UFC 144 feedback
Big thumbs up for the show
Best Fight: Henderson vs. Edgar
Worst Fight: Jackson vs. Bader
This card had really good finishes, a good mix of personalities, and a
pretty cool atmosphere in Japan. I really wish UFC had not amplified
the post-match interviews in the arena, and instead had the a team of
interpreters (one for Rogan and one for the fighter) amplified in the
arena, and left the English interviews for the TV audience only. This
would have allowed the interviews to go much quicker. It was awkward
to have Rogan and the fighters stare at each other silently for
minutes on end, and the long pauses really killed the energy in the
interviews. The prelims were pretty impressive, and it was nice to
see a lot of quality fighters that we don't get to see in the States
very often. I have to say that Boetsch really impressed me by coming
out so strong in the last round after looking so miserable early on,
I'd like to see him booked as a gatekeeper for some of the up and
Henderson and Edgar had a great fight, but it was also an example of
the huge impact weight cutting is having on the sport. It's coming to
the point that a fighter that fights close to his actual weight is
putting himself at a sever disadvantage. This is going to cause more
of the health problems, and missed cuts that are plaguing the sport.
Rampage missing his weight must have felt insulting to UFC, as they
really did a great job producing his what is likely to be final fight
in Japan. I'd really like to see UFC assign a maximum weight loss
schedule to each fighter. I wrestled in the past, and I am a
volunteer with a high school wrestling program. , Nowadays, wrestlers
are put on healthy weight loss schedule at the beginning of the
season, and I have seen that system prevent a lot of the health
problems and psychological "burnout" historically caused by
unregulated weight cutting. I know that in the realm of fighter
wellness, fighter drug use is the hotter topic, but UFC is silly to
not take the weight cutting issue more seriously.
Best fight: Edgar vs. Henderson--another fight of the year contender from Edgar
Worst fight: Jackson vs. Bader
On another note, if you haven't already, you should check out Henderson's post-fight interview with Helwani on Fuel TV. He is one of those guys who is a total babyface on the surface, but has some really heelish tendencies. He was acting sarcastic when Helwani asked him if he thought he did enough to win the fight, acting like anyone who thought Edgar won is just some idiot. He acted the same way when Helwani asked if he was hurt at all during the fight, saying stuff like "You see any cuts on my face? Do I look hurt??" If he learns the game and starts playing up that heel side, he could be great.
Keep up the good work as always!
Daniel Della Posta
I was at the show live, and I am curious if they had to explain the heavy booing for Akiyama, since they insist on promoting him as a babyface superstar... Or did it not come across as usual since they still haven't miced the crowd properly yet?
At the very least, it should have been noticeable that his reaction was much quieter than all the other Japanese fighters.
He did start to win them over with the "Japanese underdog" element, and judo will always win a crowd over.
UFC 144 Edgar vs. Henderson a thumbs up.
Best match: Sheilds vs. Akiyama. The main event was excellent as well. I had it 48-47 for Henderson and I had him picked to win going into the fight. So Pettis vs. Henderson next for the belt which should be good. I had Mizugaki beating Cariaso 29-28. Many good fights and finishes.
The title fight was so subjective. Surely Henderson via damage, but how do you score that definitively for either gentleman going off 10 pt. must system? Maybe all even rounds except Bendo 2, and Bendo 5. Definitely worth a second watch, and definitely worth a rematch if that was a route anybody wanted to take. I said to guests I was watching the fights with that Benson and Pettis are destined to fight another two times potentially based on how good their scrap was, and now you have Edgar right there too, honestly. So it's interesting to see who gets first crack at Bendo, because to me, both Edgar and Anthony have valid cases and pasts with the champ.
Rampage was done for after the first minute or so of the fight, he uncharacteristically taunted/got in Ryan's face early (more so than normal Rampage) and then it became a Ryan Bader fight. Good right hand, takedown pressure, takedown, control. Page looked winded and may very well hang them up.
Hunt continues his fun run past the .500 mark and solidifies at least another fight or two in the UFC. Kongo's mini-run gets flattened much like his equilibrium did during that short affair.
Shields/Akiyama stunk the joint out at my place, but thankfully the 7 fight main card ensured no one bad fight would be too much a show-ruiner. Akiyama is so flat footed and did nothing offensively to seal the deal. He was visibly tired yet still managed to throw and toss around the more active/yet awkward Shields. Jake out worked him, and deserved the nod.
Boetsch for me just got a berth into the greatest comebacks of all time, as Okami looked like a destroyer for the first 10:00, at no point really showing any give. And then the third round came and Tim stole that fight from him like he knew that it was his, and that quality, meshed with his power can really soar him into a high spot at a question filled 185 pound division.
Hioki had the crowd support and delivered outgrappling and overwhelming a tougher vet in Bartimus. Aldo seems perfect next, Japan wouldn't be a bad choice for a venue, either.
Pettis decapitated J-Lau in seconds to open the main show. So much upside, and only 25. A fight or two before a title shot wouldn't be absurd to me either, but playing along with layoffs between contenders and champions, it could very well make the more sense having he and Ben go at it, only in that Pettis is coming off a finish and win, but still, so subjective. Plays into that whole "Take the champion out" argument and if Frank deserves another shot being the former champ.
The bonuses are really up for grabs, no sense in picking. Think certain guys put on great performances, and should be praised for such. But narrowing down to KO/Sub/Fight seems like a robbery in and of itself. Worse than Mizugaki losing.
Lee showed some fantastic resolve versus Kid, very worth making a note of.
Also, like the 4 hour main card. Makes the show feel bloated in the best way. Ensures some great fights/finishes regardless, and helps if a fight or two drops off.
UFC 144 (PPV only)
Best Fight - Henderson v Frankie
Worst Fight - Bader v Rampage
Comments - I watched the fight at suburban Chicago bar. About 75% capacity. For comparison, the place was packed for the Lesnar fight, so lower attendance. Very hard core crowd. Cheered for reversals, submissions. Erupted at the Tim Boetsch comeback. Fun card.
Best fight: Lee vs. Kid Yamamoto
Worst fight: Mizugaki Vs Cariaso
Best KO: Pettis's KO
Best sub: Vaughn Lee
I was surprised at how many hardcores showed up for the 1st fight given how early the card started in Japan.
WTF was up with the Mizugaki vs Cariaso fight? How did Cariaso possibly win? Thankfully that was the only questionable decision.
The best surprise was Tim Boetsch's comeback win. Okami looked like a stud unitl the Boestch went berserker on him and KO'd him.
I had my doubts on Rampage after he missed weight by 6 lbs. He didn't disappoint as he got thoroughly outworked by Ryan Bader.
Bendo definitely won the title fight and I look forward to seeing him facing off against Pettis a 2nd time.
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