It’s time to take a deep breath and relax. The mixed martial arts world has been going 100 mph since the New Year began. It only seems appropriate that we take some time to take a look at the year so far and what the future may hold.
EliteXC’s Debut Leaves Fight Fans With More Questions Than Answers
Why did Frank Shamrock allow himself to be disqualified? After all, he knows the rules.
Renzo Gracie weighed in at a very soft looking 180 pounds. Shamrock on the other hand, weighed at a ripped 185. Shamrock firmly believed that he was going to stream roll Gracie. This was going to be his big return. He was going to become the face of MMA on Showtime and set up some big money fights for himself in the future. Fans must remember that Shamrock was signed to fight Phil Baroni in April on the next Strikeforce card. Shamrock must have believed that he was going to walk through Gracie and then be ready to go come April against "The New York Bad Ass."
It was pretty clear that Shamrock underestimated Gracie. Gracie took Shamrock down at will, held Shamrock down, worked for submissions, and left Shamrock with very little offense. Gracie was on his way to a decision victory and Shamrock just lost his mind. The illegal strikes hit Gracie in a bad spot and subsequently earned Gracie a not so pretty but deserved victory. It was upsetting to watch Shamrock act the way he did in post fight interviews and continues to act in the past couple of days. Renzo Gracie is a true warrior and legend of the sport and Frank Shamrock left the cage on Saturday night looking like nothing more than an over hyped side show cheating people out of their money. I fully expect to see Renzo Gracie to continue to fight fighters his caliber and age and continue to have success. I also fully expect to see Phil Baroni out wrestle and out strike Shamrock sometime this spring, which will once and for all end Shamrock’s mouthy quest to still be an elite fighter.
What has happened to David Loiseau?
The beating that Rich Franklin gave David Loiseau at UFC 58 has sent "The Crow" spiraling out of the list of elite 185-pound fighters. Loiseau, once considered to be one of the deadliest strikers in MMA, cannot put together any solid offense, nor can he put together a full fight. Outside of the closing minutes of his fight verse Mike Swick at UFC 63, Loiseau has looked like a shell of himself. It seems that "The Crow" needs some time off and probably needs to return to TKO or maybe even a fresh start over in England with Cage Rage, because fight fans everywhere miss that explosive fighter who slashed and sliced his way to a UFC middleweight title shot.
How good is Greg Jackson’s Camp?
I do not know what Greg Jackson is feeding his fighters, but I want to eat it. Jackson’s camp exploded onto the major mixed martial arts scene in 2006 and now is on fire in 2007. Rashad Evans’ head kick knockout of Sean Salmon is arguably the best head kick knockout in the history of the UFC. However, that might not last long with Cro Cop now under contract, but we can discuss that another time. Nate Marquardt looks to be head towards a middleweight title shot, or possibly a bout with the winner of Rich Franklin/Jason MacDonald. I fully expect to see the middleweight title around Marquadt’s waist by years end. The camp also includes Diego Sanchez who is still undefeated and will battle Josh Koscheck at UFC 69. Sanchez will find himself with a shot at the welterweight title in late 2007, early 2008. Joey Villasenor defeated David Loiseau and now looks to be primed to find himself in some big money bouts on Showtime. Villasenor is rumored to be battling Murilo "Ninja" Rua in May, on Showtime.
Antonio Silva looked awesome, but is there anyone really out there to test him?
Antonio Silva moved like no other fighter at his weight has ever moved before. It was the first time I had seen him fight, and I still cannot believe that he lost to Eric Pele. Pele is good, but not Antonio Silva good. A rematch with Pele is a must and Elite XC should start trying to bring in some big heavy talent for Silva to battle with. Pride’s heavyweight division might not be a bad place to try and steal some talent away. Mark Hunt/Antonio Silva would be great and Mark Coleman/Antonio Silva would not be bad either. Silva is the current heavyweight champion is Cage Rage. Cage Rage has recently signed Bob Sapp and a match up between the two could be of epic proportions.
It’s Time To Give Cage Rage Some Love!
Cage Rage is the number one mixed martial arts brand in the UK. The promotion has been putting on great fights with big named fighters. The Basement Breakdown will be covering and breaking down Cage Rage cards from now on. The recent signing of Bob Sapp brings a great deal of excitement to their heavyweight division Cage Rage 21 Judgment Day takes place on April 14th and will feature Sapp, but also takes place on the same night at UFC 70. The UFC made the decision to go head to head with Cage Rage and will try to pull the local fan base away. UFC 70 is rumored to be featuring Michael Bisping, Mirko Cro Cop, Andrei Arlovski, Tito Ortiz, and Forrest Griffin. It is clear that the UFC is coming to the UK with guns drawn. I only hope that this only leads to bigger and better cards out of the Cage Rage promotion and that they do not sink because of the UFC’s presence.
Jason "Mayhem" Miller WEC Bound?
When the UFC bought the WFA and select contracts, Jason "Mayhem" Miller was one of the selected few. Many (including myself) felt that he was set to return to the UFC and become a rather large star. Mayhem has star power and the skills to be an elite 185-pound fighter in any promotion. The rumor is that the recently purchased WEC will gain Mayhem as one of their poster boys. It is not a bad move by Zuffa, but I still think he would be a great addition to the UFC’s middleweight division. Mayhem is rumored to make his WEC debut on March 24th.
The Basement Breakdown Will Finally Discuss Pride.
I have not been able to ever breakdown or even discuss any Pride shows. However, Pride 33 will be the debut installment for Pride on the Basement Breakdown. Wanderlei Silva/Dan Henderson is going to be a great fight, but Takonori Gomi/Nick Diaz is going to steal the show.
Matt Lindland Is A Mercenary
BodogFight: St.Petersburg kicks off its reality series, which will set the fight card for the pay-per-view season finale taking place in St.Petersburg, Russia. The fight will be headlined by a battle that not many people thought would take place. The world’s best heavyweight, Fedor Emelianenko will step into the ring with one of the world’s best middleweights in Matt "The Law" Lindland. Many feel Lindland is crazy, but his attitude that he will fight anyone as long as the money is right is actually something to be admired. Fedor takes on "The Law" on April 14th.
UFC 68 The Return of "The Natural"
The return of Randy "The Natural" Couture is great for the world of mixed martial arts and gives the UFC a marketable opponent for reigning champ Tim Sylvia. This fight is very interesting on paper and gave the UFC time to try and build up other heavyweights (mainly Cro Cop) to take a run at whoever holds the belt. Sylvia should win this fight, but you can never bet against Couture and I will be pulling hard for "The Natural" come March 3rd. A Couture upset would just add to his legend and propel him into future bouts that could be true classics with the likes of Mirko Cro Cop and Andrei Arlovski. Couture cannot fight and win forever, but it would be wild to see him exploded in 2007, just like he did in 2003. The UFC 68 card will also feature the returns of Rich Franklin, Matt Hughes, Renato Sobral, and up and comer Jason MacDonald.