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Wednesday, Sep 05, 2012

Full Contact Fighter’s “The Daily Takedown:” In the UFC, Don’t Cross the Boss; Intriguing Matches Ahead in Strikeforce

UFC President Dana White

By Joshua Molina

If you turn down fights in the UFC, you are gonna pay for it.

UFC president Dana White has made that clear – once again. Now the brash boss of the UFC has declared that Lyota Machida is no longer in line to fight for the Light Heavyweight Championship.

Machida is one of the many fighters on his s#&t list after he declined to fight Jon Jones on Sept. 22. After Henderson pulled out of the Jones fight with an injury, White declared to the media that Machida was the next in line for a title shot.
But White actually hadn’t spoken with Machida about that yet. Machida nixed it, saying he needed more time to prepare for the cat-like Jones. It looks like Machida may have a lot more time to prepare for Jones.

Now, Jones is fighting Vitor Belfort on Sept. 22 and Machida is on the outside looking in. If (when) Jones gets past Belfort, the likely next opponent will be Chael Sonnen, who even thought he has never fought in the light heavyweight division, earned major points with White when he said he would fight Jones on eight days notice on Sept. 1.

Jones, of course, didn’t want to fight Chael, the only man to beat Anderson Silva five out of seven rounds and have nothing to show for it.

The other big possibility is Daniel Cormier as Jones next opponent. If (when) Cormier gets past an aging Frank Mir, Cormier may move down to light heavyweight and probably give Jones the beating Dana White would like him to get.
In the meantime, all eyes are on Belfort and whether he can pull off what would be one of the greatest upsets in mixed martial arts history.

It’s entertaining to see how quickly guys
get title shots in the middleweight division in the new, Zuffa-owned Strikeforce. On one hand you have Luke Rockhold, one of the best fighters in the world, but he doesn’t really have any top challengers in his division.

Strikeforce announced that the Santa Cruz surfer Rockhold will take on Lorenz Larkin. Larkin looked fantastic in his last fight – a three round unanimous decision over the one-dimensional Robbie Lawler. But in the fight before that he was KO’d by Muhammad “King Mo” Lawal. Technically Larkin is undefeated because his loss to King Mo was declared a no contest after Mo failed a drug test.

Because of the dearth of talent left in Strikeforce, Larkin will get a title shot, and a chance to derail Rockhold, one of the sport’s brightest young stars. Rockhold should feel lucky that he doesn’t have to stop immediately back into the cage against Jacare Souza, who was rumored to get a rematch against the man who beat him for the gold.

Souza has more weapons than Larkin, so Rockhold, who punished Tim Kennedy in a five-round unanimous decision victory in his last fight, should be the favorite against Larkin who is still growing as a fighter.

The other news out of Strikeforce this week is the signing of Sara McMann, an Olympic silver medalist in wrestling. McMann also competes for Invicta FC. The writing on the wall here is clear. McMann will likely get fed to Ronda Rousey, an Olympic bronze medalist in Judo, as her next challenger for the Strikeforce bantamweight championship, in a fight that would showcase to Olympic medalists fighting inside the Strikeforce cage.

posted by JoshuaM @ 3:38 pm
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