The main event at UFC 214 was nothing short of spectacular. Jon “Bones” Jones reclaimed the Light heavyweight title in dominant fashion dethroning Daniel Cormier with a third round TKO. Cris “Cyborg” Justino made little work of Tonya Evinger to win the women’s featherweight title. These champions stand to be the biggest stars the UFC has to offer aside from McGregor. Both champions are looking to the WWE for their next opponents.
Justino has expressed interest in fighting super inconsistent Holly Hohm. However, she isn’t ruling out a matchup with WWE superstar Becky Lynch at Summerslam. Lynch took to Instagram to gladly accept the challenge. Training for professional wrestling won’t be easy as people may think. It’s scripted and timed to perfection. Crossing platforms would mean a longer learning curve to put it all together but wouldn’t be impossible.
Jones issued a challenge to Lesnar after his match ended essentially saying he could handle him despite being 40 pounds lighter. The potential super fight would have more appeal if Lesnar was the UFC heavyweight champion. Either way, we would see brute strength vs precision. Jones was walking around at 247 pounds prior to his bout with Cormier which could come in handy against Lesnar take downs. Jones would thrive in the stand up with his ability to strike at long distances.
MMA to Boxing
Speaking of the UFC heavyweight champion, Stipe Miocic has the itch to take on current boxing heavyweight champ Anthony Joshua. With Wladimir Klitschko officially retired, a cross promotion bout with the two champions would be intriguing. Both heavyweights are at the top of their games in their respective sports and could be in for a huge payday should the match happen.
Miocic (17-2) is on a five fight win streak fresh off his destruction of Junior Dos Santos. Joshua (19-0) handled Klitschko in his last fight to solidify himself as the worst man on the planet. Speaking of bad men, Vasyl “The Matrix” Lomachencko is probably one of the best boxers that the world has never heard of. His punching power and footwork are second to none. He attacks from all different angles with the veracity of E. Honda’s hundred hand slap (dated reference).
Pitting him against a great featherweight boxer in his own right in Frankie Edgar would be appealing. It’s fresh and something that could help boxing in a sport that is dying a slow death. It can only work if MMA fighters cross over to boxing and not the other way around. James Toney learned the hard way when he stepped into the octagon to face former two division champion Randy Couture and got submitted with ease.
It would be foolish of me to not discuss the main attraction that seems to have the attention of everyone for different reasons. Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather are the loudest mouths in combat sports going. It’s only suitable that they face each other in one of the biggest fighting events in 2017 possibly overshadowing the Canelo and Golovkin match.
Conor McGregor has a tall order ahead of him as prepares to do battle with Floyd Mayweather. He truly believes he can end Floyd in the 4th via KO. Guys like Cotto, De La Hoya, Pacquiao and Canelo who specialize in punching weren’t able to KO Mayweather in 12 rounds. Floyd draws you in with counter punches and great head movement which can frustrate opponents.
Mayweather isn’t the fighter he was 10 years ago but still has the necessary skills to get the job done. He will make you engage and miss while taking advantage at every turn. McGregor does have power and youth on his side and can inflict damage. It’s just hard to fathom an amateur boxer whose been training a few months can knock out a professional boxer who’s been at it for over 20 years.
WWE to MMA
This is arguably the hardest route to transition to in my opinion. Professional wrestlers are usually trained as professional wrestlers with the exception of some who are actually pure wrestlers. I personally would have loved to have seen Kurt Angle try his hand in the octagon given his background in amateur wrestling.
Brock Lesnar has been one of the UFC’s biggest draws to date. Lesnar crossed over to fight Frank Mir in his first professional MMA match and looked damn good until being submitted. Lesnar would get revenge on Mir and would eventually beat Randy Couture for the heavyweight championship.
Former WWE star C.M. Punk tried his hand at MMA but was quickly dispatched of via first round submission to Mickey Gall. He has been quiet since but hasn’t ruled out a return. Brock Lesnar fared better than CM Punk in the octagon due to his Division I wrestling credentials which produced a NCAA championship. That doesn’t mean CM Punk can’t be successful if he continues MMA, but the road will be a lot tougher.
Fighters crossing promotions on a regular basis could be great for all parties involved as long as you have the right mix of fighters. Instead of competing for PPV buys and denigrating each other, why not create explosive combined cards that fans would want to see?
Baseline Times Contributor