When UFC 210 commences, we will learn a couple of things. First, if Anthony “Rumble” Johnson learned from the mistakes he made in his first fight with Light Heavyweight Champion Daniel Cormier. I say this because Rumble insists DC did not beat him, he beat himself. This revelation from Rumble suggests he will take steps to improve, or eliminate the mistakes he made. Now, do not get me wrong, I love Rumble, he is one of my favorite active MMA fighters, however, Rumble lost that first fight because DC took the best he had to offer and was better than him in every other aspect of mixed martial arts. I suppose you can equate that with beating yourself.
Second, we are going to find out how good Chris Weidman is? The former middleweight champion has his fair share of critics. The rhetoric being that Chris is vastly overrated; all of his glory came from a ‘lucky punch’ against Anderson Silva, with the rematch ending under the freakish of circumstances. Critics continue to say that Weidman has not done much since those fights. Now, I do not agree with these points, Weidman is a wonderful fighter who would give hell to anyone current middleweight. With that said, Gegard Mousasi is a very tough fight for him, as I feel Gegard is the most well-rounded fighters at middleweight. If Weidman beats him, the overrated rhetoric should come to an end. Should, being the operative word.
Speaking of well-rounded fighters, Kelvin Gastelum was working his way to such status. His plan to climb up the middleweight ladder has been put to a halt, however, as Kelvin has drugged his way into a suspension, and consequently squelching his showdown with MMA legend Anderson Silva at UFC 212. Now, preliminary reports indicate it is marijuana that Kelvin tested positive for. Personally, I do not understand why a positive marijuana test warrants a suspension, as it is far from a performance enhancer. With that said, couldn’t you have laid off of the weed KG? A fight with The Spider, in Brazil, was a fight you dreamed of. Your dream came true, you were well aware marijuana was off limits, why jeopardize your dream? What is more important to you, being a champion or getting high? Joe Rogan has stated that he does not compete professionally because he could never pass a drug test. In life, priorities are everything. What are yours Kelvin?
Speaking of performance enhancers, the UFC showdown between Cynthia Calvillo and Pearl Gonzalez was almost canceled due to the revelation that Pearl has enlarged her breasts; as the New Yok State Athletic Commission has a rule that female fighters cannot compete with breast implants. Whawhawhat?! Bizarre does not even cover it. I only have one question for the NYSAC, if this is indeed a serious rule, and your stance is that breast implants is a risk to female fighters, why did you not inquire if either of these ladies in fact had breast implants prior to the day before the fight? The lack of inquiry eithers suggests incompetence on the part of the NYSAC, or a lack of respect to female fighters. Perhaps a combination of both. Thankfully, the NYSAC decided to wave the rule and Calvillo and Gonzalez were allowed to show their skills in front of the Buffalo crowd and PPV audience.
Speaking of PPV buys, I hear a lot of boxing people suggest that the UFC is on the decline. While I am a boxing junkie, I despise the negative rhetoric from boxing people regarding the UFC/MMA, and vice versa. As a result, I often find myself at odds with people who are passionate about sports I love. I suppose I could just keep my mouth shut. Nah. The rhetoric that the UFC is on the decline is just not in keeping with reality. In 2016, the UFC saw five of its PPV cards go over a million buys, a record. In contrast, two of boxings biggest PPV card; Kovalev v. Ward and GGG v. Jacobs, failed to combine for 500,000 PPV buys. While I think, this is a good thing, as boxing needs to shift away from the PPV format, it suggests that the UFC has more fans. Free UFC cards typically pull in better ratings than free boxing cards as well. What’s dead? Funny how life works, there was once a time where I found myself pointing out to MMA fans that boxing was far from dead.
Speaking of life, there was virtually none in the King Mo vs. Rampage rematch. However, I do find it peculiar that King Mo is getting the brunt of the criticism. Does it not take two to make a fight? Was it not Rampage, the striker, backing up during most of the fight? Was it not Rampage who came in grossly overweight, so gassed in round three he tried for a desperation takedown he failed miserably at? Rampage, the guy who despises wrestlers tried to take a wrestler to the ground in a must win round, and King Mo is getting all the heat for the fight being dull? Exactly what I am missing? This fight once again proves combat sports is the ultimate Rorschach test.
Zutes Boxing Talk & Zutes MMA Talk are podcasts that bring you the world of combat sports straight up with no twists. In each episode, “Zute” calls upon the best boxing & MMA minds in the business to talk about the current state of the fight game, and interviews some of the best fighters in the world of combat sports. Carlos Palomino, Mikey Garcia Sergey Kovalev, Shonie Carter and Jeremy Horn are among the guests that have been featured on the podcast.Contact the Feature Writers