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Eagle FC Thread - EFC 47 - JDS vs. De Castro (May 20th) 🦅


Egg Shen
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Thought this show/promotion was worthy of a thread. 

Khabib's Eagle FC debuts in the US later this month, the first of 12/13 planned American shows in 2022.

The promotion definitely seems to be taking the recognisable veteran route of matchmaking, mixed in with the Russian fighters and the odd high profile signing. Throw in Khabib's presence and these shows will likely gain a fair bit of press and attention

Here's how Eagle FC 44 shakes out...

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Its not bad is it? Lots of UFC veterans across the card including the return of Rashad Evans (who you'd think would be the main event being a HOF'er and all) and Renan Barao.

The card airs free on some app called FLX, whatever that is?

Oh, and anyone wondering where Kevin Lee is? he's fighting on the second card in February.

 

Edited by Egg Shen
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  • Egg Shen changed the title to Eagle FC 44 - Spong vs. Kharitonov (28th Jan) 🦅

Cant see this being the final running order. As you say, Rashad surely would be the semi main here.

Every time I see Barao mentioned I go back and look at his record. Surely in contention for the sharpest fall from grace in the history of the sport. He was always in the mix for P4P best in the world in 2013/14, then a complete after thought in 2016. A few years after that, when only in his early 30's, he was losing on the premlims and early prelims. Crazy stuff.

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I always felt like I jinxed Barao. Saw his Faber match, and was impressed enough to check out some of his older fights, at which point I declared him on here to be my favourite fighter to watch - and days later that prick Dillashaw took his soul. Then did it a second time. Within two fights, he was shot - I think he only won one fight after that, no?

Crazy to think Barao's legend has been affected by bad timing: any other UFC champion on a 30+ fight win streak would've got the Anderson Silva treatment, but he got dethroned right before the UFC got a boost in profile and popularity, so he's now one of the sport's forgotten men. A shame.

Not to be mean about it, but it's sad to see him and Evans coming out of retirement. They were quite clearly shot for a while before they called it a day, so it was the right decision. They're only older now; this cannot possibly end well for them.

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I dont think Barao ever retired, he was just let go and hasn't fought since. He was supposed to fight in the XMMA late last year but his opponent dropped out last minute.

Im not sure what to think of Rashad coming back. By all accounts he's in great shape and has overhauled his personal life so he could be in a good place to fight. He's coming in at a lower level and against a guy who's primarily a grappler so its a smart piece of matchmaking on paper.

 

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I remember being in attendance when Barao bulldozed through Brad Pickett and it really felt like we were witnessing the start of a legendary run. At the time he was on that monster unbeaten streak, only had a couple of blemishes on his record and even then, one was a points loss in his MMA debut and the other was a No Contest where was illegally soccer kicked by his opponent and couldn’t continue. Aside from that, he was on a close to 30 fight streak and the way he dealt with a guy like Pickett who was a respected, tough, fringe contender at the time was pretty terrifying. Then came the wins over Jorgensen, Wineland, McDonald and Faber x2 and it honestly didn’t sound ridiculous when people started talking about him in the pound-for-pound discussions. He was a beast back then. Like his teammate Aldo but there was a bit more wildness to his striking, offensively and defensively. It wasn’t as pretty technically as what Aldo was doing but he was just overwhelming his opponents at the time. Him and Aldo were repping Nova Uniao and absolutely ruling that 135-145 space for a while there, and it looked like there was no end to their reign of terror in sight. Then along came TJ Dillashaw and over the space of two fights, 9 and a bit rounds, Barao was left a shell of his former self.

I don’t know what you can mostly chalk his decline up to. I notice most of the time these days when the subject comes up, the stock response centres around PEDs, and Barao not being the same after USADA testing became more prominent. Maybe there’s some truth to it but, as far as I recall, Barao never ever had any controversy with drug testing so it seems a bit off to just accuse him of that. There’s likely a few factors. PEDs may be one of them but it’s really just pure speculation. What we know for a fact is that he had some really rough weight cuts back then, which could’ve had an effect long term. And those two Dillashaw fights seemed to just fuck him up badly to the point he never bounced back.

Everyone remembers the first fight because it’s the one when the title changed hands and ended Barao’s run. But the second fight 2 years later is often forgotten and was just as, if not more, brutal.

First fight in 2013;

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Rematch in 2015;

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These weren’t quick losses where a fighter can tell themselves they ‘just got caught’ either. These were the type of long, drawn out beatings where if a fighter suffers one of these it can negatively effect or even end their career. Barao took two of these off the same bloke in the space of 2 years. He absorbed probably a whole career’s worth of punishment in just those two fights. I guess in a roundabout way, maybe PEDs did fuck Barao after all, not him taking them but in the form of EPO Dillashaw crushing him twice. Who knows if TJ was on a laundry list of stuff back then? I know that’s speculation as well but there’s more reason and evidence to suspect him given what’s happened with him over the last few years than there ever was of tarring Barao with that brush. Dirty Dillashaw stole Barao’s title, his prime and basically his career. That’s the story I’m going with. It’s his fault. 

We’ve all said it before on here but when you look back it really is nuts how rapid Barao’s fall was and how quickly he plummeted from the title fights, main events and P4P talk to being rendered just another guy on the Fight Pass prelims. And not just fighting on Fight Pass, losing on Fight Pass to guys you’d have fancied him to wreck a few years earlier. Even when he got quietly released it barely created a ripple of discussion. Mad really.

1 hour ago, Egg Shen said:

Im not sure what to think of Rashad coming back. By all accounts he's in great shape and has overhauled his personal life so he could be in a good place to fight. He's coming in at a lower level and against a guy who's primarily a grappler so its a smart piece of matchmaking on paper.

Big fan of him but my confidence is completely gone when it comes to Rashad. Maybe him fighting a lower level guy will help but even if he wins this fight that’s only gonna lead to him facing someone tougher next time. It’s gonna end in tears either way. Towards the end of his UFC run he lost to Dan Kelly and fucking Sam Alvey in fights where the UFC were clearly trying to get him back in the win column and he looked fucking awful. Whenever he went above that level, like the Glover Teixeira or Anthony Smith fights, he got blitzed quick. And he looked in phenomenal shape back then as well. This picture is from very late in his UFC career;

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Probably the best shape he was ever in. Then the cage door would shut and…nothing. And that’s when he was fairly active. Now he’s 42 years old and has had nearly 4 years out of the game. Just can’t see it ending well. I think a combination of all the injuries over the years obviously hindered his style which was mostly centred around his wrestling. After those knee injuries it seemed like all the explosion was gone. But in his last bunch of fights it seemed just as much a mental thing where he couldn’t pull the trigger at all and, if he wasn’t getting walloped early, his fights would just turn into nothing happening staring contests.

I hope it works out well for him but my expectations are rock bottom. 

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It’s largely forgotten now but there was serious talks of having Rashad vs Bisping 2 headline a London card in 2018 as well. Think the plan was for that to be Bisping’s retirement fight but then Bisping decided to just call it a day. In a way it would’ve been nice to see Bisping go out on home soil and even with one working eye he’d likely have beat Rashad by that point. But I’m glad it never happened. Would’ve been sad to see. Two of my favourites but one’s mentally and physically frazzled and the other’s basically a cyclops. Nah fuck that. Leave the memories alone. 

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On 1/16/2022 at 3:16 PM, wandshogun09 said:

These were the type of long, drawn out beatings where if a fighter suffers one of these it can negatively effect or even end their career.

It was actually these very fights that came to mind when Bisping was talking about the beating that Chikadze took from Kattar as something that makes a fighter better and stronger. That's not usually the case, is it? A fight like that takes years off a guys life you'd imagine, and doesn't help to boost their competitive longevity.

I know Kattar took a beating as well, but I think the prolonged absence after will have helped. Maybe Chikadze will do the same? Barao came back just over six months after that first loss to Dillashaw, going three frames with mitch Gagnon. After the second fight he came back ten months later. 

Throw in the fact that in those months he was likely taking part in the crazy macho bullshit training that Nova Uniao was famous for. I know he ended up at ATT, but the damage will likely have been done by then.

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Yeah exactly. The taking long breaks after a bad beating is a relatively new thing isn’t it? I remember when Brian Ortega took a big chunk of time off after the Holloway loss and a lot of people were criticising him at the time. Then he came back nearly 2 years later and beat the Korean Zombie in one of the best performances of his career. Same with Kattar the other week. Took a whole year out after the loss to Holloway and looked better than ever against Chikadze. If either of them would’ve rushed back after 4 or 5 months I highly doubt they’d have performed so well and they could easily have both gone into big slumps that they mightn’t have got out of, like we saw with Barao. Of course, UFC pay being what it is, a lot of these fighters are gonna decide against taking these extended breaks because they wanna keep getting paid but in the long term that’s probably fucked so many careers up. I wonder what, say, a guy like TJ Grant might’ve been able to achieve in his career if he’d been able to properly heal up between fights and didn’t accrue a load of concussions. We’ll obviously never know but there must be countless examples of fighters falling off a cliff because they didn’t look after themselves between fights/in camp or take breaks when they needed to. 

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1 hour ago, Carbomb said:

I was reading that article about the Lion's Den the other day, and it makes me wonder just how many potentially great fighters they must have wrecked.

https://www.sherdog.com/news/articles/The-Lions-Den-and-the-Greatest-that-Never-Were-176656

To be fair, outside of Miletich there wasn't many gyms operating a more sophisticated style of training in the mid to late 90's, and those that were certainly didn't have the kind of reputation they would perhaps go on to have. Most MMA fighters of that era tended to still be rather one-dimensional, and the lack of weight classes encouraged guys to be as big as possible to ensure a weight advantage over their opponents.

I think the standout thing for the Lions Den is that they saw more than their fair share of talented fighters come through the doors, most likely based on Ken's reputation and notoriety in the sport.

Edited by David
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19 minutes ago, David said:

To be fair, outside of Miletich there wasn't many gyms operating a more sophisticated style of training in the mid to late 90's, and those that were certainly didn't have the kind of reputation they would perhaps go on to have. Most MMA fighters of that era tended to still be rather one-dimensional, and the lack of weight classes encouraged guys to be as big as possible to ensure a weight advantage over their opponents.

I think the standout thing for the Lions Den is that they saw more than their fair share of talented fighters come through the doors, most likely based on Ken's reputation and notoriety in the sport.

The thought occurred to me earlier (and I'm sure you and other, better-informed MMA posters on here would know in detail if so) that perhaps one of the reasons why Nova Uniao were so near-dominant for so long despite having some stupid training practices (preferring to sustain injury than tap, insane weight cutting) was because most of the other gyms had even more stupid practices. 

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50 minutes ago, Carbomb said:

The thought occurred to me earlier (and I'm sure you and other, better-informed MMA posters on here would know in detail if so) that perhaps one of the reasons why Nova Uniao were so near-dominant for so long despite having some stupid training practices (preferring to sustain injury than tap, insane weight cutting) was because most of the other gyms had even more stupid practices. 

I have no doubt that would have played a part, but the main driving force would likely have been the absolute killers that were training behind the doors to that gym. I'm not all that certain that the actual practices of smashing each other to absolute fuck is what made them who they are, but it almost certainly led to many of them not being quite at their peak for as long as they could in my opinion.

Barao is one perfect example, and while Aldo hasn't exactly fallen off a cliff, he's not the force he once was. Those are the two main examples always brought up, but there were others. Marcos Galvão saw a sharp downward turn after his loss to Eduardo Dantas in 2016, going 1-5, and I'd throw Caio Magalhães into that list as well. He looked the part early doors, losing his UFC debut but then going on a decent little four fight run, before dropping two and being cut. He was only 28 or so when he left the UFC and I thought they'd likely bring him back after a few wins on the regional scene, as he was a name, well-connected in the sport, and a decent hand. The type who always seems to be around the prelims or whatever.

Except, he went 1-4 outside the UFC and hasn't fought since 2019. He's still only 34 now, and was 32 or so when he last fought.

There could have been multiple reasons for their downwards trajectory, but killing their bodies early in their careers likely didn't help.

Edited by David
Mixed up my Barao's and Filho's!
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Yeah in the early, primitive days of MMA training camps like Chute Boxe probably produced so many champions and outright nasty fighters because to even survive in those gyms you had to be a very tough individual. You simply wouldn't have survived if couldn't handle yourself in the training room. In the grand scheme of things that kind of training was often times enough to get you to the top in a sport that hadn't yet found way to best practice and focus on training smart and making a prolonged career out of MMA, it was just a straight up kill or be killed attitude. Animals.

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Edited by Egg Shen
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  • Egg Shen changed the title to Eagle FC Thread - EFC 47 - JDS vs. De Castro (May 20th) 🦅

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