Out of all the ruckus from this past weekend, three stories emerged to the forefront of discussion, with each one getting there for very different reasons. So since you're smart and you're already caught up on current events, let's skip the recaps and jump into what exactly made these stories so fascinating, while throwing a rating of their significance (from 1-to-10) in there for good measure.
Daniel Cormier's coming out party - 9/10: Last Friday we talked about how everything that could've gone wrong, did for the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix, yet despite that, the final outcome came out strangely alright because Cormier vs. Barnett was such a pick ‘em for fight fans. Well, now that it's behind us, it'd be hard to call the tournament a rousing success, but the stunning arrival of Daniel Cormier almost gives us an argument.
Josh Barnett has a pretty damn impressive résumé, yet outside of a prime Cro Cop, no one has handled him like Cormier did on Saturday night. That's incredibly high praise for someone with just 10 pro fights (and a broken hand). Though outside of his physical gifts and Olympic prowess, the thing that impresses me most about Cormier is his fight IQ. The guy almost never makes a bad decision. For someone who's so new to the sport, it almost doesn't make sense.
I don't know where he stands in the grand scheme of things, but at this point, would you really feel comfortable betting against Cormier opposite any heavyweight not named Junior dos Santos, Alistair Overeem or Cain Velasquez? Here's hoping the UFC comes calling sooner, rather than waiting for this bizarre "plus-one."
Gilbert Melendez loses in victory - 7.5/10: Now, let me preface this by saying Josh Thomson is a very good fighter. I understand styles make fights, and maybe Thomson is the Juan Manuel Marquez to Gilbert Melendez's Manny Pacquiao. But when someone consistently complains about not getting his recognition as a top-2 fighter, yet fails to put away (let alone decisively beat) a guy who's barely sniffing the top-20, it probably isn't a good look.
Let's not forget, this is twice-in-a-row now for Melendez. His December victory over Jorge Masvidal -- a guy who doesn't even make SB Nation's top-25 -- didn't exactly light the world on fire. I understand Gilbert is in a supremely tough spot, and he was going to lose no matter the result of Saturday night, but if "El Nino" is going to keep harping on a move to the UFC and invoking his claim to being the best in the world, at some point he needs to start showing it in the cage.
(One last thing: Strikeforce, please, please don't schedule Thomson-Melendez IV. Just throw in Pat Healy and be done with it. Thanks.)
Jon Jones arrested on suspicion of DUI - 5.5/10: Again, let me preface this by clearly stating, in no way am I condoning Jon Jones' actions. Like my colleague Mike Chiappetta already established, Jon made a stupid decision and he's going to have to pay the price for it. But in the grand scheme of things, that's exactly what it was -- a stupid decision.
The kid is 24 years old, and he's human. He's certainly not the first UFC fighter to make this mistake, and he sadly won't be the last. But truthfully, this became a bigger story because of the clunky cult of personality Jon Jones has crafted for himself. Similar to the Tiger Woods debacle, Jones preached a wholesome image, and to some, a holier-than-thou persona, and got caught doing something that completely spit in the face of everything we thought we knew about him.
It's a big deal on a minor scale, and some will undoubtedly use Jones' substantial lapse in judgment as fuel for the JON JONES IS FAKE brigade, but like always, let's at least get all the facts before the pitchforks come out.
5 MUST-READ STORIES
Strikeforce: Barnett vs. Cormier. Check out complete coverage of Saturday's Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix finale with results and fight recaps, reaction from the pros, video highlights, news on Cormier's hand injury, and a look from the day after.
Jon Jones arrested. UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence after being involved in a car accident around 5 a.m. in Binghamton, N.Y. early Saturday morning. At this point little is known about the incident, though for Jones, it could be a chance to step up and show his true character.
Faber to fight Barao. With Dominick Cruz out of the equation, Urijah Faber will fight upstart prospect Renan Barao for the UFC interim bantamweight strap at UFC 148. Barao's previous opponent, Ivan Menjivar, will instead fight Mike Easton on the same card.
Dan Quinn investigated for death threats toward Dana White. Former football-player-turned-professional-fighter Dan Quinn is under investigation for making (extremely creepy) death threats to UFC President Dana White after leaving a series of threatening messages on White's private voicemail.
Tim Kennedy knows what you want to see and he's more than willing to give it to you. So with that being said, here's your daily "Afternoon Delight" Anchorman reenactment.
We can't show you any footage of Saturday night's Strikeforce card, but in case you missed it, Karl Amoussou and David Rickels absolutely threw down on Friday night at Bellator 69. Check out the fight and see if you agree with the controversial finish.
Three awesome things about this clip, in order of awesomeness: 1.) Gilbert Melendez's fiance mushing the crazed booing fan right in the face, 2.) Guy just doing circles in the beginning for no reason, 3.) Melendez trying to punk said booing fan, and it totally not working. (HT: MiddleEasy)
After careful deliberation, we've come to the conclusion that this may be the best UFC promo ever. (HT: Reddit)
MELENDEZ-THOMSON III: SPLIT DOWN THE MIDDLE
Brian Stann (@BrianStann) May 20, 2012
Good fight.... Thought @THEREALPUNK had it. Maybe part 4 coming up though!!— Gray Maynard (@GrayMaynard) May 20, 2012
Meh, coulda went either way. I thought it was a draw. #Strikeforce— Jason High (@KCBanditMMA) May 20, 2012
Was a great fight, had Thompson win'n the last 3 rnds tho. Def could of went either way. Both tuff ass dudes that brought it for 25 min.— Shane Roller (@shaneroller) May 20, 2012
Daniel Cormier (@dc_mma) May 20, 2012
Helluva job last night brother @dc_mma. Great fight. You fought well and didn't let me get away w/any mistakes. Like a true champion.— Josh Barnett (@JoshLBarnett) May 21, 2012
I fought hard, I fought to win, and never once quit. It's just what comes with battle. No sympathy, no regret. youtu.be/eq5CDEvwy6Q— Josh Barnett (@JoshLBarnett) May 20, 2012
Here's what happened in the first :30...still threw it though. Of course that might not have so wise LOL. twitpic.com/9nc4yk— Josh Barnett (@JoshLBarnett) May 20, 2012
FRIENDLY NEIGHBORHOOD FIGHTER
WATCHED A MAN AT THE GAS STATION COUNT OUT $2.25 IN CHANGE FOR GAS. SO I FILLED HIS TANK FOR HIMHE HUGGED ME AND ASKED WHY- JUST CAUSE!#fb— Pat Barry (@HypeOrDie) May 19, 2012
Announced over the weekend (Friday, May 18, 2012 - Sunday, May 20, 2012):
- UFC 148: Urijah Faber (26-5) vs. Renan Barao (28-1) confirmed for interim bantamweight title
- UFC 148: Ivan Menjivar (24-8) vs. Mike Easton (12-1)
FANPOST OF THE DAY
Today's Fanpost of the Day sees Halitosis call into question some of Joe Silva's recent decisions: Cody McKenzie vs. Chad Mendes and the UFC's Ruination of Fighters Through Mismatches
Yesterday we saw the news that shortly after his fight at UFC on Fuel 3, Cody McKenzie had signed the contract for his first featherweight fight in the UFC against Chad Mendes, a fighter coming off of a title shot where he was soundly beaten. McKenzie has one tool in his arsenal, one. The fact that he's in the UFC is shocking. The man should not be coming off a win over Marcus LeVesseur and go into a fight with a not so long ago title challenger. Whether or not you like Cody, it is agreeable through most of the fanbase that knows their stuff that this is a huge mismatch.
Now, does Cody have a path to victory? Sure. Is that path to victory foreseeable against a fighter who is better than him in every facet? Absolutely not.
I'm not completely opposed to far odds for a fighter. What I'm opposed to is a completely unfair mismatch that will most definitely not be one they can learn from. Cody gets nothing from this fight at all, other than his paycheck to show and maybe a pat on the back for taking the fight. What's more is he has the ability to improve himself now with the right team at Cesar Gracie's with the notorious Diaz brothers, and he had the chance to build up from the little momentum he has now. That chance is, beyond some lucky guillotine, gone.
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