Now that I have fully digested last night’s UFC on FUEL 8 card, and my required viewing of Sunday cable e.g., “The Walking Dead” and the debut episode of “Vikings. It’s safe to say I’m blood thirsty–well to write at least. Not about the fact that Wanderlei Silva would’ve made a fine Viking–although it definitely needed to be mentioned. The following quote from Dwight talking about Marv in Sin City comes to mind, and could easily be substituted for the “Ax Murderer.”
“Most people think Marv is crazy. He just had the rotten luck of being born in the wrong century. He’d be right at home on some ancient battlefield swinging an axe into somebody’s face. Or in a Roman arena, taking his sword to other gladiators like him.”
The gloves are off, the tape has been cut. Now let’s look at what’s next for the winners, and who is left in pain from the UFC on FUEL 8 main and co-main.
Timeless, brutal, vicious, and full of bad intentions, are ways you could describe last night’s old school slugfest of a main event. A return to glory for Silva, that didn’t take place in the fight capital of Sin City, but in Japan. Maybe the return to where Silva’s Pride career took place gave him the added edge in that thrilling KO victory over Brian Stann. Many picked Stann to win this matchup, as did I, due to the decline of Wandy’s chin and penchant for wanting to stand and trade. That is exactly what he did, got dropped several times in doing so, and still pulled out an epic finish earning himself FOTN and KOTN bonuses. If he would have suffered a bad KO loss, he probably would’ve been urged to retire. Now that he won, and the way in which he did so, he won’t be thinking of hanging them up anytime soon. The taste of victory is just too sweet for a fighter like Silva to do so. It would be a great way to walk away from the sport, especially in Japan where his greatest victories have taken place, but unfortunately it will probably be a situation like Chuck Lidell that makes him retire. I say keep Silva at 205 and match him up vs. Hendo.
Stann has absolutely nothing to hang his head about. He should be commended for choosing to sling axes with the “Ax Murderer” and had a few more punches landed for him, he could’ve easily walked away the winner last night. Stann remains in the good graces of the UFC brass because he gave the fans the fight they wanted to see. By choosing to stay in the pocket, and attempting to beat Silva at his own game of Rock’em Sock’em Robots, Stann’s stock can only go up from here. I’d find it hard to believe, if someone told me he trained on the ground at all for this fight. In a current time where discussions on fighters getting cut after a loss are bandied about consistently, losers in these types of fights like Stann vs. Silva are being lauded for bringing it, throwing caution to the wind and making it exciting even in a losing effort. I say we next see Stann back at 185. I say match him up vs. Hector Lombard. That fight was supposed to happen last August on the FOX 4 card, and could easily be another fan friendly slug fest.
For as long as Stefan Struve’s reach is, it isn’t difficult for any of his opponents to get inside and start landing punches. Stipe Miocic made this quite obvious in Struves last outing, landing early and often before losing by KO. One would think that he would’ve made some improvements before going against a striker like Mark Hunt. The answer is: no he did not, and the result is a KO loss and broken jaw. Struve’s 4 fight win streak is snapped, and as Michael Bisping would say “go to the back of the que.” The good news is Struve is only 25, with another win or two he can get another chance at getting into the top tier of division. Any talk of a possible title shot any time soon will cease to exist. I say a rematch vs. Travis Browne.
Struve chose to stand with him, and boy did Hunt make him pay. KOTN bonus for the “Super Samoan,” his fourth win in a row, and first bonus of his career. No one can dismiss Hunt’s 30-13 kickboxing record, but he has an underwhelming MMA record of 9-7. However, he’s 4-1 in the UFC and the fans love him and his style, as evident in last year’s Twitter campaign for him to face JDS for the title after Overeem’s suspension was announced. I say if Roy Nelson defeats Cheick Kongo, the battle of the bellys needs to happen. Or, if Shane Carwin is coming back from his knee injury in the next few months that would be a fun fight as well.