>> Saturday, August 22, 2015
Cain Velasquez is receiving an immediate rematch against Fabricio Werdum who tapped him out in Mexico City to win the belt earlier this summer. I have an issue with this increasingly common occurrence of immediate rematches. It is not good for the sport in the long run for the business, sport, or the fighters. To me it is okay under certain circumstances. It kills the ability to hype a fight, the development of fighters, and the ability for a fighter to regain their confidence. I will also discuss a few rematches that will be interesting in the future if they are made.
It kills the hype that a rematch should have. This is both a sport, and a business. So they make the immediate rematches to cash in while interest in the previous fight is still somewhat fresh in our heads. Yes the fights are still fresh in our heads, but often times unless it was a war us the fans simply are not that interest or hyped up. Remember when Cain lost to Junior Dos Santos, and then was set to fight Antonio Silva before getting the title shot and then he demolished the Brazilian giant? That got so many people interested in a rematch because we got to see him work his way back up, which in a way is not too hard in a rather thin UFC heavyweight division, but based on that performance alone we knew Cain was hungry. Going into this rematch with Werdum most of us have the image in our heads of Cain losing, unlike in the after the fight with Silva where we had the image in our heads of Cain the destroyer coming back for the crown against who at the time was the only man to defeat him. Meanwhile Dos Santos, also known as Cigano had put on a beautiful performance against Frank Mir that earned him a round two TKO. The champion was proving himself as well, and then the rematch was announced! Cain came back and destroyed Cigano. The fight sold pretty good as well, but this all would not have been possible with an immediate rematch that would built no hype. The time in between fights is needed to build that momentum needed to sell a fight properly.
A loss can be a brutal on the mind of a fighter. Sometimes the most successful guys after a loss lose the confidence they once had. Confidence and the ability to believe in yourself is what is needed for many athletes to succeed, although some find ways to use fear to their advantage. A loss brings up questions in the fighters mind and doubt begins to enter which can be detrimental to ones performance. I believe this was the case for fighters like Melvin Guillard. He felt confident enough in the cage to let his hands fly, throw what he wanted, throw as hard as he wanted etc, but after the loss to Lauzon which ended his run that go him so close to the title he has become extremely inconsistent with wins, losses, performances, and even making weight. I believe when he lost that fight the confidence he had the allowed him to get so close to grabbing gold went away. I can say the same about King Mo. In Bellator King Mo looked like a completely different fighter. He was never known for his striking before, but in his first fight for the promotion he showed great improvement in his boxing. Then he fought Emmanuel Netwon who caught Mo with a spinning back fist that resulted in a knockout. After that the former Strikeforce Champ King Mo seemed much more hesitant to do the new things he had been displaying with his boxing. It is one thing to get knocked out, but to be knocked out with an odd strike like a spinning back fist is another thing. I believe that also did some damage to his confidence, but King Mo seems to slowly be gaining that back which is a good thing. Imagine how Cain, who is extremely confident in his wrestling, feels after shooting for a takedown and getting tapped out soon after by Werdum. Who knows how hurt Cain is by this. Maybe it motivated him and he sees that he needs to improve, but it could also have hurt his mental state and maybe he needs to get a win or two before he is mentally prepared to take on Fabricio Werdum. I do not want to see a possibly weak minded and unconfident Cain step into the cage against the man who just beat him, plus a couple impressive wins would get that hype train rolling again so that fans could get a fresh image of Cain the destroyer in their heads.
|Try to imagine what Cain Velasquez is feeling in this image|
Jose Aldo vs Frankie Edgar 2
I already believe Edgar deserves a rematch, and I do believe that you could argue he beat Aldo the first time. Edgar has shown much improvement since the first fight. He does not take nearly as much damage as he used to either which I believe will play a big role here as well. I don't see Aldo being able to do as much to him. A new thing Edgar has shown is that instead of waiting to turn things up in the later rounds, which usually allowed his opponents to steal two or three rounds, he now likes to go right at it. If he could do that to Aldo then he tire out the champ sooner, and potentially get that gold.
Conor McGregor vs Max Holloway 2
This fight shall be soon upon us I believe. I see either Holloway getting a title shot if he beats Charles Olivera in a few days and wins another fight after. Conor tore his ACL during the fight, and it was the only fight so far in the UFC that Conor has not finished. It was an alright fight for both guys, but now I see this fight being completely different. I see the fight this time around involving no takedowns or grappling. I see it being a strictly kickboxing match. Soon though... soon.
Benson Henderson vs Anthony Pettis 3
I am seriously that convinced Benson can beat Pettis. He has made some nice adjustments and added a few new things to his striking, and I believe he can get the job done. Sadly, I do not believe we will ever see a third fight.
Demetrious Johnson vs Kyoji Horiguchi 2
I still believe that Horiguchi still has the greatest chance of anyone to defeat the pound for pound king Demetrious Johnson no matter how one sided the fight was. I see so much that Horiguchi could take advantage of on the feet. The Japanese MMA star seemed a little hesitant to do the things he usually does in my opinion. Don't get me wrong though I believe it would be a hard fight for Horiguchi even if he did do the things I thought he should have been doing. They are all really tiny things, but I feel they would have a big effect on the champ. Nobody in the division is a better grappler than Mighty Mouse, and he dominated Horiguchi largely on the mat. Horiguchi in a recent interview said the he is really focusing on his grappling now, and aims to pick up more submission wins. Improving his ability to defend takedowns, which was never bad, and grappling defense will be key to success in a rematch. Although Johnson always comes back much more dominant in rematches and has the great ability to adapt mid-fight.