Questions on Edgar vs. Penn, UFC 118 and more from the mailbag
As the calendar turns from August to September and the end of summer nears, this is as good a time as any for SI.com's MMA readers to have their say in 140 characters or less.
UFC 118 in Boston offered no shortage of topics to tweet about, the most prevalent being
I think MMA pundits sometimes go too far in a search for the sport's historical relevance -- I know I do from time to time. Modern MMA is very young, and I'm not sure we should be assigning labels like "best lightweight ever." The division is barely 10 years old. The UFC scrapped it entirely from 2004-2006. Pride's version of the weight class was contested at 160 pounds, not 155 as outlined by Unified Rules in North America. So, at this moment, I don't believe one stands out above the rest. Any claim Penn had on the throne will certainly be usurped in the not too distant future.
Edgar is better, and of course it helped that Penn isn't overly motivated. Let's finally give Frankie his due: he out-everything'd Penn over 25 minutes.
Once again, Edgar gets no respect. Aldo is unbelievably dangerous, but that's at 145. You're underestimating Edgar's combination of speed, power and wrestling. And I don't think there's a fighter near Edgar's weight that "smashes" him right now.
Probably not as a main event. It will need to be the co-feature. Still, I'm very interested to see if Edgar is capable of making the proper adjustments to handle Maynard. I'm unconvinced. The way I see this thing is that the lightweight division will churn out highly competitive fighters who each have one serious foil. Imagine it's heavyweight boxing in the 1970s, with a trio of fighters who shined in certain matchups and did the opposite in others.
Penn should stick it out at lightweight. Fighting at 155 guarantees, at least, that he'll train to make weight, and motivation is the looming question hanging over his career at the moment. It seems to be missing these days. He's fast and dangerous, and has advantages over all but a handful of lightweights. Physically Penn can hack it, but that won't matter if he doesn't want to anymore. Maybe he finds that fire again, but most who lost it don't. Not unlike many prodigies.
Forget any talk of retirement. Penn may have expressed the sentiment after other losses, but my understanding is he's already back in the gym and eager to return. As far as his reaction after decisively losing to a fellow lightweight, I'm with you in that it's an interesting point. Penn could always attempt to logic away losses at 170 and above. But Edgar is a lightweight, a small one at that, and this is loss No. 7 for Penn. Anyone claiming his invincibility is blinded by their fandom. Penn isn't a special fighter anymore. Natural talent got him as far as it did, but those days are done. Can he rebound? It will take something he hasn't shown he possesses.
I disagree with White saying Florian chokes in big fights. Against
Those three wins (just two of them at 205):
Ugly. Really, really ugly.
I'll pass, thanks.
No way. College presidents won't sign off on an MMA program. College boxing has essentially vanished off campuses. As it is, many in the wrestling community remain unconvinced a closer public relationship between MMA and wrestling is a positive for their sport. MMA club teams are on the rise, but I can't imagine the NCAA adding the sport to its list. And moreover, colleges simply don't have the budgets to add additional programs. We could see an uptick in the number of college club programs, but that would be the extent of it.
It's not really up to the UFC, or any other promoter. While the organization would be amenable to whatever the state athletic commissions mandate, I don't see any possibility of this happening in the near future, if ever.