The Ship Be Sinking

Mouth Almighty

Bookings

– So apparently the replacement for the Hammer on UFC 106 is Forrest Griffin, rematching Tito Ortiz. You have to give Joe Silva and the UFC this- they’re overextended, they’re running too many shows, but for now they remain remarkably adept at finding fill-in fights to more or less make up the gaps on cards as they open. Griffin vs. Ortiz is in many ways a better fight; it lacks the chances to build Tito back up with a win over a guy he should beat, but it compensates as a buys fight which has a chance to help push 106 past the million buys mark and it’s the kind of high profile contest where neither guy really loses much in defeat. The probabilities of a humiliating one-sided contest are also really minimal, which frankly Forrest really does need right now after Andy dispelled his aura so comprehensively. There may be some complaining since this is a rematch, but it’s been over 3 1/2 years since their first fight and both-Griffin especially- are different fighters now.

– Also finalized is the Strikeforce CBS card, and you know what? Good for them, this is an excellent card given what’s available. Fedor vs. Rogers is a decent matchup and while Fedor should be and is heavily favored (I’ve seen -1000 lines), Rogers is at least a viable and competitive heavyweight, and has enough rep and presence so that if Fedor blitzes him quickly it’ll be impressive rather than just disappointing. Mousasi vs. Sokoudjou is a bit better than a pure showcase fight, and while Mousasi should be heavily favored he’s not a mortal lock and the fight is as interesting as any available using non-UFC 205 pounders. Shields and Miller should be a lot of fun, and they need to get guys like Shields exposure and hopefully make minor stars out of them, and if Miller pulls off the upset he’s at least a memorable character. Werdum and Bigfoot Silva in particular strikes me as skilled matchmaking: Werdum is a very legitimate top-class heavyweight, so a win for him here on CBS helps build him up as a real Fedor challenger; if by Some chance Silva pulls off the win, he’s got a big-name defining victory of sorts to help build him as a Fedor challenger for hardcores, and for more casual fans he’s always got the scary-looking giant thing going for him as a marketing hook as well as previous network TV exposure. Obviously there’s some danger given Silva’s sketchy reliability, but given how few serious non-UFC heavyweights there are and the fact that Notastar Overeem, in theory the champion, is perpetually unavailable, this is about as good as you can do if you’re looking to have a second heavyweight fight on your biggest show of the year.

All in all, I’d say Strikeforce have at least a solid double with this card, and a potential homerun if several of the fights end up as exciting, call-your-friends all-actioners; Miller vs. Shields and Sokoudjou vs. Mousasi would be the best bets for that. I’m pretty excited for this one.

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October 9, 2009 - Posted by | MMA

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