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Well they've made a right balls up getting here but they've managed to cobble together a pretty strong lineup in the end. On Saturday 3rd November, the Octagon is back in Madison Square Garden. 

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PPV MAIN CARD
Daniel Cormier vs Derrick Lewis - Heavyweight Title

Chris Weidman vs Jacare Souza 

David Branch vs Jared Cannonier

Karl Roberson vs Jack Marshman   

Derek Brunson vs Israel Adesanya 
 

FOX SPORTS 1 PRELIMS
Jason Knight vs Jordan Rinaldi

Sijara Eubanks vs Roxanne Modafferi

Julio Arce vs Sheymon Moraes

Ben Saunders vs Lyman Good

 

FIGHT PASS PRELIMS
Lando Vannata vs Matt Frevola 

Shane Burgos vs Kurt Holobaugh 

Brian Kelleher vs Montel Jackson 

Adam Wieczorek vs Marcos Rogerio De Lima  

 

Bout order's probably all to cock, I'll update it as and when. Like I say, not a bad card at all. Nowhere near as stacked as the first two MSG shows and it could've been better but, well, it could've been a fair bit worse. And very nearly was.

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Madison Square Garden. The World's Most Famous Arena. The original MSG was built in 1879. It was rebuilt, renovated and relocated a bunch of times over the next 100-odd years but it's always been where it's at as far as the glitz, the glamour and the big events. The history of MSG is incredible. Everyone who was anyone has performed there. From Elvis, Jimi Hendrix, Michael Jackson, John Lennon, Bob Marley, KISS, Madonna, SD Jones, the lot. 

Sports have also been a huge part of the Garden's rich history. All manner of sports but I'll focus on the three I give a fuck about here. Some snippets from MSG's history with sports of the combat variety...

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1951: Rocky Marciano knocked out the legendary but past-it Joe Louis in 8 rounds. Louis never fought again, retiring with a 66-3 record. Marciano retired, undefeated 49-0 record intact, four years later. 

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1971: The Garden hosted the first Muhammad Ali vs Joe Frazier fight. Both were unbeaten. Ali was 31-0 with 25 knockouts, Frazier was 26-0 with 23 knockouts. It was the first time two unbeaten boxers had faced off for the heavyweight strap and they called it 'The Fight Of The Century'. An estimated 300 million people watched the fight around the world. It's not as famous as their brutal third fight, 'The Thrilla In Manila' but it's a classic in its own right. Frazier won the fight on points, knocked Ali down in 15th round and handed him his first loss and a nasty swollen jaw to go with it. 

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1983: SUPER-SUPER-SUPERFLY! Everyone on here will know all about this one. Here you see Jimmy Snuka taking time out from murdering to hit his signature Superfly Splash on Don Muraco. To young fans today this is no big deal in an era when you regularly see 9 stone weekend wrestlers in trackies diving off high places in school gyms in front of 14 and a half people but back in '83 this shite was unheard of. The match, and more specifically the splash, famously (in wrestling circles anyway) inspired a young Mick Foley, who was in attendance that night, to become a wrestler. 

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1984: "Thunderlips is here! In the flesh, babeeey!" Hulk Hogan, fresh out of the clutches of Verne Gagne and into the WWF, pisses right through the Iron Sheik in a few minutes to become the WWF champion for the first time. Hulkamania was born. 

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1985: The first WrestleMania. Vince brought out the big guns for this one. His new golden boy the Hulkster on top proving he was never a racist, teaming with Mr fucking T, when T was a mega TV star, in the main event. Crazy times. Celebrities in wrestling is a thing now but it wasn't then. Add Roddy Piper at his bastard heel best, Andre The Giant plus Cyndi Lauper and Muhammad Ali popping in for a cup of tea and you've got quite the event. 

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1991: Bret Hart and Mr Perfect had an all-time classic at SummerSlam for the Intercontinental title. To this day one of my favourite wrestling matches ever. Bret was coming into his peak years in ring and, even with a knackered back, Mr Perfect was something else. 

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1994: WrestleMania X. The 10th anniversary of 'Mania so it only made sense to return to the Garden. Fond memories of this show. You had some cack on there but it was far outweighed by the two tremendous matches everyone associates this show with years later. That ladder match between Shawn Michaels and Razor Ramon blew my simple innocent 9 year old mind at the time. And the Bret vs Owen opener is about as close to perfect as a wrestling match gets IMO. We also got Burt Reynolds, Doink & Dink and Howard Finkel in a wig! 

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1996: Big Daddy's Home. New York's own Riddick Bowe took on undefeated Andrew Golota. Bowe was fresh off his legendary trilogy against Evander Holyfield, a series he won 2-1. He was the favourite going in but Golota took it to him and was ahead on the scorecards when, for reasons known only to him, he repeatedly punched Bowe in the bollocks. And it wasn't like he was accidentally clipping him low. These were full on haymakers to the spuds. In the 7th he unleashed about a 3 or 4 punch combo to Bowe's balls and that was it. The ref DQ'd Golota. Chaos ensued and both sets of cornermen started brawling. The violence then spilled into the crowd and spectators, and a riot broke out. This was all televised and made the Khabib and McGregor handbags from the other week look like a mild disagreement. Amazingly, they did a rematch and Golota did it again, smashed Bowe's ballbag to smithereens and got DQ'd again. Complete lunatic. I don't think Bowe had any more kids after 96, funnily enough. 

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1996: Survivor Series 96 is one of my personal favourite wrestling shows ever. It came right at the cross section of the Cartoon Era ending and what would be known as the Attitude Era beginning. So we got a right odd and wonderful mish-mash of characters on this one. Sid was cheered on wildly as he dethroned babyface champ Shawn Michaels in the main event, twatting him with a camera, clearly shouting 'FUCK YOU' twice at him and causing Shawn's OAP manager Jose Lothario to have a heart attack at ringside. Also, Bret Hart returned to face Stone Cold Steve Austin in a tremendous match and the undercard saw the likes of Vader, Superfly Snuka, Goldust, Jake The Snake, a knock-off Razor and Diesel, The Undertaker looking like a butch dominatrix and the debut of some Rocky chap. Some show. 

2004: It's the 20th anniversary of WrestleMania and...

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Ahh shit. OK, it wasn't ALL a bowl of cherries. At the time, as a workrate perv who was just getting balls deep into internet wrestling fandom and Meltzer star rating wankery, this was basically porn to a fan like me. Seeing Chris Benoit and Eddie Guerrero on top of the wrestling world, on the biggest show ever, in the 'world's most famous arena'...it was some moment. It's all ruined now though. I don't think I could ever watch that post-match bit again, with Nancy and Daniel in the ring. 

Skipping forward...

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2011: This probably isn't one that'll jump out to most. But Miguel Cotto getting revenge against that horrible cunt Antonio Margarito was something I won't forget in a hurry. Cotto's always been one of my all time favourite boxers and, by all accounts, he's one of the nicest, classiest and most honourable men in a game not known for them. An all-round good egg. So when Margarito bashed Cotto up in their first fight back in 2008 it was hard to watch. And the sour taste got even more sour when Margarito got caught with loaded gloves (Plaster of Paris, if I recall right) later on. A dirty shit of a fighter and he showed no remorse in the buildup to the rematch. Margarito came into the fight with a fucked up eye, he shouldn't have been cleared to fight to be honest. I didn't want to see him go blind or anything but I can't lie that seeing Cotto batter him, stop him and then just coldly staring at him was so satisfying to watch. 

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2016: After years and years of campaigning and jumping through legal hoops, it finally happened. The state of New York legalised MMA. The UFC brought a monster of a card for their debut at the Garden. In the headliner Conor McGregor made history, knocking out Eddie Alvarez to become the first UFC double champion. The undercard featured Woodley vs Wonderboy for the welterweight title, Jedrzejczyk vs Kowalkiewicz for the strawweight strap, Yoel Romero kneeing Weidman's head into the 17th row before telling Bisping he loved him, and Khabib ripping Michael Johnson's arm off. Quite a night. 

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2017: The UFC returned to MSG with a second stacked card. This time welterweight GOAT Georges St Pierre returned after a 4 year layoff, going up in weight to submit and dethrone middleweight champ Michael Bisping, cementing his legacy as the best to ever do it even further. Undercard that night saw TJ Dillashaw twat Cody Garbrandt into oblivion, THUG ROSE, THUG ROSE, THUG ROSE scored the shock KO over Joanna Jedrzejczyk to become the 115lbs champ and Paulo Costa wrecked Fatty Hendricks which is always a good time. 

So with the UFC making the November PPV an MSG tradition, what would the 2018 instalment bring?...

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It had to be something mega. It just had to be. Months and months out the speculation was rumbling. The UFC made us wait and wait. And the longer we waited, naturally, it only added to the speculation and raised hopes. Would it be Khabib vs Conor? With hindsight, thank fuck it wasn't, eh? Would it be Brock Lesnar? GSP's next fight? Jon Jones' return? Was Cain Velasquez coming back? Nick Diaz? Would it be some mad superfight like GSP vs McGregor? 

Well in October, just weeks before show time...the UFC finally announced it. 

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Shevchenko vs Eubanks. 

If only it was that Eubanks. No. It was annnounced that the main event would be a flyweight title fight between Valentina Shevchenko and Sijara Eubanks. Who? 

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Sijara Eubanks. Still not ringing any bells? It's OK, Joe Rogan doesn't know who she is either.  

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"No offence but I don't even know who Sijara Eubanks is and...I'm the commentator for the UFC." - Joe Rogan 

That was his legit reaction when he heard the news on his podcast. 

Of course, the announcement was met with a mixture of outrage, confusion, laughter, back to confusion, back to outrage. Just such an odd choice. Even shitter was they were sacking off a much better Shevchenko vs Jedrzejczyk fight for this load of old bollocks. The decision was unanimously and universally panned. I didn't see any fucker defending it. 

Thankfully the UFC listened and scrambled for something, anything else.

Now we got this. 

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SHEEEEIIT! Daniel 'DC' Cormier vs Derrick 'The Black Beast' Lewis for the heavyweight title. It's happening. A mismatch on paper? Yes. But I'm so much happier and more invested in this than that shite sandwich we were going to get. 

And no doubt with this announcement Rogan's gone from this...

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To this...

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This is one of those fights that could be awesome or awful or hilarious or a mix of the lot. 

We last saw DC back in July. As 205lbs champ he went up to challenge heavyweight champ and wrecking ball on a streak Stipe Miocic. Everyone thought DC's only real chance was to outwrestle Stipe but most felt Stipe was just too big and too good and didn't fancy DC's chances. I know I didn't. 

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But he did it. Knocked out Miocic in the first round to become the second only double champ in UFC history. 

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As if that wasn't enough, he was lining up for a colossal fight and payday. 

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Brock Lesnar was in attendance, got in DC's face, shoved him then called everyone a "piece of shit" and fucked off again. 

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The night belonged to Daniel Cormier though. 

The plan from there was set out. DC was vocal and determined that he was going to retire by the time he hit 40, so by March 2019. The plan was to get two more fights in before then. The Lesnar fight was looking like early 2019 and potential fights at 205 that were rumoured for DC like vs Gustafsson or Romero, DC shot down. With Jones and Lesnar the two obvious choices, yet no clear timetable for either man's return, things went a bit quiet on the Cormier front. 

Meanwhile Derrick Lewis was plugging away in the heavyweight division. Bad back and all. After a loss to Mark Hunt in June 2017, Lewis bounced back with a stoppage win over Marcin Tybura. Then on the undercard of Cormier's fight with Miocic, Lewis faced off with Francis Ngannou. A fight that looked like a proper Clash Of The Titans going in...turned out it was fucking awful. Lewis won a decision, mostly on account of Ngannou doing NOTHING the whole fight. 

But the Black Beast rolled on. Back in the win column and still as entertaining as ever outside the cage and on social media etc. 

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His next fight was booked for UFC 229, on the undercard of Khabib vs McGregor. A huge opportunity. He'd be up against 6'7" Russian Alexander Volkov. A horrible matchup on paper for the Beast. As I said in the 229 thread, Volkov had big Derrick outgunned in almost every area from size to speed to technique to youth. And he was coming in off a huge knockout win over Werdum. I really didn't like Lewis' chances. Again, outgunned in every area. Except one. Power. 

For about 14:30 of the 15 minute fight, Volkov was showing why my prediction was right. He was schooling Lewis while Lewis plodded about looking all sad, dejected and like he just wanted to go home, eat some ribs and throw his wife's legs in the air. He looked well miserable. 

Then all of a sudden, with just seconds left in a fight he was losing handily...

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THWACK! Lewis fucking wallops him and that's that. Lewis by KO at 4:49 of the 3rd round. With just 11 seconds to go! 

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Rogan was beside himself. 

And the post-fight interview was pure gold. 

Rogan: I'm here with the winner Derrick Lewis. Derrick why did you take your pants off? 

Lewis: MY BALLS WAS HOT.

Rogan: I understand.

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Rogan: Listen Derrick, you came into this fight the number two contender. With that knockout you're absolutely one of the top guys in line for a shot at the title next. So tell us what you think about that. 

Lewis: I need to sit my black ass down, do some mo' cardio. Fuck what you talkin' about right now. I ain't tryin' to fight for no title right now. Not with no gastank like that. SHEEEEIIT. 

But here we are. And you must watch this promo. Now. 

:laugh: 

Don't disrespect the Popeyes.

After the ugly scenes at 229, this is exactly what's needed. 

 

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Chris Weidman vs Jacare Souza could've been a title fight back in 2014/15. Both have had some setbacks since then but although it's not for a belt now, it's still a fascinating fight IMO. Of course, it was meant to be Luke Rockhold rematching Weidman here but Rockhold's out injured. I'm happy with this though, I think I prefer this anyway. Both kind of have something to prove here. Weidman's the former champ and the man who ended Anderson Silva's reign of terror. But in recent years he's struggled and was stopped 3 times in a row by Rockhold, Romero and Mousasi. No shame losing to those 3 but losing all those fights back to back was just brutal. He did bounce back and submit Kelvin Gastelum last time out but that's been over a year ago now. He needs to get back in there and get shit done. Jacare is coming off a points loss to Gastelum in a great fight at UFC 224 in May. It feels like he's lost a step, which at 38 is no surprise, but he's still a beast. He knocked out Derek Brunson in a round in January and had his moments against Gastelum so he's far from shot. 

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Should be a hell of a fight. On the feet it's probably a bit of a tossup, they're both dangerous. It's the grappling where this gets really interesting though so I hope it goes to the ground at some point. Jacare's grappling accolades speak for themselves. He's one of the most decorated grapplers in the game. But Weidman's no joke either on the mat himself. I'd give Jacare the advantage of course but I'd like to see how Weidman's grappling stacks up with Jacare's under MMA rules. Can't wait to see this fight. 

 

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David Branch vs Jared Cannonier was meant to be Jacare vs Branch. Decent fight. I'm just glad Branch was able to stay on the card. I think he's almost criminally underrated but I kind of understand why because he hasn't yet had those big signature wins on the UFC stage. But he's good, he's really good. He did stop Thiago Santos last time out. And before the loss to Rockhold he'd put together a 11 fight winning streak. Cannonier is 10-4, he's not bad. Has a win over Ion Cutelaba. He's lost every time he's stepped up though and is coming off 2 losses on the bounce. 

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Solid fight here. Cannonier hasn't got the best résumé but he has taken Glover Teixeira and Jan Blachowicz the distance. He's tough and he's going to have a go. But I think Branch does him. He's just better at everything for me and he'd no doubt been training like a demon for Jacare whereas Cannonier was taken off a later card to fill in here. 

 

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Karl Roberson vs Jack Marshman could be a bit of a standup war. Roberson is 6-1 in MMA. He subbed Darren Stewart last year and his only loss is to Cezar Ferreira. He also went 5 rounds with Jerome Le Banner in a Kickboxing bout in 2015 which, even against an ageing JLB, is an achievement in itself. Wales' Marshman is 22-7 and was a headliner on the UK MMA scene for years. His UFC run hasn't been the most successful, he's gone 2-2, but the losses were to Thiago Santos and Shoeface, no shame there. He had a great scrap with Ryan Janes on the Scotland card last year. Can see this being a good ruck. 

 

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Brunson vs Adesanya is ***WAND'S ONE TO WATCH*** for 230. Love this. Really feel like these two have serious potential to be threats to the title down the road with little adjustments here and there. Brunson is another guy who doesn't get the credit he deserves for me. He's got some losses but I think he's capable of more than we've seen so far and even the losses were mostly to elite guys like Whittaker, Jacare, Romero. He's knocked out Machida, Uriah Hall and I thought he beat Anderson. Adesanya is the big hot prospect at 185. Charismatic, tall for the weight, top level striking, tons of Kickboxing experience, undefeated at 14-0 in MMA so far. He looked really good against Brad Tavares last time out. 

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Could be a fantastic fight this. But what I like is I think it's the first real hard test for Adesanya so we should get some questions answered on him here. They've stepped him up gradually so far, it's rare that the UFC are patient moving their prospects along but in this case I think they've done it right. I think it's time for this kind of test now. Let's see what he's got. Can see Brunson's wrestling giving Adesanya real issues here but we'll see. 

 

Oh and Sijara 'Who?' Eubanks is still on the card, but not against Shevchenko. The UFC decided to reschedule that Shevchenko vs Jedrzejczyk fight, logic prevails! 

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Sijara Eubanks vs Roxanne Modafferi 2 is what they went with. Their first fight doesn't show on either woman's record. They fought on TUF so it doesn't count on their pro records. Anyway, Eubanks won by decision. She's 3-2 overall in MMA, Modafferi is the much more experienced with a lacklustre journeywoman's record of 22-14. Still can't believe they were seriously going to have Sijara Eubanks headline MSG! 

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Can't say I'm arsed about this fight. All I even remember of Eubanks is that she struggled making weight on TUF, to the point she had to cut her dreadlocks in one episode to hit the weight. I vaguely recall thinking she looked decent in her fights on TUF, and I think it was Noah Southworth on here who was bigging her up, but she can't be that good at 3-2. 

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Julio Arce vs Sheymon Moraes is a bit of a shot in the dark for me. Can't say I've seen much Arce (ooh-er) but he's 15-2 and submitted Daniel Teymur. So not bad. Moraes I'm slightly more familiar with. Mostly because he fought Zabit Magomedsharipov not too long ago. He's 10-2 and seems a decent fighter from memory. 

 

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Lando Vannata vs Matt Frevola will be worth your time because it's Lando Vannata. Patchy UFC record but he's so much fun to watch I hope they keep him around. Frevola is 6-1 and is a Serra-Longo guy. That's about all on him. 

 

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Shane Burgos vs Kurt Holobaugh is probably going to be an exciting fight from what I remember of these guys' styles. Burgos is 10-1 with his only loss being against Calvin Kattar in a good fight at UFC 220. I recall him doing well before Kattar got him late. Before that he'd gone 3-0 in the UFC. Holobaugh is 17-5, most of his wins by submission and he has a win over Gesias Cavalcante, who was a pretty big name and top fighter in the lighter weight classes years ago. 

 

So there you go. UFC 230. MSG. 

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HOT BALLS. 

Edited by wandshogun09

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You've outdone yourself this time, wand. Cracking read, loved that MSG build-up. By the way:

15 minutes ago, wandshogun09 said:

It's a fight you know Welshman especially is going to be well up for as well.

I'm sure he is, but Marshman's in a different match.

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I do love DC, but Lewis as champion is just so ridiculous, that I'll be cheering Lewis as he does his best not to tap out because he's tired of this cardio shit.

It's mad how far Weidman v Rockhold have fallen since their last great fight. As wand points out, they were (rightly) regarded as the two best in the world at MW, but their change in fortunes shows you how ruthless the sport is. I like both fighters, but, in all regards, I'll be pulling for Handsome Luke. 

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They've fallen so far that wand is now calling Chris a Welshman.

It really is astounding just how both guys seemed to crumble so quickly. With Weidman, it almost seemed like Rockhold had taken his soul, and then had Bisping do the exact same thing to him. They're both pros, but I do wonder in Rockhold's case if the modelling has caused him to take his eye off the ball a bit - it's a bit of a reach, but I can't think of any other reason as to why he suddenly took a nosedive.

Both guys have done an Anthony Pettis in this regard. Flying high, with everyone touting them as the dominant new generation, then inexplicably crashing for a bit.

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10 hours ago, wandshogun09 said:

 All I even remember of Eubanks is that she struggled making weight on TUF, to the point she had to cut her dreadlocks in one episode to hit the weight. I vaguely recall thinking she looked decent in her fights on TUF, and I think it was Noah Southworth on here who was bigging her up, but she can't be that good at 3-2. 

She can actually. A lot of american women, if they look like they're good, get thrown in at the deep end very early and end up with bad win/loss records. Counting TUF, Eubanks is 6 - 2 with wins over two top ten ranked flyweights (Lauren Murphy and Roxanne Modafferi). Her losses are to number 3 ranked Katlyn Chookagian (11 -1, only loss a split decision to Liz Carmouche) and undefeated number 7 ranked bantamweight Aspen Ladd (7 - 0). That is consistent with Eubanks being top 5 in the division.

Joanna Jedrzejczyk might be the bigger name but I wouldn't favour any of her opponents to beat Ladd or Chookagian. Also If i can indulge in some MMAth, Carmouche TKO'd Jessica Andrade, but was lucky to get the decision win over Murphy. Valérie Létourneau went 5 rounds with Joanna, but got squashed by Modafferi (who wasn't even training full time back then)

A Eubanks main event would be bad for business, and i can understand why people weren't excited for it, but a lot of the rules of thumb for assessing male fighters don't work for female fighters, so don't let their bad records or whether or not they were in the UFC or on TUF fool you into underestimating them.

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41 minutes ago, weevil said:

She can actually. A lot of american women, if they look like they're good, get thrown in at the deep end very early and end up with bad win/loss records.

That's definitely one of those intriguing factors it's worth taking into account. We often talk about how such-and-such a male fighter needs to have his career managed and not be thrown in the deep end too soon, i.e. be given opponents commensurate with his experience and record thus far. Most recent one was when wand mentioned Israel Adesanya being matched up with Derek Brunson. We also said the same about when Horiguchi and Cejudo were chucked in with DJ, when it was clearly too early in their careers to do that (and Cejudo has gone on to virtually prove that point right since).

It's not quantifiable or demonstrable through empiric evidence as such, but I get the firm impression that competitors in WMMA are largely viewed has being on a much more shallow plane, that there isn't all that much between the top and the bottom; we talk about the sheer gulf between Derek Lewis and DC, or between Al Iaquinta and Khabib Nurmagomedov, but aside from most Cyborg matches, I don't think we've ever really talked about any mismatches in the women's divisions, and, given the aforementioned propensity for viewing them as largely being within range of each other, that should be a more common occurrence.

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4 hours ago, Carbomb said:

It really is astounding just how both guys seemed to crumble so quickly. With Weidman, it almost seemed like Rockhold had taken his soul, and then had Bisping do the exact same thing to him. They're both pros, but I do wonder in Rockhold's case if the modelling has caused him to take his eye off the ball a bit - it's a bit of a reach, but I can't think of any other reason as to why he suddenly took a nosedive.

If they were Brazilian it'd be put down to lack of PEDs since USADA came in. Even if there was nowt to base it on other than their nationality. But they're American so that never even gets mentioned as a possibility. 

Not saying I think either were dirty by the way. Just pointing out the different standards. I'm pretty sure if Rockhold was Brazilian and was floundering a bit like he is, there'd be widespread gossip with the likes of Rogan and Schaub putting it out there with a nod and a wink that he might be a juicehead like they did with Aldo, RDA and Barao. It's silly. I know a lot of guys do cheat and take shortcuts but there are so many reasons why you might dip in form or go on a losing streak in a sport as chaotic and unpredictable as MMA. Coming off PEDs is just one of them but there are so many other factors to consider that are sod all to do with that but they're not as sexy or controversial to talk about. 

And fair points @weevil on Eubanks. I hope she is that good. I think I've been one of the fairest and least dismissive on here when it comes to women's MMA and I've said myself that you sort of have to judge it differently to the mens game because it's been around a lot less time and the divisions are still growing. I think a lot of the criticisms have been a bit unfair and a lot of it total bollocks. Like people will bash women's MMA for having 'no technique' yet jizz over two fat heavyweights wailing arm punches until they gas or one falls down.

You're right that some of these women might have misleading records because of how the divisions lay but looking at Eubanks' record I'm just not convinced. I'm not ready to call her some hot prospect. Her best win to date is Lauren Murphy but Murphy's seen better days. Eubanks' two losses - Aspen Ladd, OK, she looks good. She really stood out to me on the 229 prelims with how she just breezed through Tonya Evinger. Especially as it took Cyborg 3 rounds to get Evinger out of there and Ladd stopped her inside one. Ladd's got my attention. Between amateur and pro she's 15-1 combined with 12 finishes. I'll give Eubanks a pass for that loss. Never really been overly impressed with Chookagian though. She's solid but nothing amazing. If Eubanks was some hidden gem, she probably should've beat Chookagian. 

That was my point though. I wasn't saying Eubanks was shit. I'm just not convinced she's anything special. There's a middle ground there. Her best win is a declining 35 year old Lauren Murphy. The other two times she's stepped in as a pro with a legit fighter (Ladd, Chookagian) she's lost. Like I said, she looked decent on TUF from what I recall but I'm holding off on declaring her top level. And the fact she's had a couple of instances where she's struggled to make weight is worrying and could hold her back. There was the deadlock cutting episode I mentioned before on TUF and the weight issue was also why she was pulled from the finale against Nicco Montano. She's only fought at flyweight twice out of her 5 pro fights. She's 1-1 as a pro flyweight. And when she went up to 135, she lost to Ladd. I mean I'm not writing her off but the evidence so far doesn't suggest she's going to be some elite fighter at 125 and I doubt she'd have faired well at all against Shevchenko. If she ever gets that fight and wins, or even just hangs with Shev, I'll happily admit I was wrong. But my feeling on Eubanks, right or wrong, is 'decent, middle of the pack' no more, no less. 

Edited by wandshogun09

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4 hours ago, ColinBollocks said:

I do love DC, but Lewis as champion is just so ridiculous

The Black Beast is the absolute best example of how in heavyweight MMA you don't have to be anywhere near the best talent wise to make it to the top of the sport, all you need it toughness and a hell of a dig. There really is no other sport like it, is there?

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I think Cruz did a good job pointing out a lot of flaws you see with HW fighters. However, we've seen with Overeem that no matter how technical you are, toughness and massive punching power are hard to beat.

Edited by ColinBollocks

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This is another problem with the women. A guy like Justin Gaethe can come in lose two out of three matches and still be regarded as a high level guy because we know how good his opponents are, but with the women it takes an endless chain of justifications.

IMO Eubanks is not just a good prospect, but already a proven top flyweight, but in order to justify that i'd have have to explain how good (for example) Murphy is which would require explaining how good Barb Honchak is, etc. etc.

Secondly, just because they don't look very impressive doesn't mean they aren't one of the top fighters in the division. The low average skill level of the women combined with the fact that we are only seeing them against other top fighters means they won't necessarily look spectacular even if they're one of the best.

 

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You don't have to explain anything to me. I can make my own mind up who I think is good or not. I know who Lauren Murphy is and I know who Barb Honchak is. Fully aware. I just think Murphy is on a bit of a decline. I'm basing that off her recent results and how she's looked. Either she's dipped in form or she hasn't evolved enough to keep up with the new blood. And not everyone is a top fighter in their division. If we don't base out opinions on how impressive a fighter looks in a fight then we might as well not have an opinion on anything MMA related. 

Look, I'm not saying Eubanks is a terrible fighter or anything. I just don't believe she's elite. Fuck, maybe she is but she's yet to show it. But if she hasn't shown it yet, then what are we basing it on? Then it's just guesswork to say she's top level. She's beat a Lauren Murphy who I believe is on the slide and Roxanne Modafferi who is hit and miss. They're her best wins. They're good wins but nothing she's done yet has given me reason to have confidence she's hanging with a Shevchenko or even a top strawweight coming up in weight like Jedrzejczyk or whoever. That's all I'm saying. Even if we assume she's one of the best women fighters around, the fact she's lost to Ladd and Chookagian shows she's not likely going on to dominate as she's already come up against two girls who were able to better her. 

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23 minutes ago, wandshogun09 said:

You don't have to explain anything to me. I can make my own mind up who I think is good or not. I know who Lauren Murphy is and I know who Barb Honchak is. Fully aware. I just think Murphy is on a bit of a decline. I'm basing that off her recent results and how she's looked. Either she's dipped in form or she hasn't evolved enough to keep up with the new blood. And not everyone is a top fighter in their division. If we don't base out opinions on how impressive a fighter looks in a fight then we might as well not have an opinion on anything MMA related. 

Look, I'm not saying Eubanks is a terrible fighter or anything. I just don't believe she's elite. Fuck, maybe she is but she's yet to show it. But if she hasn't shown it yet, then what are we basing it on? Then it's just guesswork to say she's top level. She's beat a Lauren Murphy who I believe is on the slide and Roxanne Modafferi who is hit and miss. They're her best wins. They're good wins but nothing she's done yet has given me reason to have confidence she's hanging with a Shevchenko or even a top strawweight coming up in weight like Jedrzejczyk or whoever. That's all I'm saying. Even if we assume she's one of the best women fighters around, the fact she's lost to Ladd and Chookagian shows she's not likely going on to dominate as she's already come up against two girls who were able to better her. 

Modafferi is hit and miss? Counting TUF she's won 7 of her last 10 with 6 finishes. Two of the losses are close decisions in title fights, and the third is against Eubanks. It would be circular logic to hold that against Eubanks.

Murphy's recent results? apart from losing to Eubanks (again circular logic) she's beaten the former number 1 (Honchak) and lost to current numbers 2 and 3 (Montano and Chookagian). Hardly a fall from grace.

Not everyone is a top fighter in their division, but the one's that beat almost everyone else in the division are, regardless of how they look. Apart from Schevchenko can you name five current flyweights that Eubanks could beat to show you that shes a top flyweight? 

 

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