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Free Agent Notebook Vol 1: Strikeforce LHW Picture


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From: smoogy 102 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile
Posted: 10/16/09 4:15 AM
Edited: 10/16/09 2:24 PM
Member Since: 1/7/08
Posts: 4941
 

FREE AGENT NOTEBOOK VOL. 1 - OCTOBER 2009


After some time in the Smoogy FC Laboratory, working out the kinks, I've returned with the follow-up to August's UFC/Strikeforce Free Agent War Journal. Instead of basing the project around an overall Top 10 list, like a Billboard Top 40 of available MMA talent, I've decided to instead focus each installment on a different topic pertaining to the free agent landscape. This way I can respond more robustly to the generous feedback I've received so far, and use current events in MMA to frame the discussion.

With that in mind, I've decided to base this first installment on the newly-christened Free Agent Notebook on the state of Strikeforce's oft-maligned light heavyweight division. Much is made of the fact that with Renato "Babalu" Sobral dispatched in such decisive fashion, there don't appear to be many appealing challengers for the champion, Gegard Mousasi, to defend the title against. So instead of the ol' piss and moan, I've scoured the MMA world for capable 205lb fighters who might be the answer to Strikeforce's troubles, and now I present the ten best candidates for the job (and five who didn't quite make it).

First, a quick glance at the current state of things in the Strikeforce 205lb division:

1. Gegard Mousasi (26-2-1) [Champion]
2. Renato Sobral (35-9)
3. Sokoudjou (7-4)
4. Mike Whitehead (24-6)
5. Rafael Feijao (7-2)
6. Antwain Britt (9-3)
7. Bobby Southworth (9-6)
8. Kevin Randleman (17-13)
9. Po'ai Suganuma (9-3)
10. Aaron Rosa (12-2)

Not exactly much to write home about, is there? But if Strikeforce can sign some or, God willing, all of the following fighters, their future will look a lot brighter.

[DISCLAIMER: I am not declaring these fighters as free agents; any of them may have existing fight contracts.]

1. Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal (5-0)

Coming off his quick win over Mark Kerr at M-1 "Breakthrough" in late August, Mo Lawal has reached a new plateau of fame among die-hard MMA fans. Credit manager Ryan Parsons for helping make "King Mo" one of the hottest names in the sport only a year into his pro career. With developing fanbases in the U.S. and Japan, expect The King to continue fighting on both sides of the Pacific.

[NOTE: Mo Lawal has signed a multi-fight contract with Strikeforce as of 10/13/2009]

2. Jamal Patterson (5-2)

Jamal Patterson's career has languished since the IFL collapsed last year, with just a February win over Antwain Britt (via his signature guillotine choke) to show for the last 18 months. With his mix of size, submission skills and striking acumen, he would make a fine addition to the Strikeforce roster, and with only seven pro fights under his belt, their "Challengers Series" is an ideal venue for Patterson to build his resume.

3. Phil Davis (4-0)

Phil Davis is the least experienced of the light heavyweights appearing on this list. He may also possess the greatest potential to forge a long, successful career at the elite level of MMA. Davis started his career only months after winning the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championship at 197lbs in 2008, but his MMA skills have improved rapidly, particularly his boxing and top control ground'n'pound attack. A year after his pro debut, he has trouble finding willing opponents.

4. Glover Teixeira (7-2)

Glover Teixeira's inevitable debut in a major American promotion has to be among the most delayed, yet promising, in recent MMA history. Reports earlier in the year had him close to signing with UFC, but nothing has materialized since. If Teixiera is still available, and his visa issues have been squared away, he could make immediate waves in Strikeforce with his world-class grappling skills.

5. Tim Boetsch (9-3)

Following a razor thin decision loss to Jason Brilz, in a dark match at UFC 96 that virtually nobody saw, Tim Boetsch was quietly released by the company. His crowd-pleasing muay thai style and memorable TKO victories make him an asset to any promotion. In Strikeforce, he could provide an interesting test for anyone on the existing roster, and potentially challenge for the title.

     

From: smoogy 102 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile
Posted: 10/16/09 4:15 AM
Edited: 10/16/09 2:25 PM
Member Since: 1/7/08
Posts: 4942
 
 6. Raphael Davis (7-1)

As a member of the powerhouse Team USA West in this season's M-1 Challenge, Raphael Davis has emerged as one of the top light heavyweights that has yet to fight for a major MMA brand. With wins over The Ultimate Fighter 8 runner-up Vinny Magalhaes and, most recently, former MFC Champion Emanuel Newton, he looks poised to make the jump very soon. As a full time firefighter in the Los Angeles area, San Jose-based Strikeforce might make the most sense anyway.

7. Ricardo Arona (14-5)

If his September decision victory over Marvin Eastman in Brazil is any indication, Ricardo Arona still has something left in his tank, but he certainly needs some tuning up before he is ready to challenge the elite class of 2009. The question is, can Strikeforce justify the cost of bringing in an established light heavyweight like Arona when he may never regain the dominant form he once had?

8. Cyrille Diabate (14-6-1)

Being a capable French Muay Thai fighter who knows how to use his 6'6" frame, Cyrille Diabate is a unique threat in the light heavyweight division. He has fought previously on Showtime, getting as far as negotiations for a title fight against then-EliteXC Champ Rafael Cavalcante, but the doomed promotion closed doors before the bout could ever take place. If the Strikeforce brass had a chance to pick up Diabate in the EliteXC sale and passed, they should take another look now.

9. Ryan Jimmo (11-1)

Sure, Ryan Jimmo's decision win over Marvin Eastman earlier this month was questionable at best. But for a well-groomed prospect like Jimmo, taking on a UFC regular like Eastman, any win will do. He'll need to improve his grappling skills if he wants to compete at the next level, but his Karate background is an asset that will help him stand out among the 205lb crowd.

10. Christian M'Pumbu (14-2-1)

Though his name is not that well known even among hardcore MMA fans, Christian M'Pumbu may be the foremost globetrotter in the sport today, having competed in his home country of France, England, Ukraine, Russia, Dubai, Poland, Finland, Japan and Holland since 2004. He is very well-rounded, possessing solid muay thai skills as well as excellent throws and trip takedowns. While posting a 4-0 record in the M-1 Challenge, he has proved he can finish fights from the top or from guard.

HONORABLE MENTION

Seth Petruzelli (11-4) - Would merit a look normally, but Showtime ain't having it.
Mike Ciesnolevicz (17-4-0-1) - A victim of the ever-quickening UFC Fighter Life Cycle.
Mike Nickels (8-2) - His late submission win over David Heath was great, but those tattoos are awful.
Yancy Medeiros (4-0) - Hawaiian ace who beat Po'ai Suganuma in his second pro fight.
Vinicius Magalhaes (2-4) - Still has the potential, and the size, to make it at 205 eventually.

Thoughts? Feedback? 
  

From: nostripewhite Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile
Posted: 10/16/09 4:21 AM
Member Since: 1/5/08
Posts: 2745
 
Tim Boetsch's loss was hardly 'razor thin', he was ineffective as hell off his back.

Also, Ryan Jimmo is an extremely talented fighter, and also has a knack for telling hilarious stories during class.

From: Tom O Bedlam 11 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile
Posted: 10/16/09 4:36 AM
Member Since: 4/8/08
Posts: 12659
 
 Great list and great idea.  I'd be super interested to see your HW break down, as I think it could dispell many of the ideas that there is no competition for Fedor outside the UFC.

VTFU
 

From: SPROUT 3 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile
Posted: 10/16/09 11:17 AM
Member Since: 1/1/01
Posts: 1046
 
good post

From: PatrickFreitas 33 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile
Posted: 10/16/09 11:49 AM
Edited: 10/16/09 12:20 PM
Member Since: 10/2/07
Posts: 7035
 
ttt for #9 on the original list, Po'ai Suganuma (not Paoi). this kid has so much talent...just not sure he "loves" mma. he's highly educated and i think he has other career aspirations. but damn i wish he was still fighting actively.

From: siouxNYC 66 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile
Posted: 10/16/09 11:51 AM
Member Since: 1/1/01
Posts: 15685
 
excellent post.

From: PatrickFreitas 33 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile
Posted: 10/16/09 12:19 PM
Member Since: 10/2/07
Posts: 7036
 
Raphael Davis?
- i dont think he's had a loss since his decision loss at IFL a couple years ago. and he's already beaten Vinny M.

Jeremy 1/2 man, 1/2 amazing Williams?
- not actively fighting, but has done really well in MMA so far. actually undefeated at 5-0. he's got the boxing pedigree and i believe he grew up in judo. was also a talented wrestler. we were working towards a Po'ai Suganuma vs Jeremy Williams LHW title fight at Icon before we sold the show to EliteXC.

From: siouxNYC 66 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile
Posted: 10/16/09 12:45 PM
Member Since: 1/1/01
Posts: 15687
 
also, add ring of combat champ ricardo romero to that list. right behind him is Serra/Longo fighter Costa Phillippou.

From: Man in black Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile
Posted: 10/16/09 1:49 PM
Member Since: 3/1/06
Posts: 982
 
Great post.

From: smoogy 102 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile
Posted: 10/16/09 2:31 PM
Member Since: 1/7/08
Posts: 4943
 
Thanks for the feedback frens. Phillipou and Romero are on my radar... I haven't given Jeremy Williams much thought to be honest.

@ PatrickFreitas: Did you happen to see the Suganuma vs. Medeiros match?

From: smoogy 102 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile
Posted: 10/16/09 3:36 PM
Edited: 10/16/09 3:35 PM
Member Since: 1/7/08
Posts: 4944
 
I forgot to mention - if any fighters, coaches, agents, managers or promoters have good free agents available at ANY weight class, please list them here in this thread. I will add them to my database and put them under consideration for future installments of the Free Agent Notebook
 

From: PatrickFreitas 33 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile
Posted: 10/16/09 3:49 PM
Member Since: 10/2/07
Posts: 7042
 
smoogy -
@ PatrickFreitas: Did you happen to see the Suganuma vs. Medeiros match?

I had already moved to NYC, so I missed it.

But my good friend Kala Kolohe, Icon Sport MW champ, is Yancy Medeiros' teammate. Kala was there. He said that Po'ai was winning but got caught by Yancy. Yancy is a heavy-handed fighter. Po'ai likely overlooked and undertrained for Yancy, who was unknown at the time. Poai was used to big shows like Icon, Pancrase, EliteXC, and he took the fight against Yancy in a small start-up promotion. Po'ai wins that fight 4 times outta 5.

Kala told me that Yancy truly is a MW, but has been fighting at LHW because he doesn't know how to cut weight. He's just young gun with lots of potential, but little guidance. He literally trains in a garage across from the beach in Waianae, Hawaii. The report on Yancy is that he has massive Hawaiian knockout power like Kala Kolohe, but is comfortable and skilled at fighting off his back too (unlike Kala and most Hawaii fighters). I think we'll all hear a lot more about Yancy Medeiros in the future, but likely at 185lbds.

From: RickStorm 1511 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile
Posted: 10/16/09 3:53 PM
Member Since: 4/2/08
Posts: 5491
 

Great post Smoogy

VTFU


From: TSGIGOR 711 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile
Posted: 10/16/09 3:56 PM
Member Since: 2/17/09
Posts: 1846
 
TTT 

From: CretardsCrutch 393 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile
Posted: 10/16/09 3:58 PM
Member Since: 6/5/05
Posts: 19823
 
 Great thread TTT

From: MMASuPreMaCy Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile
Posted: 10/16/09 4:36 PM
Member Since: 8/8/08
Posts: 204
 
Can I get a blue name to add to this wonderful post and also create my own threads with pics and vids? It will be good, I promise. =)

From: smoogy 102 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile
Posted: 10/16/09 5:05 PM
Edited: 10/16/09 5:05 PM
Member Since: 1/7/08
Posts: 4945
 
PatrickFreitas - 
smoogy -
@ PatrickFreitas: Did you happen to see the Suganuma vs. Medeiros match?

I had already moved to NYC, so I missed it.

But my good friend Kala Kolohe, Icon Sport MW champ, is Yancy Medeiros' teammate. Kala was there. He said that Po'ai was winning but got caught by Yancy. Yancy is a heavy-handed fighter. Po'ai likely overlooked and undertrained for Yancy, who was unknown at the time. Poai was used to big shows like Icon, Pancrase, EliteXC, and he took the fight against Yancy in a small start-up promotion. Po'ai wins that fight 4 times outta 5.

Kala told me that Yancy truly is a MW, but has been fighting at LHW because he doesn't know how to cut weight. He's just young gun with lots of potential, but little guidance. He literally trains in a garage across from the beach in Waianae, Hawaii. The report on Yancy is that he has massive Hawaiian knockout power like Kala Kolohe, but is comfortable and skilled at fighting off his back too (unlike Kala and most Hawaii fighters). I think we'll all hear a lot more about Yancy Medeiros in the future, but likely at 185lbds.

Thanks for the breakdown. From the tape I've been able to find of Medeiros, I arrived at some of the same conclusions; he has the heavy hands typical of Hawaiian brawlers, but on the mat he is good at controlling position and seems very comfortable.

Another thing I forgot to mention... special thanks go to Leland Roling from Bloodyelbow.com, who helped with building and organizing free agent lists at each weight division. Leland just posted a great breakdown of top free agent names at middleweight; I strongly recommend everyone check that out.
  

From: smoogy 102 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile
Posted: 10/16/09 6:42 PM
Member Since: 1/7/08
Posts: 4948
 
TTT

Some other 205lb free agents who didn't make the cut:

Carmelo Marrerro (10-4-0-1)
Andre Gusmao (5-2)
Reese Andy (7-3)
Paulo Filho (18-1)
Jake O'Brien (11-3)
Costa Phillipou (5-1)
Ricardo Romero (9-1)
Martin Desilets (9-2)
Victor Valimaki (16-5)

From: alkysmurf 14 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile
Posted: 10/16/09 8:04 PM
Member Since: 2/7/09
Posts: 543
 
and now HENDO!!!

From: gorgesjorj 70 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile
Posted: 10/16/09 8:36 PM
MMAjunkie Radio, Host
Member Since: 1/1/01
Posts: 639
 
TTT

great post.

gg

From: Poindexter 48 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile
Posted: 10/16/09 9:13 PM
Member Since: 11/19/08
Posts: 1099
 
 Nice work

From: ultmma Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile
Posted: 10/17/09 1:13 PM
Member Since: 2/23/09
Posts: 22
 
great list. love the posts

other names at 205 to think about

Phil Davis 4-0 Four time All American and 2008 NCAA national champion at 197 lbs

Jordan Smith 9-0-1 - 24 year old has buzz sawed most of opponents on local shows

Richard Hale 12-3-1 - Aggressive fighter only one judge's decision in his career

More prospect rankings at http://www.ultmma.com/divrankings/

From: smoogy 102 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile
Posted: 10/17/09 3:56 PM
Member Since: 1/7/08
Posts: 4957
 
Thanks for posting. I'll have to look into this Jordan Smith kid

From: Mad Xyientist 18 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile
Posted: 10/17/09 4:10 PM
Member Since: 6/22/07
Posts: 23925
 
 Great post smoogy...but you forgot one guy....

RODNEY WALLACE! 

After winning a very tough 205 tournament in Aruba, he should be on everyone's radar.  I've seen him live in both MMA and sub grappling and he's for real.

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