What's Going On?

What’s Going On? (Mar 4th – 10th)

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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Darren Till vs. Rafael Dos Anjos?

Darren Till has expressed interest in fighting former lightweight champion Rafael Dos Anjos in a recent interview.

Just because of his fan base there, and I’ve obviously lived there. I’ve got a lot of fans there, and I can speak the language. It would be a good sell in Brazil, if he’s willing to do it… I know he’s waiting for [Tyron] Woodley but Woodley doesn’t seem to want to come back.” – Darren Till

As fun as a fight this would be, Dos Anjos has earned the right to fight for the title and should not have to fight the #7 ranked fighter in his division. This would be a repeat of the Jacare Souza situation. Maybe Till can fight Colby Covington in the mean time (I know a lot of people want to see that guy get knocked out badly).

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Mackenzie Dern‘s Debut Draws Viewers

According to Dave Meltzer, Mackenzie Dern’s UFC debut was the most watched portion of the UFC 222: Cyborg vs. Kuntskaya prelims. It was also a bigger draw than the crazy Wilder vs. Ortiz boxing fight. Although Mackenzie Dern herself wasn’t that impressive in her debut (completely lacking in the striking department), she has proven to be a pretty big cash cow for the UFC. I expect them to give her the Sage Northcutt treatment to make he a household name and protect her record. I just hope see fixes her striking or uses her grappling much more effectively, otherwise see will end up like Ronda Rousey when she was exposed in the striking department.

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Conor McGregor, Max Holloway, and Burger King

Conor McGregor and Max Holloway continued to poke jabs at each other after UFC 222: Cyborg vs. Kunitskaya.

So when McGregor announced that he was partnering with Burger King, similar to Anderson Silva, the UFC Featheweight Champion decided to take this opportunity to mock his former advisory.

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Don’t you just love when two fighters get along? In all seriousness, I don’t understand why McGregor is even talking trash to Holloway. I guess he may want to face him when either of those killers, Khabib Nurmagomedov or Tony Ferguson, take his belt. Regardless, in about a month only one of them can call themselves champion.

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Derrick Lewis vs. Francis Ngannou?

Derrick Lewis has been campaigning for a fight with recent title challenger Francis Ngannou. He said recently on a podcast that he would like to get the fight as soon as possible. This would definitely be an entertaining fight and would be easy for the UFC to sell as a must-watch bout. Ngannou may not want to fight Lewis now, especially after coming short against heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic, but this could be the fight that would propel him back into title contention. Plus, the rivalry between these two has been bitter from the start. Let’s just hope that when they do fight, the UFC reinforces the octagon cage walls.

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Fabricio Werdum wants to be in WWE

This is probably the most surprising news of the week. Fabricio Werdum has stated that he will meet with WWE executives to talk about a potential crossover into the world of professional wrestling. Werdum then went on the record to say that the idea was nixed and instead he would be considering lucha libre style wrestling. This is a very off move as Werdum feels that he can balance both worlds which has me skeptical. If he ever does go to WWE, however, then I would love to see him and Brock Lesnar in a cage match. The cage should also be in the shape of an octagon.

Other News:

Let's Talk About...

Let’s Talk About… Georges St-Pierre’s Next Opponent

Georges St-Pierre is one of, if not, the greatest MMA fighters of all time. His accomplishments in the sport are second to none. Yet he still has interest in coming back for one more fight. His opponent is what remains a mystery. So here we will discuss the possible opponents he may face when, or if, he returns.

The Money Fight:

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The first option that comes to mind is the, soon to be former, UFC Lightweight Champion Conor McGregor. This fight would make the most financial sense as GSP would get a substantial paycheck for this fight and would have an opponent that fights at a smaller weight class. Also GSP’s wrestling ability would neutralize McGregor’s striking power in an instant, making this the easiest matchup with the biggest pay for GSP.

The Championship Fight:

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The second option for GSP would involve an oppurtunity to reclaim the welterweight title from Tyron Woodley. If he is serious about competing on a regular basis then maybe capturing a championship is the way to go. Stylistically, Woodley would be the toughest matchup for GSP, so this fight might not happen based on that. We all know Woodley wants it, but whether or not GSP takes it comes down to the legend himself.

The Rivalry Fight:

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This fight, or fights, could also be considered a money fight. Both Nick and Nate Diaz have proven that they are two of the biggest draws in combat sports today. GSP has already fought Nick Diaz (a rematch wouldn’t be too bad) but has never fought the younger Nate Diaz. Both would be entertaining opponents that would give GSP a decent pay-day while also letting him fight someone who isn’t too small for him. Plus, it could get either Diaz brother to fight again which is always good for both the UFC and the fans.

The Legacy Fight:

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Last, but certainly not least, is the most interesting fight GSP can take. Ben Askren is an undefeated welterweight fighter who just recently retired without ever setting foot inside the UFC octagon. He is considered one of the best fighters in the entire world but was never able to get into the UFC due to both parties being unable to come to a deal. Askren has stated that he would come out of retirement to fight GSP in a well deserved super fight. This may give GSP the lowest payday, but this could give him a challenge against one of the most talented fighters that has never fought under the UFC brand.

The Verdict:

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So in conclusion, the best option for Georges St-Pierre is going to come down to this: what does he want? If it is money, then he should fight Conor McGregor. If it is pride, then he should fight Tyron Woodley. I personally think he is after the money, just listen to his ‘stock market’ speech, so I bet he would want to fight McGregor. A good alternative would be to fight either Diaz brother. It would not hold up any division and would give both fighters a reason to fight again. Whatever the reason, the UFC seems desperate for big stars so they would love to have GSP back sooner rather than later…or never.

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.