The last several weeks have been a crazy time for MMA news, with UFC 151′s cancellation, Dana White’s public feud with Jon Jones and Greg Jackson, even more injuries around the sport, and now the cancellation of another Zuffa event just weeks after the decision to nix UFC 151 made MMA history.
Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Healy is History
Zuffa had never canceled an event before, so canceling UFC 151 was a big deal. Now, it seems rather commonplace, doesn’t it?
That may be an exaggeration, but seriously…two canceled events in the space of less than two months? It hardly paints the way that Zuffa is running its two promotions in a positive light. Sure, Strikeforce is a sinking ship anyway, but if Zuffa hadn’t relocated so much of the organization’s talent to the UFC, they’d be able to build cards under the brand that could withstand a key injury.
At this point, there’s no way that a Strikeforce card could go on as planned if someone like Gilbert Melendez has been hurt, which is why you can’t argue with the decision to scrap the event when Melendez separated his shoulder while grappling with Jake Shields in training. Still, what you can do is rewind to all of the decisions that led to this issue and take Zuffa to task for them.
Now, it is even more clear than before that Strikeforce is on life support, and everybody involved, save for a few mid-tier fighters who would not find a home in the UFC if the promotion ceased to exist, would be better off if Zuffa pulled the plug.
Clay Guida to Ply His Trade at 145
Changing divisions is the cool thing to do these days, kids, and you can add Clay Guida to the list of those who have done so. In the last couple of years, we’ve seen fighter after fighter run into a roadblock or have some troubles in their original division, only to jump to another one hoping that the move will be the spark that re-ignites their career.
Of course, the results have been mixed, with most fighters performing similarly to how they did in their previous division once they move. Some have done better of course, and others have even flip-flopped back to their old home without really doing much in-between (Rich Franklin, for instance).
Now, “The Carpenter” will ply his trade at featherweight, fresh off of what in many ways was the most disappointing performance of his carer against Gray Maynard. We all know the story by now: Guida was one fight away from a title shot, and felt he needed to move in and out to score a nip-and-tuck decision over the powerful former title contender. The problem is, as the bout moved on, he kept “moving” but forgot to keep “sticking” Maynard with punches.
Guida is open about his hopes of competing for the featherweight title, but if he expects the division to be any less deep than the lightweight division is, he will be sorely disappointed. There are plenty of great fighters who are struggling just to stay afloat with all the talent at 145 pounds, and champion Jose Aldo is one of the most dominant champions at any weight, to boot.
It remains to be seen how fans will react to Guida after what was a hugely unpopular performance that polarized many who follow the sport. However, as long as he can retain the high energy level that has allowed him to fight with the stamina of a toddler on a sugar-high throughout his career, I think he’ll do just fine at featherweight.
Stop Me If You’ve Heard This One Before…
Yes, believe it or not, Carwin has hurt himself. All kidding aside, while Carwin getting hurt is not exactly a surprise, you have to feel for the guy as he has done nothing but try to get healthy over the past few years, with very bad results.
Training hard in a sport as demanding as mixed martial arts just doesn’t jive with protecting yourself from injury, and this simply proves that rather obvious point yet again. Here’s Carwin’s breakdown of what happened, as he told Tapout Radio:
“It happened during wrestling. A guy was in on a single and I went to throw my hips back and I heard ‘pop! pop! pop!’, so we stopped and he had to help me up. It’s down in size now. It was about the size of a watermelon, but now it’s the size of a cantaloupe.”
Despite it sounding like the kind of injury that would make me want to crawl in a hole and die, a stud athlete like Carwin will bounce back quickly. In fact, Carwin doesn’t think that the injury has to threaten his bout with Roy Nelson, which is scheduled to happen in less than three months now.
“The good news is the doctor doesn’t think I need to have surgery, and we’re still going to push to stay in that fight on December 15th, and I think we’ll be good to go,” Carwin optimistically stated.
You have to give it to him: he really wants to fight. Still, I wonder whether he might be biting off more than he can chew. If he misses (for example) four to six weeks of training, that leaves him with just six to eight to get ready for Nelson. Considering that due to the nature of a knee injury, he won’t be able to do any real cardio during that time, it seems like a bad idea in the making to be so stubbornly resigned to fight, no matter what.
Of course, Carwin has been on the shelf for what will be a year and a half by the time he faces Nelson in December, and you can’t blame him for wanting to make every effort to get back in there again. This is particularly true if you buy into the disdain he apparently holds for Nelson (he now says that Nelson is a “backstabber”, in addition to being a fraud), although I’m not sure I do.