Monday, February 13, 2012

The little fight that could…

May 5 on Fox, the UFC has put together quite a card. Tony Ferguson, John Dodson, Josh Koscheck, Alan Belcher, and Pat Barry are all booked for entertaining fights on the card, which is headlined by Nate Diaz vs. Jim Miller. Not the biggest names, but the fights are shaping up to be very exciting. Near the bottom of the card is a fight that is more important than a lot of people would initially think. The fight is a flyweight bout between Louis Gaudinot and John Lineker. Most casual fans are probably scratching their heads about this one. The only Louis Gaudinot most casual fans know is the one that couldn’t make it past the quarterfinal round of TUF and lost to Johnny Bedford on the finale. There’s also a good chance that most casual fans have no clue who John Lineker is. It’s a shame, because they really should.

Hardcore MMA fans know the real Louis Gaudinot; the one who made a splash in the 125-pound ranks in the Ring of Combat promotion. Gaudinot solidified himself as a serious contender at flyweight with his win over Jesse Riggleman for the Ring of Combat flyweight title. Riggleman was considered to be a top contender at flyweight at the time, and Gaudinot dominated him en route to a stoppage win via guillotine choke in the first round. However, the first test he faces returning to 125 pounds will not be easy.

John Lineker is the Jungle Fight bantamweight champion. He has an aggressive striking style and an iron jaw; a combination that is guaranteed to impress UFC fans. For those who don’t know anything about John Lineker, go to YouTube and type in his name. Watch his highlight reel, or any of his fights for that matter, and you will see what I’m talking about. He has been known to eat big punches and keep chucking bombs of his own. He’s like a mini-me of Mark Hunt in his K-1/PRIDE days.

As I said before, most fans don’t know how important this fight is. Gaudinot is a top-10 flyweight in most rankings, and with the division just getting up-and-running in the UFC, the winner of this fight could be just a fight or two away from a title shot. Also, it has the potential to be one of the most action-packed fights the organization has ever put on. In my opinion, the UFC should have tried to find a better way to feature this fight. They’re finally starting to understand the marketability and importance of the lower weight classes (ex: Dustin Poirier vs. The Korean Zombie headlining UFC on Fuel 3...F@#K YEAH!), but they are still having some growing pains (Michael McDonald vs. Miguel Torres on the undercard of UFC 145…WTF!!??).

It’s almost a lose-lose situation for the UFC. If you put this fight on a main card, you lose interest from casual fans who want to see more established names fight. If you put it on the prelims, you anger the hardcore fans for burying it. This fight is sure to entertain, and actually means quite a bit in terms of rankings for the UFC’s current flyweight roster. While there are enough options out there for fans to view this fight if they so choose, I still can’t help but be a little upset this fight wasn’t pushed more. It would have been a great fight to further showcase the new talent the UFC is bringing in for this division. Hopefully, the fight will be as exciting as I think it will be and help the UFC brass to give the fights in the new division some more exposure.

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