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Fightweets: Will Chael Sonnen vs. Wanderlei Silva happen?

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Esther Lin

Just when you thought you could take a little breather during this, the only weekend of August without any MMA events of note, the MMA world keeps on keeping on. Will Wanderlei Silva fight Chael Sonnen? What's up with Ben Askren? Why Vitor Belfort vs. Dan Henderson?

On and on it goes. So rather than mess around, let's handle this week's Fightweets like a fighter who comes charging right out of the gate (and hope we don't run straight into a takedown).

Chael vs. Wanderlei?

@shivz: Thoughts on Chael vs Wanderlei on a big FOX card in December instead of PPV?

Apparently it's not happening at all, at least as of Dana White's proclamation on Thursday. Wanderlei Silva's video response on Friday acted like Thursday's news never happened, and can you blame him? After all, White threw Silva under the bus like this once before. Remember back in the summer of 2007, when he said Wanderlei was afraid to fight Chuck Liddell? And then the match happened in December. Looks like Dana's going to the same playbook that worked once before, and based on Silva's response, it looks like it's working.

@remboni: How does Chael vs Wanderlei play out should it come to fruition?

Unless Chael decided to channel Brian Stann and go toe-for-toe like it's 2003, I'd imagine it would go similar to Sonnen vs. Shogun. If not with the specific finish, then with the "take him down at will and keep him there" perspective.

Askin' about Askren

@DHarmaClarkProd: Should Ben Askren get signed by the UFC, who does Joe Silva pit him against first? Title eliminator?

Too soon for that. The UFC gave Hector Lombard a sweet deal and a huge push coming in with a long win streak and as the most recent Bellator champ in his weight class, and you see how that one worked out. That's a lot of money spent simply for the perverse bragging rights of saying the other company's champion can't hang with your top-10 guys. Askren's price is probably going to dictate where he gets slotted for his first fight, and Bellator undercutting his market value isn't going to help matters much. All things being equal -- including his relative lack of competition up until this point -- I'd say you start him with a fighter ranked toward the bottom of the top 10, and work his way up before you even consider putting him in the title picture.

@dpop2: doesn't Bjorn stance on askren sound eerily similar to what he said about alvarez?what's the deal?how this play out?

No doubt about it, Bellator leaves itself wide-open for criticism when it makes decisions like the one to not make Askren an initial offer. When you beat your chest about being the one true, sports-oriented, merit-based MMA company, then turn around and make it appear you'll let the fighter I consider their third-best pound-for-pound (behind Michael Chandler and Pat Curran) in the company walk, then, yeah, you've sort of earned whatever comes your way.

From a cold, brutal business standpoint, though, I can sort of see why they've come to their decision. Eddie Alvarez went into his so-called "free agency" period with a reputation for exciting fights. Ben Askren isn't doing the same. Does Rebney really want another Alvarez-type situation with a fighter who's not likely to ever have Alvarez's potential as a draw? Sure seems they've decided that if they can match a UFC lowball offer for Askren, they'll take him back, but they don't want to pay Alvarez/Curran money for him. On a purely business level, I'm not sure I blame them.

Should Overeem-Browne have been stopped?

@asylumrule: Been off the net for a sec. Would u have agreed if the ref would have stopped Reem vs Browne fight when Reem was teeing off?

No, no, no, no, no. Travis Browne was responding to Mario Yamasaki's questions, and when Yamasaki told him he had to start moving, Browne responded by pulling himself back to his feet. And soon thereafter, he kicked Alistair Overeem's lights out. The only reason I won't go too far in praising Yamasaki for not stopping the fight is that he also missed a blatantly illegal knee to the downed Browne along the way. But he was right in not calling off the fight.

Playing matchmaker

@kalamity113: Why do we always match up fighters together after they fight on the same card? Example: Faber and Mayday.

There's both the big-picture answer to this and then the small-picture. Big picture? When you see a fighter win in a manner which suggests he's ready for a step up the ladder, you take a look at the rest of the division and figure out what's upcoming. Who already has fights booked? Who's injured? Who is sitting there, waiting on their next opponent? That narrows down the window considerably.

So, when you've got two guys in the same division who look awesome on the same night, it makes sense to size the two up for the potential showdown, doesn't it? Which brings us to the small picture. Michael McDonald answered a lot of questions in his fight with Brad Pickett. He can use another veteran challenge. Urijah Faber has chewed up and spit out the competition this year.

The bantamweight title situation is in limbo, and fights against lower-ranked guys for both Mayday and Faber would be a case of spinning their wheels. Sometimes you match up guys coming off the same card because, you know, it makes sense.

Carlos Condit vs. Martin Kampmann

@chjobin: If Condit loses, he's down 3 in a row. Despite his fighting style, what does he become in WW? What's next for him?

Well, if the UFC kept Leonard Garcia on the roster after he went approximately 1-735-2, then they damn well better keep a spot for a guy who fights like Condit. I'm picking Condit to beat Kampmann, while by no means counting Kampmann out. But if Condit does lose, after three in a row against the champion, the next challenger, and a top 10 guy, then you'd have to give him a step back, a la Frankie Edgar vs. Charles Oliveira, and allow him the chance to rebuild.

Ronda in men's P4P?

@RobRivera: Why doesn't anyone rank @RondaRousey in top 10 p4p overall? She can beat male 135rs.

I'm not a fan of the notion of ranking women's fighters in men's pound-for-pound lists. I abide by it because it's the rules set forth in our SBNation poll, but, look at it this way: 1. We already do a women's pound-for-pound list. Do we rank men there? No. And 2. Every other sport does separate lists. You don't rank the UConn women's basketball team in the men's college basketball poll. You rank them on their merits and skills as compared to the rest of their competition. Serena Williams is tremendous in women's tennis, an all-time great champion. Is her career in any way diminished because you don't rank her in men's ATF rankings? Of course not. As long as we have a women's pound-for-pound poll, I'm not voting them in the men's poll, and that in no way undermines Ronda Rousey's achievements.

LHW rematch?

@Blanton94: you think we will see a Jon Jones vs Rashad Evans 2?

I'd be pretty surprised. Jones is already at that point where he's yapping about wanting new challenges. With a win over Alexander Gustafsson, he beats Tito Ortiz's record for light heavyweight title defenses, which was his last real stated goal at 205. He had already been yapping about heavyweight fights and a potential Anderson Silva superfight. I just can't imagine that at this point, Jones would be too jazzed about rematching an opponent he dominated for five rounds (he distinctly wasn't enthused about a Lyoto Machida rematch, either),

Rematch for GSP?

@CHINO_BANKS: with GSP being a not so exciting fighter do you think he gets a automatic rematch if he was to lose?

Wow, man. You know Georges St-Pierre is consistently one of the company's biggest pay-per-view draws, right? And the immediate Anderson Silva-Chris Weidman rematch will be one of the biggest events in UFC history? A dethroned longterm champion trying to get his belt back is money in the bank. Yeah, when GSP eventually loses, not only will he get an automatic rematch if he wants it, but it will be a gigantic seller.

How about Brown?

@crazedfishuk: given Matt Browns resurgence...where do you see his proverbial glass ceiling? Does he have a title shot case?

First off, been meaning to ask this for awhile: Is that Crazed Fishuk, or Crazed Fish U.K.? Anyway, the thing with Matt Brown is, I'm kind of surprised Brown hasn't already bled to death from ramming through every glass ceiling that he's encountered. If he had lost to Chris Cope at UFC 144, he loses five of six and he's gone from the UFC. Instead, he beats Cope and has won six straight UFC bouts in 17 months, a remarkable achievement in this era of injuries and fight fallouts.

He hasn't earned a title shot just yet, but he's well on his way to Fitching himself into one ... you know, how Jon Fitch kept winning fight after fight until he got his UFC 87 shot at GSP, because the company couldn't ignore him anymore. Except, Brown's fights are more exciting than Fitch's, by and large. Anyway, Matt Brown's earned one of his shots at the big boys in the division, so it's in his interests to see how Condit vs. Kampmann pans out and figure things out from there. A win or two over that caliber fighter? Then yes, we're talking title shot.


@AsylumRule: Who in the hell wanted Belfort vs Henderson?

C'mon, man, think outside the box. You could crown the first-ever TRT champion. Winner gets Sonnen. May as well run with it at this point.

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