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The Reader Mailbag: Answering Your Questions

July 7, 2010

Yes, that was a pretty long weekend.  Yes, I did have too much fun on the Fourth and that’s why I left a couple days earlier and got back a coupla days later than everybody else.  Yeah, it was awesome.  No, I’m not going to tell you what I did.  Yes, quit asking.  Yes, carE about your feelings.  No, that’s probably not a good way to build a blog readership. Yes, you should quit reminding me of my poor networking skills.  No, I probably won’t ever be rich and influential.  Yeah, thanks for the reminder.

Yes, I am behind on a lot of stuff (the Black Panthers are doing recess in outer space with a bunch of Muslim scientists on Medicare?)  Yes, I am going to take this opportunity to post on something on which I’m not thaaaaaat behind.  No, I didn’t watch the fight on Saturday.  Yes, I have watched it since.  Yes, I had Carwin, so no, I didn’t make any money.  Yeah, about ninety percent of fights like that get called in that situation, i.e. one guy has pounded the other with 57 punches in the first round — 47 of them since he was knocked on his keister — and the guy on his back isn’t really defending himself as much as he is curled up in the fetal position trying to salvage his remaining neurons while waiting for the bell to save him.  Yes, it wasn’t called because it was the first ever UFC title fight between two cats who actually have to cut to make weight at 265 and that’s a pretty crappy way to end what would have otherwise been one of the best PPVs ever.

No, I don’t think it should have been called, given that the guy who was getting his face pounded in for about two and half minutes actually got up and won the fight — it’s pretty hard to argue that the fight “should have been stopped” if the would-be loser wins in a sport that doesn’t have very many rules anyway.  Yeah, I do think Carwin should have finished, but apparently there were other factors in play.  And no, I don’t think that’s an excuse, but I do think it’s ridiculous that anyone would rank Lesnar as the #1 heavyweight while putting Carwin at #6 — behind Junior Dos Santos, Fabricio “I’m Lucky That I Even Got This Fight and Even Luckier That I Won” Werdum, and Cain Velasquez, whose best win was against a seventy-years-older-than-he-actually-is Minotauro Nogueira — just because Brock got rocked for five minutes and then landed a takedown and submission against a guy who literally couldn’t move.

But yes, I do think Cage Potato had the best take on Saturday’s action:

So, what’d we learn about the most despised man in MMA last night? Certainly we learned that Lesnar is a better fighter than many of the haters gave him credit for leading up to the bout. He showed he can take a beating and come back from it. He also showed that his mixed martial arts skill set is, in fact, growing. He even tried to demonstrate a bit of his nice-guy side in the cage with Rogan, though his words sounded stilted and thoroughly rehearsed.

All that said, he looked terrible in the stand-up game – getting punched in the face isn’t his favorite thing in the world, it seems — and we didn’t see a hint of the southpaw stance he’d talked about at the prefight media events.  He also showed that when he gets in trouble, he may just curl up against the cage and wait for it to be over. This time, that “strategy” paid off. Next time? Maybe not so much.

Lesnar actually came away from this fight looking a bit more vulnerable, if an opponent can stop his takedowns long enough to lay hands on him. The real problem might be that, aside from Carwin, who can stay off his back for even the first round against the former NCAA wrestling champion? Possibly no one.

Unfortunately for the aforementioned haters, we learned that if Shane Carwin can’t get the job done, Brock Lesnar is probably going to be UFC heavyweight champion for a while.

We’ll soon see if Cain Velasquez can do just that.  If that cat can indeed stay off his back long enough to land a shot or two, then he has a better chance to finish the fight than anyone else, maybe even Carwin.  I still maintain that Carwin needs to get another shot — the guy was undefeated before this fight.  Why have we lost confidence in him so quickly?  Because Fabricio Werdum got lucky?  Because Fedor somehow still has mystique?  Because Velasquez knocked out a guy who also got knocked out by Frank “I Can’t Strike” Mir?  Because Dos Santos knocked out Gabriel Gonzaga, a guy who Carwin also knocked out?  Carwin is still the #2 heavyweight in the UFC and probably the world.  If Strikeforce decides to forgo Werdum v. Overeem in favor of Fedor v. Overeem — a hilarious move for a completely bush-league organization — then what is the legitimacy of ranking any of those guys in the same league as Shane Carwin?  The guy needs another title shot — give him Dos Santos after he whups Roy Nelson and then give that winner a shot at the winner of Lesnar v. Velasquez.  Easy-peazy.  Plus, I need to win my money back.

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