COUGHLIN: On an impressive UFC (in a way)

The Half-Guarded Truth
By: Mike Coughlin
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The Rather Impressive UFC that happened last Saturday that I’m talking about now

Saturday night’s UFC wasn’t entertaining.  Ok, I kind of liked it, but I like most things involving fighting so my threshold for “boring MMA event” is different.  Still, I can’t argue with folks who walked away saying, “Eh.  That one was forgettable.”  They also shrugged their shoulders in an overly dramatic manner, like some sort of cartoon character.

However, just because it was boring doesn’t mean it wasn’t newsworthy or important or impressive.  That last one, in particular.  A number of fighters turned into performances that could only be termed impressive.

Jon Jones

Yeah, we all knew he’d beat Chael because it was Chael Sonnen fighting Jon Jones.  That said, he did it with scary ease.  Jones taking Chael down wasn’t a surprise to me.  Him taking Chael down so easily?  A bit more of a surprise, but Jon is pretty good at takedowns.  It was just the sum total of everything he did that was scary good.  The raw power and explosiveness of the elbows he landed seconds before the ref stopped the fight were a sight to behold.  And a premature stoppage?  I don’t know about that.  Yes, fights – particularly title fights – have gone on longer in that situation, but Sonnen was getting battered, wasn’t really showing any signs of getting out of it, and hadn’t shown anything in the previous four minutes to indicate he’d get out of that spot.  Chael’s recent comments to someone, somewhere (UFC?  MMAJunkie?  Let’s say he called me last night and gave them to me personally) sum in up perfectly: “It was like fighting a bear.”

Michael Bisping

I thought he’d beat Belcher, but I wasn’t sure of it.  Belcher is a good fighter, and can look like a great fighter when he gets to play his game.  Standing, throwing punches and kicks, and not having to worry about the takedown is Belcher’s game.  And Bisping just owned him at it.  Bisping has had a suspect chin, and Belcher has good power, but it didn’t matter.  The Brit was in and out of range perfectly all night, avoided all major shots, doubled up on his jab while side stepping any counters that might come at him, and looked like a fighter on a different level from Belcher.  I’m not sure if it was the most impressive win of his career, but since I don’t want to look at Sherdog right now, I’ll just say it was.  Oh, and thank goodness Belcher didn’t lose an eye, because I genuinely thought that might have been possible at the end.

Roy Nelson

Mr. Kongo doesn’t have the greatest chin.  Nelson hits hard.  You can kind of see this one coming but any time a big fat dude knocks out a chiseled out of marble looking dude with one punch it’s cool.

Pat Healy

PRIDE guys came to the UFC and didn’t do well, but WEC guys did, and now Strikeforce guys have as well.  Melendez having a close fight with Henderson was good; The Punk owning Nate Diaz was awesome, but Pat Healy out Jim Miller’d Jim Miller.  Damn, that was something else.  To take a guy like Miller, who is the epitome of durable, tough, never quitting, well rounded, insert cliché, and do to him what he does to everyone else, culminating with not just a victory, but literally choking Miller unconscious – that’s impressive.

Bryan Caraway

No, this isn’t as impressive as the other fights I’ve listed, but he came in on short notice, took on a decent fighter, and beat the dude up a lot.  I’ll give him some respect for that.


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