With his match against Chuck up in smoke for the upteenth time, it looks like Wanderlei Silva has decided to accept it and move on:
On his official site, Wanderlei Silva declared his desire to take on the man to defeat his friend and former training partner: “I would like, with the last event in mind and wanting to avenge my friend, to fight this Forrest Griffin. I think his would be a good name for me,” said Wand.
That fight is not likely to happen any time soon since Forrest Griffin is likely out of action until next year to heal the crater in his forehead. So who the hell is Wanderlei going to fight? Let’s get comprehensive and look at every fighter included in that cool Light Heavyweight thing they did for UFC 76:
(Continue After the Jump)
- Chuck Liddell: Wow, wouldn’t that be nice? I wouldn’t mind seeing that one. It would be keen. And hey, for all of the signs pointing to the opposite, there’s always a chance this fight could still happen. After all, who knows what would happen if Chuck put his foot down and demand he gets this fight?
- Matt Hamill : Out for knee surgery until next year
- Alessio Sakara : Yeah right.
- Kazuhiro Nakamura : Turfed for smoking the turf
- Rashad Evans : The only way Rashad would be free to fight Wanderlei is if Tito bounces on UFC 78. So I suppose it’s possible, and even makes sense if the UFC’s in a pinch for a headlining fight.
- Dan Henderson : He already fought Wanderlei earlier this year and twice in his career. A rematch is going to happen sooner or later, but later is more likely than sooner.
- Stephan Bonnar : This would continue the fine tradition of the UFC feeding TUF fighters to incoming talent. If the UFC wants to build Wanderlei up rather than drop him right into the fray, Bonnar would be a good choice.
- Tito Ortiz : As mentioned on this site, Tito said on Saturday that he’s fighting either Wand or Rashad. The fact that Henderson vs Ortiz was even floated by UFC brass proves they’re not too hot on having Tito vs Rashad headline UFC 78. So Wanderlei Silva fits very well into the headlining spot across from Tito. Also, Tito has a win over Silva from way way back at UFC25.
- Houston Alexander : If Houston had one more devastating win under his belt, and Wanderlei had one dominant win in the Octagon, this one would make sense. As it is, I don’t see the UFC throwing this fight down just yet … it has the potential for big bucks down the road.
- Lyoto Machida : Machida has the talent to make even the best fighter look unimpressive. I honestly don’t think the UFC has figured out what the hell to do with him yet. Well they know one thing : keep him away from the guys they’re trying to build up.
- Michael Bisping : So long as the UFC continues to push into the UK with him as the sole figurehead, you won’t see Zuffa stacking him against someone like Wanderlei any time soon.
- Keith Jardine : Chuck was supposed to get Wanderlei when he beat Jardine, so does this mean Jardine gets Wanderlei now? It’s a matchup that makes sense from that point of view, but doesn’t really set the world on fire.
- Mauricio Rua : Out till 2008 with a knee injury, plus him and Silva are best buds. So put this one in the ‘it’ll never happen’ column.
- Quinton Jackson : He’s out till 2008 with a hand injury.
So there you go: the entire LHW division laid out. And what should you take away from this? I dunno. Who’s to know what goes on in the minds of Joe Silva and Dana White. Sometimes they give the fans exactly what they want but other times you have to wonder what the fuck they’re smoking. To me, Tito vs Wanderlei makes the most sense. It saves the UFC 78 PPV and there’s a history between the two. After that I have to hope Chuck has the balls to pull a diva and demand Wanderlei Silva. If neither of those two possibilities occur, then we’re gonna see Jardine vs Wanderlei on NYE. Blah.
Back when I first started watching the UFC in 1994 (I was 13, you couldn’t pay me to wear anything other than green sweatpants, and I had a mullet), I thought it was pretty fucking horrific. And awesome. Like the majority of other middle-class suburban kids, I had never seen anyone get the shit kicked out of them for reals. So this stuff was pretty damned hardcore and I was thankful my dad didn’t know from the box that this wasn’t just more pro wrestling.
I was instantly hooked. God knows I couldn’t beat up that little bitch Tina down the street, but I could fantasize about it while watching these events. So over the years I put together a nice collection of tapes by copying rental videos over two VCRs.
I knew that mixed martial arts came from Brazil, but for the first while, the only Brazilian guy they showed was Royce Gracie and he was a wuss. Okay sure he won a lot, but I hated his fucking guts. He was the cocky little guy who’s family owned the company. He barely punched anyone and I simply wasn’t all that impressed with his style. Never mind the fucking cheater used his gi as a weapon. Fuck him.
It wasn’t until I saw the Battlecade videos that I got a taste of some serious violent Brazilian Vale Tudo. Mario Sperry, Conan Silveira, Ralph Gracie, and Allan Goes all taught me that Brazilians were not to be fucked with. All of a sudden I had visions of Brazil as a place overflowing with no holds barred tournaments just like in a Jean Claude Van Damme movie. And to a degree, I guess that’s how it was : people still talk about the infamously violent IVC events held in the dirtiest, sleaziest bar on earth.
Fast forward to now. People are fucking flipping out over “Rio Heros”, which attempts to step away from the MMA label and return to the original concept of Vale Tudo: Anything goes fighting. The show is just a bunch of guys going at it over the course of the night, with the only rules being no biting, groin shots, or eye gouging (too bad if Chuck Liddell wanted to compete here).
For me, this isn’t my cup of tea anymore. Call me over the hill, but I’m just not into the brutal aspect of fighting any more. On the other hand, I really couldn’t care at this point what other people are doing in some dank basement down in Sao Paulo. Whatever happens there isn’t going to stop MMA from growing. You can’t kill MMA with this kind of thing any more. We’re past that.
And regardless, this kind of thing was going on in Brazil for years and years. I’m really hoping that the majority of the people against this are only talking the talk for the sake of appearances. To hear Wanderlei Silva say he ‘watched it and cried’ is absurd considering his roots.
Yes, I know: we must distance ourselves from this kind of stuff, just like we want to distance MMA from cockfighting, dog fighting, trans fatty acids, fight clubs, and everything else bad. But let’s be honest here: this is what MMA used to be. And MMA will always be a form of fighting, no matter how hard people try to market it as something else.
I know I’m rough on EliteXC, especially considering they’re the only organization that’s putting any weight behind their women’s division. But until they start featuring some comely chicks with crew cuts, broken noses, and most importantly 10+ fights under their belts, I’m gonna keep harassing them. They’ve taken a big step in the right direction, but there’s always room for improvement.
PS: About EliteXC being the only org featuring women … yeah, there’s Bodog too. But we don’t talk about Bodog. I tried to watch Bodog once and spirits shot out of the screen and melted everyone’s head like at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark. Now we don’t speak of Bodog. Hush now. Hush.
I’d love to take the high road like Sam Caplan does and say I don’t find this funny, but it is kinda funny. While on the surface it seems like Quinton Jackson is making fun of retards, I read it like Quinton Jackson is making fun of Jeff Sherwood. Yes, the other guy in this video is Jeff ‘Sherdog’ Sherwood in all his glory. And god damnit people, why can’t we all just relax and enjoy a tasteless joke at the expense of the gays and defectives from time to time?
(oh and if you’re looking for that video of Quinton farting on a chick’s face and mocking the Japanese, it’s here)
Of course, you could make the case that even the guys that wash out of the UFC are just way better than most guys in other organizations. Which is why it makes sense for Strikeforce to lock these guys up as soon as they get ditched. Of course, it’s a problem that these guys look at Strikeforce as a way back into the UFC rather than a home. And given that, it’s an even bigger problem when these guys want to fight your promotion’s main stars:
With the victory, Riggs (27-9) could be in line to test Cung Le (Pictures) later this year.
Oh boy, would that not be good for Strikeforce. Okay, it’s be great for PPV sales … Joe Riggs vs Cung Le is a fight I’d pay the 30 bucks to see. But it wouldn’t be good for Strikeforce because it hurts one of their key stars: Cung Le is just not ready for someone like Riggs.
Le took three rounds to defeat Tony Fryklund, who put up about as much defense as a punching bag, didn’t shoot for a takedown once, and basically let Le win. Riggs on the other hand isn’t interested in being a stepping stone for anyone. The only way Cung Le takes that fight is if Riggs gets caught (always a possibility) or if Strikeforce starts sneaking pain meds into Joe’s protein shake mix.