Marko Huntooooo!!! The last man from Pride FC that UFC President Dana White ever thought would succeed in the UFC is getting a title shot. With the injury of UFC Heavy Weight Champ Cain Valesquez, Mark Hunt is stepping in to fight for the Interim Heavy Weight title against number one contender Fabricio Werdum.
At the age of 40, with three weeks to cut from 302 pounds to 265 pounds, (37 pound weight cut in 3 weeks) ANNNND coming off his one and only win in his past three, fans have to wonder if the Samoan from “down under” has much left in the tank. One thing is for sure, this will not be an easy fight for Fabricio, as Hunt has become very difficult to take down during his last three years, and his knockout power, hasn’t lost an ounce of momentum. As an admitted PRIDE FC fanboy and Hunt fan, I am biased and rooting for him, but as a realist, Mark hasn’t had a fight against a top 5 opponent, since Junior Dos Santos in 2013 where Hunt was knocked out for the first time since 2008.
He’s BIGGER than Brock Lensar or Georges St. Pierre, proclaims the UFC brass. He “backs up what he says” by going in and knocking people out. He’s undefeated in the UFC. He’s white, Irish, speaks EEEEENNNNGGGGGLLLLISH and talks trash! He’s Connor McGregor, the new golden boy of the UFC whom they are hitching their pay-per-view wagons to in hopes of a revival to Chael-esq like financial numbers.
Since the departure of names like Lensar, Liddell, Couture, and most notably and recently, Anderson Silva, Chael Sonnen, and GSP, the UFC has had the worst pay-per-view buy-rates in many many years.
Never mind the hype that the UFC surrounded Jon Jones and Rhonda Rousey with, (neither can get it up over 500,000 buys without Anderson Silva or Rashad Evans on the card). So, we are left with the hope that the HYPE surrounding McGregor and his big talk can stir enough of a rivalry with Aldo, that it intrigues the casual fan base to BUY into the hype. There is just one problem. His name is CHAD MONEY MENDES.
Chad has lost to Aldo, fine, but before he got knocked out in Brazil many moons ago, he was holding his own if not winning a decision against Jose. Then you have to look at what led to Aldo’s win. He was grabbing the cage to avoid the take-down. That only works so many times before you have both Dana White and Chad Mendes in the ear of the ref warning him or her before the fight to watch for that and reprimand as necessary.
This will be a different fight for Jose and Chad, and for all the good intentions of allowing McGregor to become Aldo’s “Chael” and get buy-rates by popularizing the nearly undefeated champion, it wont be as easy to walk-through Mendes this time around.
Leading up the first contest in 2012, Chad Mendes was on a roll, of decisions. Leading up to the rematch, is a much more refined Mendes, with great grappling accompanied by a new and improved arsenal of striking. Since the loss to Aldo, Chad has fought FIVE times, and Chad has won FIVE times. Of those five wins, FOUR of his last FIVE wins have come via KO or TKO. That’s right, he’s shedding that “decisionator” reputation that previously beset him.
That said of Mendes, Aldo himself has only fought THREE times since his first fight with Mendes, as Aldo has had a lot of injuries sidelining him and setting him back on a regular basis. Of the three title defenses Aldo has had since 2012, only one has been by KO or TKO, the other two, by decision and he almost dropped the title to Frankie Edgar in the final stanza after gassing.
My point. Mendes is a cardio machine with the wrestling chops of a champion and the KO power of a welterweight. Aldo simply cannot look past him to McGregor, no matter how much the UFC hype train and MMA media push for him to.
Remember this guy^?His name is Brock Lesnar, and he’s never been bigger, stronger, or more powerful according to famed Wrestling and now MMA commentator Jim Ross. I am publishing an article on him because he’s the most popular heavyweight champion in UFC history.
I am partially responding to an article published this week by Ross on Fox Sports, where he indicates that Lesnar’s contract with WWE is up in March and he has a BIG decision to make at that point. Ross says that one of three decisions will be made by Lesnar,
“stay with pro wrestling, return to the UFC or head home for good to spend time with his family.”
Well, I am here to tell you RIGHT NOW that Lesnar will not be back in the UFC. If he returns to Wrestling, no surprise, if he retires from the limelight, no surprise there either. I have a short-list of reasons why Lesnar will not return to active combat sports, or any sport that is real and relevent in the world today. Here goes:
1. In 2001 Lesnar was busted for possession of a controlled substance, i.e. steroids. The charges were dropped because it turns out the “steroids” were actually “growth hormones”. Back in 2001 HGH was relatively new, so the “law” didn’t recognize that these substances were steroids by another name and they let Lesnar off, with nothing more than a mugshot and a few hours in jail.
2. Lesnar is enormous, but we all know that his body broke down while in the UFC. Yes he was huge, but compared to the guy who was in WWE, he was a pasty, smaller, and fluffier version of himself.
3. Well, look at the picture folks. He is most likely able to openly use TRT, or HGH, or whatever the heck roids he wants to in his theatrical role there in WWE whilst earning a six figure income on what amounts to a part-time job. THE UFC’S new drug tests are popping EVERY drug in existence, from HGH, (not detectible during the Lesnar Era) to EPO, to Roids, to asthma meds that can be used for weight cuts. The fact is, you have to be clean to fight in the UFC these days, and if you aren’t YOU WILL BE CAUGHT.
If you haven’t connected the dots thus far, then you’re either dumber than a box of hammers, or you aren’t an avid MMA fan. The body Lesnar had in the UFC couldn’t handle the sport, and the body that Brock currently has in WWE, can’t be had while competing in the UFC. At 37 years of age, Lesnar’s time has come and gone, and like all stars, his is fading.