Many believe that the UFC has all the top fighters in the world and if someone doesn’t fight in the UFC he is not top shelf talent. However, that couldn’t be further from the truth. You don’t have to look too far to dispel that myth. Just look at local fighter “Ragin” Kajan Johnson. Here is a talented lightweight that is ready to take on some of the worlds best, but for now, he battles within the feeder leagues across Canada.
“Ragin” is in pretty good company though. After last weekend, you can add a few more names to that list of top tier talent not in the UFC. Last Friday night, Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt Robert Drysdale improved his professional MMA record to 4-0 when he submitted Isaac Villanueva via deadly arm bar. If you are not familiar with Drysdale, he is a three-time IBJJF world champion, 2-time Brazilian national champion, ADCC Open Division champion and teaches BJJ to some of the world’s best in Las Vegas, Nev.
I had the pleasure to see Drysdale make his professional MMA debut in Victoria, B.C. for the AFC. He now fights for the LegacyFC promotion based out of Texas. None of Drysdale’s fights have gone past the first round and all four have ended in quick and beautiful submissions.
Another guy who should be fighting in the Octagon is Strikeforce middleweight champion, Luke Rockhold. He was able to dispatch of his toughest challenge to date in Tim Kennedy via unanimous decision. There is nobody else in that middleweight division that he could possibly fight that would be interesting. Yet, like Gilbert Melendez, they are stuck with Showtime contracts.
For some reason it seems Zuffa has decided to no longer promote any Strikeforce events. The ugly stepchild promotion is going to die and unfortunately the extremely talented fighters that fight under the Strikeforce banner are being held in MMA purgatory.
The UFC needs to revaluate the talent they are bringing in and maybe shuffle the deck. They have too many TUF contestants who couldn’t hold a candle to some of the top-level guys slugging it out in smaller promotions. The UFC does a great job of marketing, but over the years have missed opportunities to sign talent that could make them even stronger.
I’m off to UFC 149 in Calgary. It’s a sleeper card that has gone through many changes, but usually these are the most entertaining. Follow me on Twitter and I’ll give away a couple of prizes next week. Stay tuned.