Five Rounds: UFC's about-face on women, Evans-Nogueira, more
We're in week two of a four-week stretch without major mixed martial arts events. That's an eternity in a sport that often seems to measure time by the number attached to an Ultimate Fighting Championship card instead of the date on the calendar.
But that doesn't mean there is a lack of conversational topics. Far from it. There's plenty of fodder for verbal sparring to fill the void left by the absence of fisticuffs. From SI.com's news break Tuesday about
So without further ado, time to go Five Rounds:
White's contention over the past several years has been that women's MMA did not have deep enough talent pools at each division to be worth a wholehearted investment. But 2012 has proven the women's fighting game is fast catching up. Bouts like Ronda Rousey vs. Miesha Tate, Rousey vs. Sarah Kaufman, and Tate vs. Julie Kedzie have been the saving grace of an otherwise sputtering Strikeforce brand. And the all-women's Invicta Fighting Championship has been an artistic (if not financial) success. Invicta's three events have been top-to-bottom, action-packed fight cards that have sent those who missed the live webcasts scurrying to YouTube to see what the buzz is all about.
I wouldn't expect women fighters to show up in the UFC tomorrow -- White talked about adding a men's flyweight division for a year before it came to fruition -- but White's newfound commitment to women's fighting shows the company is aggressively looking to beef up its product in 2013 after experiencing a turbulent 2012.
Noting that Gurgel has been sidelined with injuries this year, and that Friday's bout with Casey Noland will be a non-title fight contested at 125 pounds, Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney
Now that things have settled down and MMA is, in fact, still being covered on the sports pages in spite of all the hand-wringing, a question remains: Will this be enough to save
At last Wednesday's
Jones and Sonnen are both off the table until April. Alexander Gustafsson is scheduled to fight Mauricio "Shogun" Rua on Dec. 8. Dan Henderson and Lyoto Machida have long been talked about as potentially meeting. Quinton "Rampage" Jackson is angling on Twitter for a shot at Glover Teixeira (a bout signed for last month, from which Jackson had to withdraw due to injury), and Forrest Griffin is fighting Phil Davis on Dec. 29.
Given the rest of the elites either have something concrete lined up or have proposed dance partners, Evans-Nogueira serves a practical purpose: Evans is looking to come off a one-sided loss to Jones in April and "Lil Nog" has something to prove at 36, coming off injuries that have kept him sidelined all year.
CSAC has been through a tumultuous 2012, one in which its overseeing body, the state's Department of Consumer Affairs, accused the commission of insolvency and ordered an audit of its accounting practices. This ended with the previous director, George Dodd, resigning at the end of July. While one could argue that California's problems are too big for any one person to handle, naming Foster is a step in the right direction.
Foster has been head of the Georgia commission since 2008. Under his watch, the commission has become one of the nation's most well-regarded and efficient combat sports bodies. And as a former pro MMA fighter (career record: 9-2), Foster's appointment bodes well for the sport in a state whose commission was often staffed with old-school types who didn't quite understand this newfangled cagefighting stuff.