Feedback to UFC on FOX and Bellator
Was looking forward to this card much more than last week's card.
I gave the show a big thumbs up. Some great finishes up and down the card.
Best Fight: Johnson vs Dodson
Worst Fight: Guida vs Hioki
Best KO: Showtime. Nothing like a body shot to finish a fight.
Best Sub: Bader
Rafael Natal vs. Sean Spencer - A great way to open the show. Both guys were aggressive on the feet and kept coming forward. Natal was superior on the ground at the end of each round which proved the difference. Looking forward to seeing Natal again against a higher ranked fighter.
Shawn Jordan vs. Mike Russow - This was a very good pace for two heavyweights. Jordan showed a great chin to survive Russow's early onslaught in R1. It appeared to me that a number of the fight ending strikes by Jordan were landing behind the ear which would have made them illegal strikes. Good conditioning on Jordan's part to win this.
Ryan Bader vs. Vladimir Matyushenko - Too short to really comment on but Bader looked in great shape and cleaned up on the Janitor. It could be Vladimir's last fight now that we have so many fighters added to UFC with the Strikeforce talent.
Mike Stumpf vs. Pascal Krauss - Krauss' standup was really solid. He just picked Stumpf apart the whole fight with quick tight combinations. Really liked his Superman punch uppercuts as well. Have never really seen that before and he landed multiple times,.
Clay Guida vs. Hatsu Hioki - This was a very close fight and could have gone either way. Guida took Hioki down but really did nothing with it and Hioki was constantly threatening from the bottom although he was never close to finishing from the bottom either. Guida's constant movement although looking flashy didn't really add a lot to the meat of the fight with strikes that connect although it did perhaps lead to the few takedowns he got. Not sure of Guida's potential in the featherweight decision after this performance as he would not stand a chance vs Aldo or Edgar in my humble opinion. Both of these guys would eat him alive.
Matt Wiman vs. T.J. Grant - Grant turns in an other impressive performance. Wiman had been looking good in his last few fights but he was totally overwhelmed here with Grant's elbows and Thai plums and knees. Would love to see him fight a top 10 contender to move up the ranks.
Erik Koch vs. Ricardo Lamas - Lamas looked great here and those elbows on the ground were devastating. Koch really has fallen since his near title fight that got called off due to injury. He needs to rebound in a big way after this loss. A slip cost him the fight.
Donald Cerrone vs. Anthony Pettis - This was the fight I was most looking forward to and was hoping it would have went longer. Cerrone really looked flat and didn't show any of his great leg kicks that he is usually so dominant with. Nothing like a great body shot to end a fight though and Pettis looked great in his return.
Quinton Jackson vs. Glover Teixeira - This wasn't as a one sided destruction as a lot of people (including myself) thought it was going to be. Texeira hurt him numerous times but didn't really go in for the kill. Crowd really behind Rampage as most crowds have been for the legends.
Demetrious Johnson vs. John Dodson - Dodson has a personality that just rubs people the wrong way and he has been like that since TUF. He makes you want to see him get KO'ed. Johnson really turned it on in the championship rounds and those knees in the Thai clinch were devastating. A dominant win by DJ.
Also thought I'd say I really liked the debut of The Ultimate Fighter. Liked the aspect of having them bring friends and/or family as well as the brief introductory clips to add some personalities to the fighters in order to get emotionally invested in some of them right from the start. Thought this was a great addition and looking forward to a good season as some of these guys look like they have legitimate chances to make it.
Enjoy the Rumble tomorrow night!
Grant ZwarychBELLATOR 86
Thumbs slightly up.
Best fight: No really outstanding fight, though several impressive individual performances.
Worst fight: Amaya and Gomes looked like a couple of 8 year olds at recess
KO: King Mo
Sub: Damon Jackson
On the prelims, much harder hitting Cortez Coleman batters the better conditioned but technically inept Matt Jones for two rounds and holds him off in the 3rd. Coleman has enough energy to do pushups after the fight but not enough to fight the 3rd round. 29-27 as the 2nd was 10-8 and was on the verge of being stopped. Judges of course don't give the 10-8. Jones can't hit and drops his hands. 30 year old MWs with very little upside. Damon Jackson takes his second 2nd round RNC sub over Zak Church in the past month. Sorta odd booking here. Raul Amaya stops Jose Gomes in the 1st in the first WW tourney fight. Sloppy, amateurish brawl. Gomes allegedly came in with 41 fights in Brazil. Couldn't prove it by me. Looked like he never had a glove on in his life. Brent Weedman drops back down from MW and dominates 1 & 2 vs. Marius Zaromskis. Zaromskis does not help himself with a Carpentier backflip in the 2nd, or by losing a point for 2 blatant illegal knees in the 3rd, which he won otherwise, landing a flying somersault kick. 29-27. Even the judges get it right. Jason Sampson spends the whole fight on Chris Pham's back and finally taps him with arm bar with 5 seconds left.
Top card leads with 2 WW tourney fights. Ben Saunders vs. Koffi Adzitso from Africa, who speaks perfectly understandable English yet they feel they have to give his video subtitles. Doesn't matter much as Saunders controls the entire fight but makes no special effort to finish it other than a too little too late arm bar at the bell. Not thrilling. 30-27. No other possible score even from the judges.
Douglas Lima drops Mikhail Tsarev with a LK at the bell ending round 1, visibly wrecking his knee, and Tsarev is UTC shortly into 2. So I guess we're heading for Lima beats Saunders again, Weedman way out of Amaya's league, so Lima-Weedman final with neither having much of a prayer vs. Askren.
Okay the guy Mo is fighting here is named: Przemyslaw Mysiala. Also speaks perfect English but they subtitle him. Actually he speaks clearer than Mo does. He says after this fight people will know how to pronounce his name. Pronounce it? Can barely READ it. Mo has had over 20 surgeries on his knee and nearly died from staph infection so there is an issue here how far back he has been able to come. The other guy is kinda... fat. No dancing girls, boo. Mo trying to fight conventionally, no Battling Siki stuff. Looks a little shaky frankly but splatters the other guy's nose with every jab then knocks him cold with a short right hook and advances in the LHW tourney, which he should win without breaking much of a sweat.
Askren finally shows some fighting instinct in the main, forsaking some of his usual constant humping for actual damaging G&P, and busts up Karl Amoussou forcing the stoppage after the 3rd. His least boring performance to date. He keeps this up he may become actually watchable.
LION FIGHT 8 MUAY THAI
Thumbs up. Nice to see some Muay Thai for a change, especially in the US, and not the watered down K-1 style 'kickboxing'. Card was in Vegas and plenty of UFC guys in attendance. All fights were 5R x 3m, Thai rules except the stupid 12-6 elbow rule still appliesin the US, and only 1m instead of 2 between rounds, but clinch fighting, all other elbows, and spinning strikes are legal.
Best fight: Van Soest-Rufus (women steal the show)
Worst fight: none
Malaipet Sasiprapa opened the TV card KOing Vishnu Gulati in the 2nd with low kicks after doing the initial damage by checking Gulati's low kicks. Guess the Indian guys don't train kicking banana trees like the Thais do. You don't see this outside of Muay Thai.
In the first women's fight, Vivian Leung completely dominated the much taller Kate McGray for the UD.
Shane Campbell took the UD over Remy Bonnel in a terrific fight. Campbell was just a step ahead most of the way.
Kevin Ross back from a long injury layoff and looked like a textbook MT machine battering Chris Kwiatkowski throughout but could not put him away.
Poster girl Tiffany Van Soest was behind on the cards (or should have been) vs. unheralded but smart and tough Brit Alexis Rufus but suddenly ended it in the 4th with a LHK/right cross KO.
The legendary Thai Yodsanklai Fairtex showed why in his US debut, solving the much taller and very skilled Gregory Choplin and putting him away with a right hook to the body in the 3rd. Fairtex' power is astounding, both in his hands and feet.
UFC fox 6
Thumbs up. More competitive on paper but that was largely because of several breakout performances.
Best fight: Johnson-Dodson
Worst fight: Jordan-Russow
fb prelim seemed like a really good fight, with Thoreson staging a comeback after being battered and dominated for 2 rounds by Mitchell. Too bad the feed cut off in the middle of the 3rd round.
On the midcard show, Late sub Spencer, a natural 170, shows some boxing skill early but just too small to deal @MW with Natal, who finishes him with arm tri from mount (!) in the 3rd and then goes something like 'I have a great body and a beautiful girlfriend'. Chicago cop Russow, fighting at home after obviously training on donuts, cannot finish the minimally skilled Jordan in the 1st, gasses, gives up his back without a whimper, and gets pounded out in the 2nd. Pathetic. Bader finishes Matyushenko quickly with a left hook KD and weird, sloppy head and arm choke. Time to retire if Ryan Bader is that much faster than you. 'Panzer' Krauss batters the much smaller 'Luftwaffe' Stumpf for a UD for the Hitler Youth Welterweight Title. I am not making up the 'Panzer' nic. Guida sporting the pornstache along with the mullet, lays and prays most of the fight. He doesn't even look that big dropping a division. Stinks out the joint but it's his hometown so they don't care. Hioki effective striking when they're up but can't stop the TD. Debatable but not horrible SD for Guida. What happened to him finishing fights? Was he having a fit for those few fights? Grant takes Wiman apart with Muay Thai and finishes late in the 1st with a pair of elbows for the KD and followup on the ground. Grant has been training in Thailand and it showed. Super impressive win over serious comp, with title implications.
On the top card, Lamas capitalizes on Koch trying to capitalize on a Lamas slip in the 2nd after a very close 1st, gets on top, and finishes with G&P elbows. Another super impressive win with definite title implications, especially if Aldo beats Edgar then goes up.
Pettis screws up Cerrone by going southpaw, lands at will, rocks him, and finishes him quickly with a left shin kick to the liver. Cerrone is a guy who has to take over early and he didn't. His first KO loss. Pettis really should get the title shot ahead of Melendez. Melendez will not be top 10 in UFC.
Teixeira dominates Rampage but doesn't destroy him. Looked to have him in the worst trouble in the 1st but let him off the hook, possible 10-8. Had mount at the final bell. Rampage had a few moments and looked slim but ran out of gas. Should be 30-27 or possibly 26. 2 27s and one judge watching through his telescope from Mars somehow gave Rampage a round. Glover may be the 2nd best LHW but not seeing anything for Jones to lose any sleep over.
DJ retains the flyweight by taking the UD over Dodson in the main. I don't see the 'controversy'. I had it 49-46 and don't really see how else to score it. Dodson was dangerous early but wilted under Mouse's constant pressure. Taking a point for the knee would have been asinine, it was clearly unintentional, he couldn't see through Dodson's body to where his hand was. I thought it was a great fight.
Just wanted to provide some feedback regarding tonight's UFC on Fox telecast. I've only seen the main Fox card so far, have not watched the prelim fights on FX as of yet but they are on my DVR. Anyway, for the main card I would have to give a thumbs in the middle, I was not really impressed with any of the fights, they were not really that bad but nothing stood out either as a great fight.
Ricardo Lamas - Erik Koch - In my opinion the best fight on the main card, good win by Lamas with a ton of blood, nasty cut!
Donald Cerrone - Anthony Pettis - Was really looking forward to this being a great fight by two really good fighters, but Cerrone got caught in the gut and went down quick, Pettis made it look easy. Very strange to see Ben Askrin get so much face time in the corner and in the cage on camera as well with his team members, considering the legal battle between Bellator and UFC it's funny to see the Bellator champ all over the place on a UFC telecast.
Quinton Jackson - Glover Teixeira - I'm not sure what to think of this fight. Rampage looked in great shape, and I've been hearing so much talk about how great Glover is, but in my opinion I was not really impressed by this fight. Rampage looked like he was not putting in a full effort at times, maybe he just wanted to get his last fight over so he can leave. Glover seemed to not take advantage of several opportunities to finish but did not and went to decision. Mixed bag of a fight.
Demetrious Johnson - John Dodson - Well on paper it sounds like it would be a great exciting fast paced fight, and it was a little, but could have been better. Going 5 rounds seemed like the fight was not really going anywhere. It seemed like the decision could have gone either way in my opinion, but the champ won. It was funny to see Big John McCarthy ref the main event as he looked like Andre The Giant in there with the little guys. I think time almost stopped when Dana White placed the strap around the waist of Johnson with Big John standing right next to Dana, I wonder if they made eye contact? lol!
Anyway, mixed bag of fights in my opinion, thumbs in the middle, but still awesome to see UFC on Fox since I remember the days when UFC was not even allowed on PPV in the early days.
UFC Fox 6- Thumbs in the middle
Best fight- RICARDO LAMAS VS. ERIK KOCH
I gave this card a thumbs in the middle because nothing really jumped out at me as anything extra special. Maybe i have become a spoiled MMA fan because of all the UFC events they put on I am always looking for that holy shit moment. The Pettis knee was pretty damn sweet I will admit that.
RICARDO LAMAS VS. ERIK KOCH- Lamas looked extremely impressive in this fight. I was surprised just how bad he was able to beat Koch who has been a number one contender for the title yet never seems to make it to the title fight. With the way he lost tonight looks like its back to the drawing board for him. While Lamas could give alot of people in the division a hard time. Nice to see a up and coming star put on a performance like that.
Pettis vs Cerone- This fight let me down just because I am a big Cowboy fan. I was worried about the opening minutes in the first round as Cerone sometimes starts off slow and stiff. That seems to be what happen in this fight or Pettis might just be that damn good. He made Cerone look like complete shit in this fight. Ended it with a beautiful kick to the body. Pettis deserves a title shot over Melendez in my opinion. He was WEC champ and he did not get a title shot right away so i dont see why Melendez deserves one. Henderson vs Pettis 2 should be the main fight on the next Fox card seeing as they are both known by the fans now that they have fought on Fox.
Rampage vs Glover- I have been a Rampage fan since his days in Pride but he doesnt take MMA serious and bitches and complains so much that it is almost unbearable to listen to any of his interviews. Rampage has not looked the same for awhile now. But the UFC still put him in a title match against Bones Jones even though all he did was beat Matt Hamill. Anyway the actual fight to me showed how bad ass Glover really is and how humble he is after the fight. This guy throws some killer punches and there all with the intent to take you out. Very impressed with him and I am glad for his last fight Rampage wasnt knocked out. Now I hope he goes to TNA so he can win some scripted fights cause it doesnt make sense to go to Bellator after they spent so much money and time on hyping up King Mo as there "star" attraction.
Johnson vs Dodson- This fight had its ups and downs. I was impressed with Dodson alot more then I was with Johnson. Dodson came off more like a star and a bigger attraction then Johnson did in this fight. Even after the fight he was all smiles made no excuses and was a class act and I did not like him very much going into this fight because of that laugh he does. But regardless he is a warrior and showed he has some power and dropped the champ a few times early in the fight. Johnsons speed and wrestling made the difference and his cardio in the later rounds as he just poured it on Dodson in the fifth round. I thought he might even finish someone for once but that was not the case. The Flyweight division is so shallow that its hard to think of anyone that will take the strap from Johnson.
Looking forward to nexts weeks event. Hope Edgar takes that belt away from Aldo since he is a local fighter around my area and a real tough fighter.
UFC on Fox - Report from Chicago
Best Fight - Rampage V Glover
Worst Fight - Guida V Hioki
Comments on the crowd:
Very rabid. A Blackhawks demographic (Blue Collar), not a Bulls one (upscale). A modern version of an early 70s crowd at the Amphitheater who might chant "we want blood" at the Bruiser's match.
Fairly knowledgeable. Gray Maynard was recognized and treated like a star - he must have taken at a dozen pictures with fans. Of course, they don't fully understand that knees are illegal when the hands are on the mat.
Clay Guida was by far the most over talent. Rampage was second.
United Center was 2/3 full for the first match and 99.9% to capacity. Very few fans left early.
Thumbs in the Up
Best Fight: Ben Askren vs Karl Amoussou
Worst Fight: Ben Saunders vs Koffi Adzitso
1) Season 8 Welterweight Tournament Quarterfinals: Ben Saunders d. Koffi Adzitso to advance to the semifinals by UD. Overall pretty boring fight, that had a few glimpses of excitement. At first I was enjoying Saunders ground game with his height, but it seemed like each round took 10 minutes and not 5. Only memorable moment was Adzitso going for a german suplex, but Saunders landed on Koffi's head.
2) Season 8 Welterweight Tournament Quarterfinals: Douglas Lima d. Michail Tsarev by TKO in RD2. Lima is still one of the best young fighters in the sport and I still have him favored to win the tournament again. If he does win, it will be interesting to see how he changes his stratgedy against Ben Askren. I believe the result will be the same with Askren wrestling him for five rounds. Lima won the first round and hit a leg kick at the end of the round to buckled Tsarev. The Russian fighter could barely put any weight on his leg coming out for round 2. Lima just kept punishing his leg and it was very hard to watch. I was feeling sympathy pain in my own knee. Dominating win by Lima. He now faces Ben Saunders in a rematch from Bellator 57 in the Season 5 Welterweight tournament finals. Lima KO'd Saunders last time. It will be interesting to see how Saunders adjust his stratgedy in the rematch.
3) Season 8 Light Heavyweight Tournament Quarterfinals: King MO d. Przemyslaw Mysiala by KO in RD1. Mysiala looked soft and I knew he was going to lose to King Mo. He was put in that position to lose. He knew this as he came out all guns blazing and connected with a few good shots. King Mo just walked him down and punished him with jabs before the big KO. Great Bellator debut for King Mo.
4) Welterweight Champion Ben Askren d. Karl Amoussou in Round 3 by ref stoppage. This pretty much what I expected. Askren would weather the storm of Amoussou and then get the taken down and pin Karl down down. But, Askren no longer is just a ground control guy, he displayed some serious ground and pound. Amoussou got him in a dangers heel hook, but in a weird moment he tried to tell the ref heard a "pop" and to stop the fight. Askren said he is fine and ref heard ordred the fight to continue. That mistake by Amoussou to let Askren get in top position for more ground and pound. Amoussou face looked horrible and the ref stopped the fight because his left eye was closed.
Overall Analysis: This was a big night for Bellator because they needed King Mo and Ben Askren to win. Bellator and Spike are promoting the hell out of King Mo and they are hoping he wins the tournament and the championship. Even though Mysiala was a job guy for him,
||Emanuel Newton will be a different story. If Newton upsets King Mo, I will not be surprised. Newton is very tough and has fought tough guys in his MMA career. I believe King Mo is too talented and will win, but it won't be easy. If King Mo gets past Newton, then it is an easy road to winning the tournament.
Ben Askren is a star in his own way. He might not be a popular fighter, but he can be a great heel. As a world class wrestler he is arrogant and cocky, but all in a good way. He knows his wrestling is so high level that he is confident in taking anyone in MMA down. This rubs a lot of fans and other fighters the wrong way. More Askren wins and retains, the more people will watch to hopefully see him get beat. Bellator and Spike needs to lock this guy up and build around him, Chandler and King Mo for starters.
Negative about this show was once again Bellator shows two Welterweight Tournament finals in highlight form. Like I said last week, when you do this it devalues the tournament format that Bellator is trying to promote. The tournament format is their gimmick. They need to figure out how to space the season to feature all the touranment fights live. If that means adding an extra show so beat it. I am sure Spike will not have a problem with that at all.
San Jose, CA
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