There are a few things that annoy me when it comes to MMA. And I am not talking about the sport itself, or the fighters (ok, Frank Trigg and Phil Baroni definitely get under my skin), rather about things that are related to it, namely fans.
There are a lot of MMA fans who woke to the sport, who started watching it and became fans, with TUF 1. That's not a reason to be ashamed of, of course. But many of these more recent fans, that started watching when it all went mainstream in the US, are utterly clueless. It's like those NBA fans that think that there wasn't anything before Michael Jordan's Bulls came along.
I am giving the example of Fedor here. Fedor is a powerhouse, a very complete and skilled MMA HW fighter who just happens to have beaten almost every HW of interest, while at the same time never having been submitted or KOed. He's lethal on his feet and has slick submissions on the ground. However, with the untimely demise of Pride FC, he became more or less inactive. I want to make things clear: when Fedor was PRIDE FC's HW champion, the best HWs in the world were in PRIDE, the UFC HW division was more or less a joke (there was Arlovski, Sylvia, and that's it). At that time, and during many years, Pride FC was overall a better MMA organization than the UFC. That's another thing that puzzles many fans, but it's reality.
Fedor has beaten the likes of Mark Coleman, Ricardo Arona, Semmy Schilt, Minotauro Nogueira (he beat the current UFC HW champion twice!), Bob Sapp, Fujita, Kevin Randleman, Cro-Cop, Mark Hunt, Matt Lindland, etc.
At last many non-hardcore US MMA fans will get to see Fedor in action (yes, because the more knowledgeable US MMA fan knows who Fedor is, of course!). Affliction Banned, on July 19th, it is; the card itself looks very promising, the production value of tv spots that have been broadcasted are top-notch, and this may indeed become a US alternative to the UFC, in terms of MMA (EliteXC and the IFL? not so much).
Fedor is going to fight Tim Sylvia, which is good because everyone knows Timmy. Fedor is a better striker than Sylvia, and he is in a very different class when we start talking about grappling. So I am basically predicting Fedor to "murder" Sylvia, thus showing the more recent MMA fans who he is, and what he is capable of.
I once (some months ago) did a MMA throwdown here on Fannation about the world's best HW MMA fighter. I lost that TD. I chose Fedor and my opponent chose Cheick Kongo (really!?!?!). The average US MMA fan knows Kongo, but not Fedor, apparently
1) I have only been a fan since TUF 1
2) I have gone BACK and watch the Fedor VS Mark Coleman, Minotauro Nogueira (II) Bob Sapp, Kevin Randleman, Cro-Cop, and Matt Lindland,
but what I have ALSO seen is the CANS that Fedor has fought since then-
Consider this (imagine)
Jordan leaves the NBA at 29 - goes to play in the CBA (before Isiah kills it)
and still wins titles- but the NBA gets players like Kobe, Leborn, Jerry West, Elgin Baylor, Amare, Duncan, Just name 35 of the top 50 NBA players and they all hit the NBA in 5 years
mean while Jordan is still dominating the CBA- and the occasional Sacremento King Bench Warmer that comes into the league
Now you have Jordan vs an ACTUAL good player- not Kobe- but say well Mitch Richmond comes down
A bigger challange than Jordan has had in a LONG time- but not exactly Jerry West or Oscar Robinson coming to play
David, you're actually an exception to that "since TUF 1" thing because you clearly know a lot about the sport.
I am going to counter your point with this: the last opponent Fedor fought was Hong Man-Choi. Almost nobody knows or respects this guy.
Well, he actually fought in the last K-1 World GP Finals. He's fought a who's who list of K-1 fighters, and still has a pretty decent K-1 record.
I've seen him fight in K-1... he's a better striker than 99% of current UFC heavyweights.
Arlovski defended against pushovers like Paul Buentello and Justin Eilers.
Sylvia fought guys like Cabbage and Gan McGee.
Maybe Fedor does need to beat Sylvia to reassert himself. But the guy beat the current UFC HW champion twice, and has an incredible MMA record, against top-notch opponents.
The guy is ONE AND ONE
and had NOT fought MMA in a YEAR - and was 3-2 in Kickboxing between MMA fights!!
before that 38 year old Linland- who was fighting off a TWO MONTH REST after beating fellow over the Hill Newton
Lindland is also a career 185 fighter- stepping WAY up to Fedor
Mark Hunt -Coming off a LOSS to Josh Barnett 5 months earlier- barnett beat him FASTER than Fedor did by the way- and Hunt is 0-1 in Kickboxing since QUITING MMA
Do I need to keep going?
I mean that goes back to 2006!!!!
I dont' think anyone can touch Fedor right now. The heavyweight division isn't going to offer us any surprises at the top for awhile.
I think Nogueira has established himself as a solid number 2. Thought both the Fedor/Nog fights were exciting - They both have the ground games and speed of much smaller fighters --- but the power to cut Silvia/Sapp/the huge guys down to size. I'd love to see them fight for a third time. The big Nog is the only one who really looked like he belonged in there with Fedor.
Of course, Dana ain't letting the Big Nog go anywhere anytime soon. There's no way he allows a cross-promotional match. The casual fan could interpret any loss to a non-UFC fighter as a wake-up call that UFC doesn't have the monopoly on talent.
i like fedor, he has nothing left to prove really. the only heavyweights that matter that he hasnt fought is sylvia, arlovski and barnett..........all of which are now in affliction where fedor calls home. so we will see him fight them all. barnett being the only possible threat and a match that is my most anticipated. the marquee fight is couture, which will probably happen after his ufc contract is officially up.
Head Kick KO | 06/23/08, 10:10 PM
David, Hong-Man Choi is 12-4 in kickboxing.
And he has fought the best K-1 strikers, some of the top strikers in the world.
He beat Semmy Schilt, for example! In a K-1 match! And Schilt is the current K-1 GP champion.
Hyped78 | 06/24/08, 09:34 AM
3-2 the past year.
A throwdowner named NCshvDavid | 06/24/08, 09:38 AM
Nice blog Hyped. We'll see if rust hasn't attached itself to Fedor on July 19th. I, for one, hope he kicks the crap out of Tim Sylvia. He disrespected my boy Arlovski, and we can't have that.
RobertMenn: Back from Vacation | 06/24/08, 10:42 AM
What I'd really like to see is Arlovski, if he beats Rothwell and reverts back to old Arlovski, fight Fedor, if Fedor wins. They are 1 and 2 Sambo specialist in the world.
RobertMenn: Back from Vacation | 06/24/08, 10:49 AM
David: 12-4 overall against the best K-1 strikers is bad?!?
Robert: Arlovski would fare much better against Fedor, than Sylvia, IMO. Arlovski is more well-rounded than Timmy, that's where the sambo background kicks in.
Arlovski vs Barnett or even Couture would be interesting too.
What about Arlovski vs Rizzo? Striking excellence.
Hyped78 | 06/24/08, 11:04 AM
That would be nice. He even said he wanted to fight Rizzo, and that he respects Couture very much, but if they were scheduled to fight, then he'd fight him too. Crazy.
RobertMenn: Back from Vacation | 06/24/08, 11:46 AM
affliction should do a round robin with all their heavyweights
so many good matchups to look forward to
Head Kick KO | 06/26/08, 02:32 PM
Head Kick KO: yup. Affliction has better HWs on that card that most organizations have right now, including DREAM, EliteXC, WVR, etc... maybe even than the UFC itself.
The only problem is that they have non-exclusive contracts...
Hyped78 | 06/26/08, 06:31 PM
Good Blog Hyped, I"ve seen a few fights of Fedor and many Timmy fights. Cant wait until July 19th.