5 Questions for 2010

Armando just found this list of questions (at mmafighting.com – great site! http://is.gd/6lcP7) and wanted to get my take…

Five Burning Questions for UFC in 2010:
1)       Will we see a sanctioned show in New York this year?
a.       Armando: Nope.  A year to get the legislation completely pushed through, secure MSG AND get the best talent together for a UFC 100-esque show?  Not enough time.  Ask me this question next year and it will be a resounding “yes”.
b.       Casey: No and for the exact reasons you listed. Even if the bill is the first thing passed in the NY legislature this year, the implementation of an MMA wing of the New York commission will take months. Besides, like you said, you know Dana’s going to want a supershow for their NY debut so that will then take time to assemble. Should a bill go through early this year, I see them in NY Q1 2011. Damn, think about the possibility of a UFC event in the Garden…
2)       Will this be the year UFC gets a network TV deal?
a.       Armando: Again, a year early for this question.  Strikeforce will be turning network exec’s heads with its 2-or-3 2010 CBS shows, so certainly SOMEONE will want to cash in.  NBC or FOX definitely, and I would say NBC of the two, since Fox is already so entrenched with NFL/CFB/MLB, whereas NBC only has the SB.  Oh, and the Preakness.
b.       Casey: I think with as much trouble as NBC may be in over the late night mess, as well as declining ratings across the board, they may take the risk by the end of this year. 
3)       Will any UFC champion lose their belt in ’10?
a.       Armando: 2 will, but not by losses.  Brock will be stripped due to his medical condition, and GSP will finally get bored with the WW title and either A) move up to MW, or B) train for the Olympics.  Penn will successfully defend 3 times (Frankie Edgar, Gray Maynard, and ???), Machida 2 times (Shogun and Rampage) and Silva 2 times (Belfort and Marquardt, although he also fights another LHW bout later in the year… maybe Evans?)
b.       Casey: Dammit, I want to not agree with you, but so far you’ve been dead on. Although I put a conditional on Penn. I have a feeling that he’s more likely to move up than GSP. I think GSP drops the belt when/if he starts training for London, but he’s not wanting for contenders like BJ is. Wait! I got my disagreement! I’m calling it now – The Dragon will drop the LHW belt to Shogun in May. Also, Rampage doesn’t get another shot at the belt, because Dana can be vindictive like that…
4)       Which UFC fight do you most want to see in 2010?
a.       Armando: Dragon/Shogun II. (Still hilarious that “The Dragon” and “Shogun” are both Brazilian.) I think Machida will look MUCH better, but I think Shogun will mix it up a bit too.  We may even see some flashes of the Pride Shogun that we’ll see tonight.  This is followed closely by Jon Jones/Dragon or Jon Jones/Shogun, as I’m certain we’ll see the standout fighting whichever one DOESN’T have the belt en-route to whoever DOES.  See below.
b.       Casey: As badly as I want to see Dragon/Shogun II, I’d also like to add in Mir/Velasquez, Jones/Evans, and Penn/Henderson
5)       At the end of 2010, who will we say was the UFC’s fighter of the year?
a.       Armando: The same Jon Jones.  He’s so similar to Machida, in the sense that he doesn’t fit a category.  He’s not a wrestler, he’s not a BJJ guy, he’s not a boxer… he’s just Jon Jones, and no one knows what his weakness is.  No one knows if he HAS a weakness.  He’s gonna beat Vera, and probably get 1 more fight before the bout with either Shogun or Machida… maybe Griffin in-between there?  Either way, he will have a title shot in early 2011.  Maybe at MSG.
b.       Casey: One Shane Carwin. He’ll go through Frank Mir to become interim champ, as much of a mark for Mir as I am, knock off either Cain or Big Nog, and finish his 2010 or start 2011 with a unification match/title defense over the returning Brock Lesnar. Carwin emerges as the UFC’s premier heavyweight and everyone will start clamoring for Shane/Fedor…

And Armando added a little post-game analysis:

A little dissention in our ranks!  I like it.  I’m a bit biased towards Jones because I’ve seen him fight so much, and I honestly don’t think I’ve seen Carwin fight but once (Gonzaga, AKA the new Heath Herring).  He’s obviously good, and a surprise fact that I just found out from Wikipedia is that he has a brown belt in BJJ under Nate Marquardt.  So maybe that will help to combat some of the stuff that Frank will throw at him.  Overall, I agree with you, and I think that we both have very aggressive, unexpected choices.  We could go with the usual (Penn/Silva/GSP), but not us sir.  We’re visionaries!!
In all fairness, this was an MMAFighting.com article, and I believe one of the two dudes writing the article picked another unexpected star, JDS (the other one picked GSP).  I just don’t think JDS has a title shot in ’10 no matter what.  Carwin/Mir is getting the winner of Nog/Velasquez mid-late ’10, so maybe if he wins his next fight, he gets the titleholder in like November or December (assuming Brock’s still out)?  Lots of working parts for that to happen.  Carwin is more believable since he already has an interim title shot, and will be in the driver’s seat if he continues to dominate.
And I continued on dos Santos:
I agree with you on JDS. Plus, the first thing he’s doing this year will be taking out Gonzaga in March… so assuming he wins, he’ll have to probably go through at least 2 HW eliminators to be in line for a shot, so I’m with you. I don’t see him getting a title shot this year. 2011 though… well, that’s a whole new ballgame…

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