Eduardo "Dudu" Dantas | Stephen Martinez/Sherdog.com
For some reason, people love to ignore the bylines on Sherdog.com. It creates a weird situation in which fans, fighters and other media discuss what "Sherdog" said, as though the site isn't a network of writers and commentators with their own individual thoughts and opinions on any given subject.
As administrative editor of Sherdog.com, I disagree with a considerable contingent of our writers on various subjects, from the most caustic op-ed to the plainest Top 10 list possible. To invert Voltaire's famous quotable, while they have the right to say whatever they wish, I defend my right to disapprove of it.
To re-emphasize this and combat the appearance of homogeneous groupthink, I submit "The Editor's Note," in which I opine on my personal editorial objections to some of our contributors' content.
Yesterday -- Jan. 15, 2011 -- we published a feature by our esteemed Brazilian contributor Gleidson Venga, titled "10 Brazilians to Watch in 2011," an enumeration of great Brazilian fighters yet-unsigned by a major promotion, but on the cusp of potential greatness. Last year, Venga's 2010 watch list included the likes of Renan “Barao,” Charles “do Bronx” Oliveira and Patricio “Pitbull” Freire, so it was only fair we gave him another shot to show off his prognosticating skills.
By and large, Venga does a great job at sketching Brazil's top unsigned hype. The likes of Glover Teixeira, Erick Silva, Marcos Rogerio “Pezao” de Lima and Vitor Vianna were perfect for this list. Also, while they're further behind in their evolution -- perhaps 2012 will be more fitting -- Renato Moicano and Bruno Carvalho are chock full of upside. But naturally, I've got some objections.
De Lima has the big, breakout win over Paulo Filho, so he's closer to a major deal, but if you're talking 205-pound strikers who can take their games to the next level in Brazil, Carlos Augusto “Guto” Inocente Filho must be mentioned. At 24, Inocente already has a world of high-level kickboxing experience, isn't too shabby on the ground, and is oodles of fun to watch. The only problem for Inocente is going to be finding a guy to make his name off of, like "Pezao" did with Filho, because his skill level is so high in spite of being relatively anonymous.
At 135 pounds, how can Luiz Alberto “Betao” Nogueira make the list ahead of Eduardo “Dudu” Dantas? Make no mistake, "Betao" is a rock solid -- no pun intended, since "Betao" means "cement" or "concrete" in Portuguese -- fighter, but "Dudu" already handled him once, has fought and beat better opposition, and is the favorite to win the rematch when they square off in Shooto Brazil later this year. Given Nova UniÃ£o's track record of success, how is Dantas not the top bantamweight rep on this list?
I also have to question the inclusion of welterweight Antonio “Toninho Furia” Glaristone. Since Glaristone left the northeast and relocated to Rio, Brazilian MMA journalists have been all over him. It seems to entirely be linked to his thrilling November fight with Igor “Chatubinha” Fernandes. However, Glaristone wasn't particularly outstanding on the northeastern circuit and it's hard for me to imagine him making a dramatic leap forward in 2011.
That introduces another question about prospects: given that many of Brazil's best 170-pound prospects are training out of the country -- Alberto Mina and Douglas Lima, for instance -- to what extent do they deserve inclusion? What about Brazilians based in Europe like Bruno “B.C.” Carvalho or Yan Cabral? I wouldn't have either on my personal list, but I bring them up as interesting hypotheticals in list methodology.
Another hypothetical of this nature: what about Jussier “Formiga” da Silva? Sure, he's the consensus top flyweight in the world, so he's not quite a "prospect" like these other fighters. But, is Tachi Palace Fights a "big show"? Also, given the growing interest in the 125-pound division, fueled by talk of the UFC adding it to its midst in the quasi-distant future, doesn't that make him one to watch for? Just a thought.
Brazil's richest resource is its 155-pound division. Frankly, I'd like to see some more lightweights on the list. Even if we were to disqualify Leonardo Santos by considering Sengoku Raiden Championship a "major promotion," that still leaves the likes of Ricardo Tirloni -- a teammate of Thiago Tavares who is already good enough to beat up some UFC regulars -- or Francisco “Massaranduba” Drinaldo, who is still raw but has tons of upside and was absolutely crushing Yuri “Marajo” Alcantara in their September bout until he was submitted. "Marajo" turned around and blew Ricardo Lamas' doors off in his Zuffa banner debut.
Not to nitpick, or anything.