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MMA Roundtable: Diaz’s appeal, WSOF 2 reviews, best fights of ’13 so far, and more

After Thursday night’s Bellator 94 card, major MMA will pass the quarter pole for 2013, with several excellent fights in the books, a few controversies still smoldering, and a new kid on the block still looking to establish itself. In this week’s roundtable, my colleague Luke Thomas joins me to discuss some of these topics, including Nick Diaz’s intention to file a complaint against the sanctioning body that regulated UFC 158, the best UFC fights of the year thus far, the good and bad of World Series of Fighting 2, and more. 1. Does Nick Diaz really stand a chance of getting a rematch with his current gambit against Quebec’s athletic commission? If not, is there any other value to this effort?Thomas: I sincerely doubt anything Diaz is requesting will come from this. That isn’t to suggest what he’s stating lacks merit (more on that in a moment), but simply the reality of what it would take to force any power player’s hand – be it UFC or the commission itself – and the timeline of such a process makes any real progress impossible. Besides, when the group you’re griping about is ultimately the one you need to act on your behalf, the legitimacy of your complaint becomes irrelevant.That said, let’s be clear about what Diaz is stating. Is part of his claim unequivocally self-serving? Undoubtedly. He’s trying to earn a rematch or a monetary reward and perhaps more. But the crux of the claim made by Diaz is that there was commission incompetence or malfeasance or both in two key areas of regulation at UFC 158. He is challenging their fealty to and implementation of their own regulations. He was told something that made positively no sense by a UFC official who was ostensibly relaying a commission rule. That rule exists nowhere in their own codified regulations. They used such regulations to oversee UFC 158. That is a problem. Period. When the watchdogs are playing fast and loose even with what appears to be seemingly innocuous or modifiable rules, that places the entire operation under rightful suspicion.I don’t believe Diaz will earn a title shot or will take home 20 percent of GSP’s purse when this is all said and done. But if this puts the Quebec commission on notice as well as regulatory bodies throughout North America, his efforts will have not been a waste.Chiappetta: I’ll go a bit further than Luke and guarantee he has absolutely zero chance of an immediate rematch. After all, as far as we know, he has zero proof that St-Pierre actually missed weight, and his other complaint about improperly supervised drug testing is almost certain to be struck down due to Luke’s explanation about the commission policing and then judging itself. However, as Luke also points out, Diaz does appear to have a legitimate gripe when it comes to the weigh-in issues, with Quebec’s Régie des alcohols, des courses et des jeux sanctioning body acting incongruous with their own rules and history.The commissions carry so much importance and weight that it makes it difficult to check their power. What Diaz and company might have done with a small video camera is just that. Rules need to be clearly written, explained and enforced. One of the big problems in MMA is that they can be slightly altered from one place to the next, leaving both promoters and fighters in a situation where they must hustle to ascertain the applicable information. If Diaz’s complaint results in increased transparency, at least others that follow him will benefit from it. Unfortunately for him, that’s probably the best result he can hope for. 2. With the first quarter of the UFC’s 2013 schedule out of the way, what was the promotion’s best fight of the year so far?Chiappetta: You’ve got to hand it to the fighters; 2013 has been a bonanza of action so far. In a short time, there are many excellent options to choose from. Wanderlei Silva vs. Brian Stann, Demetrious Johnson vs. John Dodson, Jose Aldo vs. Frankie Edgar, and most recently, Johny Hendricks vs. Carlos Condit, just to name a few. Those are all worthy candidates but in a squeaker, I’ll send my vote to a couple of undercard fighters, Dennis Bermudez and Matt Grice, who absolutely tore it up on the UFC 157 prelims. For 15 minutes, the two featherweights fired heat-seeking missiles at each other. Each was knocked down, and each landed upwards of 80 significant strikes during the course of the three-rounder. Each refused to surrender, making it to the final horn. The fight may not have been a technical showcase, but it was a testament to courage and perseverance. The efforts of both fighters illustrated the best of MMA when it comes to raw desire. Bermudez and Grice, still looking to establish roots in the UFC, put themselves out there, focusing on offense first in an ability to finish. It’s always a fine line between aggression and danger, and just like every other sport, there will always be a bias towards offense.If you wanted to argue about Silva’s emotional knockout of Stann in his return to Japan or Hend…

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