Feedback to UFC, Bellator & New Japan

Bellator 80
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Best Fight:  Spartan vs Volkov
Worst Fight: None
1) Brett Cooper d. Darryl Cobb by UD:  Cooper dominated Cobb with his wrestling.  Cobb has zero wrestling ability and without that he is going to have a tough time against strong wrestlers.  Cobb should hire former 2004 Olympian and current Hawaiian pro wrestling star Jeff Cobb to teach him how to wrestle.  Cooper would not only take Cobb down at will, but he also was delivering some big ground and pound.  Cooper definitely made a statement to earn a spot in the next Bellator Middleweight Tournament. 
2)Season 7 Featherweight Tournament Semi-Final:  Rad Martinez d. Wagney Fabiano by UD:  Martinez was accurate with his strikes and also putting pressure on Fabiano.  It was BJJ vs wrestling, but Martinez was winning the stand up game.  Fabiano would go for takedowns at times, but he could not take the D1 wrestler down.  I must admit, I am sold on the Rad Martinez story about a guy fighting full time and also caring for his sick father.  Martinez is in for a tough fight in finals against Shahbulet Shamhalaev.
3) Season 7 Heavyweight Championship Tournament Final: Alexander Volkov d. Vinicius Spartan by RD TKO:  This was a WAR! I really enjoyed watching thing fight.  Volkov won by being more accurate with his strikes and also keeping Spartan on the outside with his reach advantage.  You could never count Spartan out because he has a lot of power and also a good ground game.  Volkov picked him apart though and finally got the TKO win.  Volkov will now face Rich Hale for the Bellator Heavyweight Championship in the finals.  That should be a good fight and tough test for Hale.  
4) Joe Warren d. Owen Evinger by UD:  Warren just dominated with his superior wrestling.  Unlike Cooper in the first round,  Warren mainly just put pressure on Evinger as held him down.  Glad to see Warren get a win.  He is a color character and that is what Bellator needs going into Spike TV. 
UFC ON FEUL: Le vs Franklin 
Best Fight: Tuck vs Zhang
Worst Fight: Kim vs Thiago
1) Takeya Mizugaki d. Jeff Hougland by UD: Mizugaki was just too much for Hougland with his wrestling.  Good and entertaining fight.  Glad Mizugaki won as he is always an entertaining to watch.  He was really emotional after that victory. 
2) Jon Tuck d. Tiequan Zhang by UD: Fun fight.  I loved the ground game battle between these two. It was never boring and had me entertained watching the chess match on the ground.  The crowd heat was great as they cheered on the hometown kid in Zhang.  I really wish the crowd sound was better.  UFC TV never captures how loud a crowd is.   Crowd seemed to enjoy this fight and even didn't jeer Tuck winning.  They jeer when Tuck took a victory lap waiving the Guam flag. 
3) Takanori Gomi d. Marc Danzig by a SD:  I had Danzig winning this fight.  For sure Gomi won a round, but not two.  This also won fight of the night, but I thought Tuck vs Zhang blew this away.  
4) Dong Hyum Kim d. Paulo Thiago by UD:  Kim simply dominated with his grappling, but he wouldn't do much once he got a hold of Thiago.  There was moments of action, but at times I was bored.   My Dad who really was watching his first UFC show from start to finish lost interest.  That is why I picked it worst fight of the night.  Thiago really seems to have fallen off.  At one point he was a rising welterweight with big wins for Josh Koscheck and Mike Swick.   Glad to see Kim pick up win here.  
5) Thiago Silva d. Stanislav Nedkov by Sub in R3:  This opened up great with both men throwing bombs.  It slowed down in the middle, but really picked up in Round 3.   Every time I see Thiago Silva he reminds of Dynamite Kid facially.   Thiago should be casted as a muscle heel in a movie.  After fighting he does have a career in action movies for sure.  Big and a much needed win by Silva. 
6) Cung Le d. Rich Franklin by KO in RD1:  Wicked KO by Le.  He looked bigger in the midsection then usual.  Franklin should be retire at this point.  There is not fights for him anymore and basically living off is former success.  I like Franklin, but just time to hang up the gloves.  I was thinking the same thing for Le, but after this KO his stock raised up a bit.   Still I see Le as a special attraction fight then serious contender.  Le do to his entertaining style of fighting would be great for a future FOX semi-main event fight.  
Overall Thoughts on both shows:  I personally thought Bellator had the better show of the two.  All the Bellator fights where entertaining and the UFC at times lagged.  Also, Sean Wheelock and Jimmy Smith blow Kenny Florian and other UFC commentator out of the water.  Florian is good, but he is much better with Michael Goldberg.  Wheelock and Smith are on everything and also very entertaining.  When they do joke around, it at a perfect small dose.  I really enjoy Bellator because I always end up learning something new each time. 
John LaRocca

Hi Dave and Bryan,
Just finished watching power struggle, and while I don't feel it was quite on the same level as the King of Pro Wrestling show last month, it was still a very solid show with some great matches that was well worth $25.  It was also good to see some things set up for the Tokyo Dome show, such as Nakamura vs. Sakuraba, a likely match between Makabe and Shibata, and obviously Tanahashi vs. Okada.
Some thoughts:
Alex Kozlov singing the Russian national anthem was great for two reasons: one, the idea of a Russian paying tribute to a Croatian who played a Russian was amusing; two, the fact that the audience actually stood up for Kozlov's singing after he demanded it showed a difference in mentality between American and Japanese wrestling fans.  Granted, American audiences in the 1980s were significantly different from how they are now, but even now I'd have a hard time imagining American fans standing up for a foreign heel's national anthem, unless it was done mockingly.
To me, the most painful-looking spot was Karl Anderson's ace crusher to Nakamura on the table and over the guardrail.
Yujiro Takahashi catching Tanahashi's High Fly Flow and turning it into a gutbuster might not have been the most impressive of spots, but it really stood out to me because I don't recall ever seeing that before.
I'm looking forward to the Tokyo Dome show, and hope New Japan continues showing their PPVs on Ustream afterwards.
John McGraw

What a horrid, horrid card.  Thumbs down with no good fights and all bad fights.  What
pissed me off more than anything is how big a deal it was to be in China yet if you didn't
hear the commentary you didn't know it, and then barely?  They kept saying "Macao" instead
of China.  No shots of downtown, local flavor, anything?  I know the UFC guys are on
cruise control at this point but it was embarrassing.  They might as well have been in
West Bumfuck, Mississippi.
Mike DeGeorge

Thumbs up. When boxing does it right, it does it right. Mauro doing a superb job calling boxing, wish he'd be as professional calling MMA.
Best fight: Santa Cruz-Zuleta
Worst fight: none
KO: Angulo
Alfredo Angulo, back from 7 months unjust detention for immigration violation, levels Raul Casarez with a single left hook after 30 seconds of pure action.
Leo Santa Cruz scores three KDs enroute to defending the I Be Felonious bantamweight title against Victor Zaleta via TKO in 8 rounds that see over 1200 punches thrown. Zaleta has skill and heart and gets up from 2 liver shot KDs and continues to fight back, but is just outgunned. Santa Cruz not only throws over 100 punches a round, they aren't arm punches, everything is hard, and his defense is tight. Fight of the Year cadidate.
Abner Mares brawls his way to a defense of the We Be Collectin superbantam title over slick boxing bantam champ Anselmo Moreno, scoring a dubious KD and benefiting from a dubious point deduction. One judge has a fairly close fight a ridiculous 120-106, meaning 12 rounds to 0, plus the extra points. If you want to beat Mares in LA, better bring a gun, but interesting fight.
Thumbs up for the undercard and down for the top card, so middle overall.
Best fight: Alexander-Quayhagen
Worst fight: Joe Warren standard humpfest
KO: Derocher
no subs
On the undercard, (missed the first prelim), Souza KO 1 Otani, confirming the suspicion that Capoeira is a better bg for MMA than football is; Slack grinds the inept Mosiechik for 3, confirming the same suspicion relative to Olympic trial level wrestling and cross-country running; MT champ Cosmo Alexander avenges a loss in their mutual pro debuts, battering elusive karateka Josh Quayhagen for a UD, and wrestler Ryan Derocher catches striker Taylor Krahl cold for a 20 second 1 punch KO.
Brett Cooper opens the main card with a 3 round plop and schmop grind of Darryl Cobb.
Rad Martinez outhustles Waggney Fabiano to win the FW semi. Two judges somehow give Fabiano a round. Martinez faces Russian power puncher Shamhalaev in the finals.
Russian boxer Aleksandr Volkov continues in form from his destruction of Brett Rogers, doing the same to Vicente Spartan Quieroz for the 2nd round TKO. Both billed at 6'7" but Volkov appears noticeably taller. Volkov will face Rich Hale in the finals to crown a new HW champion and would have to go in favored.
Loudmouth glass jaw Warren is fed featherfisted ex high school wrestler Owen Evinger and humps his way to a UD in his usual manner. Not one of their better cards.
Thumbs up. Who does MMA at 7 in the morning? Animals. :D Another entertaining card. One of the Chinese ring girls almost has a butt, too. Mizugaki, Gomi, Santos and Le resuscitate their careers here
Best fight: Gomi-Danzig
Worst fight: nothing really blew
KO: Cung
Sub: Thiago Santos
Riki Fukuda opens the undercard weathering a fast start from Tom DeBlass and gradually pulling away for the UD. Very good all around fight.
John Lineker takes a round to find elusive Yoshihiro Urushitani but then slows the older fighter down and batters him to take the UD. I think. UFC's Amish Facebook Dialup is so bad you only see about every 1/3 of it. And NOBODY FUCKING CARES IF LINEKER HAS THE "FOURTH MOST 'SIGNIFICANT STRIKES' FOR A UFC DEBUT FIGHT" in his last fight.
Bruce Leeroy, who had trained for a striker/sub guy, Zhang, figures out Japanese wrestler Tezuka (who does a masked rasslin entrance) and finally realizes he can win the fight with his jab and proceeds to do so. The decision is again unwatchable but I think it was somehow split, which as far as I could tell was asinine.
On the main card, Takeya Mizugaki has a really good performance, battering Jeff Hoagland at all ranges for the UD with one questionable 30-25. Hoagland looks for subs early but is reduced to flop and survive mode by the end.
Zhang, moved up to the main card, has a very tough fight with Jon Tuck from Guam. Outsanding grappling war for two rounds dominated by Tuck, Both gas badly in the 3rd, Zhang less so, and somewhat dominates a very poor striking round. In spite of Zhang being the Chinese fighter, Tuck gets the correct UD with even one 30-27---don't see how anybody could give him the last round.
Surprisingly Takanori Gomi and Mac Danzig tear it up for three. Gomi is in career best shape and does not gas. Gomi nails an inert Danzig at will for almost all the 1st, Danzig gettng a TD and dropping G&P in the last few seconds but no way enough to offset the rest of the round. Gomi continues to land for the half the 2nd then Danzig takes over, threatening with a Guillotine and stealing the round. Gomi scores a clean KD early in the 3rd and IMO maintains the advantage in the round and takes the upset 29-28 SD. I'm really not seeing the 'controversy' here. Gomi's best performance in many years.
Korean Dong Hyun Kim, seeming to get the biggest pop on the card, ties Paulo Thiago in knots for 3 rounds, pounding away with Mongolian Chops from mount at the final bell. One 30-26 for dominance. Suspect Thiago got a one way ticket back to Brazil.
Thiago Santos outlasts the usual grinding and whining (and a clean 2nd round KD) from 'He Fouled Me, Ref' Nedkov, pretty much making Nedkov quit with a barrage of accurate strikes early in the 3rd and finishing with Arm Triangle. Santos seeming energized by his move from ATT to Blackzilians.
In the main, Rich Franklin looks early on to have a very pudgy looking Cung Le completely figured, but drops his hands and walks into a leaping right hook and gets knocked cold.
Crimson Mask

    Hi Dave,
                  New Japan Power Struggle:
    - Thumbs up
    - Best match: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Yujiro Takahashi
    - Worst Match: Toru Yano & Takashi Iizuka & Tomohiri Ishii & Yoshi-Hashi & Jado vs Manabu Nakanishi & Jushin Liger & Tiger Mask & Captain New Japan & Negro Casas
    I just finished watched New Japan Power Struggle iPPV live.  I missed New Japan`s previous iPPV because I was too busy.  I will watch it if,  and when it`s released on DVD.  Nevertheless , Power Struggle is the best wrestling show I have seen this year so far.  All the title matches delivered , and then some.  Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Yujiro Takahashi is a contender for match of the year.
    Alex Shelley fits into New Japan like a hand in a glove.
    Minoru Suzuki`s kicks if anything , are stiffer than Toshiaki Kawada`s kicks in the 1990s.  Also Low Ki`s uppercuts are stiffer than Dory Funk Jr.`s  in his prime.
    Lance Archer`s helmet reminded me of Big Bad John`s helmet.
    Two minor complaints.  Sometimes the sound went out during the ring entrances.  Also , waiting  for the next match to start during intermission.
                                        James Stanios


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