While Thanksgiving provided a short respite from the seemingly endless string of noteworthy mixed martial arts bouts in 2009, the calendar picks up where it left off this week.
December, as has become tradition in MMA, is rampant with important, big-money fights. (It's getting to the point that that can be said about every month.) In the latest e-mail/Twitter-bag, SI.com readers chime in on November's results, December's promises, as well as other issues surrounding the sport as another big year comes to a close.
It's a big month for lightweights. Four bouts at 155 top my list:
By a pretty wide margin, I'd pick WEC featherweight champ
Shields' striking is limited, and against heavier fighters those deficiencies are apparent. At welterweight I still feel he remains a threat to anyone. Not so at middleweight. That's clear now, and he admits as much. Because he entered my P4P based on fighting up and weight and defeating a ranked opponent (
Fedor's the best because all he's done is win. Most rankings had Rogers anywhere from 6-10 because his knockout of Andrei Arlovski convinced many people he's a top talent, and dangerous fighter.
Prior to meeting
As far as the Rogers fight goes, Fedor did get hit. But if the expectation of an excellent performance is based on avoiding getting touched, that's raising the bar a tad high for my taste.
Lesnar is a serious threat; very athletic, a giant wrestler. Carwin is similar to Lesnar, but I don't think he's as good and Fedor's speed would be the difference. You saw what
For my money, we already know how good Emelianenko is. Losing one bout wouldn't diminish his previous accomplishments, nor would it take away from the fact that he hadn't been defeated in a decade.
First, I'm calling Penn-Sanchez to take fight-of-the-year honors. This one has everything you could want, and I expect a fast pace from the outset. So long as Penn doesn't wilt under Sanchez's attack, I like B.J. to retain the belt. If Diego is as aggressive with B.J. as he was Clay Guida, he'll leave himself open to getting countered. I like Penn to score on the feet, get the better of their exchanges, and finish Diego when it hits the canvas.
Woodley went eight minutes and 38 seconds with
It would take a very good reason for the UFC to change how it structures the majority of its payouts, and right now I don't see anything on the horizon that would convince Zuffa to do so. Guaranteed money has come up as a point of contention in contract negotiations (mainly in the form of signing bonuses) and thus far remains an uncommon practice.
None. Both FEG (which is joining forces with Sengoku to promote the New Year's Eve card) and Emelianenko's camp confirmed there's no way the fight will get made right now. The Russian will likely get the cast protecting his left hand removed around that time.
Ortiz was not listed among the 10 fighters requiring post-UFC 106 suspensions for injuries by the Nevada State Athletic Commission. So either the NSAC missed Ortiz's injuries before and after his fight, or all his talk about cracked skulls was a bit overblown.