It's hardly surprising, but the WEC/UFC merger
seems to be on people's minds this week, which explains why this edition of the Twitter mailbag is loaded with questions about how this new development will change all of our lives forever and ever.
Don't worry, there's still time to talk about awkward pro wrestlers and even single out an MMA media colleague for scorn and ridicule.
If you have a question of your own, hit me up on Twitter @BenFowlkesMMA
. And no, an insult with a question mark at the end does not qualify as a question.@JeffTheJeff mailbag: are you going to miss the WEC? What will the WEC's legacy be?
I didn't even consider it until you asked, JefftheJeff, but now that I stop and think about it, yeah, I guess I will miss the WEC...in a way. It probably won't set in immediately. It might take months. But some time around next spring I bet I'll be flipping through the channels on a Sunday night, finally arriving at some show on Versus where people hunt wild boars from dune buggies, and it'll hit me: wouldn't it be great if there were a bunch of little guys fighting in a small arena for meager paychecks right now?
I think we're all going to miss the WEC, but we'll miss it the way you miss that terrible studio apartment you used to have. That is to say, you wouldn't actually want to go back in time and live there again, even if you could, but some part of you regards it as a simpler time that you'll never get back again.
As for the WEC's legacy, I think what we'll all remember most was Urijah Faber's heyday. Jose Aldo probably has a bright future ahead of him in the UFC's new 145-pound division, but Faber is likely on the downslope of a great career. He'll still fight on in the UFC, though when it's all over we'll remember him as the only WEC fighter who could reliably put butts in seats, even back when there wasn't a ton of money in it for him.@hansen9j If they both agreed, could/should Edgar & Aldo just swap UFC titles and weight classes?
Could they? Tempting suggestion, but no. Should they? Well, that would be a better deal for Edgar than for Aldo. "The Answer" could make 145 pounds without having to kill himself, and he'd no longer have to worry about being outmuscled by bigger wrestlers, of which the division has plenty. Aldo would have a speed advantage over most UFC lightweights, but that's about all. If they both hold on to their respective titles, a champion vs. champion superfight could very well be an option somewhere down the road.@Doc_Martin_28 mailbag: which ufc 155 guys are most likely to drop to 145? ie. Tyson Griffin.
It's got to be a pretty annoying time to be a UFC lightweight, because suddenly everyone wants to know if you're going to drop a weight class and make a run at Aldo. Kenny Florian
wasted no time telling his Twitter followers that at 5'10" and 177 pounds, featherweight just isn't possible. If he weren't the current 155-pound champ, Frankie Edgar would seem like the most logical choice.
I think a good rule of thumb here is to look at all the guys who are 5'8" or below. That includes Griffin, Clay Guida, maybe even Mac Danzig. My guess is a lot of guys won't want to drop right away, but if they're going nowhere at 155 pounds it might not be presented as a choice.@MattHeavyMMA Ben, so much talk about these 4oz. gloves. What impact would it have if they moved to 5oz gloves? Or 3oz gloves?
I don't intend to actually answer this question because it is so stupid, but I just wanted to post it so that people could openly mock Heavy.com
editor Matt Brown for asking it. Trust me, he has it coming. You may now proceed.@1Atom The WEC 135's & 145's can say they were UFC caliber all along. But is it fair to say the WEC LW class was always 2nd tier?
This, I think, is one of the most interesting questions we're about to get an answer to. The top guys in the WEC's lightweight class have been fighting each other for so long, it's hard to know how they compare to outside competition. When they start to mix with the general population in the UFC, it will be a little bit like when Pride fighters first trickled into the UFC.
In other words, if a couple WEC guys lose in their first UFC bouts, expect to hear a lot about how overrated they all were. Then they'll probably come back and win a couple, and that's when we'll hear lofty claims about how underappreciated the WEC's 155-pound class was. You know, the usual for MMA fans.
My guess is, Ben Henderson will be a contender right away, but the rest of the WEC lightweights will be left to fight for career survival in a crowded division.@OpsMarine What's your take on the Lesnar/'Taker thing?
Hilarious. Bizarre. Briefly intriguing. All the stuff good viral video is made of. The fact that he captured it at all makes me think that if Ariel Helwani had been alive during the JFK assassination, the Zapruder film would have featured much higher quality footage, along with the necessary probing questions.@KevinMarshall Where do you think we'll see a televised UFC card first: Madison Square Garden or China?
It might be wishful thinking on my part, but I'm going to say MSG, if only because the UFC seems far more focused on making that happen.
Honestly, you can see pro wrestlers nut-shot each other at MSG, you can see Lady GaGa do half-baked, weird-for-the-sake-of-weird performance art, and you can even see guys in sponsor-laden western wear get their heads stepped on by bulls right there on 8th Avenue. Yet you can't see some of the greatest martial artists in the world ply their craft?
It's ridiculous, and it will change soon, if only because the economic forces compelling it to are so powerful.@gimpshot better pre-fight trash talk: @BigSexyMcCorkle Twitter barrage or @stefanstruve's McCorkle photoshop contest?
McCorkle all the way. The photoshop contest has been done, plus it makes other people do all the work. McCorkle's insulting and, at times, culturally offensive one-liners, that's something you can't teach.@broccolimonster how do you feel about pro wrestlers making a transition to mma? And do you see it changing the sport in a + or - way at all?
If the pro wrestlers are serious about taking the time to learn the sport and progress through the ranks, I'm all for it. Many of those guys wrestled at the college level and went into the WWE because it was where the quick money was, and as a kid who grew up idolizing Hulk Hogan and "Rowdy" Roddy Piper, I can't fault them for giving in to the allure of sports entertainment.
But guys like Batista, who is over the hill and has no serious background in competitive combat sports, that's the kind of thing I have a hard time getting behind. MMA is the hot thing right now and I'm sure a lot of those guys would like to jump into its spotlight, but we should be embracing only the ones who want to make an actual career out of it rather than just using it as a way to get themselves some cheap press.
I say if pro wrestlers respect the sport and take it seriously, there's no reason we can't turn a blind eye to all the years they spent working on their tan and pretending to fight guys in tights.
Now who's going to send me a 'Do you wanna do it?' t-shirt in the mail? Don't make me go down to the mall and make my own...