First and Worst: Week of November 19 – 25

By Adam Martin Subscribe to Articles by Adam Martin

First and Worst is an ongoing series for, where every week Adam will make his pick for the best and worst newly-announced fight of the past week (Monday to Sunday). If you’d like to see any additions to this series, hit him up on Twitter @MMAdamMartin.

First: Gegard Mousasi vs. Mike Kyle, Strikeforce Finale

My pick for best fight announced during the past week is Gegard Mousasi vs. Mike Kyle, a fight that may or may not be for the vacant Strikeforce light heavyweight title when the two clash at the promotion’s final event in January.

This is a fight that has been scheduled multiple times in the past, so hopefully both men can stay healthy, and this fight actually goes down this time. Mousasi is coming off knee surgery, so he definitely has question marks surrounding him, but if he’s healthy, he’s one of the best fighters in the world. Kyle, on the other hand, is a solid veteran himself, and needs a big win over Mousasi to prove he’s still a relevant 205-pounder.
I believe the winner of this bout – or even both guys if they put on solid showings – will get an opportunity to fight in the UFC.
Mousasi has been rumored to head to the Octagon for years, but for whatever reason it hasn’t happened yet. Kyle, his opponent, was part of the UFC roster years ago, but has been toiling in Strikeforce and other organizations since. Really, though, both guys are good enough to fight in the UFC, and with a good performance on the final Strikeforce card, expect one or both to get the call.
It’s because of a possible UFC contract offer looming over their heads that I expect this to be a great fight that doesn’t go to the judges’ scorecards. It should be one of the best fights of what is already looking like a loaded January 2013 in MMA.
My pick for worst fight announcement of the past week became easy when it was leaked by TATAME that former WEC featherweight champion Urijah Faber would be making his return to the UFC in February when he squares off against Brit Vaughan Lee.
Don’t worry, dear reader, you’re not the only one scratching your head.
This fight really makes no sense. Faber, despite his losses in big title fights, is still one of the top five and arguably top three bantamweights in the world today. Lee? He probably doesn’t even crack the top 30, considering his best win is Norifumi “KID” Yamamoto, who hasn’t looked his old self in the UFC. So why would the UFC match these two up, then, you may ask?
Well, to me, it’s simple: The UFC wants Faber to get on another winning streak so they can have him hanging around the top of the division in the case someone gets hurt and there needs to be an injury replacement in a title fight. That, or the UFC is still dead set on pairing him up against UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz, who Faber was supposed to fight at UFC 148 this past July in the pair’s trilogy bout until Cruz blew his knee of and the match was scratched.
Lee doesn’t have much of a chance of winning this fight. He’s great at submissions, but Faber’s wrestling will be enough to keep the fight standing, where he has the advantage. I guess it’s possible Lee could pull a crazy submission out of his back pocket, but it’s not likely. It’s much more likely, however, that Faber beats the stuffing out of him in this glaring mismatch, and gets back on the winning track.

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