There are no fights of note this weekend, but per usual, that doesn’t mean there’s a lack of items to discuss in the mixed martial arts world. From the “wow, that was quick” discussion of Anderson Silva vs. Georges St-Pierre, to the “battle” between WWE Network and UFC Fight Pass that exists mainly in the fantasy world of hardcore pro wrestling fans, to Dominick Cruz’s latest setback, to the latest from a certain women’s bantamweight champion everyone either loves or loves to hate, the chatter in the MMA Twitterverse forges on.
So with that, let’s get started on another edition of Fightweets.
Silva vs. GSP?
@IvanLSarabia: Obviously both sides need some time off, but do you think the circumstances are finally perfect for Silva/GSP?
I don’t know if “perfect” is the word we’re looking for here, Ivan. The “perfect” scenario would have been a couple years back when both fighters were at their peak, when the people were clamoring for the fight and weren’t yet sick of having it teased but not delivered. That’s closer to “perfect” then when one guy broke his leg and the other is off finding himself.
But I get what you’re saying. Silva’s camp has floated the idea of Spider vs. GSP as a return fight for both. If both fighters want it and find themselves in the mental and physical shape to do so, I mean, why not? Both were clearly getting tired of the grind. Both achieved almost everything there was to accomplish. Just maybe, fighting each other, purely for the sport of it and the bragging rights and minus the champion vs. champion superfight pressure, could be just what both fighters need to get the competitive juices flowing again.
Such a fight would also make sense from the UFC’s standpoint, since it could go to Silva vs. GSP without having to hold up two of its marquee divisions.
Sure, the fight wouldn’t be as big as it was if it happened at both fighters’ peak. But, you know what? I was cageside for Chuck Liddell vs. Wanderlei Silva, which also happened “too late.” It was one of the half-dozen or so most amazing, intense fight atmospheres I’ve experienced in eight years covering this sport. Silva vs. GSP, though also “too late,” would likely be the same.
“WWE vs. UFC”
@auggie85: what’s your take on the wwe network compared to fight pass? I know they are different products. But free ppv’s ..
Well, first off, I have to admit I got a chuckle out of the wrestling fans who came out of their basements to proclaim that WWE Network was going to blow UFC Fight Pass out of the water and blah blah blah. They’re the ones who, if Dana White had a turkey sandwich on the afternoon of UFC 168, would come out of the woodwork and proclaim that Vince McMahon ate a turkey sandwich the day of WrestleMania 6, thus proving the the UFC is copying the WWE.
Let’s go over this one more time: Yes, there are similarities in the UFC and WWE’s business models. But the two are nowhere near as intertwined as the rasslin’ fans try to make it out to be. Brock Lesnar was the outlier. If Brock Lesnar didn’t have that NCAA champion wrestling pedigree and couldn’t get it done in the Octagon, his vaunted star power would have been one-and-done. Dave Bautista and Bobby Lashley really brought over that gigantic crossover audience, didn’t they? Oh, and how has that pro wrestling connection worked out for Bellator?
Anyway, as for the actual WWE Network vs. Fight Pass, it’s an apples and oranges comparison. WWE is basically making a radical move to realign its entire business model. They’re betting that the PPV model is dead, but they’re doing so at a time UFC is up in 2013 over 2011-12 and boxing had it’s best PPV year in quite some time. UFC’s Fight Pass is an ancillary income outlet. Dave Meltzer, who understands the actual similarities and differences between wrestling and MMA, breaks down what this all means better than I can, so go here and check it out.
Matt Brown puts foot in mouth
@TheWarehouse27: How bad was Matt Brown’s podcast?
I haven’t listened to it and I don’t plan on wasting my time doing so. I am just going off what I’ve read Brown said (as well as the apology, UFC company statement, etc., etc.).
Remember when Brown started on his hot streak and suddenly tried to call out Georges St-Pierre and trash talk him? It came off as completely forced and unnatural. Conor McGregor, he isn’t.
The stuff Brown said about Ronda Rousey and Miesha Tate on his podcast, likewise, came off as an attempt to get attention and stay relevant which backfired. Clearly, the more we hear from Matt Brown, the more it becomes apparent that he’s one of those guys best off keeping his yap shut and impressing us with his considerable skills in the cage instead.
@MattBrownM2: Dear Dave, in this week’s Fightweets, please let your readers know that I am me, not The Immortal. I’m for fully clothed MMA
All I’m saying is, “MortalMattBrown” is still available as a Twitter handle.
Plight of The Dominator
@ynneKrepmats: now that Cruz has dropped his title, do you think he will return in a title fight or a warm up fight?
Warmup fight for sure. The UFC was entirely reasonable with Dominick Cruz and his injury woes. It’s a shame he had to drop out of the planned bantamweight unification fight with Renan Barao at UFC 169. But the fact of the matter is that he’s been slotted in both a co-main event on the monster UFC 148 card against Urijah Faber and in the UFC 169 main event and had to pull out of both. The UFC isn’t about to put him in a PPV drawing spot again until the time he can show he’s over his injuries once and for all.
Then there’s the simple ring rust factor. Undeniably Cruz had earned his spot as one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world by 2011. But it’s 2014. He’s been out a really long stretch. Time rarely stands still in mixed martial arts. Given how long he’s been out of action, it’s probably best for him not to be thrown right in with a killer like Barao. Assuming he can make it back, if he’s going to be given the chance to resume being the Dominick Cruz we remember, easing his way back is the smartest route.
@aussietmac: am I the only 1 who loved rouseys non-handshake? why does the mma world love sonnen for his actions… cont..
@aussietmac: ..cont.. but have a problem when a women shows REAL animosity towards an opponent???
For all the “why do you harp on this non-story” guff media takes from some of the fan base, very few stories have clicked as well and had as much mileage Ronda, Miesha and The Handshake. Like it or not, The Handshake is going down as one of those moments we’ll remember years down the road, like GSP getting on his knees and begging for a title shot.
Sitting cageside at the MGM, I knew the moment I could not hear a single word coming out of Rousey’s mouth in her UFC 168 post-fight interview that we had just seen the moment where Rousey crossed over into lasting stardom once and for all.
Some of the biggest and most enduring draws in combat sports history are the ones that half the audience love and the other half hates.
Whether you love her or hate her, Rousey is as genuine as they come. Look at the way she absolutely trashed her experience on The Ultimate Fighter. She hated it, and she didn’t even attempt to hide it, even though it might have been in her best interests for the show to succeed, regardless of what she thought of the final product. Likewise, weeks later, Rousey is still convinced she did the right thing in not shaking Tate’s hand and she’s not going to change her stance just to make people like her.
Bottom line, Rousey has captured the same love/hate vibe which helped make Floyd Mayweather a superstar. And as long as the people who claim to hate her and/or are sick of her are still tuning in, it’s going to stay that way.
@sigep422wesg: What are your picks for all categories for MMA AWARDS??
I’ll do this as a speed round, since people are probably sick of 2013 awards by this point: Fighter of the Year: Chris Weidman (tossup between him and Demetrious Johnson, but I can’t ignore Weidman beating Silva twice); Fight of the Year: Jon Jones vs. Alexander Gustafsson (Mark Hunt vs. Antonio Silva as runner-up, and no, Bigfoot’s test result doesn’t ruin it for me); Event of the Year: UFC 168 (reasons can be found here); KO of the Year: Weidman vs. Silva at UFC 162 (do I really need to explain that one?) Submission of the Year: Rose Namajunas’ 12-second flying armbar of Katrina Cintron in Invicta (seriously, it was a 12-second flying armbar); Comeback Fighter of the Year: Urijah Faber (I mean, 4-0 and another title shot).
@Christopher_Kit: Make a bold prediction for the year
Steve Jennum makes his long-awaited return and singlehandedly transforms 2014 into the Year of Ninjitsu.
Got a question for a future edition of Fightweets? Go to my Twitter page and leave me a tweet.
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