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Talking Points: UFC 117 Edition


With such a potentially explosive card nearly upon us in UFC 117 I thought I would start the inaugural Talking Points in regards to issues revolving around the show. There are no shortage of storylines going in. The troll job done by Chael Sonnen, Anderson Silva's refusal to engage in any sort of verbal warfare, the Thiago Alves-Jon Fitch rematch, the number 1 contender fight between Junior dos Santos and Roy Nelson and many many more. Let's jump right in.

  • During the UFC 117 Press Conference today, Dana White announced that the winner of the Jon Fitch-Thiago Alves rematch will get the next shot at the Welterweight title. This makes zero sense to me. Why would he try to determine a number 1 contender to the winner of a fight that won't happen for another 4 months? And what happens if Koscheck wins that fight? What if he gets hurt in the process of doing it? This reeks of White trying to create additional intrigue for the show in the days leading up to it. As much as Sonnen has done to sell it, it's still debatable how much people want to watch this card. I won't be surprised if Dana goes back on his word, which we know he has no problem doing, and books the winner of this fight against the winner of the Jake Sheilds-Martin Kampmann fight scheduled for UFC 121. After all, that fight makes much more sense.
  • Chael Sonnen has been officially called out on his trolling ways. Jim Rome confronted him on his radio show about Sonnen's recent comments regarding Lance Armstrong. In an interview with Pro MMA Radio, Sonnen claimed that Armstrong gave himself cancer by cheating and doing drugs and instead of owning up to it and becoming a role model, he made himself into a victim and made millions of dollars off of it. He later claimed that he never said such things and when he went on The Jungle, Rome's daily radio show, Rome called him out. Once again, Sonnen denied he ever said it. So Rome played the audio of the interview and again Sonnen denied it and tried to say it was an impersonator. I'm glad he's officially been outed for the massive troll job he's pulled. I'm not sure if this will do, if anything, to the buyrate but I'm inclined to think it will hurt it. Now people know he's just been talking out of his ass and he can't be taken seriously. Whatever credibility he had with the fans is now gone.
  • How big is this card? 8 different fighters were at the podium for the press conference. Every fighter on the main card except for Rafael dos Anjos and Clay Guida and Guida actually was in the front row to be presented with an award. Every matchup is packed with a certain amount of intrigue. But if you have been a fan of MMA for very long and specifically the UFC, you know that just because a card has plenty of names and storylines doesn't mean the fights will be any good. It seems that some of the cards that don't have the big name talent do great, such as UFC 108, and some of the cards with lots of name value, such as UFC 112, flame out. I imagine this card could end up with some very one-sided fights. I'll break them down individually later but I can see no less than 3 fights with the possibility of ending decisively in favor of a certain fighter. Due to the fact that it is so loaded the card will already be at a disadvantage in terms of living up to its potential but we'll hope for the best.
  • How relevant is Matt Hughes anymore? Gone are the days of his strong wrestling and savvy submission game being so much better than the fighters he was running up against. As the sport grew in popularity, more young men trained in many more disciplines of fighting and as they were coming up and honing their skills Hughes was only getting older. Ever since running into Georges St. Pierre at UFC 65 and getting dominated, he just hasn't been the same. He knows that he will never sniff a title shot again so he's stated that he only wants fights that are interesting to him, such as his UFC 112 matuchup against Renzo Gracie. What we end up with is 3 rounds of sloppiness that no one wants to remember. He won't have an easy time with Ricardo Almeida but what about after that? It's not like he is bringing in any potential fans to purchase the show. Win or lose I have no idea where his career goes after this. He's already had his world title runs and been inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame. If he loses here, and I think he will, I think it might be time to say goodbye to the aging legend.
  • It might not be a popular opinion but I truly believe that Dana White set the match up between Junior dos Santos and Roy Nelson because it was the easiest opponent they could find for JDS and still pass it off as a number 1 contender fight. I can't see anywhere that Roy wins this fight. It just feels tailor made to propel Santos into his title shot and to get Nelson out of the picture. Now, I'm not saying that Roy isn't a very talented fighter because I know he is. I just don't think he is good enough to beat Junior dos Santos. Maybe he gets it to the floor and finds a way to submit Cigano. Or maybe Cigano stuffs his takedowns and puts him out just like he has done to all those before him. I find the latter to be the much more likely outcome.

No matter what happens, by the end of the night we'll know if Sonnen can back up his talk, the next challenger to the Heavyweight champion, potentially the next challenger to the Welterweight champion and whether or not a legend has anything left to offer. How can you not look forward to that?

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