Friday night, Dominick Reyes made quick work of Chris Weidman adding yet another loss to the former middleweight champion’s record. So let’s talk about UFC Boston, Greg Hardy, and the looming BMF title fight.
UFC Boston fallout.
Well considering the results of Friday night, we no longer need to answer both of these questions. Reyes starched Weidman in under two minutes and while it’s certainly an impressive performance, I don’t think it necessitates a title shot.
Sure, the UFC can and probably will give him one. But objectively speaking, knocking out a middleweight who had been KO’d in four of his last five fights prior is not exactly a feat that cemnts a No. 1 contender. It’s why I always hated that fight being made in the first place. A win does little for Reyes and completely nerfs Weidman’s move to 205 before it even started. The UFC is so desperate to get Jon Jones in there with someone with some name value instead of the morass of create-a-fighters that is the light heavyweight division that they’ve really dropped the ball and fed a pair of former champions into the arms of early retirement.
Anyway, Dominick Reyes is likely the most deserving guy at the time. But I find it hard to believe anyone is going to be too excited about the fight, including Jones. Reyes’ callout after finishing Weidman was his chance to really cement something, and instead, he proffered the most forgettable speech in recent memory. If you can’t be more excited about a title shot after KOing a former champion in your first main event, then why the hell is anyone else going to be excited to watch you fight?
Now, to be fair, I think Reyes can at least provide some interesting threats to Jones. But ultimately we’re talking about one of the best fighters of all time and Reyes seemed about as interested in fighting Jones as you or I would be. So sure, let Reyes fight for the title. He’ll lose but maybe once that’s over Jon will finally move to heavyweight and we can be interested in his career again.
Oh, and for the record, had Weidman won, they would have of course given him the shot and it would have been among the least deserved title shots in history.
What is the ceiling for the Meatball Molly Mccann in UFC...is she champion material? Over Gillian or Macy?— Secret Beast (@TheGatesOfRa) October 18, 2019
First of all, I’d like to just say that Molly McCann is delightful. She’s a genuinely good person and a great interview. Also, she’s a pretty damn good fighter.
But she’s never going to be a UFC champion.
McCann is gritty, well-rounded, and smart enough to to stay relevant and win more than she loses. But her lack of athleticism and dynamism put a real cap on how high she can climb. Because she’s got a great personality and a built in fan base, it’s possible Meatball can string together enough wins for a title shot, should things break right. But I think we’re likely to see her in a Michelle Waterson-like career—popular, but never quite able to win the big one.
Paint the picture for us of what it will be like for the UFC if Greg Hardy becomes their Heavyweight champ. Good for the UFC? Bad? Do they care?— Paul Garcia (@hpaulg) October 18, 2019
ICYMI, Greg Hardy won on Friday, until he didn’t. Hardy’s win was overturned do to the use of an inhaler. I’m not here to defend Greg Hardy the person, but overturning that win is a real clown shoes move as it’s cleared by USADA, and he asked for permission to use it from a commission employee.
However, the sheer fact that he needed an inhaler after a slow-paced two rounds of action where he was controlling everything, should tell you all you need to know about Hardy’s chances of becoming heavyweight champion. I’ve been firmly on the record saying that Hardy’s athleticism and the dumpster fire of the heavyweight division meant he’d become a perennial top-10 fighter. But I’m walking that all the way back now, because holy hell, that dude is either physiologically incapable of getting cardio, or he just doesn’t train it. In Hardy’s defense, he did look like a much improved fighter overall. But if he can only kinda bang for 10 minutes, he’ll lose to anyone worth their salt. That being said, if he can somehow put in the road time, I still think he’s got a lot of potential and the UFC would be friggin’ thrilled if he became the champion. Controversy sells tickets, Paul.
Speaking of Greg Hardy
From which sports do you see professional athletes transitioning to MMA and having the most success? I feel like football is trending to be the best source of raw talent.— Vinh Luu (@ninjalimits) October 15, 2019
I assume we’re taking wrestling, BJJ, and kickboxing out of the equation, because if not, it would clearly be those three sports, in that order. If you’re talking stick and ball sports, football wins by default.
There are dozens of fighters on the UFC roster with a football background and a number of NFL washouts that made legitimate careers in MMA. Along those lines, rugby also produces a number of talented fighters, though certainly fewer than American football has given to MMA.
Speaking of other sports and MMA
Which current American wrestler could reach a UFC title the fastest?— Harvard2TheBigHouse (@Harvard2H) October 16, 2019
The answer has to be Kyle Snyder. I mean this with 100 percent seriousness, there’s a non-zero chance he could beat up Stipe Miocic right now. I don’t think it’s super likely, but it’s also not completely out of the realm of possibility. Snyder is an athletic freak and one of the best wrestlers in the world, even though he’s slipped some as of late. Those two facts alone make him a threat to every single person in the heavyweight division, from day one of his career.
Outside of heavyweight, probably David Taylor just because middleweight is currently undergoing a massive upheaval and his style of wrestling would transition well to MMA, I believe.
Oh, and the person most likely to actually do it is Bo Nickal, who should be jumping over to MMA next year as he’s stuck riding second fiddle to J’den Cox. If you don’t know who Nickal is, you’ll soon find out.
Bantamweight seems to be stacking up with potentials and contenders, does Cejudo leave Flyweight behind despite "reviving" the division? He mentioned the loss to Benavidez still irks him, is that enough to stick around for the extra weight cut?— De'Corbin Mendencalf (@chief_corb) October 16, 2019
Doubtful. All the fun fights for him are at 135 pounds. There’s really no reason for him to go back down, plus, following a move to bantamweight and an extended layoff, I think it’ll be hard for him to even want to consider dropping the weight again.
Are Wrestling specialists and Striking specialists superior to BJJ specialists in modern MMA as @BrendanSchaub suggested.— UFC Benson (@ufcbenson) October 16, 2019
I can’t believe I’m saying this but, I agree with Brendan Schaub. It’s MMA and you need all the skills, but wrestling has been the most important one for awhile and the MMA metagame has adapted itself to the point where BJJ is just not as much of a factor as it once was. BJJ is the most versatile of the arts, and can get you by in a lot of areas. But it’s third on the totem pole at the moment.
When you think we can watch Luke Rockhold in the Octagon again?????— JE$U$ $ARMIENTO (@JESUSSARMIENTO2) October 17, 2019
Likely not ever again and good for him. I hope Chris Weidman follows suit soon.
Do you think if Colby wins do you think he’ll challenge Israel? If so how do you think he matches up? I think he’d do quite well (I really don’t like him either but he’s a good fighter)— Chris (@_Buttonzz) October 15, 2019
I don’t think he will because I think he’ll want to fight the BMF winner first, but it wouldn’t be a bad call out by any means. I honestly hadn’t considered that fight before now and frankly, I don’t hate it for Covington.
The thing about Covington is his game is built to be a problem for most everyone unless they are a predatory offensive dynamo. Pressure and pace and relentless cardio is the most simple recipe in MMA, but it’s also among the most effective. Ultimately, Adesanya is too offensively potent, though, so I believe he’d pick off Colby coming in too often and stem the tide, but there’s a definite avenue for victory for Covington. Consistent pressure, not lunging shots like Whittaker made, is the way to off-kilter Izzy. Perhaps one day we’ll get to see it.
Speaking of the BMF title.
Who does winner of Diaz/Masvidal fight? Title fight or one more big fight needed before then?— Connor Winks (@ConnorWinks) October 17, 2019
The winner of the BMF title probably ends up fighting Conor McGregor, if anyone with a brain is involved. Aside from that being the biggest fight the UFC can make next year, you have to imagine it would pique the interest of Conor, the possibility of becoming the first triple champion in UFC history.
The reality is, the BMF title is legitimately more prestigious than the welterweight belt at this point. That seems like sacrilege to say about the most historic division in the sport, but belts are really just promotional tools and though Kamaru Usman is the best welterweight alive at the moment, he’s far from the most popular. At the end of the day, MMA is a spectator sport, and more people want to spectate this fake belt than the UFC’s real one. The winner of Usman-Covington will surely want to take on the winner of Masvidal-Diaz but the BMF champion should have bigger fish to fry.
Who wins the BMF belt?
How the fuck will Masvidal Vs. Diaz go? Most awaited fight— Kuya Ce (@CelioCumba) October 16, 2019
Here’s the other reason why I expect Conor to come after the BMF title holder: because Nate Diaz is going to win the belt. When the fight was first announced, I reflexively went with Masvidal as my pick, because I think Masvidal has been one of the very best fighters—full stop—in the last decade. But he never seemed to get his due until recently.
After mulling it over, I think Diaz is going to be a terrible style matchup for him. Both Masvidal and Diaz are exceedingly skilled in all facets of the game, and in fact share some similarities, but the biggest differences in their styles are that Masvidal has more power while Diaz pushes a more aggressive pace. I just can’t see Masvidal’s power affecting Diaz in a way that will keep him off Street Jesus and so, as the fight wears on, I think Diaz will start to bury him in offense. On top of that, Nate is a sneaky good clinch fighter, and I think he can sap energy and win rounds that way, on top of just being more active than Masvidal, who has lost a number of bad decisions purely because he didn’t do enough offensively.
So, Nate Diaz is going to defend his own personal belt and then why on Earth would he possibly want to fight either Usman or Covington, two atrocious matchups for him? Nope. Diaz wins, and then it’s finally time to pull the trigger on Conor-Nate III, just after Dana backs up the Brinks truck for Nate.
Thanks for reading this week, and thank you for everyone who sent in Tweets! Do you have any burning questions about at least tacitly related to combat sports? Then you’re in luck because you can send your Hot Tweets to me, @JedKMeshew and I will answer them! Doesn’t matter if they’re topical or insane. Get weird with it. Let’s have fun.