It seems that around the time Lyoto Machida knocked out Rashad Evans, every person who has ever had a belt strapped to their waist in our sport is now someone we should all hail as somehow transcendent.
The latest to fall into this category are Christiane "Cyborg" Santos, and Gegard Mousasi.
No disrespect intended to either of these fighters, but here's a stat that ought to perk up your ears. Since Strikeforce has opened its doors as an MMA promotion, exactly zero champions have successfully defended their strap.
HW: Alistair Overeem def. Paul Buentello, defenses: 0.
LHW: Bobby Southworth defeated Vernon White, defenses: 0; Renato Sobral, defenses: 0; Gegard Mousasi, defenses: 0.
MW: Frank Shamrock defeated Phil Baroni, defenses:0; Cung Le, defenses: 0.
LW: Clay Guida defeated Josh Thomson, defenses:0 (left organization); Gilbert Melendez defeats Gabe Lemely, defenses: 0; Josh Thomson, defenses:0.
W145: Cristiane Santos defeats Gina Carano, defenses:0
How can anyone in their right mind possibly claim that Cyborg is untouchable. Some have jokingly or otherwise stumped for a match with Mike Brown.
I've been championing women's MMA for quite a while now, but even I find this laughable. Santos is a lot of things: aloof, aggressive, determined, overwhelming, powerful, and sloppy.
But untouchable? Not even close.
From the very first fight of her career, Cyborg has been pretty poor on the ground, since her leglock defeat, in a fight that I'd pay to see on YouTube, with Erica Paes, she's worked diligently at Chute Box to improve.
Which she absolutely has, she can hold her own with decent grapplers right now, and she's got a few submissions in her bag of tricks. At 24, there's reason to think she's got more development left in her, but as the Strikeforce W145-pound champion, she's going to be getting everyone's best shot.
Marloes Coenen is a marvelous BJJ fighter who's fought a number of 150 and over pound women, she's going to have to cut to get down to 145 pounds. This is an important fact because, Cyborgs never fought anyone her own size before this last fight with Carano.
Now she's going to be fighting as the smaller women. This is a big deal, she'll have to fend off takedowns and close distance. That fight is no layup, and there's plenty of reason to think that the Strikeforce Women's title could change hands.
Enter Gegard Mousasi, a prodigious all around fighter, who's 24. He destroyed Babalu, and in so doing, is the LHW champion. What do you think the likelihood is we see him fight in Strikeforce again this year? One percent?
Then you factor in that he's got to make it through the super hulk tourney, and he's hinted at boxing. How can we even be sure he's going to fight for Strikeforce again? Especially only making 2k, Dream may want him for a LHW tournament at Dream 13-15, who knows.
In six months, things can change a lot. Lets not anoint him just yet.
This whole topic is just fluff, untouchable fighters, are guys like GSP, and Anderson Silva.
Fighters who have cleaned there divisions out with no obvious fighters left to challenge them, and are facing moves up in weight to stay fighting top quality opposition.
Somehow though, in a year where titles have changed hands, Brock Lesnar defeated Frank Mir, to win the Heavyweight "real" Title. Marius Zaromski's won the DREAM Welterweight Grand Prix. Lyoto Machida defeated an undefeated champion to win the LHW title, and previously thought "untouchable" Miguel Torres was knocked out by undefeated challenger Brian Bowles, We've started calling everybody unbeatable.
The point is, there are reasons we fight the fights. We as writers, and fans shouldn't sway like palm trees in the wind, or act as PR departments for winners of title fights.
P.S. I'll make a bold statement. At least one of the perceived "untouchable" champions will fall by this time next year.
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