Bellator 97: Chandler vs. Rickels Preview

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Wed, 31 Jul 2013
Rio Rancho, New Mexico
Santa Ana Center

Bellator return with the second of this year’s summer series shows and ridiculously stacked card featuring two title matches, two tournament finals and the return of a fan favourite on the main card, we are left with Bantamweight tournament semi finals on the preliminary card, which does beg the question as to why they couldn’t have run the planned card in August as well and actually given their potential 135lb title contenders some TV airtime.

Seriously, boost Askren-Koreshkov and Lawal-Noe to August, put the bantamweight semis on the main card here and you’ve got an August event with a title match and two tournament finals… that would draw, give your big names some much needed breathing room and shine extra light on some guys who really need it…

Oh, I forget… we need to clear the decks for the pay per view later in the year and can’t actually do things like build the brand or promote the roster when the priority has to be setting up Ramoage vs. Roy Jones Jnr. in a vain attempt to show that they can offer similar terms to the UFC in terms of PPV cut etc.

Cynicism aside… this is a hell of a card.

Topping the bill, undefeated champion Michael Chandler (11-0) looks to defend his Lightweight title for the second time and again justify his lofty #4 ranking (from FightMatrix) when he defends against ‘the Caveman’ David Rickels (14-1) who’s only career defeat came via super fine split decision against Karl Amoussou up at 170lbs.

Both of these guys combine awesome wrestling with the ability to finish fights (18 stoppages over 26 combined bouts) and Rickels is undoubtedly a serious threat to Chandler’s title and reputation, even if I have to expect Chandler to take this.

Our co-main event sees an equally dominant young champion, Ben Askren (11-0) fixing to defend his Welterweight belt against one of Bellator’s seemingly inexhaustible production line of Russian destroyers as Andrey Koreshkov (13-0) steps up to challenge for the belt.

Both unbeaten, both excellent grapplers and while Askren broke a long run of less than entertaining decision victories with his January decimation of Karl Amoussou, Koreshkov has always been a finisher, never yet going to a decision in consecutive matches.

Essentially a battle between Askren’s good old fashioned freestyle wrestling and Koreshkov’s world champion level Pankration, with the added promise of definite KO and submission skills, this promises to be a very tasty fight, we’ll worthy of a main event slot in its own right…

It’s hard to look past Askren, aside from any opponent not named George’s St-Pierre but I’ve learned that you DON’T BET AGAINST RUSSIANS IN BELLATOR.

Next up sees the final of the curtailed Light Heavyweight tournament with big signing Muhammed ‘King Mo’ Lawal (10-2) looking to make back to back wins for the first time since 2009 when he faces Jacob Noe (12-2) who is fresh off retiring Renato Sobral in the semi-finals.

Lawal is highly regarded, mixing deadly boxing with top notch wrestling skills, but Noe is no slouch, has nine first round stoppage victories split pretty evenly between strikes and submissions and hasn’t been knocked out since 2008.

Bellator clearly want Lawal holding gold, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if they inveigled him to the front of the queue with a win here, as Vegh-Lawal followed by Lawal-Newton II would be the biggest drawing options for them.

As such, I want Noe to win, just to mess up their big plans. Again.

Across in the heavyweight final, we have slugger Ryan Martinez (10-2) coming off the two best performances of his career, taking a total of 2:37 to dispose of Travis Wiuff and Rich Hale set to face Bellator’s latest SCARY RUSSIAN, in the shape of Vitaly Minakov (11-0) who is riding an right fight streak of stoppage victories.

My usual policy of backing Russians in Bellator is given some pause by Martinez’ size advantage and known power, but Minakov looks like the real deal and I’d be astonished if this leaves the first round either way.

Rounding off the main card, the always exciting Patricio Friere (17-2) faces Jared Downing (7-2) in a sure fire Featherweight barn burner, looking to rebound from his achingly narrow split decision loss to Pat Curran ahead of his tournament bout against Diego Nunes in September.

Downing is no makeweight, being perfect in two prior Bellator appearances and 3-1 in RFA Despite coming off a narrow lost to potential-next-big-thing Lance Palmer in June.

The undercard features the Bantamweight tournament semi finals in what I have to put down to some very short sighted and hypocritical booking by Bellator, and I urge you to check out Rodrigo Lima (11-1) vs. Rafael Silva (19-3) and Frank Baca (16-2) vs. Anthony Leone (12-5) on the http://www.spike.com prelims because its not their fault that their bosses persist in burying quality talent in meaningful bouts on the undercard.

Seriously, how do they expect anyone to give a shit about the next challenger to ‘Dudu’ Dantas when they don’t even promote the tournament on the main card?

Anyway, such gripes aside, it’s a great card, so check it out…

A midweek Bellator also allowed us to double head our predictions this week, and this is how we think the main card will go…

Ross goes with…
Chandler via UD
Askren via UD
Lawal via KO Rd. 1
Minakov KO Rd. 1
Freire TKO Rd. 2

Iain goes with –
Chandler via Sub Rd2
Askren via UD
King Mo via KO rd 3
Minakov via Sub Rd 1
Downing via Decision

and I (Chris) am picking –
Chandler via KO Rd 3
Koreshkov via Sub Rd 4
Lawal via UD
Martinez via KO Rd 1
Friere via SD

Feel free to point and laugh at me tomorrow…

Bellator 97 is broadcast live on SPIKE TV and SPIKE.com in the USA and the main card will be shown on tape delay at 11pm BST on Friday on digital channel VIVA in the UK.

MAIN
• Michael Chandler vs. David Rickels – for lightweight title
• Ben Askren vs. Andrey Koreshkov – for welterweight title
• Muhammed Lawal vs. Jacob Noe – Summer Series light-heavyweight tourney final
• Ryan Martinez vs. Vitaly Minakov – Summer Series heavyweight tourney final
• Jared Downing vs. Patricio Freire

PRELIMINARY
• Will Brooks vs. Cris Leyva
• Rodrigo Lima vs. Rafael Silva – bantamweight tournament semifinal
• Frank Baca vs. Anthony Leone – bantamweight tournament semifinal
• Mike Barreras vs. Bubba Jenkins
• Keith Berry vs. Jeremy Kimball
• Shawn Bunch vs. Russell Wilson
• Richard Jacquez vs. Javier Palacios
• Felipe Chavez vs. Adrian Cruz
• Donald Sanchez vs. Cliff Wright

Fear the Failure

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On Monday, I talked about how Rory MacDonald’s willingness to sit behind his jab and earn a lacklustre decision win over Jake Ellenberger probably wasn’t the right decision, but lets step into Jake’s shoes and wonder why he seemed unable to change things up, raise the tempo etc. in order to change a fight he was losing in such an uninspiring way.

We see this all the time, where fighters we know to be exciting, aggressive, well rounded performers seem to step into a cage and become unable to switch to a plan B, creatively adapt to an opponent’s reach or tactic and spend fifteen minutes looking blank as if they can’t comprehend that they are getting jabbed without landing shots of their own, or taken down and smothered…

See Rashad Evans vs. Jon Jones, Dan Henderson vs. Lyoto Machida, almost anyone against GSP…

On Saturday, Jake’s mission seemed to be to load up and knock Rory out with one punch – something that we know he’s capable of, as he’s done it so often in the past.

This was frustrated by Rory’s reach, movement and discipline, with Rory landing scoring strikes at arms length, then circling away from Jake’s reach before he was in range.

By the second round, I was all but screaming at Jake to take out Rory’s lead leg with a low kick, bum rush him to the cage and try some dirty boxing, take a few punches en route to bringing his all American wrestling skills into play…

Jake eventually did the last thing, with about a minute to go, which wasn’t nearly long enough…

Why do fighters with a proven track record of being capable cage generals, who we know to be capable of mixing it up suddenly lose all ability to go through the

This doesn’t come down to Octagon shock, or a sudden rush of blood to the head when they realise they are in a high profile match… it’s something that happens to veterans even champions.

The answer, in my eyes… is the fear of failure.

So often we see fights like this in situations where something big is on the line, be it a championship, a title shot or just a real opportunity to rise up the rankings. Fighters go in with a Plan A and when it doesn’t work – especially in a grinding, frustrating fashion, like getting taken down and out wrestled or jabbed into an inevitable decision loss, they get stuck in a mindset of ‘its my best plan, if I keep going it might work in the next round.’

This makes sense, if you’ve spent months prepping your gameplan and become utterly convinced that it will succeed. At the elite level, you KNOW that winging it is a risky idea and that discipline is a cornerstone of success…

Doubtless, the thought occurs that by pressing or risking more in order to change things then you would risk being more decisively beaten – if he’s jabbing me all the time now, then if I charge in, what if that turns into an uppercut or a cross? If he’s taking me down with ease now, what if that turns into a knockout slam?

Let’s be honest, no fighter wants to be remembered as that guy who got KTFO or subbed with ease. How much did it set Michael Bisping, Cub Swanson, Rashad Evans back by being in the wrong end of a highlight reel?

Once you’re mind turns in that direction, you start second guessing everything and that moment’s hesitation is a killer at the top level.

Torn between months of training and visualisation, the desire to win tempered by the fear that changing things might make it worse, can we really blame some fighters for getting caught in a rut in the midst of battle?

No, we can’t.

It’s easy for us to sit behind our keyboards and make jibes about lacking heart, versatility, presence of mind or having the will to push through probable defeat in the name of a come from behind victory, but we aren’t the ones being frustrated by an equally talented athlete.

Lets be honest, how many of you reading this would last fifteen minutes being jabbed by Rory MacDonald?

Me? I’d turtle within the first minute.

So let’s not be too quick to have a go at fighters who suddenly find that they can’t enact a way of changing things mid match. They don’t become terrible fighters overnight.

Also, check out their next fight… such folk as make a career as a professional fighter tend to be of a mindset where such setbacks must be redressed…

The old Spartan saying might well be ‘come back wi your shield, or on it’ but imagine how pissed off and determined the ones who have to go back and GET their shield must be.

MMA Monday Special – Mathhammer!

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Instead of my usual pithy roundup, I want to cover something that has been brought into focus by this weekend’s UFC on FOX card, specifically Rory MacDonald’s clinical, yet dull and passionless victory over Jake Ellenberger.

As I covered last week in the article comparing a safety first approach to an ‘all guns blazing’ approach, I can’t really criticise fighters – particularly champions, for adopting a less exciting but more controllable style of fighting.

In many senses, from a pure sporting context of ‘the win is what matters’ to a clam and disciplined martial arts view of ‘win in a fashion which least exposes yourself to risk’ it’s a laudable approach and a testament to the fighter’s technical ability and mental discipline.

However, it doesn’t win you many friends or fans and is in an aesthetic, philosophical and commercial sense, quite a bad idea.

It reminds me of a wargaming trait (yes, I’m a massive geek, you hadn’t noticed?) called Mathhammer where some players spend a great deal of time and effort working out which is the most effective army via the exact application of the rules and base their strategy on the same principle.

It’s undoubtedly effective, but it takes a lot of the fun, the spirit, the NARRATIVE out of the game.

Of course, MMA is a world away from tabletop wargames featuring models an inch high and players rolling dice to determine the fate of battles in a fictionalised vision of the far future* (in which it is both grim, dark and mostly war) but it also shares the fact that the appeal of the sport/hobby/game/scene is based largely on the idea of an unfolding story, a personal connection with the participants and a real emotional investment from fans/players in the fates of their characters.

Gamers who utilise Mathhammer tend to find themselves banned from groups where people play for fun and similarly casual MMA fans will not find themselves all that attached to someone who does just enough or seems detached from the experience.

If the fighter doesn’t give a shit, why should I?

It’s also worth thinking that if you adopt a ‘safety first’ approach and then DON’T WIN for whatever reason – say Jake had managed to clip Rory when he slipped – you’re not likely to be offered a great match next time out. However if you at least try to entail and go for a finish, you will probably be rewarded with a relatively attractive bout next time.

See how the likes of Carlos Condit remain main event competitors after back to back losses… it pays to be adventurous, exciting, a bit brave.

As I said the other week, I don’t mind champions doing this, because as they are kings if the maintain its up to the other guy to push them off – you don’t see military commanders surrendering high ground in order to make a fight more fun for the media.

However, when you’re jostling for position, especially in a division as stacked as the UFC’s welterweight division, a stack of victories achieved via decision, in matches that will likely be fast forwarded when watched on TiVo simply aren’t worth as much as wins achieved by fucking-hell-let’s-rewind-and-watch-that-again sort of moves.

See how Lyoto Machida got his title shot off the back of his stunning KO of Thiago Silva, Carlos Condit was inserted into the title picture with his highlight reel KOs of Dan Hardy and Dong Hyun Kim, Jon Jones brutalised an assortment of fighters to skip to the head of the queue.

See why Chang Sung Jung is fighting Jose Aldo next week, rather than Ricardo Lamas.

Sure, it’s impressive to fight at such a level of control that you neutralise your opponent, win rounds and don’t risk damage, or even a serious sweat rash but it’s not that compelling…

Rory has adopted the nickname ‘Ares’ which could arguably be seen as an attempt to show off his intelligence and knowledge of classical literature, but lets remember, Ares was the Greek God of War (contrary to popular belief, it’s not Kratos…) and not the Greek God of Being Really Effective In The Safest Way Possible.

It’s just not as interesting, it doesn’t make a good story and a good story is what makes a career, sells pay per views, wins title shots and makes you a legend, as opposed to someone who’s just dead good at sports.

Tomorrow, I’ll deal with Jake Ellenberger’s uncharacteristically tame performance…

UFC on FOX: Johnson vs. Moraga Results / Reaction (plus prediction update)

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July 27, 2013
Seattle, Washington
KeyArena

Despite being one of the least anticipated cards in recent times due to a much undervalued main event, there was plenty to look forward to with this card and to a degree, it delivered…

A rash of split decision wins (here comes the judging debate again) on the undercard was broken by a job-saving KO by Melvin Guillard on Mac Danzig and Jorge Masvidal showing his experience to outshine hometown underdog Michael Chiesa and submit the submission artist.

One of those split decisions saw Ed Herman and Trevor Smith contest an absolute barnstormer that saw Herman walk away with the narrowest of victories.

The main card saw Jessica Andrade make her UFC debut against the already established Liz Carmouche and get roundly outclassed with Carmouche the more incisive striker, wrestler and not allowing Andrade to unleash her preferred grappling game, en route to a second round TKO stoppage by ground and pound which could probably have happened sooner with few complaints from the fans or Andrade.

There was no way that Robbie Lawler vs. Bobby Voleker was ending any way other than by knockout, and so it proved, as Lawler continued his career renaissance at welterweight with a clinical display ending with a head kick that floored Voelker, followed up with strikes to his dazed opponent on the ground for the finish.

The co-main event between Rory MacDonald and Jake Ellenberger promises much as two of the top guys at 170lbs faced off in a bout which had become a little personal and promised

That’s fifteen minutes of my life that I won’t get back.

Rory used his reach to keep Ellenberger at the end of his jab and Jake didn’t switch things up, eat some shots to close to a more favourable distance or anything, until he forced a takedown far too late in the fight to make anything of it.

I’m gonna talk more about the mindsets of both guys and why neither is really conducive to success later in the week.

MacDonald has arguably dropped down the pecking order with the dull as dishwater win, with the likes of Robbie Lawler, the winner of Condit-Kampmann ahead of him in the queue for a title shot.

Ellenberger… really needs to knock someone the frack out in his next fight or title aspirations could become a very distant dream indeed.

The main event for the Flyweight title between Demetrious Johnson and the horribly underexposed or appreciated John Moraga was a cracke of pace and technical ability, although not as competitive as we might have hoped.

Moraga’s potent striking resulted in about one genuinely stinging shot to Johnson and clearly ahead 40-36 on the scorecards, having failed with a few submission attempts and scored 11 takedowns, Johnson tried again, going for a kimura, then twisting into a beautiful armbar for the submission victory with only 77 seconds left in the fight.

Imagine, a champion who is surely on course to retain his belt, extends himself to go for a finish when all he HAS to do is not get finished?  Bizarre.

‘Mighty Mouse’ is a class act and fast turning into a truly GREAT champion.

All in all a satisfying, yet not flawless event, and it’s a sad indictment of the way Flyweight is perceived by many that more column inches will likely be devoted to the MacDonald-Ellenberger farce, or Lawlor and Guillard’s knockouts…

Bonuses ($50k)

Fight of the Night – Ed Herman vs. Trevor Smith
KO of the Night – Melvin Guilard
Sub of the Night – Demetrious Johnson

Kumite Predictions League
(sub title – let’s all laugh at Chris)

Heres what we got right.

Iain – Masvidal, Lawler + manner of victory, Johnson = 18 pts
Chris – (not a damn thing) = 0 pts
Ross – Carmouche + manner of victory + round, Lawler + manner of victory + round, MacDonald + manner of victory, Johnson = 31 pts

A stunning card for Ross, leaves our running table after four events looking like this…

1- Ross = 91 pts
2- Iain = 87 pts
3- Chris = 46 pts

Happy birthday mate.  Next week, we’ll try a double event, covering Bellator 97: Chandler vs. Rickels and UFC 163: Aldo vs. Jung.

MAIN CARD (FOX, ESPN)

PRELIMINARY CARD (FX, UFC.TV)

PRELIMINARY CARD (Facebook)

 

UFC on FOX 8 Predictions

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Lets see how utterly specious, Ill informed and just plain wrong our predictions are this week.

The card in question is UFC on FOX 8 where we are predicting the winners, style of victory and time of stoppage in all four main card matches and the undercard main event of Jorge Masvidal vs. Michael Chiesa.

Here’s how the predictions went…

Jorge Masvidal vs. Michael Chiesa

Iain – Masvidal via Split Decision
Chris – Chiesa via Sub Rd. 2
Ross – Chiesa via Sub Rd. 3

Liz Carmouche vs. Jessica Andrade

Iain – Carmouche via Sub Rd. 1
Chris – Andrade via Sub Rd. 2
Ross – Carmouche via TKO Rd. 2

Robbie Lawler vs. Bobby Voelker

Iain – Lawler via KO Rd.1
Chris – Voelker via Split Decision
Ross – Lawler via KO Rd. 2

Rory MacDonald vs. Jake Ellenberger

Iain – Ellenberger via KO Rd. 1
Chris – Ellenberger via KO Rd. 3
Ross – MacDonald via Split Decision

Demetrious Johnson (c) vs. John Moraga for Flyweight Title

Iain – Johnson via Unanimous Decision
Chris – Moraga via KO Rd. 3
Ross – Johnson via Unanimous Decision

After three events we’re stacked up like this…

1- Iain = 69 pts
2- Ross = 60 pts
3- Chris = 46 pts

…with five points for picking a winner, three pints for how they win and a bonus one point if you get the round of stoppage.

I (Chris) am falling behind, which has led me to my batch of contrary picks this week…

…wish me luck. Better yet, wish Ross luck ’cause its his birthday.

Live tweeting tonight will be covered by our Norwegian buddy Anneli who usually occupies @SubLevel28 on Twitter but will be rocking the @TeamKumite colours tonight, so check out her thoughts, for they are insightful and honest.

I cannot guarantee that pictures of debauchery, inebriation and worse will not be posted by Ross, myself or anyone who has our phones. You have been warned…

Bellator PPV in December: Rampage Jackson vs Roy Jones Jr

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It is being reported on MMA Junkie today that Bellator Fighting Championship are set to announce their plans for their first PPV event, which is likely to be held this December to close out their year, and the rumour is that it will be headline by Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson vs. Roy Jones Jr.

Bellator have refused to comment on the story as of yet, however an official confirmation could come as soon as next weeks Bellator 97.

An exact date, weight class and type of fight (boxing or MMA) are all unknowns at this time, however, it is also thought likely that Bellator will choose to go head to head with ZUFFA’s UFC 168 PPV, which features the Silva vs. Weidman rematch as well as the Women’s Bantamweight Title fight between Ronda Rousey vs. Meisha Tate.

If this is true then it could spark the first official battle of a UFC vs. Bellator war, which many people have suggested has been brewing since the beginning of the Eddie Alvarez contract saga.

If we hear anything else on this matter we will, of course, let you know. For now however we would love your input on this matter. How will Bellator going head to head with the UFC fair? Will Bellator doing PPV’s help resolve the Alvarez situation? Are you interested in seeing Rampage vs. Jones Jr? Drop us a line on here, at twitter (@TeamKumite) or on Facebook (www.facebook.com/TeamKumite) to let us know.

Ross Stevenson

In For The Kill or Play The Percentages?

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Earlier this week, UFC lightweight challenger Anthony Pettis had a dig at champion Benson Henderson, saying that he’s learned to win by winning rounds, rather than looking to finish fights, as Pettis prefers to do. We’ve also had a Hall of Famer Chuck Liddell stating that he could have kept fighting if he’d been willing to play it safe, but chose to go out on his shield instead.

Given that more than a few fighters who are on impressive championship runs – Benson Henderson, Georges St-Pierre, Dominick Cruz, Demetrious Johnson – tend to win their championship fights via decision (they’ve all shown an ability to finish before their current run) but many fighters and most fans crave the definitive satisfaction of a stoppage, what’s the right angle to take?

In For The Kill

Going for a stoppage has obvious advantages and disadvantages. For one thing, a stoppage win is inevitably a lot less controversial and debatable than a win that is awarded by the oft inconsistent and/or incomprehensible will of the judges.

An aggressive stance is also much more likely to win you fans (hence better sponsorship and career opportunities) as well as putting you in the running for an ‘of the night’ bonus, which as we’ve seen can make all the difference between a payday that’s not really enough or one that’s like winning the lottery…

However, as Bruce Lee would tell us ‘your attack allows me to intercept your attack’ and going for a finish by putting more weight into a punch, throwing a few more blows before circling away or sacrificing position by going for a 50/50 submission can so often lead to a mistake or a punishing counter attack by a top notch opponent.

How many times have we seen someone pressing forward being caught with an incisive counter punch, their takedown countered by a guillotine, their momentum being turned into a match turning throw or their submission failing to come off and them ending up in a worse position than when they started?

In short, going for the biggest reward also imposes the biggest risks.

Play The Percentages

On the other hand, you don’t tend to win fans by grinding out decision victories – see the torn fan opinion on the likes of Jon Fitch, the persistent criticism of GSP and Henderson for not winning in style.

Of course, you can win fans in other ways, specifically by being an entertaining personality (see Sonnen, Chael P. or Barnett, Josh) outside the Octagon, but attempting to be a mouthy heel can be a risky proposition on it’s own and if you fail to entertain in the Octagon, you could quickly become Jacob Volkmann.

Nobody wants that.

Playing the percentages to win rounds doesn’t just mean grinding out wrestling based victories, it can also mean an intelligent use of boxing and movement to out strike an opponent with exposing yourself to undue danger, at the cost of a decreasing likelihood of a knockout punch – this approach has worked well for Dominick Cruz, Frankie Edgar and on occasion, GSP.

It’s no coincidence that half the UFC’s champions, and a high proportion of those possessing gold throughout the sport tend to adopt more cautious approaches. Usually as a champion, you tend to have more experience (especially at the elite level) than you’re challenger and its a truism that a champion needs to be beaten. Split decision wins over a champion lead to rematches while opening yourself to a stoppage may not. Hence, as a champion it’s a better long term decision to play it safe.

It’s also true, in almost all sports that well matched competitors tend to cancel each other out, and this manifests in MMA as fighters being so concerned about not exposing themselves to their opponents acknowledged skills that they limit their own attacking adventures.

A great many fans and media types and let’s be honest, Dana fucking White have a go at fighters who don’t take risks (relatively speaking of course, these are folks who willingly step into a cage with a highly trained opponent who is looking to knock them out in the name of sport – the concept of risk becomes a little fuzzy at that point) and as such don’t tend to provide as much excitement or explosive finishes as their more reckless peers.

I don’t really agree, just like I don’t agree with folks criticising a winning football team who play defensive, possession football rather than risky attacking football. Who cares so long as you win the title (or whatever your realistic goal is)?

Sure, attractive winning play is preferable, but would you accept your team losing because the manager decided he’d rather be pretty than effective? Oh hell no!

My vote…

I’m going to sit on the fence a little here.

Like most folks, I love knockouts, crazy submissions and back and forth wars where both fighters leave it all (and a few pints of blood) in the cage but I can’t demonise someone for utilising a tactic that might not make me cheer, but is damned effective.

That’s sports. It’s not about aesthetics, it’s about winning. If it was about aesthetics, MMA would either be dance or pro wrestling…

That said, it’s advisable for fighters who are not yet at the pinnacle to make themselves stand out – it pays better and it might just get you a title shot on fewer wins than being pragmatic might.

Champions… I can’t really expect them to unnecessarily risk their top billing by striving to entertain at the expense of their carefully devised winning strategy.

So if you’re not the guy (or girl) in your weight class, try and show us something awesome, because we’ll remember you for it, forgive your losses all the easier and demand title shots for you when your streak isn’t as hot at someone else’s…

If you’re the champ, well you’ve got to the top of the maintain, it’s up to the next challenger or the next or the next to drag you out of your safety zone and into a fight.

Oh and whatever path you choose, complacency is not an option. Just ask Anderson Silva…

I’d love to hear your take on this…