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My Least Favorite Fighters

October 28, 2011 2 comments

Okay, so Kyle didn’t ask for this list: my least favorite fighters in MMA.  In certain ways, this list is far more important than my list of favorite fighters.  It’s easy to like good fighters with interesting personalities, but to dislike an individual requires so much more effort.

These are the fighters who I consciously dislike and, in some cases, actually hate.  It’s easier for me to think of fighters I dislike than fighters I really like so perhaps that lends toward me being more of a cynic than anything else.  Besides, it’s more fun to root against a fighter than it is to root for a fighter.

So here are the fighters I’m more happy to root against than any other.

Jason ReinhardtLooks like a serial killer, gave his parents a sexually transmitted disease, is an admitted steroid user, and is an absolutely miserable fighter.  He built up his record by going 20-0 on the independent fight scene in the Midwest against fighters with a combined 60-100 record.  It was no surprise when he absolutely failed during his UFC runs, going 0-3 in two different stints.  I really could end this list here since there’s no fighter I hate more than Jason Reinhardt.  Just a pathetic bully who fights overmatched newcomers to pad his record when he’s nothing more than a below average fighter.

Actually, I think I will end the list right here.  I do dislike other fighters like Josh Koscheck, Frank Mir, and Rashad Evans, but I’m even softening on those guys.  Koscheck is stepping up to take fights on short notice, Mir has admitted that his stuff with Brock was mostly just for show, and Evans has come across a little more likeable during this snafu with Jon Jones.

I hate Jason Reinhardt.  There is nothing he could do to change my mind about that so I’ll keep this list at one.

Categories: Daily Lists

My Favorite Fighters

October 28, 2011 3 comments

Per the request of reader Kyle, I’ll be listing my favorite fighters.

Do I really need to say more than that?  Does this post need to be prefaced in any other way?  Here are my favorite fighters.  The five fighters who I like the most in MMA.

George Sotiropoulos – I really love George Sotiropoulos’ style.  I have a real appreciation for grapplers as you may have noticed during my write-ups of Sakuraba’s fights.  Sotiropoulos’ submission skills are fantastic and he put on some really great fights with Joe Lauzon and Joe Stevenson.  He may have lost two straight to Rafael dos Anjos and Dennis Siver, but I still feel like he has a lot of upside at lightweight so long as he can fix his striking and wrestling issues.  Sotiropoulos will likely be in action in early 2012 and I’m anxious to see who he’ll be fighting next.

Brock Lesnar – I’ve been a fan of Lesnar back to his WWE days and I’m still a huge supporter of his.  I really enjoyed all of his “heel” antics during his earlier UFC days since he played the bad guy so well.  He sold a fight like no other fighter and won the UFC Heavyweight Title remarkably early in his career.  He followed that up with wins over Frank Mir and Shane Carwin, cementing his status as a top heavyweight until a loss to Cain Velasquez derailed Brock.  I couldn’t be more pumped for his upcoming battle with Alistair Overeem, which is a really tough fight for Brock to take for his return to the octagon.

Frankie Edgar – I’ve always enjoyed Frankie Edgar’s work and thought he was a very fun and talented fighter.  Then 2011 came around and Edgar became one of my heroes.  In two fights with Gray Maynard, Edgar survived vicious first round assaults to continue fighting.  The first contest ended in a draw, but Edgar’s knockout of Maynard in the second fight was absolutely stunning.  Edgar proved he’s one of the absolute toughest fighters in the entire world and his fights are can’t miss.  He should likely fight the winner of Clay Guida vs. Ben Henderson and either opponent would provide a fantastic fight.

Dominick Cruz – Here’s yet another fighter who has completely won me over in the last 12 months.  His longish wait to get into the UFC proved to be worth waiting for.  He went to two five round decisions against Urijah Faber and Demetrious Johnson and successfully defended his UFC Bantamweight Title in both fights.  Cruz has plowed through the top of the bantamweight division and will defend his title next against the winner of Faber vs. Brian Bowles.  I also anticipate Brad Pickett getting a shot sometime fairly soon and I see no way Dominick Cruz loses any of these fights.

Rampage Jackson – Rampage is absolutely hilarious.  A misogynist?  Perhaps.  Politically incorrect?  More than likely.  But he’s still outstandingly funny.  Rampage has done some great things in the UFC, but he truly created his legend during his time in PRIDE.  Rampage was among the most devastating fighters and had legendary battles with Wanderlei Silva, Ricardo Arona, and many more.  His recent loss to Jon Jones may have been disappointing, but it seems like a fight with Shogun Rua in Japan is in the cards.

Categories: Daily Lists

My Least Favorite Ultimate Fighter Cast Members

October 12, 2011 2 comments

The Ultimate Fighter is currently in the midst of its 14th season, quite the feat for a reality show where the violence is (almost always) controlled and not spontaneous.  People love fights on normal reality shows, so in that regard, it seems kind of redundant for there to be a reality show about fighting.

I digress.  The Ultimate Fighter, or TUF as it’s commonly known, has produced some of the best fighters in the UFC today: Rashad Evans, Gray Maynard, Kenny Florian, Michael Bisping, Joe Lauzon, and many more.  TUF has also shone a spotlight on some of the most caustic personalities ever seen on television.  Reality stars are douchebags, reality stars who fight are in the royal court of douchebags.  Seriously, some of these guys are flat out unpleasant.

So today, I’m going to highlight some of my least favorite cast members in TUF history.  Note that I’m only considering fighters from their time on the show and not any of their post-TUF fighting careers.  For instance, I despise Michael Bisping now but really had no problem with him during the show.  He was brash and obnoxious, but certainly not to the extent we know him today.  Also, I tuned out for a few seasons and might miss some of the more notable names.

Bobby Southworth – Seriously, fuck this guy.  The guy’s best friend in the TUF house was Josh Koscheck if that’s any indication of the guy’s character.  He and Koscheck fucked with Chris Leben, who isn’t exactly the most sympathetic character but certainly didn’t deserve that kind of shit.  Then he’s about 25 pounds overweight before his first fight and barely makes the 206 pound limit, always great to see.

After he loses to Stephan Bonner and is eliminated from competition, he pouts and tells off Dana White as he comes to talk after the fight.  Then he loses to Sam fucking Hoger, another unpleasant fellow, in his only UFC fight at the first Ultimate Fighter Finale.  Just look at him, don’t you want to smack him in the mouth??

Josh Koscheck – See above.  This smarmy little bitch fared much better in the competition, losing to Diego Sanchez by split decision in the middleweight semifinals, but was nearly as unpleasant as Southworth.

Rashad Evans – My goodness did I dislike Rashad Evans.  This is the guy who hot-dogged during an extremely boring fight, thinking he was some kind of hot shit putting on an awful performance.  Then he starts to talk shit about Matt Hughes during the season, thinking he knows more than the one of the greatest welterweights in MMA history.  I’m still not a huge Rashad fan, though to be fair, Hughes is known to rub a lot of people the wrong way so Evans isn’t alone in that regard.  Still, I think that show did a lot of damage to Evans’ reputation as an individual rather than as a fighter.

James McSweeney – Before I knew anything about James McSweeney, I thought he was actually a decent fighter.  He talked a big talk and seemed to be in decent shape compared to the rest of the season 10 heavyweights.  Then he kept talking and sucked at fighting and I realized this is just the most obnoxious mother fucker on the planet.  I just remember him talking shit with Rampage in the midst of one of the many Rampage/Rashad arguments and thinking that this guy is a total schmuck. His work after the Ultimate Fighter completely solidified this, notably crying about a loss to Travis Browne due to alleged strikes to the back of the head.

Matt Mitrione – I think this is the popular pick from season ten, as he wasn’t really painted in the best light.  He was a bit of a talker and he seemed awful full of himself for such an unproven fighter.  He also did this weird thing where he licked his fingers before deciding to not get into a fight.  He seemed to fake injuries or at least hammed it up quite a bit when vaguely injured.  I’ve taken more of a liking to Mitrione since he’s winning and now that I don’t hear him talk every week, but I couldn’t stand him on this show.

Jamie Yager – Did anybody like this guy?  I contend no.

Categories: Daily Lists

Blog Search Terms

September 3, 2011 Leave a comment

Today marks the occasion of my 300th post on Fight Rankings!  I’ve also recently reached another milestone, as my page now has over 20,000 views in its lifetime.  It’s been less than eight months, which also means that I’ve generated way too much content for a single person.  That’s right, everything on this site is posted by me and nobody else, a feat that is sometimes daunting.  Truth be told, I do love writing here and I’ve enjoyed doing this so far and I have every intention of sticking around.

One thing you might be asking is how I end up getting so much traffic.  Actually, because I’ve written so much, my site receives a significant number of search hits.  Every day, dozens and dozens of people are referred to my blog as they look to search engines for answers.  I presume that my site doesn’t end up answering such questions, but it might be some fun to take a look at some of the ways people reach my site.  Here are some of the more notable search terms used by people to get to Fight Rankings.

Okay, so 5% of all people who come to my site are looking for Bob Sapp information.  Bob Sapp.  In the year 2011.  I mean, I’m a little curious what the man is up to, but I also don’t think I’ve written anything of note about the man in 2011.  I remember I briefly noted that he was still owed money for fights, but not much else.

The rest is pretty standard.  Forrest Griffin, Gina Carano, and various permutations of Mirko Cro Cop make sense.  I’m glad that people come to my site when looking for Felice Herrig information, though I wish I had more information to provide other than she is on Twitter and extremely attractive.

And then there’s necrotizing fasciitis, a disease of which I’m most fearful.  I referenced the disease in jest when discussing a hand injury to Dan Severn during one of my UFC write-ups, and now 115 people have inadvertently come to my website when they may or may not be worried about actually having their flesh eaten away.

If you search for Art Jimmerson on the internet and don’t somehow end up on my site, then I’m doing something wrong.

My hatred for Rich Goins is well documented during my UFC write-ups, but I really worry that one of these 22 searches was made by Rich Goins.  Now I’m not a fan of the guy, but I would hate for Rich Goins to randomly Google his own name and find this site since he might kill himself after reading what I have to say.

God forbid you search for Felice Herrig and somehow come up with someone who isn’t the MMA fighter.  Since there are so many Felice Herrigs in the world, it only makes sense for you to add the “MMA” just to make sure.

HIS NAME IS TRA TELLIGMAN.  The MMA fighter who only had one pectoral muscle is Tra Telligman.  He was injured in a childhood car accident and was left without one of his pectoral muscles.  That is him.  Tra Telligman, UFC MMA fighter missing pectoral muscle.  May all searches yield this page going forward.

Every site will have weird searches, but I like these because they were searched for multiple times.  I’m hopeful it’s the same person searching for the same things over and over, as that would reduce the incidence of creepiness in the world.

I almost missed the “gina carano sin ropa” entry, but briefly channeled enough high school Spanish to remember that search is actually fairly amusing.  My site is not a good place to find spider information, as some dying people with spider bites likely found out.  And I can confirm that yes, 15 are indeed fight.

Categories: Daily Lists

UFC on Fox Fights

August 24, 2011 Leave a comment

So the UFC will make its debut on Fox on November 12 when it broadcasts two fights live from the Honda Center in Anaheim, California.  Though we’ll just see two fights, this has the potential to be one of the most important nights in UFC history.  For the first time ever, we will see live UFC fights on network television – a feat nearly two decades in the making.

With that in mind, who on earth could the UFC have on this card?  They’ve got four fighters to choose and they have to choose very wisely in order to wow a national audience and their new business partners.  It’s easy to throw out names like Brock Lesnar, Georges St-Pierre, and Alistair Overeem who don’t realistically have a chance to fight on this card due to injury, prior commitments, and contract issues, respectively.  The UFC says fights could be pulled from other cards, but I don’t think that means we’ll be seeing main events shifted drastically.

Let’s take a look at some very real fights that we could be seeing on Fox less than three months from today!

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Anderson Silva vs. Dan Henderson Lorenzo Fertitta has talked about this fight being a very real option and why not?  You’ve got two huge names including the most successful fighter in UFC history, who also happens to be the reigning Middleweight Champion.  This fight would work as a Middleweight Title fight or a light heavyweight superfight depending on time constraints, but you’d ideally see these fighters go five rounds.

This would be a rematch of epic proportions, especially given Hendo’s recent career resurgence.  His win over Fedor gives Henderson tons of leverage in negotiations with Zuffa and I’m sure Dana White is grateful to have been able to rid himself of Fedor while he had the chance.  This would be a really great piece of matchmaking and would give the UFC a huge fight for their Fox debut.

Clay Guida vs. Ben Henderson – There is no better co-main event than this.  Two lightweight contenders who are supremely exciting and who are likely opponents given their recent victories.  Guida beat the number one contender in Anthony Pettis while Henderson defeated highly ranked Jim Miller, but I don’t feel like either fighter has done enough to earn a title shot.  Why not let these two duke it out on the biggest UFC stage to date?

Guida has turned into a different fighter since he started to train with Greg Jackson and hasn’t lost a fight under the Jackson camp.  Henderson has made huge strides himself since losing to Anthony Pettis in the last WEC fight.  Henderson looked extremely impressive against Jim Miller and completely won over a Milwaukee crowd, and I think he would be able to captivate a broadcast audience just the same.

Forrest Griffith/Shogun Rua vs. Tito Ortiz – This would be the loser of this weekend’s Griffith/Rua fight against Ortiz in what could either be a main event or co-main event.  This would be an appropriate reward for Ortiz, who is one of the longer tenured UFC fighters who recently defeated Ryan Bader and stepped up on short notice to put up a gutsy performance against Rashad Evans.

The winner of this fight would likely enter the Light Heavyweight Title picture and face the loser of Jon Jones vs. Rampage Jackson, so let the loser get a shot on Fox against Tito.  A Griffith vs. Ortiz rematch would be appropriate given how close their previous two fights were.  Rua vs. Ortiz would be a fun first time match pitting one of the PRIDE greats against one of the legends of the UFC.  Either fight has significant name value and would easily captivate a casual audience.

Wanderlei Silva vs. Yoshihiro Akiyama – This could be a potentially exciting co-main event fight between two fighters who have both lost a number of fights as of late.  The winner of this fight would go on to get a second chance in the UFC, while the loser would likely see his time with the promotion expire.

Despite that likely stipulation, this would be a thrilling fight between two of the biggest international fighters in the UFC.  Silva has always been an exciting fighter, though his recent losses are good reason for worry.  Akiyama didn’t get much going against Vitor Belfort at UFC 133, but Akiyama has three straight Fight of the Night performances going into that fight.  He is also extremely sexy and would guarantee a phenomenal rating.

Categories: Daily Lists

UFC on Fox

August 18, 2011 Leave a comment

So the UFC is finally, finally, finally on network television!  The UFC will be fleeing Spike TV and likely Versus for the greener pastures of Fox, FX, and whatever other channels there are in the Fox family.  This will certainly increase the number of people who would be able to view MMA fights and that’s nothing but a good thing as far as I’m concerned.

But what will this entail?  How will the UFC’s overall presentation change now that they’re in bed with a much more substantial media partner?  There are a number of possibilities for this arrangement, both good and bad, and I think it’s good that we explore these options.  Let’s start with the bad news and move on to some of the more optimistic possibilities, while there’s one potentially terrifying possibility that remains unknown.

Bad

More Jay Glazer – Jay Glazer’s most important job on television is to tell you whether or not players from your fantasy football team are injured or not.  When your most vital public function includes providing information better found on a search engine, there’s something wrong with what you do.  Glazer has long been a proponent of MMA and has been a great supporter, but I would still love to hit him in the face with a board.  He annoys me to no end and his heightened exposure due to this deal immediately filled me with dread.

Family Guy Tie-Ins – I really worry for people who consider Family Guy to be the pinnacle of animated humor.  Family Guy is a cartoon that takes normal story lines and tries to make them humorous with asinine flashbacks and giant fighting chickens.  Seriously, I just don’t get it.  I’d rather have The Sheik throw fireballs at my eyes for 22 minutes than spend a minute watching family guy.  It’s inevitable that there will be some kind of Family Guy/UFC crossover that will no doubt be unpleasant.  Spike TV wasn’t much better with ridiculous programming like Manswers and 1,000 Ways to Die, but I hate few things more than Family Guy.

Good

Big Time Fights for Free – Fox wouldn’t be getting into business with the UFC if they were expecting main events like Chris Leben vs. Mark Munoz.  The UFC is going to put on some huge fights and they’re going to do it for free.  We’ll see the first network show in November and the UFC will likely pull out all of the stop to make this a big time card.  I wouldn’t be surprised to see some Strikeforce crossover for this event or even a free, live title fight.  The timing might be strange, since a number of big fights are already booked for the fall, but that show will definitely be a good one.

More Top Fighters – If there are going to be more big fights, then the UFC is going to have to bring in some of the bigger names not in the UFC.  They seem to have the heavier weight classes cornered, though we could see fighters like Hector Lombard or Mamed Khalidov to add depth, while bringing Alistair Overeem back into the fold could be a very lucrative move.  The UFC could also stand to go after some of the lighter weights, while an increased television presence in 2012 could coincide with the creation of the flyweight division.

Undetermined

Gus Johnson – Gus has long had a relationship with CBS and Showtime, so there’s really no precedent for him on the Fox family of channels.  Still, Fox could be looking for an established, mainsteam name to add to their broadcast crew and I worry that it will be Gus.  This will severely impact the UFC’s overhead, as Gus’ proclivity for hyperbole and extreme make-up needs will require massive budget expansion.  I’m hoping that Gus Johnson will stay very far away from the rebranded UFC on Fox, but only time will tell…

Categories: Daily Lists

Potential Fedor Fights

August 4, 2011 4 comments

So the big news today: Fedor Emelianenko has been cut from Strikeforce following his loss to Dan Henderson.  I’m not going to say that Dana White is enjoying this, but I can’t help but think he’s really, really enjoying this.  Dana was probably looking for the first opportunity to stick it to his good pals at M-1 and now he’s done so in a very big way.

But now this means that Fedor is without a true fighting home and M-1 is without a co-promoter.  Still, does this mean Fedor is without options?  Will one of the most beloved heavyweights of all time finish his career with three consecutive losses and no way to climb back to his throne?  Can one of the all time greats really end things like this?

Fortunately for “The Last Emperor”, there are still some pretty interesting and fairly relevant fights for him to participate in.  Today, I’ll take a look at some of these potential opponents who might get the next shot at Fedor.

Alistair Overeem – This would definitely be the most interesting fight for Fedor, as an Overeem/Fedor fight almost came to fruition under the Strikeforce banner.  With both men having been cut from the promotion in the last month, now seems like a great time to square off and put on a show that would surely rival Zuffa in terms of excitement.  The relevance of this contest might be diminished given Fedor’s recent losses, but this is a fight that any MMA fan would love to see.  This would require Golden Glory and M-1 to put their heads together in an attempt to level a big blow against Strikeforce and the UFC.

Gabriel Gonzaga – Gonzaga is a former number one contender to the UFC Heavyweight Title after a stunning knockout win over Mirko Cro Cop.  Though he went 1-3 in his last four fights with the UFC, Gonzaga has the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu skills to hang with any heavyweight fighter in MMA.  Combine that with an ample striking game and you have a pretty good opponent for Fedor.  Of course, if Gonzaga couldn’t beat Brendan Schaub, I’m not sure why he would have much of a chance against Fedor.

Guram Gugenishvili – Given Fedor’s association with M-1, Gugenishvili seems like the likeliest option at this point, even if it isn’t the most interesting choice..  Gugenishvili is a world class grappler with an undefeated 11-0 record, ten wins coming by way of submission.  He’s lacking any significant wins, though he’s defeated some of the best that M-1 has to offer in Kenny Garner and Maxim Grishin.  The Georgian Gugenishvili could certainly pose a threat to Fedor with his grappling, though I worry about Fedor eating Guram up with strikes.

Pedro Rizzo – The former number one contender to the UFC Heavyweight Title is a long way from the big show, but he’s looked impressive as of late.  Rizzo, who was a ranked fighter until dropping out due to inactivity, has three straight wins over Ken Shamrock, Gary Goodridge, and Jeff Monson.  Rizzo has a bit of name value left and is a dangerous kickboxer, but does he have enough left to stop Fedor at this point in his career?  This would be a pretty lopsided affair, but it’s a big enough name to put up against Fedor.

Hong Man Choi – How is it that we’ll only see Fedor fight a seven foot tall Korean man only once in our lifteime?  Fedor vs. Choi two would probably be the biggest or second biggest fight in the history of the MMA series pitting Russia against Korea.  This fight would be that good.

Categories: Daily Lists