Michael McDonald (right): Jeff Sherwood | Sherdog.com
Is Yushin Okami “guaranteed” anything?
UFC President Dana White promises that the winner of Saturday’s Yushin Okami/Nate Marquardt bout will get a crack at Anderson Silva’s middleweight title. (Both men have fought Silva before: Marquardt lost, Okami notched a nothing win via disqualification when Silva landed an illegal kick.)
But one tremendous obstacle stands in Okami’s way: himself. Despite spending four years in the UFC and losing only twice in 11 bouts, his fight style -- at times conservative, muted, dragging -- has netted few fans. If Silva beats Vitor Belfort in February and Georges St. Pierre gets past Josh Koscheck, would the UFC really elect to have Silva/Okami in place of a Silva/St. Pierre fight? That’s like asking if you’d prefer getting kicked in the face over a foot massage.
Is Germany behind the times?
The reaction to the UFC’s first Germany event earlier this year was as though the promotion was hosting a public execution: lots of editorials, a call for banning, and the inevitable reference to fragile little minds. In others words, it was the U.S. reaction to the UFC in the 1990s.
The UFC seems undeterred, plowing ahead with a second show and streaming the event online in the wake of a blackout on German television. While there’s no right or wrong -- MMA is, like most things, a matter of taste -- it’s unfortunate German fans might have to suffer the same political suffocation fans Stateside have had to endure.
Duane Ludwig and Goran Reljic on the chopping block?
Both Duane Ludwig and Goran Reljic have posted two losses in their last two bouts, respectively; three in a row seems often to be the magic number for pink slips. How fighters interpret that increased adversity is interesting: will they fight conservatively, minimizing risk in an effort to sustain employment? Or will they opt for an exciting fight in the hopes the action keeps them on radar?
Is teenager Michael McDonald the next Vitor Belfort?
Michael McDonald, 19, has a 10-1 mark in a sport where he might not be legally allowed to his attend his own after-party. Teenage prodigies are nothing new -- Vitor Belfort was around that age in 1997, Dan Lauzon fought at 18 -- but their pervasiveness might be increasing thanks to interest in MMA catching younger athletes. McDonald lacks the physical maturity, but his gas is probably good to go; it’s another mixed-set of skills that makes outcomes unpredictable.