We’re back with another edition of the Heavy MMA Roundtable. This week we talk Alistair Overeem, Jose Aldo, wrestlers in MMA, our dream grappling matchups, and which fighter we think brings the best smack talk. Be sure and let us know what you think in the comment section at the bottom of the page.
Brett Jones: Feature Contributor, Heavy MMA
Nate Lawson: Staff Writer, Heavy MMA
Spencer Kyte: Feature Writer, Heavy MMA
Matt Brown: Senior Editor, Heavy MMA
1. Alistair Overeem totally dominated Brett Rogers last weekend at Strikeforce: Heavy Artillery. Is he a top 10 heavyweight in your eyes? If not, would even a good showing against Fedor Emelianenko put him there?
Jones: Yes, but just barely. For me, rankings aren’t based on potential but on what a fighter has accomplished. Brett Rogers, my namesake, was the consensus 10th best Heavyweight before Overeem pummeled him, so Overeem takes over that spot by virtue of his victory. However, it’s not as though Overeem has beaten any other Heavyweights in the top 20 since his 2006 victory over Sergei Kharitonov, to whom he lost in a 2007 rematch. He’s obviously got the potential to be listed among the likes of Fedor Emeliananeko, Brock Lesnar, Shane Carwin, Cain Velasquez, and Junior dos Santos, but let’s not mistake potential for actual in-cage accomplishment.
Lawson: A victory over Brett Rogers is not the greatest accomplishment one can achieve in the sport, but Overeem was not challenged one time in that fight and looked completely unconcerned en route to his dominant knockout victory. He is definitely in my top ten and knocking on the door for a top five spot.
Loco: The way he absolutely made Brett Rogers look like he shouldn’t even be fighting in MMA definitely put Overeem on the map for me. If he goes in and takes out Fedor, he earns a top 5 spot in my mind. And then the whole “Overeem needs to fight UFC” campaign starts. No matter who wins, we’re gonna be begging for the winner to come into the octagon.
Kyte: Definitely. While he hasn’t faced a number of noteworthy competitors over the last couple years, the way he dominated Rogers solidified his standing in the Top 10. He would be a handful for the likes of “Minotauro” Nogueira or Frank Mir, two guys in everyone’s Top 10.
Brown: I think you really have no choice until he’s proven to be a sham. After Rogers destroyed Arlovski, he had moved into most people’s top 10. We all saw what happened last weekend to Mr. Rogers. I have Overeem sitting about 8th in my current top 10 heavyweights.
2. Rampage Jackson and Rashad Evans had one of the most epic pre-fight conference calls in the history of MMA. We know Heavy’s Spencer Kyte doesn’t like trash talk, but if you had to rank them, who is the best trash talker in the sport right now?
Jones: This is one of those questions where no matter what I answer I’ll feel like an idiot later for forgetting someone else. Maybe Phil Baroni, because the past five years or so of his career have been built almost entirely on his ability to talk trash. Some of the guys who amuse me with their trash talk are Rampage, Dan Hardy, Josh Koscheck, Frank Mir, and Brock Lesnar.
Lawson: Rampage and Rashad are certainly up there, but I wouldn’t give either the top spot. Frank Mir also understands how to hype a fight, even though he has crossed the line on occasion. But I have to give the top spot to Dan Hardy. The way he broke Marcus Davis down mentally before their bout was the work of a master.
Loco: Chael Sonnen is creeping up the list. BJ Penn is great at his very subtle jabs at people. Dan Hardy’s accent makes anything he says awesome. But Josh Koscheck secured his position at the top after his fight with Paul Daley, he had an entire country want to kill him.
Kyte: It’s not that I don’t like trash talk – it’s that there is too much unnecessary and hallow trash talk. These two have legitimate heat and that makes the trash talk meaningful. Plus they’re both entertaining as hell. King Mo is coming on strong and Rashad is doing well with the “Quittin” Jackson line right now, but Rampage is still the best in the business.
Brown: I’m feeling Chael Sonnen right now. He talks trash without all the yelling and childish comments. He just straight up bashes you as a human being with an articulate flair. That being said, Mo, Rampage, Rashad, Hardy, and Koscheck are all very entertaining. If you go outside of just fighters, then Dana White has to be up there. He can talk trash with the best of them.