Woe to the unfortunate MMA fan without a DVR or TIVO, for this Saturday night there are two compelling MMA events on television. On SpikeTV there’s the Ultimate Fighter 12 Finale, which is headlined by Stephan Bonnar versus some Croatian scrub and features an as-yet unrevealed TUF 12 final pairing. Meanwhile, Showtime’s got Strikeforce, which is headlined by Dan Henderson and Babalu and features the best guys on the number two MMA organization’s roster. So which one is worthy of your viewing time? For your consideration, MMA Journalist has put together a scorecard.
- Dan Henderson, Strikeforce – Thanks to a few decades of testosterone replacement therapy, the 67-year old Henderson has managed to remain competitive in a sport that favors the young. And although he was dry-humped almost to death in his last bout (against Jake Shields), Henderson absolutely murdered Michael Bisping in the fight before that, proving that this former Pride champ can still bring it. Advantage: Strikeforce.
- Stephan Bonnar, TUF 12 Finale – You’ve got to love Bonnar. After all, if not for his epic with Forrest Griffin at the first TUF finale, we’d all be watching “Knight Rider” reruns on Saturday night instead of free mixed martial arts. But with seven losses in the Octagon, you have to realize by now that the “American Pyscho” is on the payroll for reasons other than his top-level fighting. Bonnar definitely can bring it, but is that “it” worth tuning in for? Advantage: Strikeforce.
- Paul Daley, Strikeforce – Not long ago, Daley was the next big thing in the welterweight division and on the fast-track to facing Georges St. Pierre for his UFC belt. Unfortunately, the exciting Brit striker has a problem keeping his cool, and he was booted from the organization for a very illegal – and very douchey – post-fight punch. And now Strikeforce is paying him? Boo. Advantage: TUF 12 Finale.
- Finalist #1 vs. Finalist #2, TUF 12 Finale – How are we supposed to get excited about a fight we know nothing about? Unless Kimbo is competing, we can’t. Advantage: Strikeforce.
- Matt Lindland, Strikeforce – Ugh. Advantage: TUF 12 Finale.
- Kendall Grove, TUF 12 Finale – He may have won TUF 3, but Grove has always skirted the line between “marginable Octagon talent” and “UFC failure”. So much so that it’s actually quite fun to watch him fight now, as you never know which stinker performance is going to get him axed. Advantage: TUF 12 Finale.
- Robbie Lawler, Scott Smith and Benji Radach, Strikeforce – These UFC refugees all share two things in common: they can be spectacular when they want to be, and they can suck when they’re indifferent. Who will show up on Saturday night? The Lawler that wrecked Melvin Manhoef? The Smith that crumbled to Cung Le? The Radach that smoked Ninja? Who knows, but with all three on the card, the odds are good that we’ll see at least someone shine. Advantage: Strikeforce.