Everyone answers to somebody, so we, the staff at Sherdog.com, have decided to defer to our readers.
“The Doggy Bag” gives you the opportunity to speak about what is on your mind from time to time. Our reporters, columnists, radio hosts and editors will chime in with their answers and thoughts, so keep the emails coming.
This week, the unceremonious destruction of the UFC 153 card is dominating readers’ thoughts. With Jose Aldo’s motorcycle accident injuries nixing his UFC featherweight title defense against Frankie Edgar, many fans simply cannot believe that the marquee will now feature Anderson Silva in a non-title 205-pound affair against Stephan Bonnar, of all folks. Some of you are so bold as to ask flat out if this is the worst UFC main event in recent memory.
However, Aldo’s injury also has people concerned for the champion himself. The Brazilian dynamo has suffered a slate of injuries that have slowed his 145-pound reign, and some of you are questioning if his sun might set more quickly than expected. Conversely, some think Edgar dodged a bullet by getting to meet Aldo at a later date and wonder how it could help “The Answer” attain another UFC title.
After such an injury-plagued 2012 so far, however, the disruptions faced by UFC 153 are just drops in the bucket. As a result, many of your emails are seeking a bigger picture beyond simply the latest bumps and bruises, such as “Is this just bad luck?,” “How can training methods lessen these injuries?” and, of course, the very popular, “It’s all the damn insurance’s fault, isn’t it?”
At least no one is blaming Jon Jones this time.
Wow, Stephan Bonnar against the best MMA fighter ever, huh? If I wasn’t such a big fan of “The Spider,” I would say this is the worst UFC main event in years. I don’t blame the UFC for making the fight, though. This fight probably saved it for the Brazilian card and it isn’t like Aldo-Edgar was going to make an impact on pay-per-view. I hate that it “makes sense” for the UFC, though, because the fight is a slaughter. -- Anthony from Lewiston
Jordan Breen, administrative editor: Let’s go through this wacky moment in MMA history bit by bit here, shall we?
First thing: the UFC needs to get it in print that no more fighters can get on motorcycles. At the very least, when you re-up your contract after winning a title, no more choppers, hogs or crotchrockets. Nevermind the fact that Aldo’s former teammate Will Ribeiro is missing half of his skull and is financially insolvent because of a motorcycle accident that ended his career; this guy is the best 145-pounder on Earth. Give the Yamaha a rest for a while, Junior.
The UFC did about the best thing it could do after getting handed such a lame hand. It not only lost the headliner but risked looking terrible in front of Brazilian fans after the debacle that was UFC 147. It pulled a massive save by getting one of Brazil’s top sportsmen right now, Silva, in there. The fight is light on relevance, but who doesn’t like watching Silva work his otherworldly craft?
As far as business goes, Silva sells more tickets in Brazil, does better numbers on TV and, in North America, draws better on pay-per-view -- yes, even against Bonnar -- than Aldo and Edgar, combined or otherwise. The fight is cotton candy matchmaking at its purest, but at least it makes sense for the bottom line.
Now, worst main event? Not a chance. I’m not saying this fight is some kind of underrated gem, even if some people have been too hard on it. However, in the Zuffa era alone, there have been countless terrible main events, even if we stick only to the “numbered” UFC series and leave out the maligned European events. You’d think that would really strain the sample size, but it doesn’t, depressingly.
Quintin "Rampage" Jackson headlining PPVs against Matt Hamill and Keith Jardine? Tito Ortiz-Forrest Griffin 2? Randy Couture repping on Super Bowl weekend against Mark freakin’ Coleman? Matt Hughes-Royce Gracie? Andrei Arlovski facing Justin Eilers coming off a loss to Paul Buentello because Buentello couldn’t take the fight? Ken Shamrock-Kimo Leopoldo 2? It’s getting too easy now.
Yes, Silva-Bonnar is the unfortunate byproduct of a lame situation. It is not particularly “serious” or relevant to the essential MMA question (“Who is the bestfighter?”), but it may be strangely entertaining nonetheless. If nothing else, the spectacle of seeing Silva crush a foe in front of his Brazilian faithful again might be worth it alone. However, let no one act like this fight is out of step with Zuffa’s ethos, as if this is a departure from guiding principles. These are the fine folks who tried to give you Chuck Liddell-Ortiz 4. If it comes to the day when the only UFC main event Zuffa can cash in on is the ill-fated Dana White-Ortiz boxing match, you’ll see White lacing up his Cleto Reyes.
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