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Deeming the Strikeforce Heavyweight GP tournament a big success

By Zach Arnold | June 23, 2011

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624,000 viewers on Showtime last weekend. Smashing success, yes?

That was the theme of this recent radio discussion between Jordan Breen & Ben Fowlkes. The big question that has been debated ad nauseum is whether or not is whether or not the tournament can be called a success because Fedor lost in the first round. That wasn’t exactly an outcome that anyone had in mind. Ben says that despite Fedor losing, the tournament has produced enough match-ups and storylines to catch the attention of fans looking for something that is unlike what UFC normally produces.

“Worst case scenario, it’s going to be Fedor versus either Overeem or Werdum, so, you know, either one you can make the fight that we want to see. But I also think that what people really like about the tournaments is that, you know, especially when you do it this way where you set up the brackets ahead of time all the way through and not the PRIDE way where, you know, we’ll get through the first round and see what we got. But I think it’s still exciting that we just lay out the brackets and then kind of, you know, let everything work itself out. We don’t have the matchmakers trying to figure it out or letting someone’s management team try and keep them out of the tougher fights. I mean, everybody just has to fight and if you win you keep fighting and you have to keep fighting the other winners and that’s exciting and that’s something that we don’t get to see as much as we would like to in MMA because of, you know, the nature of matchmaking particularly in Strikeforce.

“But I do think the tournament still has (interest). Maybe it didn’t work out exactly the way we all thought it would but, I mean, you still keep fighting the fights and I think that’s what is going to make it compelling going forward.”

There’s been a lot of discussion as to whether or not the winner of this Heavyweight tournament should get a UFC title shot and face the winner of the Cain Velasquez/Junior dos Santos title fight (in 2012). Mr. Fowlkes says there’s no looking back now and that the tournament has to reach a conclusion to produce a #1 contender for the UFC HW title.

“I think that the winner does become an immediate UFC contender. But I think as far as, you know, should they even keep doing this (tournament)? The answer is yes, you’ve got to. It’s like going on like a horrible road trip where as soon as you get out on the freeway things start going bad and you get to the first night’s stop and you stay in this terrible little motel and you feel like you’re going to get robbed and you got a staph infection from the pool, but you got to keep going. You just don’t turn around and go home because it didn’t start off the way you wanted to. I mean, you’re going to get where you got to go even if you have a horrible time the entire trip, you just have to, you have to do just so you can feel good about yourself. I think Strikeforce has to get through this tournament all the way through, all the way through the finals even if knowing the winner is basically then just get pulled into the UFC to fight the UFC champion. You still got to do it and, God, I hope they do. The saddest possible thing they could is just kind of let this thing fizzle out and abandon the idea altogether.”

Mr. Breen said that despite the horrible fight performance featuring Alistair Overeem & Fabricio Werdum last Saturday night, there is an upside to it. Overeem now looks beatable and is no longer an invincible Incredible Hulk in the minds of hardcore MMA fans. Meaning, will the public think Bigfoot Silva has a legitimate shot of winning that upcoming fight?

“Well, you’re really pulling to find a bright side there,” a chiding Mr. Fowlkes responded. “I mean, what you’re saying is that Alistair Overeem looked mediocre enough that the Bigfoot Silva fight starts to seem more competitive. Which, okay, yeah, sure, I guess it does and I was talking with Ariel Helwani when we left the (Dallas) arena on Saturday night and he was saying, ‘Okay, now I think Bigfoot Silva’s the favorite in the tournament,’ and I was like, you know, I just can’t bring myself to utter those words.

“I still feel like we’re doing the thing where, you know, as soon as we see a guy fight then we forget about every other fight except the last one that we saw and I don’t know how many of us really thought that Alistair Overeem was this just, you know, Destructo 3000 Cyborg that was going to walk in there and decimate the entire field. I mean, I thought they had a lot of interest possible fights in that. But at the same time, just because you can’t knock out a guy for the brief moments that he agrees to stand on his feet against you, I mean there were a few times there in that fight where Overeem hit him with some pretty nice stuff but Werdum went down but went down just to try to pull into half-guard. I mean, it’s really hard to get something going against a guy like that. I don’t know how much we can really tell about Overeem based on that fight. I also think maybe there’s a little bit of a development curve here for Overeem, having fought a bunch of K-1 fights and a bunch of, you know, hand-picked cans in MMA where he never had to go more than a round. I mean, it’s been a long time since he’s had to fight that long in an MMA fight. So, maybe he’s going to have to adjust to it a little bit. I don’t know if we can look at this one fight which was just bizarre on a couple of different levels and say, okay, Overeem’s not as good as we thought. I mean, I still think Overeem deserves to be mentioned in that top heavyweight conversation but, I mean, we’ll see. That’s one of the good things about the tournament is he has to keep going forward.”

One thing that we have seen throughout Overeem’s various MMA fights is that, defensively-speaking, he’s largely the same fighter now as he has been over the last few years. His submission defense is better, to a degree, but outside of that…

“It’s like he forgets that he’s not wearing the boxing gloves any more and that he can’t really just stand there and cover up. I mean, again, though, you look at the guy and it’s like… I mean, even just looking at him and his frame, I can’t imagine him really slipping a lot of punches. He would have to move too much mass, it’s not like he can just move his head, it’s connected to his shoulders. I mean, it’s way too hard, you know, to imagine him as some really slick defensive heavyweight. But at the same time, maybe when Werdum is able to dot you up that much, it’s a sign that you need to work on defense. I mean, I was talking to Overeem when he showed up after the press conference was over and sat there and took a few questions and, you know, his face… it sure didn’t look like someone who had not been punched in the face a bunch of times that night and yet he was trying to say, you know, ‘Werdum doesn’t hit that hard, he wasn’t trying to knock me out, he was just using them to try to set up his (takedowns),’ and it’s like, well… it’s fine to say that now, I mean, you got hit in the face way too much then by a guy who wasn’t really in striking with you. I mean, what’s going to happen when you get in there with a big heavyweight who is throwing some leather? So, I don’t know, I mean, we’ll see. That’s why I still think that there’s a lot of interest left in the tournament, it’s just a kind of question of how much better is he going to be if he gets to fight again in a few months rather than having to wait so long and just in a bunch of series of meaningless, you know, two-minute fights.”

Overeem is the overall odds-makers favorite now to win the entire HW GP (42%). Josh Barnett is a close second (37%). Bigfoot Silva is a distant third (around a 1-in-4 shot according to gambling sites like BetOnFighting).

“I think [Overeem vs. Bigfoot is] absolutely a legitimate competitive fight, I mean I still favor Overeem in it. But, you know, it is interestng to see how Overeem’s going to deal with another pretty-experienced fighter who is another big guy and not able to just go in there and muscle people around the way he has been (others). So, yeah, obviously I think it’s an interesting fight. I think it’s going to be a really hard fight to sell to a lot of casual fans. I mean, it’s like, you’re trying to say The Guy Who Beat Fedor against The Guy Who Beat The Other Guy Who Beat Fedor. I mean, you know, maybe Fedor can do some pretty good numbers on CBS but once you get, you know, three or four degrees of separation away from it, it gets harder and harder. So, I’ll be interested to see how they go about trying to market that one and how successful they are in doing it. I think that’s going to be a big problem. But, you know, on the other side of the bracket I also think that Josh Barnett vs. (Sergei) Kharitonov is an interesting fight and I think that you can really do a lot of work there with Josh Barnett if you use him the right way and he seems to be practically begging to be used that way.”

The peak rating for the Showtime number last weekend really wasn’t all that much higher than the overall average viewership number. Does that indicate that the reason people are watching is a) it’s Heavyweights and b) it’s a tournament? Ben argued that Fedor losing to Bigfoot Silva actually gave the tournament credibility because, yes, the fans don’t get to see Fedor in future big-name, high-profile tournament fights, but his loss to Bigfoot Silva did prove that anything can happen in the tournament because of its format.

(Dallas fans, you can stop booing Bigfoot and treating him as if he’s Satan for beating Fedor.)

“[Fedor losing is] why I feel like the tournament is a way-more like egalitarian structure because, hey, Brett Rogers could have won it all. I mean, a lot of times we see the kind of matchmaking gets in the way of that and when matchmaking gets in the way of that it has a more pernicious feel. When the tournament happens and the guys just don’t perform like we thought they would or things like that, at least it was up to them. At least the reason it didn’t happen is because of them. I’m not prepared to say that, you know, tournaments suck when it comes to high-level guys because we don’t always get like the dream fights we want out of it. I mean, at least there’s a good reason why we don’t get the dream fights. I mean, Fedor’s not fighting Overeem because Fedor couldn’t get past Antonio Silva, you know. And if they would have just matched up Fedor & Overeem in the first round, it would have been just more of the same criticism of, ‘you’re just stacking one side of the bracket to make sure you get certain fights that you want out of it and so it’s not a true tournament.’ I don’t know. I still like the tournament structure, even if it doesn’t work out exactly the way you want it to, you know, everybody gets where they got by beating someone else. So, I still think you can always make a case for it.”

Despite arguing that the winner of the Strikeforce tournament should be ranked as the #3 HW in the world, Mr. Fowlkes does not see the tournament winner beating either Cain Velasquez or Junior dos Santos in a UFC title fight.

“Match-up wise, Velasquez versus Overeem would be interesting, it’d be an interesting fight to see exactly how it would look, how it would play out. But, I’d still favor Velasquez. Same thing with, you know, Velasquez or Junior dos Santos against Josh Barnett. I mean, I think you can really make a case that it would be a fight that a lot of us would like to see. However, I don’t think it would be one of those fights where we think, hey, it’s just a toss-up and I have no idea who’s going to win. JDS & Cain still seem like the top two. So, again I don’t know if that necessarily means that it would be useless to have these fights. I mean, whoever is left standing at the end of this tournament, that alone is going to be enough to sell a fight with them and whoever the UFC champion is. That, I think, is the ultimate purpose of this tournament and that’s the way they should think about it going forward.”

How would you deem the success level of the tournament so far — smashing success? moderate success? neutral?

Topics: Media, MMA, StrikeForce, UFC, Zach Arnold | 39 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

39 Responses to “Deeming the Strikeforce Heavyweight GP tournament a big success”

  1. 45 Huddle says:

    1) It is successful in terms of drawing more eyeballs to the company.

    2) It is not successful in the way it has turned out and it made their Heavyweight Division seem 2nd rate. Well, maybe not 2nd rate, but it has certainly hurt their division more then helped it.

    Let’s be honest here…. Heavyweight MMA in general is not very good. Even the UFC’s Heavyweight Division is thin, with a lot of their Top 10 best not being that great. But the UFC hides it pretty well with their matchmaking. The Strikeforce Tournament style had people saying it would create the #1 Heavyweight 6 months ago. Now people are laughing at the notion. So the tournament devalued their division. The winner of this tournament should be ranked #4 in the world. Unless Brock either doesn’t come back or comes back as a former shell of himself, in that case they should be ranked #3.

    In 2 to 3 years, this tournament is likely to be looked upon as the tournament that really was the final run for Arlovski, Emelianenko, Rogers, and potentially the loser of Barnett/Sergei. That’s a lot of casualities for one tournament.

    • AKH says:

      When top two picks to win the tourney and destroy everyone get beaten/look horrible, it’s a downer on the whole thing. All the focus/hype on Fedor & Overeem ended up hurting them in the end. But I think at the very least, if Bigfoot wins the UFC will have a decent challenger for the Cain/JDS winner.

    • Jonathan says:

      All I can say 45 Huddle is that nothing that could have happened in this tournament would have made you like it or support it. Could this be an instance of “haters gonna hate”?

      Not really flaming you here, but you called this tournament a failure before it began just because it is not the UFC. Right?

      The UFC and Strikeforce are the same company. It is all Zuffa.

      • The Gaijin says:

        After this last half of the round, especially the main event, I don’t think anyone can deny with a straight face that the biggest winners were Cain Velazquez and J2S. Overeem got hit WAY too much by Werdum and had cardio problems down the stretch and that makes me think long and hard about how he’d do against a heavy hitter in J2S and a non-stop action wrestler like Cain.

        A lot of people believed that if Fedor/Overeem/Werdum performed well and won the tourney they would have a very legit claim as #1 contender and possibly arguable claim to #1 HW. After Fedor’s loss and that crapfest it’s hard not to look at it and say it didn’t make the UFC’s top dogs look pretty good in comparison. On the same token, after seeing Brock Lesnar’s last two fights and seeing Shane Carwin’s, I think their “mythical” statures also took a big hit and we’ve see them ‘exposed’ as guys that are not in the running for “best HW fighter”.

        I think Barnett still interests me in what he could do against the current crop of talent in the UFC, particularly I’d like to see him against Mir/Lesnar/Carwin as a gauge, but he’ll have to continue to keep his nose clean for starters.

        • Steve4192 says:

          The thing that worries me about Barnett is that his mount offense has looked less than stellar against a couple of complete fish on the mat. Rogers and Yvel are completely useless off their backs, yet Josh spent the vast majority of his fights with those guys riding them like ponies rather than finishing them. That shit won’t fly once he starts facing guys with legit ground skills again. I don’t see him being able to control guys like Velasquez/JDS/Lesnar/Carwin/Mir/Nog the same way he controlled Rogers and Yvel.

        • The Gaijin says:

          Yes, I fully agree about the mount offense issue. I’m not sure why he was so hesitant with those guys, obviously he could control them, so maybe he was playing it safe to look for the perfect opportunity or do a “Roy Nelson” and assure a win (his Yvel fight was to get him a Fedor match and this was to get to Rd. 2)…I am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt that he may have been trying to work some rust off in the Rogers fight. But all of that is why I think it makes sense for him to fight a Carwin or Mir in the UFC to see where he’s at.

          I will say, he had some really nice takedowns especially the lateral drop and his striking is pretty underrated. Not to mention he’s a lot bigger of a HW than I think a lot of people realize.

  2. AKH says:

    Depends. If you’re looking at from a numbers pov, a 625k rating (down from 741k) is terrible, but then again it’s a pay channel so maybe it’s good for an hbo, showtime, etc. At this point I’d neutral and trending downward. That Werdum/Overated-reem match was a joke (with both guys to blame) and why can’t these hardcore fanboys/journos get it through their heads that competing in Japan ain’t shit. And this stupid dream of “A non UFC guy will come in and run over everyone” is never going to happen. Period. Rant over – now back to the issue at hand.

    I think if Silva and Barnett win the next round with strong finishes the tourney will be looking good and the finals will have strong interest. So it’s aneutral success at this point imo.

    • Zheroen says:

      Who is clinging to this stupid dream of which you speak? I really cannot fathom that this strawman continues to have legs – even the most hardcore JMMA fans admit that it’s in the toilet right now, just about circling the drain. Can anyone cite a veritable source online in recent months where any halfway-respected writer/blogger argues that a fighter in Japan is better than the elite in the UFC?

  3. jack says:

    Who is talking about Japan?? Where did that come from??

    What is 45Huddle’s obsession with Brock Lesnar?

    I have asked this before and he has refused to respond. Why exactly do you consider Brock Lesnar to be so good? What makes you think he could “easily” win this tournament, as you stated before?? Clearly its just because he competes in the UFC. Or is it because he is 1 and 1 against Frank Mir? Frank Mir?!?! Or is it because he ‘defended’ his belt by letting a man beat him mercilessly until he became exhausted?

    • Chris says:

      to be fair Brock with a handful of fights beat Randy, Mir and Carwin, all three were ranked in the top 5 at the time, Randy was taken out of the rankings due to not fighting for a while but everyone wanted to see him fight Fedor, he was the UFC HW champ, he was a top 5 HW at that time.

      So 3 top 5 wins, all finishes, then lost to another top 5 HW Cain who is now the top HW in the world.

      Like him or not he came in and fought better comp then any other HW, show me another HW who fought 4 top 5 HW in a row over the last 4 fights? And shit he was gonna fight JDS, another top 5 HW.

      Seems like Fedor was teh guy recently who wouldnt fight the best, Brock jumped right in and wanted to fight the top guys.

      So give him some credit, he was the HW champ and lost to a top 5 guy, he isnt gonna fall far in the rankings after one loss after being the champ, he has to be in that top 5 or 6 range right now until he loses another fight.

      Could Brock win this tournament? If he is healthy? Yes, he could also be knocked out by Reem, not able to take down Big Foot and get beat, subbed by Fedor or Barnett, but Brock if he is healthy, his size and wrestling he could have to be considered one of the favs if he was in this GP.

  4. Ergface says:

    As 45 Huddle loves to point out, the HW division is thin on talent. In light of that you have to give some weight to a tournament where if nothing else the field could boast being deep in experience. So how could Zuffa NOT use the winner as a ready made contender to headline a PPV? Rankings have nothing to do with anything in this regard. Just as with Nick Diaz, the HW GP winner will be a veteran fighter on a win streak, likely one with notoriety if not fame, and on paper will be as saleable (if not considerably more so) as any of their UFC-brand top 15 in the division.

    Regarding Brock, if he never comes back where will people place him in HW MMA history? Does he even crack top 10?

    • Steve4192 says:

      “Regarding Brock, if he never comes back where will people place him in HW MMA history? Does he even crack top 10?”

      Considering his two consecutive title defenses put him up there with names like Couture and Sylvia, I’d say he ranks pretty high. That belt has been passed around like a hot potato ever since they created it. Defending it twice is a pretty big deal when considered in that context.

      • The Gaijin says:

        Especially when you consider all the interim belts they’ve had in recent memory.

        • jack says:

          Tim Sylvia sucks and was champion when there was no one good in the UFC. Being put “up there” with “names” such as Tim Sylvia is pretty unimpressive to me.

  5. nottheface says:

    What was the purpose of the GP? To increase subscriptions to Showtime.
    Last year Strikeforce averaged 366,000 viewers for their Saturday night shows. That number has increased to 573,000 for this year. A more than 50% increase in viewers. Two of the events of 2011 are now the two highest rated MMA events in Showtime history, while 4 of the top five most watched are from this year. In terms of viewers it is a huge success.
    I don\’t think the success will last. Partly because of the poor performances, but more so because the Zuffa purchase took the wind out of their sails. There seems to be this underlying sense that these are pointless matches to kill time until they can move fighters over to fight under the UFC acronym.

    • 45 Huddle says:

      For you and me…. Absolutely. It took the steam right out.

      But they also are able to promote the events on every show they have and put a reminder on their website of the upcoming events.

      That totally makes more of a difference then taking the wind out of our sails, especially because the hardcore fans are going to watch no matter what.

      But I do feel exactly the same as you. I’m just waiting for the full merger to happen…

      • The Gaijin says:

        In a perfect world they would start promoting that the winner of the SF HWGP will face of against the UFC champ (Cain/JDS) to unify/crown/determine the true lineal/world champion at HW once and for all. Have the finals on PPV or CBS.

        My god they could do a whole series tracing the history and path of the lineal title and the fractured HW title picture and talk about how difficult it is to have in combat sports and have it culminate with champion vs. champion on PPV. I mean they basically own every piece of footage they ever need – this could be a Primetime/360/24-7 series.

        *Takes puff of inhaler*

        However, this would mean admitting that there was a shadow of doubt that at one time the UFC HW champ was not “da man” so it will never happen. Also they are loathe to guarantee a title shot to someone without an out somewhere…but I don’t know how that doesn’t sell like hotcakes.

        • edub says:

          “However, this would mean admitting that there was a shadow of doubt that at one time the UFC HW was not “da man” so it will never happen.”

          Bingo.

        • edub says:

          But the situation you speak of really could be fun and exciting for both hardcore and casual fans.

      • jack says:

        You still havent answered why Brock Lesnar would “easily” win this tournament 45Huddle!!

        Thats like saying Brock would have easily dominated the Pride HW division in its heyday…its ridiculous.

        • 45 Huddle says:

          Conditioning, Wrestling, and size.

          Lesnar would beat Rogers, Arlovski, & Kharitonov without even much debate. At least there shouldn’t be.

          Lesnar/Fedor would look a lot like Silva/Fedor in round 2. Lesnar/Barnett would look a lot like Lesnar/Mir 2.

          Werdum doesn’t have a good enough guard to submit Lesnar. And isn’t a good enough striker to make him pay on the feet.

          Overeem, as we have all now seen, is still the same Overeem of years past. He would get exhausted and crumble as he always does. He he wouldn’t be able to outmuscle Lesnar which would be his absolute undoing.

          Which really leaves us with Lesnar’s toughest fight of the tournament, which is Antonio Silva. And once again, it would be the conditioning that would make the difference. Silva doesn’t carry the weight as good and wilted by round 3 against Werdum. Lesnar would make him pay for it.

          This is what happens when you put together a tournament that would have looked great in 2005…. Except you start it in 2011….

        • 45 Huddle says:

          I think any Top 5 fighter today would dominante a Top 5 fighter from his same weight class of 2005.

          The sport has evolved and the athletes and skills are just better.

          Now you just down right trolling…

        • 45 Huddle says:

          And my comment on why Lesnar would win didn’t post. Not sure why…. So I will sum it up…

          This Strikeforce Grand Prix would have been great in 2005. It’s now 2011. It’s not so great.

          Arlovski is shot. Rogers is a bum. Kharitonov got submitted by Monson so easily a few fights ago it wasn’t even funny.

          Lesnar’s conditioning, size, and wrestling would help him easily win the tournament. His toughest opponent would be Antonio Silva, and he would make him pay in the later rounds with superior conditioning.

        • The Gaijin says:

          You’re leaving out the elephant in the room. That everyone knows Lesnar is totally gunshy and reacts like Bob Sapp to getting punched.

          There’s a few guys in there that have a good shot at tapping that weakness well before Brock’ superior condition gases out in 3.5 minutes like he did against Cain. Then again maybe they’ll punch themselves out on him while he’s curled up in a ball and then he’ll have them right where he wants them!

        • 45 Huddle says:

          The only 2 guys who have a chance of KO’ing Lesnar in that tournament are Antonio Silva and Alistair Overeem.

          Sergei & Arlovski aren’t good enough to stop the takedowns and the rest don’t have the punching power.

          And Silva is a slow puncher, so the chances are small.

          And Overeem naturally wilts under pressure.

          The 3 toughest challengers to Lesnar are all in the UFC, and those are Velasquez, JDS, and Carwin…. And Carwin looked old in his fight back, like the surgery and age caught up with him. So he might not even be on the list of threats anymore…

        • edub says:

          So your saying all the guys mentioned have the wrestling top pop back up in two seconds after Lesnar gets them down? Man I want to see that crystal ball.

          Lesnar has been gunshy from being punched coincidentally ever since his disease took effect. He wasn’t that gunshy against Couture, Mir, or Herring (yes I know none of them hit like Cain or Carwin, but Mir is damn close). Lesnar has been no where near the same fighter since diverticulitis took effect on his body.. and since we’re doing hypotheticals here… If a “healthy” Brock Lesnar was apart of the GPs in the early part of 2003 or 2005, or the SF GP currently being held today I would take him to win in a heart beat.

        • The Gaijin says:

          “So your saying all the guys mentioned have the wrestling top pop back up in two seconds after Lesnar gets them down?”

          Ehhhh now…don’t put words in my mouth. Every fight starts standing and Brockle Snar post-illness/gunshyness still has to deal with his fear of punches. And it’s not like someone like Bigfoot or Barnett (or even the Reem), who are far better strikers, is a total pushover in the grappling department for him to take them down with ease.

          Honestly, I haven’t been super-impressed with Lesnar’s wrestling in mma…it’s pretty damned good, against guys like Mir (thinks he’s a wizard off his back) and Heath Herring – but the latter has some of the WORST takedown defense in the game, and 2008 Herring != 2001-2003 Herring.

          But he struggled mightily with Couture (no real shame as he’s a greco superstar, but was we’re talking a 46 yrs old LHW w/ 15 months of rust – and talk about a guy that looks like they aged overnight), he couldn’t get Carwin down to save his life until he was in need of an oxygen mask and we all saw the Cain fight. Now realizing these guys are all great wrestlers, but he just tries to bully guys with takedowns and use his size. But I don’t think it’s automatica gramatica with 3x guys that are 250+ and will be looking to remove his head.

          “Lesnar has been gunshy from being punched coincidentally ever since his disease took effect.”

          I agree here…but none of those guys were big strikers (Randy, Heath, Mir – tho he suddenly thinks he’s one) nor really hit him with anything…so I don’t know if it’s a case of the disease hurting him mentally, the fact that we just never saw him get hit or a combonation of both.

        • The Gaijin says:

          *wrestling = takedowns.

          Once he’s down there, he’s usually pretty damned impressive.

        • edub says:

          All very true, but just a few things.

          Against Couture, and for some of the fight with Mir, Lesnar was trying to focus on stand up. He took Couture down pretty easily, but didn’t really focus on keeping him there. He had Mir down within seconds but in the second round let him stand up (only to get out struck for a good 30 seconds before he realized, he was being an idiot).

          The problem I see with those guys you mentioned is none of them have as good of wrestling as Carwin or Cain (not really close IMO). Barnett has made a career of taking people down that have shitty defense then shows superior grappling from top position, and the one time he did out wrestle a top level… wrestler (damn, redundant), it was Randy and it was after Randy had gassed him self out (which used to be his MO against the bigger guys), on top of that he failed for PEDs. Big Foot has never showed off his takedown defense or bottom game against anyone close to Lesnar in the wrestler/power department. Plus eventhough Barnett and Big Foot have knocked guys out, they’re not exactly known as quick big power guys. Both would have to wear down Lesnar, which IMO would be hard taking loads of punishment from bottom position.

          But I was speaking in complete hypotheticals, was using Brock pre illness as a measuring point. Post Diverticuli he’s just not the same animal.

  6. jack says:

    “I think any Top 5 fighter today would dominante a Top 5 fighter from his same weight class of 2005.

    The sport has evolved and the athletes and skills are just better.”

    I’m trolling because I strongly disagree with what is at best a debatable statement??? I think NOT.

    At worst (which is closer to reality), you are just out of your god damn mind and a HUGE UFC mark/fanboy who is completely wrong and making sweeping generalizations without a shred of evidence or explanation.

    By the way, I completely disagree. I think a 2005 Fedor or Nogueira would beat 2010 Lesnar or Carwin.

    • jack says:

      And you arent saying that he would just beat ANY top 5 HW from 2005, but that he would dominate them!!!

      I’m gonna state a famous quote that you’ve heard many times before but clearly do not understand:

      STYLES MAKE FIGHTS

      You clearly dont understand what that means.

      So what Sergei got submitted by Monson?? What does that have to do with Lesnar or Carwin?? Are Lesnar or Carwin blackbelts? Are they great at submissions? HARDLY! So there is absolutely no connection there. Lesnar got submitted in seconds by Mir…does that mean that Dos Santos would easily dominate him? Of course not. There is no connection. A beating B and B beating C does not mean that A easily or even definitely beats C. Not at all! You obviously dont understand the concept that styles make fights.

      I think a 2005 Sergei Kharitonov(and possibly the 2011 Sergei) would probably ALSO beat a 2011 Lesnar or Carwin.

      Do you expect everyone to believe that its a coincidence that you ALWAYS happen to be of the opinion that the UFC fighter is better, and that it has nothing to do with them being in the UFC?? Your bias is so obvious you really must think that everyone on this site is a complete idiot. Your opinions have ZERO credibility in terms of objectivity. You are a UFC nuthugger, plain and simple. I hate to use sherdog language, but when youre speaking about someone on the sherdog level of MMA knowledge….if the shoe fits..

      • The Gaijin says:

        UFC is all that’s left. That’s like calling someone a PRIDE nuthugger.

        And for that matter, for the most part, the BEST guys in 2011 are going to beat the BEST guys from 2005. But should that really be a surprise to anyone? I mean guys like Rampage Jackson, Shogun and BJ Penn are still beating all but the #1 guys, so that’s not like it’s any gigantic indignation against them. 6 years is an eternity in mma.

  7. jack says:

    Actually UFC is NOT all thats left.

    This tournament is proof of that. Hello!

    • The Gaijin says:

      Dude, you realize that these guys are all basically “UFC fighters”? They are under Zuffa and will be absorbed into the company or at least the better ones will be…so they’ll have their chance to prove themselves.

  8. jack says:

    Anyway, the 2005 vs 2011 thing got me off track.

    The point I was disputing is that Brock Lesnar would “easily” take this tournament. A very stupid thing that no one on this site would or has said (or agreed with) except 45Huddle.

    He never should have left sherdog to post with the big dogs at fightopinion. He’s getting eaten alive.

  9. Zheroen says:

    Posted this on another forum, thought it’d be interesting to see the collective thoughts of this arena:

    I would argue the rise of dominant wrestlers in heavyweight MMA over the last few years, especially with the demise of Pride, is directly correlated to the banning of knees on the ground. There is very little consequence for executing a sloppy/imprecise shot if it ends up a in a stalemated sprawl, as judges do not reward takedown defense at ALL (Kampmann vs. Sanchez, anyone?).

    Think about it…

    – a wrestler’s most effective technique is their takedown. If he misses, he’s not at all THAT much of a disadvantage, because his skull is protected from being Sakuraba-ed in the sprawl.
    – A jiu-jitsu stylist, who is conceivably very dangerous from his back with submission offense, is at a much greater risk than reward for playing his game because referees are infinitely more likely to stand up a fight in which the fighter on his back is controlling the fighter on top than the other way around. Again, judges have proven that a takedown with zero damage inflicted afterward carries more weight than a submission hold that inflicts damage but fails to end the fight.
    – A predominant striker has to constantly worry about over-committing to throwing punches or kicks, or risk being taken down. And if he happens to perfectly time the wrestler coming in with an excellent sprawl? Can’t do much with it other than stand right back up or play the grappler’s game.

    It would also possibly cause a fighter like Werdum to think twice about the strategy they employed last Saturday, as there were a few instances where he missed a takedown, would have been in immense danger if knees on the ground were allowed, but the only real option available to Overeem was an uppercut (that he whiffed on both times, IIRC).

    In that last paragraph, “It” = knees on the ground. It’s 2:46 AM and I can’t sleep at all despite being exhausted. My composition/structure and coherence is at an absolute nadir, currently.

  10. jack says:

    I think you’ve got a good point there.

    We all remember Ron Waterman and Mark Coleman getting soccer kicked by Mirko Crocop.. Not saying for sure that Lesnar or Carwin would get stomped out but it would create much more of a problem for them..

    I’ve always believed that banning knees and kicks on the ground gives a very big unfair advantage to grapplers (primarily wrestlers)..

  11. The Gaijin says:

    http://mmajunkie.com/news/24112/ken-shamrock-and-james-toney-agree-to-fall-matchup.mma

    James Toney vs. Ken Shamrock. Book it.

    So pathetic that this guy was in a co-main event of a UFC card LAST YEAR against Couture (which unfortunately is the type of fighter they needed to give Handy in his last fights) and now he’s fighting on some po’dunk El Paso, TX card against a fighter who should have retired long ago in Shamrock. The pathetic part is, of course, that he belongs on the latter of the cards.

  12. jack says:

    I never understood what went wrong with the Shamrock vs. Shamrock fight. As much as I dislike Ken, I would still like to see him beat up Frank.

    Does anyone else think its extremely weird that they are not related by blood but very much look like they are?? Also, Frank ‘Juarez’ doesnt look very Mexican…

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