by Ryan Bennett
BENNETT BREAKDOWN: WHO’S #1 AT 205, QUINTON’S CONTRACT, JEREMY HORN NEWS AND LATEST ON FRANK TRIGG
Ryan Bennett is the host of MMAWeekly Radio and currently does play by play on pay per view for promotions like K-1, Rumble on the Rock and WEC. Each week he answers the fans emails in his Bennett Breakdown. This week he addresses Quinton Jackson’s contract, what’s next with Jeremy Horn, and more in this week’s edition of the Bennett Breakdown.
Who deserves to be rated #1 in the world at 205? Charles Lamond – Biloxi, Mississippi
Great question and I don’t even know if I have the answer. As of today, I would think you would rank Chuck Liddell slightly ahead of Shogun Rua for the simple fact he has done it over a longer period of time. Over the past 5 years, Liddell has been sensational. The thing I love about Liddell and Rua is who they’ve done it against. Look how good these two champs have been. Shogun’s path to winning the Pride Grand Prix is nothing short of amazing. Shogun defeated Quinton Jackson, Rogerio Nogueira, Alistair Overeem, and Ricardo Arona in succession. He has arguably had the toughest path possible to win the Grand Prix. That truly is incredible.
On the flip side, Liddell has gone through murderer’s row as well. How about the fact that he has dominated and knocked out guys who have never been KO’d ever. Jeremy Horn, Randy Couture and Tito Ortiz? That’s sick. It’s not right, people. The Iceman and Shogun are on such a high that both appear to be as untouchable as you can be in the fight game.
Speaking of Horn, it just goes to show that even in a loss you can solidify and actually increase your value with a company. While Ivan Salaverry was cut by the UFC after a lackluster effort against Nathan Marquardt earlier this month, the UFC and the world saw Horn finally shake off the “boring” tag that has plagued him going into this UFC. We will now see Horn finally having a home in the UFC in the 205 pound weight class.
Why 205 and not 185? The UFC needs more contenders in 205 as they try to rebuild the weight class. Horn has a variety of rematches in the future that will be huge. Among them, rematches with Babalu Sobral, Forrest Griffin and Randy Couture come to mind. At 185, Horn would be one of the most dominant fighters in the division and would actually do better as a middleweight compared to Light Heavyweight. However, there are two big problems at 185; Rich Franklin and Joe Doerksen. As many of you know, Horn is great friends with both Franklin and Doerksen, so that leaves two fighters in the top 10 that he won’t fight, period. Thus Horn will stay at 205 and not fight at 185 in the UFC. Don’t be surprised if Horn’s next fight comes against another fighter who was impressive in a loss, Mike Van Arsdale.
Is Quinton Jackson coming to the UFC? Marty Higgenson – Columbia, Missouri
Don’t look for Quinton Jackson in the UFC anytime soon. He has a no compete clause in his Pride contract until the end of the year. Rampage is under contract with Pride until October, although they most likely won’t use him between now and then. Even after his contract is up in October, he can’t fight for the UFC until the beginning of the new year. It’s an interesting stipulation Pride put in the contract, but bottom line Rampage won’t fight in the UFC until early 2006. Also remember that Pride STILL could pick up the option if they want to re-sign him between now and October.
Now even if Zuffa does sign Jackson, don’t look for the Quinton Jackson vs Chuck Liddell fight to happen anytime soon. Jackson told me at the WEC show that he needs a few tune up fights before he steps in the Octagon against a guy like Liddell. He basically isn’t interested in facing Couture or Liddell in his first fight in the UFC.
What happened to your boy Trigg against Georges St.Pierre…he didn’t look right in my opinion? Tony Martinez – Long Beach, California
You are very perceptive and bottom line he wasn’t right. Trigg had surgery this morning to repair his ankle. Trigg put off surgery after the second Hughes fight and his ankle was actually getting more healthy. Trigg didn’t actually think he would need surgery but he then re-injured it a month before his fight vs St.Pierre. When Trigg threw a punch in the early seconds of the fight with St.Pierre at UFC 54, his ankle buckled on him. St.Pierre got the easy take down and never looked back. Trigg will get the surgery done today and hopes to be back in two to three months. Trigg won’t make excuses as he has never brought it up and won’t period. Even a healthy Trigg might not have mattered against GSP. St.Pierre is that good right now. Trigg will be back soon. Wouldn’t be surprised to see him in either WEC or Rumble on the Rock and yes, all major organizations in Japan are interested in pursuing Mr. Twinkle Toes as we speak.
What is Kid Yamamoto up to and when will we see him fight? Akiro Yamaguichi – Tokyo Japan
The great Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto has many things being thrown in his lap, the most interesting thing believe it or not could be amateur wrestling. I was talking with MMAWeekly.com editor Scott Petersen and the big story right now in Japan is about Kid being approached by Japan’s amateur wrestling body, who is making a big push at Kid to focus on amateur wrestling while wanting him to pursue trying to make the Olympics as a wrestler. Yamamoto has the bloodlines to do so, as his Dad was a champion in amateur wrestling who competed at the highest levels. Right now as popular as Kid is in Japan, the Japanese would love to capitalize on his popularity by giving amateur wrestling a much needed shot in the arm. They feel if Kid would cross over to wrestling, it would give wrestling some “Hollywood” type appeal and influence other young Japanese athletes to compete in the sport. Dave Meltzer in his latest newsletter talked about the same topic and made the comparison regarding the WWE’s Kurt Angle. Angle, who wanted to give another shot at trying to wrestle in the Olympics, could’ve made a huge impact in USA amateur wrestling if he made the team again. The hope was to make new amateur wrestling fans out of the existing professional wrestling fans. It didn’t work out for Angle and I’m not sure it will work out for Yamamoto either.
Can you confirm Liddell was sick before facing Horn at UFC 54? Casey Johnson – Arroyo Grande, CA
Liddell was as sick as a dog leading up to the fight with Jeremy Horn. He had a temperature of 103 degrees before his showdown, which makes it even more incredible that his cardio wasn’t a factor in his fight. Horn’s plan going into the Liddell fight was to stand with the Iceman for the first two or three rounds and make Chuck miss with big power punches. Horn didn’t even want to attempt a takedown in the first two rounds because of Chuck’s strength. So, if Horn could have Liddell miss with the big bombs he throws, he could wear Chuck down and then try for takedowns in the 3rd and 4th rounds finally finishing with a submission. As we all saw, Chuck didn’t miss with his power shots and the strategy didn’t work.
Will Joe Doerksen be the next fighter cut from the UFC after his loss? Don LaMotta – Toronto
Actually the answer is no. I know many fighters have been let go as of late, but if you look at Jeremy Horn and Joe Doerksen it just solidifies the thought that if you fight hard and you are exciting in your fight, even in a loss, the UFC will bring you back. The UFC was very pleased with Joe Doerksen’s effort in his fight with Matt Lindland. Zuffa really felt that Doerksen tried to push the fight and work for finishes. Joe Doerksen will still be brought back again in the UFC in the 185 division.
Alright people back to work. Enjoy your week and I will catch you next week for another edition of Bennett Breakdown.