Friday, February 10, 2012
Montague vs. “Formiga” needs to happen…in the UFC
I’m choosing to give this bit of news some attention because I feel like it’s not getting any. While going through my usual MMA websites for news and stories, Sherdog.com had posted their most recent MMA rankings. In the flyweight section, they mentioned that a proposed fight between former TPF flyweight champion Darrell Montague and former #1 ranked flyweight Jussier da Silva had fallen through. The fight would’ve taken place in March under the Tachi Palace Fights promotion, but the plans were nixed because of the birth of Montague’s child. Obviously it’s fair for Montague to take time to be a family man, but I hope two things happen regarding these two flyweights: They agree to fight sometime in the near future, and the bout takes place in the UFC.
It’s not that farfetched in reality. Tachi has no problem giving the UFC their talent. Just look at some of the UFC’s recent acquisitions, especially in the lighter weights. Michael McDonald, Cole Escovedo, and Ian McCall are just a few names that the UFC has scooped up due to successful runs in the Lemoore promotion. Also, and this is the most important, Montague and da Silva are probably the two most talented flyweights the UFC doesn’t currently have signed. “Formiga” has beaten a multitude of top flyweight talent, such as Shinichi Kojima, Mamoru Yamaguchi, Alexandre Pantoja, Michael Costa, and Danny Martinez. Though his striking is beginning to improve, there’s no secret da Silva’s greatest asset is his ground game. If he’s able to take his opponents down, they usually don’t get up unless the round ends or they’ve tapped. The ground game of da Silva is absolutely stifling, and if his striking continues to come along, he could potentially regain his throne as the world’s #1 flyweight.
Montague has been no slouch either. His first two wins in Tachi were KO victories over Jeremy Bolt and Luis Gonzalez. He then battered Ulysses Gomez to earn a lopsided unanimous decision victory to capture the Tachi Palace Fights Flyweight Championship. He is an impressive striker, with power and technique good enough to stop anyone at 125 on a given day. The other thing they have in common besides being top-5 flyweights: a loss to Ian McCall. In 2011, McCall took da Silva’s #1 flyweight ranking and Montague’s TPF title. Had the UFC Flyweight Tournament not been announced, this very well could have been a number one contender match to determine who got a rematch with McCall for the title. Montague and da Silva could make an immediate impact in the UFC’s young division, which recently added John Dodson, Louis Gaudinot, and John Lineker.
Also, the addition of Montague and da Silva would pave the way for even more imports from Tachi at 125 pounds. Mamoru Yamaguchi may be getting older, but he still has talent and puts on crowd pleasing performances. Dustin Ortiz is a young prospect who is coming off a victory over Josh Rave in a highly entertaining bout. Ortiz showed quick and powerful strikes as well as good ground skills in the fight. Though he lost to Ian McCall recently, he hung tough with the recent UFC signee and showed he could be on that level soon with a bit of work. The bottom line on all of this is that Montague vs. “Formiga” would please the fans and be huge in terms of the flyweight rankings. It would be a tremendous fight even if it took place in TPF. However, it should take place in the UFC, as it would be a fantastic fight to help introduce the division to casual fans, and possibly give the first UFC Flyweight Champion his first contender. This fight would show fans what Dana White meant when he said the 125-pound division had “nasty potential.”