Did the real Shogun Rua show up at UFC 134?

Going into UFC 134 I wrote that there were six huge questions that would hopefully be answered once the battles took place in Brazil this past weekend. We got answers to those questions, but now we have a new set of questions as a result of what happened at the event. Check it:

There’s only one more fight left for Silva in the middleweight division and that’s a re-match with Chael Sonnen. I know that Silva has already beaten him, but Sonnen pretty much dominated Silva prior to getting submitted. Of course Sonnen has to get past Brian Stann in his next outing before he can re-match Silva, but it’s a big money fight as Sonnen would do a great job in promoting and folk want to see if the first time was a fluke or not. If Stann is able to get past Sonnen, then there’s an angle to promote a fight with Anderson Silva. However, I don’t see Stann offering any sort of realistic threat in defeating Anderson Silva should they fight. Should Silva move back up to light heavyweight?

Rua just ran through Forrest Griffin like castor oil does senior citizens, but it seemed to be a Shogun that was different than the one that fought Jon Jones back at UFC 128 earlier this year. Or could it be that Forrest Griffin checked out of the fight mentally due to his wife being in labor and he already had one win over Rua in the past? Rua’s back in the mix in regards to getting a title shot and the rumor mill is spinning that he could possibly face Dan Henderson on the FOX show in November. Does that fight interest you  and/or would you be interested in seeing a re-match between Jones and Rua?

You know, I have to say that Schaub wasn’t really a contender to begin with. I’m not saying that because he lost to Nogueira, but for the simply fact that he hadn’t beaten anyone close to top ten status and has had difficulty against aging fighters. There’s no question the guy is talented with good power and solid striking skills, but all the talk of getting a title shot before this Nogueira fight had me raising my eyebrow. As I mentioned yesterday, I thought Nogueira did a good job of pressuring Schaub(he had Schaub backing up the entire fight) and Nogueira has always had solid boxing. Basically the question going into the fight was could Nogueira take a big bomb from Schaub and not get knocked out. Nogueira ate a couple of stiff punches from Schaub and survived so it’ll be interesting to see how Schaub responds from the loss.

  • Can Edson Barboza become a contender in the UFC lightweight division?

I kind of asked this question in the pre-fight piece, but after seeing him fight Ross Pearson I have to say I like what I saw. Again, that fight could have gone to either fighter as it was razor close. Barboza appears to have great takedown defense and if he can force guys to fight standing up he’ll be a handful for any lightweight out there. He needs to work on being more aggressive offensively and he may want to improve his cardio just a tad. Also, Pearson’s stock went up in my opinion even in the loss.

5 thoughts on “Four questions to ponder after UFC 134”
  1. 1. We need to see Silva fight GSP or Bones (after a couple title defenses). Or maybe to have him teach Palhares a lesson… just because. I dunno. More interestingly… Don’t we have a weird sport when we pretty much unanimously agree that Sonnen could beat Silva. But we’re not sure Sonnen can beat Stann, who would certainly lose to Silva. There’s some effed up MMAth going on there.

    2. I think Jones is just that good. There is the rare fighter that defeats his opponent mentally at the same time he defeats them physically. Silva is that guy. Jones seems to be that guy too. As for Rua, I love the idea of a Rua/Hendo matchup. All the Pride guys will be salivating as well.

    3. With a win, he was. Even if his wins were over unimpressive, aging fighters, a win streak is a win streak. And the UFC promoted Patrick Cote, Dan Hardy, etc. as legitimate “contenders.” Although I guess it depends on how you define contender. Would he be somewhere on a short list of fighters for the belt? Yes. Did he stand a chance of actually winning the belt? Not yet. Either way, moot point.

    4. Can he? You bet. Will he? It’s awful crowded in there. Not sure he’s gonna be able to keep winning these unbelievable close decisions. He could pretty easily be 1-2 in the UFC.

  2. Mike..I think Sonnen will beat Stann rather easily. Stann has improved his takedown defense for sure..but he’s not ready for the level of wrestling Sonnen brings to the table…he has a puncher’s chance against Chael and that’s about it IMO…solid points about Hardy/Cote…the MW division was REAL thin when Cote got his shot…Hardy did beat Swick who was borderline top ten at the time as a WW…

    Yea…Barboza could easily be 1-2…like I said…I still think he lost the Njokuani fight…either way…his takedown defense is off the chain…so he should be able to make some headway…not many guys willing to do what Pearson did against that level of striker IMO.

  3. 1. I don’t see them passing up Sonnen-Silva 2 if Chael get by Stann, so if he wins that probably happens. If he loses, maybe a one off fight at 205? Or if GSP looks dominant against Diaz, maybe he moves up?

    2. Jones is just that good, plain and simple. The guy throws around top level wrestlers like they’re nothing, and peices the other parts of his repetoire around that. His MMA game is really something to marvel at. I think very few people would have a chance in the cage with him in the world (at any weight). I would also put big money on Jon if him and Anderson were to ever fight.

    3. I posted this on FO, and it kind of pertains to your question: “What is it called when you can’t take even a light solid shot to the temple. Each time he’s been touched there (Nog, Nelson, Cro Cop elbow) he’s either been rocked or knocked out cold.”

    He does a lot of things well, but I think he’s a career gatekeeper because of that inability to take a shot.

    4. It depends on what you qualify as contender. Will he get to top ten status at some point? I would say yes. But I also think that the Pearson fight (which I scored for Pearson, and it seems the majoriy of online chatter agrees with that), showed he’s not really a top of the top tier when it comes to talent.

    But as you said, with that takedown defense continuing to become excellent, improving his cardio, and maybe working more on placing that high class power he’s got; Barboza could become something special.

    5. I would like to know your opinions on where Forrest goes from here. Even in the wins against Tito and Rich he didn’t look that great, and against Shogun he looked abysmal.

    Personally, I’d like to see him take a fight at HW to see how he handles it.

  4. Edub..good stuff…I’m working on a piece about Griffin that’ll be right up your alley man…it’ll be up tomorrow at some point. Thanks.

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