Welcome to the Tuesday TKO, where the staff here at SportsNickel come together to answer YOUR questions, If there is something going on in the world of MMA, please send us an e-mail by Monday Morning, and be here Tuesdays to see what we have to say! The panel this week are : Joao Pedro, Collin Caprini and David Snipes – with our new addition of Shane Bowen to the regular staff.
Shane Bowen: The answer is two solid top contender fights. Hear me out. Jones has been impressive, no if ands or buts. Some might even argue that he could get a shot now. The LHW division is stacked and I think there is a lot of competition piling on for title shots. Rua is injured so I would propose that Jones fights Jackson. If Jones can pull that one out then he should get the loser of the proposed Evans/Machida fight. Assuming he wins here the title shot is more than his for the taking.
Collin Caprini: From a legit shot, two or more (counting the Matyushenko match in August).
However, I do believe that he will get the shot if he beat Vladmir decisively and has as much buzz coming out of it as he did when he defeated Vera on Versus. He is as marketable as he will ever be now, and also his time to win a title at 205 may be reaching its end.
Joao Pedro: He is one big win away from a legitimate title shot. Meaning a win over someone like Lyoto Machida or Thiago Silva, which would undoubtedly represent a step up in competition for him.
But I personally think it is too soon for him to face an elite Light Heavyweight. The UFC would do well to give him time for further development.
I know that probably the majority of MMA fans do not agree with me, however, feeling that he is ready for a title shot.
David Snipes: With the 205 division, its hard, Rashad wants to wait on Shogun, Rampage is slipping down and is back vs Lil Nog, who is not exactly shooting up the rankings, who knows with Randy, Lyoto wants Rashad again, so who is going to give a shot to Jones and who is going to sit and wait on a title shot? if Jones wins- he is in the same boat as Rich Franklin. Now what? Jones would be better served fighting as a title gatekeeper and getting experience, rather than sitting for months waiting on a shot to open up. He may hate it- but I’d rather see him face Cyrille Diabate, Lawlor and Thiago Silva between now and new years than Rich Franklin and wait 6 months on Forrest Griffth and a year on the Rashad/Shogun winner.
2. Ken Shamrock went down to mostly leg kicks from Pedro “The Rock” Rizzo, but vowed he would keep fighting, and Carlos Newton went down to a relative unknown – who had the more embarrassing loss?
Shane: This is a tuff call. I mean, look at Shamrock in his last 10 fights, how much more embarrassing can it get. 2 and 8 in his last 10 makes him the king of embarrassing. Carols Newton lost to an unknown name but isn’t being a known name mainly due to how you are promoted and which organization you fight for? Brian Ebersole’s name isn’t known but he is 42-15 giving him not only a better record than Newton but also twice as much experience. Neither named fighter (Shamrock/Newton) has anything to be proud about but Ken still wears the EmbarassKing Crown.
Rizzo is a solid fighter and is still way younger than the 46 year old Shamrock at a mere 36 years of age. Newton has fought well below the level where he should be for several years now and is in danger of once again having a sub-500 record over his MMA career. Newton needs to either seriously return to his old form and put together some solid wins or retire. This is not the Carlos Newton who had two of the greatest matches ever with Jose Pele Landi and Kazushi Sakuraba and beat Matt Hughes in their first fight.
Joao: Tough to choose between the two. Shamrock obviously embarrassed himself, but it was against Pedro Rizzo and Ken himself is 46. Carlos Newton is still 33 and he lost by way of decision, but on the other hand he lost to Brian Ebersole. I am going to pick Shamrock simply because it was the main event fight of the evening, and because being taken down through leg kicks (even if those are coming from Pedro Rizzo!) might just be the ultimate humiliation in a fight.
David: Newton is a bit overrated, but Ken is done. The image of Ken Shamrock on one knee to leg kicks is just embarrasing. I’m sure people can talk about how leg kicks hurt- but show me the last fighter to plain give up on leg kicks. I’ve seen guys knocked down with leg kicks- but submit (basically) to them?
3. Semtex stated that a few more wins and Dana will let him back in the UFC- What chances do you think he’s right?
Shane: I say he’s wrong. His blatant disrespect to the sport was too public. It was in a UFC cage which gave Dana no excuses for why it happened. Yeah, Daley keeps knocking people out but that’s because some clown’s just think they can stand with anyone. What’s Daley’s real value? I say not enough for Dana to go for him again. Josh Koscheck just proved that if Semtex is off his feet then he’s like a struggling turtle. Unless Daley wins championships in another “legit” promotion then Dana will continue to let him swim in small ponds.
Collin: I doubt it.
Dana has been very adimant about this and he (Dana) sees Paul as expendable. He isn’t a huge draw and therefore money maker, nor will he ever be a top 10 pound for pound fighter or the best WW in the world.
Joao: I think he is wrong. I have no doubts about Daley’s talent (I believe he has the best hands in all of the current Welterweight division) and flair for the spectacular finishes, but Dana cannot let him back in. What he did corresponds to the exact same image MMA does not want to be associated with. It was that bad.
Plus, Babalu never did return to the UFC, did he?
David: I think he is out of his mind. Look at what guys have done to get booted “permanently” from the UFC. And how many have come back? The first guy that should come back is Nick Diaz, he’s a prick, he should have been booted- but he is also 100x the draw Semtex ever could be, and Diaz’s crime is jaywalking compared to a sucker punch in the world of sport. Unless Daley goes up to 255 and starts dropping Overeem and Fedor with overhand rights- you will see Frank Shamrock face Jose Aldo for the 205 title in the UFC before Semtex comes back.
4. Filho had major issues with weight for his fight, and has gone all the way up to Heavyweight to fight, yet at 20-1-1, is there any reason for him to change?
Shane: What can you say about Filho. He was awesome in a lot of people’s eyes and then it become publically apparent that he had “issues”. The drugs may not be the problem it’s what got him there. I say yes. He needs to change because the way he keeps abusing his body is soon to catch up to him. As a fan I would expect more of him as a professional fighter. I vote for change but you can only lead a horse to water…but he still might not drink.
Collin: I think he carries enough strength and has a good enough skill set to be an elite 205 pound fihgter if he continues to have trouble making 185. There is no real reason for him to keep cutting that much weight and to some extent hurting himself in the fight. If he can lose a little fat and muscle and make the cut shorter he should obviously stay at 185, but if the weight is that big a struggle go to 205.
Joao: Who knows what to make of Paulo Filho? Supremely talented but with obvious problems and inside demons. On pure talent alone he is one of the top 3 Middleweights in the planet; not too long ago he was ranked #1 overall for that weight division.
If Filho wants to keep fighting for organizations outside of the bigger ones, then he obviously has no reason to change. But if he wants to fight for the UFC, Strikeforce, Bellator, etc, he needs to start acting rationally, solve his problems and get his game on.
5. Should Rizzo be on the UFC radar with his third straight win?
Shane: Dana is probably peaking at him. It seems lately that Dana is trying to reintroduce experienced fighters if for nothing else then to feed his up and comers. Yvel, Buentello, and Cro Cop have all been given chances at resurgence. If Rizzo gets one more decent win then we may see him in the octagon one more time.
Collin: An interesting question. My answer is yes, he should be on their radar. Monson and Shamrock are both former title challengers, as is Rizzo himself. He is faster than most heavyweights and has one of the best striking games in the division. His sprawl and brawl style with the devastating leg kicks is tailor made for big wrestlers, with the UFC’d HW division is stacked with right now.
He definitely needs a few more big wins before they sign him, but they should be watching with vested interest.
Joao: Common sense would suggest “no” because of his advanced age (36), but the UFC did pick up guys like Vladimir Matyushenko and Phil Baroni, so perhaps giving a chance for Rizzo to get back in there isn’t such a strange thing.
So, “yes”, go ahead and sign him for a short-term contract. What can go wrong?
David: I don’t see why not? The Rock still has some fight in him- and to see what he’s got against some of the lower-level guys would be more interesting than watching Dennis Hallman face Phil Baroni. With the UFC trying to build the 255 level, guys like Rizzo can be a good addition.