What 'G' means for MMA, Lashley's potential, and much more
How about you write the definitive piece on "Greasegate" and try to put this issue to bed since the NSAC didn't.
I'm as over it as you are. Penn and his camp are claiming "reform" as the reason for continuing down the path they've marched since St. Pierre smashed him at the end of January. During Tuesday's meeting in front of the Nevada State Athletic Commission, Penn continued to allege use of not only Vaseline by G.S.P., but also other products that would, in theory, make the UFC welterweight champion slippery and difficult to corral.
Penn asked the NSAC to institute new measures of prevention and detection, such as pre-fight showers and testing fighters' sweat. Inspectors already shadow fighters competing in Nevada. They're patted and wiped down prior to heading into the cage. And their corner is watched during the fight.
It's clear the NSAC doesn't have anything definitive to use against G.S.P., otherwise it would have come down hard on him. Despite what some of the UFC welterweight champion's vanquished foes are saying well after the fact, the NSAC has never had an issue with St. Pierre prior to the Jan. 31 fight. Try as Penn might to pin a history of greasing on St. Pierre, the evidence supporting that claim doesn't seem to exist -- unless the NSAC is just inept and missed it each time he fought in Vegas.
Considering Penn is willing to allow an NSAC-appointed official to apply Vaseline to his face between rounds, the Hawaiian clearly doesn't believe the commission is incompetent or out of touch. (And for the record, I'm not crazy about the idea. This would be like NASCAR hiring and managing pit crews instead of the drivers and their teams.)
Do you honestly think Rashad Evans can beat Rampage?
From my perspective, Evans can beat Rampage, and do so easier than most imagine possible. Lyoto Machida, however, is something else entirely.
I've heard some people suggest the May title fight could be boring. Boy, I don't see it. It'll be tactically brilliant, and in my book, that's often more compelling than two guys standing in front of one another playing rock 'em, sock 'em.
Evans is the best fighter Machida will have faced. Likewise, Machida is the best defensive fighter Evans will have faced. This is my most anticipated fight of the first half of 2009. And if given the choice to watch Evans-Machida or Mir-Lesnar, I'd take the light heavyweight contest every time.
You seem to be trumpeting Gray Maynard pretty hard. What do you see that you like so much? Who do you see presenting him problems?"
He's only fought professionally seven times, but with each fight, Maynard gets better and better. He's quiet, goes about his business and, above all, he wins. He reminds me a lot of WEC featherweight champ Mike Thomas Brown, though Maynard's less submission-savvy at this stage of his career.
I'd take someone that can match-up physically with Maynard and wrestle him. While there are fighters in the UFC that fit this bill -- Sean Sherk or Tyson Griffin, for example -- one name keeps popping in my head as someone who has the potential to give Maynard a go. Problem is, he'll probably never get a shot. As much as Antonio McKee is maligned for a style that makes drying paint seem exciting, all he's done pretty much is win via wrestling and control. McKee (22-3-2) isn't a world-beater. But he does out-wrestle and out-work nearly everyone he fights. Of his 22 wins, 17 have come by way of decision. I wonder if he could do the same to Maynard.
I'd like to see the Xtreme Couture-trained Maynard fight from his back, or at least be forced into a contest where he can't entirely dictate what happens. It'll happen soon enough, I'm sure. But for now, yes, I think pretty highly of his prospects.