It's rare to find an athlete who makes even the most exaggerated descriptions of his or her accomplishments seem unjust. Basketball had
In a bout in which the "Spider's" dominance of the UFC middleweight division could have been squashed, Silva weathered a strong first round before defeating PRIDE champ
The UFC is fortunate because Silva may soon be able to sell a card on his own -- without regard to his opponent (much like
The next logical fight for Silva would be a rematch against
Given that bit of history and Okami's dominant performance against
Other potentially compelling opponents for Silva, such as Henderson's Team Quest teammate
Not that Henderson didn't try. At UFC 82, he took down Silva in the first round, and ground and pound the Brazilian from half-guard. Despite a number of hammer fists to the side of his head, Silva never seemed to lose composure. Instead, he patiently waited out the storm and got Henderson into a more comfortable full guard as the round ended.
Silva came out aggressive in the second round against the former U.S. Olympic wrestler and displayed the striking efficiency we've come to expect from him as the UFC champ. Although Silva officially won by submission, he set up the winning rear-naked choke by landing at least one knee and a number of punches that dazed Henderson.
A strong wrestler, Henderson didn't provide much resistance as Silva took his back on the ground and displayed a facet of his game which many UFC fans may not have been aware. Fans may also forget that Silva is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt -- a scary thought for whomever his next opponent may be.
Early on, Arlovski's opponent,
So, where could Arlovski end up? EliteXC's heavyweight division needs help and its recently announced deal with CBS would give him the exposure he might otherwise lack in leaving the UFC. If the UFC can't re-sign Arlovski, EliteXC would certainly make sense.
If Arlovski were to head elsewhere, though, his void in the UFC heavyweight division could pose a problem: There aren't a lot of fighters ready to contend against interim champ
That leaves the possibility that Nogueira might face the winner of the UFC 82 bout between
But Herring didn't exactly look like a title contender in that match (and even admitted afterwards that he didn't train his ground game because he expected a standup fight from Kongo). In addition, Herring has already lost to Nogueira three times, including a decision loss in the Octagon in 2007. It's unlikely that the UFC wants another meeting between the two so soon; and Kongo, while improving with each outing, is still a year or two away from being a legit contender.
So, maybe the next title defense for Nogueira should come against resurgent former UFC champ
Speaking of Lesnar, we learned this weekend that the former WWE star and amateur wrestling champ's next UFC bout will come in August against
In making this fight, the UFC appears to have taken a page out of the playbook of EliteXC president
While Lesnar was thrown to the wolves in his first UFC fight, White now appears to understand that the heavyweight needs more seasoning. A win against Coleman is very attainable for Lesnar, and the match would be a good business decision and promotional vehicle for the UFC.
What may not be a very good long-term business strategy for the UFC, however, is the promotion's tendency to nickel and dime consumers who want to watch a full UFC card. Pay-per-view prices average just about $50. However, at UFC 82 only six of the 10 bouts made the telecast. So, for those wanting to watch the untelevised bouts, the UFC offers on-demand video of those fights on its website. The cost of downloading each additional fight? Two dollars. Therefore, a night of UFC fights can potentially cost a viewer upwards of $60.
This strategy may need some rethinking, especially as EliteXC cards become available on free network TV (CBS). As fighters begin to leave the UFC, will fans who are tired of shelling out so much cash do the same?
One potential solution would be for the UFC to allow viewers to watch the undercard fights for free online. At the very least, such a decision would serve to get the promotion's product in front of more eyes and thus spread the brand. After all, the days of the UFC relying on its brand-name advantage may be slowly coming to an end. Millions of future MMA fans may not know the difference between the UFC and EliteXC right now, but they will once the latter comes at no cost.