Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Renato "Babalu" Sobral is out of his scheduled June 6th Strikeforce bout against Rafael "Feijao" Cavalcante (a spikey-hair injury is rumored to be the culprit). Who should replace Babalu in this light-heavyweight title fight? The Northeast's top 205-pounder, of course, which would be Ricardo Romero. Romero just fought at ROC 24 on Friday, easily dispatching Greg Jackson-trained James McSweeney with the kind of wrestling and ground game dominance that would translate into Feijao eating more than a few face-fulls of leather before the night is through. And while the Brazilian definitely has some heavy hands himself - as evidenced by his KO and TKO wins in EliteXC and the IFL - those heavy hands would be swinging while Feijao is lying flat on his back, as Romero's wrestling has been used to get every single one of his opponents to the ground and keep them there. Ricardo Romero, therefore, gets my vote as Babalu's replacement.
We have yet to enter the age where contracted fighters are traded from one organization to another, but never before has a promotion been stuck with an ill-fitting athlete in such a high-profile spot. That's right, I'm talking about UFC middleweight champ Anderson Silva. Rightfully hyped as one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world, and dangerous like a lit stick of dynamite wrapped in barbed wire and covered with razors is dangerous, Silva is now at the level where he's beaten everyone who may have been a threat to him. The only possible opponents left are people with no chance who know they have no chance, so fans are stuck with bouts best described as "boring pieces of doggy crap". The solution: trade Silva to Strikeforce. Does anyone honestly think Strikeforce middleweights like Cung Le, Robbie Lawler, Scott Smith and Benji Radach are going to butt flop against Silva? Of course not. Everyone of these 185-pounders would swing for the fences and go out on their shield (or get lucky and land a golden knockout). What would the UFC get out of the deal? Aside from a fighter worthy of the Octagon, they'd get their middleweight division back. Because right now, the UFC's middleweight division belongs to Anderson Silva... and he's not giving it up anytime soon.