Why is CB Dollaway vs. Mike Massenzio on the UFC 92 main card while Dean Lister vs. Yushin Okami is on the undercard?
Kelly: I know this is still a long way off, but the UFC announced a finalized card for UFC 92 that included Dollaway-Massenzio on the main card while proven performers are on the undercard. What gives, Chalifoux? Did you have anything to do with this? Not likely, so I'm guessing Joe Silva couldn't think clearly when he signed this fight. Equally as perplexing are the Matt Hammill-Reese Andy and Ryo Chonan-Brad Blackburn fights on the undercard. Given my rant in our last debate about Chris Lytle not deserving main-card status and then turning in a fight of the night performance, maybe I should shut my cakehole about who fights on what card, but this fight doesn't deserve to be televised on the UFC's biggest night of the year. I'm perplexed.
Mark: Kelly, I believe that was a clerical error. There is no universe where Dollaway deserves to be fighting on the main card while Hammill and Okami are on the undercard. Listen, I would be OK with this if it was an attempt to increase PPV buys. A guy like Okami, who fans aren't as familiar with, is occasionally bumped to the undercard in favor of a more popular fighter. But this is UFC 92 -- it's already the biggest PPV of the year (in my opinion, although the UFC 91 with Randy Couture-Brock Lesnar will get more buys). No one is buying this PPV because of Dollaway so the UFC should be using the rest of the card to showcase the higher-caliber fighters like Hamill and Okami. This is the one card you can get away with showcasing high-caliber fighters with low appeal because of the triple main event.
Is Gegard Mousasi for real or did he just get lucky in the Dream tournament?
Kelly: Gegard Mousasi is not Houston Alexander. A more appropriate comparison would be to Ralph Nader because before 2008 he had modest wins and a small contingent of believers. Six fights later he's got Evangelista Santos, Denis Kang, Melvin Manhoef, and Ronaldo Souza in his win column. Mousasi can strike and he can submit guys stronger than himself, as evidenced in the Dream middleweight tournament. Of his 24 wins, only one is by decision, a monumental feat in today's MMA and has only two losses overall (both by armbar) in his five-year career. Mousasi is no fluke and should be considered among the world's top 10 middleweights. Unfortunately he has no plans to remain there. He's stated his desire to fight at 205 pounds in MMA and like KJ Noons, he wants to pursue a separate boxing career (let's hope he has better management). You can't blame the guy for seeking greener pastures since Dream has no one left to challenge him at 185 pounds and precious few prospects at 205. He'd be an exciting addition to the UFC middleweight division if Dana White could lure him over, but that seems unlikely. It remains to be seen where and when he'll fight next, but the fact remains that Mousasi is definitely legit.
Mark: I really like the Nader comparison because Nader is a legit politician. At the same time, no one really pays attention to anything Nader does, they just pat him on the head, call him cute and move along. That's the same thing you should be doing to Mousasi right now. Mousasi is legitimate, but he still needs to make the leap to one of the two big parties so we can see just how legitimate he can be. He's a big fish in a small pond at this point and Dana White needs to bring him to the UFC because I think he is one of the top five middleweights in the world. Of course, moving up a weight class and trying to box are just two more things that will keep him in Ralph Nader's scope. He's in the discussion but only as a sidebar at this point, whereas he should be in the mix with the big boys at that weight level.
Is Anderson Silva trying to fight his way out of his contract?
Mark: Anderson Silva has been telling Dana White he wants to fight every three months. After his lackluster (depending on how you view it) performance at UFC 90, he told White he wants to fight again only a month later. White likes to say this is because Silva loves to compete and loves to fight, yet at the same time all Silva wants to talk about is retirement. I don't want to believe it but it sure looks fishy and it wouldn't shock me if Silva was just trying to get done with his six-fight contract sooner. I can't imagine him leaving the sport, especially if he beats some big-name light heavyweights, but he also wants to box Roy Jones Jr. and was bummed when he couldn't put that together. Maybe he wants to get out of his contract when he's still young enough to make that happen (I don't think we will ever see it) and maybe he's just trying to finish up this contract so he can get more money the next time around, but I'm not buying that he wants to fight every month because "he loves it so much," especially while he talks about having nothing left to prove and discussing his retirement.
Kelly: Although I had the good fortune of meeting Silva once, you are much more in tune with The Spider than I am. He's a gracious guy who will honor his contract with the UFC without complaint (unlike someone whose name rhymes with Shmotoure), but he's also bored. Whether he admits it or not, he was toying with Patrick Cote the same way BJ Penn toyed with Jens Pulver. Silva is like Alexander the Great, who stood on the edge of his empire and wept because there were no more worlds to conquer. It will be a year or longer before any of the promising 185 pounders are ready to challenge him and he doesn't want to sit around waiting for that day as his thirties pass him by. I think he keeps throwing these bones out there -- move to heavyweight, box Jones, retire -- because he's dissatisfied with where he is now -- on top of the world.
Women's MMA deserves the support of a major promotion
Mark: A lot has been said lately, with the demise of EliteXC, about the possibility of Affliction or the UFC promoting women's MMA fights. This is a terrible idea because if you give women an inch, they want a mile. We teach them how to read, they demand the right to vote. We let them drive cars, they demand equal pay. We give credibility to women's MMA, then ... ? Obviously, I'm joking.