MMA overtime round? UFC lightweight champ Frankie Edgar says bring it on

By MMAjunkie.com

The first two months of 2011 delivered two high-profile draws – UFC 125’s Frankie Edgar vs. Gray Maynard II and UFC 127’s B.J. Penn vs. Jon Fitch – both of which ushered in a slew of controversy and left their respective divisions in flux.

As a rule, draws generally frustrate fans, almost certainly frustrate fighters and generally cause more confusion than resolution. But can the sport’s governing bodies find some way to improve the current system? At least one UFC champion thinks so.

In this past week’s new edition of HDNet’s “Inside MMA,” MMA legend and show host Bas Rutten addressed a viewer’s email that suggested an overtime round be instituted to resolve draws in high-profile bouts such as title contests and No. 1 contender affairs.

Rutten, a former UFC heavyweight champion and King of Pancrase, thinks the idea is a winner. After all, it’s already used in other combat sports, and the UFC even has a “sudden victory” round in place for its Spike TV-broadcast reality series.

“They do it at K-1 in Japan, and I love that idea,” Rutten said. “Actually, ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ does it, too. You fight to a draw, boom, the last [round], whoever wins that wins.”

Edgar, who survived a first-round beatdown against Maynard to battle make to a split draw at UFC 125, was a guest on the new edition of “Inside MMA” and also supported the idea. The UFC lightweight champion now rematches his nemesis at May’s UFC 130 event, but Edgar said he would have preferred to put the situation behind him in January.

“I think another five-minute round would be perfect,” Edgar said. “You go into a fight, you prepare, and you want a decisive outcome. To have to wait another three months and possibly another fight is kind of annoying. I would say another round would be great. You get to figure out who’s the winner right then and there.

 

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Tim Kennedy’s Doomsday Scenario

By Steven Kelliher

Strikeforce middleweight contender Tim Kennedy recently spoke with Tapology’s Steven Kelliher to articulate his thoughts on some negative trends in MMA and his hope for the future.

Kennedy last saw action six months ago when he made an unsuccessful bid for the Strikeforce Middleweight Championship belt currently held by RonaldoJacare” Souza. Since coming out on the wrong side of a somewhat controversial Unanimous Decision, Kennedy has expressed frustration over his opponent’s defensive approach to the fight.

“I was actually more disappointed with the way he wasn’t fighting me,” Kennedy said about Souza. “The numbers that we put up in five rounds—I think Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard put those same numbers up in one round.”

While personal experience undoubtedly influences Kennedy’s thoughts on the matter, the aggressive fighter fears that fighting to decisions is a trend that could do real damage to the sport, irrespective of intelligent arguments made by more conservative fighters.

 

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Gomi Wins! Starting Off 2011 In A Good Way

By N.O.B

Takanori Gomi won the 2011 ADCC Asia Trials in the 77kg division on the 27th in Japan. He faced “Former Super High School Student” Tetsuya Yamada in the second round and won via points. It seems like he racked up the points with his strong wrestling.

Tetsu Hadairo won the tough 66kg division (defeated Kohei Yasumi in final), Korean Doo Kwang Jeon won the 88kg division, Yoshihiro “KISS” Nakao student Animal Anzai won the 99kg division, and the beast Hideki “Shrek” Sekine won the +99kg division.

 

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B.J. Penn on Dana White: “He wants me to be the champ.”

By Jason Benfari

A jiu-jitsu prodigy at age 17, and world champion just three years after picking up the sport, submission grappling has always come easy to B.J. Penn. But wrestling has been a different animal all-together.

Though Penn is considered to have top notch takedown defense, his offensive wrestling, clench game and ability to deal with high level wrestling has come into question in recent years after suffering losses to Georges St. Pierre and Frankie Edgar, both top level MMA wrestlers.

Penn, who picked up high level jiu-jitsu in a matter of a couple of years, admits wrestling has been difficult to pick up.

“The thing about wrestling is that it’s very rough,” Penn recently told UFC.com. “I don’t want to say it’s not technical because it’s just as technical as jiu-jitsu is, but it’s something that has to be hammered into a human being from a young age and you keep going from there. It really is a hard thing to pick up. Wrestling is not easy.

 

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UFC’s Fitch missing killer instinct

By Chris Doucette, Toronto Sun

Prediction: Penn wins Down Under

When B.J. Penn and Jon Fitch square off Down Under Saturday night, there will be a lot at stake.  One fighter aims to prolong his storied UFC career, the other hopes to finally secure his place among the greats in MMA. And both know a shot at the welterweight title is on the horizon for who ever exits the cage victorious at UFC 127 in Sydney, Australia.

As the main event on a card stacked with solid matches, this one has all the makings of a great fight. But it could just as easily be boring as hell.

Whether it’s memorable or forgettable depends largely on two things:  Has “The Prodigy” been working out as hard as he claims? And has Fitch finally learned to finish an opponent?

Many fans believe Fitch will continue his UFC winning streak. Even some of Penn’s fellow fighters have counted him out.  On ufc.com this week, heavyweight Brock Lesnar told UFC president Dana White that he believes Fitch will win by decision.

Go figure!

There are plenty of valid reasons to think the Indiana native will beat Penn.  For starters, Fitch should be able to easily control the much smaller Penn, who moved up from the 155 pound lightweight division to take this fight. Penn was taken to the ground repeatedly by Frankie Edgar when he lost his lightweight strap to him last spring and again in their rematch last summer.

Fitch is 15 pounds heavier than Edgar, six inches taller, with two more inches of reach and he’s a takedown specialist.

 

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Why Compare the UFC and Strikeforce? And Who Wins When it Happens?

By Jonathan Snowden

Mark Pavelich said something telling yesterday on Bloody Elbow Radio. The Maximum Fighting Championship owner, an intensely competitive man, made it clear his promotion, and every other promotion on the planet, is competing for number two. The clear industry leader, the Ultimate Fighting Championship is “miles and miles ahead” of everyone else in the combat sports space.

It’s not just box office dominance, where the UFC has broken it’s own Pay Per View sales record two years running, last year bringing in an estimated $411 million in gross revenue. They’re doing it with the best fighters in the world, smartly matched with other great fighters by matchmaker Joe Silva to create a succession of mega events. And that’s not just my opinion. Our own USA Today/SBNation Consensus Rankings bear this out.

Not only does the UFC keep their accountants busy, they keep most of the world’s top 25 fighters in each weight class busy as well. According to our rankings, 120 of the sport’s 175 top fighters across the major seven divisions compete in the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Of the 70 top ten fighters, 52 of them fly the UFC flag.

It’s a talent gap unprecedented in mixed martial arts history. There’s never been so much talent concentrated in a single promotion ever. Silva and his boss Dana White have more flexibility and options than they’ve ever had. Stars like Georges St. Pierre and Anderson Silva have given the promotion continuity, and young turks like Jon Jones and Frankie Edgar are raising the game to new levels.

It begs the question: why does everyone in the industry compare this modern day promotional marvel to San Jose’s little old Strikeforce?

 

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B.J. Penn: Learning To Appreciate An Original

By E. Spencer Kyte

It’s time to stop arguing and appreciate a true legend at work

Every time B.J. Penn prepares to enter the Octagon, the same string of stories and commentaries surface, describing the former multi-divisional champion as “an enigma” or “polarizing,” discussing whether not “the real B.J. Penn” will show up.

I should know, having followed those paths half-a-dozen times myself here at HeavyMMA.com.

While all of those angles are valid and a result of a career spent alternating between amazing and underwhelming, there comes a time when you have to step back from wondering what could have been or what might come next, and simply enjoy Penn for what he is, a truly one-of-a-kind fighter.

This new way of looking at Penn is a shift in perspective for me, having spent a long time being frustrated by the duality that is “The Prodigy,” a fighter who can go from unbeatable to uninterested from one fight to the next. That possibility still exists; he could just as easily follow up his 21-second knockout win over Matt Hughes with a sub-standard showing against Jon Fitch on Saturday.

By wondering what will happen and what it all means in the grand scheme of things, a scheme that isn’t actually all that grand considering how relatively young a sport this is, we’re missing the forest for the trees.

Penn is an original, a throwback to guys who fought to prove something to themselves above all else. While we’re all busy trying to break down how Penn’s loses outside of the lightweight division contribute to his legacy, the kid from Hilo is preparing to challenge himself once again, stepping in with the second-best welterweight in the world.

 

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