chris-weidman-13.jpgWith a breather in the schedule, fans are already looking ahead to the upcoming UFC 162 headliner of Anderson Silva vs. Chris Weidman, and one MMAjunkie.com reader believes an upset could produce a new superstar in the sport.

The Sunday Junkie, MMAjunkie.com’s weekly reader-feedback feature, got submissions on a number of topics, including Steve Mazzagatti, Anthony Pettis, Bellator MMA and more.

This week’s winner, “Deech,” a proud American, believes Weidman is not only on the verge of a UFC title but also greatness.

For his winning entry, “Deech” wins 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: Chris Weidman)

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CHRIS WEIDMAN IS A SUPERSTAR IN THE MAKING

Georges St-Pierre is popular because of his long reign as champion, as well as his good looks and polite personality that works well with corporate sponsors. Chris Weidman, if he were to win July 6, might be able to top the fundamental traits that St-Pierre started with. He would have the biggest signature win that’s possible in the UFC in 2013, a mouth that clearly speaks his mind no matter the odds and a natural ability to connect with Americans even more than St-Pierre can. Weidman has a great chance against Anderson Silva – and not just because of the style matchup but because Weidman is that special of a talent. If he were to somehow pull off the upset, it would blow up mainstream news outlets, more than Silva vs. Chael Sonnen I did just for coming close. Being a young American man with charisma, Weidman could just be America’s GSP.

“Deech”
“America!”

MAZZAGATTI CRITICISM UNFAIR

Many fans have criticized referee Steve Mazzagatti after the Josh Burkman vs. Jon Fitch fight. Burkman caught Fitch in a guillotine, and once he realized that Fitch went unconscious, he let the submission go before the referee stopped the fight. This has caused some fans to criticize Mazzagatti, claiming he was late in stopping the fight. What the Mazzagatti criticizers don’t realize is that referees are rarely able to tell the instant a fighter loses consciousness. Anybody can tell, after watching previous cases of referees stopping fights after a fighter has gone limp, that the unconscious fighter is almost always unconscious for a few seconds before the fight is stopped. In this case, Burkman had the decency to release the choke the instant he felt Fitch go limp. An admirable thing to do, but in no way is Mazzagatti at fault for not stopping the fight the millisecond Fitch went out.

Robert “rob7? P.
Windsor, Ontario, Canada

ANTHONY PETTIS’ SENSE OF ENTITLEMENT UNJUSTIFIED

At the beginning of the week, Anthony Pettis said he wouldn’t be prepared to go to featherweight for anything other than a title shot. Recently, Pettis has complained about missing out on his original lightweight title shot and then accused Benson Henderson of avoiding him. Pettis publicly tried to talk his way into T.J. Grant‘s title shot despite Grant having a superior record in the UFC lightweight division, and now “Showtime” is saying he’s too good for a No. 1 contender match at a weight class he’s never fought in! All this from a man with a 3-1 UFC record. Yes, Pettis’ last two fights have been impressive, but beating Joe Lauzon and Donald Cerrone doesn’t make you an undisputed No. 1 contender in two weight classes. If Pettis is as good as he says, then beat a top-5 contender in either weight class and truly earn your shot.

Keith Stevens
Bristol, England

Stephan Bonnar‘S INTRODUCTION TO UFC HALL OF FAME A MISTAKE

Stephan Bonnar does not deserve to be in the UFC Hall of Fame. There, it was said. There will be a lot of rebuttal in the comment section below, but someone has to say it. Sure, I understand the significance of what he did for the UFC, even MMA as a sport, but people seem to forget that this man tested positive for steroids in his last fight. If the UFC dreams of mainstream recognition, it must treat the people who tarnish the sport just as the other “Big Four” sports do. Why aren’t Pete Rose, Roger Clemens or Sammy Sosa in the MLB Hall of Fame? Because any legacy that was built was immediately tarnished after people discovered what they had done. Why is Bonnar not treated in the same light? The Hall of Fame is reserved for the greats of the UFC, who represent the sport both in and out of the cage. A cheater has no place among these greats.

Sean Cowley
Hong Kong

Nick Diaz GIVING BACK TO THE SPORT WITH WAR MMA

With Nick Diaz backing this weekend’s WAR MMA event and the donation-only charge for watching, I’m sure many of his fans tuned in to stream Saturday night’s event. This gave these fighters a huge platform to gain exposure in the MMA community. The absence of a cage created more action in the fights. The event drawing only donations shows that Diaz, at least for this first event, isn’t doing this for the money. I like that as a fan. If you watch the event and upon its conclusion feel like the fights weren’t that great, you only need to give a few dollars – or none at all. Taking on a promotional role of this kind is a very admirable thing of Diaz to do. Someone who has achieved so much within the sport is now giving back, and that is something that only people who never forget where they’re from ever do.

Joshua Garriott
Westerville, Ohio

“FIGHT MASTER” SHOWS PROMISE, BUT WHAT WILL IT ULTIMATELY DELIVER?

OK, “Fight Master” was “The Voice,” mixed with “The Ultimate Fighter.” We heard that already! What was more impressive to me was the video editing. Thankfully, we didn’t have to sit through two full lackadaisical rounds of MMA in order to get the point. The inaugural season of “Fight Master” is quite interesting, indeed. The combination of three legendary coaches, Joe Warren excluded, will definitely be a “slobber knocker,” in the words of Jim Ross. But what will there be to look forward to next week, and this season for the most part? We all saw UFC vet Joe Riggs in the lineup. The question for The Sunday Junkie then, is Riggs there to build a comeback name for himself such as “Rampage” Jackosn, or is he there to have his name used as a stepping stone for the likes of Steve Montgomery, who defeated “The Ultimate Fighter 16? winner Colton Smith prior to his escalation in the UFC?

Todd “Lightning Don” Williams Sr.
Manassas, Va.

WHY IS BELLATOR MMA REALLY NO. 2?

I know this will read like Bellator hate mail, but looking at their ‘Summer Series’ lineup, I can’t help but feel that it’s weak in legit contenders. I know that most of the time they put on great shows, but does anybody get real excited for their title fights? All of their champions make easy work of those flashy and entertaining fighters – that, by the way, have no star power. They have zero marquee wins, unless it’s against other Bellator fighters. Am I supposed to believe that they are a threat simply because they have been in Bellator’s other tournaments? Whenever they have a big signing, should I get excited about watching “King Mo” Lawal annihilate Seth Petruzelli? Who’s “Rampage” Jackson going to fight? So is their second-place billing really about the quality of high-level fighters, or is it because they’ve survived the chopping block?

Johnny Quiroz
Mercedes, Texas

TIME FOR BELLATOR MMA TO GIVE UP THE GIMMICKS

When Bellator stepped onto the MMA scene five years ago, people were excited by the tournament format. While they originally attracted fans with a fun, new approach, they are now steering them away by failing to stay fresh. Their recent ‘Summer Series’ was kicked off with four fighters who had been finished their last time out, two of which were aging veterans who afterward retired. Immediately after, they launched a reality show that seemed to borrow concepts from both the UFC and the now defunct IFL. The only really fresh thing they’ve managed recently is the use of a new slogan. Meanwhile, World Series of Fighting has been rising rapidly using a no-nonsense, quality fight approach. One would think that Bellator would look around and see that there are better ways to use their Spike TV exposure and Viacom money. Give up the gimmicks.

Daniel Vreeland
Sunderland, Mass.

RFA’S STRATEGY PERFECT PLAN FOR LONG-TERM SUCCESS

Whenever a new MMA organization comes around, their goal is simple: compete against the UFC. Resurrection Fighting Alliance, on the other hand, has a completely different goal. Instead of trying to compete toe-to-toe against the UFC, they decided to instead become a breeding ground for future UFC talent. This may actually be the best plan of action for RFA for one very important reason. Over the years many organizations have tried competing directly against the UFC and failed. Weather it be PRIDE, Affliction or Strikeforce, they’ve all fallen. The only other organization that wasn’t ashamed to be a breeding ground for the UFC has been the WEC. After being bought by Zuffa, WEC fights began being promoted on UFC cards and eventually their bantamweight and featherweight champions became UFC champions. By remaining a breeding ground for the UFC, RFA might be setting itself up for long-term success.

Quinton Garrett Ross
Kearney, Neb.

AFTER UFC 151 DEBACLE, ALL IS FINALLY FORGIVEN

UFC 151 – the perfect opportunity to celebrate my brother’s birthday and to see, together, our first MMA event in historical Las Vegas, where it all started. That’s what I thought before Mr. Dana White uttered the painful words that UFC 151 was canceled. My heart sunk, and I was angry, so I got out a pen and paper and wrote a polite letter to the UFC boss, letting him know my disappointment in the UFC. At the end of the letter, I mentioned I hoped to see the UFC in Winnipeg someday. Was Dana listening? Last Saturday, I sat 12 rows up from the octagon in Winnipeg. I’m still on cloud nine, and part of that is because of the representatives working for UFC. My brother and I met 29 fighters and 11 personalities. And every one of them was outgoing, polite and appreciative. Thank you UFC, all is forgiven!

Chris Lytwyn
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

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HOW TO SUBMIT: Do you have an idea for next week’s edition of “The Sunday Junkie?” Send your submission of 150 words or fewer (no attachments please) to sundayjunkie @ mmajunkie.com with your full name or nickname, your hometown (city and state), a valid email address and a phone number (not to be published). Incomplete submissions will not be considered for publication. Only one submission per week is suggested, but we’ll consider multiple entries if they’re submitted separately. All submissions must be received by Sunday at 10 a.m. ET (7 a.m. PT).

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