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The Mixed Martial Arts Breakdown: Ricardo Mayorga to the MMA & More

By Scott Heritage

The WEC is making its first foray into the world of pay per view this weekend, with another of its customary stacked card featuring Urijah Faber. Whether many people will be willing to pay for something that they used to get for free is another matter. Several industry insiders said a buy rate of 100,000 buys would be a good number for WEC to achieve for a first time out.

As much as I like the WEC, and the cards are often better than UFC cards in my book, I just don’t think a pay per view will sell all that well. Sure there are the fans who don’t mind paying for every single MMA event, but given that the WEC events that are free don’t even attract huge numbers, it isn’t that likely they will sell a huge amount. On the one hand, it is a god thing if the WEC moves to pay per views; the fighters by and large will start to be paid more than they are at the moment and that will make it easier to attract foreign talent.

On the other hand with the ever increasing UFC pay per view schedule, at some point the fans are going to have to draw the line. Everyone likes the idea of the lighter guys being paid more, but nobody wants to actually have to pay for it. That goes for both the fans and the management, the latter of which in most cases could probably afford to pay the fighters more if they really wanted to anyway.

As far as the matches go, Jose Aldo is a pretty solid favorite against Urijah Faber, who has looked decidedly human in his last few outings. Whether his wrestling and speed will be enough to blunt the all out aggression from the Brazilian is a question that might well decide the future of the WEC on pay per view. Faber is undoubtedly the biggest draw in the company at this point, although Aldo is emerging into a star in his own right.

Benson Henderson or as some fans have nicknamed him “Benderson,” defends his newly won lightweight title against Donald Cerrone in the co-main event in a rematch of their 2009 fight. The first was one of the best fights of the year, with Henderson’s seemingly rubber limbs saving him from multiple submission attempts from Cerrone between periods of dominance from Henderson’s dynamic wrestling.

The rematch could go either way, although having beaten both Cerrone and Varner, I have to give the slight edge to Henderson. Either way it will undoubtedly be another great fight, and on paper at least the best on the card as well.

On May 8th the long awaited rematch between Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida takes place at UFC 113. The first fight was controversial, as Shogun appeared to have won the fight by the scores of most watching. Machida was given the decision on the night, and injuries to both fighters put off the return date by several months.

Another interesting aspect of this one is that Lyoto Machida and Anderson Silva are training partners. Silva has said in the past that he would not challenge for the light heavyweight belt so long as Machida was champion. If Shogun wins the belt then Silva might well move up to 205bs permanently and try to win a belt at a second weight, after he has done his penance for his latest performance against Demian Maia that is. The most likely course of events is that Anderson will next fight on a free event to make up for the shocker he put on last time, but after that he should be free for fights at light heavyweight.

The card is sure to sell huge numbers, although not just because of the long awaited rematch taking place as the main event. Kimbo Slice makes his second UFC appearance since crashing out pretty early on the Ultimate Fighter series 10. No one really knows how long the Slice bang wagon will last, but so long as he keeps winning, people in their millions will want to watch.

For his debut he was given a smaller version of himself in Houston Alexander and emerged victorious. This time out he’s taking on a full heavyweight known to have heavy hands and a decent size advantage as well. Matt Mitrione is no Anderson Silva on the feet, but he has the reach and accuracy early on to hand Kimbo his first official UFC loss. Should he do that, a little more of the air inside the Kimbo Slice bubble will be let out and the UFC will have to search far and wide for an easier opponent for him next time out.

Kimbo is so famous at the moment that he even has a lookalike eager to take his place in the spotlight in the form of an individual known as Da Da 5000. How far you can get riding on the coattails of a fighter who’s claim to fame is still largely Youtube videos rather than wins in the cage is anyone’s guess, but he should sell out a few local shows at least.

The ago old question of how a boxer would do in MMA will be answered yet again on May 15th when Ricardo Mayorga takes on Din Thomas under the Shine Fights banner. What makes this example different from the dozens of others is that Mayorga hasn’t been out of the game for too long. Most cross over boxers to date have been the wrong side of 40 and out of the ring for years

Mayorga was known as one of boxing’s many wild men, and seemed to be under the impression that this would be a walk in the park at the press conference last week. Even going so far as to blow smoke in Thomas’ face and then karate chop him in the throat. Whether he will have anything other than his boxing skills on the night though is far from a certainty.

Many boxers or other one dimensional fighters entering MMA tend not to have trained in their weakest areas for long enough to trouble someone who has been cross training for years. Realistically Mayorga might have a punchers chance, but not much else against Thomas, who probably only has to secure one take down to end the fight. For all the talk back and forth between the pair leading up to the fight, Mayorga won’t know what he’s doing on the ground and Thomas won’t chance standing with someone as dangerous as Mayorga.

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