MMA Fastball: Diego Sanchez deserves a title shot

Diego Sanchez deserves a title shot. Get rid of one performance against Josh Koscheck and the bottom line is that you can make an argument that Sanchez won all of his fights in the welterweight division. We're talking about victories over Koscheck (on TUF 1), Karo Parisyan, and Nick Diaz, to go along with a close decision loss to Jon Fitch here too; he didn't just go and fight a bunch of nobody's. After defeating Joe Stevenson and now Clay Guida in one of the better fights of the year since dropping to the lightweight division, Sanchez deserves a shot against the winner of B.J. Penn and Kenny Florian.

Whether the fight comes in a TUF 1 rematch against a much better version of Florian, or a duel against Penn, it would be huge. In the end, ask yourself this: who else but Sanchez?

Wanderlei Silva at 185 looks good: Wanderlei Silva has lost five of his last six with three of those losses coming by way of devastating knockout. So his decision loss to Rich Franklin at a catch weight between the weight he's always fought at (205) and the weight he's aiming for (185), could be viewed by some as another derailment. Here's the thing though, Silva looked quite powerful against Franklin, who is on his way up to 205. That shouldn't be news considering the fact that he's one of the more brutal strikers of all-time. But since moving to the UFC, Silva has been looking rather small.

Until now, that is. Don't count out "The Axe Murderer" just yet. Something tells me that he may make some noise once he gets all the way down to 185. Franklin no doubt deserved that win he got, but it felt like he was up against a fighter with a lot more power. At 185, Silva's power advantage may be even more magnified.

Sure Cain Velasquez is good, but how about Kongo's toughness?: Whether Velasquez landed 184 punches on Cheick Kongo during their recent UFC 99 bout (CompuStrike) or 262 (Fight Metric), the one thing that we can all be sure about is that Velasquez absolutely annihilated his opponent. So can someone tell me how Kongo managed to keep fighting while taking all of that abuse?

If you didn't respect Kongo's toughness and heart before this fight, you have to respect it now. He took a licking like few heavyweights can and kept on ticking.

So how good is Cain Velasquez?: Velasquez got hammered on a couple of occasions by big Kongo punches only to recover in milliseconds and start in again with that brutal ground and pound of his. What we found out for sure about him is the following:

a) Velasquez has a great jaw.

b) Velasquez possesses great cardio.

c) Velasquez's takedowns and ground control are superior (we already kind of knew this).

d) His striking defense needs a little work.

Who else wants to see a Shane Carwin vs. Cain Velasquez at UFC 103? We'll see.

Diego Sanchez vs. Clay Guida and where it ranks: This was a great fight. Perhaps even the best fight of 2009 thus far. That said, it does not rank in the same class as Stephan Bonnar vs. Forrest Griffin I, Matt Hughes vs. B.J. Penn II, Eddie Alvarez vs. Joachim Hansen, or even Clay Guida vs. Roger Huerta. Why? Simply because this was a great fight for two reasons: Diego Sanchez showed off his severely improved stand up skills once again. and Clay Guida demonstrated amazing- repeat: amazing- heart and toughness. That said, Sanchez had Guida in terrible trouble during the fight in the first round (if it's actually possible to have that guy in bad trouble). On the flip side, Guida was never really in any position to stop his adversary.

That's the difference. Still, an awesome encounter that makes you watch Guida fight that much more.

Brett Rogers backs up the talk: Recently, in an interview at the site Rogers indicated that he'd been, "talking the talk," but was going to have "to walk the walk pretty soon." Well, a victory over Andrei Arlovski probably means that he has in fact walked the walk, don't you think?

Tom Atencio wins his second MMA fight: Affliction Vice President Tom Atencio won his second MMA fight after dealing with some adversity early in his bout against Randy Hedderick. Got to give him credit, how many VP's do you know in other sports that are willing to mix it up with the guys they pay?

Gina Carano vs. Cris "Cyborg" Santos is coming on August 15: This is the first female MMA fight that I've ever been truly stoked to see (since the first time Carano stepped onto a Showtime stage, anyway). After all, it's the first time that either of these fighters have stepped into a cage where the rest of the world didn't know who the better fighter was beforehand. Should be fun.

Mike Brown is the best: Just in case you didn't know, Brown's victory over Urijah Faber cements his place atop the featherweight division. And no, his first victory over Faber was no fluke. This guy is for real.

Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic leaves a tarnished UFC legacy: If what Dana White tells us is real, then Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic really has let a bunch of us down. After promising more UFC fights to the organization and taking on a lower tier UFC guy at UFC 99, it appears that he has jumped ship to DREAM, which will leave people guessing at what he could've done in the UFC for years to come. On second thought, given his track record in the UFC, it won't leave most people wondering at all. Rather, it will leave many believing that he couldn't hack the UFC. It's a shame, too. Not sure what went into this decision on his part, but defeating Cheick Kongo or Gabriel Gonzaga in a rematch (or even losing in a great fight) would do a lot more for his legacy than defeating Mighty Mo in DREAM will. And it's quite doubtful that Dana White will ever even consider doing business with him again.

And the beat goes on.

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