Morning Commute is back and today’s edition features UFC on Fox coming back to Chicago, Invicta FC president Shannon Knapp goes to town on managers, Stephan Bonnar has been suspended for a year, Dan Henderson still talking about Sonnen getting the title shot, and Anderson Silva’s potential superfight with Georges St-Pierre. All that and a double dose of this day in history, makes for a fantastic episode. Download it for later use, or use the player below to stream it live.
Posts Tagged ‘Dan Henderson’
Today’s Morning Commute features all the fallout from the announcement of Jon Jones and Chael Sonnen as coaches on The Ultimate Fighter as well as quotes from the conference call. Additionally this day in history takes us back to 2002 with WEC 5 which featured a lot of up and coming talent. So sit back, listen to it in the player below, or download it for later listening.
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.
This past week was a historic week in the mixed martial arts world as Dana White announced that an entire fight card, UFC 151, was canceled just eight days out. The reasoning was that Dan Henderson was forced out due to injury and the light heavyweight champion Jon Jones declined a fight with Chael Sonnen on the short notice.
Before we dive into the why challengers and champs should be ready at any time, let’s first take a look at the other side of the argument. Fighters train hard for their opponent and when an injury changes that opponent, details tend to change as well. Even if fighter A was supposed to fight a wrestler and the replacement is another wrestler, there are still differences. Spending nearly three months preparing for a single fighter, only to have that change, could be difficult. This isn’t just a physical thing, but also a mental thing as well. We have seen it before where a late notice fighter upsets the other fighter, and most of the time it is because of a mental lapse.
Now regardless of the reasons behind canceling an entire event, the one thing that was hammered over and over was that fighters should be willing to fight any time against any other fighter. After all it is their job right?
The time-line of events is something along the lines of the follow (please note this may or may not be 100% accurate and should not be considered as such):
- Dan Henderson gets injured and let’s Dana White and the UFC know about it
- UFC informs Jones about the injury and a replacement fight is being looked at
- UFC asks Machida and Shogun to step in on short notice, both decline
- Chael Sonnen is asked and immediately accepts
- Jones is given the fight and declines to fight Sonnen
- Machida initially agreed to fight Jones on a month’s notice and it was announced Jones vs Machida would headline the next card (UFC 152)
- Machida then declines the fight as it only gives him a month to prepare instead of six weeks
- Vitor Belfort jumps up in weight and accepts a fight with Jon Jones on a month’s notice
The biggest problem I have with this is how many people declined to fight. Let me restate that, the biggest problem wasn’t that the UFC canceled an event, but that SEVERAL fighters declined fights for one reason or another.
For all the talk about how mma isn’t main stream yet, this is the single biggest reason why in my opinion. Here’s a better way to look at this. Imagine if during Super Bowl XLVI between the Giants and the Patriots if Tom Brady got injured. Now imagine if the Giants declined to continue to play because Brady was out of the game and the number two quarterback was in. Can you see that happening? Now imagine it was even crazier and the backup quarterback went out with an injury on his first play; unlikely, but plausible. Now with the only two quarterbacks that were allowed to play that day, the Patriots resort to their kicker who happened to play quarterback a semester in college before choosing to be a kicker. With all of that happening, the Giants would still play the Patriots and that is essentially what happened with Jones and Sonnen (no offense to Sonnen).
Jones, the champ, declined to fight a fighter who was coming off a loss, and was moving up in weight all because it was only on three days notice. While that’s an injustice, the fact still remains that Machida and Shogun also both turned the fight down.
Why? Because they wanted to be the best that they could be against Jones. While Shogun is understandable, Machida, shouldn’t have this excuse. After both of them came off their UFC on Fox 4 victories, it was Machida who was told he would be fighting Jones next. Machida should have been in the gym training and preparing almost immediately. Title shots in the light heavyweight division don’t seem to come when planned, and getting another one might take more than a year (just ask Rashad Evans).
While it is completely disappointing that the entire card got cancelled, and yes it was ultimate a decision by the UFC to cancel it, the fact of the matter remains that none of the fighters should have not been ready to fight.
The Fight: Cung Le vs. Wanderlei Silva
Directly before the main event featuring Pride legends Dan Henderson and Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, another Pride legend takes to the Octagon in what may be one of the few fights left in his career. Wanderlei Silva, no longer the man that once terrorized the 205lb division in Pride, faces off against “The Human Highlight Reel”, Vietnamese-American kick boxer and former Strikeforce middleweight champion Cung Le.
This fight is important for both men, but for different reasons. Le has recently faced criticism for focusing on his acting career, and having fought only three times since 2008 with his last bout in June of 2010, motivation is certainly a factor. Le’s san shou background has equipped him with an array of different strikes unmatched by most strikers, and he put his famed sidekick to good use in his last bout, when he dispatched the only man to ever beat him, former Ultimate Fighter contestant Scott Smith, with a spinning side kick and punches. While Le is 39 years old, his limited MMA experience has left him with less wear and tear on his body, and he appears in excellent shape for this bout.
Silva, on the other hand, is a faded champion. A loser in six of his last eight bouts, the years of brutal wars in the ring have taken their toll on the Brazilian, as his weakened chin can no longer withstand the punishment doled out by his counterparts in the middleweight division. Since getting kicked into another dimension by Mirko Cro Cop in 2006, Silva’s has only two victories, which include a brutal KO against an overmatched Keith Jardine and a touch decision victory over Michael Bisping. In recent years, Silva’s strong takedown defense and relentless aggression have come up short against fighters with the range, footwork and power to avoid getting cornered against him, and his recent struggles have many, including UFC president Dana White, urging him to retire.
Why Le Can Win
Le has made a career out of dominating conventional strikers on the feet and only lost to Scott Smith because of poor conditioning and a willingness to trade. An underrated wrestler, Le uses a combination of takedown defense and strong kicks from the outside to maintain the range necessary to get off his combinations. Against Silva, he faces what many believe to be a tailor-made opponent, as the Axe Murderer will always come forward yet is unlikely to work for the takedown. By establishing a strong jab and sidekick early, Le can keep Silva off of him, and can pick the aging Brazilian apart.
Why Silva Can Win
Let’s face it: You don’t get a nickname like “The Axe Murderer” for decision victories. Silva is one of the most brutal strikers ever to lace up the four-ounce gloves, and he still has the power to flatten anybody not named Chris Leben. He is also especially dangerous in the clinch, and will likely pursue a strategy of brawling his way into clinching with Le, where he can unload some of his legendary Chute Boxe knees on the smaller Le.
While Le is actually older than Silva, the years haven’t been kind to the Pride legend, and he will struggle in this matchup. Silva is basically Scott Smith with no chin, and while most MMA fans would like to see a return to the glory days, this is a nightmare matchup for Silva, who will have trouble closing the distance, and will find Le no less dangerous when up close. Le by KO in the 2nd round.
After Vitor Belfort’s (19-8) win at UFC 103, Dana White stated that Belfort was ready for Anderson Silva (25-4) now. Apparently, Silva agrees and has verbally agreed to take on “The Phenom” at UFC 108. While UFC officials haven’t confirmed the news yet, The Los Angeles Times is reporting that Dana White is the originating source.
It was rumored that Dan Henderson would be next to take on Silva after his brutal knockout over Michael Bisping. But then Nate Marquardt had a just as impressive knockout victory over Demian Maia catapulting him to the top of the list as well. Silva’s manager stated that neither Marquardt nor Henderson should be next to fight Silva without first fighting each other first.
UFC 108 is scheduled to take place on Saturday January 2 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Normally the UFC schedules a year-end fight card, however due to the holiday season, the blockbuster show will instead be the first of 2010.
Silva is undefeated inside the octagon, setting a record ten fight win streak in the UFC. He most recently proved why he is so dangerous when he completely dismantled Forrest Griffin at UFC 101. Silva is scheduled to undergo elbow surgery to remove some bone spurs prior to his training camp for the fight.
Belfort’s victory over Franklin marked his fifth straight victory and third straight knock out victory.
Dan “Hollywood” Henderson (25-7) is holding firm, but he is confident that a UFC deal will get done. Henderson has always been one of the top mixed martial artists in the game as he held title belts in two weight classes while fighting in PRIDE, and has already had multiple wars inside the UFC octagon.
After serving as a coach on last season of The Ultimate Fighter, Henderson got the chance he had been waiting for, as he fought Michael Bisping at UFC 100 in July. In a bout that pitted the USA against the UK, Henderson made all the American fans ecstatic as he brutally knocked Bisping unconscious with a vicious right hand.
The American is now a free agent. The UFC definitely wants to re-sign him and have him face off against Nate Marquardt to see who the number one challenger for Anderson Silva’s middleweight belt would be. Henderson has made it public that he does not want to fight Marquardt right now, as he thinks he has earned the right to fight the champion again. He said that if the UFC is going to get him to fight Marquardt, the organization will need to meet his salary demands.
“Hollywood” believes he deserves more than the $350,000 he made for destroying Bisping.
He said that he hasn’t talked to Strikeforce, or any other promotion, and claims that he definitely wants to stick with the UFC and find a way to get a deal done. He is optimistic about a deal being made and wants to fight later this year in the octagon.