Ask MMA Recap Reminder, Win A Free Art By JMC Print

Written by MMARecap Staff on . Posted in Ask MMA Recap

Jose Aldo - drawn by Justin McAllister

Jose Aldo – drawn by Justin McAllister


Last week, David from New York asked about the UFC adopting UFC rankings and won a free Art By JMC print. What will the question be this week that wins another print from famous Sharpie Artist Justin McAllister? The prints include some of the best UFC fighters including GSP, Anderson Silva, the Diaz brothers, Cain Velasquez and more.

To enter, simply post a comment either here or on our facebook page with your MMA related question. It could be about a specific fight and why it was signed, or it could be about who the top contenders are in the divisions or even what strategies to use in forming a promotion.

The deadline for the submission is every Friday at 10pm and the chosen questions will be posted on Sunday.

Ask MMARecap – What About UFC Rankings?

Written by MMARecap Staff on . Posted in Ask MMA Recap

rankings
The absolute hardest thing that can be agreed upon by members of the media, promoters, fans and managers are rankings. And that’s what makes this week’s question from David in New York so interesting. He writes, “How do you feel about the UFC adopting an actual ranking system for their fighters?”

He goes on to explain why he thinks it is a good idea not just for each weight class but for a pound for pound citing guys who fight in multiple weight classes. There’s good logic behind his question and now it is time to break this thing down.

First let’s dismiss one part of the rankings, the pound for pound. This is a ranking that I personally hate with a passion. The argument is that if all things were equal, who would be the better fighter. The problem is, all things aren’t equal. Comparing Jose Aldo to Jon Jones is just ridiculous. The only way that this works is by comparing the competition that each has faced and how well they have done and not their skill set necessarily. Weight classes are a real thing, and a much needed thing. I HIGHLY doubt that if we still had the open weight tournaments that we would see someone like Aldo enter it just due to how much weight is given up. So for the question of the UFC adopting a ranking system, pound for pound is out.

Now to the real meat of the question and what it would give us the fans. If the UFC developed a way to rank the fighters we would always know who is number one and who is number two. This is a given. We would also know how important a single fight could be for a fighter if we had the full listing of where everyone stood. It also would make it much easier for the fans to keep track of who is fighting next for the title assuming that we go in numerical order and there aren’t injuries.

Before we dive deeper into this, as an editorial note, anyone remember when Demian Maia fought Anderson Silva? He was a replacement for Vitor Belfort at UFC 112 and was touted by the UFC as a “top 6 middleweight”. Translation, he was ranked number 6 at the time.

Back to the UFC and if they should take a hard stance and create a ranking system. Should they? Probably. Will they? Not a chance.

Personally I believe that they have an internal ranking of each fighter for multiple things including their weight class, their cost to the company, the income they bring into the company, ease of working with, etc… Any number of metrics there is someone in the UFC’s offices who is keeping track of everything every fighter is doing. But publicly they won’t disclose this. And it is these other factors that are reasons why the UFC keeps several fighters after multiple loses (think Dan Hardy, Leonard Garcia).

But publicly should the UFC release a ranking system? The answer is no. Unlike all the other major sports that are televised where there are simple formulas that help us determine who is number one and who is number five, there isn’t one in the UFC. We have one measuring stick for who is number one and who the rest of the group is and that is the championship belt.

The argument for having these rankings is that it would force a champ to fight the number one contender. The downside is that it would sometimes leave us without a fight we want to see. Sure the argument could be made that without the rankings we aren’t seeing some fights either and we will get to that in a bit.

The UFC is a profitable company. It is exists, not to put on fights, but to make money by putting on fights. For that reason there are times when every champion has to take a fight that has people scratching their head.

A perfect example is why Frankie Edgar is getting the title shot at Jose Aldo in his first fight at featherweight after losing not one, but two fights in a row to Ben Henderson. Yes they were close fights, but at the end of the day, he lost. So why is Edgar stepping ahead of Ricardo Lamas and Chang Sung Jung? Money and marketing.

Aldo isn’t near as big a household name as he should be. Throw Edgar in there and the PPV is likely to see a much bigger buy rate than if it was Lamas. Not taking anything away from Lamas as he is deserving of that shot, but his name recognition isn’t out there. But the UFC is working on that recognition. They are putting Lamas on a Fox card with MILLIONS of people watching. The lowest UFC on Fox ratings had 2.4 million people watching it. The highest UFC ppv had 1.6million purchases and that was with Brock Lesnar on it.

2012 was a horrible year for the UFC. Nearly every main event was changed due to injury as well as several fights on the rest of the cards. Never in the history of the UFC had they had so many injuries. As such, PPV buys went down, and the vault with gold coins in it, isn’t near as high as it was projected to be.

The biggest snub of a division with potential title challengers is middleweight. Several names for the past 18 months have been screaming as loud as they can that they are deserving of a title shot and that they have what it takes to beat Anderson Silva. But at UFC 155 those same guys all lost. Tim Boetsch lost to Costa Philippou who has been quietly getting wins in the UFC but stated he knows he isn’t ready for Anderson Silva. Alan Belcher couldn’t counter Yushin Okami’s grappling game and got smothered in a unanimous decision loss. Both Belcher and Boetsch were saying they were at the top of the echelon of fighters. But now with those losses the question not only is are they still, but were they ever to begin with.

Now there are a few guys who are deservedly number one contenders and are being snubbed, Chris Weidman and Johny Hendricks come to mind but they will either win their next fight, or get their title shot.

Ask MMA Recap Reminder, Win A Free Art By JMC Print

Written by MMARecap Staff on . Posted in Ask MMA Recap

Anthony Petis by Justin McAllister

Anthony Petis by Justin McAllister

Ask MMA Recap is back and better than before. Each week at least one person’s question will be picked and given the best possible answer we can come up with. Each person will win a free Art By JMC print that features any number of UFC fighters including GSP, Anderson Silva, the Diaz brothers, Cain Velasquez and more.

To enter, simply post a comment either here or on our facebook page with your MMA related question. It could be about a specific fight and why it was signed, or it could be about who the top contenders are in the divisions or even what strategies to use in forming a promotion.

The deadline for the submission is every Friday at 10pm and the chosen questions will be posted on Sunday.

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Ask MMARecap: What Would Be Your Ideal Stacked Card

Written by MMARecap Staff on . Posted in Ask MMA Recap

UFC Logo

UFC Logo

This week’s Ask MMARecap question is one that has been asked time and time again from fan to fan. And it has to do with how stacked one could make a card. The question is asked by Matt Hughes (no not the fighter) and he asks, “What type of lineup would you set up to try and make one of the most stacked fight cards in UFC history?”

So let’s start with the following assumptions for this ideal card. The card would take place at Cowboys Stadium in Texas as it seats over 100,000 fans. Let’s also assume that all fighters mentioned would be perfectly healthy and able to fight at the same time and that no one would be injured. Finally, let’s just deal with the main card of a pay-per-view and as such we can have a max of six fights on the card.

With that out of the way let’s start to figure out what we want to do. In an ideal situation you have a finish in the first fight. Preferably a knockout, but a gnarly submission is welcomed or an amazing back and forth fight. What we don’t want is a three round snooze fest. So to open the card I would put Dan Henderson versus Shogun Rua. The two had an epic battle already, and while their gas tanks dwindled by the end of the fifteen minutes, it was awesome. Only this time, I don’t see it ending by a decision and one of them getting the finish on the other.

Next up I would put a number one contender flyweight fight on the card. Why? Because these dudes can bring it. Ian McCall versus John Dodson. Hell yeah. That’s going to be fifteen minutes that looks like it is on fast forward the entire time. Sure we might not get a finish, but it will be exciting none-the-less.

The third fight I would want on this card is one that will likely have a lot of blood in it. Nothing screams fight of the night like a blood bath. So let’s put two guys in who like to throw and can also bleed a lot. Evan Dunham and Diego Sanchez come to mind here at lightweight. Just imagine what kind of carnage these two will bring inside the cage with 100,000+ fans cheering for them.

After that kind of blood bath, I want a solid striking fight but with fighters who aren’t afraid to go to the ground and with a potential title shot implication. In this scenario, I see Michael Bisping fighting Alan Belcher. Both fighters have amazing skills and the trash talk for this is likely to be amazing.

The co-main event would be a main event any other time, but due to the fact that heavyweights get top billing this fight is in the co-main slot. Anderson Silva versus Georges St-Pierre in a five-round-non-title catchweight of 178lb fight. There’s a lot to this fight and one that many have been wanting to see for a long time. Now I think is the time for this fight, and once you take out the title and make it a catchweight fight, it makes a lot of sense.

Finally in the main event we have Junior Dos Santos versus Alistair Overeem. By the time this fight happens, the build up will be intense. The two are no doubt going to slug it out and will cap off a night of action with a finish. This fight would also solidify Dos Santos as one of the best heavyweights of all time with multiple title defenses.

Ask MMARecap: Is Fighter Insurance To Blame For Rash Of Injuries

Written by MMARecap Staff on . Posted in Ask MMA Recap

Broken Clavicle - via insidesurgery.com

Broken Clavicle – via insidesurgery.com

As the year draws to a close, many journalists try to figure out the “story of the year” for MMA. This year it is likely to be all the changes to events due to injuries and that has Chuck Fabio asking a specific question with regards to them.

“Do you think all the injuries have more to do with the fighters now having insurance?”

This is a question that has been debated back and forth and even Dana White has chimed in with his answer. But now it’s time for me to give my opinion on the matter.

I don’t think the fact that the fighters have insurance is the biggest factor in all of this. Do I think it is a part of it? Yes. But not the biggest factor in the injuries. In fact, I place insurance as the number three issue, but it could be seen as an offshoot of the number two factor.

The biggest thing I think that is causing the injuries is over training. I could be wrong, but from what I see of fighters interviews, tweets, video blogs, etc… it seems like they are training harder, longer, faster and more frequently than they did before. I think training at as high of an intensity as they are training they aren’t getting enough down time.

Think of it this way, you cut your finger with a knife and that took all of a second to do. But yet it takes days, maybe even weeks before it heals up completely. Now imagine what is going on while training without proper time to heal. Without that recovery time, the body can’t heal properly and thus eventually gets injured.

Of course this doesn’t prevent the freak accidents like a fighter breaking his hand while punching the heavy bag or getting his orbital bone broken while sparring. But the most common injury I am seeing amongst the fighters is a knee injury, and something about that location means that something is going on.

The other factor that plays a role in this is the amount of money a fighter is making. We are seeing more and more high profile fighters withdraw due to injury than lower tier guys. Why? Because they can afford to let their body heal up. Before when a fighter was making maybe $10,000 for a fight he couldn’t support his family. But with higher pay comes more financial freedom. We don’t know how much each fighter is making, but we have minimums and the amount is increasing each year.

With that said, we are also seeing more mid level fighters withdraw to injury. And this is where I think the insurance issue comes into play a little bit. A mid level fighter who before couldn’t afford to pay his medical bills and not fight was a scary thought. But now that he doesn’t have to pay the medical bills, so long as he has enough in savings, he could be fine. Might he struggle financially up until the fight? Sure. But it might be a risk he is willing to take now where as before he would just tone things down and hope for the best come fight time.

So no, I don’t think insurance is the biggest factor in all the injuries. The thing I will continue to point my finger at is training. Not many people know or even recall, but the NFL players association in their contract talks actually negotiated for less physical contact in practice citing player safety and health. The NFL has been plagued recently with former players having long term effects and now more than ever there is a focus on it. Something to consider as the sport of fighting grows.

Ask MMARecap: What Would Jon Jones Have To Do If He Loses To Belfort

Written by MMARecap Staff on . Posted in Ask MMA Recap

Jon Jones - via UFC.com

Jon Jones – via UFC.com

This week were are going to skip our regularly scheduled Friday edition of Ask MMARecap and bring one today, Monday. The question asked by William Fithen of Missouri was just too good to wait, especially considering how close we are to the fight.

Will asks, “What do you think Jones will have to do should he lose to Belfort on the 22nd?

There is likely a second part to that question that should have read “to get another title shot” or Will could have meant to ask “What will Jones do should he lose to Belfort”. So with those two possible questions, let’s start breaking it down.

The first question, should he lose, what will he need to do to get another title shot. The short answer is win another fight.

Let’s side track a bit here and make mention of what happens to the title should Belfort win. His next opponent will no doubt be Dan Henderson. Do other fights make sense? Maybe, but Henderson was supposed to fight for the title, he will likely be ready and thus he gets the next shot.

Back on track as far as what Jones will have to do. Well there’s the simple fight of Machida who was told he was going to get the next title shot but that got halted after he TURNED DOWN a title fight. There’s also Shogun, Evans and Glover Teixeira who all could be potential fights. Or there’s the big elephant in the room and that’s Chael Sonnen.

All five of those fights make sense for one reason or another and all five could headline a PPV card (so long as it had a decent co-main event) or a UFC on Fox card.

Should Jones lose, in my best guess is that he headlines another card opposite Sonnen just because Dana likes to hold grudges. And no offense to Sonnen, but I don’t think a Jones victory would grant him an immediate title shot and thus Jones would be two fights out before fighting again for the title.

Now there’s the other question. What will Jones do should he lose to Belfort. I know there are a some fans out there who want to see what will happen. Will he pull a Forrest Griffin and either break down and cry inside the cage or just go running out of the arena all together? Will he have some other emotional outpour that has us looking at animated gifs for the rest of his career? Doubtful.

But that’s just inside the cage. The question then becomes what happens outside the cage. This is a guy who is arguably one of the best fighters in the world. He is talented beyond belief and has a self belief system that most don’t comprehend.

A lot of people listen to what Jones has to say (prior to the cancelation of UFC 151) and thought he sounded cocky or arrogant. Shouldn’t he though? After all he is the champ.

I am very much intrigued by what happens to Jones mentally with a true loss on his career. The question of will he spiral out of control or be able to pick himself right back up sits at the forefront of my mind. I have to believe that in general, people don’t just shatter to pieces instantly and I think Jones would be right back at it.

Do I think a loss for Jones would make him sound more humble or relatable? Doubtful. He’s just that kind of guy. Regardless of what happens though at UFC 152, Jones has cemented his place in UFC history. His career is still very young and he has a lot more left to do and prove to himself.

I think we will look back in two years from now and while many will say UFC 151 was the card that Jones took down, we will also be saying who can challenge his UFC record?

Ask MMARecap: Will Bellator’s Format Be Their Downfall?

Written by MMARecap Staff on . Posted in Ask MMA Recap

Ask MMARecap is back and this week’s question comes to us from Dave Ellinger out in California. He asks a valid question, one that has been debated time and time again about the number two promotion, Bellator.

Dave asks, “I like the tournament basis to help find a title contender, but I think it will be their downfall if they continue this trend of ONLY tournament winners fighting for the title. It leaves the champ not defending their title enough and more importantly long time champs that lose their title are thrown all the way at the bottom with no chance to fight for the title unless they win the whole tournament. That is disrespectful in my opinion, what’s your take?

There are a couple of levels to this question and hopefully I can answer all of them. First, for those that don’t know what Bellator’s tournament format is (are you living under a rock?) here’s the gist. Each season eight fighters in various weight classes compete against each other with the winner fighting the current champ or possibly fighting another season’s winner to crown a new champion. Bellator’s modo is “Where championships are earned, not given away”.

This format made so much sense when the promotion first started. It was an easy way over the course of three months to determine who the champs would be. It also provided us with several amazing fights through out the course of the season. Now that Bellator is about to kick off their seventh season (plus two mini Summer Series seasons) the question about champs defending their belts is becoming more relevant.

For the most part, each season has hosted only four different weight classes and with two seasons a year, that makes for a champ only being able to defend his title a single time in the course of the year and fight in a non-title fight the rest (be it inside Bellator or at another promotion).

But that’s about to change according Bjorn Rebney, CEO of Bellator. He recently spoke to MMAJunkie about the move to SpikeTV in 2013 and part of the plan is to expand to six tournaments per season. There are eight titles and with six tournaments going during the course of a season, that would make the majority of the belts defended at least twice a year. The motive Bjorn said is that UFC champs typically fight 2-3 times per year and that’s what he is wanting his champs to do.

So now that we have a system in place for the champs to fight more often, then the question is how quickly should the champs fight provided there is a contender. My answer is the sooner the better. It has been proven time and time again, that if you wait for a fight to happen, something is bound to screw it up. And then when that original fight finally materializes the same level of drama or appeal might not be there or the fighters themselves are different (think Evans vs Jones or Liddell vs Silva).

Now let’s break down the questions that Dave really asked. The first being implied that Bellator should allow non-tournament fighters the chance to fight for the belt. The question I have as an answer is why? The tournament gives us a clear cut number one contender and in the case of the current featherweights, two number one contenders. No one can argue that someone other than Patricio Freire and Daniel Straus should be fighting Pat Curran in Bellator.

But of course there’s the flipside, like when Ben Askren won a close decision against Jay Hieron. Hieron wanted a rematch, but was told he had to go do the tournament. He opted to get out of his Bellator contract instead. Or the case of Eddie Alvarez, the first lightweight champ who arguably could make the best case for a rematch after his loss to Chandler.

But if a rematch is going to be granted, or non-tournament winners given a title shot, that lessens the value of the tournament and what Bellator is about. It’s a little different with other sports where championships are given each year, but imagine if the NFL automatically gave one of the Superbowl spots to the defending champ? Or imagine if the NFL decided that this years Superbowl was going to feature the Giants versus the Broncos just because they want a Manning versus Manning Superbowl. It just doesn’t make sense.

In fighting, you have a champ who should defend his belt as often as he can against the next best guy at that point in time. Bellator’s tournament format allows that to happen. I am more intrigued by a Bellator champ defending his belt than what is going to take place in a couple weeks at UFC 152 between Jon Jones and Vitor Belfort. As I stated in a previous article, champs and title contenders should be ready at any time. So no, I don’t think it will be their downfall.

Now to the second part of that question about long time champs who lose their belt having to go to the back of the line so to speak. This also holds true for tournament winners, as previously mentioned with Hieron. Do I think that a champ who loses his belt should have to go to the back of the line? Yes. And here’s why.

I HATE immediate rematches. I think the only time one could make a case for an immediate rematch is if the fight was ruled a no-contest or a draw. Even the later I am not 100% on board with. If you are the challenger, you must beat the champ to win. Now I don’t mean you have to finish the champ, or lay an ass whooping on the champ. You just have to have your hand raised at the end of the fight. Even if it is the most boring fight ever, if you are the challenger, and the judges saw you winning the fight, you won the fight.

So if you lost, you lost. That means you should be heading not necessarily to the back of the line (in the UFC that’s a very long way), but definitely not the next person to challenge for the belt. And since Bellator is about earning your title shot, what better way than to do it the way you did before, by fighting three times in twelve weeks and proving that you are the number one contender.

There is an added benefit of fighting in the tournament and winning it, the pay. Several Bellator fighters both on and off record have stated that winning the tournament was huge for their financial outcome, but that fighting for the title, or even defending the title, wasn’t near as profitable.

While the numbers are not available for what the fighters make per fight, one only has to look at Pat Curran’s career in Bellator. In 2010 he fought three times and won all three fights earning $100,000 for the three fights. Then he fought Eddie Alvarez and lost. Odds are likely that he did not make that kind of money for his losing performance. After he entered the next tournament and again won three fights and again earning $100,000. Did he earn $33,000 from Bellator for the Warren victory? I don’t know. What I do know is other title contenders and holders off record have stated that it would be better for financially to fight in the tournament, win, lose the title, then do another tournament.

Finally, the question of is it disrespectful to the former champs to not earn an immediate rematch. I say it depends on how that fighter is then marketed. If the new champ is marketed as the savior and the former champ as a villain, then yes. If however the former champ is marketed as the former champ and should be treated as such, then no. Look at Peyton Manning, the guy is one of the best quarterbacks of all time. This season, after multiple surgeries and a new team, many NFL experts are quick to point out, a Peyton Manning at 80% is still better than almost all the quarterbacks in the league.

I am not saying that certain champs shouldn’t have the right to ask for an immediate rematch, but if the rules of the game say you can’t have one, then you can’t have one. And that is what makes Bellator so exciting. Every fighter who competes in the tournament knows they are just three fights away from a title shot. There are fighters who are completely fine with having to go back and try again, look at Daniel Straus who nearly won his first attempt, lost in the finals, then came back the next season to win. Or a guy like Lyman Good who was the champ and now is trying to earn his way back. Or Ben Saunders who keeps on trying and entertaining the fans the entire way.

What makes Bellator stand out from the UFC and other shows is the tournament format. It provides a clear cut number one contender. People like tournaments to determine who is the best. It’s why college football is moving to a playoff schedule starting in 2014.

Ask MMARecap is a weekly feature where users submit questions. If your question is answered you will receive your choice of print from Art by JMC. The prints include Randy Couture, Chuck Liddell, Royce Gracie, BJ Penn, Carlos Condit, Georges St-Pierre, Nick Diaz, Nate Diaz, Jose Aldo, Dominic Cruz, Frankie Edgar, Junior Dos Santos, Jon Jones, Anderson Silva, Wanderlei Silva, Dan Henderson, Brock Lesnar, Fabricio Werdum and Cain Velasquez. To submit your question, leave a comment here or on our facebook page when we ask for questions.

Clay Guida - Drawn by Art By JMC

Who’s next for the lightweight title?

Written by MMARecap Staff on . Posted in Ask MMA Recap

Clay Guida - Art by JMC

Photo by Justin McAllistar

Who deserves the next lightweight title shot?
Heading into UFC 136 there were still a lot of questions being asked about the lightweight division in the UFC. Questions like what would happen if Edgar and Maynard fight to a draw again, what if Maynard wins or who’s next in line? But a lot of those questions seemed to have gotten answered at the conclusion of the event, with the exception of one. Who’s next in line for the title shot.

This week’s question comes to us from Hawaii with the question of “Who will receive the next lightweight title shot?”

There’s a slew of possibilities that could come into play, and there’s some fights that have yet to play out. The three upcoming fights that all have relevance in the lightweight division are Ben Henderson versus Clay Guida at UFC on Fox 1, Donald Cerrone versus Nate Diaz at UFC 141, and Gilbert Melendez versus Jorge Masvidal at Strikeforce.

For the sake of argument, let’s just assume that the winner of all three of those fights is healthy and cleared to fight within three months and that no injuries will happen to either Edgar or the next challenger for the belt.

Working in chronological order first up is this weekend Ben Henderson versus Clay Guida fight. Henderson is the former WEC lightweight champion having won an interim belt back in October of 2009 against Donald Cerrone. He then defeated Jamie Varner to unify the belts and defeated Cerrone a second time to retain the belt. He lost the belt in a very close, fight of the year candidate to Anthony Pettis in December of 2010.

Henderson then took on Mark Bocek at UFC 129 and handed Bocek his fourth loss. After his successful UFC debut, Henderson fought Jim Miller, whom many had thought was next in line to receive a title shot with an impressive seven-fight win streak heading into the fight. Henderson decided to snap that streak and put his name in the title contender’s hat.

Henderson could make a case for himself should he prevail over Guida. With a victory he would improve his Zuffa record to an impressive 8-1 with a three-fight win streak. He’s also the former WEC champion and has been in several exciting fights through out his career.

Guida meanwhile seems to come very close to earning a title shot, only to have it taken away from him. After putting together an impressive three-fight win streak in 2008 and 2009, he lost to top contenders Diego Sanchez and Kenny Florian. Both of them went on to fight for the title after defeating Guida.

Guida has since rebounded putting together an impressive four-fight win streak with wins over Shannon Gugerty, Rafael dos Anjos, Takanori Gomi and Anthony Pettis. With a new focus on his wrestling and his non-stop cardio, Guida is making the best run of his career.
A victory over Henderson would easily put Guida’s name close to the top of the list. He would be on a five-fight win streak and would hold victories over the last two WEC lightweight champions. Guida and Henderson both could realize they are fighting someone similar to themselves as they have tremendous wrestling and cardio.

The next person to make a case for himself is Gilbert Melendez. He is the current Strikeforce champion and Dana White has stated he wants him in the UFC asap. Problem is, he has a title fight against Jorge Masvidal and can’t just be brought over.

Many will say that Melendez’s upcoming fight isn’t as difficult as some of his previous fights, but then state that he is one of the best in the division. With the way that Melendez has been fighting, it is hard to argue that he isn’t a top lightweight. With victories over Josh Thomson, Shinya Aoki and Tatsuya Kawajiri, he has been in there with some of the best.

But it begs the question, should he prevail over Masvidal on December 17, should he get an immediate title shot because he’s the current Strikeforce champion? Looking at the history of Strikeforce fighters entering the UFC after the purchase, the obvious answer is no he won’t get it. Shields didn’t get one, Diaz was supposed to but didn’t get one, Henderson isn’t getting one either. So it wouldn’t be surprising if despite a solid victory by Melendez, that he would not get a title shot.

The last fight that has some implications is Donald Cerrone versus Nate Diaz at UFC 141. After quickly submitting Dennis Siver at UFC 137, Cerrone stated he wanted to fight again by years end. With him fighting at UFC 141 that will mark his fifth fight in 2011 and sixth in a span of thirteen months.

With his victory over Siver, Cerrone now is riding a six-fight win streak with four of those fights being in the UFC. Of his four UFC fight’s, he has finished three of his opponents and earned one of the coveted fight night bonuses.

Should he win against Diaz, he will have the best streak of victories out of any of the possible challengers and has one of the best cases for getting a title shot.

Now that we have ruled out Melendez and basically answered why each could get the shot, let’s break down the two possible scenarios; Henderson and Cerrone win and Guida and Cerrone win. Let’s also say that Melendez wins his fight even though it is unlikely he will get the immediate title shot.

Should Guida win against Henderson he will likely earn the next title shot. Guida has been competing in the since UFC 64 and has the most seniority of the bunch. Of course time in doesn’t count for anything, but recent record does. The victory would put him at five straight making him the second longest in the UFC. In Guida’s fourteen UFC fights, he’s won six of the fight night awards and two fight of the year awards. Guida is an exciting, fan favorite fighter and would no doubt bring a lot of energy to the title fight. In this scenario with Cerrone and Melendez also winning, I predict those two will fight for the next contender’s spot.

The opposite scenario has Ben Henderson beating Guida, but still having Cerrone and Melendez win. As much as I can see the UFC giving Guida a title shot after defeating Henderson, I can’t see them giving Henderson one after defeating Guida with the rest of the field the way it is.

Even with Henderson holding two victories over Cerrone, I can see the UFC opting to give Cerrone a crack a the title before Henderson. This would put Henderson in a matchup against Melendez with the winner getting the next title shot.

Got a question for Ask MMA Recap? If your question is used you will win a print from Art By JMC and possibly more. Simply leave your question in the comments below or on our Facebook page.

Ian McCall - via UFC.com

What impact will a flyweight division have on the UFC’s bantamweight fighters?

Written by MMARecap Staff on . Posted in Ask MMA Recap

Ian McCall - via UFC.com

Ian McCall – via UFC.com

What a difference a year makes in the eyes of the fans of the sport and in the UFC. Last year around this time, Zuffa, the parent company to the UFC, announced that it was going to fold the WEC into the UFC and that we would now have seven UFC champions with the addition of featherweights and bantamweights.

One little nugget that was mentioned was that flyweights, too, would be coming to the UFC. The question of when the 125lb fighters come over to the UFC is one that’s been circulating for a while.

And thus, this week’s question from Brent Riggs III asks, “Do you think that the addition of a flyweight division in the UFC is a good idea right now, or will it simply thin out bantamweight and leave two shallow weight classes?”

That’s a very interesting thought as to why the UFC might not have added the division. After all there are fighters in the bantamweight division such as Demetrious Johnson and Joseph Benavidez who have stated they would likely drop to the flyweight division should the UFC create one.

But should we expect a mass exodus of fighters to that division right away? There’s been a fairly small (no pun intended) number of lightweight fighters who have made the transition from lightweight down to featherweight. But nothing overwhelming.

To get an idea of how this would impact the divisions, we first should look at how many fighters are actually in each division in the UFC. These numbers were pulled directly from UFC.com and as such may be off by a couple fighters in either direction.
Bantamweight: 33
Featherweight 36
Lightweight: 54
Welterweight: 58
Middleweight: 45
Light Heavyweight: 35
Heavyweight: 26

So even if 20% of the bantamweight fighters left, that still leaves that division with just as much talent as heavyweight. Is it really thinning out the division in that case?

Right now pundits are stating how stacked the UFC’s heavyweight division is, and yet we are talking about how thin bantamweight and even featherweight is at the moment. This seems rather backwards due to the fact that Strikeforce, albeit a Zuffa property, arguably still has just as stacked a division.

The real answer isn’t that the division would be thinned out, it’s a question of developing the talent AND showcasing that talent. Right now as stated there is a complaint about how thin the divisions are for lack of challengers. But it takes time for the fans to start to follow and enjoy watching the smaller guys fight.

One would think that this would be a lot easier, especially given the news that the UFC is looking to put on a whopping 34 shows next year. The key is that these fighters will need to fight more often if possible in order to develop a following.

A great example is Roger Huerta. He fought five times in a year for the UFC and rose to stardom because of it. Granted he did win all five of those fights and at that point was on an eleven fight win streak, but he was active and people remembered him.

Give it time and it will develop. So to answer the question, no I don’t think it will make the bantamweight division too shallow. I think it would just force the UFC to do everything they can to put the spotlight on those guys a bit more.

Will the UFC buy out Bellator at some point?

Written by MMARecap Staff on . Posted in Ask MMA Recap

This week’s Ask MMA Recap question comes to us from Sean Dunn and asks an intriguing question. Sean asks, “Do you think the UFC will buy out Bellator at some point?”

With Dana White recently stating that he has no problems with Bellator and that he only goes after promotions that “start a fight”, one could think that the two promotions will co-exist for a while. But will that happen?

From what is known about Bellator, their financial situation is just ok at this point in time. All reports indicate that they aren’t losing money, but they aren’t making any either which is a dangerous line to be one. Thankfully Bellator was able to get to this point relatively early in its life.

Bellator’s roster has some great talent on it’s roster which makes the property somewhat valuable. Their champs like Hector Lombard, Eddie Alvarez, and Ben Askren could be good additions as well as fighters such as Pat Curran, Michael Chandler, and Ben Saunders.

The UFC has in the past bought out a promotion just to acquire a talent or two (WFA), but do they really need to have the fighters listed above fighting inside the octagon?

There’s obviously only two choices here, the UFC buys them, or they don’t. If Bellator keeps chugging along doing what they are doing without causing any controversy then they will maintain their number two status in the mma world.

But there’s two ways that the UFC could take notice and decide to squash Bellator: Bellator starts talking a lot of trash about the UFC or signs a big name fighter that the UFC was trying to sign (think Strikeforce getting Fedor) or Bellator’s financials don’t improve and the promotion has no choice but to sell (again, think Strikeforce).

Which scenario is most likely? In my opinion, it is that in the long run, unfortunately, the money is going to run out. Bellator is looking to put on around thirty shows a year with two full seasons of tournaments and one or two “summer/winter series” tournaments.

Just off of those tournaments alone the cost to just pay the winning fighters is around $250,000 per tournament. With four tournaments per season, plus two additional tournaments for the series events, we are looking at around $2.5 million just for the tournament winners per year.

That number doesn’t include any of the fighters who lose, it also doesn’t include any super fights or title fights or any of the undercard. It also doesn’t include any costs to run an event such as announcers, producers, athletic commissions, and so forth.

These estimated numbers are on the low end considering several reports about Bellator’s demise had the cost per show ranging from $200,000-$500,000. When there’s only a couple thousand fans (if that) in attendance, the live gate is not making up those costs.

Bellator has investors, and eventually if it doesn’t start to turn a profit, they will look to sell. It’s at this point that I can see the UFC purchasing the promotion for the contracts of roughly fifteen fighters, while the rest will likely be let go. Let’s not kid ourselves and think that Zuffa will want to run Bellator as a separate promotion like they said they were with Strikeforce.

I will say that I hope that Bellator is able to find a way to turn a profit soon. They put on a great show, have some fantastic talent, and it is ok to be the number two promotion. They will have to move to a different day of the week in order to avoid being counter programmed all the time by the UFC, but I think it can work.

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