It’s been an interesting week in MMA, with headlines focusing on controversies and ultimatums. Sounds crass, but let’s be honest: we wouldn’t have it any other way.
The pre-fight press conference for Bellator NYC went down and one half of the main event, Wanderlei “The Axe Murderer” Silva ‘no showed’. Sort of.
While his opponent Chael Sonnen, in all his glory, was dropping epic promos, Silva was only available via a video feed. A head scratcher initially but not if you’ve been following the Fightful MMA Podcast on a daily basis.
Since the announcement of this bout, I have asked every one of my daily guests their thoughts on not just the fight, but on Silva in general. Here’s a guy who has not competed in quite some time, has unfortunately been injury prone and for whatever reason, did not even make it to his fight vs. Mirko Cro Cop last December.
My initial sense was that I cannot seem to get a grasp on what Wanderlei wants at this point of his career. To wit, he is a natural born fighter, but for some reason(s), is no longer fighting. Remove the timeframe where the UFC prevented him from doing so, there has been a space of time where he has been allowed to compete.
My sentiments surrounded around the fact his unpredictability should be of major concern for Bellator executives, what with putting him in the main event, under the assumption he actually will fight Chael and not cause a disturbance in the promotion’s force.
Silva not showing up to the press conference raises a variety of concerns or better yet, conspiracy theories. Did Bellator do this on purpose? Was Wanderlei simply trying to prevent havoc by being in the same room as Chael (who was literally speaking to a shoe instead) and ensuring there would be no melee?
No matter what the reason(s) may be, my fingers are crossed that these two will actually be able to settle their bitter score on June 24th at Madison Square Garden.
Then there’s the curious case of Michael “The Count” Bisping, who gave an ultimatum to Georges St-Pierre, that if the Canadian doesn’t pick a date soon for their fight, he will give the title shot to Yoel Romero.
The original proposed date was to be July 8th, capping off the UFC’s International Fight Week, but rumurs are now swirling that GSP wants the date to be in September or October. I have no confirmation for this, but I personally do not believe this to be the case. Well, partially.
While Georges must first go through the 4 month period mandated by USADA before entering back into the testing pool, that still gives him more than enough time to compete in July. While I do know the first press conference took place at the beginning of March, I get the sense that this has been going on longer, and Georges may have started the four month pool in January. If that’s the case, then it will end in April, giving him all of May and June to ‘technically’ prepare for the bout. It is likely GSP has been training for this fight since October of last year, so he should be perfectly find to fight in July.
The only other caveat I can think of is that Georges may want more time to naturally put on some more weight to fight the champ, as he does not want to give him too much to Bisping, who is a very mobile middleweight, who hits fast and hits hard.
Either way, I’m still thinking this bout will take place in July. And if it doesn’t, it may not take place, as Romero is a massive gamble for “The Count” to count on in defeating, then potentially fight GSP instead.
And let’s be honest … if Michael wants the bigger pay day, the GSP fight makes a lot more sense for his bankroll.
What do you think will happen with Bisping/GSP and of course, Sonnen/Silva? Him me up on social media with your thoughts. I can found on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram with the same handle: @ShowdownJoe