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Twitter Mailbag: Talking Title Shots, Rematches, and Black Friday Deals

Before we jump right into the Twitter Mailbag here, let me pause to remind you of two things: 1) You love this freaking website, which brings you everything from breaking news to video interviews to in-depth stories to entertaining features, and 2) We're nominated for Media Source of the Year at this year's MMA awards, and the voting window is closing rapidly.

I'm not telling you to go this website right now and vote for us. Nope. Not doing that at all. What I am telling you is that, if I were you, and I enjoyed the work of a particular website that was nominated for an award like that, I wouldn't consider it an unreasonable demand on my time to register and vote for my internet pals. But hey, that's me. And I'm not a total jerk.

Now then, who's got the first question?

@Orderx7 Why does @UrijahFaber keep getting title shots? There are other guys in the div. that can sell a fight.

In theory, I agree. But in practice, who else could you possibly give a title shot to right now at 135 pounds? Demetrious Johnson just had his chance. Miguel Torres is still trying to string a couple wins together. Brian Bowles just got utterly smashed by Faber. So who's left?

It's not just that Faber is still the most popular fighter in the division (though, let's be real, he's that too), but he's also earned the shot. Bowles was a former WEC bantamweight champ whose only prior loss was an injury TKO to Cruz, and Faber ran right through him. He's pretty clearly the second-best fighter in the division, and isn't pitting #1 against #2 what a title fight is supposed be all about?

@DaveDomination what are your quick predictions for UFC on Fox 2?

I predict that no matter what the full lineup looks like when it finally hits TV, MMA fans will find a way to complain about it.

@JDRCheckIt how likely is it to see Fedor in a big league again?

Short answer: not very. That's assuming that by 'big league,' you mean the UFC, Strikeforce, or Bellator. If you mean M-1 Global (or an M-1 Global co-promotion), then it's a different story.

Regardless of how we feel about it, seems like Fedor is going to bravely soldier on through one mediocre fight after another. He beat Jeff Monson, which still counts for something, I suppose, and I wouldn't be terribly surprised if he eventually ends up rematching Tim Sylvia or Andrei Arlovski on another 4 a.m. pay-per-view with high school AV club-quality production values. But as for fighting the big boys on the big shows, I'm afraid those days are over for the Last Emperor.

@Dchavez who has the best Black Friday deals and when should I get there?

The answer to those questions are, in order: Best Buy, and six hours ago.

@KevinMarshall mailbag: Hell of a bout between Chandler & Alvarez. Is it me or is there not as big a disparity between UFC & Bellator's LWs?

If I'm reading your question right, what you're asking is, why do the Bellator lightweights seem UFC-caliber, while some of the higher weight classes in Bellator seem populated with fighters who aren't quite ready for primetime? I don't necessarily disagree with that premise, but I think it has less to do with either the UFC or Bellator and more to do with the nature of talent distribution in this sport.

It makes sense that MMA has, on the whole, more talent in the lighter weight classes than the bigger ones. If you're a talented athlete who's 6'3" and 250 pounds, you probably have options when it comes to making a living in pro sports. If you're 5'6" and 165 pounds, it's a different story. Because MMA is one of the few popular pro sports that promises its competitors a chance to go up against someone their own size, it's more likely to draw the little guys who got run off the football field or laughed off the basketball court.

Basically, there are more good lightweights to go around, so it makes sense that Bellator has a few. It also makes sense that heavyweights are at such a premium that it's an issue even in MMA gyms across the country. You hear it from trainers all the time: the toughest thing about developing a good heavyweight is finding good heavyweight sparring partners. What's happening lately is that heavyweights are starting to consolidate in a few select gyms just so they can train with other guys their size, which brings us back to the old teammate-versus-teammate question that's been ridden into the ground. Which reminds me, thanks for not asking that question. I'm just so sick of it.

@noelluperon Have you press row guys ever been sprayed in blood, spit, sweat or any of the less noble fluids flying from the Octagon?

Press row is a good eight to ten feet from the fence, so we're usually safe. Those poor photographers, like our own Esther Lin, are not always so lucky.

@TimKennedyMMA mailbag question. What's the deal with Strikeforce? When is Tim Kennedy going to fight UFC guys?

I keep asking the same thing, Tim. I keep hearing others ask it too. I just haven't heard any satisfying answers yet. Perhaps there's something you'd like to tell us?

@DJNonfiction Hendo vs. Shogun II...Do it all over again (in japan), or leave this one alone to the history books?

Ah, the siren's song of the rematch. If the first fight was great, why not do it all again, beginning with round 6, right? Sadly, it very rarely works out that way. Remember Griffin-Bonnar II? Yeah, neither do I.

Trying to recreate a great fight is like showing up at your high school girlfriend's house with a bouquet of supermarket flowers and a six-pack of wine coolers. Just because it resulted in a magical night once, that doesn't mean it's a formula for success every time. The part of me that scored this fight a draw thinks that a rematch makes sense, but the part of me that thinks it was the greatest fight in MMA history doesn't want to see it defiled by a sad attempt to recreate its glory.

For now, I'm fine with Henderson moving on to a title shot in either the middleweight or light heavyweight class. And who knows, maybe he and Rua will meet again somewhere down the line.

@Futch6 MAILBAG-- question: who do you think will be JDS's toughest opponent: Lesnar, Ubereem, Cain, Mir?

I'm not sure about this 'Ubereem' fellow you mention, but I think Alistair Overeem could create some serious problems for the current UFC heavyweight champ. That is, if he gets past Brock Lesnar, which is a big if.

Overeem's ability to take a punch and give one back (along with a couple kicks and a bunch of knees coming right behind it) could test dos Santos' stand-up game in new and exciting ways. His size alone presents a different sort of challenge, and we know he's not going to freak out the first time he gets hit in the face.

First, however, Overeem has to get past Lesnar. How he manages that will depend heavily on how much he can improve his takedown defense before December 30. Let's hope he's doing more than hitting pads at Xtreme Couture between now and then, because if he ends up on his back with Lesnar on top of him -- even once -- it could be all she wrote.

@LoganasaurusRex if you're @danhendo where do you take the title shot? Also has any other fighter ever secured two title shots at once before?

If I'm Henderson, I take the fight at light heavyweight. He hates that cut to middleweight, and I think it shows in the cage. He'll give up size and reach to Jon Jones (or Lyoto Machida), but he's got a chance against either, if only because one is still slightly inexperienced and the other is vulnerable to his style of fighting. Plus, that way he gets to eat what he wants, and an eating Hendo is a happy Hendo.

@AdriantheWizard After Ben Henderson, who's the next contender at LW if Melendez loses in December?

The phrasing of your question seems a little odd, Mr. Wizard. If Melendez loses? That makes it sound like he might walk in the cage and spontaneously lose consciousness. If Melendez loses, it will be because Jorge Masvidal beat him. And if Masvidal beats him, that would make Masvidal the new Strikeforce lightweight champ, so why not have him fight for the UFC lightweight belt? That is, assuming that whole champion-versus-champion thing is really going down as soon as we all think/hope it is.

@dsmelser13 Who do you have in this on going battle between @arielhelwani and @MieshaTate? Who is right? And Who should get the award?

I wouldn't call it a battle so much as a misunderstanding, but if you're asking me who I think deserves to win the award for female fighter of the year, I have to side with the champ. I realize she only fought once in 2011, but it was a big one. Tate submitted Marloes Coenen to claim the 135-pound Strikeforce title, which is, for the moment, one of the only women's titles that matters.

What's more, female fighters at Tate's level don't get as many opportunities from promoters to do their thing, so I can't fault her for the lack of fights. Ronda Rousey might have had a higher work rate this year, and yes, she did armbar everything on two legs, but she did it against a lesser caliber of opponent, so there were more chances to keep getting in the cage.

That said, I voted for Sarah Kaufman. Because I like Sarah Kaufman. And yes, I realize that's not how you're supposed to vote in these things, but I also don't care.

@stlbites do you ever get discouraged by the lack of thoughtful MMA fans and the seeming girth of meatheads asking for freebies?

Personally, I think there are plenty of thoughtful MMA fans. My Twitter timeline is full of them, even if it also has some idiots sprinkled in there from time to time. I've always thought that, from a fan perspective, MMA is a sport for nerds, and I mean that in the best way. MMA fans obsess about and over-analyze every aspect of this sport, and a great many of them actually do so intelligently. It's just that the idiots yell rather than talk, so they tend to drown everyone else out.

As for the people asking for freebies, Dana White would get a lot less of that if he stopped encouraging it. At the UFC on FOX presser, for example, he specifically told people not to ask him for tickets. Then the first fan who got his mitts on the mic asked for tickets, and DW gave them to him. All I'm saying is, when the children are spoiled, you don't blame the children.

@shplane What did you think of Breaking Dawn?

I assume that's a typo and you mean to ask what I thought of Red Dawn, which of course I watch every Thanksgiving. I thought it was awesome. I think that every year, though.

@tpears86 do you think Maynard is smart about going to AKA?

I happened to be in the AKA gym last week and saw Maynard going through Daniel Cormier's wrestling practice along with the rest of the crew. I have to say that it seems like a good place for him, and one where he'll really fit in. AKA is more of a team than many other gyms. There's a real exchange of ideas happening on those mats, whereas some other places are just workout facilities with a rotating cast of coaches and sparring partners. Xtreme Couture -- and the Las Vegas MMA scene in general, really -- features a lot of coming and going. AKA doesn't. The difference will only benefit Maynard.

Got a question of your own? Find me on Twitter @BenFowlkesMMA and ask away.

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