What's Going On?

What’s Going On? (Mar 11th – 17th)

A whole new week means a whole new set of MMA news and events that needs to be discussed by yours truly. So let’s get right into it with some interesting topics for this week.

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Demetrious Johnson vs. TJ Dillashaw?

The superfight between the UFC’s two smallest male champions has been anticipated for months but still ha not been finalized. This largely in part has to do with Demetrious Johnson being unwilling to fight TJ Dillashaw without the proper pay. Now Johnson is stating that he has no interest in the UFC Bantamweight Championship.

I’m going to be frank and honest, if I went up there and beat T.J. Dillashaw at 135 pounds, I have no interest whatsoever in staying at 135. People are like ‘why not?’ and I’m like I have no interest in fighting guys who walk around at 160 pounds.” – Demetrious Johnson

This is reasonable thinking for the flyweight champion as he would have to deal with a lot of guys who would be considerably bigger than him. His ability to not let the pressure get to him is also admirable. Meanwhile, former middleweight champion Michael Bisping stated that Johnson needs this fight to cement his legacy. Legacy is great and all but nowadays it is all about the green stuff. Bisping should know better than that.

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Amanda Nunes vs. Cris Cyborg?

While we are on the topic of superfights, Amanda Nunes vs. Cris Cyborg has been a women’s fight that many MMA fans are hopeful to see. However, Nunes appears to be backtracking her desire to face off against the dominant featherweight champion. She put emphasis on the fact that her division is starting to grow and that more contenders are lining up to face her. Nunes feels she is obligated to fight the top contenders instead of fight another champion in another division. Some feel that Nunes does not want to fight Cyborg and that she is using this as an excuse to avoid her. Whatever the case, I like the stance. Champions should be obligated to fight their top contenders. Maybe after a few solid defences then they can look for super fights.

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UFC 225 News

UFC 225 is starting to shape up as Chicago has no got three big names added to the show. The main event will be Robert Whittaker defending his middleweight title in a rematch of his last fight against Yoel Romero. But if that isn’t enough then the Chicago crowd will be happy to learn that one of their own, CM Punk, will be making his return to the octagon. His opponent is still unknown. I love the main event, it will be just as exciting as their last bout, but the addition of CM Punk is surely to make the real MMA fans groan. His UFC debut was a disaster and now he is getting a second chance. Hopefully this will be his last bout because, whether he wins or loses, there is pretty much nobody left that CM Punk can even come close to hanging with.

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Ronda Rousey Retired?

In a recent interview, Ronda Rousey stated that a return to the octagon is as likely as a return to the Judo Olympic scene. This is very disappointing for any fan that wanted to see Rousey strap on those gloves again, even if it was one more time. I feel this is the best call for her as she is having tremendous success with her WWE run and seems to be really happy there. Back in the UFC, she may take another beating and will also be boo’d by a bunch of anti-Rousey fans. I still think she can beat a lot of women in the UFC, but her days as champion are done.

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Luke Rockhold vs. Michael Bisping III?

Trash talk has been going back and forth between Luke Rockhold and Michael Bisping on Twitter (I would post it here but there are too many to post). The fight should happen as it is the norm for a trilogy fight to happen if both fighter have one win a piece. However, Bisping doesn’t know if he fights again. He believes he may have fought for the last time but Rockhold is hoping for a final shot to redeem his embarrassing loss to The Count. Let’s all just hope and pray this fight gets made because there is bound to be a finish and this rivalry is as real as it gets.

Bisping doesn’t know if he fights again

Other News:

Tuesday Top Ten

Tuesday Top Ten: First Round Finishes From Current UFC Champions

At UFC 222: Cyborg vs. Kunitskaya we saw one of the most dominant performances in a championship bout. This gave me the brilliant idea for this week’s top ten list. The current list of UFC champions right now have multiple first round finishes under their belts. Just about all of them have been dominant. So here is the top ten first round finishes from current UFC champions. We are excluding non-title fights they have competed in.

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#10. Stipe Miocic vs. Fabricio Werdum

Many people were pretty sure that Fabricio Werdum was going to beat Stipe Miocic after seeing his performance against Cain Velasquez that won him the UFC Heavyweight Championship. So when Miocic put the former champion to sleep with a perfect cross counter during one of Werdum’s rushes, it came as a massive shock for the MMA community. It was just a sign of things to come from Miocic’s legendary title run.

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#9. Demetrious Johnson vs. Henry Cejudo

Henry Cejudo was the best chance, since John Dodson, to beating Demetrious Johnson. He was an undefeated fighter and an olympic wrestler. This did not seem to matter to Johnson however, as he went in there and took Cejudo out in the first round with a series of knees in the clinch.

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#8. Stipe Miocic vs. Junior Dos Santos

Stipe Miocic continued his dominant championship run when he faced one of the two men to ever beat him in his MMA career. Although Junior Dos Santos looked promising as he was landing some leg kicks to Miocic, one would eventually hurt him, Miocic would eventually land a devastating right hand that dropped JDS to get the win in devastating fashion.

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#7. Rose Namajunas vs. Joanna Jedrzejczyk

This was the biggest upset win on this entire list. Rose Namjunas was subject to a lot of verbal abuse by Joanna Jedrzejczyk in the lead up to the fight. This ended up blowing up in Jedrzejczyk’s face however, as Namajunas was able to drop her adversary with a lead hook and then deliver some ground and pound that led her Jedrzejczyk to tap to the strikes (yes it was a tap).

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#6. Amanda Nunes vs. Miesha Tate

When this fight was named the main event to UFC 200, many people felt like it would not serve as a proper close to what should be an epic card (thanks Jon Jones and Conor McGregor). But when the fight took place, fans were stunned by Amanda Nunes’ quick annihilation of Miesha Tate that gave her the championship. She bludgeoned Tate with her fists of stone until Tate was a bloody mess and was forced to curl up in a ball until the ref stepped in.

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#5. Cris Cyborg vs. Yana Kunitskaya

In the most recent fight on this list, Cris Cyborg absolutely destroyed Yana Kunitskaya in this impressive performance by a champion. Kunitskaya had an oppurtunity to win when she took Cyborg’s back, but all hope was lost when Cyborg powered her way out and continued to throw bombs at Kunitskaya to get the victory in this dominant win.

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#4. Demetrious Johnson vs. Joseph Benavidez

In their first fight, Demetrious Johnson defeated Joseph Benavidez by decision. Benavidez felt confident the second time around as he had been working on his striking with the addition of Duane Ludwig to Team Alpha Male. Sadly for him though, Johnson had also been working on his striking. The feeling out process was going on for quite a bit in the first round and as Joe Rogan was complimenting Johnson’s form in his striking, Johnson caught Benavidez with a well placed hook/uppercut that shut the lights off for Benavidez (and his dreams of becoming champion).

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#3. Amanda Nunes vs. Ronda Rousey

The hype behind Ronda Rousey’s return was insane. Many were hoping she came back and reclaim her title in dominant fashion like the fighter of old. This was not meant to be. Amanda Nunes, angered by the lack of media attention to her, absolutely destroyed the MMA darling and sent her into retirement via one-sided beat down that was mercifully stopped before Rousey even went down.

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#2. Tyron Woodley vs. Robbie Lawler

Tyron Woodley may get a lot of criticism for being a boring fighter, but when he captured the UFC Welterweight Championship from Robbie Lawler, it was anything but boring. Similar to the Demetrious Johnson vs. Joseph Benavidez fight, both fighters were feeling each other out and looking for an opening. Leg kicks were thrown and they had a little clinch battle as well. But the only significant strike that was thrown on the feet was by Woodley when he threw a killer overhand right that shattered the iron chin that Lawler had. It was a real eye-opener as Woodley has been a tough puzzle to solve ever since that punch was thrown.

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#1. Conor McGregor vs. Jose Aldo

This is, without a doubt, the most dominant victory of any current UFC champion. It only took thirteen seconds and one punch for Conor McGregor to dethrone the former P4P king Jose Aldo from the featherweight throne. It’s what made McGregor the larger than life fighter that he is known to be. Now if only he can defend that belt of his. Oh well.

Tuesday Top Ten

Tuesday Top Ten: Possible Dream Fights

Dream fights are becoming more of a reality these days with everyone wanting big money fights. Who can blame them though? They do it because the fans are willing to pay for it. I have selected the top ten possible dream fights that have slim chance of happening but are still possible today. Only rules are that the fights have to be possible and no fighter can be on more than one dream fight. It’s like we are putting together a fantasy match card. So without further delay, here are the best dream fights to make in the UFC today:

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#10. Rashad Evans vs. Vitor Belfort

First we have two former UFC Light Heavyweight Champions. Both have some vicious knockouts in the past and are known for their expertise in grappling as well with on being a former NCAA Division I wrestler and both being Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belts. They are well past their primes but this could potentially be a close contest due to their will to win.

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#9. Anthony Pettis vs. Jose Aldo

This was a dream match back in the day when both men were champions. To me it would still be amazing to see because of their fast paced and high volume striking. I feel Jose Aldo would look to grapple while Anthony Pettis would try to keep it standing. But if does stay on the feet then do not expect Aldo to just roll over. This would be a great fight between two former champions.

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#8. Cris Cyborg vs. Amanda Nunes

Here is the only women’s fight on the list. Both fighters have been dominant throughout their career, finishing almost all of their opponents. Both are also champions in their respected divisions. I would have put Holly Holm instead of Amanda Nunes but I am pretty sure that Cyborg and Holm will face each other that it is no longer a dream match and instead is reality. This is a dream match because of the Nunes being unwilling to face Cyborg. Cyborg would clearly have the edge with her frame and impressive winning streak but Amanda Nunes’ hands and Jiu-Jitsu should give Cyborg her toughest challenge yet.

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#7. Demetrious Johnson vs. Cody Garbrandt

This is a fight that both fighters have requested but were refused. The magnitude of this fight would be huge. It would be the biggest little man fight in UFC history with both winning streaks on the line as well as a title. The UFC wants TJ Dillashaw to face Demetrious Johnson instead. This is baffling because this fight makes more sense since both are champions. Plus, both are gifted athletes who have impressive striking and great wrestling to make this a barn burner.

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#6. Tyron Woodley vs. Michael Bisping

These are probably the two most hated champions in not only UFC today but also in UFC history. Tyron Woodley has the power and wrestling to takeout anyone in his division. Michael Bisping has the reach and size advantage as he is the king of the middleweight division to Woodley’s welterweight division. You can make a case for either fighter but expect many boos to fill the arena if the two meet face-to-face in the octagon.

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#5. Stipe Miocic vs. Daniel Cormier

Daniel Cormier started his career at heavyweight, where he is undefeated at, and was the form UFC Light Heavyweight champion . Stipe Miocic is the current heavyweight champion who is one win away from having the most title defenses in the heavyweight division’s history. What more needs to be said? If Cormier moves to heavyweight and gains a win or two, he can petition for a title shot in this potential dream fight.

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#4. Anthony Johnson vs. Alistair Overeem

Two of the baddest and most scariest knockout artists in the history of MMA going up against each other is what any sane man would want to see. Alistair Overeem may be the bigger fighter, but he has shown that his chin is not hard to crack if you so much as touch it. Anthony Johnson meanwhile has never been finished via strikes except for one time by an eyepoke. This is very unlikely to happen due to Johnson’s apparent retirement and unwillingness to move up weight class. But a fan can dream, right?

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#3. Conor McGregor vs. Nick Diaz

Two of the most toxic fighters in UFC history. The press conferences alone would be amazing. Conor McGregor already had a couple of fights with Nick Diaz’s younger brother Nate Diaz, but how would he fare against the older brother who is a former Strikeforce champion? They also have some of the best boxing in the business which would make for a fun fight to watch.

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#2. Jon Jones vs. Brock Lesnar

Here is the fight that is possibly closest to happening. Both are monsters in their divisions, so putting them against each other makes sense. I’ve talked about this fight before in the past so if you want to see that be sure to CLICK HERE. Even though this would be a huge draw, it is not number one on my lift. That goes to two of the greatest of all time.

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#1. Anderson Silva vs. Georges St-Pierre

Number one on this list if a fight fans have been asking for for many years. The fact that this fight has not happened yet is depressing. These two dominated their division and are known by nearly every fight fan and casual alike. The fight is still possible though with both fighters still competing, but a lot would have to happen for it to come to fruition. I guess in the meantime I will have to just play EA Sports UFC 2 with these fighters instead until then.

Let's Talk About...

Let’s Talk About… Tyron Woodley

At UFC 214: Cormier vs Jones 2, Tyron Woodley displayed a very impressive performance against Jiu-Jitsu black belt Demian Maia. However, many felt his style of fighting was that of a coward. This has been a common theme of criticism towards Woodley ever since he won the belt last year after knocking out Robbie Lawler. Let’s take a closer look at “The Chosen One” and analyze the criticism he has received:

Personality

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Tyron Woodley became a topic of discussion when he began blaming racism on his poor treatment as a champion. Many, including Dana White, felt this was Woodley just being a drama queen due to the lack of support for his argument. I, on the other hand, feel that his statements may have a bit of substance to them when you look at how much hate the current African-American UFC champions, such as Demetrious Johnson and Jon Jones, are given nowadays by the fans. I think many fans need to be more open to the issues he is trying to highlight instead of ignoring him the moment te word “racism” is uttered. I can understand if you want to disagree with his statements because it is a debated topic but I feel many people do not give him a chance to begin with. Of course, the blame cannot be placed solely on the fans. Woodley could benefit from expressing his opinions in a more clear and concise manner so that there is no confusion. I know Woodley can come off as whiny but I genuinely feel he is just misunderstood in this situation.

Style of Fighting

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In his last three fights, Tyron Woodley was on the fence for the majority of the time. However he ended up winning two of those contests and got a draw in the other. Woodley claims that the reason for this is because it is up to his challengers to try to take the belt from him as he did when he faced off against Robbie Lawler. I can understand this and I also think that his style has been pretty genius. It may not be the most exciting fighting style but if Woodley’s only goal is to win title fights consistently then he has found the perfect strategy. He was able to survive Stephen Thompson’s excellent striking and dropped him in both bouts that they had. In his bout against Demian Maia he was able to stop around 24 takedowns and also landed some powerful punches that both dropped him to the mat at one point and swelled half of his face up. His style may be boring to some but you cannot deny success it has had on his title run as of late.

Willingness to compete

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One thing that is constantly overlooked about Tyron Woodley is how often he fights as well as who he chooses to defend his belt against. So far Woodley has competed in at least two fights every year in his career except for 2015. This is pretty active for a fighter especially a champion. So expect his next fight to be at the end of this year. He also has been facing only the top contenders in his division which is a huge plus as a champion. He has not been pushing for the Georges St-Pierre fight that could give him a pretty generous payday and is instead content with fighting the top contender if the GSP fight does not happen. This is something a lot of his haters like to ignore when they call him a coward. He accepts all contenders and challenges them to take his belt away.

Final Analysis

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As you can probably tell by the way I have described Tyron Woodley in the last few paragraphs, I am 100% behind Woodley and his behaviour. He may come off as a whiner but his ability to win fights (despite the tactic being boring) and face top contenders frequently are the main reasons me and many others are fans of him. I feel if anyone does not like the man then they need to ask themselves what kind of fighters they do like and why. If they answer those questions then they will be surprised to see how much in common “The Chosen One” has with them. If you still hate Woodley after that then you are a R A C I S T! (just kidding)