These things keep getting bigger and bigger. Over 3,500 words for
the latest mailbag, many of which are yours. We find some
reflection from readers on Randy Couture's(Pictures) incredible Saturday night.
Reaction to UFC president Dana White's comments about PRIDE. A
discussion about MMA broadcasters. And much, much more.
Well, like thousands of others I never thought Randy would win
his fight with Tim. I felt that what Randy was giving up in
age/height/weight would make for a short night. Needless to say his
performance was awe-inspiring and it has now opened up so many
possibilities in the HW division on a worldwide scale. What do you
think of Randy's chances in the following match-ups?
Randy v. Cro Cop
Randy v. Fedor
Randy v. Barnett II
Randy v. Nog
Randy v. Arlovski
Additionally, I think Randy taught many of us a lesson in counting
out athletes that are giving up physical attributes but can execute
game plans. Does Randy's win change your thoughts on Lindland's
chances against Fedor? – Jason Tiefel, Austin, TX
From best to worst on the chances Randy wins: Arlovski; Nogueira;
Cro Cop; Barnett; Fedor
Now some explanation.
I think it's pretty clear that Andrei Arlovski(Pictures) is gifted physically. He moves
extremely well, and packs a hard punch. But his chin is a question
and I think Randy could break him by making it an ugly fight.
Anytime he's fought someone with some flash, Randy has come out on
top. He simply out-works and out-competes you.
Randy would be fine on the feet against Nogueira, who's a solid
boxer but doesn't carry much power in his hands or legs. At this
stage, Couture has seen just about everything a sub fighter can
throw his way, and you'd expect he'd be prepared to work from the
Brazilian's guard. By no means is it an easy fight, but Couture has
Here is where it gets scary. Mirko Filipovic(Pictures) is faster than Randy, obviously
dangerous as you get with his strikes, can stop takedowns (though
terrific from the clinch), and has no fear. It would have to take a
perfect effort from Couture to win this fight.
Josh Barnett(Pictures) is the worst possible style match
for Couture. A large sub-grappler who's aggressive, has a mean
streak and can trade strikes? I don't like Randy's chances in this
Fedor is Fedor. For every reason I doubted Randy in the above
paragraphs is the reason I don't think he could get past Fedor.
Even if Couture put the Russian on his back, I seriously doubt he
could contain him.
Lindland is still a heavy dog in my book.
The inevitable comparisons …
After Randy Couture(Pictures)'s win on Saturday, one of
our National Sports Television Companies (Sportsnet) compared Randy
capturing his UFC heavyweight title at his age to the likes of
other great athletes who competed well into their 40s: George
Foreman, Gordie Howe, Jack Nicklaus, and Martina Navratilova. Where
do you think Randy capturing the Heavyweight title ranks among MMA
performances given his age? And given the training and preparation
that's involved in MMA, where in sports history do you feel that
Randy's performance lies among performances by athletes that are
Let me close by saying I am huge fan of the show and cannot wait
for it to go live. – Paul Fabian, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
The easiest comparison is Foreman, who returned after a long
absence to become boxing heavyweight champion at the age of 45
against an opponent he thought he matched up well against.
Nicklaus became the oldest golfer to win a major when, at 46, he
captured the Masters. As an avid golfer, I have some understanding
as to how great Nicklaus was, but I don't think his age was much of
a factor in the Masters win. Golfers skills don't really erode
until they're into their retirement years. Plus Jack was maybe the
best golfer of all time.
Gordie Howe scored 15 goals for the Hartford Wailers at the age of
51 and Martina won some mixed doubles later in life.
I think a guy like Roger Clemens belongs in the discussion, as does
John Elway, who at 38 won MVP honors in beating the Falcons in the
Super Bowl. Randy Johnson pitched a perfect game at 40. And, Nolan
Ryan tossed a no-no at 44.
As great as Randy's performance was on Saturday, want to know what
tops my list? A 46-year-old Ryan going Couture on Robin Ventura,
who was 20 years his junior.
Anyhow, I love that MMA is getting referenced along these lines.
For this sports fan, it's about time.
Lost in the "mystique"
Dana White expressed the very thing that is increasingly wearing
out my interest in any future UFC events. He says Pride is retarded
for having Wanderlei
Silva(Pictures) go out against Henderson, which
destroyed the whole "mystique" and the biggest fight in MMA history
with Liddell. This is the kind of crap that the sport of MMA does
not need! If Dana had his way the fans would never have seen the
awesome show Silva and Henderson put on. The fans will be the
losers. It would have been so much better if Dana acknowledged that
Henderson kicked ass and maybe it's Henderson that should be in the
conversation when talking about Chuck's next big fight.
Unbelievable! If the UFC continues down this path we'll see more
and more watered down fight cards with consistently high PPV costs
… No thanks!
By the way, who was the guy who interviewed Dana? It looked a lot
like ass kissing to me … he just had to throw in another comment
about Pride's troubles to reinforce Dana's quip … weak. – Jonah,
Wandy-Chuck didn't die on Feb. 24. It passed much earlier, when
rival promoters, who seemed interested in getting something done,
simply couldn't work past their differences to give fans and the
sport a fight it deserved.
About the issue of protecting fighters, I agree with you Jonah.
Henderson was a serious challenge. Anyone that thought Wandy was
going to walk through him was foolish. (Of course I picked Silva to
win the fight, but never did I play down Dan's chance.) Dan's win
If Chuck gets past "Rampage" in May (and that's the fight that's
being talked about according to both camps) and Henderson is still
in possession of the PRIDE belt (and PRIDE still exists), then
we'll start to hear some chatter about Liddell-Henderson (to join
talk of Silva-Henderson).
That said: it is necessary from time to time for fighters to have a
relatively easy night. Guys fighting war after war tend not to be
around so long. It's just part of fightsports.
As far as the interview, I thought Greg Savage did a fine job.
Calling the shots
1) What's your definition of a downward elbow? And is there a
better definition than what is listed in the "fouls" section of the
rules on the UFC's Web site? "10. Striking downward using the point
of the elbow." I thought I saw elbows striking downward in the
Anderson Silva-Travis Lutter(Pictures) fight and again during
Hughes-Lytle last night. The forums were ablaze with people arguing
the Silva elbows to Lutter, but I haven't seen anything yet about
Hughes' elbows. When Hughes had Lytle in the crucifix position it
looked to me like he was bringing his elbow from the top of his
head downward towards his waist and striking Lytle with the point
of his elbow.
Elbow from 12 to 6, ceiling to the floor.
2) What do you guys think about the commentary at UFC events?
Doing radio is obviously not the same as television, but you still
speak to an audience so perhaps you can better evaluate their
performance than I can. Do you think Goldberg and Rogan do well
together? Do either one of their comments ever make you scream at
the television or mutter curses about how stupid that last comment
was? Not to bash Goldberg, he is better at commentary than I am and
has a great voice, but don't you think the UFC could find someone
better? He mimics Rogan's comments, asks Rogan to back his
statements up ("Isn't that right Joe?"), says the same things over
and over, and seems like he doesn't know what he's even talking
about sometimes. I know they've tried different people in the past
and none have been awesome, but would it be worth their while to
try some different people on the free broadcasts (Fight Nights, TUF
finales, or voiceovers for Unleashed)?
Like Bruce Buffer and John McCarthy, Goldy is part of the UFC
brand. There's a reason Zuffa scrambled to re-sign their longtime
play-by-play guy in the face of losing him to the WWE.
For my money, there are a handful of quality and competent
English-speaking play-by-play broadcasters in MMA, and considering
his tenure Goldy has to rank among them. Mauro Ranallo probably
tops the list. Though he can be a bit excitable for my taste,
Ranallo at least announces in-ring action. (And his call with
Bas Rutten(Pictures) of the Fedor-Cro Cop fight was
the best I've heard, largely because Ranallo was even keel
throughout.) I like Lon McCaren's tone on a broadcast, though his
knowledge is limited. And when he did the IFL, Kenny Rice picked it
up quick, which should be credited in large part to the fact he had
veteran voice and fan favorite, the "Fight Professor" Stephen
Quadros to fall back upon.
Which leads me to Rogan. Despite the fact that he's employed by the
UFC, he is the least partial announcer I've heard. Rogan generally
calls it like he sees it, and that's rather refreshing in an area
of MMA journalism that seriously lacks.
Overall, Showtime's broadcast of February's EliteXC card was the
best bit of broadcast journalism I've seen in MMA. And I hope that
if HBO enters into the sport, it continues its tradition of
independent voices in the booth.
3) Do you think Sylvia took this fight too lightly? It looked as
if he was almost laughing about this fight in some of his
interviews. Also, do you have any further information regarding his
back injury going into this fight? – Brian W.
By all accounts, Tim trained hard for the fight. Not sure if you
caught Pat Miletich(Pictures) on Beatdown, but he said
Tim hurt his back three weeks out from the fight, and that he
probably should not have let the "Maine-iac" enter the Octagon. I
hadn't heard anything prior, which is pretty surprising considering
stuff like this usually gets out.