MacDonald on Faber, Filho, Couture, Kang and Leben
The Athlete jinx
Friday, November 7, 2008
After Wednesday's WEC main event, I should probably stop making fight picks. Iím putting the curse on them. I said there was no way Urijah Faber would lose to Mike Brown. And he gets knocked out. People are going to stop liking me. Iíll show up at the next card and fighters will be mad at me.
But seriously, I was really surprised to see Faber lose like that. He seemed to be dominant for so long and appeared to be getting better with each fight. But maybe thatís part of the problem. He was getting flashy, and he took a risk with a spinning elbow.
Itís funny though. Heís taking some criticism for his wildness in that fight. But thatís one of the reasons we love Urijah. Heís always fighting at a frantic pace.
The Chael Sonnen-Paulo Filho affair was disappointing, for everyone. Everybody knows where I stand regarding not making weight. Iíve said it a million times before: Itís unprofessional. You know a month before you have to make weight and thereís really no excuse when you miss it even by one pound, let alone seven! Filho missing weight by that much tells me he didnít even try to make weight. (What was it that he was in rehab for?)
And then the fight ends up being a flop. It looks like Filhoís talking over the shoulder with imaginary people. I think he needs to take a step back and get his life in order and worry about fighting down the road when heís in a better place mentally, and physically obviously.
Iíve always had questions as to why people held him on such a pedestal. Heís fought some good guys, but not the best at his weight in the world. So I donít know why people called him arguably the second best in the world. Especially a guy that looked just okay against Joe Doerksen, and then just okay against Sonnen the first time they met. He certainly didnít look Anderson Silva-ish. And we saw Wednesday night heís definitely not.
And now the WEC middleweight division is going to be swallowed up by the UFC. So itís disappointing to see the belt get retired in that fashion. It would have been better to see both guys show up ready to fight. Sonnen won that fight, but there will always be a controversy. Itís unfortunate for the fans, and for the fighters. Iím sure Sonnen wanted to fight the best Filho, and that just wasnít the case.
I did get the Jens Pulver-Leonard Garcia fight right. Based on Garciaís fight against Roger Huerta, you know heís a pitbull and you saw more of that against Pulver, who I truly feel is on the downward side of his career. A guy on the rise vs. a guy on the downslope -- dominant knockouts tend to happen in that scenario.
A lot of people have been asking me about my prediction between Brock Lesnar and Randy Couture. While youíll have to wait a week for that, I heard through the grapevine that Randy brought in a huge, 300-pound wrestler guy to help him prepare at this training camp in Vegas. So it sounds like heíll be ready for Brockís size.
Denis Kang signed with the UFC and I just have to say itís about time. He has been a top-10 middleweight for some time, but not as well known since he has been fighting in Japan.
Iím definitely happy for him. Heís a buddy of mine and we have trained together many, many times. He spent time at my home with me and my family. And Iíve spent time in Vancouver with him.
Hopefully the UFC doesnít think itís a good idea to match him up with me right away. Even he said heíd fight anybody for his first fight but he hopes it isnít me. That could happen some time down the road when heís had lots of fight and we just happen to be in each otherís paths as we move along in our career. But Iíd like to avoid that in the mean time.
I read that the Dublin card sold out in just a week or two. Thatís pretty exciting. With my Scottish heritage, and having fought in Belfast, I hope Iíll be part of that card. The only thing I donít like is I can never get any sleep when I travel overseas.
Lastly, it really came as a shocker to me that Chris Leben tested positive for steroids, because as a main event fight you know youíre getting drug tested. And I read that he accepted responsibility for it. It makes no sense to me. Itís like that same self-destructive behaviour. He talks about not having a drink for 89 days and he was getting his life straightened out by moving to Hawaii. And then this.
Itís really sad, actually. He lost a couple fights in a row and his career appeared to be on the downslope. Then he put a couple of wins together to get his career back and get himself into a main event fight. And now he loses a substantial amount of his purse and is suspended for nine months.
Itís a mystery to me why he made that choice. Maybe he was thinking because thereís no official boxing commission in England and he wouldnít get tested. Thereís no excuse though.
Jason 'The Athlete' MacDonald is a Canadian mixed martial artist who fights in the UFC's middleweight division. He lives in Red Deer, Alta., with his wife Kelly and four children, boys Tristin and Keel, and girls Jett and True. He blogs regularly for Sportsnet.ca.