Mann Talk – UFC 106 advice column

Tito only poses for this picture because he was injured
Tito only posed for this picture because he was injured

There was not a lot of excitement in the MMA world over UFC 106, but it turned out to be a great card. It also gave us several talking points. Of course, there is no one more willing to talk than the fighters. They have turned to Mann Talk since there is no other columnist who could play “Dear Abby.” Actually these questions are hypothetical, but this is the advice I would give them if they came to me.

I won that Fight! My skull was cracked, and I was supposed to fight Mark Coleman, but I still won. I am still young and ready to take my title back! Do you know that I beat Elvis Sinosic at UFC 32? Machida only beat me because of my back. I am coming for that belt or a guest-starring role in Zombie Strippers 2!
— Bad Boy, Huntington Beach

This is a grand opportunity to make a big head joke, but I will refrain. Tito, you did not win the fight against Forrest Griffin. In fact, the idea that one of the judges gave it to you is ridiculous. Personally I had the fight 29-27 with you taking the second, and Griffin winning the last 10-8. When you offer no offense and get hit repeatedly it is a 10-8 round.

The sad thing is that you have not been relevant in the light heavyweight division since 2004. This game is a business, and you play it well enough to keep making big paydays. However, you have failed to evolve. Your striking defense is still laughable, and you haven’t set up a takedown since your college days.

You are still a draw in the UFC. However hardcore fans are starting to tire of your constant excuses and bravado. In the future try to let your fighting to the talking.

It was going great early. I thought that I had him with my power shots, but then I gassed. The training was really good, and I am at a new weight class. I still gas out after three minutes of fighting. Maybe I was just off my game because Mark Coleman wasn’t yelling “DO SOMETHING!” from my corner. Where do I go from here?
— Bad Ass, New York

Don’t be down on yourself for gassing out. As Chris Rock would say that would be like “playing basketball with a retarded kid and calling them for double dribble.” At this point you are what you are. The UFC might not keep you around after a few fights, but you will always have a place somewhere thanks to your name value. Ask your manager to set up a rematch with Olaf Alfonso.

What happened to me on Saturday night? I am a former professional boxer, and I leg locked Pete Spratt. How in the world could I lose to Ben Saunders? By the way, I should get a title shot since I beat Dan Hardy.
— Former Boxer, Ireland (well not really, but I like to say I am from there)

I don’t mean to kick you while you are down, but those knees did look really painful. As for advice, when someone has you in a Thai clinch don’t try to punch your way out. When you try to punch out, you end up eating tons of knees, which you learned the hard way.

You did the right thing a few years ago by getting fights outside of the UFC. You really did improve a lot more than I ever thought you would. However, you are still only ever going to be a borderline top 20 welterweight. The division is stacked. Outside of a brawling oriented Chris Lytle, you have zero quality wins.

Don’t worry. The UFC will get you back on the overseas cards and feed you midlevel guys. At age 36 you’re only going to get so much better, but fear not. You will always be the smasher of guys like Pete Spratt.

Richard Anderson Mann is an MMA journalist who makes his home in Chicago. He is a member of the Journalism Master’s degree program at Roosevelt University. Currently, he is a columnist for PROMMA.info and a news writer for adcombat.com. Richard can be reached by email at RichardAndersonMann@gmail.com or on Facebook at Facebook.com/RichardAndersonMann.