Mailbag: February MMA rankings prompt backlash among readers
Now I know what Vitor Belfort feels like. In the days after Anderson Silva stopped him with a devastating attack that was as spectacular as it was sudden, I took a few kicks to the face myself from readers for
To begin this edition of the SI.com MMA mailbag, I offer a few sample missives, with my responses to follow:
All fair points, Matt, Bobby, Adrian, Chris and Homer. Oh, except Homer's theory that I drew the short straw at SI.com and was forced to cover mixed martial arts. On the contrary, I was given a choice: write about MMA or hand out beach towels and apply sunscreen at the annual
I realize that some of my fighter placements run counter to consensus thinking, but that's because I relied not so much on résumés but on where I think these guys truly fit in the pecking order. I put Overeem at No. 2 because I believe he's better than every heavyweight other than Cain Velasquez. True, he hasn't faced competition as stiff as some UFC heavies have, but against the fighters Strikeforce has put him in with, he's been devastating. Of course, as I said in the rankings story, we'll know more about Alistair after the Heavyweight Grand Prix is done.
As for putting GSP over Silva, that was before The Kick Heard Round The World, when the last thing I'd seen from "The Spider" was an unspectacular, pull-a-rabbit-out-of-a-hat win. And don't forget that it's a pound-for-pound ranking, not an opinion of who'll win if we see a superfight between the two champions.
Oh, speaking of opinions, not all of my customers were dissatisfied with mine ...
And thank you, Sam, for being by far the most insightful and intelligent reader I've ever heard from.
You're probably referring to Mauro Ranallo, who at times can get as loud as one of broadcast partner Gus Johnson's ties. Or maybe you're talking about Gus himself -- a sign-language interpreter would pull a muscle trying to put proper oomph behind Johnson's play-by-play. As a pair, you could nickname them Fire and Brimstone.
But the volume that makes me hold my ears during Strikeforce fights is not the loudness of the commentary but the abundance of it. Sometimes half a telecast goes by before I can ascertain whether the third guy with a microphone is Frank Shamrock or Pat Miletich, because whoever it is can barely get a word in edgewise. And as a guy who makes a living spinning my own cringe-worthy metaphors, I'm always listening for Ranallo to throw out something that even I wouldn't, such as last Saturday's analytical outburst at the conclusion of the co-main event: "Kharitonov treating Arlovski like Christina Aguilera treated the national anthem at last Sunday's Super Bowl!" Christina ain't got nothing on you, Mauro.
I don't know that it's cynical or even manipulative on the part of the UFC, Jorge, but I do think you make a good point. It would add to the viewing experience, at least for some fans, if we were given some context for the fights the UFC digs out of the archives for its
No and no. Jones has been spectacular throughout his short UFC career, and fans have been clamoring for him to step up in competition. He did so with the fight against the undefeated Bader, and was as dominant as ever. Had Bader won the fight, even in heavy-handed fashion, I think he still would have had to win once more before getting a title shot. And if "Bones" had simply edged Ryan in a rugged, highly competitive bout, he probably would have been held back, too. Now Jones is not only the light heavyweight challenger but also actually the favorite to win. Quite an ascent.
I called Dana on his childish tweeting
I'm on the case, Bo. And the powers that be listen to every word I say.
You're way more qualified to assess the medical aspects of the situation than I am, Doc. I don't know the scope of the questions that Chael's doctor faced in his testimony before the CSAC. I do know Sonnen claims his condition is something he's dealt with since puberty, not something new. Still, based on his recent track record, it's reasonable to doubt anything that comes out of Chael's mouth.
I am now. And I assume that you trained with him, HK, considering the long tradition of pro rasslers coming from your hometown.