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Twitter Mailbag: The Good, The Bad and The Bizarre

As we limp along toward the end of a relatively dull month in MMA, I can't help but notice that the mailbag questions get weirder and weirder. When there's plenty of action to talk about it's all somewhat normal stuff, with a few dependable exceptions. Now, a couple weeks without a big time fight and I find myself answering questions about sumo wrestling and mixed gender competition.

But I'm not one to judge (just kidding, I am totally one to judge). I'm willing to take the good with the weird in this edition of the Twitter mailbag. If you have a question of your own, hit me up on Twitter at @BenFowlkesMMA. All I ask is that you not bring up sumo wrestling. Is that so hard?

Now, on to your questions...

@Rockitawkwardly dos Santos vs Nelson for a title shot. say Nelson wins, does this make sense to have that happen?

Wait a minute, are you suggesting that this should be one of those No. 1 contender fights that's only a No. 1 contender fight if the right guy wins? Because that's crap. If you put two guys in the cage and tell them that the winner gets a chance to sit in the big chair, then no matter what happens you better be ready to make good on your promise.

You can't just change your mind if you don't like the outcome (or if you don't like the gut on the winner). Not unless you're a lying scumbag and you want to make sure no one ever trusts you again. And I refuse to believe that someone who goes by the moniker 'Rockitawkwardly' would condone such behavior.

@Doc_Martin_28 Will the outcome of the James Toney fight (win or lose) bring an influx of boxers to MMA? (there's a softball for ya)

A softball indeed. Here's what's going to happen: If James Toney wins (highly, highly unlikely, by the way) every boxing promoter will be shoving one another out of the way to find a microphone to crow into about what a joke MMA is. A few boxers will probably follow suit, but that doesn't mean they'll be in a hurry to test the waters themselves. For the top guys, the money is still much better in boxing, and they don't have to worry about getting kicked in the face.

If Toney loses, however (highly, highly likely), then every boxer/boxing promoter will chalk it up to the UFC selecting the oldest, most broken down pug they could find in order to make boxing look bad. There is zero chance that they will interpret a Couture victory as a sign of MMA's superiority.

Face it, this isn't a fight to settle any boxing/MMA debate, and that's fine because that's a useless debate anyway. This is just one interesting, bizarre fight for us to enjoy for its own sake. It's better if we all know that going in.

@JeffTheJeff do you think a top-level sumo, like Asashoryu, could make an impact in MMA? Is sumo a legitimate base discipline?

Allow me to answer this question by borrowing a phrase my father's Mississippi lexicon: Boy, are you slap crazy?

Yeah, I'm not totally sure what that means either, but I know from experience that it never leads to any conversation you want to have.

But seriously, JefftheJeff, you're asking me about sumo? Sumo!? Didn't Teila Tuli already answer this question for us at UFC 1? Maybe he wasn't "top-level," but neither was Gerard Gordeau. The point is, sumo didn't come out looking all that good even against other traditional martial arts, none of which are, by themselves, enough to survive in today's MMA climate. And guess which martial art has been least concerned with evolving over the years?

@Matahtak KJ Noons said Cyborg could do WEC against men. What do you think?

Honestly? If I can forget for a moment that it would be a freak show that would set MMA back 15 years, and that there is absolutely no chance that it would ever actually happen? I'd love to see it. I really, truly would. Depending on who she fought, I might even consider her the favorite.

@GaryLaplante Asked this to the guys at Cagepoatao as well but since you are a alumni of there figured I'd ask you as well. What do you see happening with the JMMA scene? Obviously ever since the Yakuza scandal it has been some what down hill. But with Dream declaring war on the WWE and the UFC it seems that they might be a tad bit over their head. Also will we ever see a major American MMA organization see the use of the ring and or pride rules?

Though I have covered all of one event in Japan, and while I'm perfectly willing to drink three beers and then pretend to know everything there is to know about the Japanese MMA scene (see the answer to the final question below), in order to get you the educated answer that your question deserves, I asked a real expert: MMA Fighting's own Daniel Herbertson. Here's what he said:

"I have little faith with the current direction DREAM is currently heading but looking at their sister promotion, K-1 you can see the potential that they have. K-1 is by far the biggest and most recognized kickboxing organization in the world and has become synonymous with kickboxing the way that the UFC has become synonymous with MMA in North America. "K-1" for people has become the sport, not just the promotion. This growth for K-1 happened because of a clear, highly structured series of tournaments and because of lucrative purses.

For JMMA to return to its former glory it needs to return to the quality that we saw during the peak of Pride and take some more lessons from K-1. I don't see it happening for DREAM unless K-1 execs Sadaharu Tanikawa and Kazuyoshi Ishii get involved. I do really like what Sengoku has been doing for the past year though.

Regarding your second question, we will never see an American organization use the ring or Pride rules within America due to sanctioning issues. It wouldn't be outside the realms of possibility though for Strikeforce to co-promote a show with DREAM in Japan using the ring, but Pride rules won't be returning due to pressure from DREAM's broadcaster TBS."

Yep, that's much better than I could have done.

@JasonRule at [UFC] 121 we get to see Cote vs. Lawlor, they are both on a 2 fight skid, who is the most at risk of walking after a third loss?

Now that's a genuinely good question. I'm tempted to say that it's essentially a loser-gets-fired match, for the very reasons that you mentioned. Then again, you could argue that because Cote's two losses came against Anderson Silva (via injury, no less) and Alan Belcher, he's had the tougher run. Lawlor got beat by Aaron Simpson and Joe Doerksen, which isn't quite as impressive.

Still, three's the magic number in the UFC. Lawlor may be an entertaining guy and Cote might be a fan favorite with the Canadians, but they should both be prepared to win or find a new job.

@Stlbites With Strikeforce becoming less credible by the day, do you think we'll ever get to see Nick Diaz back in the UFC?

First of all, where are you getting this 'less credible by the day' stuff? I don't see it. Strikeforce is still a legit organization, albeit one with some limitations and some growing pains as a result of making the jump to the big time, but it's not like Scott Coker's going to be cleaning out his desk and folding up shop tomorrow.

That said, while I'm sure the UFC would love to have Nick Diaz for the time in between the bells, I'm not sure it wants to deal with the headache of Nick Diaz before and after. Lots of guys say they don't give a [expletive]. Diaz lives it. Strikeforce tolerates it because he's a great fighter, a good draw, and he wants to work.

In other words, Strikeforce can't afford to lose him right now, while the UFC isn't necessarily hurting by not having him.

@jpcampbell710 Is it possible Dream books opponents late in order to protect the fighters they want to win? Mousasi vs. Obrien is example

Is it possible? Sure. It's Dream. Anything's possible. It's also possible that the promoters target one guy who they think will draw, then take a very casual attitude toward finding him an opponent because they know a) the opponent won't impact ticket sales or ratings much anyway, and b) there's always someone who needs the money badly enough to take it on a few days' notice.

The same thing happened when Mousasi fought Gary Goodridge on New Year's Eve. Goodridge himself said he didn't really want to fight, but simply needed the money. As we saw in that fight, those kinds of motivations are just strong enough to make a guy show up, but not quite strong enough to make him really give his all in the fight.

Got a question? Ask it on Twitter at @BenFowlkesMMA

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