Monday, October 13, 2014

If Chad Mendes beats Jose Aldo for the UFC featherweight championship at UFC 179 on October 25, every UFC champion will be from the USA”
Heavyweight Cain Velasquez
Light Heavyweight Jon Jones
Middleweight Chris Weidman
Welterweight Johny Hendricks
Lightweight Anthony Pettis
Featherweight José Aldo
Bantamweight  T.J. Dillashaw
Flyweight Demetrious Johnson
Women's Bantamweight Ronda Rousey

Beating Aldo will be a tall order, as the Brazilian has only lost once, nearly a decade ago. Mendes only lost once, too, though it was to Aldo. However, the loss apparently taught him the value of striking – the seven fights before Aldo were all wins via decision. Four of his five fights since were stoppages. And remember, few gave Mendes' Alpha Male teammate T.J. Dillashaw much of a chance verse Aldo's teammate Renan Barao, and that fight was definitive.

So on October 26, every UFC champion could be from the USA.

That stands in stark contrast to just a few years ago, when the two most dominant UFC champions were Anderson Silva and Georges St-Pierre, from Brazil and Canada respectively. But both were replaced at the top of their division by American wrestlers.

The male UFC champions are not just Americans, they are all but one American wrestlers:
Cain Velasquez: Two-time All-American in wrestling and  junior college national champion for Iowa Central Community College.
Jon Jones: NJCAA All-American out of Iowa Central Community College.
Chris Weidman: Two-time NCAA Div I All-American for Hofstra University.
Johny Hendricks: Four-time All-American at Oklahoma.
Anthony Pettis: No competitive wrestling experience. Duke Roufus protege, 3rd degree black belt in Taekwondo, and Purple belt in BJJ.
T.J. Dillashaw: Two-time All State (CIF). Ranked 10th nationally his senior year in college.
Demetrious Johnson: Two-time All State wrestler in high school. Did not wrestle at collegiate level.

And Chad Mendes is a two-time All-American in wrestling, fitting neatly into the group. So don't count Chad Mendes out – we don't know who is going to win, which is why you have the fight.

And if Mendes does win, the American sweep is not going to last forever. An international pool of sharks are circling the belt holders including:
•Cain Velasquez faces a challenge from surging Brazilian Fabricio Werdum at UFC 180 on November 15.
•The winner of Jon Jones vs. Daniel Cormier at UFC 182 will likely face Sweden's Alexander Gustafsson.
•Chris Weidman fights Brazilian Vitor Belfort early in Jan of 2015.
•The winner of Johny Hendricks vs. Robbie Lawler at UFC 181 will face Canada's Rory MacDonald.

So the US sweep may not happen, and if it happens, it won't last. The one thing it illustrates definitively is that although mixed martial arts was born from Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, at present the best base for it is American folkstyle wrestling. Failing to realize that is as blind as the guys in McDojos still teaching eye pokes and refusing to address ground fighting at all.