What were the top stories last week?
Before we get to the stories, we have to discuss Yang Jian Bing, who passed away while trying to cut weight. With all the technological advantages we have today, something archaic like weight cutting is still a big deal. It’s unhealthy. Think about this. Fighters train their asses off to be in the best shape possible. And then, they put their body through a few days of the most unhealthy thing in the world; not eating or drinking properly and trying to drain excess water. And then after that? They go out and put their bodies through more hell.
The UFC is making a big push to eliminate PEDs. Why? It’s partially a PR reason. It’s a big bullseye for the media. But what about weight cutting? Why still allow something that is so detrimental to your fighters? It doesn’t make any sense whatsoever.
Let’s get to the stories that didn’t quite make the top five.
– The WWE Network will reach Japan early in 2016.
– Premier put their latest show on YouTube.
– Lucha Underground announced the signing of Rey Mysterio Jr., plus Matanza.
– AJ Styles says that he’ll be there for the ROH PPV this Friday.
– Ramona Shelburne wrote a long magazine piece on Ronda Rousey that’s worth your time.
– We also covered the TUF Finale where Ryan Hall (50/50!) beat Artem Lobov to become to TUF champion. Also, Chad Mendes was floored in the first by Frankie Edgar and then stopped.
By the way, before anyone complains about Hall coming back into the competition to win, Lobov was eliminated before the show even started.
– Roy Jones Jr. needs to call it a career.
– Manny Pacquiao is delaying his decision on who he is going to fight next.
– George Groves is going to be back in our lives soon.
– Deontay Wilder’s next fight is in mid-January.
And now, the top five…
5. Daniel Bryan thinks his WWE career is over.
It’s hard to fathom what Bryan is going through being that he’s given a lot to become a professional wrestler. But it seems that he’s resigned to the fact that his WWE career may be over.
As a big Bryan fan, I’m torn between seeing him continue to live out his dream and also be in danger for something that he loves. The only thing I can personally do is wish him well in whatever he does. But if he continues to wrestle, as a fan, I’ll definitely support him and his work.
4. Mauro Ranallo joins WWE and will be Smackdown’s lead announcer.
It was reported Sunday night by Richard Deitsch from Sports Illustrated that Mauro Ranallo was headed for WWE to be the lead announcer for Smackdown, which heads to USA in January. For Ranallo, it’s been a long-time dream to work for the company, and if they don’t handicap him, he’ll be their best announcer since Jim Ross left.
There is definitely a segment of fans worried about WWE overproducing him and I do think that should be expected. But what I hope happens is that they leave him alone after a while and he can get in his groove.
And for those who were wondering if they were going to gimmick up his name…
Oh, and because I've seen a few tweets about this,my name on Smackdown will be… Mauro Ranallo #NotAInTheThirdPersonTweet
— Mauro Ranallo (@mauroranallo) December 14, 2015
3. Roman Reigns takes out Triple H at TLC.
At TLC, Sheamus beat Roman Reigns to keep his strap, but the aftermath of the match was newsworthy. Roman Reigns absolutely laid waste to Triple H after the match, beating Triple H down like maybe never before. I’m trying to remember with the Triple H character had ever been in that much trouble before.
I’m sure we’ll find out soon where they’re with Reigns, but even though he lost again, his character seemed like it went through a change. It felt more like the Shield Reigns that people really loved.
Is he a heel? Or is he a Stone Cold-like babyface? Triple H sold the beat down like a babyface, but Stephanie can continue to be his heat. I’m excited to see where this goes.
2. Luke Rockhold is the new middleweight champion.
Saturday night was quite the night. I think many of us had a feeling that it was only time before Luke Rockhold became the middleweight champion. We just weren’t sure when. His time is now.
He beat the stuffing out of Chris Weidman at UFC 194 and seemed to be one of the baddest men going. His win was about as convincing as you can get, considering what Weidman has done to his foes.
Rockhold may very well be the top guy for a little while, even though that division is super deep. Can Romero last long enough for a five rounder? Can Jacare avenge his loss? Vitor Belfort would seem to have very little chance. And Anderson Silva is on the wrong end of his prime.
1. Conor McGregor knocks out Jose Aldo at UFC 194.
What can you say about Conor McGregor? He called his shot. He’s created a new movement with his, um, movement training style. And he has a ton of options at lightweight and featherweight.
But there’s some worry that he may be asking for the world with his next deal, including co-promotion. That’s going to be a story to follow in early 2016.
See you next week.