Quinton "Rampage" Jackson put to rest any retirement talk by signing with Bellator MMA (Photo courtesy of Bellator MMA).
Written by Chris Cox (@CoxFight), Contributing Writer
Back again, folks. I went under a small hiatus for the time being while Resolution Sports was launching Resolution Promotions, and, if you have not been to that website yet, the first thing you need to be doing after reading my article is heading over to it.
It has been about a month since I last wrote to voice my opinion on the world of MMA, and a lot has happened since then. Jon Jones beat down Chael Sonnen with a broken toe. Cain Velasquez dominated Bigfoot Silva one more time. New title contenders have emerged, and more big moves have happened for the UFC.
The pink slip train also continued for the UFC, with fighters being cut left and right after recent events, and a few of those fighters in particular whom I enjoy. Rampage Jackson decided he could not stay away from fighting and inked a multi-year deal with Bellator and TNA. Now the TNA thing, I really do not understand. I understand he enjoys acting, but this is just dumb. I love the signing with Bellator because there is an abundance of talent there that I want to see matched up with Rampage. There are talks of him moving up to heavyweight at his press conference, which would be great because Bellator could use that star sitting above the 205 line.
Another UFC veteran in Jon Fitch will restart his track with the World Series of Fighting on June 14th against Josh Burkman. Fitch has been in the MMA news as of late with a back-and-forth squabble with Dana White on the treatment of fighters, so it appears he will be staying away from the UFC for a bit.
The middleweight division has been the most interesting in my absence. The UFC welcomed in a long-time MMA favorite in Ronaldo Souza. He walked into the Octagon after having his opponent changed and won in dominating fashion against Chris Camozzi at the UFC on FX 8 in May. That same night, Vitor Belfort established himself to still be at the top with his second highlight reel knockout this year.
Like I said, this recent chain of events makes the division very interesting to me. I could see a match-up between Belfort and Camozzi for the number one contender spot, but many may not want that after Belfort met defeat so easily at the foot of Anderson Silva at UFC 126 in 2011. Silva is not alone, though. He will be meeting the young and ambitious Chris Weidman here in July, and there is a lot of intrigue surrounding that fight.
Silva made an interesting move here recently when he signed a new 10-fight contract with the UFC. A lot of people do not see Silva at 38-years-old having another 10 fights in him, but it makes sense when you think about the retirement clause that sits in every UFC contract. If he does retire before his contract is over, than he will not be able to reactivate into any organization until he completes his deal with the UFC. Some call it bad business, but it is pretty smart at the same time.
The deal that the UFC has inked with FOX has continued on and will be a forefront for a new channel in Fox Sports 1, a 24-hour channel that will focus on sports. FOX seems to be very committed to the UFC and will make them a staple in their programming for the channel. With this channel, FOX appears to be taking a chance by battling long-time sports television champion in ESPN. I watch ESPN more than anyone I know, and the sad fact is that MMA is not a big deal to them. Yes, the occasional highlight will appear and maybe an interview, but the sport needs real coverage to continue its growth. Hopefully, FOX Sports 1 will come to basic cable as soon as possible since many events will be moving there. The UFC is putting together an amazing card to kick off FOX Sports 1 in August, so I am looking very much forward to it.
The UFC is looking to move through the summer with some big fights, starting off with an amazing card in Brazil this past Saturday that featured eight submissions on the card. A true night of Brazilian Jujitsu stood true in the country of its origin. In the main event, Fabricio Werdum submitted Antonio Nogueira in what was a great closing match that also helped to clear the dust a little bit in the heavyweight division. To be honest, though, I am starting to wonder how much Big Nog really has left in him. He is getting up there in age, and I cannot see another title run from him.
Another impressive outing came from Thiago Silva last weekend, who made his return in stunning fashion by knocking out Rafael Cavalcante. I look forward to seeing what he can do now that he is back in the UFC. Hopefully, there is no more substance abuse, and he will start another run at the title.
Needless to say, we are back in full swing here at the Resolution Empire. Make sure to keep your eyes on both Resolution Sports and Resolution Promotions to keep getting more of the great info you expect from us.