The year 2011 is right around the corner. I’m already excited to see the fights that are already scheduled. On New Years, we already have UFC 125 “Resolution” which looks like an action packed fight card. If boxing can make a fight card as exciting as the UFC can, the sport of boxing wouldn’t be in the position they are in right now. Joe Silva, the UFC’s match maker and Vice President for talent relations has been very consistent in making very competitive match ups.
To be quite honest, I think that Joe Silva is a black belt when it comes to MMA match making. There is not much written about the Silva, but what I know for sure is that he has been match making for the UFC even before the Fertita brother’s purchased the UFC from (SEG) Semaphore Entertainment Group 9 years ago. While researching for this article I came across an interview written back in 2008 by Florida Today, and this is what he had to say about the process of choosing fighters for the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).
“I’m looking for a well-rounded athletic fighter, but the most important thing to me is record,” said Joe Silva, the UFC’s vice president of talent relations. “It’s very frustrating in my job. I don’t look for victims. I pride myself in making competitive matchups.”
“I don’t care what happens in the gym. Lots of people do well in the gym. Going in the cage is a completely different thing, so I want to know how many fights do you have and who did you fight.”
“Did he beat up a bunch of guys who, this was their first fight? Or did he beat up a bunch of guys who had multiple fights and this much experience?”
“(In early MMA) if you had somebody who didn’t understand jiu-jitsu, you could beat them without being much of an athlete. Nowadays, everybody knows. There’s no secret techniques. People know, and they cross-train. Being an athlete quite often is what makes the difference.”
This is the reason why we have excellent fights and fighters coming out of the UFC. There were some boring fights in the past that I would rather forget about, but the majority of the UFC events have been very action packed, very technical (but not boring) and at the most part “entertaining!”
Joe Silva has been accused numerous times for holding back a fighters growth in the UFC. I guess this comes with the territory, especially if you’re the one who more or less decides the future of that all the fighters’ careers. I for one have no qualms over Mr. Silva’s decision making as of late. Like I said, 2010 was a stellar year for MMA!
The reason I brought the topic of Joe Silva in this article is because there are still a lot of fights that the fight fans are looking forward to seeing next year. A couple of fights that I want to see are already booked for the UFC 126 at the Mandalay Bay, in Las Vegas on February 5th, 2011.
The headliner for the event is UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson “The Spider” Silva vs. Vitor “The Phenom” Belfort and in the undercard Ryan Bader vs. Jon “Bones” Jones. The 2 fighters I believe to be the future stars of MMA. Hats off to Joe Silva for this fight card. But the fights I really want to see and a lot of people will agree with me on this are…
UFC Welterweight Champion George “Rush” St. Pierre
UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson “The Spider” Silva
I already wrote an article about the reason why I want this fight to be taken under consideration. You can read it here.
Brock Lesnar II
I would love to see another battle between the 2 biggest heavyweights in the UFC. During their first outing, I was rooting for Carwin. I was at the edge of my seat when he started pounding on Brock during the majority of the first round. I thought it was going to be a TKO victory for Shane, but Lesnar survived the first round and made it to the 2nd. When the bell rang for the 2nd round, Carwin looked spent. From what I can recall he couldn’t even move. Brock used this to his advantage and took him down easily and choked him out for a submission victory. I was disappointed by the outcome, but Brock Lesnar earned my respect. Carwin lost because he gassed out, and I know he is smart enough not to make the same mistake again. To me the reason why Shane lost is because of his cardio and not because of Lesnar’s skill. So another fight has to be done, and my money is still on Carwin by TKO.
Thiago “The Pit Bull” Alves
Josh Koscheck II
Now that “The Pit Bull” isn’t having any problems making weight and after a very dominant performance against another heavy handed striker in Howard “Doomsday” Howard, a rematch against Koscheck is a fight I want to see. Even though Josh Koscheck lost his title match against GSP, I believe he has improved significantly to give Thiago Alves problems if they meet again. Back in 2008 at UFC 90 (The main event was a STINKER); Josh Koscheck was a last minute replacement to face Thiago. “The Pit Bull” won by unanimous decision. If another fight will be made next year, I can say that it would be evenly matched. I give the edge to Koscheck on the next fight, but I would like to see “The Pit Bull” knocking him out in that rematch.
Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida
Quentin “Rampage” Jackson II
Yes, another rematch, “Rampage” even agrees with me on this one. During UFC 123, Quentin won a very surprising split decision against Machida. You should have seen his face when his name was announced as the winner. A lot of people thought Machida won the fight. If you saw the fight it was Rampage who dominated the 1st round and the 2nd round was even. The last round I gave to Machida. He rocked Rampage more than ones during the final round. So it could have gone either way. UFC President Dana White was all praises to Rampage’s victory. Even though he wasn’t agreeable with what he said about giving Machida an immediate rematch because he said that Rampage in his eyes clearly won the match. If you were to ask me, an IMMEDIATE rematch with a more decisive end would be a must. So Mr. Joe Silva, please make the rematch happen!
Strikeforce Heavyweight Champion Alistair “The Demolition Man” Overeem vs.
WAMMA Heavyweight Championship Fedor “The Last Emperor” Emelianenko
This last fight is the only fight I want to see that is not under the UFC banner. To me they are the only other fighters outside the UFC that can be considered on the top shelf of the MMA heavyweight division. Alistair recently won the K1 Grand Prix Kickboxing tournament, making him the only man to hold 2 major titles from 2 different combat sports. He might have the best stand up game in the MMA Heavyweight division. But the question is what can he really do against a top tiered heavyweight opponent? Fedor on the other hand, is still considered one of the best in the division. Even after losing to Fabricio Werdum during his last fight! Strikeforce and M1 Global (Fedor’s managing arm) has been trying to get this fight together for the past 3 years. What’s going on? The only way to cement their MMA legacies is to fight each other. I hope Strikeforce CEO Scott Cocker will put an extra effort into making this fight happen in 2011.
Well, so far that is my wish list for 2011. I hope most of the fights I mentioned will become a reality. Some are harder to make than the others, but what I like about MMA is that fights that need to happen usually does happen. I’m not giving up hope.
Let’s get it on!!!