I’m sure that as many of you read this article’s title, you are likely to hold a cynical or antagonistic stance towards my position, but I beg of you, for a moment, to drop your apprehensive guard, and allow me to pass it so I can blast you with my rationale. Every single event we hear Rogan and Goldie talking about how “stacked” and “deep” the LW division is, and to be fair they are right. On paper, the UFC’s 155lb weight-class houses some of the most talented fighters in the world, especially ones with strong backgrounds in wrestling, such as Gray Maynard, Frankie Edgar, Sean Sherk, Tyson Griffin, among others. With that said, an epidemic has emerged and spread over the past year or so among these fighters, one that has resulted in a trend of sloppy, anti-climactic kickboxing matches that have extracted from the dynamism that LW bouts are supposed to entail. My fellow MMA fans, the issue at hand is “the Wrestlers Complex” or “Josh Koscheck Syndrome”; a condition that can only be cured by the fighters themselves.
Recently on the forums, the idea was brought up that Rich Franklin could be a future UFC Hall of Fame inductee. Now, I can't say that this idea is flat out wrong, because there are no firm criteria for making it into the UFC's hallowed halls. However, I think Rich Franklin is the first in what will (and should be) a long line of fighters who just don't have the credentials to get in. Before I start this, Rich may make it in, hell, Stephan Bonnar may make it into the UFC Hall of Fame and there is no one less worthy than that oft-injured admitted steroid user. I am merely speaking from the idea that the UFC Hall of Fame should be treated like the baseball Hall of Fame, where you really must stand out and even great players will miss the cut for one reason or another. I believe Rich Franklin falls into the casualties of a system that demands greatness in a sport where truly achievers of greatness are few and far between.
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It's finally time to unveil the Top 5 fights of the UFC's Pre-Zuffa era. However, before that happens, given that this list was created out of my own opinion and my viewings of these fights, there will certainly be individuals who disagree with my placement of these fights. So I want to hear what you have to say about my list, and what fights you feel are ranked too low, too high, or fights that I've missed completely. Click on the link at the bottom of this article, and have your voice heard. Now that we've gotten that out of the way, I'm going to recap the 20 fights that have already been mentioned, just as a refresher before getting in to the top 5.
We always like to keep things somewhat relatable here at FLD, so in that regard, I present this most recent edition of the Bodega to you. On August 8th, Katsuya Inoue - who has been a King of Pancrase off and on since 2005 - lost his Lightweight KoP title to a man who might be the most mentally unstable fighter since Gilbert Yvel in his early days, Maximo Blanco.
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The fight between Gina Carano and Cyborg Santos was the biggest in female mixed martial arts history, but will it always be considered as such? While it is true that there are no more recognized female MMA athletes than the aforementioned pair, many seem to think that the talent pool ends outside of them, a notion with which I certainly disagree.
Alright, no rest for the wicked as we're back today counting down fights 15 to 6 in the list. If you read the first part then you'll know that my inspiration to create a list of what I felt were the greatest 100 fights in UFC history came directly from the UFC's idea to do the same. I felt that even before voting took place, the selection process overlooked a great deal of UFC history, and that newer fans may have missed out on some great fights that they'd never seen or heard of.
You read that title correctly. I consider myself a conscientious objector to the list that the UFC recently compiled and passed off as its ‘Ultimate 100 Fights’. I object on behalf of the MMA community to a list that should be considered morally repugnant to all fans of the sport of MMA. There were so many things that made that list an absolute shell of what it could have been. Obviously Dana White’s personal feelings played a role (as no Frank Shamrock or Tito Ortiz victories were included), and obviously the show was used as a way to further advertise the present day UFC brand (which is the only explanation for Lesnar/Mir 1 and Silva/Franklin 1 & 2, among others, being anywhere near the top 10 of what should have been a storied list).
Tonight at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Strikeforce brings to us one of the best cards of the year featuring three title fights, which would have been four had it not been for Nick Diaz’s love affair with Mary Jane taking precedence over his career. Anyway, here’s the forecast for an evening we’re all eagerly anticipating!