I was a guest this week on CSN Washington's The Fight Fix with host Dustin Green. We talked about what lies in store for UFC 130 now that the main event between Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard is gone. I discuss:
- What impact that fight's removal will have on pay-per-view buys.
- Whether or not Quinton Jackson can or will step up and be the promotional driver the UFC needs to be.
- The more interesting and frankly overlooked fights on this card.
- My predictions for the main, co-main and feature fights.
You can also see The Fight Fix at CSNWashington.com.
21 secs, on how badly losing Edgar-Maynard III hurts UFC 130: "I don't think it hurts that badly. It's certainly problematic. It was the crown and jewel of the card. It was the only fight for a title. But if you look at the card - this wasn't UFC 129, this wasn't UFC 126, not all of them can be. The charm of this card is that it had a bunch of UFC stars - mid-tier stars - in important fights. All of the fights are still important, but the reality is the rematch between Edgar & Maynard didn't do that well on pay-per-view. There was a lot of buzz about it. So, does it hurt the card? Yes. Does it substantially hurt the card in terms of pay-per-view buys? I don't think it actually does hurt that bad."
1:06, on whether or not Rampage as the main event can make up for Edgar-Maynard III: "Yea, so I said previously that there were no huge stars. Rampage is obviously a pretty big star, but this fight's kinda complicated. I wanna be very sensitive about this. Can Rampage do a lot for this card? Well obviously. Rampage is a huge star for the UFC. He's been a former champion. But there's questions about his enthusiasm, about the fight promotion process. To what extent is he gonna actually be involved in the heavy lifting now that Edgar & Maynard aren't there to even do any interviews. It's kind of problematic. And one thing that needs to be known abut Matt Hamill - listen everyone loves Matt Hamill. I'm a Matt Hamill fan. I'm sure you are as well. But I do think in terms of his ability to get out there and do promotion - I want to be very sensitive about this - his disability does kind of hamper him a little bit, right? He can't get on the phone and do phone interviews and a lotta guys get out and do that. And as a consequence, leading into a fight, he's a little bit M.I.A. heading into it. Now again, he's a top level competitor. I think quite frankly he's got a bit of an upset here on his hands if he can make it happen against Rampage. But the heavy lifting, as I mentioned before, is gonna be on Rampage. Is he willing to do it? I don't know."
2:16, on the rest of card: "I think this is actually an excellent card. Again, is it UFC 129? No. Is it Jake Shields and George St. Pierre? No. But I tell you what, there are some awesome, awesome, awesome fights on this card. First, now on the pay-per-view card - it was previously gonna be on Spike TV - Rick Story taking on Thiago Alves. I'm telling, take my word: that is going to be a barn burner. And, more importantly, it's important for the welterweight division and those 2 guys' careers. More importantly, Brian Stann vs Jorge Santiago. Jorge Santiago arguably had the fight of the year last year against Kazuo Misaki. Brian Stann had that BOMB of a performance against Chris Leben. Another important fight for the middleweight division and kind of a classic striker vs grappler fight. I think - Nelson & Mir, Struve-Browne - lotta good fights on that card actually."
3:03, on the future of the 155lb division: "It's problematic, right? It was supposed to be that there was gonna be a winner here and then we were gonna find out who some contenders were gonna be with this Anthony Pettis-Clay Guida fight. And, I quite frankly think that this Ben Henderson-Jim Miller fight might also tell us little bit about contenders. Now we got a lil' bit of an issue. I think if the fight gets delayed long enough, I personally believe the winner of Henderson vs Miller is probably gonna fight Pettis vs Guida - the winner of that fight - for a title shot. It creates a lot of problems. Would an interim title belt help things? I think it would actually kind of complicate matters. But I will say the longer this gets pushed off, the more contenders get pushed into important fights and win them, and create hierarchy without a championship resolution there. The UFC 155lb division is in turmoil to be candid."
3:51, main event & co-main event picks: "Main event - I definitely like Rampage to win the fight, although I do think it's a question about his motivation. Matt Hamill is a little bit past his athletic prime, but I think he's a helluva competitor. Strong guy. I just think the way in which he's gonna go for takedowns - Rampage has a natural double-underhook defense that...I dunno...I think that Hamill's gonna have a hard time getting around. But, if Rampage comes in unprepared, I do expect Hamill to be a live dog there. In the co-main event: Frank Mir, Roy Nelson - I kinda like Roy Nelson big there. I'm not too high on Frank Mir's offensive wrestling. And I think that he's got a bit of a Jiu Jitsu mentality even when he strikes, which is...they always say 'use what they give you, use what they give you.' I don't mean he's a defensive fighter or even a counter fighter, but he kinda, a little bit, let's the other guy set the pace, which is the kinda fight Roy Nelson loves. I also think he's a better and harder striker over the long haul. I like Roy Nelson there."