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aholbert32's Blog
Fight Week - Young Guns Stuck
Posted on July 25, 2012 at 04:36 PM.

I’m back with another edition of Fight Week! The past two weeks, two young fighters have come into the combat sports spotlight. Here are my thoughts on both fighters.

Adrien Broner – I’ll be completely honest: The hair brushing is what originally made him stand out to me. It was June 2011 and I just witnessed him crush super featherweight contender Jason Litzau with a huge combination that resulted in a first round KO. It was a good win over a solid opponent but during the post fight interview, I saw something utterly ridiculous. While participating in the interview, he had another man (I later discovered it was his father) brush his hair. It was a silly scene that for some reason made me laugh so hard that I woke up my fiancé from a deep sleep.

He’s proceeded to do this after every fight since the Litzau victory. As over the top as the hair brushing is, I didn’t mind it because it’s such a minor thing and Broner has been destroying his opponents. If you KO an opponent, I don’t care if you have your hair brushed after the fight, do “the robot” (like Ryan Jimmo did this past weekend after his UFC record tying KO) or play air guitar like Anderson Silva used to do. The problem is when these outside activities start to overshadow what you do in the ring. As Broner has become more successful, it’s been clear that his actions are getting worse. He choked Eloy Perez at the weigh-in before their fight. He rapped to his own song (with a microphone) during the walk-in at the Perez fight (Roy Jones did this but he accomplished a lot more than Broner at the time). Those were relatively small things until this weekend’s fight.

In my opinion, missing weight is one of the most disrespectful things a fighter can do. When you sign a fight contract, make an agreement with another fighter that you both will be on equal terms regarding weight. Failing to uphold that agreement, gives a fighter a huge advantage in a sport where advantages like this can lead to serious injuries. Not only did Broner miss weight before his fight against Vicente Escobedo, he missed it by 3.5 pounds and didn’t even try to make weight during the hour he was given after the weigh-in. Immediately after getting off the scale, he chugged a bottle of water. Broner was stripped of his WBO Junior Lightweight belt but Escobedo was still willing to fight him if he stayed under 140 pounds at the morning of the fight. Broner blew that off and weighed in at 145 the morning of the fight and Escobedo threatened to pull out of the fight. It took a reported 300k more to get Escobedo to stay in the fight. Broner did not care about making weight or getting his title stripped because he knew that he was planning to move up to lightweight after this fight. He just wanted to get a quick KO and that’s what he did. Broner stopped Escobedo in the fifth round.

What’s really sad is that two days after the fight nobody even remembers that he missed weight. All of the post fight talk has been about the knockout or how he fake proposed to his girlfriend during the post fight interview. HBO commentator Max Kellerman tried to take him to task for missing weight but Broner swiftly ducked those questions. In the end, all people care about is the result and the sideshow and as long as Broner keeps winning impressively no one will care about anything else.

Chris Weidman – I was completely taken aback last Wednesday. It wasn’t supposed to happen this soon. Weidman faced Mark Munoz at UFC on Fuel 4 and walked right through him. In Weidman’s previous four UFC fights, he’s shown good wrestling and submissions but subpar standup and virtually no knockout power. Against Munoz, he showed that he might have the complete package by knocking out Munoz with a standing elbow. The key word in that last sentence is “might.”

Here is the argument against Weidman:

1. The standing elbow could’ve been a fluke: He has never shown a diverse striking game in his previous four fights. The counterargument is that as he continues to get more experience, his striking is improving. My only issue with that argument is that you usually see a diverse striking ability immediately. Jon Jones was attempting spinning back elbows in his first two UFC fights. Jose Aldo’s striking has been great since his WEC debut. ‘

2. We don’t know if he has a chin: There is a growing movement toward giving Weidman the next title shot against Silva. Now understand that we are considering putting a guy with only 9 fights and who has only faced one fighter who is considered a striker (Alessio Sakara) in against perhaps the greatest striker in MMA history. Does that sound right?

3. Just because there is no one else doesn’t mean he should get a title shot: Weidman’s best argument for a title shot is he has two wins over top 10 middleweights and that his resume is better than the other potential contenders. This can’t be debated. Michael Bisping has 12 UFC wins but his biggest win is over Chris Leben. Brian Stann’s biggest win is over Leben too. Alan Belcher has won 6 out of his last 7 but his biggest win is over fringe #1 contender Rousimar Palhares. So that only leaves Weidman who by all accounts is still very green.

So what do we do? We should all look towards September 1 and UFC 151. Current UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones is facing Dan Henderson on that night and no matter who wins that person should face Anderson Silva. Both divisions currently need immediate contenders. Henderson has been asking for a rematch with Silva for years. Jones has been open about not wanting to fight Silva because they are “friends” but he has shown in the past that those words don’t mean much. Dana White can and will throw enough money at both of them to make them forget their friendship. Those fights could occur in December/January and it gives both divisions the time to build new contenders.

I’ll be back next week to discuss UFC on Fox 4. If you have a comment about the blog, post below or tweet me at @aholbert32
# 1 SHAKYR @ Jul 25
Nice write up!
# 2 rockchisler @ Jul 25
So I guess all the Mayweather heat will go to Broner now..
# 3 SHAKYR @ Jul 25
Broner is selling himself to the media and fans. People want a boy to act like a man. He's only 22 years old. He still have plenty of time for growth.
# 4 Pappy Knuckles @ Jul 27
Good article. I don't follow boxing as closely as I do MMA, so I haven't seen very much of Broner outside of a few clips. I'll have to check this guy out some more and see what all the hype and criticism I'm reading towards him is all about. He certainly seems to be making a name for himself whether good or bad.

I'm seeing a lot of support for Weidman getting the Silva fight next. He's probably not ready for it, but he makes a decent case for deserving the shot. He didn't look great in the Maia fight, but other than that he's been solid. It probably wouldn't do great numbers and I'd expect Silva to smash him, but I'd still watch. I think the best scenario for the UFC would be having Bisping beat Stann convincingly and then putting him up against Silva. They could then throw Belcher and Weidman against each other and give the winner the next shot. However it works out, nobody in the middleweight division is going to be a blockbuster fight for The Spider. Jones or Hendo would be preferable, but I doubt that goes down.
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