OK, so today I was reading SHERDOG’s top 10 pound for pound best in MMA. I guess you can make a few adjustments, but in general, it is a solid list of the best fighters in the sport. Maybe you can ask about Cain Velasquez, or make an argument for someone like a Josh Barnett, but what I was overwhelmed by is how BORING the list is more than real changes to the list.
Anderson Silva, who is certainly dominant and deserves the number 1 slot, hasn’t even bothered to learn english. He will never be the big crossover star the UFC needs without english. In boxing, Manny Pacquiao dabbles with english, he gets it. Silva doesn’t.
Georges St Pierre is a strong number 2 talentwise, though I’m not a fan of his style, he just doesn’t finish fights anymore. I’ve heard about his hip flexor, his eye and whatever other excuses he has been making. The point is a few years ago he looked like a guy who could be the mainstream flagbearer for the sport, but some of that gloss has worn off.
Jose Aldo? Jon Jones? Jon Fitch? Frankie Edgar?
I’ve said it before, I’m tired of hearing ‘I do my talking in the Octagon, I respect my opponents’. That is all those guys do, except for Aldo, another guy who outta learn a little bit of english.
So the UFC wants to compete with the NFL, or boxing. As a sport, they can do it. MMA is compelling, one on one competition, and people will always pay for that.
But where the sport of MMA is lacking is in the personalities and star power right now. Hey, Tito was Tito. Chuck passed out on national TV! And mild mannered Randy Couture switches model wives the way Dwight Howard switches Bentleys.
This sport right now has a bunch of yeomanlike workers, hard workers but no personality. As we head into the FOX deal, we need a Pacman (either one the football or boxing version), we need an OchoCinco. Or even a Meta World Peace.
The biggest personality in the sport today is Dana White, and I would argue that we need one of the athletes to step up and take that spot over. Until then, the we wont get the full effect of the FOX deal.
So, SHERDOG’s top 10, I’m OK with the list when it comes to skills and that is what a list like that is for. What I’m decrying is the lack of personalities – if the sport is really gonna jump to the next level, we are going to need a few Neon Deions!