Dana and Tito – Source: MMA Weekly
So UFC withdrawal symptoms are reaching maximum levels. I had the realisation that the next event is on the 9th. I’m not going to start talking about Bellator, so today I’m going to talk about some of the major news pieces. The most major news with the biggest impact on it’s weight class is the news that Britain’s own Michael ‘The Count’ Bisping is out of his fight with Munoz. The fight was being touted as a title eliminator. Truth be told, I feel this was Bisping’s easiest route to the title. Sadly his dreams of a title shot will forever be just that, especially now that Lyoto ‘The Dragon’ Machida will be the new challenger.
Machida will be faster than the majority of the middleweights. Plus he is without a doubt the best striker in the division. He’s tough to take down and has the jits to get back to his feet or threaten with submissions. I love Bisping and I’ve seen nearly all of his Brit fights live. This is an infinitely better fight though. Moving on now to middleweight Tim Kennedy, who is now without an opponent with the before said Machida replacing Bisping. Kennedy took to Twitter to comically pick a fight with everyone from Cung Le to Alistair Overeem. Top marks for self promotion and giggles. Kennedy got his fight. He gets to potentially play human pretzel with Rafael Natal. That’s a much more winnable fight for the war hero, but a fight with little upside for the victor and a whole lot of downside for the vanquished.
Now for the most shocking, but the “Do I really give a fuck?” piece of news. ‘The Thunder’ Yushin Okami has been ousted out of UFC. At the time of being cut, Okami was still in the top ten. Personally he became a stalwart. He’s not the most talented and definitely not entertaining. Dana summed that up. He is a prospect killing gatekeeper that can never quite make it to the top. Middleweight is a weak division that is starting to have some life breathed into it. The addition of Machida and Souza means that the top ten is starting to look interesting. The top five was always a murderers row, but the other five always felt like a random afterthought.
Finally, Dana White (no surprise here) thinks Tito Ortiz is a dummy. I don’t really know the specifics for this assertion but these two have always had a love/hate relationship and really should just get a room and have a big hug. Tito Ortiz was the original poster boy and MMA’s first mega star. He was the longest reigning 205 Champ until Jon Jones, and a man you either loved or hated, but boy you’re a liar if you say you didn’t want to see his fights. One thing that made me a fan more was his coaching on TUF. He genuinely cared for everyone he worked with, and had some almost tender moments with his teams. Trash talking aside, without each other I very much doubt they would be the men they are today. I could go on and on, but I’ll leave it right here. Next time I will be reviewing this morning’s Ultimate Fighter, so stay tuned for that.
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Arun Paul Smith