I got an e-mail from an MMA fan Friday saying that he thinks the Strikeforce/M-1 Global fight card that will be shown for free on CBS next weekend is actually a better card than any of the UFC pay-per-views of the latter part of 2009, from UFC 102 on August 29 all the way through UFC 107 on December 12.
Obviously, that's not what we'd expect: The UFC is the world's foremost MMA organization, so you'd think they'd be putting on the best fight cards, and, aside from that, we're conditioned to assume that something we have to pay $50 for is going to be a better product than something we get for free. But is it true in this case? I asked my MMA Twitter followers what they thought, and you can consider what's below sort of a roundtable discussion on the subject.
First, the voices of three good MMA writers, siding with Strikeforce:: By far...UFC 102-107 have been and/or look pretty weak. SF has Fedor, Shields and Mousasi and trumps any recent UFC lineup.
: hard to disagree with that statement.
: Strikeforce card is better than most recent UFC cards. Tough for UFC injuries/illness to 3 champs GSP, Silva, Lesnar
I can't disagree with any of this, and I think Dan Wetzel makes a very good point about the run of bad luck the UFC has had, with champions Georges St. Pierre and Anderson Silva nursing injuries and Brock Lesnar injured. Throw in Rampage Jackson walking away, and the UFC has taken some big hits over the last few months.
But are the Strikeforce fights competitive enough?: Hard to say, SF has more star power (lack of a better term) up and down the card, but 3 of the fights are fairly one-sided
: The CBS card is better than a low level UFC, but the lack of competitive fights dampens the star power aspect.
The odds say three of the four fights on the CBS card are mismatches, with Fedor Emelianenko, Gegard Mousasi and Jake Shields all heavily favored. Of course, they're no bigger favorites than Lyoto Machida was against Shogun Rua.
A lot of fans think Strikeforce needs a deeper roster before its cards can compare with the top UFC cards.: I like Strikeforce and the 11/7 main event has great potential/good card but top to bottom of the card, I can't say that.
This is an important point in the UFC's favor: The UFC's roster is deep enough that they can put five fights live on pay-per-view and two fights live on Spike, and the fans at home are still hoping they'll get to watch a couple of the preliminary fights on tape delay. Strikeforce cards aren't that deep: The CBS card has four really good fights, but nothing close to the kind of top-to-bottom talent that the UFC has, when the non-televised undercard is included.: It's unfair to compare it to any of those cards, cuz it's their premier card. It's only fair to compare it to 100. That being said, you could argue it's better than those cards, but certainly not as good a card as 100.
The question was whether the CBS show is better than UFCs 102-107. I haven't heard anyone argue that it's a better card than UFC 100.
: Absolutely agreed. Factor in that Fedor vs Rogers will be free on CBS and the best fighter in the world is on it.
There's just something special about having the heavyweight champion of the world on a fight card, and in MMA, that's not Brock Lesnar. It's Fedor.
: I kind of agree, although, i don't think UFC 107 isn't getting credit, it's a pretty good card: DISAGREE! 107 is stacked! UFC 105 has high quality fighters!
I loved the UFC 107 card before this morning's news
that Thiago Alves vs. Jon Fitch is off. Now I'd say it's a good pay-per-view card but not a great one. UFC 105 is good by Spike TV standards, but not by pay-per-view standards.
: I really doubt it can top the main event of 102. That fight alone made that card a classic: Agreed. The last few UFC PPVs have been a mild letdown.: It has the big names, but i thought the quality of fights was outstanding at UFC 104.
I thought UFC 104 was a decent show, UFC 103 was a bit disappointing, and the main event at UFC 102 was one of the best fights of the year. We'll have to wait until after the CBS show before we can say whether the quality of the fights was as good. : It's much easier to have deeper cards when you don't put one out every 4 weeks. Also they needed to stack this card for CBS.
: It's true, but it is also easier to do one stacked 4-fight card 3 months from your last major show: I may agree but what will they do after. Putting together one sweet card, they won't have anything left to do after that.
No one is suggesting that Strikeforce is capable of putting on a card that's better than a UFC pay-per-view every month. But to say Strikeforce "won't have anything" after the November 7 show misses the mark. The Fedor Emelianenko vs. Brett Rogers winner against the Fabricio Werdum vs. Antonio Silva winner would be a great fight next year, as would either of those winners against Alistair Overeem. : I think that the one CBS card is beter than the one UFC card but if Fedor loses or gets injured it's back to the UFC. I wonder if Strikeforce has prepaired themselves beter than eliteXC did with thier biggest star possibly losing.
This is an interesting issue: Do Strikeforce and CBS need Fedor to win? I'm not so sure that they do. I think a Brett Rogers upset would still give them a heavyweight champion they can promote going forward. And it's not like one loss instantly makes Fedor irrelevant. A Rogers upset would be a shock, but it wouldn't do to Strikeforce what Seth Petruzelli beating Kimbo Slice did to EliteXC.: I think bang-for-your-buck, it's Nov. 7th card is a great deal.
No doubt about that. You can't beat the price of free.Want to be part of our next MMA Twitter mailbag? Post a question or comment on Twitter.com, and be sure to start it with @MichaelDavSmith