Weekend MMA show feedback



Hi Guys,
 
I gave the card a thumbs in the middle. The Pierce & Castillo fights saved a thumbs down but it was close.
Sonnen as always is a great colour man. Benavidez, not so much..didn't even need him there.
 
Best Fight: Pierce vs Simpson
Worst Fight: Prater vs LeVesseur but could easily go to Ellenberger vs Hieron
Best KO: Mike Pierce
Best Sub: Justin Edwards
 
 
Phil Harris vs. Darren Uyenoyama - Fast paced even fight. Good match up for guys of similar skill levels. Uyenoyama looked good but not great, is a long way away from being in the top 10 of his division.
 
Diego Nunes vs. Bart Palaszewski - Bartimus proved again that he is worthy to be in UFC. He took a lot of punishment, kept composed and became stronger as the fight went on. Tavares looked like the Tavares of old with his aggression in the first. This was a really good fight.
 
Shane Roller vs. Jacob Volkmann - After looking very impressive in WEC, Roller's career continues on the downslide in UFC. I think he could be giving his pink slip here. Volkmann totally dominated.
 
Carlo Prater vs. Marcus LeVesseur - Not a good display by either side here, doesn't make me want to see either of them again. They threw in a couple times that Prater beat Condit, Condit would destroy him now.
 
Mike Pierce vs. Aaron Simpson - What a comeback from Pierce. He absorbed a lot of blows and was lucky he didn't get choked out in the 1st. A devastating knockout. Great fight.

Danny Castillo vs. Michael Johnson - Johnson did well to survive the 1st round onslaught of Castillo who was a pitbull on him.Thought it was going to be over with the arm triangle. Almost a replay of Pierce/Simpson fight with the Johnson KO. Amazing.
 
Yves Edwards vs. Jeremy Stephens - Too bad this fight was cancelled due to the arrest. I was looking forward to a nice stand up war here.
 
Justin Edwards vs. Josh Neer - An impressive submission and a bit of an upset here I think. Surprised this one ended so quickly.

Jussier Formiga vs. John Dodson - 1st round was reminiscent of the Demetrious Johnson vs Benavidez fight. A lot of dancing and not much contact. Same with the 2nd until the finish. Not really looking forward to a Johnson vs Dodson fight. It looks like it is going to be a fight of two guys shadow boxing and making no contact or no desire to actually be aggressive and finish the fight. It should not be a PPV main event like Toronto was slated to be and I would even be wary of having it on FOX. It would be fine for a Fuel or FX event as maybe the semi main.
 
Jay Hieron vs. Jake Ellenberger - This was another pretty uneventful fight. For having such a long layoff Hieron did OK..no excuse for Ellenberger. Surprised Hieron didn't turn it up more in the 3rd as he must have known he was down 2 rounds. Ellenberger played it pretty conservative and was anything but a juggernaught here.
 
Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva  vs. Travis Browne - Too bad the knee injury played a factor in the fight. Not much to this fight either. Would like to see a rematch as I think Browne would redeem himself. Cant see Silva doing too much in the elite heavyweight pack that is out there.
 
Check out my Wrestling Observer, Wrestling Memorabilia, UFC/MMA, Beer Clothes, Pins & more ebay auctions. Over 700 items up right now. Can search Brian Pillman card and then search my other items from there or search via seller name of grantsindex
 
 
I also watched the live stream of Invicta 3 all women's show.
 
I gave the show a solid thumbs up.
Best Fight was Leslie Smith vs Kaitlin Young
 
There was some nice submissions and a great knee KO. 5 first round finished in the first 6 fights. Nice! Rich Franklin's brother reffed a number of the fights.
Commentary was great with Mauro Ranallo, King Mo & Julie Ketzie
 
Main card
 
Julia Budd vs Danielle West. Budd looked very impressive in her 1st round win. Some vicious elbows leading to the stoppage.
 
Michelle Waterson vs Lacey Schuckman - this was a great back and forth fight of near submissions & reversals. Came down to the 3rd round and could have gone either way. Great nickname for Waterson "The Karate Hottie"
 
Cat Zingano vs Raquel Pennington - Another all action fight. Zingano looked strong and a nice rear naked to finish.
 
Tara LaRosa vs Vanessa Porto - Porto's striking especially with her kicks was just too much for LaRosa. LaRosa is going to have trouble walking tomorrow.
 
Aisling Daly vs Barb Honchak - Daly took a lot of punishment here and developed a Hominick hematoma jr on the right side of her head and her footwork reminded me of Elwood Blues but she never tired whenever she was able to stay standing. Honchak was totally dominant and deserved the 30-27 unanimous decision.
 
Leslie Smith vs Kaitlin Young - This was none stop action. Young had the advantage in the 1st half of the 1st round but from the last minute of the 1st round until it was stopped in the 2nd, Smith laid a total beating on Young. Great fight.
 
Shayna Bazler vs Sarah D'Alelio - Bazler was all over her and pounded her at will until she finally sunk in the choke.
 
Jessica Penne vs Naho Sugiyama - Penne wins the Invicta Atomweight Championship. A bit of an upset here I think with Sugiyama suffering her first loss. A feeling out process in the 1st round but still nice action. Penne catches her with a triangle to finish her in the 2nd.
 
The Bellator heavyweight show was average to good. Brett Rogers was just horrible out there. Was nothing but a punching bag for 3 rounds for Alexander Volkov offering absolutely nothing. Bellator needs to cut their losses on him. Volkov's boxing was crisp but he didn't have anyone returning punches to really test how good he was. His punches didn't have much power but they were Diaz like in volume and accuracy. The Santos/Pringle ball breaker was almost surreal. The ref warned him no groin shots and then moments later he delivers a thunderous axe kick right on target.
Vinicius Queiroz made a nice comeback after being in trouble early to take an armbar victory over Mark Holata. Richard Hale looked very impressive in steamrolling over Mike Wessel and gave the most impressive performance of the 4 winners.
 
Looking forward to ROH next weekend in Toronto.
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Happy Thanksgiving to all my fellow Canadians
 
Grant Zwarych
Official Index of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter
 
BELLATOR 75
Thumbs perversely up for a mostly heavyweight card. I like seeing in shape guys beat fat guys.
Best fight: Queiroz-Holata
Worst fight: duh
KO: Hale
Sub: Queiroz
In the prelims, Joe Williams took a quick RNC over Rod Montoya. Ex WEC champ Chase Beebe looked maybe a step closer to back in form taking a hard fought decision over Bo Harris. Ryan Martinez oinked his way to MD over Manny Lara for the Fat Bald Mexican Heavyweight Championship (this would have been Worst Fight, most nights). 
On the top card of heavyweight tourney fights, Vincente Queiroz, who gassed badly in his disastrous UFC appearance, survived a haymaker from Mark Holota and secured the arm bar in midround for the tap. Cardio still a question because of the shortness of the fight. 1. Holota needs to lose some weight.
Richard Hale, up from LHW where he did the Second Bellator Standing Triangle, completely lit up Mike Wessel with strikes for a quick TKO. Funny how the in shape guys keep winning.
Tall rangy young Russian Aleksandr Volkoff pretty much made Brett Rogers his bitch, keeping him at the end of his punches for all three rounds. Brett doesn't like getting hit and was just running away most of the fight. Maybe it's a Minnesota thing. He went to ATT to train for this  but it may be too late for a real camp to help him. Can't teach work ethic. He's still a fat fuck with bigger boobs than next month's centerfold. Maybe he should stick to beating up his wife.
The main. Well, the main. Unbelievable. Last time Santos stands over Pringle and deliberately kicks him in the nuts and it's a NC. This time Pringle stands over Santos and accidentally kicks him in the nuts and it's a DQ. It's like Vince Russo was writing MMA.
UFC on whatever fox satrap 5
Thumbs up. REALLY good card, with mostly known fighters, buried yet again by fox' incredibly inept promotion.
Best fight: tie between Pierce-Simpson and Johnson-Castillo, which were back to back and were almost the same exact fight
Worst fight: LeVesseur-Prater
KO: tie between Pierce; Johnson and Magilla
Sub: Edwards
Some finagling needed as Hallman couldn't make weight or an acceptable catchweight and his fight with Tavares was scrapped, and Jeremy Stevens was conducted to the sneezer that morning off an out of state warrant and his fight with Yves Edwards was scrapped. The free fb stream was scrapped and all the fights moved to TV.
On the fuel prelims, Uyenoyama taps Harris with the RNC after a competitive round and a half of action. Uyenoyama may be a force at 125.

Diego Nunes shows much increased aggressiveness and great long range accuracy in dominating Bart Palaszewski to take a wide UD. I thought it was at least 30-26 but one judge even had it 29-28. Nunes for some reason comes out southpaw in the 3rd after doing what he wants from orthodox for two rounds, and Bart nearly takes the fight away, but Nunes regains his senses and reverts to righty and ends up dominating the round.

Volkmann adds some silly looking standup to his arsenal, but it seems to confuse Roller who does not counter, allowing Volkmann to quickly take back, wrap the body tri, and finish with a RN Chinlock.

LeVesseur and Prater stink out the joint with three rounds of clinching. Should have been a 0-0 draw but they give the local guy LeVesseur the 29-28 SD. Only bad fight of the whole card. Wrestling + Positional BJJ = ZZZZZZZZZ.

Pierce vs. Simpson, originally bizarrely scheduled as the fb internet curtain jerker as it's two well known fringe contenders, moves to the undercard semifinal and after the previous snoozer is a depressing proposition as it figures as another three rounds of boring grinding but NOT. Simpson drops Pierce with a cracking right, hits a big slam, and is threatening with a palm to palm choke at the bell of a 10-8 first. He then proceeds to come out looking to end it, walk right into a short counter right from Pierce in the opening moments of the 2nd and get knocked cold. Great fight.

Danny Castillo then proceeds to flatten Michael Johnson, threaten with an arm triangle, and pound out a 10-8 first. The southpaw kicks it into high coming out for the 2nd, beats Castillo to the punch, drops him with a straight left and does not let him off the hook, following up with strikes for the TKO. Another great fight. Can't say the undercard suffered from the cancelled fights.

On the fx card, Justin Edwards kicks it off with a shocker, jumping Guillotine and putting Josh Neer to sleep in a few seconds.

Dodson and Formiga, long considered the world's top flyweight, nearly stink out the joint with two rounds of cautious boxing in a title shot eliminator, but Dodson saves the fight and his shot by connecting for two KDs in the 2nd, finishing the fight off the second one. Excellent ref work all night from a local guy named I think Gutmiller, goofy looking with long sideburns and no other hair but right on the case with correct stoppages.

Ellenberger (Buffer still thinks Ellen is his middle name) takes a tactical three round UD over previous victor Hieron. Not a balls to the wall type fight but active and skillful.

I don't get why Travis Browne was considered a favorite for the main. Who has he fought and who has Magilla fought? Different solar systems and Browne has been erratic even in remaining unbeaten against C or worse level comp. Anyway it's academic as he blows out a knee missing a sloppy punch (think he was reading his clippings about how 'fast' and 'agile' he is) and is a sitting duck for Magilla who levels him with an overhand right and pounds him out with hammerfists. Very good card overall.

The fox cartel's presentation of MMA could bore drying paint. Multiple redundant recaps and interviews. They should watch Invicta and take notes.

ONE FC

Didn't see the whole card. Jens Pulver took a Tech D over Zhao when Zhao hit a second accidental (probably) groin kick in the 3rd round of a back and forth fight, with Zhap dominating the standup but Jens landing the harder punches and dominating on the ground. Ryo Kawamura tried a bunch of goofy Grabaka style jumping around on Melvin Manhoef but Melvin timed the second time Ryo tried sliding to his knees for a feint and coming back up and put out his lights with a right hand (that was fun). Aoki able to take down the French guy with no effort in a few seconds, making the quick tapout academic.
INVICTA FC 3

Thumbs up. Dana still thinks there's not enough women to sustain a women's division? Hasn't anybody shown him this? Three great cards in a row. And faultless production (and an actual watchable free legal stream, unlike UFC's Amish Facebook Dialup). Only negative if you want to call it that was the % of short fights. Excellent commentary from Mauro keeping the cheese to a minimum, King Mo and Julie Kedzie. 

Best fight: Waterson-Schuckman

Worst fight: nothing was bad but Tara LaRosa's performance was horrible.

KO: Calderwood

Sub: Baszler

Ediane Gomes from ATT via Brazil hands the more athletic Samoan Katalina Malangahu her first loss via 1st round RNC in the opener.

Tecia Torres makes it 2-0 for ATT taking a hard fought decision over Kaiyana Rain in a matchup of very experienced looking pro debutantes. Mo observes correctly that both could use a jab.

Beanpole Jessamyn Duke dominates Marciea Allen with length and range both standing and on the ground. Allen reverses and drops some G&P as Duke actually removes her mouthpiece to yell at the ref about something, and then replaces it and puts Allen out with a Russian Arm Bar. Replay shows Allen got the reversal by pulling Duke's hair.

Stephanie Frausto (Zoila's kid sis) sinks a quick Guillotine on Amy Davis and cranks it for the tap after Davis legtrips her into perfect position. Greg Franklin refs. This bothers me. Greg's brother Rich trains under Jorge Gurgel, Zoila's husband, as does Stephanie. Appearance of conflict of interest, at least.

Joanne Calderwood, Scotland's only female MMA fighter, destroys St. Louis cop Ashley Cummins with jabs and hooks off the jab and finishes her with a knee to the liver. (There was a LHW boxing contender in the Archie Moore era named Chic Calderwood, from Scotland, I wonder.)

First round blessing/curse continues as Carla Esparza dominates the recently inactive Lynn Alvarez with wrestling before finishing with unanswered but typical-wrestler-marshmallow G&P.

On the intermission, FIRST RATE taped segment with Mo and Julie breaking down the top card, with B roll of the weighins and fight footage. Intelligent analysis and intelligent two-cam shoot cutting back and forth. Julie comes off like a star here.

Julia Budd kicks off the top card with a G&P destruction of late sub Danielle West, who does not look in ring shape. West able to clinch up early but Budd just too strong.

'Karate Hottie' Michele Waterson takes a back and forth 29-28 SD over Lacey Schuckmann in an excellent fight with some of every fighting range on display.

The very strong Cat Zingano stays undefeated with a 2nd round one arm RNC finish of stubborn Raquel Pennington after grinding her down standing.

Vanessa Porto does a three round paint job on the hapless Tara LaRosa, not that long ago considered the best female fighter in the world. LaRosa makes Cyborg look like Michelle Pfeiffer. Huge jaw. She missed weight and actually looked about 4 weight divisions heavier than Porto and just seemed fat and lost. Porto landed right hands and low kicks at will and had LaRosa stumbling around the ring. Probably could have finished her. I had every round 10-8 but the judges of course lacked the integrity to give her even one.

Barb Honchak takes a wide three round UD over Aisling Daly from Ireland. Daly's weird herky jerky style doesn't bother Honchak. Daly keeps coming but Honchak is just better at everything.

Leslie Smith and Kaitlyn Young meet in a rematch of their split draw FotY candidate from Invicta 1. This is a result of multiple cancellations and substitutions and maybe Young is not 100%, but Smith is much the stronger this time and is able to dominate the first which neither could do in the first fight, and finish in the 2nd with G&P from Mounted Crucifix.

Shayna Baszler coming off the robbery loss to Sarah McMann turns in maybe a career best performance, completely dominating very tough Sarah D'Allelio with creative grappling (stomps to the calf from back ride? GO SHAYNA) and finishing in the 2nd with the RNC from the same position.

In the main, Jessica Penne wins the vacant 105 title beating Naho Sugiyama via 2nd R triangle. Sugiyama is highly skilled and is able to make Porto work for everything, but like most Japanese fighters she is badly outsized and Penne is able to snag the tri with her long legs and work to finishing position.

Don't see how anybody could watch this and not like it.

BATISTA WHATEVER

FUCKING WORK. They were calling spots all through it. Big shock, NOT. Also, noticed that every fight (including the originally scheduled opponent for Batista) was a black guy vs. a white guy---what's up with THAT? 
Crimson Mask

Good Evening Dave,
 
Just finished watching the Bautista MMA PPV. 
 
He just about got KTFO in the first minute of the fight and showed no defense standing what so ever.  If he was fighting an opponent that took the fight remotely seriously I feel that he would have been in a very bad way.  Lucero was goofing off and waving to the crowd at one point while he had big Dave ground into the side of the cage and ref Dan Miragliotta had to separate them.  At one point Dan said something to the effect of 'stop talking and start fighting' although it was not clear if he was talking to Lucero (my assumption) or not.  I may be totally off base but I got the perception that Lucero was going into pro wrestling mode and either shit talking Bautista or trying to call some sort of spot.  It legitimately makes me question how much of a seriously contested pro debut this really was.  Not that it was a worked fight per say, but Lucero seemed more concerned with enjoying his moment than actually winning the fight when he had Bautista rocked.
Bautista got the win after Miragliotta separated them off the cage and Dave got a TD and worked to his back and got theTKO from strikes. 
 
It was not an impressive debut at all.  I don't see him hanging with even low level fighters unless he had a *lot* that he did not show tonight.  Afterwards he talked about his nerves getting the best of him tonight and wanting another fight.  All things considered, unless someone miraculously made $ on this PPV I think he is better off as a one and done deal. 
 
The rest of the card was a fine to good regional MMA show.  I enjoyed it for what it was just because it was presented very differently than the UFC/SF shows I watch day in day out. The stories they told were scaled down, guys testing their abilities on the regional circuit working their way up to or in a few cases back into the UFC.  I would not want to see this show every month but it was fresh today given what I have seen lately. 
 
For $30 I would say this is a pass, but if they could scale down future shows to the $10-15 range and get it on IPPV instead of this Direct TV only routine I would be a buyer for another show in a few months. 
 
Thanks,
 
Kyle Wallace

Hey Dave,
 
Thumbs in the middle for UFC on FX
 
Best fight:  Johnson/Castillo (technically FUEL, but I saw it on this show)
 
Worst Match:  Ellenberger/Hieron
 
Was shocked at how easily Neer was handled and went out with that choke.  Good KO by Dodson in a rather very bad round and a half.  Thank God the result was Dodson winning for the future title fight vs. Mighty Mouse.  What a come back by Michael Johnson!  Glad this aired on FX.  Knowing it was Hieron's return to UFC, and Jake bouncing back from a Kampmann KO, I was expecting a play it safe fight from both.  However, can you for one second imagine if that headlined 151?!  I know it was never really considered, but I'm pretending it could have since it was the co main for a PPV after all (which is another story since Koscheck got hurt).  Hopefully they can re-book that fight next year or put together Jake vs Diaz or Condit rematch if he loses.  I think he has a lot of potential.  Browne will no doubt bounce back.  For someone who has never been featured as he was tonight, the man has a ton of charisma and upside in the heavyweight division.  Silva looked tentative and slow before Browne's knee went out.  Bigfoot vs Hunt should be considered.
J Brown

I entered just before the main show on FX started.  Upper deck was blocked off.  Lower deck was three quarters full at best, but probably more like half full. They couldn't have made a lot of money on the gate.  Dana was papering the show the day before at the weigh-ins, and in the days leading up to it, there were several opportunities to get free tickets around town.  Lackluster enthusiasm in general.  Lots and lots of booing. Say what you will about booing, but tonight I must  admit--and I'm not a fan of booing fights--it seemed totally warranted.  Even with the quick tapout in the first fight and the two knockouts later it's a more or less a shit show--shit card to begin with, followed by shit fights, equals shit show.  This is something anyone could have predicted by simply reading the lineup.  Lots of grumbling in audience during the whole thing, and especially on the way out.  Sounded like people are pretty pissed about paying full price for it.  Luckily for me, I only paid $20 from a scalper.  As unfortunate as it is, really the most exciting fight of the night happened in the crowd during the Ellenberger's match in the section I was in.  Aside from the fact that a poor gentleman of small stature got beaten bloody by two Jersey Shore-esque steroid monsters--seemingly unprovoked, I might add; wrong place, wrong time for him--it was more action than anything on the main card.  To his credit, Dana White did his best throughout the breaks (which were very, very long) to take photos and shake hands with as many fans as possible.  Although it looked at times like he was more interested in chatting with Vikings defensive end Jared Allen than he was watching the fights.  Who could blame him?  Overall, it was a completely underwhelming experience.  Even the spectacle couldn't save this one.  It's really too bad that the UFC is so over-saturated and/or watered down that people don't get excited--even at a live event--for fights that don't feature big names. 

Nathan G. O'Brien