With UFC 84 only hours away, I wanted to briefly revisit all the questions that should be answered in tonight’s event. I’ll come back to the post after the event (which may end being tomorrow morning) and update it with answers.
What a great event UFC 84 was. If you missed it, well, you missed it, because it was the best UFC event in recent memory, in my opinion. Answers, results and wrap-up after the jump.
Is an in-shape and fully prepared BJ Penn unbeatable?
All signs point to BJ Penn being in the best shape of his life. He’s presumably put in the hard work, improved his cardio and is fully prepared for this fight with Sean Sherk. No other lightweight in the UFC is going to test BJ like Sean will. Is BJ Penn as dominant as everyone believes he is?
Ok, unbeatable is a bit of stretch. No fighter is unbeatable but BJ shows once again that he’s pretty damn close. We didn’t get to see if BJ’s cardio could take him through for five rounds, but the way the fight was going, I don’t think he would have gassed unless Sherk was able to slam him a few times and take the wind out of his sails in the later rounds. BJ’s stand-up looked sharp as he got the better of Sherk in what was essentially a boxing match. The knee he rocked him with to end the fight was wicked.
I was little bit disappointed in myself for buying into the hype for this fight. I truly thought these two hated each other and Sherk probably did, but it was disappointing to hear BJ basically admit that all his pre-fight talk was bs.
Will we see the same Sean Sherk?
We’ve grown accustomed to seeing a quick and explosive Sean Sherk who never tires. His cardio is unmatched. But what if that was because he was on steroids? He says he’s cut the thirty supplements he used to take in half, but that’s still 13 more supplements than I’ve ever taken at one time. What really captured my attention in his UFC All Access for UFC 73 was when he said he “needs” those supplements. I’m sure most fighters take supplements, but is thirty different ones necessary? My question is are all these supplements and maybe steroids something Sean needs to feel confident in his abilities? is there some sort of mental dependency on them. It’s quite possible I’m reading to much into this, but during the weigh-ins and press conference, when Sherk and Penn had their stare-downs Sherk broke his stare with a smile, which struck me as odd. I thought he was supposed to hate him. Does Sherk really have the internal confidence to beat Penn, or is some of that confidence gone without the supplements or perhaps steroids? Will we see the same Sean Sherk?
Sherk did not look like he lost a step, although we didn’t get to see any of his explosive takedowns. His stand-up was better than I thought, and if his arms were longer than a foot it might have been a better fight. I’ll admit, I did not like Sherk after I found out he tested positive, and I’ve had plenty of questions about him, as evidenced above, but I’m satisfied now. I’ll give Sean the benefit of the doubt from here on out.
I was really surprised he didn’t try to take BJ down, especially in the third round. He wasn’t going to win on the feet. I would have liked to see how Penn would have handled it with Sherk on top. Nevertheless, decent fight, but it wasn’t the war I was hoping for.
Is Wanderlei Silva still “The Axe Murderer?”
Wanderlei is on a three fight losing streak, and we really haven’t seen Silva maul his opponents in a quite a long time. Has Wand been in so many wars that his skills are starting to diminish? Does he still have that killer inside him? He’s only 31, but he’s arguably taken more punishment during his career than a 44 year old Randy Couture. He’s stated he’s been working a lot on his wrestling and jiu-jitsu. Will Wand surprise us all and pull a new rabbit out of his hat? Are we making too much of his last three performances? Does “The Axe Murderer” still live inside of Wanderlei Silva?
So is Wanderlei Silva still “The Axe Murderer”? I think we can answer that with a giant resounding…YES!!!
I’m sorry, but I’m going to throw impartiality out the window on this one. I swear I think my head almost hit the ceiling when Wandy essentially mauled Keth Jardine. Wandy still have the killer instinct. I loved it when he dropped Jardine on his back, mounted him, Jardine tried to buck him off and Wandy grabs Jardine’s damn throat with his left hand and starts beating his face in. That is the Wanderlei so many of have grown to love. The shaved head was a nice touch too. He looked and fought like “The Axe Murderer” tonight.
I brought up in my preview post that everyone may be writing off Wanderlei too soon. There were good reasons why Wanderlei lost against three of the sport’s top competitors. It just so happened he fought them all in a row, and I think he would have a very good shot at beating two of them in the future—Henderson and Liddell. So what’s next for Wanderlei? Well I sure as hell hope it’s not a move down to middleweight. I think he proved tonight, even with a size disadvantage, he can still compete at light heavyweight. Not to mention, I really want to see him one more time against Rampage and Chuck. He doesn’t deserve a title shot yet, but if Rampage gets past Griffin, that is certainly going to be a compelling and marketable fight to make. Dave Meltzer said a few weeks ago that the winner of this fight would get Chuck next, so perhaps we’ll see that, but i would rather wait to see if the scenario of it being a title fight presents itself first. If neither of those, I would expect the UFC will give Wandy an easy one, to ensure he stays in the hunt. He could use a break.
“The Axe Murderer” is back!!!
Does Keith Jardine have trouble with highly aggresive fighters who bring the fight to him
The closest opponent to Wanderlei Silva that we have seen Keith Jardine face is Houston Alexander. Houston brought the thunder to Jardine and knocked him out. Was this a product of Jardine taking Houston lightly, or does Jardine have trouble with this type of fighter?
In light of what happened tonight, I would venture to say the latter.
Will the old Tito show up for his final UFC fight?
The Tito Ortiz we have seen in recent years is not the Tito ortiz that used to dominate inside the Octagon. Will the old Tito show up and give the biggest performance of his career? Will Tito get the last laugh?
I don’t think the Tito of old is coming back. His style just did not match up well with Machida’s elusiveness. It was obvious he was getting frustrated and I was getting frustrated for him watching it. I really don’t think this loss hurts his stock at all though. Machida got that wicked knee to the liver in, but other than that, it’s not like he got beat down. In fact, especially with that triangle Tito sunk in (where the hell did that come from?!?!) at the end of the fight, he just left people wanting to see more.
What will he say on the mic if he gets it? Will he be respectful and just thank the fans? Will he tell Dana to fuck off? Better yet, will he tell everyone to follow him to a different organization like EliteXC?
Yeah, I was stretching it with that last one. I didn’t think Tito would name-drop another org, but I wouldn’t have put it past him either. He actually remained quite classy and said he hasn’t decided if he will leave. To be honest, if he doesn’t I will kick myself for ever believing he meant it that he wasn’t coming back…again. “The I did it my way” shirt was a nice touch.
Can Lyoto Machida hang with an aggressive wrestler?
Lyoto Machida has been running through the UFC Light Heavyweight division, but he hasn’t faced that opponent yet that wants to pick him up, slam him and drive elbows into his face. Will we see a chink in Machida’s armor tonight?
Um, no we did not. I don’t know what to think of Machida. On one hand, I want to see somebody slam his face into the mat for hardly engaging. On the other hand, you have to respect his technical abilty and style. It is certainly unique and something obviously nobody has been able to figure out. He clearly deserves the next title shot, but I’m not so sure the UFC will give it to him yet. His marketability needs a lot of work.
Where the hell is Dana White?
Dana wasn’t present for the weigh-ins. According to Dave Meltzer, who seemingly knows what the UFC is doing before the UFC does, is saying Dana missed a few other UFC events late this week and that “obviously something major is wrong.” So where the hell is Dana White?
Dana White was in attendance. Who knows where he was yesterday.
- Goran Reljic has one hell of a left leg. It’s not quite as deadly as his mentor’s (Cro Cop), but he certainly has some power behind it. Gouveia is going to have a sore right arm for quite awhile.
- Sokoudjou got back on track tonight. That guy is the happiest fighter. He is always smiling. He looked pretty good tonight, and called out Shogun in the post-fight interview. I don’t think he’s ready for Shogun. Sok did not look good on the ground against Machida. Shogun would have him licked there.
- Bud Light made it’s debut at the center of the Octagon. Can someone explain to me what the hell “superior drinkability” means?
- Rousimar Palhares just might be a contender in the middleweight division. That transition into the armbar was slick.
- Thiago Silva weathered the early storm to take out Mendes. I like Thiago a lot. I think a fight with Keith Jardine would be a suitable one at this point.
- Randy Couture was trying to look inconspicuous coming out with Wanderlei. We saw you Randy. I wonder how awkward that gets backstage if he runs into White or the Fertittas.
- UFC, thank you for showing the Sokoudjou/Nakumura fight.
- B.J. Penn defeats Sean Sherk via TKO Round Three
- Wanderlei Silva defeats Keith Jardine via Knockout in Round One
- Goran Reljic defeats Wilson Gouveia via TKO (Strikes) in Round Two
- Lyoto Machida defeats Tito Ortiz via Unanimous Decision
- Thiago Silva defeats Antonio Mendes via Submission (Strikes) in Round One
- Rousimar Palhares defeats Ivan Salaverry via Submission (Armbar) in Round One
- Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou defeats Kazuhiro Nakamura via TKO (Strikes) in Round One
- Rich Clementi defeats Terry Etim via Unanimous Decision
- Yoshiyuki Yoshida defeats Jon Koppenhaver via Submission (Anaconda Choke) in Round One
- Dong Hyun Kim defeats Jason Tan via TKO (Strikes) in Round Three
- Shane Carwin defeats Christian Wellisch via Knockout in Round One