UFC Insider: Should Grant wait for title shot?

Showdown Joe answers fan questions in this UFC Central Ask the Insider, including whether TJ Grant should wait for his title shot and who is the next Canadian MMA prospect to keep an eye on.


It’s that time of the week again, hump day, which also means I am tasked with addressing some of your questions and comments. Mind you, perhaps “tasked” may not be the right word, as many of you have allowed my brain to fire on all cylinders thinking of the right answers to some of you excellent questions.

Let’s get things started with questions sent via Twitter @ShowdownJoe:

I believe TJ should wait for his title shot. Mike Ricci said it best on this week's episode of UFC Central. If Henderson wins, TJ should get his shot. If Pettis wins, TJ will have to take another fight, and Josh Thomson would be a stellar opponent. Khabib Nurmogemedov is too far a drop down in the rankings for Grant to risk his spot in the lightweight rankings. Khabib's time will come, but I believe he should challenge guys who are lower in the top 10. With that being said, kudos to him for trying to get a big fight. Smart move on his part.

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I don't believe TJ will be ready to compete in Toronto. If he had to pull out of a fight scheduled for August 31st, I can't see him being ready for an event that is booked for 21 days later. It takes longer to heal from a concussion, than three weeks.

That's the bout I wanted to see at UFC 162, but now, with Ricardo Lamas also needing an appointment, I can see two of these three guys being matched up soon, with an announcement forth coming from the UFC.

I say Anderson. I believe Fedor's career could have been managed slightly better than what we will remember him for. And to truly appreciate what Anderson brings to the table, you have to see what he can truly do - and for some odd reason, he doesn't show it all off inside the octagon.

Rory Mac has never defeated anyone in the top 10. This is his toughest test to date since his loss to Carlos Condit. It will solidify his placing amongst the elite welterweights. And while it's impossible to predict what will happen when the fighters square off, this one has train wreck written all over it.

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Doubt it's ever been used. Doubt it ever will be used.

Yes - if the organization is adamant that their 20th anniversary show is going to be a big one, more high quality bouts will be added. And a title fight immediately comes to mind. GSP headlining is big as it gets, but a second scrap for a belt would make it that much better.

Lightweight Jesse "The Body Snatcher" Ronson comes to mind, as does fellow 155 lber, Alex Ricci. There are more coming up, but I believe these two are the closest to making it to the big show. And we'll also get some clarity during the upcoming season of "TUF Nations: Canada vs Australia." Tryouts are in Toronto in September, with the season airing on Sportsnet 360 in early 2014.

We've already seen a few (GSP vs. Penn, Aldo vs. Edgar, etc.), and if the stars align themselves, we will see more in 2014. It all falls on Anderson Silva's shoulders at the moment. If he loses to Weidman again, then it will be Jon Jones who makes the call, likely taking on the heavyweight champion of the world in 2014.

And now, from my Facebook page, we have a few more.

Philippe Gaudet wrote: Showdown, as a hardcore, long-time fan of MMA, I would love to see the UFC rules evolve to incorporate obvious gaps in the game (e.g. 12 to 6 elbows, knee strikes to the head of a downed opponent, even head butting). I feel that the return of these techniques would serve to minimize boring lay-and-pray type fights. Can you elaborate on any current or near-future developments to evolve the generally accepted rules?

It will be just a matter of time before the 12 to 6 elbows are removed as a foul in the Unified Rules of MMA. Knees to the head, well I'm 50/50 on that one. This will definitely engage more action for sure. As for headbutts, I'll take a pass on that one. We've evolved from the no holds barred format quite well in removing them. When the original rules were put in, it was to maintain the safety of the fighters while also serving as a medium to make the sport more mainstream. Head butting would set us back twenty years.

Itzik Basman wrote: Will be there a rematch between the Spider and Chris Weidman?

Yes - it was announced via multiple mediums earlier this week. Actually, it was late last week.

Itzik Basman wrote: Can it be fairly argued that Weidman's win over the Spider was a fluke in this specific sense: Weidman in the first round had Silva on the ground and couldn't do much with him; the Spider got to his feet and near the end of that round and through the second before he got clipped found his usual lethal rhythm; he started dodging and weaving and ducking, hands down, getting ready at the right time to deliver a lethal strike or kick, when he overdid it, clowned around too much, and figuratively, not literally, "let his guard down" exposed his chin and got clipped? But for that, the argument is, he would have eventually landed the lethal blow. Ya think maybe?

I definitely do not believe it was a fluke. He threw a bunch of punches with the intention of landing them. He landed one, and then many more after that. If someone hits a home run off a Cy Young pitcher, is that fluke? If a defenceman picks the top corner on a screened goalie in the NHL, is that a fluke? If a soccer player bends the ball from 25 yards out, around a wall and beats a goalie, is that a fluke? If a corner back intercepts a ball thrown from Peyton Manning, is that a fluke?

These are elite athletes trained to capitalize on the mistakes of their opposition. None of Anderson Silva's opponents could do it to him in the past. Weidman did and deserves all the credit in the world.

Wyatt Davis wrote: Who are tue best match ups for Nick Diaz to return to at middleweight and welterweight. I'd match him up with Kampmann or Sanchez at 170 and Bisping at 185.

Note sure if meant "two" or "true", but for Diaz' return, I'd like to see him take on Carlos Condit again, or, in a perfect world, Rory MacDonald (should he get past Jake Ellenberger in a couple of weeks).

Kris Manglona-Huang wrote: How do you deal with people who criticize that mma is brutal sport?

It always depends on the level of venom they spout. Some simply need to be educated, to remove pre-existing ignorance that seems to have been embedded into their thoughts from what happened when the sport was first introduced in 1993. Back then, the Toronto Blue Jays, Montreal Canadiens, Dallas Cowboys and the Chicago Bulls ruled their sports. Times have changed, so if these folks can keep up with these sports, then they should do the same with MMA.

So called critics still believe MMA is a fad. Many don't even know there are rules and weight classes (that have been around since 2001). For some it's too bloody - well guess what? It's not ping pong. Some believe people die in the octagon, while being flabbergasted when I tell them no one has ever died in the UFC.

Most people can be converted, educated and at the very least, have a new appreciation for the sport once I'm able to address their fears. But there are many others who simply will not remove the barriers that block out rational debate and thought. They are dinosaurs, and if you know anything about dinosaurs, then you know it's just a matter of time before these people will be extinct. Their best hope is to end up in a museum.