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MMA Fastball: Wanderlei Silva is a true warrior

Hope that your Memorial Day weekend went well. Now, without further ado, let's get things going.

Wanderlei Silva is a true warrior:
All Silva wants to do is put on a great fight. Proving this, one could discuss how Silva indicated that he had more respect for Royce Gracie after he fought Matt Hughes than before because Gracie was willing to put his stellar reputation on the line when he didn't have to. One could also talk about how he lost two straight fights in PRIDE and still put on a great and aggressive show against Chuck Liddell when many might be licking their wounds and losing confidence.

Of course, one could also talk about how Silva took the fight to a very tough customer in Keith Jardine in less than a minute at UFC 84.

The bottom line is that if Wanderlei Silva is fighting, you know that something exciting is likely about to happen.

B.J. Penn should jump to welterweight:
On Saturday, B.J. Penn fought three rounds and looked as if he could have easily put in two more. No, the fight wasn't what many of us thought it would be in that Sherk didn't attempt to take it to the canvas nearly as much as might have been expected; but that's just water under the bridge.

The bottom line is that Penn dominated The Muscle Shark on his way to becoming the undisputed UFC Lightweight Champion and looked as if he was in stellar shape doing it. Along with this, here's why Penn should make the jump to welterweight.

First, Penn was winning the initial stages of his fights against the welterweight division's two best fighters? Matt Hughes and Georges St. Pierre? before he seemingly gassed. So can you imagine what might have happened had he been in the same condition for those bouts as he was for Sean Sherk? And second, there are few people that believe there is anyone in the lightweight division with much of a shot at defeating him.

Thus, the welterweight division is the answer. Or more specifically Matt Hughes, Georges St. Pierre, Karo Parisyan, Diego Sanchez, Jon Fitch, and/ or Thiago Alves are the answers.

Sean Sherk's fighting strategy against B.J. Penn:
Maybe we're going to find out later that Sean Sherk's right hand was hurt and this somehow impacted his ability to attempt takedowns. If so, that's one thing. If not, Sherk seems to have made a major mistake in believing that he could defeat Penn in a kickboxing match. Yes, he looked pretty decent in the fight; but no, he was never truly in control on his feet and probably should've known that he didn't have a great chance to be without executing some of his patented ground and pound.

Somewhat perplexing...

Fedor Emelianenko and Tim Sylvia prove that MMA is a sport of respect:
Every now and then, depending on whom you are hearing/ watching, it's easy to forget that one of the building blocks of martial arts is respect. However, on this past week's edition of Inside MMA both Fedor and Sylvia showed that they are not only fierce competitors but also men of respect and intelligence by appearing on the show together. As questions were posed to the two of them sitting side by side, it became very clear that there was a genuine mutual respect and perhaps even the building blocks for a friendship once their upcoming fight was over.

Now how many times can you remember Mike Tyson sitting with Donovan "Razor" Ruddock on a television show and having a cordial conversation before a fight?

That is what MMA is and should be all about.

Lightweights outside of the UFC: There is no question that the UFC has more high quality lightweight fighters than any other single organization. However, there is still an abundance of high quality lightweight fighters outside of the organization as well. How about Gilbert Melendez, Shinya Aoki, Gesias Calvancante (JZ), Tatsuya Kawajiri, Mitsuhiro Ishida, Takanori Gomi (of course), Joachim Hansen, and Eddie Alvarez for starters? Speaking of Eddie Alvarez and Joachim Hansen. . .

Eddie Alvarez vs. Joachim Hansen at DREAM 3:
This is a Fight of the Year candidate and was a true testament to the heart of these two fighters who put it on the line big time. Up until the final seconds of the fight I had Hansen probably taking home a decision due to submission attempts in the second round. But that final rally of punches by Alvarez gave him the victory (at least in my book).

Either way, it was one of those fights that no one truly deserved to lose.

You have to make Lyoto Machida brawl with you: Admittedly, this is probably the minority opinion here. Still, all of the talk about Lyoto Machida being a boring fighter is getting somewhat tiring. Was his bout against Tito Ortiz a Fight of the Year candidate? No. However, Machida did become very aggressive when an opening was presented to him. See the end of the first round when Machida took Ortiz down and hurt him and the final round when Ortiz went down from a terrific knee to the ribs before nearly pulling off a triangle choke for confirmation. The bottom line is that Machida's job is to do damage to his opponent while limiting damage to himself and he does this very, very well.

The thing is that other fighters just haven't been able to make him fight their fight, and when they attempt to (see Sokoudjou) they tend to get hurt.

Someone like Chuck Liddell or Wanderlei Silva would likely make for a more entertaining fight against Machida because of their aggressive stand up styles. But remember, two people make a fight, not just one.

Matt Hughes stepping up against Thiago Alves:
Hughes could've simply rested on his laurels. But by taking on a dangerous fighter like Alves at this stage in his career, Hughes has once again proven that he ducks no one.

Rousimar Palhares has the potential to be a star:
Though we haven't the foggiest idea about Palhare's striking skills after his submission victory over Ivan Salaverry, we still know this much.

Palhares is a powerful and ridiculously good jiu jitsu practitioner. In other words, if you hit the ground with him for any length of time you could be in trouble.

And, as Joe Rogan aptly pointed out, that's exactly the kind of skillset that a division with Anderson Silva in it needs right now. Palhares has the potential to be a star.

Congratulations to Caol Uno: No one thought he had a chance against Mitsuhiro Ishida. However, the crafty veteran won one, via submission no less, for all of the supposedly past-their-prime fighters out there at DREAM 3.