MMA Christmas: 10 MMA Fighters and What They Want Most This Christmas
So Christmas is upon us, and I've already given y'all ideas of what to get your favorite MMA fan this year, but I've been doing some digging the past couple of days and I've happened upon something.
Not too long ago, Santa Claus flew in to Dallas, Texas from Montreal, Quebec, Canada -- the same area where he persuaded MMA Referee of The Year, Herb Dean, to let the Georges St-Pierre-Josh Koscheck bout at UFC 124 continue on for one more round, even though Koscheck's right eye had seen better days.
He arrived at DFW Airport and took a taxi to my place in a suburb of Dallas, Texas, and because I can never break away from the Holiday spirit during Yuletide season, he allowed me a quick peek at what they wanted this year from Jolly Old Saint Nick.
Here's a little bit of what the big guy's list left me with.
Nick Diaz: A Clothing Line Known As The
Nick Diaz made it famous when he called KJ Noons out in the aftermath of his first fight with "King Karl".
Jason "Mayhem" Miller used it to call Diaz out in the media, all in the hopes of fighting Diaz in a long awaited bout (which, if you haven't heard, still ain't happening.)
Seriously, the fight's clearly one that Scott Coker may not be making, though it's on his to-do list for 2011 for sure, and the general consensus on Diaz's January 29th bout with Evangelista "Cyborg" Santos is that a box set of the entire Terminator series will only inspire Nick to find a rather humorous way to cause the programming of Mr. Cyborg to go haywire.
So what do you hook him up with?
A few creative dudes who can design some clothing and a deed to the name "Unscared Homies" for a clothing line.
That'll teach Mayhem to take a page out of the book of Napoleon Dynamite!
Eddie Alvarez: A Lightweight Challenge... From Gilbert Melendez?
It says something about a fighter when his last loss was a submission loss to one of the best Lightweights in the game, which is then followed by a six fight losing streak in which nobody has gone the full distance with said fighter.
That's pretty much the problem when it comes to Eddie Alvarez -- most UFC fans will recognize said problem as "The Clay Guida Situation".
Basically, ever since tapping out to Shinya Aoki at DREAM Dynamite! about two years ago, The Silent Assassin has posted a six fight hot streak of finishes that has had everyone wondering, "What the hell do you want to fight Eddie Alvarez for?!"
Every non-UFC Lightweight not named Gilbert Melendez has been presented the question of what they want to fight Eddie for, and six -- including UFC vet Roger Huerta -- have fallen.
So St. Nicholas, I implore you to consider giving Scott Coker a good reason to make Melendez-Alvarez go down before the end of 2011.
Anderson Silva: Takedown Defense
I like Anderson Silva, but I can't act like the CSAC situation regarding Chael Sonnen has fully overshadowed the fact that Silva was losing four rounds unanimously before that Triangle Choke -- which, if you're judging it based on technique, was a total Hail Mary.
In other words, the hold was not the most expertly-applied submission, even if it did force a tap.
The main thing Silva may need in his UFC 126 bout with Vitor Belfort really isn't striking or BJJ, because he has some more solid BJJ than people have given him credit for and he also has some of the sport's best striking.
It's the takedown defense that needs honing, and you can bet that if Belfort doesn't blast Silva early and knock him out, he's going straight for the Judo moves.
Silva needs to defend every opportunity Belfort takes to try and take him down when the two collide, and if Silva can at least do that, he'll be one step closer to making Belfort run out of any option aside from the option of "Pray that the judges rob Silva".
Is Anderson beating Vitor a longshot?
Absolutely, but at least if Silva beats Belfort, there's still a shot of Silva vs. St. Pierre actually happening.
Chris Leben: A Fight Slated For Sometime During The Holidays
If you listened to the last edition of Ariel Helwani's MMA Hour, you know that Leben actually fits the theme of The Grinch this time of year.
He's just the type of dude who likes to be genuinely nice instead of smile and get all cheerful about something that isn't really something he should be cheerful about -- that's just the way he feels about it.
So was his UFC 125 bout with Brian Stann a good gift for him?
Pretty good, considering that the fight is on NYD, but for next Christmas when New Year's Eve is on a Saturday, as is probably Christmas Eve?
Give Chris a chance to smack somebody up in the cage.
Jason Miller: A Monkey To Go Ape On (I.e. Someone To Fight)
Team Mayhem was within inches of closing a deal that would have seen "The Fight" actually happen.
Anyone who's followed MMA since at least March of this year probably has an idea as to what "The Fight" is.
The problem in making "The Fight"?
Nick Diaz and Jason Miller couldn't settle on a weight limit.
It seems that it isn't happening for a longer while than hoped, and Miller is apparently not fighting Tim Kennedy (although various sources have reported otherwise).
Since Mayhem is already getting people in the MMA world to beat up on bullies, and Mayhem has already done the same, the best thing to give the leader of the Monkey Cult?
If you can't donate a monkey to be the symbol of the cult, then find him a homie -- preferably one that is as fearless (and equally off his rocker) as Mayhem himself.
Translation: Give him someone to fight so he doesn't have to sit around the house and lose his good frame.
Georges St-Pierre: A Welterweight Challenge
Personally, I don't think GSP gets his X-Mas gift for a while, but I won't delve too much into it.
The Big Guy feels that GSP has been walking through some of his past opponents, and he believes Georges wants a challenge before he gives the fans their dream scrap with Anderson Silva.
I can't disagree with the man, seeing as BJ Penn has come the closest of anyone to beating GSP in GSP's post-Serra-rematch outings.
He made BJ's corner throw in the towel, he hit Thiago Alves with his groin, he manhandled Dan Hardy and his rubber arm (despite GSP's humility coming into play and attempting to convince us all that he didn't apply either the armbar or the kimura correctly), and he lured Santa out of hiding after messing up Josh Koscheck's right eye.
He doesn't need to expose any flaws in Jake Shields because Martin Kampmann and Dan Henderson have done so -- even in grueling defeat.
Shields will be a test for GSP, but what GSP needs isn't another test.
He needs something that Anderson Silva got from Chael Sonnen: he needs someone to challenge him in every aspect of the sport.
Josh Koscheck: The Best Seat In The House For The Winter Classic
"It's no secret: they don't like us and we don't like them." -- Brooks Laich, Washington Capitals Center.
"I can't stand them. I love to play them and I love to piss them off" Max Talbot, Pittsburgh Penguins Center.
You don't have to like, respect, or care about the National Hockey League or the sport of Hockey in general to know what the NHL Winter Classic means to Dan Bylsma's PIttsburgh Penguins and Bruce Boudreau's Washington Capitals.
The Capitals, headed by Alex Ovechkin, look to get the better of their rivals, which are led by one Sidney Crosby, often labeled as "The Next One" by fans of the sport.
Fun fact: Josh Koscheck is a Pennsylvania native who boldly predicted that the Penguins would defeat the Montreal Canadiens one week after Kos defeated Paul Daley.
What better gift to give to a guy like Kos than a front row seat to watch the two teams collide at Heinz Field on New Years Day?
That is, unless he's planning on taking a trip to Vegas on New Years Day.
Brock Lesnar: Defensive Boxing Skills
Like it or not, Brock Lesnar is still the FORMER UFC Heavyweight Champion.
He said he was going to beat Cain Velasquez, and he didn't follow through.
People said it was just "rattling off facts" to suggest that Cain's Wrestling was threatening to Lesnar, but they figured Brock would steamroll Cain in the first round.
Brock is improving, but an inexperienced MMA fighter is an inexperienced MMA fighter regardless of whether he's UFC Champion or not.
Cain just proved to be the better fighter at UFC 121.
St. Nick realizes that a loss doesn't serve to demote a man's self esteem, but it does instead serve to better the man as a fighter and a person.
Therefore, he's granting Brock with the one thing people thought he was getting with Pat Barry as a training partner: a means of striking defense that will help Brock on the feet.
If he can learn to block shots and if he can improve his own striking along the way, St. Nick says he may not want to be the champion when said champion has to face what Santa hopes is a new and improved Brock Lesnar.
BJ Penn: Another Crack at GSP
The first time, BJ left it in the hands of the judges.
The second time, the fight was stopped as GSP brought it to BJ, but controversy arose in the form of a greasing debate.
The third time: BJ had just beaten, in 21 seconds, the man who GSP has beaten twice and was on his way to face Jon Fitch in Australia.
It's not a secret when it comes to the GSP-BJ Penn feud: BJ won't get GSP off of his mind unless one of two things happen:
Either BJ Penn is beating Georges St-Pierre, or BJ Penn is being forced into retirement due to a loss a la Chuck Liddell.
Penn clearly is not heading into the retirement circuit anytime soon -- not with the way he looked in his last fight.
That just leaves a shot at GSP-Penn 3 in the open for The Prodigy.
Fedor Emelianenko: An Ice Cream Cone
Fedor Emelianenko is to MMA what the character Needles "Sweet Tooth" Kane is to the Twisted Metal series:
He's a big dude, he looks like the guy you'd want around your kids (ask Mark Coleman and his daughters), and he'll likely kill you if you mess with him, yet he's still a guy with a few flaws here and there.
The only thing that calms him down?
Some ice cream, which he doesn't mind eating from time to time.
Get him a cone, and you'll make his Yuletide magical.
If the cone has Fabricio Werdum's face on it, then you'll probably make his entire 2011.
IF The List Made It In Your Direction This Year...
Don't keep the Christmas magic of Santa's list to yourself -- let a kid know what your favorite fighters wanted this Christmas and if you believe they're going to get it this year.
Once again, happy holidays from Yours Truly and keep it locked to B/R in the days to come as UFC 125 is only one week away!