What A Weekend For MMA

It’s been a long weekend in our sport, and I’m pretty exhausted.  After the IFL Grand Prix and UFC 79, it’s enough to make you wonder how we got to this point from the days of tiny shows in civic center arenas that went straight to VHS tapes.  How far we’ve come.  Anyway, it’s Monday morning now, so back to work…

I keep reading on the internet how surprised people are that Ryan Schultz beat Chris Horodecki for the IFL lightweight title.  Apparently, no one even gave Schultz a chance, which is odd when you consider he’s the only man to beat Roger Huerta, so he must know a thing or two about this MMA stuff.  What’s really strange to me though are the people who seem to think Schultz’s victory spells doom for the IFL.

I mean, really?  First, people complain that the IFL is propping Horodecki up and protecting him as the league’s golden boy.  Then, when he loses his first fight to a tough guy like Schultz, they think the IFL is finished?  I just don’t see it.  Maybe I’m a little biased, but I think the more diversity and unpredictability the IFL has, the better.  Who wants to see the same guy win every time?  Now the division is wide open, and it should be interesting to see Schultz’s first title defense.  I know for a fact that he and John Gunderson have wanted to fight each other for a very long time, and that could be an explosive one.

On the whole, the five championship fights on the IFL card were all great ones, and all ended decisively.  What really surprised me was not so much Schultz winning, but Benji Radach losing.

Matt Horwich has got to be a truly baffling fighter to go up against.  His style is so awkward and it doesn’t seem to bother him at all to get hit in the face over and over again.  Radach was doing a great job in the first round, circling away and landing solid shots.  But Horwich just never stops.  He may be a little on the weird side, but that really only makes him more difficult to figure out in the ring.  I can’t wait to see Horwich and Tim Kennedy go at it, which has got to happen hopefully sooner rather than later.

I didn’t get to see any of the UFC fights until returning home yesterday afternoon, but they, too, were worth the wait.  Georges St. Pierre proved what a dominant fighter he can be with a submission victory over Matt Hughes, and Chuck Liddell and Wanderlei Silva treated fans to a truly memorable battle.

After the GSP-Hughes fight, I have to wonder what Matt Serra is thinking right now.  He shocked St. Pierre the first time, but does he believe he can do it again?  St. Pierre looked to me like one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world on Saturday night.  When he comes in ready and focused, I don’t think there’s a 170-pounder in the world who stands a chance, Serra included.

The other question at hand is, what becomes of Hughes now?  He’s said before that he only has a few fights left in him, and if he can’t beat GSP there’s little hope for him in the welterweight title picture, so what’s he waiting around for?  The answer may be a grudge match with Serra after his GSP fight.  That’s the only thing that makes sense for Hughes, other than retirement.

As for Liddell, the win over Silva is a tremendous career boost and will stand as a hallmark moment in his already Hall of Fame career, but I don’t think it qualifies him for an instant title shot.  I’d like to see him against somebody like Forrest Griffin first, but that probably won’t happen now that Griffin and “Rampage” Jackson are coaching the reality show.  More and more, TUF seems like an albatross for MMA, and for exactly that reason.  It puts the title picture on hold in whatever division the coaches come from.  So what does Liddell do now?

Well, how about a fight with “Shogun” Rua?  He got beat pretty soundly by Griffin, but it might make for a good contender match.  Then again, the UFC will probably just hold Liddell out of action until after Jackson-Griffin, rather than take a chance on him losing and getting tossed back in the 205-pound ranks.  Oh well.

As for Silva, he fought well enough to prove that he can still make some waves in the UFC.  He’ll probably never wear another major MMA title, but a rematch between he and “Rampage” still has some heat, though that’s a long wait for “The Axe Murderer.”  Wait a minute, what’s Keith Jardine up to these days?  Hey, I’m just saying.

Advertisements

6 Comments

Filed under Chris Horodecki, Chuck Liddell, Georges St. Pierre, IFL, Matt Hughes, MMA, Ryan Schultz, UFC, UFC 79, Wanderlei Silva

6 responses to “What A Weekend For MMA

  1. Gong

    Not exactly title contention material, but what about Wandy-Tito 3? It should be able to generate a sort of buzz, and might be a good fight to boost either fighter. Maybe.

  2. The Fighting Life

    I actually think Silva-Ortiz makes sense, although I believe it would only be their second fight.

    The problem is getting Tito back in the Octagon. He doesn’t seem to want to fight much anymore, though I’d love to see that one. Something tells me Silva would fare better this time.

  3. Gong

    My bad, that was a typo. And I do agree that Silva should be on the winning side on their second meeting.

    I still can’t believe that Tito’s on The Apprentice. Will you be watching it? It’ll be a cross between schadenfreude and masochism, I think.

  4. The Fighting Life

    Gong, I will not be watching Tito on Celebrity Apprentice. For one, I’ve never thought any permutation of The Apprentice was at all entertaining. For another, if he isn’t fighting or training people to fight or at least whipping Ken Shamrock into a fury, I find Tito pretty unbearable to watch. He just makes me uncomfortable.

  5. James

    What do you think the chances are for Chris Horodecki crossing over into the UFC? I personally believe he is fighting in the right league for now, and I am not saying the IFL is going anywhere but they dont have the same following as the UFC. One more fighter… Urijah Faber? Very confident fighter, decisive victories. UFC bound?

  6. The Fighting Life

    James, I think Horodecki still has some growing and maturing to do, and I think the IFL is the right place for him. Not to mention, in the IFL he’s a marquee fighter, but in the UFC he’d just be another name right now.

    As for Faber, I don’t think he’s going anywhere. Zuffa bought the WEC in part so they could showcase featherweights without having to add them to the UFC. Faber is the biggest draw the WEC has, so they probably want to keep him there unless the UFC decides to add the 145-pound division, which they may do at some point.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s