by Ryan Bennett
Sorry boys and girls. With football in both College and NFL in full bloom I have been way too busy with my “real” sports job. Time to address a billion emails with your questions in another edition of the Bennett Breakdown.
“I truly felt Nick Diaz won the fight vs. Diego Sanchez. He was more active on the ground and Diego didn’t do much on the ground. How did you see it and what’s next for Sanchez?” Marvis Banuelos – Oxnard, CA
I couldn’t disagree with you more. I think it was a close fight and I scored it 29-28 for Diego, but I don’t have a problem with the way the judges scored it, which was 30-27 for Sanchez. The only offense Diaz really mounted was the upkick he landed and he landed a couple of shots during the stand up. Other than that I was surprised how well Diego neutralized every move Diaz had for him on the ground. There was some amazing jiu-jitsu by both guys on the ground and the average guy who doesn’t know the ground fighting game, was impressed as my pseudo sports friends said they enjoyed the “ground stuff” for the first time ever.
Diego’s ground n pound was very good, especially the first two rounds. He did get a little tired the third round, but still this was Diego’s coming out party. This kid is better than most thought and he will have a chance to continue to earn the respect from the hardcore MMA fans who don’t want to give it to him for whatever reason. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Diego face Karo Parisyan Super Bowl weekend.
What’s up with your boy Frank Trigg? How is his ankle and when is he going to fight again? – Richard Manning – Columbus, OH
Trigg is doing fine and his ankle is healing very well. Trigg is a freak of nature where his body heals extremely fast. He mentioned before that his injury is very similar to Terrell Owens surgery last year as T.O. played in the Super Bowl just six weeks after the surgery. Trigg if he had to go, could probably fight at the end of the month; it’s healing that well at six weeks after surgery. As far as where and when he will fight next, I honestly have no idea. All the major players of MMA have contacted him and when I say everybody, I truly mean everybody. The major players want him to fight and he will have to sit down and sort it out. He will be back for early 2006, but the big question is whether it will be in California, Hawaii or Japan, which are all, knocking on his door.
Tell me about Rumble on the Rock’s Tournament for January. Who is in it? – Steve Niumatalolo – Hawaii
This should be a great tournament at 175 pounds. To my knowledge they have locked in Renato “Charuto” Verissimo, Dennis Hallman, Jake Shields, Ronald “Machine Gun” Jhun. I understand they have been talking with Carlos Newton, Frank Trigg, Sean Sherk, Anderson Silva and Joe “Diesel” Riggs. They are also bringing in from Japan, Riki Fukuda who is supposed to be a bad hombre from all accounts. I’ve heard nothing but good things from him. If they can sign the guys they are negotiations with, this will be a tournament for the ages. It’s definitely shaping up to be something very special. By the way, the winner of this tournament gets to fight BJ Penn.
Can you talk about the rumor about a major pro-wrestling player that wants to get involved in MMA? – Chris Figueora
It’s been interesting to see this story gain momentum in the past week. It sounds like Paul Heyman, formerly of ECW fame and has done stuff for the WWE, is interested in starting his own MMA organization. I guess Heyman’s WWE contract expires at the end of December. Dave Meltzer talked about how he has been closely studying the MMA industry, while the PWTorch, a pro wrestling insider publication said quote, “Paul believes he has the next big concept that will revolutionize the industry a second time, just as he did in the late-90’s with ECW.”
Heyman will have to get sanctioned in the state of Nevada or New Jersey to become a major player, which may or may not be difficult with his pro wrestling background. The other thing is if he wants to “revolutionize” MMA, then he better have deep pockets to do so. It’s going to take a ton of money from any organization to compete with the UFC at this stage of the game. He didn’t have enough money in ECW to compete with the WWE back in the 90’s. He will have a similar hill to climb if he wants to compete with the UFC who now has a TV deal, PPV numbers, and tons of new fans.
Is Baroni fighting Chris Leben in the UFC? – Ted Crumpler – Redmond, OR
Good question. Leben was not happy to hear the story that he “dodged Baroni”. Rumor has it that Leben was supposed to fight Baroni in November, but didn’t have enough time to train. That didn’t sit well with Leben. Leben came on MMAWeekly.com a couple of weeks for the Sunday Night Conversation and basically said he would welcome a fight against Baroni anytime and he wanted that fight. There is a rumor floating around that the reason why Baroni isn’t fighting in England for Cage Rage was because the UFC offered him to fight in the Octagon. I heard Baroni was offered a fight on Super Bowl weekend in the UFC, while Leben believes he is fighting on January 16th’s live Spike TV special. The dates don’t match up right now, but both Baroni and Leben want the fight by all accounts. Hopefully they can work it out so we can see a great fight.
I will be back next week for more of your emails, for those who have emailed me and I didn’t get to your question, please catch me on the radio end. We do our show LIVE everyday Monday through Friday at www.mmaweeklyradio.com at 9am Pacific/12 Noon eastern. It’s easier to reach me there and we can address any or all of your questions on the show with myself and MMA fighter Frank Trigg. Until next time have a great week.