SI.com readers weigh in on MMA's most crucial stretch of the year
In the midst of mixed martial arts' most crucial stretch of the year, readers react to
With the risk of trying to sound too cute, fans and fighters came out on top this weekend. We can get into the UFC-Affliction arguments, but what's the point? UFC drew very well on SpikeTV. Affliction executives are suggesting pay-per-view estimates reflect more than 100,000 subscriptions sold and more than 14,000 fans watching live in Anaheim.
By any measure, both promotions did well -- another indication that MMA, not just the UFC, has grown in popularity.
Anyhow, these promotional debates shouldn't matter. Neither card would have done any business if compelling fighters and interesting fights weren't offered. That's really the bottom line as far as I'm concerned. Give me the best fighting and the rest will sort itself out -- regardless of the brand or venue attached to the event.
On to your second question: Anderson and Fedor are tied for first on my pound-for-pound list. The Brazilian has looked tremendous with the UFC, and Emelianenko's 24 consecutive wins since 2000 speak for themselves. Based on their respective records, performances against peers and skills used to win fights, there shouldn't be any doubt that Silva and Emelianenko are the very best in MMA right now.
If I'm putting a list together of five guys who could give Emelianenko a fight, believe it or not, Anderson makes the cut. He's tall, incredibly accurate -- or as UFC play-by-play man
I imagine Silva would try to keep Fedor at distance with a stiff jab. He'd need to keep the Russian on the end of his punches, because a clinch would all but guarantee that Silva was forced to his back. It really could be a fight. Silva's speed is terrific, and at his size, he'd only give up 15 to 20 pounds.
If you want more numbers: If they fought 10 times, Anderson might win three.
Don't dismiss Sylvia like that. He's a top-five heavyweight and the former two-time champion of a division that, though maligned, can be very competitive.
For Fedor, though, I've said for a longtime he's the best fighter I've ever seen, and I still believe that. But you're only as good as your last fight, and with bouts like the ones you mentioned, I'm can see how you would write him off as an automatic winner.
Arlovski is speed, speed, speed. Barnett is, well, experienced. He's large, knows how to apply and avoid submissions and he can strike when he needs to.
Who else? From best chance of defeating the Russian to the worst, my top five toughest challengers (though, admittedly, No. 5 might be a stretch):
NOTE: Speaking with Affliction vice president
A belt is as good as the man holding it. So, right now, that makes the WAMMA belt pretty meaningful. How it plays out in the long run is anyone's guess.
There are lessons to be learned from boxing, and people in the MMA business should take heed. To simply dismiss anything that feels similar to boxing as wrong for MMA is foolish. They are different sports and deserve to be treated as such, but in theory, WAMMA sounds like a good thing for fighters and fans. In practice, only time will tell.
Two well prepared guys should deliver a very competitive fight. I have to lean towards St. Pierre at this point. When he's motivated, confident and in the right frame of mind, there's no doubt he's a top-five pound-for-pound fighter.
That said, I'm not sure G.S.P. can run over Fitch and out-wrestle him like some may think. I'm sure Fitch is well aware that St. Pierre can, and will, wrestle. The welterweight champ has taken down anyone he's fought, though Fitch, a former wrestler at Purdue, might be St. Pierre's toughest test.
The answer is clear: no Kimbo means no
Sure, Kimbo and Carano aren't fighting, but the rematch between