Ahoy dear readers and welcome to the first ever edition of The Daily Line MMA Mailbag, where I answer the questions that you’ve sent in through Twitter and in the comments section. Let’s jump right in.
How would you rate this season of The Ultimate Fighter?
Not sure of the scale here, but I’ll try my hand at this anyway. Personally, I’m really looking forward to the UFC changing up the format of TUF for FX, because the show’s current incarnation grew tedious about five installments ago – and that’s being generous. Though this season benefited from Jason “Mayhem” Miller and some of the best fights in the show’s history, there was still major focus put on the in-house drama and pranks, with the Spike creative team forcing together the same weak story lines as ever. That said, this season didn’t put any more focus on the drama than any of the other seasons have, it did deliver some very entertaining fights and it finally gave the lower weight classes the spotlight. For that, I’ll call it a seven out of ten. Here’s hoping that TUF on FX will focus more on the competition and less on manufactured and played out drama.
Does Mayhem become the number one contender if he beats Michael Bisping on Saturday?
No. Mayhem is a very good fighter, but thanks to his role in the infamous Strikeforce: Nashville brawl, he hasn’t seen a ton of meaningful action lately. After suffering a decision loss to Jake Shields in 2009, Miller has only gone on to compete twice, beating an unheralded Tim Stout and an over the hill Kazushi Sakuraba. Even with an impressive win over Bisping, Miller will need to win at least once more to truly establish himself as the number one contender. Look for the winner of the curious Chael Sonnen-Mark Muñoz match up to face off against Anderson Silva next.
Does Michael Bisping have anything to gain by beating Mayhem on Saturday?
Absolutely. Though Mayhem is probably known by most layfans more for his wacky personality and his hosting stint on Bully Beatdown, he is an extremely talented fighter who’s been around the game for a long time and is respected by his peers. A win over Miller doesn’t boost Bisping’s standing in the division by a ton, but it’s definitely a step up from his controversial victory over Jorge Rivera in his most recent outing. Beating Mayhem won’t earn Bisping an immediate title shot, but about the only thing that would right now would be defeating Dan Henderson or Chael Sonnen.
Who will make it in the finals of TUF 14?
I think that, despite Team Mayhem’s early dominance, we’ll most likely see a fighter from each team represented in both the bantamweight and featherweight finals. Currently Team Bisping’s TJ Dillashaw is in the bracket at bantamweight and Team Mayhem’s Dennis Bermudez at featherweight. I think that Diego Brandao will probably starch Bryan Caraway to make it in opposite Bermudez and John Dodson will likely defeat Johnny Bedford for a chance at Dillashaw.
That’s it for this week y’all. You can send your questions to me through Twitter (@_MarkWayne) or the comments section below.