Here is a twist from the normal posts and blogs I do, but if you know what I am into this shouldn’t surprise you.
I want to talk about the high points, and low points of the combat sports world. I also want to look into the future for the fights we are looking forward to in 2017.
First let’s look at the realm of boxing. I can honestly say that there was more disappointment in boxing than exciting moments, and this might have been from the retirement of Floyd Mayweather, or the slowing down of Manny Pacquiao. I tend to point toward fights that never materialized like Triple G, and Canelo, or the slew of exciting heavies that we have that seem to have avoided each other. Some bright spots happened later in the year like Ward vs Kovalev, and let’s not forget the likes of Errol Spence, Terence Crawford, Vasyl Lomachenko, as well as the great fight between Thurman and Porter.
I specifically mentioned Ward vs Kovalev because I think this fight set the tone for 2017. Already for 2017 we have two great fights in line. Anthony Joshua vs Wladimir Klitschko, and Triple G vs Danny Jacobs. These two fights will set precedence to for the rest of 2017. While I have damn near given up on my 49ers (a complete other story), I have not given up on the sport of boxing just yet. I am optimistic that it will make a strong come back in 2017. I give boxing a C+ for 2016.
Let’s look at the sport of MMA which is of course very wide ranged from all the different promotion companies, but we will examine the sport as a whole. I will start off with saying that in my eyes MMA suffered a hangover also, not as large as boxing, but it did. I think the hangover was from the loss that Rhonda suffered in late 2015 with no appearance in 2016. That was a big blow to the growing women’s fan base of MMA. With that being said, no woman has established themselves with either belt in women’s UFC. The belts have changed hands too many times to build fans. I think that while we have had some really good fights in MMA, there was some really bad ones.
One that should have never happened was Kimbo Slice vs Dada 5000. This, I personally believe, was one of the most detrimental showings of MMA on a worldwide level, and I will leave it at that. It seems as Bellator has had to work extra hard to make that showing up. Conor McGregor is about the biggest bright spot for MMA, and the UFC right now. I personally believe that Conor has been shown favoritism with the fights that he has been granted – can you blame the UFC? I think the Conor situation is short lived though. He has been stripped of his 145 pound belt, and I doubt he can even make 145 anymore, but I see him losing the 155 pound belt to Khabib Nurmagomedov, if Dana allows the fight to happen! After that, where does Conor go? And who is next in line to be a money driving star? (Insert cricket sound here).
I hate to not mention some of the great fights this year though. Yes, the McGregor fights, all three of them, Holm vs Tate, Lawler vs Condit, and many more. So for 2016 I give MMA a grade of A- with a little hit from the M.I.A. of Rhonda, and the hit from Kimbo vs Dada - (Rest in Peace Kimbo).
Looking into the future I think they have some serious issues to address with money driving stars (might be why UFC sold). Hopefully Rhonda can win her upcoming fight December 30th to set fans for a hopeful 2017, but that is to be seen later this month.
What fights are you looking forward to for 2017, in either sport? Let me know if you would like for me to start talking about Combat sports again? I always like to hear back from you guys on your thoughts, so hit me up!