UFC 155 Results: Is a Healthy Cain Velasquez unstoppable?

CREDIT: usatoday.com

CREDIT: usatoday.com

Cain Velasquez looked sensational in his UFC 155 title bid against Brazilian striking specialist Junior “Cigano” dos Santos.

For 25 minutes, Velasquez battered and overwhelmed dos Santos with a perfect blend of wrestling and striking, and “Cigano” had no answers and no chance at victory.

Cain was fast.

He was strong.

He was prepared.

He was…unstoppable?

Hold on there, sports fan.

Cain Velasquez was everything one could want in an elite fighter at UFC 155, and he definitively earned his champion status.

That said, there are several factors at play that prevent me from bestowing the “unstoppable” label upon the American Kickboxing Academy standout.

First off, he is in the wrong sport to be considered “unstoppable.”

Knee injury or no knee injury, his 64-second loss to Junior dos Santos at UFC on Fox I was indicative of what can happen at any point inside the Octagon. Even if Velasquez had two bionic, titanium-enforced knees in this bout, he still has a chin, and fists have a way of finding chins inside the cage.

Secondly, if any MMA fighter can be considered unstoppable, it shouldn’t be a heavyweight. This is the division where fighters are the most “stoppable,” and the division is full of one-shot knockout specialists.

Guys like Frank Mir and Fabricio Werdum, who aren’t known for their striking power (but certainly pack a punch), are Brazilian jiu-jitsu experts and among the best in the sport at snagging chokes and destroying limbs.

In my eyes, calling any mixed martial artist unstoppable is a stretch, but when we’re talking heavyweights, it’s downright absurd.

Another factor not in Cain’s favor is the increasing depth of the heavyweight division.

It’s not like Cain is the MMA equivalent of LeBron James and just defeated Kevin Durant in a game of one-on-one, and now has to only face a handful of BrianScalabrines to close out his career. He has Kobe coming for him. Dwight Howard is on the horizon, as is Carmelo Anthony. Oh, and the Kevin Durant he just beat? He’ll be back.

The top 10 of the heavyweight division is incredibly volatile, and nobody can hold the belt because of these factors.

One punch can, and does, change everything, especially when 250-pound behemoths are slinging the leather.

Put simply, Cain Velasquez was almost perfect against Junior dos Santos at UFC 155, but he is still far from unstoppable. There are too many factors at work to dispel this notion, and the odds of him winning out in his MMA career are painfully slim.

Velasquez is seemingly perfect, but so was the Titanic. Hell, so was Junior dos Santos just before him.

And we all saw how that worked out.

UFC: Wanderlei Silva moving to light heavyweight is a terrible idea

CREDIT: lasvegassun.com

Why, Wanderlei? Why?!

Everyone’s favorite mixed martial artist, Wanderlei “The Axe Murderer” Silva, recently announced his plans to return to action in 2013 and compete in the UFC’s light heavyweight division.

Let’s get one thing out of the way early: Chael Sonnen is a grade-A nutjob, but he speaks the truth to a degree. Sure, his mouth gets out of control and breaks its leash from time to time (OK, all the time), but when he talks about Wanderlei Silva, he is pretty accurate.

Silva is past his prime. He is old, and he is not a contender in any division at this stage in his career.

Frankly, Silva has not been a contender since coming into the UFC in December 2007.

Since his debut loss to Chuck Liddell, “The Axe Murderer” is an abysmal 3-4 inside the Octagon, and his wins have been over Keith Jardine (a perfect matchup for him), Michael Bisping (in a hotly contested decision) and Cung Le (we knew somebody was going down).

He has been brutally knocked out in two of his losses, and he has been dropped and stunned in his wins. Put plainly, our pal Wandy just can’t take a punch anymore.

Moving to light heavyweight is going to exaggerate this problem, and I fear for Silva’s safety against the top 205-pounders of today.

Vitor Belfort makes sense for a first fight at light heavyweight, but that is a terrible, terrible matchup for Wandy. Vitor is fast, he is strong and he will undoubtedly leave Silva face down on the canvas inside the first round.

Look, guys don’t hit less hard as they get bigger and heavier. That’s just physics. Wanderlei’s chin is awful at middleweight, and it will be exposed even worse at light heavyweight.

Unfortunately for him, he will never realize this, and he will not care. Silva just wants to brawl, and he wants to put on good fights for his fans and supporters.

God bless him for that, but this mentality is just not the game he needs to be playing at this stage in his career. Sure it’s fun for us, but is it worth it?

His mental health is on life support as it is at middleweight, and moving up to light heavyweight will be like removing the feeding tube.

Wandy, we love you, and we always will, but understand what you’re doing and take your health into consideration.

Nobody wants to see you get hurt.

UFC 154 Results: Give Johny Hendricks the title shot, stat!

CREDIT: Mark J. Rebilas/US PRESSWIRE via bleacherreport.com

How ridiculous is Johny Hendricks’ left hand?

In predicting fights at UFC 154, I thought Martin Kampmann would be able to absorb some blows from Hendricks, tire him out and eventually surge back for a submission victory.

Wrong. Wrong. 

What I failed to realize is that Johny Hendricks’ left hand is not an ordinary hand. It is a thing of destructive perfection, crafted from one-part Thor’s hammer, one-part noisy cricket and one-part Kim Kardashian’s vajay.

That combination, my friends, will take out anybody, and even Kampmann’s storied chin could not withstand the punishment.

With one punch (technically two if you count the follow-up for good measure), Hendricks solidified his status as the UFC welterweight division’s No. 1 contender, and the UFC brass needs to reward the man immediately.

The punch was awesome, sure, but I’m not basing this decision solely on one devastating blow. Look at Hendricks’ last five fights: T.J. Waldburger (meh), Mike Pierce (always tough, brings out the worst in his opponents somehow), Jon Fitch (top-10), Josh Koscheck (top-10) and Martin Kampmann (top-5).

That is the gauntlet Hendricks just traversed, and you’re going to try to say his next fight isn’t  for a title? You want him to face Condit or Diaz instead?

Get out of here.

GSP-Hendricks is is the fight that needs to happen.

Forget GSP vs. Anderson Silva, forget GSP vs. Nick Diaz and forget anything that does not involve Hendricks’ beard against the Canadian sensation.

Let us not sink into a world where a man’s Twitter following matters more than his body of work and let us not stumble into a pit of mismatched superfights. Keep with the natural order of the division and reward the best challenger right now.

That is Hendricks. There is no debate. He took out top-10 guys in three consecutive fights, and his power is second to none in the division. Add in his Division I wrestling background and strong base, and by-golly GSP might just find himself in a good ole-fashioned fist fight, eh?

The UFC needs to make this fight happen, and that is the end of the story. Hendricks earned it, now give the man his due.

Stephan Bonnar vs. Forrest Griffin Retirement Bout Rumored for UFC 155

CREDIT: camelclutchblog.com

Late last night, when the MMA world was still charged with mixed feelings of enthusiasm and disdain regarding the announcement of Chael Sonnen vs. Jon Jones, a more legitimate and important announcement slipped through the cracks of irrationality.

As you recall, Sonnen was originally slated to face Forrest Griffin at UFC 155 before getting called up to coach opposite Jones on season 17 of The Ultimate Fighter. This bout made sense—Sonnen was new to the light heavyweight division, and Griffin is a solid gatekeeper at this point in his career.

However, after the UFC made the ludicrous decision to grant Sonnen a title shot after his coaching stint, Griffin was left without an opponent (a situation he handled in the most awesome of fashions, by the way).

Who would he face?

Would he retire?

MMA analyst and Twitter superstar @FrontRowBrian fueled our speculation late last night, when he tweeted:

*Breaking* According to industry insider ‘Mac,’ Stephan Bonnar will step in for Chael Sonnen at UFC 155 to face Forrest Griffin on 12.29

I, for one, was relieved to hear this.

This matchup made sense.  It is the culmination of years of hard work; a trilogy between two warriors who quite literally shaped the sport into what it is today.

This matchup was crafted for the fans, but it still made sense, unlike Sonnen vs. Jones.

FrontRowBrian added another dimension to the matchup, when he said:

This will serve as the retirement fight for both Bonnar & Griffin. Don’t ask me who Mac is. He’s an industry insider whom I correspond with

If his announcement turns out to be true, we will have a bout to remember, my friends.

This potential UFC 155 matchup will serve as the ultimate conclusion for two storied MMA careers. Griffin and Bonnar helped make the UFC what it is today.

On Dec. 29, we may see all that come to an end.

I’m expecting fireworks, a huge crowd reaction and some seriously wet eyes.  This is going to be emotional for the fighters, for the fans and for everybody involved with the UFC.

The best thing about it though?

Right after Sonnen vs. Jones was announced, this bout proved that the UFC brass does still have the ability to make a sound, logical decision.

Thank you, @FrontRowBrian, for reaffirming my belief in the world’s premiere mixed martial arts organization.

 

Jon Jones vs. Chael Sonnen will be hilarious on ‘The Ultimate Fighter,’ but it is all wrong

CREDIT: ufc.com

Uncle Chael, welcome to the world of mainstream television.

The trash-talking gangster from West Linn, Ore., recently won another popularity contest, this time to earn a spot opposite UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones on season 17 of the promotion’s flagship series, The Ultimate Fighter.

After the series, the two will fight to determine the best 205-pound warrior on earth.

My first thoughts on this were: “Holy shit, this is going to be hilarious. Jones is going to try to be all serious and helpful, and Sonnen is going to blast him over and over…”

Then I thought deeper into the decision, though, and I saw how flawed it is.

Entertaining as it may be, matching Sonnen with Jones is all wrong.

Check out my article here to see why.

10 Most Humiliating Moments in MMA history

CREDIT: lockflow.com

The outcome of every mixed martial arts match is simple in its design: one man wins, and one man loses.

Simply losing, however, is not the end for some warriors.  Shame, emasculation and utter humiliation befall professional fighters from time to time, and these moments provide a humorous look at an otherwise brutal and serious sport.

For the finest comedic relief provided at the expense of our favorite athletes, start the slideshow.

MMA: How the UFC can step up its game

CREDIT: mmalinker.com

I love the UFC.

Truly, I do.

However, there is no denying the fact our favorite mixed martial arts promotion is in a rut right now.  We are hearing the same storylines over and over, and UFC President Dana White is slowly losing control of his fighters and himself.

Let me save you, oh dearest promotion.

You need an All-Star game to relieve your stresses and revitalize viewer interest, and here is how it would go down.