1. Michael Bisping is at his best: Talking to MMAWeekly.com, Michael Bisping believes he’s as good as he’s ever been. “I’ve improved all my areas. Regardless of who he’s training with, I think I’ll be too much for him…I’m a much better fighter than what I was one year ago. I’m feeling like I’m maturing now, and I’m really coming into my peak as a mixed martial artist. I’m not overlooking Akiyama. I think he’s a very, very tough opponent, and I’m sure he’s going to be tough on the mat, and I’m sure it’s going to be a great fight.” He better not be looking past Akiyama. Akiyama has a style that can give Bisping problems. But seriously, what is a “peaked Bisping” good for? Top 5 middleweight? Seriously doubt he’ll ever become a champion.
2. Phil Baroni draws Brad Tavares: According to a report from MMAJunkie.com, the UFC is putting together a middleweight bout between Phil Baroni and Brad Tavares, and it will take place at UFC 125 event on New Year’s Day. UFC 125 airs live on pay-per-view from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on January 1, 2011, and will be headlined by the Lightweight Championship fight between Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard. This should be a violent fight. I thought Tavares was the second best fighter in the TUF house while he was there, but he had to fight the eventual winner in order to fight for the TUF title. Baroni could win this, but I think Tavares will be too much for him.
3. Nick Diaz vs. GSP: Nick Diaz talks to Fight! Magazine about wanting to fight GSP. “[K.J. Noons] built a name on me… I want to fight somebody who built their own name in MMA… I want to fight the best in the world, so if you don’t think I’m the best in the world, then bring me the best in the world. I want to fight Georges St. Pierre and I think that he’s the best and I think that if you don’t think I’m the best, then let me fight this guy. I think people need to stand up and say something, make this happen…Who’s out there? Come on, how do these guys expect to beat me? Who you got? Who’s out there? I’ve fought everybody. They don’t let me fight Georges. I fought everybody that fought him already pretty much.” Umm, what? He’s only fought two fighters that GSP has defeated. He fought Karo Parisyan and Sean Sherk, and he lost both of those fights. GSP has fought and defeated Jon Fitch, Thiago Alves, and Josh Koscheck to name a few, that Nick hasn’t. Not that I wouldn’t want to see it, but let’s slow down a bit.
4. Dave Bautista wants multi-fight deal: In an interview with MMAJunkie.com, Dave Bautista says he’s negotiating with Strikeforce for multiple fights. “I think I can be something really positive for the MMA world. My thing is I want to do a multi-fight deal. I want to have a guarantee of at least three fights. I want a tune-up fight, I want a big fight, and I want a pay-per-view fight…”I’ve got all the tools. I’m 41 years old now, but I can go and train for one or two hours nonstop, and I don’t have a problem. The reason I was successful in wrestling is because I stayed in shape nonstop. I have the durability. I just have to put it all together and get the skill.” I’m sure this deal will eventually get done. I know he’s asking for a high price, but it’ll get done. As far as the PPV thing goes, he might be in the wrong organization for that.
5. Bobby Lashley’s contract is up: Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer is reporting that Bobby Lashley’s contract with Strikeforce has expired. Lashley cannot yet talk to any other MMA organizations because he’s in an exclusive negotiating period. Once that expires, however, he’ll then have a period of time where Strikeforce can match any offer he may receive. This sounds like the Jake Shields deal. Not that I’m saying that Lashley will bolt for the UFC or anything. Had he beat Chad Griggs and remained undefeated, then who knows. But now that he’s lost, Strikeforce has the upper hand in negotiations. Scott Coker wants to put him in the Challenger Series. I don’t know if Lashley wants that, but I think that’s where he belongs for now.