More feedback to UFC 131

UFC 131 : Thumbs Up!

I was at the event and the one thing that stood out was how many the empty seats there was. UFC 115 was sold out in a matter of minutes and tonight it was three thousand below capacity. Tickets in the lower bowl were very expensive and most of the empty seats could be found there. The fact that the Vancouver Canucks are in a battle for the Stanley Cup the local media attention was way below what it was last year. I would say Junior Dos Santos was the most over tonight whereas Kenny Florian was torn to shreds by the fans. I was there from start to finish and even though the match up’s might not have been all that appealing I thought all the fights but one were good. Sam Stout’s KO of Yves Edwards was just sick. Michihiro Omigawa was robbed in his fight against Darren Elkins and it was raining boos when the decision was announced. It was nice to see three of the four Canadians win their fights. Overall the crowd was into it from the get go and it was a great evening of action.

Best Fight: Dave Herman vs. John Olav Einemo

Not a technical masterpiece by any means but the crowd just ate this up. Einemo was way over coming into the ring with a Vancouver Canucks flag. It was rock em’ sock em’ robots for lack of a better term but it was a blast to watch. I’d love to see Herman against Matt Mittrione down the road.

Worst Fight: Donald Cerrone  vs. Vagner Rocha

It might have looked different on television but live this fight just stunk.  Cerrone did what he could but Rocha seemed very tentative and afraid to engage. The leg kicks from Cerrone just took the steam out of Rocha.

Ed Ludwig

Burnaby, BC

Thumbs mostly up. Entertaining card partly marred by Ray Charles apparently being one of the judges and Stevie Wonder and Jose Feliciano being the other two.
Best fight: Pee Wee vs. Einemo
Worst fight: Porkfest 2011 Beltran vs. Rosa
KO: Stout
Sub: Weidman
First off, starting now at fucking 5:50 in the afternoon? This is pro fighting, not junior high softball. THE EARLY START TIME SUCKS, DANA. I missed the first round of Omigawa-Elkins but Omigawa won the two rounds I saw and him getting robbed was bad enough, but one 30-27 card? Grand larceny. Guess looking like you could be Canadian was enough. Dana paid Omigawa his win bonus anyway, good for Dana on that one.
Goldy and Rogan were having orgasms about Beltran-Rosa but it was a bikeracks fight at 3:15 between two fat kids and an embarassment to watch. Local yokel ref loses control of the fight and numerous fouls and paybacks are gotten away with.
I was confused about the booking of Poirier being 'rewarded' for his dismantling of then #1 contender Grispi by being put in an undercard internet fight with a guy making his UFC debut, but it turned out very competitive as Young has real good kickboxing skills. Again an ineplicable decision as Young drilled Poirer throughout the second round and two of the judges gave it to Poirier 30-27. If Young can power up a little he's gonna be very dangerous. Good fight.
Ring and Head looked the a guy fighting himself except one of them was just in better shape and more skilled, but Head did score the one KD and at least kept it interesting.
Sos just too strong for outsized late sub Massenzio, who kept it as interesting as he could. Decent internet show but not up to last week's.
On Spike, Weidman very impressive in walking through some good kicks from Bonfeldt and showing a variety of techniques in setting him up and finishing him.
Stout also very impressive, mixing his attack well before nailing Yves with the one-punch-KO counter hook.
They flashed an In Memory of Genaro Hernandez title card at the top of the PPV which was cool. I understand Genaro worked for UFC in some capacity for a time. Great boxer, very underrated.
Goldy actually says 'unstoppable object and unmoveable force' in describing the main. Not only screws up the whole cliche, but each separate half of it. That's inborn, folks. You can't teach it.
Rocha had no business in the ring with Cerrone. What the fuck kind of matchmaking was this? And on PPV yet? Cerrone battered Rocha throughout and I had it 30-25. Two of the judges had it 27 although one actually managed the balls to go 26.
Einemo and Pee Wee put on an entertaining heavyweight brawl featuring a technical first round and a second round out of a Rocky movie. Kind of like Beltran and Rosa except weith ya know technique and ya know conditioning, although Einemo was carrying a little too much weight but at least wasn't hog fat like Rosa and Beltran. Other local yokel ref lets Pee Wee get away with holding the fence for leverage for a couple seconds while finally pounding Einemo out.
Maia vs. Munoz was inreresting a very close, with Maia showing geometric improvement in his striking and actually having Munoz in a little trouble in the first. I thought the 3rd was too close to call and the fight really merited being judged a draw. First local yokel ref calls a break in the first round with both fighters active in the clinch. Again one judge somehow had it 30-27 for Munoz when Maia won the first nearly 10-8.
Florian looked real good at 145 and was just too big and quick for Nunes, who nevertheless still managed to drop him a couple three times and keep it tense. Yet again one judge went 30-27 for Florian while Nunes IMO clearly won the first round including a clean KD.
In the main, Junior made it very clear that his boxing is on a different level from the rest of the UFC guys (I'm reserving judgment on Overeem) and I thought it should have been stopped in the first. Carwin showed heart and cardio in surviving the distance. Junior even outwrestled Carwin and by the end of the fight seemed twice his size. And yet again, two of the judges went 30-27 and if the first round wasn't a 10-8 or wider, then they should just change back to the rounds system and fuck it. Absolute bullshit.
SOMETHING HAS TO BE DONE ABOUT THE REFFING AND JUDGING. Could at least start by not letting the local yokel refs work main card fights.
 Crimson Mask

Hi Dave,
I decided to order UFC 131 when my wife told me she was going to the
Tim McGraw concert at the Shoreline in Mountain View.  Now that I am
married, we both have to be smart on how we spend our money.  UFC 131
went from show I was guaranteed to order with Junior Dos Santos versus
Brock Lesnar, to a show I was going to skip and save my money for UFC
132 Faber versus Cruz.  With the wife going out and my last minute
feeling this entire card could be a sleeper of a show, I called my good
friend Matt DelaRosa up and we ordered the fight.
I am glad everything worked out and I ordered the fight.  It was a very
good show with a great main event between JDS and Shane Carwin, to
Kenny Florian make a successful and impressive debut in the
Featherweight division, to Dave Herman and John Olav Einemo great
brawl, and Munoz versus Maia being a total surprise.  Then came the
post main event moment with the UFC Heavyweight Champion Cain
Velasquez.  Cain basically said nothing, no real thoughts on his
upcoming title defense against JDS, no measure of emotion, he basically
said nothing.  Cain could be the most nonchalant Heavyweight Champion
in UFC history.
I can't fully put the entire blame on Cain for screwing up this
opportunity to draw interest in their future fight, but in UFC, Dana
White and Joe Silva for not teaching or preparing Cain for his post
main event fight interview.  They obviously told Cain they wanted him
in the cage to confront the winner of the number one contenders match. 
First, they should told him to have the UFC Heavyweight Title in the
cage with him.  Second, they should have told him to build up interest
against whomever is the winner of the fight.  Not saying he should have
talked trash, but said something like he is looking forward to fighting
JDS, but he feels he is destined to go down as the greatest Heavyweight
Champion in UFC history and JDS will be just another defeat on that
road to greatness.  There is nothing disrespectful of champion
believing he is the best and believing he will defeat his opponent. 
When Joe Rogan asked Cain what he thought of JDS performance, he could
have put over JDS and his great striking, but also mention he hasn't
faced a fighter like himself who can stand toe to toe with him.  Cain
could say his standup is far superior in speed and accuracy.  Fighters
feel they have to show respect, and that is fine, but you can still
show respect and also build up interest in your fight.
UFC each year flies out their talent for various classes ranging from
marketing themselves to how to save money.  A class they need
desperately is how to draw interest in your fight.  They need to inform
in their fighters the more buy rates for pay per views, the more money
in the fighters pockets.   There are tons of examples they can show
with clips of guys like Chael Sonnen, Josh Koscheck, Tito Ortiz,
Rampage, Brock Lesnar, Rashad Evans and others on how they draw
interest with just their promos.  For guys who are uncomfortable with
trash talking to sell a fight, they should teach the fighters on things
to say to build up interest while showing respect for your opponents.  
  Example, Chael Sonnen was scheduled to fight Nate Marquardt at UFC
109.  Sonnen didn't talk trash, but that he was going to defeat
Marquardt.  Sonnen talked about how he was #6 ranked Middleweight in
the World and Marquardt was ranked #2.   Sonnen talked about how
important it is to defeat Marquardt because beating the number two
ranked fighter at Middleweight would put him into title contention. 
Simple thing like that added interest to that fight.  It wasn't trash
talking, just a competitor knowing he has to win to move up the ranks.
This issue is something both Dana White and Joe Silva need to look into
ASAP.  If they feel they are not qualified to teach this to their
fighters, they need to hire someone who can like Paul Heyman.  The
fighters must understand this is a business first and the importance of
drawing interest in their fights.  With the UFC running so many shows
and overexposing the product on television, having the fighters
understand how to build up interest in their fights should be a high
priority in the company.
John LaRocca
San Jose, CA

Overall: Thumbs up
Worst: Elkins vs. Omigawa
Best: Herman vs. Einemo
Best sub: Weidman's standing guillotine. Also Joe Rogan was wrong. There was one other sub tonight: Nick Ring subbed James Head by rear-naked choke.
Best KO: Sam Stout's KO of Yves Edwards
Judge's Robbery of the night: Elkins - Omigawa
The bar I saw this card at was 3/4's full. The card was overall entertaining for all in attendance from the free prelims on Rogers Sportsnet (Spike in the USA) and the main card on PPV.
I did watch the first 4 fights online on Youtube and Facebook. I watched 1st on the UFC Youtube channel and things were good until near the end of the 1st round of the 1st fight. Then I got got the "Standby please" message so I switched to the Facebook feed which did not die at any point until I logged off after the Nick Ring win. There were points wher there was pixellation, but most of the time it was clear.
Omigawa - Elkins: Elkins even seemed surprised that he won! Omigawa basically picked him apart over 3 rounds and never got hurt. I personally scored it Omigawa 2-1. 3-1 was absolutely ludicrous.
Cerrone - Rocha: A total mismatch. Cerrone owned Rocha. Joe Silva had a big lapse in judgement booking this fight.
Herman - Einemo: Fight of the night. Action plus! Nuf said.
Florian - Nunes: Nice win by Kenny. In the post-fight press conference Dana White intimated that Kenny would be the next guy to fight Jose Aldo. I found that to be so wrong. No one deserves the next title shot more than Chad Mendes. I expect him to get past Rani Yahya and get the next title shot. If Kenny wants the title shot, it needs to go through Chad Mendes. Given that big strong wrestlers are Florian's nemesis, I expect him to lobby so he gets the clearest title shot while avoiding a tough wrestler.
Dos Santos - Carwin: I've always felt that speed kills and JDS proved that. Carwin had no answer to JDS's speed. That was his doom. JDS kept pumping his left jab and made it diffucult. At his age, what can Carwin do?
A. Wong
Toronto, CAN

Thumbs Up

Best fight:  Herman vs. Einemo
Worst fight:  None

Nice PPV rebound from 130.  Lots of good,  fun fights that felt important, with title ramifications for Florian and JDS.  Carwin's best chance was rushing JDS like he did the one time he attempted, but he showed great heart after that beating.  Carwin vs Nelson makes sense now.  Maia looked impressive and Munoz was lucky to have rebounded.  I actually had it score 29-28 for Maia (1, 3) but it was close.  Sam Stout's KO of Yves Edwards was great, as was the Herman/Einemo brawl.  Just weird seeing Strikeforce being promoted on any UFC.

James Brown

Thumbs up

Best: Herman/Einem
Worst: Judging

A fight night of fights on a card that had been written off by many. None of the fights were awesome, but none disappointed. Kenny Florian was the least impressive tonight and the judging was, at times, bizarre. How did Kenny or Mark Munoz win the first rounds of their fights? How was round one of JDS/Carwin not a 10-8?

Jeremy Lynch

Entertainment Editor

Crimespree magazine

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