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UFC Fight Island: Whittaker vs Till - Jul 25 🇦🇪 🏝

Who wins and how?   

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the Wood/Nurmagamedov fight was already off wasn't it? Wood and Shore's opponents fell off on the same day. Wood is potentially fighting some geezer called Cameron Else.

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With all the card changes and pullouts this week I didn’t see it. And even when I did, most of the reports on Umar were unclear. Even before the reports of him cancelling his flight though, you’d have to have assumed it was pretty much a lock that he wouldn’t be fighting on this card given the timing of it and Khabib’s dad’s death. 

Umar posted this video the other day of him daring to tangle with Abdulmanap;

Nice little video but at the same time sad to think this probably wasn’t made that long ago. 
 

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3 hours ago, Egg Shen said:

Wood is potentially fighting some geezer called Cameron Else.

He's literally fighting someone Else?! 

The new Some Fucker, it seems. 

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Incase anyone missed it, Khamzat Chimaev was confirmed for this during last night’s show. He’s opening up the main card against Ireland’s Rhys McKee. I’ve updated the opening post with a little preview.

And here’s McKee getting the news of his UFC debut;

Cool moment for him and he seems a very decent signing, to be fair. Under other circumstances, this could be great for him. But Christ. He doesn’t know who Khamzat is, Boylan doesn’t even know how to pronounce his name (Kazmat) and on 6 days notice this guy’s chances are looking about as promising as the last turkey on Christmas Eve. And Khamzat is Bernard Matthews. 

Stranger upsets have happened, especially with late fill-ins, but it’s got the feel of a bad night for McKee this. 

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yeh, Boylan could have done a better job of letting him know what he's in for 😄

its a monster card, like 16 fights now.

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On 6/27/2020 at 4:43 PM, jimufctna24 said:

I think that's mostly because striking and gameplanning during Anderson's era was weak compared to today. 

Anderson didn't have to trade or lead because his opponents usually played into his game. They would usually extend themselves trying to land strikes, and in the process, make themselves vulnerable to Anderson's counter strikes. It was against aggressive, yet relatively unskilled strikers, that Anderson shined brightest (see his bouts against Leben and Griffin for examples). 

Later on, Weidman and Bisping found out ways to neutralise with Anderson's counter game (feints, etc). Left with few other options, Anderson was forced to lead, and we found out that he wasn't a particularly good boxer on the front foot. Bisping in particular found it quite easy to tag Anderson when the latter marched forward. 

Anderson will be remembered as a legend (rightfully so), but was he a better fighter in his prime than say Whittaker or Adesanya are today? In my view, no. The game, or more specifically the middleweight division, has progressed quite a bit in the past decade or so. 

I always knew this would happen when Anderson continued fighting long after his prime. Fans now look back and think "ah, he was never really that good anyway. The competition wasn't up to much."

People seem to forget just how fucking lethal he was when he was at his best. When he had the speed, the split-second reaction timing, the ability to land two or three punches before his opponent knew what the fuck had hit them.

Unfortunately for fighters like him, the first thing to go is the speed and the reaction timing. Once you lost that, it's game over. Your entire game plan and what made you who you were is gone.

In my humble opinion, the Anderson Silva who crushed Rich Franklin and who subbed Dan Henderson, the Anderson when he was 31-32 years old would have mullered Bobby Whittaker. His style is too straight forward and easy to read. Silva would have made him look silly.

I think he'd have handled Adesanya as well. Izzy is good, but he's hittable. Anderson back then wasn't. He was basically a more polished, more lethal version of Izzy today.

if he'd bowed out after that ridiculous leg injury (which is something else people seem to forget. A fighter who relies on movement coming back from that kind of break at the age of 38? Mental) he'd still be held in extremely high regard.

As things are? He damaged his legacy slightly by taking stupid fights that he shouldn't have taken. Bisping? That was particularly sad, as a prime Anderson would have fucking killed him. He almost fucked him up as it was. Imagine if that was the Anderson who smashed Leben? Bisping would be lucky to have one good eye left.

As for saying the game has progressed? That's true, but if Anderson was capable of doing what he did back then, imagine what he'd be like if he'd had access to the kind of training and sports science that today's fighters have.

A 32 year old Anderson Silva in 2020 is a scary prospect.

Edited by David

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Yeah, to be fair, 2019 Anderson didn’t do too badly against Adesanya. And that’s Anderson when he’s winding the career down. Adesanya rightly won, but I don’t recall thinking Anderson looked out of his depth in there and I think I had him winning one round fairly clearly. Prime Anderson could’ve given Adesanya some real issues, I reckon.

And as much as I really like Whittaker, I think Whittaker vs peak Silva would’ve looked a lot like Whittaker vs Adesanya did. 

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29 minutes ago, David said:

In my humble opinion, the Anderson Silva who crushed Rich Franklin and who subbed Dan Henderson, the Anderson when he was 31-32 years old would have mullered Bobby Whittaker. His style is too straight forward and easy to read. Silva would have made him look silly.

Eh?

Whittaker is a counter puncher with great head movement. He's a far more advanced striker than Franklin and Henderson - who were actually very limited on the feet. The Whittaker who fought between 2015 and 2018 was vastly superior to those two, and would have given Anderson a lot of issues. 

Regardless of how they would compare head to head, I still say Whittaker is the more well-rounded and better fighter. Whittaker's takedown defence is much better than Anderson's ever was.

29 minutes ago, David said:

People seem to forget just how fucking lethal he was when he was at his best. When he had the speed, the split-second reaction timing, the ability to land two or three punches before his opponent knew what the fuck had hit them.

Unfortunately for fighters like him, the first thing to go is the speed and the reaction timing. Once you lost that, it's game over. Your entire game plan and what made you who you were is gone.

No, he was a lethal striker, but the shortcomings in his game were there to see in his prime. For example, he usually looked confused when forced to lead. 

29 minutes ago, David said:

I think he'd have handled Adesanya as well. Izzy is good, but he's hittable. Anderson back then wasn't. He was basically a more polished, more lethal version of Izzy today.

If they met prime for prime, it would likely be an awkward match-up with neither really establishing much of an advantage over the other. 

29 minutes ago, David said:

Bisping? That was particularly sad, as a prime Anderson would have fucking killed him. He almost fucked him up as it was. Imagine if that was the Anderson who smashed Leben? Bisping would be lucky to have one good eye left.

You are comparing two completely different fighters in Bisping and Leben. 

Leben was tailored made for Anderson's counter striking game. Whereas Bisping, with his use of feints etc, posed a much tougher match-up. This would have been the case even if Anderson was younger. A younger Anderson would have probably beaten that version of Bisping, but he would not have walked through him. 

Edited by jimufctna24

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8 minutes ago, jimufctna24 said:

Eh?

Whittaker is a counter puncher with great head movement. He's a far more advanced striker than Franklin and Henderson - who were actually very limited on the feet. The Whittaker who fought between 2015 and 2018 was vastly superior to those two, and would have given Anderson a lot of issues. 

Regardless of how they would compare head to head, I still say Whittaker is the more well-rounded and better fighter. Whittaker's takedown defence is much better than Anderson's ever was.

I wasn't comparing Whittaker to Franklin or Henderson, I was saying that the Anderson Silva who fought both of them, the prime Anderson Silva, would have mullered Bobby knuckles. 

Whittaker is probably considered a more well-rounded fighter than Adesanya and we all know how that fight went. 

9 minutes ago, jimufctna24 said:

No, he was a lethal striker, but the shortcomings in his game were there to see in his prime. For example, he usually looked confused when forced to lead.

And yet in seven years and 20 pro fights no one ever figured out how to expose those so-called shortcomings, did they? If it were as simple as forcing him to lead, you imagine someone over that period would have figured that out, no?

No one had any real answers until he was closing in on 40 years old and had naturally slowed down with age.

11 minutes ago, jimufctna24 said:

You are comparing two completely different fighters in Bisping and Leben. 

Leben was tailored made for Anderson's counter striking game. Whereas Bisping, with his use of feints etc, posed a much tougher match-up. This would have been the case even if Anderson was younger. A younger Anderson would have probably beaten that version of Bisping, but he would not have walked through him. 

Again, not comparing Bisping with Leben. I'm comparing the 41 year old past-his-prime Anderson who fought Bisping, to the 31 year old prime Anderson. 

31 year old prime Anderson would handle any version of Bisping in my opinion. 

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11 minutes ago, David said:

Whittaker is probably considered a more well-rounded fighter than Adesanya and we all know how that fight went. 

Whittaker's tactics were terrible in that fight. 

He doesn't usually fight like that.

11 minutes ago, David said:

And yet in seven years and 20 pro fights no one ever figured out how to expose those so-called shortcomings, did they? If it were as simple as forcing him to lead, you imagine someone over that period would have figured that out, no?

No one had any real answers until he was closing in on 40 years old and had naturally slowed down with age.

Sonnen dominated him for 4 rounds. And he more often than not always had issues with wrestlers/grapplers.

When the likes of Cote and Leites forced him to lead, he looked confused. Those fights occurred when Anderson was either in his prime or close to it. A reason why it took so long for him to lose was the standard of competition he fought against. Guys like Whittaker and Weidman were much better fighters than say Okami, Griffin, Sonnen or Cote. I'm not saying he wouldn't be competitive if he fought in his prime today, he might even be a champion, but he would be nowhere near as dominant. 

Of course, it is not as simple as forcing him to lead. It took great skill to implement the gameplans that Weidman and Bisping's used against him. 

Edited by jimufctna24

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12 minutes ago, jimufctna24 said:

Whittaker's tactics were terrible in that fight. 

He doesn't usually fight like that.

If we're giving Bob a pass for shit tactics, then....

12 minutes ago, jimufctna24 said:

Sonnen dominated him for 4 rounds. And he more often than not always had issues with wrestlers/grapplers.

We can surely give ol' Anderson a pass for his rib injury that affected him in the Sonnen fight.

Besides, he absolutely smashed Sonnen in the next fight, lending even further credibility to the ribs being an issue. No issues with a wrestler in the rematch.

If Bobby K fights Adesanya again and puts him away in timely fashion I'll be happy to revise my viewpoint. As it is, Izzy made Boring Bob look like a complete fucking chump.

12 minutes ago, jimufctna24 said:

When the likes of Cote and Leites forced him to lead, he looked confused. Those fights occurred when Anderson was either in his prime or close to it. A reason why it took so long for him to lose was the standard of competition he fought against. Guys like Whittaker and Weidman were much better fighters than say Okami, Griffin, Sonnen or Cote. I'm not saying he wouldn't be competitive if he fought in his prime today, he might even be a champion, but he would be nowhere near as dominant. 

Of course, it is not as simple as forcing him to lead. It took great skill to implement the gameplans that Weidman and Bisping's used against him. 

Again, by claiming that all it would take is forcing him to lead, and that doing so would confuse him is paying the many coaches and fighters he faced over that seven year and 20 fight stretch an extreme disservice. Not to mention completely disrespecting Anderson Silva and all he's accomplished. 

He faced, and beat, the best out there at the time, and to just dismiss fighters like Jeremy Horn, Dan Henderson, Carlos Newton, Demian Maia, Vitor Belfort, and Yushin Okami as being sub-standard isn't really fair. You're a student of the sport, you should know better.

Bisping and Weidman didn't figure him out, Anderson had slowed down by that point. He was being caught by shots against Bipsing that he'd have breezed past ten years earlier.

Getting back to the original point, which was you claiming that in his prime Anderson isn't better than Whittaker or Adesanya of today, I think you're wrong. Simply because neither of those guys has done anything to suggest they're at that level yet.

Adesanya certainly could over the next three or four years. He could put together a body of work that compares, and I'm certainly willing to take the difference in eras into account. If Israel can hold his title and clean out a division a few times then he's right up there. I'm certainly not expecting a 15 fight streak or whatever. That is quite unrealistic in this era, especially as a champion.

Whittaker won't do it in my opinion. I think as long as Izzy is on top there's nowhere for Bob to go in this division. I don't see him winning a rematch.The styles are all wrong for him I think. 

First time around he rushed in, if he's more careful next time he'll maybe last longer, but I don't think he's quick enough or athletic enough to get it done. Adesanya would pick him apart over a few rounds.

Edited by David

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9 hours ago, David said:

Besides, he absolutely smashed Sonnen in the next fight, lending even further credibility to the ribs being an issue. No issues with a wrestler in the rematch.

It gets forgotten that Sonnen actually made a silly error that led to Anderson stopping him. Before that, Sonnen had a lot of success outgrappling Silva in the first round.

9 hours ago, David said:

Again, by claiming that all it would take is forcing him to lead, and that doing so would confuse him is paying the many coaches and fighters he faced over that seven year and 20 fight stretch an extreme disservice. Not to mention completely disrespecting Anderson Silva and all he's accomplished. 

He faced, and beat, the best out there at the time, and to just dismiss fighters like Jeremy Horn, Dan Henderson, Carlos Newton, Demian Maia, Vitor Belfort, and Yushin Okami as being sub-standard isn't really fair. You're a student of the sport, you should know better.

No, as I wrote above, there was more to it than forcing him to lead. Weidman and Bisping also had to use feints and other tactics in order to dull Anderson's counter striking game and land their own offence. I am not saying it was easy to beat him. What I am saying is that he wasn't as untouchable as many make him out to be. 

You said it yourself, he beat the best out there at the time. But again, as you wrote above, training, gameplanning, etc have all evolved and new standards have been set - not just as middleweight but in many other divisions. I therefore do not rank Anderson in the top 5 fighters of all-time. Although he would still easily make my top 20. 

Yet, as I wrote on the previous page, Anderson really took advantage of the UFC's large cage and showed up the striking in the UFC's middleweight division for what it was (poor). I thus see him more as a Royce Gracie, Frank Shamrock or Sakuraba type figure - a pioneer of the game.

Edited by jimufctna24

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On 7/20/2020 at 5:57 PM, jimufctna24 said:

You said it yourself, he beat the best out there at the time. But again, as you wrote above, training, gameplanning, etc have all evolved and new standards have been set - not just as middleweight but in many other divisions. I therefore do not rank Anderson in the top 5 fighters of all-time. Although he would still easily make my top 20. 

Personally, I find it ridiculous that any MMA fan who's watched the sport for more than a few years would only consider Anderson Silva to be a top twenty fighter, but whatever floats your boat.

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This may come off a little weird as I am a fan of his and I am actually rooting for him to win on Saturday but does anyone feel like Till’s UFC run has been a little overrated thus far? He beat a Cowboy that looked like he only showed up for a quick paycheck, won a controversial decision over Wonderboy in a largely uneventful affair, annihilated by Woodley, KO’d by Masvidal, beat Gastelum by sticking to a smart but fairly safe gameplan. Admittedly they’re all top flight talent but it just seems like we’re still waiting to see his full potential despite the hype train. If he comes out and obliterates Bobby on Saturday, ignore this post.

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If Till loses this weekend (and I hope he doesn't) then the hype train is well and truly derailed in my opinion.

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