Twitter Mailbag: Your Questions on Nick Diaz, HHH, and More

Carlos ConditBetween Nick Diaz's antics, Strikeforce's uncertain future, and HHH's comments on the UFC, there was no shortage of discussion topics for this edition of the Twitter Mailbag (TMB, if you're nasty).

If you'd like to ask your own question or just personally harass me until I block you, you can find me on Twitter @BenFowlkesMMA. Now let's do this thing...

@LoganasaurusRex is Carlos Condit really more dangerous to GSP's throne than Diaz? I felt that Diaz brought the whole "I'm crazy as [expletive]" edge

I still think Diaz is a more dangerous opponent than Condit, but not because he is crazy as [expletive]. Him being crazy as [expletive] certainly makes him a more interesting opponent, mostly because you know he'll keep getting in St-Pierre's face until the end, which is exactly what GSP's last few opponents have failed to do.

But what really makes Diaz the tougher style match-up is his jiu-jitsu. Very few MMA fighters represent a true threat off their backs the way he does, which makes taking him down a risky strategy. Condit doesn't have that in his arsenal, or at least he hasn't shown it much, so he has to rely more on takedown defense and striking power. Will that be enough? I doubt it, but you still can't count a guy like that out. All he needs is one good opening.

@VineStreetLife Do you have any insight regarding the difficult situation Jake Shields is in? I think Ellenberger pulls the upset, regardless.

Honestly, I have no clue what he must be going through right now. His father was not only, you know, his father, but also his manager. He was such a big part of his personal and professional life. I certainly can't imagine losing my dad and then getting up the next morning and going down to the gym.

That's what I think will be the biggest concern for Shields. Once he's in the cage, I'm sure his focus will be on the man across from him. But where was his head in the difficult weeks leading up to the fight, which is when fights are usually won and lost? He's a trooper for sticking this out and staying in the bout, but I don't know how he managed it.

@cthulhukitten what is the correct way to apply lipstick?

While staring at yourself in the mirror and repeating over and over again, 'You're a star!'

@Orderx7 what are your thoughts on HHHs comments about the UFC?

No disrespect to Mr. H, whose work I have enjoyed over the years, but there's a man who sees everything through the prism of the pro wrestling world. When he says the UFC needs to "evolve" because sometimes fights are "long and boring," he's saying that as a person who's accustomed to a business where outcomes are pre-determined and scripted. If you had a choice, sure, you'd like all fights to be thrilling wars. But in unscripted sports it just doesn't always work that way. There are boring MMA fights. There are boring football games too, but it doesn't hurt the overall popularity of the sport.

In his interview, HHH claimed that the WWE doesn't need to evolve in part because " of the things about us, if you look at us solely from a sports standpoint, is that we always give you a good show." For one thing, that's not always true, and any wrestling fan who has ever sat through a plodding, interminable match knows it. For another, when HHH says 'from a sports standpoint,' he should swap out the word 'sports' for the word 'entertainment.' A sport is a competition. Pro wrestlers are often great athletes who are extremely physically and mentally tough, but they're performing out there -- not competing.

That's fine, and that's the business they're in. But it doesn't have much bearing on MMA, where fighters don't get to decide beforehand who will win and who will lose.

@Chris_a46 after a 0-3 under Zuffa for Fedor would a 3-0 outside of Strikefore against the likes of Jeff Monson be enough to get back in?

It's not just who Fedor beats (assuming he does, in fact, win all the fights that M-1 lines up for him) but what his contract demands are. You'll recall that the UFC tried to sign him already, but his management wanted much, much more than Zuffa was willing to give. Even with wins over Monson and whoever else M-1 can scrape up now that almost all the quality heavyweights are with Zuffa (including Monson, who said he got permission from Strikeforce to take this fight), Fedor will never get back to where he was two years ago. If his management agrees to terms that reflect that, he could potentially end up back under the Zuffa banner. My guess is he retires before he gets three more fights under his belt, though.

@atxsteve17 Would you continue to employ someone that always makes you look bad publicly, like Diaz does to Dana White?

I would if I worked in a business where a little personal drama was good for the bottom line. Remember, White continued to employ Tito Ortiz even after the HBBB wore a t-shirt to a weigh-in that read, 'Dana Is My B---h'. White and Ortiz have been at each other's throats for years, but the relationship, while contentious and downright bitter at times, is still profitable.

White says he'll never trust Nick Diaz again, but I think you can always trust Diaz to be Diaz. No-showing a couple press conferences isn't an offense worthy of termination (at least, not yet), and Diaz is still a great fighter who people want to watch. I just hope that now that he's given up more money than he could stuff in his Honda Civic, all because he couldn't board an airplane and go to a press conference, he'll get the point.

@The_Lutfi Why are you a Chargers fan in Montana? Have they always stunk on special teams?

Because I attended college at the illustrious San Diego State University. And no, not always, just mostly.

@ltw0303 If GSP beats Condit and Diaz beats Penn then don't you have to make GSP vs Diaz again? If you don't who's left for GSP? #mailbag

You're absolutely correct, which is one reason why I thought it a little bizarre that the UFC chose to rebook Diaz on the same card it had pulled him from, and against Penn. I get it, Penn needed an opponent once Condit got moved up to the main event, but a) giving Diaz a slightly easier fight against another big name opponent is not such an effective punishment (though, again, he still lost a bunch of money in the deal), and b) if he wins, he's right back in the title picture.

Perhaps the tougher question is, what happens if GSP and Penn both win? Does anybody outside of the Hawaiian islands really want to see another GSP-Penn fight? If that's the scenario we end up with, look for the UFC to pressure St-Pierre to start putting on weight and thinking about Anderson Silva.

@FightChixJake what is your travel diet like?

I try to incorporate all the major food groups: hamburgers, fried food, beer, coffee, gummy bears. It takes discipline, but I think I'm worth it.

@jmhawkins With the @ufc heading to Japan in late Feb when they've normally had the Sydney show - where does this leave Aussie MMA fans?

I'm going to take a wild guess and say that you, good sir, may be one of those Aussie fans you refer to. I'm also going to guess that you may be a little annoyed at the thought of the UFC skipping over you in order to break into Japan. Sadly, this is the reality of the UFC's quest for global domination. As the Romans learned, you can only expand so far before you finally have to cool it and build a wall. For your sake, I hope Australia gets another event soon. For my sake, I hope that I get to go cover it.

@highrevphoto how long until Zuffa stops wasting everyones time and just dissolves Strikeforce? What's the hold up, showtime contracts?

Showtime contracts are certainly a big part of it, but that deal reportedly runs out in early 2012, and with the poor ratings recently it seems unlikely that Showtime will want to exercise its option to extend it. My guess is that Strikeforce will not survive another year, which is probably a good thing, considering how many good fighters are currently stuck in premium cable purgatory over there. The more difficult question isn't when Strikeforce will be dissolved, but how many of its fighters will get UFC contracts out of the deal. It could be a lot fewer than many are expecting.

@SlyBoston Do you think being under the influence of psychedelics such as LSD while fighting in an MMA bout should be illegal?

I have to admit that I initially though this question was amusing, but forgettable. Then I got to thinking about it, and then it plunged me into a philosophical crisis. For the record, I don't think it's a good idea to fight while under the influence of psychedelic drugs. Or, really, any drugs. Most athletic commissions won't let you drink a Red Bull in the locker room, so no, you should probably not be dropping acid before you fight another human being for money.

But then, it's not performance-enhancing. I remember back when Nick Diaz's win over Takanori Gomi was overturned due to the incredible amount of THC in his system, I passionately argued that, while he might deserve a fine and even suspension, the win should stand. Most of the fighters I talked to at the time insisted that they thought he should get a bonus for winning a fight with that much marijuana in his system.

So LSD? Probably a bad idea, not to mention illegal, but if I'm the guy's opponent I'm probably a lot less worried about him being on psychedelics that will only enhance his appreciation of The Doors than I am about him being on testosterone, which could enhance his training camp and his performance on fight night.

@MMAGameBoard Who/where do you see Hendo fighting next? What was your personal best live experience?

I'm going to be an optimist and say Dan Henderson will fight in the UFC next, since that's where the most interesting fights are. It's not out of the question that he sticks around in Strikeforce, where a bout with Mo Lawal would be legitimately compelling, but the mere thought of the UFC and Strikeforce negotiating against each other for Hendo's services just confuses and saddens me. He could fight Anderson Silva tomorrow and I'd watch it, though I'd still pick Silva.

As for the second part of your question, UFC Rio was certainly memorable, as was seeing Randy Couture fight in Portland, Ore. But the best live experience, oddly enough, was the final WEC event in Glendale, Ariz.

There wasn't a single boring fight on that card, and it concluded with the infamous Showtime kick by Anthony Pettis. I remember watching it and thinking, no, that couldn't have happened. He couldn't have just jumped off the fence with that kick, right? I actually had to watch the replay before I could believe my own eyes. I'll never forget that night, nor will I forget the truly horrible microwave pizza I ate back at my hotel a few hours later. Seriously, one of my all-time top three worst pizza experiences. Stuff like that really stays with you.

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