A pair of legends squared off for the first time on Saturday night.
The Sunday Junkie, MMAjunkie.com’s weekly reader-feedback feature, got plenty of submissions about UFC 161 in Winnipeg, and more.
This week’s winner, Ben McPhee, of Arizona, believes the recent injury to Anthony Pettis could turn out to be a blessing in disguise.
For his winning entry, McPhee wins a “Fightville” Blu-Ray, as well as a free one-year subscription to “Fighters Only” magazine, the world’s leading MMA and lifestyle magazine.
Want to submit to next week’s edition of The Sunday Junkie? Scroll to the bottom of the page for instructions.
Also, as a reminder, please be sure to include your hometown and stick within the 150-word limit (and include your submission in the body of an email, not in an attachment). Many quality submissions this week didn’t meet those minimum guidelines and couldn’t be considered for publication.
(Pictured: Anthony Pettis)
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IS PETTIS’ INJURY A BLESSING IN DISGUISE?
By no means was it fair that Anthony Pettis was cutting in line for a featherweight title shot, but let’s be real. Who didn’t want to see two of the best strikers in MMA go at it in Pettis vs. Aldo? The cancellation put a real damper on my day, as this was my most anticipated fight of the year so far. I personally don’t think this is a bad thing for “Showtime” though. His former opponent in Aldo, and potential future opponent Benson Henderson both fight in August. Now Pettis can heal up, admire from a far, and really choose the best option for himself. Both fights with Aldo and Henderson will sell, and die hard WEC fans have been waiting for both. Pettis has already been transitioning and dropping down to featherweight, so I don’t see him giving up his 145-pound title shot. Either way, “Showtime” fans won’t be disappointed as his next fight will be a guaranteed title shot. The question is, at what weight class?
Prescott Valley, Ariz.
MMA NEEDS TO BRING IN AN OVERTIME ROUND
I saw someone comment last night that Hendo vs. Rashad should have been a draw, and that there should be more draws in MMA. While I don’t agree, it got me thinking that there definitely needs to be a more definitive way to declare victory in cases of split decisions: one sudden death overtime round in the case of any split decision. Winner of the round wins the fight. This favors the better-conditioned athlete, but so what? There will still be poor judging decisions, but they will occur much less often this way. Fans and fighters will be happier not having a loss that wasn’t a loss on their record at the whims of today’s uneducated and inconsistent judges.
Roy Nelson NEEDS TO GET A CLUE
Roy Nelson brings excitement to every card he’s on and gives most fighters a run for their money. I don’t buy for a second that him losing weight or shaving his beard will do anything for him. It’s the “he said, she said” game he keeps playing with Dana that’s costing him. Even if he’s probably telling the truth at times, there’s no way he’s going to win against the guy who’s not only signing his paycheck but is also very capable of spinning any fighter’s career in the direction that he wants it to. If Nelson learns to stop taking Dana’s comments personal and focus on his fighting, he has a bright future in the heavyweight division.
FEATHERWEIGHT TITLE SHOT FOR THE WRONG GUY AGAIN
Again, a title fight has been awarded to an undeserving fighter in my opioion. Yes, Korean Zombie is tough and on a solid streak. But he has been inactive for a year. In that time, Lamas has complied a more impressive streak against stiffer competition, including his last victory over Erik Koch who on two separate cards was tapped to face off with Aldo. Lamas was first passed over by Pettis and I wasn’t hurt by this at all because of the promise a fight between Aldo and Pettis has. But KZ has nothing to offer Aldo, he will march forward in his zombie fashion and will more then likely be caught and finished in the first couple of rounds, whereas Lamas has been active recently and his grappling and grinding style will cause fits for Aldo. The UFC is once again going for fanfare over rightfully earned title contenders.
BIG COUNTRY? MORE LIKE COUNTRY CROCK
So that you don’t think this is hate mail bashing Roy Nelson, I want to say two things from the onset: I picked Roy to win last night and any person who fights competitively deserves respect. That said, I enjoyed watching Roy eat punches last night. I’m sure he’s going to say that Miocic ran from him and he may even say he didn’t have a full training camp and that is why he was so fatigued, and it is quite possible that Nelson could beat Stipe if a rematch ever occurred. The reason I was happy to see him lose is because of his attitude this past week. I think he’s convinced himself that people really like him and that his fans will ensure his job for as long as he likes. Pride comes before a fall and Nelson needed an attitude adjustment. Let’s hope this did the trick.
HEY RASHAD! NICE … WIN?
Rashad Evans has, in the past, shown brilliance in adaptability in the face of adversity. His wrestling style was flawlessly altered to be utilized in MMA to perfection. He evolved from a frat boy winging punches to a dangerous striker who left Liddell looking like a stretcher might need to be called for. Foot and head movement previously on display in a Frankenstein film grew to a style replicating the great Ali. The smile on his face after his “win” is a sad reminder that mediocrity and fighting not to lose rather than to win shows that he does not value a true victory anymore, just another check. He is back all right – in the fans lose again column.
CLOSED BOOK, NEW CHAPTER
One of the most talked about moments in recent UFC history was the cancellation of UFC 151: Jones vs. Henderson. Two icons, two great champions in their own right. A fight that would have brought a tough challenge to a young champion and veteran challenger who has been there before. On Saturday night, the official chapter can be closed on the thought of seeing the intense matchup. A safe bet is to say we will never see that fight happen after the loss to Evans at UFC 161. Henderson now has to think about what’s next and where the next step must be taken in the division that the train has left the station without him aboard. A MMA legend. A true champion. Future Hall of Famer that should never be forgotten.
Al Cavallarov Long Island, N.Y.
UFC NEEDS TO HELP GET TRT OUT OF THE SPORT
Here’s the deal. The UFC has gone through hell and high water to get the sport to where it is. When is Dana going to stop it? Let’s cut the crap! It’s legal ‘roids. So let’s think about it. No one in the UFC has been injured to the point of being paralyzed. (Knock on wood). When you have guys testing at 20-1, and that wasn’t even doctor approved, the UFC needs to step in and go way above and beyond what any commission’s punishment is. Because if it doesn’t stop now, when someone does get seriously hurt or killed, MMA will be right back where it’s started: Human cock fighting! MMA can’t afford that kind of problem.
BURKMAN SAVES FITCH FROM BRAIN DAMAGE, MAZZAGATTI’S JOB
Watching Josh Burkman make quick work of Jon Fitch was scary. Watching Jon Fitch go limp in Burkman’s arms was scary. However, the scariest part of the entire fight was watching Steve Mazzagatti do absolutely nothing. If it weren’t for Josh Burkman knowing that the fight was over, who knows how much longer he would have held onto that choke, and even worse, how much damage it would have caused to Jon Fitch. Too often we hear complaints from fans and fighters about refs stopping fights too early, but I think we will all be thinking a differently when a fighter really gets hurt from a ref not stopping the fight soon enough.
Halifax, Nova Scotia
ONCE AGAIN, MR. WHITE PROVES WHY HE’S THE BOSS
When longtime UFC contender Jon Fitch was released earlier this year it left me wondering what Dana White was thinking. Like many of you, this decision upset me because I still felt like Fitch was still on par with the top contenders in the UFC welterweight division. After Friday night’s destruction of Fitch at the hands of Josh Burkman, it left me thinking that maybe I shouldn’t question White’s decisions anymore. I mean after all White was also the guy who called out Fedor Emelianenko calling him a fraud well before his first official loss to Fabricio Werdum. He was the guy begging Chuck Liddell to retire when many of us wanted him to continue. In short, Dana proved to me once again that while we might question some of his decisions, nine times out of 10, he’s probably right.
Quinton Garrett Ross
WHEN YOU’RE RIGHT, YOU’RE RIGHT
To me, as someone who has never had my hands taped and signed and fought outside of a garage, I feel that it is very important to not write about fighters with too much criticism or opinion. That said, without taking anything away from Josh Burkman and not claiming Jon Fitch is done, I am presenting this as a question to consider: Is it possible that Dana White and the UFC actually knew what they were doing when they chose to cut Jon Fitch? It’s possible Dana and those involved in that decision allowed personal feelings to influence the decision. But it’s also possible that as leaders of the premier fight organization these decisions, although announced by Dana White as the face of the company, are made after consulting with financial advisors who have a better understanding of cost/benefit realities than fans do.
FITCH’S FINAL FIGHT FEELS FAMILIAR Couture, Liddell, and now maybe Fitch: great careers that end leaving you feeling like you’ve witnessed a crime. A precious jewel stolen right under our nose while we sit and enjoy a high-priced party. Everyone is all for the Founding Fathers fighting competitively for as long as they can (see Evans vs. Hendo this weekend) but what does it take for a legend to walk away before he gets left laying on the canvas? (And can you give an example of a recent fighter who has been able to leave before it gets ugly?)
JOSH BURKMAN’S PICTURE-PERFECT FINISH
Wow. Josh Burkman’s finish of Jon Fitch this past Friday at WSOF 3 was what every fighter dreams about. First round, first to stun, connect with some more punches, lift your opponent up with a power guillotine, and then right when Fitch goes limp, Josh rolls him over and poses above him. The drama and intensity reminded me of the Siyar Bahadurzad.a vs Paulo Thiago finish. In a world going soft, I am so grateful for MMA giving us these moments of pure raw aggression.
KOREAN ZOMBIE HYPE ALREADY DIED
Saturday may have held a PPV event, but it was not the biggest news in the MMA Media, Anthony “Showtime” Pettis had to pull out of his long awaited superfight with featherweight champion Jose Aldo and has been replaced with top contender “The Korean Zombie,æ Jung Chan-Sung. While many believe the Zombie is long overdue for his title shot, Sung has been absent and inactive for a over a year making him very forgetten and losing his hype. This won’t mean the fight won’t be good, but the UFC definitely lost a lot of PPV buys.
Kobi “The Hulk” Rozental
MARIJUANA TESTING SHOULD NOT DIMINISH
I am finding it increasingly bothersome that commissioners, authorities, and promotions, are not only considering, but pushing for marijuana testing to be relaxed. I feel that someone needs to speak for the greater good of the mixed martial arts community on this account. The greatest contribution that learning martial arts provides to the practitioner is the development of discipline and resolved character. However, a yearning to settle into modern popular societies and cultures, seems to be at the cost of losing some of the core values and principles of the art. An example of this is accommodating law breakers and questionable ethics, simply because it seems to be the popular choice. I learned around the age of 5 that just because you think everyone is doing it, doesn’t mean it’s necessarily the right thing to do.
ARE TRT EXEMPTIONS FAIR OR UNFAIR?
From an ethical standpoint, I believe that TRT exemptions should only be given out to athletes whose levels are comparatively lower than a normal adult of the same gender and age. Declining levels with age is a natural process and as such, athletes should not be granted exemptions for the sole purpose of returning them to their glory days. Vitor Belfort is one such recent example and has become a polarizing topic as of late. I would contest that his use of TRT is justified as long as his PRE-TRT levels were lower than that of a normal male of the same age. While TRT exemptions remain legal however, athletes such as Belfort should not be accused of cheating. The issue at hand rather, is a scream for a reform on TRT regulations in order to avoid its abuse which at the present time appears scarily easy to do.
p Richmond, British Columbia
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