Great Sherdog Debate: Evans vs. Bisping

By Mike Sloan and Steven Curtis Nov 17, 2007 columnist Mike Sloan finally broke his horrendous losing streak the last time out by dismantling hopelessly overmatched radio host TJ De Santis. Looking for a much stiffer challenge this time out, Sloan has suckered in New York correspondent Steven Curtis for this debate. Does the rookie have what it takes to upset the winningest debater in Sherdog history? Sloan doubts it.

Sloan: Hey Steven, a funny thing happened to me on my way to the computer tonight. I heard you agreed to try your luck against me in the latest Great Sherdog Debate. Now, that's some funny stuff, Steven. Unlike literally everything that's ever come out of Dennis Miller's mouth, that made me laugh heartily.

But back to the task at hand: Rashad Evans (Pictures), though I don't think he won against Tito Ortiz (Pictures) and the draw was justified, wasn't nearly as exposed as Michael Bisping (Pictures) was in his last fight. In fact, Rashad wasn't even exposed at all. Bisping, on the other hand, was about as exposed as they come, much like George Michaels is whenever he's around undercover cops in bathrooms.

Matt Hamill (Pictures) clearly beat Bisping when they fought, and he's nowhere near as athletic and well-versed as Evans. Looking just at that fight and how well Evans did against the world-class Ortiz, it's easy to pick a winner. Bisping can't defend Rashad's takedowns all night (if at all) and if Hamill can bust up "The Count" for three rounds, what on earth will Evans be able to do to the Brit?

My guess is virtually anything he wants. Sorry, Curtis, maybe next time you should challenge DeSantis. This way at least one of you guys will get rid of that goose egg next your official GSD records.

Curtis: First of all, Mike, let me just say thanks for the honor of debating you regarding UFC 78, undeniably one of the best fight cards I've seen since Butterbean fought Johnny Knoxville in a sporting goods store. Props to all the true MMA fans out there who are staying away from this junk. Somewhere in a big Las Vegas penthouse suite, Dana is counting his money and laughing … but I digress.

I saw what went down in the U.K. just like everybody else. Bisping was lucky, and I think he knows it. But to anoint Rashad as the next great light heavyweight on the basis of his fight against Ortiz -- who was "world class" back in the days of Colecovision -- is nuts. Bisping would handle Ortiz just as well as Rashad did. So would some of the fans in Newark Saturday night. Believe me, I grew up in the area -- it's a tough town.

My man Bisping's got something to prove, and if he can keep this fight standing up long enough to land some bombs, Rashad may find that he's in for a long night. The standup will be the difference, and Bisping will take a close decision.

Sloan: Wow, that is a ballsy pick. Bisping over Rashad? I just don't see it. I can't figure out what realm of the fight that Bisping has the edge in save for graceful striking. He was taken down countless times by Hamill, and his standup isn't quite as good as everybody thinks it is.

To be frank, I think Rashad is about as good a striker as Bisping, if you want to count everything in one basket. Bisping is a better striker technique-wise, but Evans is the harder striker. With that said, that's the only part of the fight where Bisping has the alleged edge. Everything else heavily favors my man Rashad.

You try to make a decent argument, Steven, but you're in over your head in this one, just like Bisping will be when he tries to fight Evans. Nobody can doubt your prowess when it comes to interviewing people in the sport and breaking down the business spectrum of MMA, but when it comes down to the Great Sherdog Debate, you're about as wet as a manatee.

Curtis: Hey, it's "Go Big or Stay Home" around here, Sloan. Did you think I would tiptoe into this thing? I'm swinging for the fences, my brotha. Call it a hunch, but something tells me the guys at Wolfslair Academy have figured out Mike B needs to work on takedown defense. Standup is Bisping's only shot at a win; otherwise, stick a Union Jack in him.

The rest of the card:
Houston Alexander (Pictures) vs. Thiago Silva (Pictures)
Sloan: Without a shadow of a doubt, this one will end with an explosion. Neither fighter is overrated in my book, but it all boils down to who is more suited for a war. My guess is that Silva is. Silva via second round KO. If this fight doesn't end spectacularly, then Delta Burke will be Playboy's next centerfold.
Curtis: On the fight ending in a KO, I don't disagree at all. Funny you didn't invoke the "strength of competition" argument for this bout, because if you did you'd have to give the edge to Alexander. This guy's got six hungry mouths to feed, and he isn't getting any younger either. He's going to send the Chute Boxer home in a box via KO in round 2.

Joe Doerksen (Pictures) vs. Ed Herman (Pictures)
Sloan: In a complete night-to-day contrast of a matchup, I look for the winner of this fight to be the one who yawned the least. It's competitive but compared to Houston/Thiago, this one looks like bark growing on a tree. Doerksen by decision.
Curtis: The "Short Fuse" has got revenge on his mind, and on Saturday he's going to get it. Doerksen is going to be facing a much better fighter than he did in 2004 -- expect Ed to have learned his lesson from the MacDonald loss and showcase better defense and standup. Herman by decision.

Karo Parisyan (Pictures) vs. Ryo Chonan (Pictures)
Sloan: This one has what it takes to be the fight of the night. Karo has never been in a dull fight, and Chonan scored the second greatest submission in the history of the sport. A late judo throw seals the deal for Parisyan for a decision win.
Curtis: One thing we know about Karo is that he's either going to submit you or take it to the judges. And since Chonan has proved to be tough to submit -- he's only tapped once in his career -- I say Karo wins by unanimous decision. It won't be close.

Frank Edgar (Pictures) vs. Spencer Fisher (Pictures)
Sloan: Fans have been bashing this card because they think it stinks. I disagree. Fights like this snuff out twaddle like how this is a lousy card. Either one of these guys can be fighting for the title, but my guess is that Spencer will inch closer first. He wins a close decision.
Curtis: As a New Jersey native, Edgar's got the "Michael Bisping (Pictures) hometown advantage," so if it goes to the cards, ya gotta know he's got the edge! This one will almost -- almost -- be worth paying for. But Spencer is far more experienced, and Edgar's just overmatched in my opinion. He'll have the answer to "The Answer" and win by second round TKO.

Thiago Alves (Pictures) vs. Chris Lytle (Pictures)
Sloan: If I'm not mistaken, Lytle is Sherdog's own Jake Rossen's favorite fighter, or at least he really loves watching him fight. Lytle's not my personal favorite, but he gets a bad rap. He'll get a worse rap from Alves, though, as the Midwesterner will be halted in the third.
Curtis: Rossen's right, Mike. Lytle gets no respect, but he deserves it. Thiago's been off fighting second-tier guys, but on Saturday he'll step in the ring with a guy who's rolled with the best of them. Lytle has never lost by submission, and Saturday night won't change that. Lytle will win by decision.

Joe Lauzon (Pictures) vs. Jason Reinhardt (Pictures)
Sloan: I wonder if Reinhardt realizes that he has signed a contract to fight one of the creatures from the inexplicably terrible movie "The Descent." Kidding aside, Lauzon is one bad dude, even if B.J. Penn (Pictures) thinks he's creepy. Lauzon by second round stoppage.
Curtis: My sources tell me that Reinhardt has an extra added incentive to win this fight due to a "winner's clause" in his contract that stipulates that if he wins, Lauzon will provide free 24/7 tech support for the next 12 months. But that won't be enough -- Joe is going to finish this one fast -- first round KO.

Luke Caudillo vs. Marcus Aurelio
Sloan: Generation TUF doesn't really know how good Aurelio is especially after his UFC debut and his three straight losses. "Maximus" will bounce back with a vengeance over Caudillo. Sorry, Luke. You picked a bad time to try and pick up your first ever UFC win.
Curtis: I'm with you on this one, Sloan. Luke has been taking the "school of hard knocks" route to the UFC, but it's not going to pay off on Saturday. Aurelio will exploit his weakness on the ground and submit him in round two.

Akihiro Gono (Pictures) vs. Tamdan McCrory
Sloan: Gono! Gono! Gono! The comedian has always been my favorite Japanese fighter to watch, and now the UFC fans will finally get to see why he's not the best Japanese fighter -- just the funniest. Gono by submission, though, in the first. He'll probably win via gogoplata.
Curtis: Gono may bring out the Afro wig and disco suit on Saturday, but McCrory's bringing the bombs. He's going to charge out of the gate and put Gono to sleep via a first round "banzai" knockout.

GSD Career Totals:
Fridley: 5-0
Sloan: 14-13
Savage: 8-11
DeSantis: 0-1
Sherwood: 0-1
Gross (ret): 0-1
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