baltimoresun.com

« June 2009 | Main | August 2009 »

July 29, 2009

Debating MMA author Kelly Crigger

I always welcome a good debate with famed MMA journalist and author Kelly Crigger. Especially because those debates are so easy to win.

Issue No. 1: Now that UFC 100 has come and gone, what’s the next big milestone for MMA?

Kelly: It would be easy to use the Zuffa’s numbering system and say UFC 200 is the next big milestone in MMA, but there are other events that will take the sport to the next level. Although New York sanctioning MMA, breaking into the Mexican market, and signing Fedor are all big goals for the UFC, I think establishing a sustained presence in Japan is the Holy Grail for White and company. But they have significant obstacles to overcome before that ever happens. First off, in Japan MMA is family entertainment, which is why they don’t approve the use of elbows and disdain cuts. The Jim Miller–Mac Danzig blood bath at UFC 100 that resembled a scene from The Shining would not go over well. For that matter, the Octagon has a stigma attached to it from the early UFC days as being brutal, so the Japanese networks would almost certainly want Zuffa to abandon their trademark arena. Lastly, Japanese audiences love the freak-show fights that we’ve all come to regard as pure humor here in the States. Would Dana White and Joe Silva be willing to stage such superficial events like Hong Man Choi vs. Jose Canseco, install a ring, and ban elbows? Sure. And Gary Busey has a shot at nailing UFC ring girl Arianny Celeste. Until that happens, the plausibility of the UFC having a prolonged presence in Japan is as likely as Kojak doing a Head and Shoulders commercial.

Mark: Don’t knock Busey’s pick-up skills. He may read this and take that as a challenge. As for the whole Japan thing, that’s depressing. The big milestone is gaining a foothold in Japan but it will never happen? Thanks for the buzzkill. Why not just say the next big milestone for the UFC will be to hold the first MMA event on the moon? I think it’s clear, and has been for some time, that the next milestone for the UFC, and even bigger than UFC 100, is making the jump to network TV. That’s the biggest obstacle between the UFC and legitimacy right now. The mainstream media is acknowledging MMA more but not as much as they should. Having some prime-time specials on one of the major networks is the only thing that can bring the UFC to the next level. The fans will increase, the coverage will increase, and everyone will be happy. No casual sports fan is going to want to shell out 50 bucks to watch the Super Bowl or to watch the BCS title game. And soon enough, the casual fan should be able to watch at least a few big UFC events every year. The thing that distresses me about a TV deal: Dana White says it’s not a huge priority. It looks like the UFC is more focused on global expansion. If that’s the case, then Japan will be big for the UFC but I think they are taking the smart route and building up the rest of the globe first. There’s too much competition and the UFC would have to make too many concessions, like you said, to make Japan a priority right now.

Issue No. 2: Will Shane Carwin become the people’s champion by knocking off the new MMA villain, Brock Lesnar?

Kelly: Yes. As we all know, Lesnar snapped back into WWE mode after defeating Frank Mir and got all uppity with the crowd with a double-fisted middle finger salute accompanied by tortuous words about Bud Light. Bad move. Bud Light is as American as Chevrolet and apple pie, Mr. Lesnar. Not only have you made enemies of the MMA community, but the NASCAR community, the beer drinking community, and the dude who spent hours making sure the Bud Light mat in the octagon was straight. Now heavyweight contender Shane Carwin is pissed. Carwin immediately posted a diatribe on his Web site about Brock and if he gets past Cain Velasquez (I think he will), he’s been guaranteed a title shot. Carwin has the power of a super-heavyweight, but moves as quick as a lightweight. The hype around him is legit and with Greg Jackson in his corner developing a fight strategy. Mrs. Lesnar might not get any lovin’ when the two meet.

Mark: I like the Carwin talk, I really do. I think he’s a tough guy and will be a great heavyweight for the UFC. Does he have a shot at knocking off Lesnar? Sure, all it takes is one lucky punch (see Serra, Matt). But if both bring their A-games? It’s impossible to go against Lesnar. Carwin’s resume leaves a lot to be desired. He may have more experience, but wins against Randy Couture and Frank Mir are far better than anything Carwin’s amassed. Couture is the master at developing a game plan but that didn’t help him with Lesnar. I simply don’t see how Carwin gets it done. Even with his wrestling background, I don’t think he outwrestles Lesnar. Lesnar is bigger and stronger, although Carwin is one of the bigger heavyweights he’ll face. Lesnar is also freakishly athletic and incredibly quick. He can also throw a pretty lethal punch. Lesnar’s game still has a lot of holes but his overwhelming size, his championship wrestling background (in college, not in terms of steel chairs and top ropes) and his athleticism do a damn fine job of masking those flaws.

Issue No. 3: When will we get Anderson Silva vs. Georges St. Pierre?

Mark: OK, enough is enough. We had to put up with Anderson Silva vs. Patrick Cote and Thales Leites, but do we really have to suffer through GSP taking on Mike Swick or Martin Kampmann? Really? That’s supposed to be the next move for one of the biggest stars in the sport? The guy has dismantled the top two welterweights in the UFC with wins over Jon Fitch and Thiago Alves. Mike Swick is a capable fighter but he’s not ready for GSP. Let Fitch and Alves fight it out to see who gets a rematch and in the meantime, let’s make the fight Dana White has been talking about for months: GSP vs. Anderson Silva. It’s time. White said he’d look into it if GSP got by Alves and he dominated Alves. This is the biggest fight the UFC can put together. Even bigger than Lesnar-Fedor, if you judge by skill rather than hype. If Anderson Silva gets by Forrest Griffin at UFC 101, then this shouldn’t even be a question.

Kelly: I have no argument with you that it’s time for this clash. With Silva fighting next month and GSP slightly injured, both can get sufficient rest to begin a training camp in mid-September and be ready to fight in ... wait for it ... late December. What’s that? Do I hear the big New Year’s Eve show calling on my phone? Let me answer it. Hello? What’s that you say? The UFC is just teasing us so we start talking up this fight before they reveal their devious plan to have GSP and Silva fight in the big end-of-year event in Vegas? That’s genius! In fact, it’s nefarious! If Dana White suddenly started sporting a scar down the side of his face, I’d swear he was Dr. Evil. All kidding aside, I think both of these talented fighters have their timelines in place to clash at the end-of-the-year UFC blowout and there’s no reason why they shouldn’t. Make it happen, DW!

Issue No. 4: What’s the point of Dan Henderson vs. Rich Franklin II?

Mark: The main event at UFC 103 is one I simply can’t figure out. Both fighters are coming off good wins but this wasn’t exactly a great fight the first time they met. I still think Franklin should’ve won the controversial split decision. All Henderson did was take him down occasionally. He didn’t do jack on the ground and his most impressive moves in the stand-up game where his head butt and eye poke, both illegal moves. And this fight was confusing at the time because Franklin is moving up to 205 and Henderson is not. Hendo wants another shot at Anderson Silva and Franklin wants to make a go at light heavyweight. How does this fight make sense at all? It could be entertaining but it still doesn’t make sense for either guy.

Kelly: Instead of looking at one fight, I try to put these little clues together to deconstruct the UFC’s grand strategy. Taking into consideration my theory that Joe Silva is trying to set up a big cash cow fight between GSP and Anderson Silva at the year-end blowout event, this fight makes sense and exposes the UFC’s little conspiracy. On the surface it’s hard to see a need for Henderson-Franklin II. But reading between the lines, I’d say the UFC wants to keep Hendo away from Silva so they can set up the Silva-GSP fight. As you pointed out, Franklin really won their first meeting, but got robbed on the scorecards. By setting up a rematch, Franklin gets a chance to prove he’s better and the UFC keeps Dangerous Dan away from The Spider long enough to set up the GSP-Silva mega event in December. Win or lose, Dan won’t have time to prepare for a year-end showdown with Silva. If Franklin wins, he avenges the controversial loss and continues on his road to a 205-pound title shot. From a dolla dolla bills perspective, it eliminates the one uncontrollable variable that could spoil Dana’s dream of actually rolling naked in money.

Posted by Andy Knobel at 8:33 AM | | Comments (2)
        

July 23, 2009

Rich Franklin vs. Dan Henderson at UFC 103 ... why?

Rich Franklin will face Dan Henderson in the main event of UFC 103 in Dallas. And it makes zero sense. The two fighters are in different weight classes. Henderson has been focusing more on middleweight and Franklin has been vocal about his desire to stay at light heavyweight.

Both are coming off impressive wins. But Franklin should be facing a higher light heavyweight and Henderson should be facing Anderson Silva (if we get jobbed out of the Silva vs. GSP fight, which it looks like we will since Mike Swick will probably get the next welterweight title shot) or a top middleweight contender at the least.

These are two big names in the sport and there is some revenge factor involved since their last fight was a controversial split decision. Still, I don’t know that this was a fight anyone was clamoring for. I think Franklin takes it. But where, exactly, does he go because of it?

I hope it’s more entertaining than the first one and I hope Franklin can dodge the eye pokes and head butts of Henderson this time.

Posted by Andy Knobel at 4:37 PM | | Comments (5)
        

July 22, 2009

Barnett suspension an end for Affliction?

Josh Barnett is officially out of Affliction’s big Aug. 1 show where he was supposed to meet Fedor Emelianenko. That sucks. It ruins what was supposed to be one of the biggest heavyweight bouts in recent memory. Barnett certainly would’ve been a better opponent than Tim Sylvia and Andrei Arlovski were for Fedor.

In case you haven’t heard, Barnett tested positive for a banned substance. The full story is over at Yahoo, among other places.

The possible replacements don’t seem all that intriguing, either. It looks like Vitor Belfort will take on Fedor instead. Other rumored bouts are against Brett Rogers or Bobby Lashley, neither of whom are ready for Fedor. Truth be told, Belfort probably isn’t in proper shape for Fedor either.

An e-mailer posed a great question when this news came out: is this the final nail in the coffin for Affliction? This upcoming show is the weakest of the three cards they’ve put together and they were relying heavily on Fedor-Barnett. This could be disastrous for the promotion, which was never that successful to begin with.

Posted by Andy Knobel at 5:33 PM | | Comments (3)
        

July 17, 2009

The embarrassing part of UFC 100

For all the hubbub made of Brock Lesnar’s postfight antics, I think one thing has been glossed over too many times and that’s the ringside skirmish between Rashad Evans and Rampage Jackson. That was a much bigger WWE move than what the former pro wrestler did.

Yes, I’ve seen the quotes. I get it. They hate each other. They can’t stand each other. Oh, and they have a TV series to promote. A reasonable fan is expected to think one of two things: Wow, the UFC is really trying hard to promote TUF and this is a lame attempt to keep it at the top of our minds.

Or, that two grown men can’t be within 15 feet of each other without coming to blows. That is garbage boxing pulls to sell pay-per-views, not something the UFC needs. I’m fine with talking trash and I understand some guys just don’t like each other, but come on, give us some credit.

Did this really go through Jackson’s mind?

“Hey, Rashad Evans is looking at me funny ... GET 'EM!”

That hurts the credibility of the sport more than anything Brock Lesnar did. So he’s a poor sport, what’s the big deal? Rashad Evans and Quinton Jackson are professional athletes who are scheduled to fight against each other. When they “just can’t wait” to get it on, it makes the sport look like it’s fueled by putting two angry guys in a cage to wage war. The UFC doesn’t need to sell fights like that anymore.

Maybe that fight does need some extra hype that hopefully the TV show will give it. It’s not too often you see a No. 1 contender turn down a shot at a champion because he wants to settle a score with someone else. Usually, the No. 1 priority of any fighter is to prove he or she is the best in the world and that’s what the championships mean. It’s weird that Rampage’s disdain for Evans is greater than his desire to regain the title.

Rampage’s desires aside, when I saw the news about the shoving match, my first thought wasn’t “wow I can’t wait for that fight.” It was “give me a break.” If their grudge is that serious, go get Kimbo Slice, a parking lot and settle this YouTube style.

Posted by Andy Knobel at 12:15 AM | | Comments (11)
        

July 14, 2009

Could Lyoto Machida dethrone Brock Lesnar?



Chris Thomas, the co-host of Fight Club on SiriusXM (and a Baltimore guy), was on Scott Ferrall’s Sirius show Monday night and raised an interesting point about Brock Lesnar.

He said, essentially, that light heavyweight champ Lyoto Machida could move up to heavyweight right now and beat Brock Lesnar. Given that Machida has developed into quite an enigma himself, this fight sounds like it could be fascinating. Machida has expressed an interest in fighting Lesnar in the past but I think this would be a very tough fight for him.

Still, I like his chances better than 95 percent of the UFC’s heavyweight division. It could be awhile before we see Machida lose and the UFC has nothing to gain by making this fight while both are champs.

We’ve never seen Brock’s chin tested and Machida has excellent jiu-jitsu but Brock’s size and strength would be two difficult problems for Machida to solve. Machida has a unique style though and I'm not so sure Lesnar would be able to impose his gameplan at will.

Make no mistake, Lesnar has flaws. His strengths are capable of masking those against most of the UFC's heavyweights and Lesnar hasn't reached his peak yet. But an "elusive" and smart fighter, like Machida, could make things interesting for Lesnar. Certainly more interesting than with Heath Herring or Frank Mir.

Photo courtesy of the UFC

Posted by Andy Knobel at 12:15 AM | | Comments (15)
        

July 13, 2009

UFC 100 fallout ... time to sign Fedor

The fallout for UFC 100 may be even more interesting than the actual night of fights. While there are plenty of questions left from the undercard that will be debated and discussed in the coming weeks (what’s next for Mark Coleman and Jon Jones has to be at the top of that list) but most of the postfight discussion centered on Brock Lesnar, which is a shame.

I say that not because of his post-fight antics. In Lesnar’s mind he was back in the WWE, cutting a promo as the heel. The reality is more complicated than that and Lesnar isn’t nearly as bad a guy as he’s trying to appear. Sure, fans hate him now. But this whole thing isn’t nearly as bad as some are trying to make it out to be. Dana White shut him down fairly effectively and we won’t see this in the future. Lesnar’s WWE background made him a huge draw in the UFC and brought many new people to the sport. That’s a good thing. This is one of the few negatives that comes with bringing a Brock Lesnar to the sport. It’s still worth it in the end. Anyone who complains about Brock’s trash talking sounds like the aging broadcasting vet that whine about touchdown celebrations in the NFL. Get over it.

The reason Lesnar taking center stage is a shame is because Georges St. Pierre should be the talk of the night. He’s simply a freak. The welterweight division is much deeper than the UFC’s middleweight division and St. Pierre’s streak has been more impressive than Anderson Silva’s, yet GSP still has to fight to earn the respect he’s due. This was a huge test for GSP and he cruised. There’s no one left for him in the welterweight division that will be much of a challenge. Jon Fitch is next in line and I don’t think too many fans are clamoring for that bout.

Hopefully, what’s next for GSP is Anderson Silva. Silva has to take care of Forrest Griffin at UFC 101, which isn’t guaranteed, but a Silva-GSP superfight would be the best MMA fans have seen in a long time. Dana White has been talking about this fight since December and it would shock me if they don’t make it after UFC 101.

The next biggest fight the UFC can put together is Fedor Emelianenko vs. Brock Lesnar. The time is right. Randy Couture vs. Fedor wouldn’t have been nearly as big as Lesnar- Fedor. Fedor’s contract is up after the August 1 fight with Josh Barnett and moving to the UFC to fight a detested opponent is a brilliant move for Fedor. If he’s looking to make a name for himself stateside (among the casual fan that’s just hopping on the UFC bandwagon), what better way to do it than by destroying the man MMA fans have quickly grown to hate?

Lesnar probably poses more problems for Fedor than anyone currently in the UFC’s heavyweight division, but those problems are offset by the numerous question marks surrounding Lesnar. There are still so many holes in his game that are offset by his tremendous size and wrestling ability. The way he neutralized Frank Mir (who came into that fight with plenty of questions of his own) by lying on top of him and pulverizing his face was impressive, especially when some thought Mir would destroy Lesnar. Instead, he barely mounted much of an attack. 

With Mir ruled ineffective and with Lesnar already sporting a win over Couture, the list of challengers is fairly weak. Shane Carwin would be an interesting match with Lesnar, and the winner of the Carwin vs. Cain Velasquez bout will likely be Plan B for Lesnar if White can’t sign Fedor. Still, Carwin wouldn’t be able to keep the fight standing and Velasquez won’t be able to outwrestle the monster.

Dana White claims the UFC will get Fedor and will get him soon. That’s exciting news. Of course, I was excited the first time I sat in a UFC news conference and heard Dana White say that. More than two years ago.

There are several elite fighters outside of the UFC. Jake Shields comes to mind, along with a number of lightweights. No omission is bigger than Fedor, arguably the greatest fighter in the history of the sport. The UFC’s heavyweight division is thin but adding the Last Emperor is the key to rebuilding it. The rest of the pieces of the MMA puzzle will come together after that but the key for the UFC is to sign the only heavyweight that can make Brock Lesnar the massive underdog.
 

Posted by Andy Knobel at 12:53 AM | | Comments (27)
        

July 10, 2009

Mike Goldberg's quick thoughts on UFC 100

I spoke to the Voice of the Octagon, Mike Goldberg, on Thursday as he was heading into a production meeting to get his thoughts on UFC 100. I also asked him about his broadcasting career, working with Joe Rogan and how working for the UFC is different from working for a station. Part II of the interview will be up next week, but here’s what he had to say about UFC 100.

On what has him the most excited for UFC 100
Georges St. Pierre and Thiago Alves. To me it’s the two best welterweights in the world. They are young and hungry and explosive and both are extremely well-rounded. I’ve said for the past few years that the biggest threat to GSP was Thiago Alves and to me that’s the fight, from a pure MMA point of view, that I’m the most jacked about

What could be the sleeper fight of the night
Stephan Bonnar and Mark Coleman. It’s a prelim fight but Coleman has been pushing himself to a different level. I talked to his training partners and they said he hasn’t been this hungry in a long time. I’m excited to see Mark prepared mentally and physically to fight at 205. Randy Couture was wearing a belt at age 44 and I don’t know if Coleman can get there, but his fight with Bonnar will be interesting.

Posted by Andy Knobel at 2:27 PM | | Comments (2)
        

Catching up with Jon Fitch

 

I spoke with Jon Fitch, the consensus No. 3 welterweight in the world, about UFC 100 and he seemed pretty geared up for his fight with Paulo Thiago. If he wins, he would likely face the winner of the Georges St. Pierre-Thiago Alves fight.

On fighting on UFC 100
It’s a definite bonus to fight at such a large event. I was a little disappointed I didn’t get a fight sooner after January but being on UFC 100 absolutely makes up for it.

On the GSP- Thiago Alves fight
I’m not gonna pick but I want GSP to win so I can fight him again for the title. He’s a fairly complete fighter and has speed, agility and is a heck of an athlete. He’s got tight standup and good ground game and good control. He’s strong and has all the assets to be a top-level guy. Alves has made huge improvements in his takedown defense and is physically bigger and stronger. His standup is world class and he’s very good.

On how he’s changed since fighting GSP
I’ve tightened up my defense quite a bit. My ground game is continually improving. I needed to get back to the wrestling a little bit and focus on that. A lot of times we get away from the things we were good at to focus on other things so I had to get back to my wrestling.

On what would be different in a second GSP fight
I made a lot of technical mistakes in that fight and when you fight someone of that caliber and make mistakes, you pay for it. I took bad shots because of those mistakes. I took two big punches on mistakes and those alone set the course of that fight.

On his gameplan for Paulo Thiago
I don’t set a strict gameplan. Anything can happen and I just expect to pressure my opponent and try to force him to make mistakes so I can capitalize on them.

Posted by Andy Knobel at 8:53 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Q&As
        

UFC 100...where to watch?

UFC 100 is almost here and everyone seems pretty fired up for this card. I just hope it lives up to the hype as a lot depends on the two main events. Great card but they have also been hyping the holy hell out of it.

Either way, where are people going to watch UFC 100? Besides the requisite Hooters or a friend’s house, leave the best places to watch UFC 100 locally in the comments section so people can check it out among other MMA fans. Any place that serves chicken wings should have this show.


I’ve got one more radio appearance to do tomorrow and I don’t think I’m making my picks until then, but I’m leaning towards Lesnar/GSP/Henderson/Fitch/Akiyama. Henderson is the only lock of the three big fights, though. The others might as well be a coin flip. I can't wait for Saturday night.

Posted by Andy Knobel at 7:49 AM | | Comments (9)
        

July 7, 2009

UFC 100 odds and ends

There’s been plenty of news on the UFC 100 front, although most of it is trivial bits designed to hype the fight. The UFC announced that a former "Girl Next Door" will be an honorary Octagon girl at the fight. UFC president Dana White also announced that Chuck Liddell and Charles “Mask” Lewis from TapouT will be inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame at the UFC 100 Fan Expo. Both worthy additions.

The Bleacher Report is in the process of breaking down the top 100 MMA fights.

Kevin Iole at Yahoo has an excellent piece full of great MMA memories from fighters and fans.

Mine was definitely UFC 68 (a popular choice). Being an Ohio guy, the crowd was electric and this was the first event I covered as a journalist (although not the first event I’d seen). The energy before, during and after Ohio’s first UFC event was something I’ll never forget. Just a great night. Anyone else have favorite memories that weren’t listed in the Iole piece?

Dan Wetzel at Yahoo had a good read about Dana White late last week

The Canadian Press’s Neil Davidson has a good read on White as well

SI.com’s
Josh Gross with the report that Liddell is going to take at least a year off from fighting

Gross also has an interesting read on the business controversies brewing near UFC 100.
Posted by Andy Knobel at 4:32 PM | | Comments (2)
        

July 6, 2009

The most important trait for a fighter?

What’s better for a fighter? To promote a fight like crazy and put on a show in the Octagon or to just take care of business and win at all cost? Two UFC 100 fighters seem to be on the opposite sides on the issue and it makes for an interesting question.

Brock Lesnar was very clear on the UFC 100 conference call that money is the big reason he fights in the UFC.

“This is prize fighting for me,” Lesnar said. “If you look at it any other way then you might as well fight in the underground, you know with bare knuckles and fight in the streets as far as I’m concerned.”

Now, that was in response to a question on Frank Mir calling himself a true martial artist and saying Lesnar only fights for money. There’s no doubt Lesnar loves the sport and loves doing what he does but the bottom line is what’s paramount.

Lesnar knows how to play the game and how to promote a fight and those are things outside of what happens in the Octagon that have gotten him where he is today.

Mir, whether he’d like to think so or not, is closer to Brock Lesnar than he realizes in that respect. He may have more invested in the sport and may love the sport more but Mir has done his fair share of talking trash and hyping the fight, which are things necessary to improve the bottom line but not to someone who wants to be above the fray.

Another UFC 100 fighter, Jon Fitch, fits that martial artist label a little better. I spoke with Jon this week (the full interview will be up later this week) and he said he doesn’t get wrapped up in the stuff outside of the Octagon.

“I don’t care about making money or putting on a show,” he said. “I’m a martial artist and I want to improve myself and be the best. I could talk smack but it’s not me and not how I think it should work.”

And later.

“Some guys focus on flashy fights but I just want to beat good opponents with solid wins and it’s just not my job to sell tickets. Too many new fans are accustomed to the professional wrestling side and think every match should be like a pro wrestling match.”

Fitch isn’t a flashy fighter but he’s impressive in the Octagon and has developed quite a resume. Lesnar, on the other hand, is more flash than anything. I don’t think we’ve seen Lesnar as good as he will become and while he’s pretty intimidating, right now he is still fairly raw as a fighter.

But, he’s an honest guy who knows how to get people interested for a fight. And, like a Wanderlei Silva, he’s got an exciting style (until he gasses).

The mantra always used to be “put on a show” in the Octagon. So which side should be more important? Is it the flash and the pizzazz to sell tickets and hype a fight and to have an entertaining fight style or is it more important to just win?

Posted by Andy Knobel at 1:28 AM | | Comments (1)
        

July 3, 2009

Does Michael Bisping have a shot against Dan Henderson?

The consensus seems to be no. He’s the biggest underdog of the three main fights at UFC 100 (according to Vegas) and most pro fighters are taking Hendo in that fight. I think Henderson has been less than impressive in his last two bouts. The nicest moves he had against Rich Franklin were illegal (eye poke, head butt) and even that was a controversial win. And he’s no spring chicken at age 39.

Bisping has good stand-up and has never been stopped. His only loss is a split-decision to Rashad Evans. Of course, there’s also the phantom win over Matt Hamill, which should’ve been a loss. Still, he's a younger guy with a promising future. He should be a good threat for Henderson, right?

When you compare the resumes of the two it’s not even close. Henderson’s reads like a who’s who of MMA legends. Just in the UFC he’s fought Anderson Silva, Quinton "Rampage" Jackson and Rich Franklin. Three legends in four fights and if you go back to his PRIDE days the list goes on and on and on.

I think you can make a case for Alves. I think you can make a case for Mir (although not as much as some think). So, maybe it does make sense that Bisping is the biggest underdog of the three.

(Dan Henderson photo courtesy of Zuffa, Inc.) 

Posted by Andy Knobel at 1:26 AM | | Comments (7)
        
Keep reading
Recent entries
Archives
Categories
About the blogger
Kevin Richardson has been a fan of mixed martial arts competition ever since UFC 3, when 600-pound sumo wrestler Emmanuel Yarborough was beaten by Keith Hackney. Kevin will cover the world of MMA — in Baltimore, nationally and internationally. He plans to take readers into the locker rooms and MMA schools, where they'll hear from local fighters and trainers. If you have a news tip or suggestions for the blog, please e-mail him.

-- ADVERTISEMENT --

Poll
Sign up for FREE local sports alerts
Get free Sun alerts sent to your mobile phone.*
Get free Baltimore Sun mobile alerts
Sign up for local sports text alerts

Returning user? Update preferences.
Sign up for more Sun text alerts
*Standard message and data rates apply. Click here for Frequently Asked Questions.
Categories
Blog updates
Recent updates to baltimoresun.com sports blogs  Subscribe to this feed
Stay connected