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It's once again an overflowing mailbag, as mixed martial arts fans continue to sound off about Chuck Liddell's future, whether Keith Jardine did enough to keep his job Saturday, the scar on Matt Hamill's back and the scoring in the main event of WEC 49 on Sunday.
I get to those topics, and more, in this edition of the MMA mailbag.
Chuck should fight Tito
Why doesn't UFC president Dana White make a fight between Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz? Liddell deserves the chance to fight Tito and I can tell you this is one fight that's one-sided toward Liddell beating the lights out of Tito. Every Liddell fan wants to see Chuck go out with a bang, and what would be better than a knockout of Tito?
Miguel, if you're a fan of Chuck's, do you really want to see him fight again and possibly risk very serious brain injury? Once a person has one concussion, they're more apt to get another, and of a more severe nature. Liddell had a great career and has nothing to prove. He has beaten Tito twice. It's time for him to retire and not take a needless risk.
Doesn't want Chuck gone
I can't tell you how sad I am to see Chuck Liddell possibly retire. Do you think if Chuck could prepare a better game plan for fights he could make another run at the title? I think ever since the Keith Jardine fight, Chuck has been more prone to push the action. He fought a smart fight with Silva because he respected Silva's knockout power. He took Silva down and had a good game plan. I think every time Chuck gets knocked out, he is ahead on the scorecards. Why risk rushing in and overcommitting for a knockout?
Pompano Beach, Fla.
The point isn't that he was ahead on the scorecards. The point is that he's unable to take a punch the way he used to and, because of that, he shouldn't be fighting.
No more top foes
If Liddell fights again, it had better not be against a Top 10 fighter, or he'll be getting knocked out again. He's too aggressive throwing wild punches trying to regain his form from the glory years. The more aggressive you punch, the more you leave your chin exposed, and at 40, his chin is made of glass, not granite. Only a fool full of pride would fight again after the way he's been destroyed recently.
Steven M. Tobin
I agree, but I don't think he should even think about fighting non-Top 10 opponent. He's done.
Cut "The Dean?"
How dare you insinuate Keith "The Dean of Mean" Jardine is in danger of being cut after that performance on Saturday against Matt Hamill in "The Ultimate Fighter Finale?" Why doesn't the UFC then cut Chris Lytle, Sam Stout, and Wanderlei Silva while they're at it? If referee Herb Dean hadn't deducted that ridiculous point for the inadvertent eye poke, Jardine wouldn't have had to flurry through the last half of the fight trying to make up the ground. His fight with Quinton "Rampage" Jackson was won by Jackson in the final 10 seconds, and he holds wins over Top 10-level fighters during their reigns at the top. Guys who lay it all out there and are willing to fight anyone shouldn't be penalized. Maybe if you put down your statistics reading spectacles and instead enjoyed the view of an actual fight from your ringside seat, you would understand why the decision to cut Pete Sell after four losses hurt real fight fans more than the decision to cut Thales Leites after two.
Jersey City, N.J.
Well, Crofton, I wasn't insinuating. I was reporting what I had been told by sources close to the situation. Jardine may not be cut, and I wasn't suggesting that he should be, but rest assured the UFC is at least discussing it internally. The reason Dean took the point was because it did damage to Hamill. He said he noticed Jardine was getting wild with his punches and punching with his hand open on occasion. As a result, Dean decided to take the point away because Hamill was going to be diminished the rest of the fight. As for cutting Jardine, it's a tough call. I agree with your basic point about Jardine being an exciting fighter, but he has lost four in a row and five of his last six. And it's not like he's as exciting as, say, Wanderlei Silva. I'd like to see him stick around, because I believe he's a good fighter, but if you're a top guy, what does a win over Jardine mean at this point? And he's a high risk for those top guys because he is capable of winning. That creates a lose-lose scenario for potential Jardine opponents. If they win, they don't get much credit because they beat a guy who'd lost four in a row and five of six. If they lose, they get shredded for that very reason.
Hamill shouldn't have fought
It was obvious that Matt "The Hammer" Hamill had a staph infection on Saturday when he fought Keith Jardine on "The Ultimate Fighter Finale" in Las Vegas, yet he was still allowed to fight. Why did the Nevada Athletic Commission allow Matt to fight? Do you think the UFC had anything to do with it? Having Matt pull out of the fight would've been a huge blow. I really think this is unprofessional and dangerous to everyone who was in the cage or around it. This staph infection is really contagious. I don't see why this issue isn't getting a lot more attention. Everyone should be tested after the finale because of this screw-up.
San Jose, Calif.
Brian, I had the same thought you did after learning it was a staph infection. But Hamill was examined by three physicians – his personal doctor, Dr. Vicki Mazzorana of the NAC and Dr. Jeff Davidson, who works for the UFC. All three cleared him to fight and said he posed no risk. The scab was hard and the doctors said that even if it had come off during the fight, there was no chance of it affecting Jardine. And no, I don't think the UFC had anything to do with it. It wouldn't have been a huge blow, first of all, because they didn't have a lot of money tied up in the bout. It was a huge blow when Brock Lesnar pulled out of his scheduled fight with Shane Carwin that was set for UFC 106 and if the UFC was going to try to pull a fast one to avert a "huge blow," that would have been the fight they would have done it with. There was nothing – literally nothing – financially at stake for the UFC in the TUF Finale. Hamill was cleared because three independent physicians examined him and they found he posed no risk. I normally err on the side of caution and my first reaction was that he shouldn't have been allowed to fight. But when you consider that three doctors examined him independently and all came to the same conclusion, I was satisfied.
Varner was robbed
It's clear to me that Jamie Varner got robbed in his fight with Kamal Shalorus at WEC 49 on Sunday in Edmonton, Alberta. How any judge could have given Shalorus the first round is beyond comprehension. What remedies are available to Varner to have this call overturned?
Taylor, I agree with you that Varner should have gotten the decision. I had it 29-27 for Varner, giving Varner Rounds 1 and 2 and giving Shalorus the third. With the point deduction for the low blow, that made it 29-27. That said, it's a judgment call. He has about as much chance of overturning that as Detroit Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga had of getting Jim Joyce's call at first base overturned in his near-perfect game.
Where are the new refs?
I noticed that there was a female referee in two of the fights at the TUF Finale on Saturday, and was really impressed with her. I'm all for seeing more female referees. Frankly, I don't care if it's a man or a woman as long as we get some better referees to replace the couple of poor ones we have and also to take the pressure off the great referees like Steve Mazzagatti and Herb Dean. I was wondering if you think we will see more new referees this year. I think its good for the sport.
The female referee was Kim Winslow and she did a fine job Saturday. She's a good referee. I agree with your point that better referees are needed and I'd like to see some developed. I'm not sure you're serious about Mazzagatti, though. I like Steve personally and don't think he's nearly as bad as UFC president Dana White does, but I would hardly say Steve is great. Herb is great. Steve, he's less than great.
Evans is overraterd
I feel Rashad Evans might be the most overrated fighter in the UFC. What do you think? He had a draw against Tito Ortiz that technically Tito won, and match after match he's seemed to have gotten lucky. I think he was lucky against Rampage Jackson at UFC 114. Does he have a shot at Mauricio "Shogun" Rua?
I totally disagree with you. I think Evans is outstanding. He's not the most exciting fighter, but his win over Rampage was the residue of hard work, a smart game plan and a lot of talent. He does have a shot to defeat Shogun, in my opinion.