July features 2 big pay-per-view events, UFC 86 Jackson vs. Griffin and Affliction: Banned. Which PPV should the MMA fan with a budget buy?
Main Event: Jackson vs. Griffin or Emelianenko vs. Sylvia
Jackson vs. Griffin is guaranteed to have better post fight interviews, but what about the fight itself?
Quinton Jackson is a very talented and very entertaining fighter. His fights are typically exciting whether he's standing & throwing (see either Liddell fight, but preferably the first one in Pride) or picking guys up slamming them & working his ground & pound (see the insane highlight of him powerbombing Ricardo Arona). Yeah, its been 10 months since his last fight, and that would worry me, if I was betting on him (which I still might do, depending on the line). But, he's had long lay-offs before fights before & been ok.
Forrest Griffin is a very entertaining fighter. With the possible exception of the second fight against Stephen Bonnar, his fights are fast-paced & entertaining. He's not unskilled. I didn't refer to him as very talented because I'm still trying to get a grasp as to how good he is. I thought I had his skill level pegged, good enough to be a mid-card fighter in a top tier promotion/good enough to be a champion with a smaller promotion, but then he beat Mauricio Rua. Now, I think he might be good enough to be a champion in a top-tier promotion.
Fedor Emelianenko is the fighter I'm the most interested in watching. Lot's of serious MMA fans swear he's the greatest fighter ever, and he has a fantastic record. I've only seen his fights that made it onto Foxsport's Pride FC Fedor Emelianenko Special (the episode of the now defunct show on Foxsports showing highlights from Pride that was dedicated to Fedor). Truthfully, I was unimpressed with Fedor. Maybe, I was expecting too much because I'd heard so much Fedor hype. Fedor looked very good, but not greatest ever good. So, I really want to watch him fight. Unfortunately...
Tim Sylvia currently resides at the top of my "I won't pay to watch" list. Sylvia's record indicates that he used to be an interesting fighter to watch. But, after the 2nd Andrei Arlovski fight (or possibly after the Tra Telligman fight) he switched to an "effective"/cautious style. He uses his reach/size to outpoint his opponents either by keeping them at a distance with his jab or wearing on them against the cage. Of his last 5 fights, 4 have gone to decision. And, only one of those decisions didn't draw lots of boo's/criticism for its slow pace (the loss to Couture). Hell, during the Vera fight, Joe Rogan because completely biased, screaming for Vera to circle to his right. Tim's new philosophy on fighting can be summed by his post fight interview after his uninspiring 5 round unanimous decision over Jeff Monson. He was asked about people booing him/booing during the fight and his reply was, and I'm paraphrasing, "it doesn't matter, I won."
Despite my interest in watching Fedor fight, UFC 86 definitely holds an edge in the main event.
That's it for this week. Next week, I'll break down the rest of the pay-per-view main event cards & decide on the winning PPV.