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Thursday, 12/12/2013, 03:52 pm

BJPENN.COM: Quick Hits (Anderson Silva: Underdog or Favorite?)

After months and months of figuring out how to tackle a proper format for an article like this, we here at BJPENN.COM are excited to welcome you to the first edition of ‘Quick Hits’.

Inspired by roundtable discussions and television shows like ESPN’s Around the Horn, ‘Quick Hits’ will tackle some of the biggest and most controversial topics in mixed martial arts and analyze them from multiple angles. Shows like Pardon the Interruption and Around the Horn on ESPN are executed perfectly, but rarely mention anything MMA related.

Borrowing ideas from Around the Horn like “Buy or Sell” or “Out of Bounds” and adapting them to the world of mixed martial arts is something that should have been done a long time ago. Join Jon Kirschner, Jim Chadwick, Danuel Summers, Chris Taylor, Evan Stoumbelis, Brett Auten and Chris Murphy as they take a look at this week’s hottest topics:

PROBLEM: Fans are not happy with current PPV prices. Find a solution.
BUY or SELL: Tate’s stock will suffer if she loses in Round 1.
UNDERDOG or FAVORITE: Anderson Silva (vs. Chris Weidman)
THIS or THAT: Josh Barnett or Gabriel Gonzaga (More Likely UFC Champion)
GRAND FINALE: Can WSOF Become a Major Player Despite Signing UFC “Rejects”?

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 Problem:UFC PPV prices were raised by $10. Viewers are not happy. Find a solution for UFC’s recent PPV buyrate issues.

SOLUTION: The UFC has raised the prices for the upcoming UFC 168 Weidman vs. Silva 2 from $44.95 to $54/95 and $49.95 to $59.95HD. Obviously, this is not sitting very well with the millions of fans that pay for these events on a regular basis. Whether or not this price increase is for this event only is still in question. However, this brings up many questions regarding future UFC events to come. Before writing this I brought the idea of a price raise up to many friends of mine to get their opinion, and I believe they share a similar one as most. They wouldn’t have a problem with a price rise if all of the fights were worth it, and were resounding in their opinion that all fights that were worth watching were only on PPV. Although the UFC tries to compensate by having a small amount of title fights free on T.V. such as the upcoming Mighty Mouse vs. Benavidez bout. The bottom line is that fans want more fights for free. They don’t want to be obligated to have to throw down on a fight with now SIX of their friends, or go to the local “b-dubs” or Hooters just to see three to four fights on the entire card. If the UFC were willing to show more title fights on UFC Fight Nights and UFC of Fox events then it might ease the blow of a price increase. Now, away from the logistics and down to the slap in the face from UFC President Dana White.

In 2009 White was quoted in saying that he would never increase the prices on Pay Per View. What are UFC fans left to think? How can we have faith that this is only the beginning of the PPV price increase? Only time can tell, but now how can we believe anything that Dana White has to say? - Daneul Summers

BUY or SELL: Tate’s stock will suffer if she loses in Round 1.
UNDERDOG or FAVORITE: Anderson Silva (vs. Chris Weidman)
THIS or THAT: Josh Barnett or Gabriel Gonzaga (More Likely UFC Champion)
GRAND FINALE: Can WSOF Become a Major Player Despite Signing UFC “Rejects”?

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Buy or Sell: Miesha Tate’s stock will fall drastically if she is submitted in Round 1 again.

SELL: Right now when people think of women mixed martial artists in the UFC, there are two faces who come to mind, Ronda Rousey and Miesha Tate. That won’t change if “Cupcake” suffers another 1st round loss to Rousey. Her exposure from being a coach on TUF 18 an general likeableness will keep Miesha’s stock riding high even with a loss. However, the same can’t be said about Tate’s morale if she were to suffer a 2nd straight first-round defeat to Rousey. - Chris Taylor

BUY: I can see a Mega Man Boss Battle situation happening here. Ronda Rousey, just like other unbeatable fighters like Jon Jones, is someone you don’t want to gamble on losing. She is simply TOO good. She has not given anybody a reason to doubt her yet. TUF gave everyone a reason to not like Rousey and to it caused a lot of fans to jump ship and hop aboard the Miesha Tate fan-base. Like stated in the question, Tate’s stock has risen because of this. If Rousey arm-bars Tate again in Round 1, she’s going to drain and absorb any momentum Tate possessed much like Brock Lesnar did to Frank Mir at UFC 100. - Jon Kirschner

UNDERDOG or FAVORITE: Anderson Silva (vs. Chris Weidman)
THIS or THAT: Josh Barnett or Gabriel Gonzaga (More Likely UFC Champion)
GRAND FINALE: Can WSOF Become a Major Player Despite Signing UFC “Rejects”?

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Underdog or Favorite: Anderson Silva

FAVORITE: “Weidman vs. Silva 2 is quickly approaching, and people have tons of mixed emotions as to how that rematch will go.  Was the first fight a fluke? Or will Silva come into this rematch and decimate Weidman much like GSP did in his rematch with Matt Serra? There was a lot of controversy surrounding the first fight in regards to how much did Anderson really want to win.  In my opinion, Anderson did the same exact stunts he did in all of his other fights, except this time he got caught, plain and simple.  Weidman is good, very good, and he has the skills and the heart to win.  When he attempted that heel hook in the first round of the first fight I was shocked.  Nobody pulls that on Anderson.  Let’s be real here though, can you ever really call Anderson Silva the underdog? He’s broken and set nearly every record in MMA.  Anderson has the superior striking, by far, and I think when Weidman knocked him out his confidence in his striking grew. If he tries to standup and trade with Anderson it may be a very dangerous move, but on the other hand it may not, he proved his power in that first fight.  Anderson isn’t the underdog in this fight, but after Weidman’s dominant performance in the first fight, I don’t know if we can necessarily call Anderson the favorite.” - Evan Stoumbelis

THIS or THAT: Josh Barnett or Gabriel Gonzaga (More Likely UFC Champion)
GRAND FINALE: Can WSOF Become a Major Player Despite Signing UFC “Rejects”?

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This or That: More likely future UFC Heavyweight Champion: Josh Barnett or Gabriel Gonzaga.

JOSH BARNETT: Barnett has more tools in his belt than Gonzanga. Other than Fabricio Werdum, Barnett may be the most gifted grappler in the division. Barnett has an honorary jiu-jitsu black belt under Erik Paulson and is well-versed in catch wrestling, an underrated skill in MMA and Barnett has better hands than most people give him credit for. Not only that, but Barnett has an edge between the ears. Maybe more notable than his ground game is his approach to the game. ‘The Warmaster’ has been there and done that in sport. Among his 39 professional fights he is a former UFC Heavyweight Champion, the King of Pancrase Openweight Champion and was a finalist in the Pride 2006 Openweight Grand Prix and Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix tournaments. Third, and probably most important, Barnett has a much shorter path to a title shot than Gonzanga. After Barnett submits Travis Browne on Dec. 28th, he will likely get the next crack at UFC gold. - Brett Auten

GABRIEL GONZAGA: Gonzaga’s next fight will be the fight that tells us if he’s ready for another title run or not. He needs to win, and win as convincingly as he did against Shawn Jordan – that should set up a contender’s match with him and a top 3 heavyweight. – Jim Chadwick

GRAND FINALE: Can WSOF Become a Major Player Despite Signing UFC “Rejects”?

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GRAND FINALE: Does WSOF have an opportunity to establish their own brand despite signing so many cut UFC fighters?

ABSOLUTELY: They are one of the top MMA promotions around right now, which is impressive for having just 7 events thus far – and that only speaks to how far they can go. Obviously, there is the stigma of being the promotion for former UFC fighters, but that can be overcome if WSOF continues to develop its young fighters: for example, recently crowned inaugural welterweight and featherweight champions Steve Carl and Georgi Karakhanya, respectively. More than its roster of fighters, WSOF can offer something new to fans.

First, their name literally begs the promotion to push the international card like no one has done before. It would take a lot of work, but could you imagine having a WSOF USA, a WSOF Canada, a WSOF Brazil, etc. each with its own set of national champions who then compete for a world championship?

WSOF can also address one of the biggest problems in the sport today, at least from the fans’ perspective: boring fights. Right now, the UFC’s adherence to rankings and Bellator’s use of the tournament system both reward winning first and foremost. That has led to fighters looking for wins, at times leading to fights that are less than pleasing to fans. Granted, this is a sport, and the goal should always be to win; but WSOF can change the game by rewarding fighters for more than just their victories. For example, if a top contender wins a fight by three rounds of takedowns and top-position, but the number-4 contender wins an epic fight by spectacular KO, give the title fight to the latter fighter. The fans would be happy and your fighters would understand that they not only need to win, they need to put on an entertaining fight.

Essentially what it comes down to is this: the UFC has its own system, something developed over 20 years of growth and trail and error. The World Series of Fighting cannot, and should not, compete with the UFC by trying to be better within the same system. They can, however, make improvements to the system; and with the talent and potential WSOF has, there is no reason they cannot change the game and become the leading MMA promotion worldwide. - Christopher Murphy

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