was just flopping to try to pull guard, which he didn’t need to do/shouldn’t have done, both because jiu jitsu off your back doesn’t work in mma anymore, and because Werdum was so clearly winning the striking.

    The biggest loser tonight was K1. Hopefully I never hear the argument again that those guys are worth a shit; they aren’t. The Hero Generation of Hoost, Aerts, Hug, LeBanner, Hunt, Mirko, Sefo, Bonjansky, etc is long gone. Now there is no conceivable reason for a good kickboxer not to go to mma or boxing, where the purses are so much bigger.

    I thought Cormier was the best or 2nd best HW I saw tonight, behind maybe Barnett. Cormier’s blend of speed, wrestling, and boxing ability is enough to beat almost anyone in mma.

    • Chuck says:

      The main problem with Cormier is that he is a smidgen too small for heavyweight. And he isn’t fast like Fedor or Arlovski. He’s fast, but not THAT fast. He is best off going down to light heavyweight. Remember, Jeff Monson’s stand up is atrocious, so he isn’t a good measuring stick for striking skills.

      Imagine if he fought Josh Barnett. Barnett would wreck him, even on the ground especially because of his size, along with his skill set on the ground.

      • david m says:

        Chuck honestly this was the first time I have seen Cormier so I don’t have a good enough knowledge base of him to make any conclusive judgments about how he would fare against Barnett, but he looked fast. He was putting together great punch and kick combos, although he got hit a little bit more than he should have against a 40 year old Monson with alligator arms.

  12. Will E. says:

    I hate this argument with a passion.

    Putting on my cynic’s hat, I realize Yahoo is incredibly UFC friendly – read tame – media, this argument must go over well with the Zuffa offices. It also feeds the hardcore fan’s perception that Strikeforce is UFC developmental/fighter rehab and will soon go the way of the WEC. Which is insidious, giving rise to thought that indicstes why pay attention now when I catch up later when the athletes hit the UFC lottery.

    I was dismayed when Zuffa bought Strikeforce. MMA needs more than a single profitable ongoing promotion in exactly the same way pro-wrestling does. Monopolies hurt everyone except those at the top.

    Competition is at the heart of any sport, and MMA will suffer without it just like pro-wrestling does. Even more insidious – in my view – is Overeem and Werdum’s proclamations to the media that the tourney winner should be a UFC contender. Pro-wrestling has many ingrained ethics, primary: do not expose the business. In the real world it’s some variation of ‘never expose your employer to any kind of harm.’

    The difference here is that Iole’s audience is only hardcore MMA fans, while Werdum & Overeem have a larger media platform, potentially exposing Strikeforce to greater harm if seen as a minor or developmental league. It’s an insidious effect on both the organization and those who work for and with it.

    Tangential to this discussion is the limited number of athletes who are capable of functioning at this higha l level. If/when. Overeem jumps to the UFC who takes his place? The Daniel Cormiers and Brock Lesnars of the world are seeming few & far between, creating a potential vacuum at the top.

  13. RossenSearchTeam says:

    Sure.

    Why would somebody not want that?

    Not exactly a profound eureka moment IMO, but whatever.

    (I guess thats iole running on all cylinders?)

  14. liger05 says:

    Werdum was pathetic.

    Barnett looked good and nice promo afterwards!!

    • david m says:

      That was a horrible promo. It felt forced. Nobody cheered for Josh before, and nobody is cheering for him now. How do you expect to get the fans on your side just by pissing hot 3 times and mounting Buck Rogers for 10 minutes and only throwing 3 punches?

      Mauro, that fucking tool, made far too many pro wrestling references; somebody needs to tell him to shut the fuck up because it doesn’t look good for mma for the fanboy wrestling mark announcer to constantly bring up that shit.

      Why don’t they just get Bas and Stephen Quadros? Frank Shamrock is an idiot, Gus Johnson knows nothing about mma, and Mauro constantly talks about pro wrestling and how he commentated big matches in Japan. Miletich would be much better than Frank, who has 1 insightful comment for every 10 dumb ass remarks he makes.

      • Chuck says:

        I love Bas, but have you heard his commentary in the last two or so years? he clearly doesn’t care anymore. He is going through the motions. I like Quadros, but he can be a moron too. Remember when he interviewed Jacare after a fight, and Quadros tried to get a “Shoo-shitsu! Shoo-shitsu!” chant going, because Brazilians say juijitsu like that, and it’s funny supposedly? Yeah…

  15. Nepal says:

    Those were horrible main and co-main events. Alistair looked bad. He was pulling rope-a-dope things that might work in boxing or K1 but they don’t work in MMA. A real striker would have punished Overeem badly. Werdum missed the boat, in hindsight he should have just struck with Overeem. Overeem looked bad in that respect. I understand how people had Werdum winning the fight, he did did land a lot more shots but how can you give a victory to a guy that pulls a BJJ version of Kalib starnes.

    Werdum didn’t win himself any Dana White brownie points tonight. You don’t conduct yourself that way in the main event of a Zuffa event. You just do not.

    Rogers did what we all expected.

    Barnett looked crap. Riding Rogers for almost 4 minutes in full mount and doing nothing in the first round. You can call it “riding heavy on him and draining his soul” or whatever crap he called it but it was weak. Yeah, you won and can move on in the tourney but you’re another one that’s not moving the DanaMeter.

    Poor Monson. Too bad, I like him.

    Cormier looked good. It’s alway easy to look good against inferior opponents but he really did look good…. fast for a fat guy. Let’s see him get some conditioning and fight at 205.

    Masival looked great. FOTN by a long shot. Great fight. Want to see him in the UFC or at least against Melendez asap. Too bad about Wilcox.

    Overall, a not very impressive night of fights. Really hope Kharitonov beats Barnett. It would really upset me if that roided, pathetic, Pro wrestling poser wins.

    Overeem looks to be in trouble against Big Foot. Big Foot’s striking is no-joke.

  16. Ray says:

    I have been reading a lot of articles saying that UFC is potentially looking at buying out majority control of G4 TV. I think this would be a really smart move. G4 could definitely use some better content. I’m not saying that G4 is bad, I do like shows like X-Play and Attack of the Show. I just think their line-up would be 10 xs better if they had Ultimate Fighter. I work in the TV industry for Dish Network so I stay pretty on top of these types of changes. If this deal ended up going through DirecTV would end up having to pick the channel back up. They dropped the channel from their line-up because G4’s ratings were falling. I’m glad that Dish didn’t decide to do the same. If you are thinking about switching TV providers check out BestTVforME.com for detailed information about customer service, package pricing, and other stuff that you may not have considered.

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