As a lifelong football lover, X-Men fangirl, and mixed martial arts fanatic (with a small side of training), there are three things that make no sense to me:
1) Dallas Cowboys hate
2) Black Panther/Storm marriage hate
3) Rashad Evans hate
I'm somewhat sympathetic to the first one, and in the Jonathan Maberry era, I can almost understand the second one. The third one, however, makes no sense.
Let's review. Rashad Evans is a scrappy little guy who went into the second season of The Ultimate Fighter as a heavyweight. The smallest competitor by far, Evans ran through the competition, taking out 6'6" Brad Imes to win the contract. From there, Evans dropped to light heavyweight—currently the most stacked division by far—improved his record to 13-0-1, and grounded and pounded Forrest Griffin to win the light heavyweight championship.
None of that matters, of course, because Rashad, in his very next fight, was dropped in humiliating fashion to Lyoto Machida, the (official) current belt holder. The truth is, however, that none of that mattered before the Machida fight.
Never mind that before Machida, Evans was Machida: elusive, heavy-handed, improving with every fight, and most importantly, undefeated.
For all the whining about lay 'n' pray, a particularly butthurt piece of criticism seeing how small Rashad is, nobody could figure out how to counter it.
With every Evans victory, the excuses become more and more outrageous.
Hoger and Lambert were nobodies.
Sean Salmon was a can.
Michael Bisping really won.
Tito Ortiz would've won if he wasn't holding the fence (which is probably why he did).
Chuck Liddell was past his prime.
Stephen Bonnar was juicing. (Isn't that the excuse when somebody WINS?)
Forrest Griffin was a paper champ.
Your greasy granny had holes in her panties.
Now, with Rashad on the road back to the belt, and with a new black belt in Brazilian jiu jitsu around his waist (by Rolls Gracie!), we have my new personal favorite...Thiago Silva almost won in the third round.
Almost ? That's what's cutting it in the UFC nowadays?
Ironically, despite Rachad's supposed free ride, there is a sudden push for Rashad to drop to 185 and fight as a middleweight.
Who is stupid enough to beat nearly all of the top LHW talent, and then drop down?
Rashad's record is excellent, but Anderson Silva, he ain't. He has nothing to gain by dropping weight, and everything to lose.
There are still a few scores to settle before Rashad can even think about MW. If he beats Machida, a rubber match is inevitable; ditto for a rematch no matter who wins the Rashad/Rampage battle. He'll have to fight Shogun at one time or another. There's a young cat named Jon "Bones" Jones making everybody nervous. And in the horizon, we have the hurricane name Gegard Mousasi. Like I said before, there is no division more stacked than light heavyweight.
But Jones is still a little too green to be a belt contender just yet, and Mousasi is fighting in Strikeforce. There are only three fighters who matter in the UFC light heavyweight division right now, and Rashad is one of them. Machida and Shogun are the other two. Even Shogun is questionable, having nearly lost to Mark "Old Man River" Coleman.
As for Rampage, who really cares? All people want to see is Rampage knock out Rashad, when he couldn't even knock out Forrest Griffin—a guy Rashad battered unmercifully for the LHW title in the first place. But what comes after that? Does anybody really think Rampage is going to have another shot at the belt, when, as we saw during TUF 10, his ADD-type tendencies constantly keep him out of focus?
C'mon, folks. Tell me what it really is. Tell me why Rashad gets under your skin so much. It's not because of his record—14 wins, one loss and one draw is quite impressive. It's not because of his out-of-the-octagon antics (none). It's not because he doesn't work hard. As we saw last night, it's not because he doesn't fight smart. Isn't this all getting a little...old?
In a sport that sees blood mopped off the floor between fights, does the nipple tweaking bother you that much? If so, do yourself a favor and don't even bother to reply.
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