Great Sherdog Debate: UFC 73
After a relatively lengthy hiatus, the Great Sherdog Debate has
returned with full force and this one promises to be a
Mike Fridley has scored two consecutive wins against the once white
hot Mike Sloan and now the Chicago native promises to avenge what
he calls fluke losses.
Sloan's Gators have been whipping on Fridley's Buckeyes recently
but that hasn't translated into MMA success for the more handsome
Man, kid, you are one lucky SOB,
that's for sure. You actually made Great Sherdog Debate history
with your win over me in the Liddell-Jackson II debate as you
became the first debater ever to start off a career 2-0. But enough
with the inflating of your head and on to the debate, a discussion
that I promise to prevail in.
We have the intriguing showdown between Anderson Silva and Nathan Marquardt (Pictures) and I must say: Silva has been
very good to me in these debates. He allowed me to tear apart Greg
Savage three times during his pitiful losing streak but this time,
I am switching gears and picking the challenger Marquardt to walk
away with the title.
However, I am afraid that this here debate with you will be much
more exciting than the fight itself. I predict one hell of a
snoozer on July 7 and I highly doubt you'll disagree with me. The
only way this fight is a barn-burner is if "Spider" happens to
catch a sleeping Marquardt on the chin and executes him within the
first few minutes. Now don't get me wrong; I wouldn't be all that
shocked if that happened. I'm just of the notion that Marquardt
will dodge whatever the Brazilian Bomber launches his way and makes
it a classic Marquardt fight.
You know the drill: wait patiently, defend strikes while throwing
some decent punches, score a textbook takedown and assume the
position of holding his foe down at the same trying to pass guard.
There will be plenty of stalemates and every time the two
middleweights are stood up, my boy Nate will score another
Here is the exact blueprint to this fight, which will leave the
arena filled with jeers for the duration of the contest until
Marquardt is awarded the title: 1) Stalk each other. 2) Marquardt
scores takedown. 3) Marquardt keeps Silva on his back. 4) Marquardt
tries to pass guard but Silva stops him. 5) Referee stands them up.
6) Repeat for five rounds.
Back for more, eh? What can I
say … some people just never learn. Let me get this straight: I'm
lucky? You should feel fortunate that our tireless leader Josh
Gross didn't match me up with some stronger opposition for this
edition of the Great Sherdog Debate.
Kudos for pulling the Florida-Ohio State card for the third
consecutive duel as well. Sounds like a solid plan to me. Let's
take a closer look.
1) Avoid making any sincere attempt to confront with logic and
2) Repeat angles that got you owned the first time you used
3) Watch Nathan
Marquardt (Pictures) get destroyed by Anderson Silva.
4) Write extremely embarrassing post-UFC 73 Monday Morning
But enough of reducing you to the status of Sherdog debate jobber
extraordinaire. Let's move on to the "stacked" Sacramento card.
By most accounts, Anderson
Silva will have his hands full with Nathan Marquardt (Pictures) on July 7 at UFC 73. The
28-year-old American has a dynamic skill set that boasts some
underrated wrestling and what might be the straightest punches the
middleweight division has to offer. This being said, as
well-rounded as the Denver native is, he lacks the counter-striking
prowess to deal with the onslaught that Silva imposes with his
long-limbed attacks and ferocious mental makeup.
I know what you're thinking Sloan. If Ryo Chonan (Pictures) and Daiju Takase (Pictures) were able to cheat sure defeat by
pulling submissions out of their rear ends, Marquardt's got a legit
Not so fast, chump.
Enter mainstream mixed martial arts, circa 2006. With the chance of
a lifetime on the table, Anderson Silva left behind the
sour taste of disappointment and established himself as one of
MMA's most dangerous athletes.
Silva's debut in the Ultimate Fighting Championship sees him clean
Chris Leben's (Pictures) clock live on Spike TV. Less than
four months later, Anderson proceeds to perform the first
pay-per-view televised octagon rhinoplasty on Rich Franklin (Pictures) to claim the UFC middleweight
crown. For good measure, the former Chute Boxer displayed his
vastly improved BJJ skills with a hard-fought victory over Travis Lutter (Pictures).
Gone are the days of Silva stalling on the ground to force referee
intervention. In his aforementioned bout with Lutter, Anderson
showed an offensive guard mixed in with some incredible striking
from his back that solicited a tapout from the slick Texan.
I see more of the same from Silva in this contest. When the fight
is standing, the Brazilian will pick apart Marquardt with a wide
array of kicks, knees, elbows and punches from all angles. If
Nathan can get the action to the floor, Anderson will pepper his
head with accurate and sharp strikes from the bottom. Word to the
wise: watch out for the up-kick.
Marquardt may hang tough in the opening period, but before the
second period expires, Anderson Silva will have
cemented his status as the best 185-pound fighter in the UFC.
Listen, I understand it still
eats at you about the Florida-Ohio State situation, but you need to
move on. I keep grilling you about that because you are a typical
Buckeye fan: myopic, sensitive, thick skulled and, well, moronic.
It is not my fault that your sorry team from Columbus twice choked,
but then again that is a character trait you'll surely display in
this debate. It's as simple as that.
But moving on, I think you are giving Silva just a little bit too
much credit with his wins inside the UFC. It's typical of someone
from your neck of the woods to be floored with awe after Silva
destroyed the oafish Leben. I saw that outcome coming a mile away
because let's face it, Leben is hands down the sloppiest of the
popular fighters in the sport and overall one of the sloppiest to
ever step foot into the cage. Sure he's a decent brawler and
punches harder than 99 percent of the fighters out there, but to
think Silva's knockout over Leben was amazing makes you and others
sound like a bunch of chimps.
And Lutter? Sure, he's a good fighter but only a fool would have
predicted a Lutter victory that night (see: Savage). I saw that
fight a few times and unlike you, I don't remember seeing any
"incredible striking" from Silva while he was on his back.
Incredible? Come on, Fridley, I think you are smarter than
that, but then again, you do try to speak like some hip-hop gangsta
on the phone.
I'll give you the Franklin fight, even though I called that one
dead on as well. Franklin has always been an overrated fighter in
my opinion, but he at least was dominant. Oh, and one more thing:
Franklin didn't suffer the first ever pay-per-view televised UFC
octagon rhinoplasty, Nathan
Quarry (Pictures) did. Do you even watch these
fights or do you just sit back in your over-stuffed bean bag chair
and eat Krispy Kremes? You do kinda resemble a porpoise on
It's funny reading your little written diatribe about Marquardt's
talents. It seems to me like you are trying to display an escape
hatch. I believe you are realizing what a mistake it was to choose
the streaky Silva over the technician from Denver, but it's OK.
The other Sherdog staffers who dared debate me tried the same thing
but at least you make it interesting for a while. So sit back and
watch Marquardt lull Silva to sleep and dull out a decision that
will give him the middleweight title. Say goodbye to Anderson Silva as the champion
(for now) and to your perfect debate record. Remember: Nobody has
won more debates than me. I'm like Cy Young.
No fallback plan is needed for
my prediction Sloan. Write it down, sucka. Anderson Silva will reign
victorious in the second round.
You weren't impressed with Silva's striking from the bottom back in
February against Travis
Lutter (Pictures)? Do you honestly think that
Lutter tapped to that poorly executed triangle? I suggest you go
back and watch Silva put dents -- much like the exterior of your
‘88 Buick -- on the top of his dome in the closing seconds of the
bout. Not to mention the up-kick that placed the stunned Texan into
the bad position to begin with.
Cy Young? The only correlation I see here is that you both stuck
around a few years after your prime. If it's a witty sports
reference you're aiming for, may I suggest Terrell Owens? That's
right. You and "TO" both frequently drop the ball, through lack of
effort let your teammates down, and never miss the opportunity to
put your foot in your mouth.
This is too easy Sloan. I may pass on the next debate and let you
and Greg Savage battle it out in the minor leagues for a shot to
get back into the bigs. My unflattering opinions and 3-0 record
will be waiting.
Fridley, I don't know about you
but I think this is going to be Rashad's coming out party and
Tito's going away party. Ortiz is no longer that terrifying beast
that had many an opponent beaten before the fight even began, and I
truly believe Evans has the passion and talent to be an all-time
great. I see this one as an embarrassing loss for Tito. I firmly
believe Rashad is going to whip his ass and probably force Ortiz
into a long hiatus. What do you think?
Without a doubt the hardest
fight to call on the card. Which Evans will show up? Will it be the
Rashad who mopped the floor with Stephan Bonnar (Pictures) and Jason Lambert (Pictures) or will it be the more
open-striking Evans who was taken to the canvas several times by
future journeyman Sean
Salmon (Pictures)? Yeah, I know -- the TUF 2
winner scored 2007's most replayed knockout in that fight -- but
escaping bad positions versus Salmon and being on your back against
the cage with Ortiz teeing off on your cranium are two completely
different experiences. Going with the conservative approach, I
expect Evans to score an early double-leg and establish a rhythm of
control that carries him to a dominating, yet uneventful unanimous
I am more pumped about this
fight than any other on the card. Franca is a somewhat crude
fighter who has telegraphed, loopy punches. He also has a strong
jiu-jitsu game and a great chin. Sherk, though, has 10 times the
strength and stamina. I see this one being an entertaining war for
as long as it lasts, which will be the distance. Sherk wins a
decision and keeps his title.
I disagree in regards to
Franca's striking. Loopy? Yes. Telegraphed? No way, Sloan. The
Brazilian has a unique, powerful delivery that keeps his opponents
off balance. Mix in the threat of a takedown with the quirky angles
he fires his strikes from, and you have a serious problem. Sherk,
who lacks legit KO power in his fists, makes efficient use of his
short arms with quick, straight punches. But most of the time his
hands are just a setup for a shot attempt, which plays into the BJJ
ace's strength. Franca will let his meat hooks fly and be satisfied
to work from his guard early on. As the championship bout pushes
forward, Franca will begin to benefit from cumulative punishment
dished out on the feet en route to claiming the UFC lightweight
title via TKO (strikes) in the fourth round.
The first two fights between these heavyweights were
two of the greatest fights I've watched, period. Sadly this third
match is A) not a rubber match and B) going to be a one-sided, far
less competitive battle than Minotauro-Crazy Horse I and II. Ol'
Nog will administer and old-fashioned beatdown and submit Herring
sometime in the second, probably via Anaconda choke again. This
fight would have been a thriller had it occurred about three months
after their rematch.
Their first encounter at PRIDE
17 was epic, I'll give you that. The second contest between these
two did nothing for me, as Heath Herring (Pictures) offered little defense in the
course of getting wrapped up in a slick Anaconda choke offered up
by the Brazilian back in 2004. Herring, the not so proud owner of
the most feminine looking striking in all of combat sports, will
truly have his hands full in the third go with "Minotauro." Big Nog
will cruise before making the Texan pass out with a
kata-gatame in the final round.
I seem to be the only Sherdog staff member who is a
fan of Florian, even though he has one of the lamest nicknames in
the history of nicknames. I've honestly never seen any of Alvin's
fights before so I am not totally certain what to expect. He has a
nice record but hasn't fought any upper tier fighters until now. My
pick is Florian by decision.
Can anyone tell me why
Florian, who last year challenged for the 155-pound title, was
pitted against an octagon newcomer? Robinson is a tough cat but the
Boston native will hand him a one-sided thrashing, much like Sloan
has absorbed throughout the duration of this debate. Florian will
catch the "Kid" in a fight-ending triangle choke in the opening
Ah, my good friend Stephan Bonnar (Pictures) finally returns to action since
he was suspended for testing positive for illegal steroids. What I
am positive about, aside from the fact that Nickels has way too
many tattoos for his own good, is that Bonnar will return with a
win. It might even be an entertaining fight, too. But Bonnar will
While the steroid consuming
Bonnar won't score any brownie points from me, the boldenone-aided
bulk he added to his frame last year is believed to be sustainable
in the short term. I predict the (alleged) Barry Bonds carryover
effect to be in full force here when Bonnar picks up a much-needed
win via TKO from strikes in the second round.
I've never been sold on Saraiva but I have been in
regards to Gurgel. This one will wind up being the submission of
the night in favor of the slick tapout artist Gurgel. No disrespect
to Saraiva, but Gurgel will choke him out in the first.
Gurgel, a Marcus Aurelio black belt, has
had some terrible luck in his brief UFC career. From the knee
injury he suffered in his bout with Jason Von Flue (Pictures) to being matched up with Donovan
Bailey-esque cage fighting track champion Mark Hominick (Pictures), a simple break of fortune has
been hard to come by for the physically gifted Brazilian. Gurgel
will buck the recent trend and score a tapout inducing armbar in
the third period.
Lytle should have been awarded the crown as champion
of TUF 4 but oh well, he wasn't. He came back and fought
Matt Hughes (Pictures) very well, but once again came up
short. Gilliam is a very good fighter with well-rounded skills but
is coming off a loss just like Lytle. To me this fight is one I
could do without, as I am far from interested. Either way, I see
Lytle winning a decision in an affair that won't be televised.
I agree. In the battle of
Indiana natives, I'll get behind the more experienced Hoosier.
Despite dropping his big show debut via submission to Jamie Varner (Pictures) in Columbus, Gilliam has a
promising future in mixed martial arts. But with eight bouts in the
UFC and a grueling season spent training on The Ultimate
Fighter, it would be ridiculous to suggest any outcome other
than Lytle being victorious. Chris will improve his record to
23-14-5 when he catches his opponent in a guillotine choke during
the second stanza.
Undefeated young submission guy Bocek is hoping to
make his UFC debut a memorable one against Edgar, who is also
undefeated. Edgar already has been in the UFC and from what I've
seen of both fighters, Edgar is the better of the two. My pick is
Edgar winning in the second via solid ground-and-pound.
Octagon debut jitters, anyone?
Bocek has made it look easy in his four professional bouts,
finishing each opponent in the opening round. While it's hard to
predict the outcome between two young and hungry upstarts, I'll go
with Edgar, who impressed me with the heart and athleticism he
displayed against Tyson
Griffin (Pictures) back in February. Frankie will
get the nod by unanimous decision after three frames.
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