New Questions: Slice, Edgar, Elbows & More

By Jake Rossen Dec 7, 2009
D. Mandel/

Is the “12 to 6” elbow prohibition necessary?

By the time he had landed his fiftieth strike from mount, Jon Jones could reasonably start spending the winner’s share of the purse. Instead, he regressed into an old-school vale tudo mentality -- odd, since he just started fighting -- and delivered elbows with his fist pointed directly at the ceiling. Play-by-play commentator Joe Rogan huffed at the rule, which seems arbitrary in light of arching elbows being allowed, but point-of-elbow strikes look to have a far greater ability to sink themselves into an eye socket. Jones’ ground-and-pound is absolutely ferocious: it doesn’t need to be blinding.

What do you do with Kimbo Slice?

Recruiting Kevin Ferguson for “The Ultimate Fighter” might be comparable to an impulse purchase at a big-box store: an automatic pancake maker sounds good, but what do you really do with it? Slice will never be able to contend with the elite of the heavyweight division: Paul Buentello, Ben Rothwell, and Junior dos Santos would thump his head, while any reasonably decent ground technician would fold him into a carry-on.

How long does Edgar have to wait for his due?

New Jersey’s Frankie Edgar -- who must be very annoyed with MTV about now -- is 6-1 in the UFC’s lightweight division, losing only to potential number-one contender Gray Maynard in 2008. After Maynard, there’s no one more deserving for a shot at the 155-pound title. He has to be getting restless.

Is anyone going to set their DVRs for “Ultimate Fighter 11”?

In finally succumbing to Chuck Liddell’s repeated pleas to return to competition, the UFC is behaving in the most humane way possible: by giving him the motor-mouthed Tito Ortiz to abuse for a third time. (If Liddell has lost a step, Ortiz has lost four; a third fight won’t be any different.) Admirable, but the notion of extending what’s essentially a vanity fight of also-rans into 12 weeks of television is horrifying. Liddell -- bless him -- mumbles like Joe Frazier waking up from anesthesia; Ortiz aren’t not talk very good.

Two great orators at the podium for three months: at least it won’t tie up any titles or important fights. I hope they at least asked Renzo Gracie and Matt Hughes first: Gracie is his own reality show waiting to happen.

Will Slice ever please anybody?

Houston Alexander is a fighter with a powerlifter’s punch and not much else. He gasses, his ground game is shallow, and against Kimbo Slice, he literally ran in circles.

But he’s still a fighter with credible wins and eight years in the books. Slice gutted him out, maintained his patience, executed some impressive throws, and generally behaved more effectively than any backyard brawler from Florida has any right to. It’s a win in the UFC, where not every athlete is choice-cut, but no one is a complete waste of space. If that doesn’t impress you, think about adjusting your expectations.
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