Full Contact Fighter’s The Daily Takedown: UFC’s Anderson Silva and Ambition, MMA Judging Changes and Will Nick Diaz Return Today?
By Joshua Molina
Since UFC middleweight champ Anderson Silva disposed of chatty Chael Sonnen, questions have swirled over who Silva should fight next.
Chris Weidman, Michael Bisping, Tim Boetsch and Brian Stann are among the names being talked about.
Weidman, who upset Mark Munoz on July at UFC on Fuel TV, has taken a small page out of Sonnen’s book, calling out Silva in the media, saying “I really do believe I can submit Anderson Silva.”
But Silva’s not having any of it. His manager recently told a Brazilian MMA website that the only fight that makes sense for Silva is against George St. Pierre, the welterweight great who has been on the shelf for more than a year since battling Jake Shields.
Silva would make a ton of money against the smaller St. Pierre, but a braver challenge might be for Silva to jump up in weight to fight Light Heavyweight champ Jon Jones or even rising star Luke Rockhold, the Strikeforce Middleweight champion.
While the UFC in its current form has a relatively short history, Silva might want to look at the boxing greats who stepped up in weight to show their excellence. Light heavyweight Evander Holyfield stepped up to become the heavyweight champion of the world; Sugar Ray Leonard moved from junior welterweight to become middleweight champion and Oscar de la Hoya moved up more than 30 pounds from super featherweight to middleweight.
Great fighters attack. They don’t lay back and wait.
Speaking of attacks, the MMA world is abuzz over the planned changes to scoring agreed upon by the Association of Boxing Commissioners.
Among the major changes are that judges will no longer give credit or points for “effective defense.”
So fighters who survive by holding on and clutching and grabbing will have to actually fight back to get points. Striking and grappling will be given equal weight; power punches will be weighted more than soft ones (quality over quantity). Also of note is the recognition that effective aggression matters more than simple aggression. Fighters must attack and connect, rather than creating the impression of being in control by simply stalking.
The biggest challenges facing MMA right now are the rise in fighter injuries, the increase in positive tests for performance enhancement drugs – and boring fights.
The target audience for MMA 16- to 35-year-olds doesn’t really appreciate a textbook grappling or Brazilian Jiu Jitsu match where fighters roll around on the ground, a style known as “lay and pray,” or “lay and . . .” (a more derogatory term).
Any promoter who takes credit for the rise of the sport is fooling himself. The sport’s stunning rise was sparked by great fights – Forrest Griffin vs. Stephen Bonnar on free TV, and the classic Chuck Liddell vs. Randy Couture matches.
Fair-weathered fans won’t spend money for very long watching shows like the boring UFC 149.
Cesar Gracie tweeted yesterday that he will have a “major announcement” regarding bad boy Nick Diaz today at 4 p.m. PST.
Diaz was suspended for a year after he tested positive for using medicinal marijuana before his fight with Carlos Condit. Diaz, one of the most exciting fighters in the business for his actions inside and outside of the cage, has always proven to be his own worst enemy.
He was set to fight George St. Pierre a year ago in a fight that many believed Diaz could have won – but he missed a key pre-fight press conference and loud-mouthed UFC boss Dana White exercised his control and kicked him out of the fight. Diaz then lost a close, unanimous decision to Condit on Super Bowl weekend, and then tested positive for marijuana. A few months later, he announced his retirement.
Diaz is a fighter with the potential to still make lots of money. It would be a surprise if the announcement was that he was retiring, considering that he isn’t eligible to fight again anyway until Feb. 2013. What could the Stockton “Bad Boy” have in store for the MMA world next?
Don’t miss Invicta FC’s big fight card on Saturday. The all-women’s show is headlined by former Olympic Silver Medalist Sara McMann battling Shayna Baszler in a 14-match card that will be streamed live and free at InvictaFC.com, from Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kansas.
McMann is undefeated and gunning for a fight with Strikeforce champ Ronda Rousey.
Have a tip or a comment? Contact reporter Joshua Molina at firstname.lastname@example.org.