Firstly, apologies in advance if there isn’t much up on the blog this week. As y’all probably already know, I have a fight this weekend.
As for last weekend, the UFC on Fox and Mayweather/Cotto both competed with my show at Comic Syndrome in downtown Albany. Needless to say, both beat me out in terms of attendance and, likely, entertainment value.
On Fox, Nate Diaz beat Jim Miller by submission in Round 2 and Johny Hendricks beat Josh Koscheck by Split Decision. Both were given title shots as a result of their victories, and both will actually sit out and wait rather than take fights in the interim.
Diaz will face the winner of the rematch between Ben Henderson and Frankie Edgar for the UFC Lightweight Title. That rematch was supposed to occur in August, but has been pushed back to an as-yet-undetermined date in the Fall. That means Diaz will likely sit out until January 2013 at the very earliest.
Hendricks will face the winner of the unification bout between Interim UFC Welterweight champion Carlos Condit and UFC Welterweight Champion Georges St-Pierre, who was sidelined last Fall by a torn ACL in his right knee. Nasty stuff. His earliest date of return would probably be October or November and so, like Diaz, Hendricks likely won’t see action until early 2013.
I don’t know if it’s necessarily good for a fighter to sit on the shelf for nine months or more waiting for a title shot. By that I mean I’m legitimately ignorant of the pros and cons. It certainly will decrease the likelihood of a guy being knocked out of contention by a loss and/or an injury, but what of the motivational factors? Do bad habits develop as a result of a long lay-off? How does one go about pacing himself while avoiding the pitfalls of overtraining? Legit questions that I’m sure someone with more inside knowledge of the fight game could give me, and I suspect would be something along the lines of “depends on the camp or the fighter.”
The only other noteworthy item from the UFC on Fox would be that it was Ricardo Almeida‘s first time as a judge at a UFC event, and he’s the one that scored the fight for Josh Koscheck. Considering how much people hold judges’ feet to the fire for decisions they don’t agree with, it’s sort of amusing to see those same critics and commentators providing excuses for Almeida. Personally, I don’t think it was nearly close enough to say that criticizing Almeida’s scorecard is without merit. I just think it goes to show that judging is and will continue to be a problem so long as the ten point must system and other criteria remain untouched and unexamined. It doesn’t matter whether or not the judge is a former fighter. It’s always going to be subjective, and the best you can do in boxing or MMA is to try to identify and fill the holes that so many judges keep falling into.
Meanwhile, on pay-per-view, Floyd Mayweather beat Miguel Cotto by Unanimous Decision. It’s the result I expected, though from reports I’ve read Cotto put up a much better fight than anyone anticipated. I don’t like Mayweather as a human being – I suspect few do outside of 50 Cent and Floyd’s immediate family (Floyd Sr. notwithstanding) – but you can’t deny the guy’s greatness.
This victory and Mayweather’s jail sentence starting in June has made the fight against Manny Pacquaio even less likely. Personally, I hold the same opinion I did two years ago, which is that if this fight ever happens it will be long after it matters anymore, when one or more likely both fighters are in the twilight of their careers and their respective promoters decide to make one last cash grab with “unfinished business” as the hook. Floyd earned the biggest guaranteed payday of his career fighting a guy that Pacquiao thoroughly walloped two years ago. The money they can make not standing across the ring from each other makes them averse to the risk of a showdown. With no overseeing entity to force the issue, there’s nothing in it for either fighter.
In other news, fucking Justin Bieber was part of Mayweather’s entourage for some reason.
It’s certainly saying something when you have Lil’ Wayne in a picture and he’s not the one that looks awkward and out of place. Gary Andrew Poole over at Esquire thinks it was a play for likability. I’m not so sure. If Mayweather ever gave a shit about being liked as a human being, he’d have done something to indicate it before Bieber showed up. Perhaps the kid flashed those chubby cheeks and big dimples and melted Mayweather’s heart? That or Mayweather’s almost as big of a starfucker as the people around him. I think that’s the more likely scenario. Mayweather doesn’t care if you like him, he just wants to make sure you’re talking about him. Which, well, we are.
I will say, though, that I dig Bieber’s attempt at a Morrissey haircut. Big ups to sadsackness.