In our first installment of “Sparring Sessions,” Rob Sobalvarro and Joel Perez discuss recent MMA headlines and trending topics. Let’s get started:
Can UFC 146’s all-Heavyweight fight card deliver?
Rob: Most heavyweight fights are like rough sex – it starts off incredibly well paced, you’re banging away on all pistons, and you’re so pumped up with adrenaline that you want to place a well-timed muay thai knee in someone’s face. Then, after the first five minutes or so, you just feel really tired, your arms start to gas out, and frankly you just pray that one of you will finish the other off sooner rather than later. Unless, of course, you eat horse meat. Then you just end it at the muay-thai-knee-to-the-face part.
Joel: Yes and no. Fans think that Heavyweight fights provide the best chance for KO’s and firework finishes. Although that may be true, most heavyweight fights are, in truth, pretty boring compared to the lighter weight classes. Having a few HW fights on the main card will always help to attract more fans but the entire card? Most of those fights won’t last all 3 rounds but since the main title fight is set to begin at a specific time, we could be looking at very little fighting and a LOT of commercials. The plus-side is that we get to watch two unbelievable fights in JDS-Overeem and Mir-Velasquez.
Does Rashad Evans stand a chance against Jon “Bones” Jones?
Rob: No, because two words: Greg Jackson. Jones will have arguably the best strategist in MMA cornering for him. Actually, scratch that, it’s unarguable (and “unarguable” is definitely the right word, because it has way more hits on Google than “inarguable.”) In fact, I’ll go so far as to say that Greg Jackson makes Sun Tzu’s The Art of War look like My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. This is the dude who told an injured Georges St. Pierre to stop being a pussy and hit Thiago Alves with his groin. Coincidentally, Jackson is also the same man who instructed Jones to check on a seemingly lifeless Lyoto Machida corpse after securing a submission victory at UFC 140, so that he could “get some fans.” I think that with these Jackson tactical advantages, Jones is the veritable Predator of MMA, and he will continue collecting the skulls and spines of his enemies as he sees fit.
Joel: Evans stands a chance. Slim, but it exists. He has more of a shot to beat Jones than anyone in the LHW division right now. He’s trained with Jones before and knows his style. He’s quick, stocky, and has a powerful punch (as Chuck Liddell found out the hard way back at UFC 88). That being said, I still think Jones takes this one. He’s just too damn tall and lanky. He can reach halfway across the octagon with a single kick. He proved to people that he can stand and strike with Lyoto Machida even though his preference is the ground game. I think Jones wins the fight and ultimately will face the winner of Rua-Henderson 2 (oh dear god just talking about that rematch gives me goosebumps).
Is it the right move to do a Henderson-Edgar rematch? BONUS QUESTION: Should Frankie Edgar move down a weight class?
Rob: Okay, honestly I didn’t really watch this fight, and haven’t kept track of the Lightweight division at all to have a solid opinion, but I can make up some opinions anyway. One is that rematches are reserved for fighters with Chael Sonnen-level shit talking, crappy decisions, and 50/50 fights. Sometimes rematches lead to even better fights than the first — e.g., Lesnar-Mir and Shogun-Machida. Sometimes they’re boring five-round cuddlefests — e.g. every fight Jon Fitch has ever won. Secondly, Edgar’s home is at lightweight. Period. I do not endorse the idea of Edgar getting paid to be literally raped by Jose Aldo in a Featherweight fight, because that sounds an awful lot like prostitution. And prostitution is wrong — unless it’s on on-demand pay-per-view. Then it’s just porn.
Joel: I don’t really think the UFC has a choice but to make this rematch happen, whether the fans agree or not. They gave BJ Penn the opportunity for a rematch after Edgar took the Lightweight title from him and they gave Gray Maynard another shot at Edgar after last year’s Fight-Of-The-Year ended in a draw. It would be pretty dick of Dana White and his minions to not offer Edgar the same possibility, even though Dana himself has voiced his opinion (along with a whole slew of MMA fans including myself) about Edgar moving down to Featherweight and fighting Jose Aldo, even if its on the basis that no one in FW has been able to put up a fight against Aldo. Henderson-Edgar 2 is gonna be a helluva fight, though. Don’t kid yourself. I can’t wait to see Frankie fight with a chip on his shoulder.
How much security will be required to protect Chael Sonnen in Brazil?
Rob: I’ll answer this question with a brief history lesson. Prior to his fight in 2006 with Tim Credeur, the first person to (legally) obtain a Black Belt rank in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in the state of Louisiana, Chael Sonnen commented that being underneath a man on television isn’t something he is comfortable with because he is “a Republican” (read: not gay). Interestingly, about half of Sonnen’s submission loses in his MMA career have come via triangle choke, a submission used by Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioners in which one dude gets his carotid arteries crushed by the legs of the dude underneath him. So, statistically speaking, Chael Sonnen is only “underneath” for 50% of the time, and the rest of the time, he’s “a Republican.” That’s more than can be said of Brazilians and their Jiu-Jitsu practitioners, who threaten to snap America’s delicate moral fiber like a neck in a triangle choke. Chael Sonnen’s not gonna let that happen, motherfuckers. Not again.
Joel: Trick question. No one is required to protect Chael in Brazil. No fans will attack him or try and murder him. They are going to welcome him in Brazil with open arms and clear his path to the octagon. Why, you ask? Because everyone in Rio can’t wait to see Anderson Silva roundhouse-kick the shit out of Chael. No amount of security is going to protect Chael from getting a taste of Anderson Silva. Rob, I know you love Chael and yeah he gave a not-100% Silva a challenge but still LOST. I don’t even like Silva but I would love to see Chael eat his words on internationally televised live TV with 80,000 Brazilian fans shouting . Besides, if Anderson loses, the microscopic hope I have of seeing a GSP-Silva superfight would vanish. And I just can’t handle that.