Feedback to the weekend MMA shows



Amazing weekend for MMA. Maybe a little subpar cards from UFC, but shored up by stronger than average cards from DREAM, Titan, SF and Bellator.
 
TITAN FC
 
Thumbs up.
 
Best fight: Whitney vs. Shaffer
 
Worst fight: Sanchez vs. Rogers
 
KO: Whitney
 
Sub: Gutierrez
 
Whitney and Shaffer opened the card strong with a back and forth battle. Shaffer seemed to be pulling ahead when Whitney knocked him cold with a perfect Flying Knee.
 
Alleged 'former amateur heavyweight MMA world champion' (I have no idea what that's supposed to mean) Alex Huddleston was not much more in the ring, as journeyman Justin Riley beat him into submission without much resistance.
 
James Krause easily beat sub specialist Sean Wilson at his own game, ending matters with a Guillotine after dominating in all areas.
 
Undefeated Anthony Gutierrez walked through Shane Huddleston, finishing with a D'Arce in about a minute. Gutieerez so far looks like the real deal. Nearly puked when Schaivello tried to horn in on credit for the win. What an ass.
 
Brett Rogers better stick to beating up his wife, who may be the only person in worse shape than him. Hey Brett, you're a fat slob. You have breasts. You can't go two rounds. Eddie Sanchez, who wasn't in that much better shape and is an undersized heavyweight in the first place, won the SD (how it was split I don't know) with a halfass performance. Horrible fight.
 
Unknown late sub Dakota Cochrane stunned with a one sided thrashing of ex WEC champ Jaime Varner, whose move to NJ did no good. The fight was essentially over when Cochrane drove Varner flying into the cage with an opening moments thip kick. Varner never stopped threatening and kept the fight entertaining, but Cochrane stopped him dead at every turn and busted him up pretty bad. Varner retired the next day.
 
STRIKEFORCE
 
Thumbs a little up. A bit more entertaining than not.
 
Best fight: Larkin-Rossborough
 
Worst fight: High-Moore. Not terrible, just one note.
 
KO: none
 
Sub: Jordan
 
Melancon opened with a workman UD over Portela, dominating all aspects but with no explosion.
 
High just pretty much kept Moore pinned to mat all night. Not much fun to watch.
 
Maka Watson put up a good scrap and did a little damage but Ryan Couture dominated most of it to take a MD.
 
Shawn Jordan continues to surprise, beating Lavar Johnson to the punch and taking the fight where he wanted before getting the tap with a 2nd round Americana. Jordan doesn't look like much, short and fat, but there's an upper echelon athlete and skilled fighter underneath the blubber. And he has so much fun fighting he makes it fun to watch.
 
The flashy Larkin had to walk through a varied dirty boxing attack from veteran late sub Rossborough, and eventually his sharper striking took its toll enabling him to finish strong for the UD. Good fight.
 
DREAM 17
 
Thumbs up. Usual mixed bag, but what was good (mostly the bantam GP fights) was very very good, and what wasn't wasn't as bad as it could have been. For the record, DREAM has gone fully to 3 or 5 x 5 minute rounds, or so they say when the wind is blowing in this direction. Scoring is still whole fight though.
 
Best fight: Marques vs. Saddulaev
 
Worst fight: Minowa vs. Fat Stooge Of The Night
 
KO: Takeshi
 
Sub: could split this several ways but I'll go with Fernandes
 
Card opened with the usual Minowa crap, today's stooge being a big fat Mongolian with 2 fights called Baru Harn. Minowa won with the Crippler Crossface btw.
 
Next 4 fights were the GP fights. Brazilian Rodolfo Marques took a close decision over US based Russian Yusip Saddulaev in a fight featuring a lot of top shelf grappling.
 
Imanari turned in one of his best performances, abetted by Abel Cullum who insisted on attacking him constantly on the ground, giving Imanari every chance to flash his counter grappling expertise and no chance to go into his annoying ass scooting mode. Imanari amazingly even had Cullum walking into his strikes.
 
Previous year FW GP winner Bibiano Fernandes also was about career-best, slipping a Takafumi Otsuka punch and immediately taking his back and wrapping up a body tri side choke combo that had Otsuka out cold in anout 2 seconds. Unfortunately the referee took about 15 seconds to stop the fight.
 
In the final GP fight, WEC vet Antonio Banuelos upset FW GP winner Hideo Tokoro via very close SD. Tokoro has fallen in love with his boxing and the much shorter Banuelos fought the perfect short guy fight to edge the decision. Tokoro's top shelf grappling was not present till way too late in the fight. (Lot of the guys dropped weight for this card. Maybe finally accepting they have to cut to be competitive on the world stage.) All the GP fights were entertaining.
 
In a UFC vets matchup, Gerald Harris took an uneventful somehow SD over a very unmotivated looking Kazuhiro Nakamura. Styles just clashed and made for a boring, repetitive fight.
 
Creey Little Weirdo Kitaoka took a highly dubious SD over Williamy Chequerim Freire, who I assume although they didn't say anything (hey Schiavello, ever heard of 'communicating information'?) is Pitbull and Pitbull's brother, aided by the ref calling nonexistent fouls, instantanous breaks, and yellow carding Chequerim for Insufficient Eye Slant.
 
Saku, down to 166 and having had trouble walking to the ring, got destroyed by little known but far too dangerous Nova Uniao BJJ instructor Yan Cabral, who proved no slouch striking either before finishing Saku with an arm tri. Saku was in tears after and refused to let Cabral raise his hand, and showed signs of possibly having finally achieved Satori ('Enlightenment', or 'Retire Already'). Cabral got a little emo himself.
 
Also overdue Caol Uno also dropped a division but to no avail, receiving notice via getting knocked cold by a Lion Takeshi High Kick. Time for Uno to walk away also.
 
Kawajiri also cut down a division to fight Hansen, who started making the cut a couple years ago. I have never been convinced that Hansen is any better off, seeming much weaker to me at the lower wieght, but the cut didn't appear to weaken Kawajiri a bit, as he turned in one of his best performences, mostly dominating before finishing Hansen with a rare submission. Hansen always dangerous and rocked Kawajiri a few times. Very good fight.
 
In the main, tonight's stooge for Aoki was the over the hill ex WEC champ Razor Rob McCullough, who didn't provide any more of challenge than he was supposed to in a poor contest.
 
Overall though a bit of a return to form for DREAM.
 
BELLATOR
 
Thumbs way up. Four good fights in the BW tourney, and earns the 'way up' for the bigot asshole Joe Warren getting KTFO.
 
Best fight: Galvoa vs. Beebe
 
Worst fight: none
 
KO: split it between Dantas and Vila
 
Sub: none
 
Long lanky Ed West opens with a UD over fireplug Luiz Nogueira in a good mostly striking scrap of contrasting styles. West stays busier to edge the fight. Two 30-27s although Nogueira seems to clearly win the 2nd.
 
A resurging Chase Beebe just comes up a little short in a SD loss to Marcos Galvao, who got so blatantly robbed vs. Warren a few months back. Good fight with both guys going for it and some excellent grappling, that could have gone either way.
 
Nova Uniao 22 year old phenom Eduardo Dantas serves notice with a 2nd round Flying Knee KO of ex Elite world champion Wilson Reis. The underground buzz on Dantas is apparently true.
 
And... ah. Warren drops weight and gets in with, finally, a wrestler on or above his own level, who can also box, in Cuban Olympic (back in '96 at flyweight) Freestyle medalist Alexis Vila, who proceeds to stagger him with a right, sending him running away like this other wrestler I can think of when he gets hit, I think he's a heavyweight, and then knocks him cold with a left hook. After all these months of Warren getting gift decisions and talking shit about darker skinned nationalities, it was a pleasure to see a black Latino knock 'the self proclaimed baddest man on the planet' the fuck out.
 
UFC 135
 
Jones saved the thumbs up with sheer virtuosity. Would have even or down otherwise. Not one of the UFC's better cards. Kinda skimpy on fights (only 3 fb prelims), and not the highest quality. Lotta squashes, too many stinkers.
 
Best fight: Kos vs. Hughes I guess, at least it had a shift in momentum
 
Worst fight: the two heavyweight fights SUCKED
 
KO: Te Huna
 
Sub: split it between Nate and Jones
 
Romero appeared terrified of Te Huna's boxing, taking horribly telegraphed shots from across the ring, and I guess for good reason, as Te Huna did knock him out with one shot to the temple after stuffing a particularly hopeless TD.
 
Mizugaki and Escovedo was active and entertaining although Mizugaki was almost totally dominant. As good as he's ever looked. Most varied attack from him.
 
Assuncao-Yagin was just one of those fights that don't gel and stink out the joint. Two veteran BJJ guys and one of them is 9 feet tall and the other one is 2 feet tall. Assuncao sorta needs to stop doing imitations of other fighters and find his own style. And that was the whole fb card. Lotta dead air in between fights, open mics, less than professional production.
 
On Spike, Ring and Boetsch opened with a pretty good fight. Ring looking good early but giving up too much turf to the much stronger Boetsch, who capped a bit of a come from behind dominant performance with a highlight reel high high hiplock takeover, almost a variation of the Cornish Hype, in the 3rd.
 
Ferguson and Riley never really had a chance to get off the ground, Ferguson looked a little nervous and herky jerky and the vetreran Riley seemed to have the range, but Ferguson landed the lead left uppercut that visibly broke Riley's jaw and forced the corner stoppage after the 1st. Ferguson has real real good boxing.
 
For some reason they put Diaz and Gomi to open the main card. I would have held it for at least the third fight. No surprises here and Gomi used up his miracles awhile back and Nate dominated completely before hitting the textbook transitioning sub.
 
Then... sigh. Putting Broughton in a pay fight? Putting Hunt OR Rothwell in a pay fight, let alone against each other? Putting two HW fights back to back, AT ALTITUDE?!!? What the FUCK were they thinking. Both fights stunk out the joint. Everybody gassed. Browne took a big step backwards even winning. Some people liked Hunt and Rothwell for unintentional comedy. I say they had their nerve inflicting these on the public at all, let alone charging for them. Horrible.
 
Hughes, give him credit, obviously watched the GSP fight a lot and got it, and opened replicating GSP's tactics, and Kos did not appear to have learned a thing from the fight. Mat was nailing him with everything, working off the jab, just like Georges did. But it was not to be, Kos just hurt Matt too much when he did land, even glancing, and when Matt slipped trying a knee it was all over. Kos did not let him off the hook and made sure to knock him all the way out. Matt goes out (we hope) on his shield with a good showing and I never liked the guy but good for him.
 
As for Jones, I'm speechless. We may still be UNDERESTIMATING him. There's just no telling WHAT he's gonna do, and he makes it all work, and his BJJ seems to be getting to the same level as his everything else. Every round should have been 10-8. I'm not sure it would have gone different at any stage of Page's career. It becomes increasing clear to apparently everybody but Dana that Jones vs. Anderson is the ONLY outside the box fight to make, and it better get done quick, while Anderson is still on the far side of his prime. Jones is so talented that even that may not matter. 
 
Crimson Mask

Thumbs in the middle
Best match: Nate vs. Gomi
Worst match: Browne vs. Broughton
 
Not the best UFC card I've ever seen, but that's only because the stink
of the two heavyweight fights overpowered the rest of the matches. Brown
vs. Broughton not only should not have been on PPV, it should not have
been contested under UFC auspices. Just a brutal match. Mark Hunt vs.
Ben Rothwell crossed over into the "so bad it's good" category, but it
was still an embarrassing spectacle in many ways - two gassed out guys
who can barely stand under their own power and who look like they could
be dropped by a stiff breeze, nevermind a stiff jab. My viewing party
gave a sarcastic cheer as Hunt improved to a .500 record with the win.
Neither fight was the kind of bout of which UFC should be proud.
 
Otherwise, the remaining matches were good. Diaz was impressive and Gomi
showed nothing. Matt Hughes really should retire. He's hit that Chuck
Liddell stage where it's scary to see him get KO'd. Jon Jones looked
like he was channelling a bit of GSP last night with his slower, more
deliberate style of making sure he won the fight first, and entertaining
second. Jackson did quite the job in his post-match interview putting
over Jones. Looking forward to Jones/Rashad down the line.
 
Mike Jenkinson
Edmonton, Alberta

Thumbs Way Up
Best Fight: Marcus  Galvao vs. Chase Beebe
Worst Fight: None
 
1) Ed West d. Luis Nogeria:  Good fight,  Ed West really used his reach
advantage to keep Nogeria on the outside.  Ed West has a ton of
charisma and is a lot of fun to watch.  Nogeria throws hammers, but he
just couldn't catch Ed West.
 
2) Marcus Galvao d. Chase Beebe:  Great fight, with some wild back and
forth action.  Going into this fight Galvao record was 9-4, but he it a
lot better then his record might show.  Beebe is a former WEC
Bantamweight Champion and many picked him to win this fight, but Galvao
simply outworked him.  Beebe nearly won the fight in Round 1 when he
locked on a tight guillotine choke, but Galvao being a legit BJJ black
belt was able to survive.    It seemed like in Round 3 that Beebe was
connecting with straight rights down the middle, but this was a little
too late and Galvao won the unanimous decision.
 
3) Eduardo Dantes d. Wilson Reis:  Flying Knee of the year candidate
here as Dantes came running with a nasty knee to the chin.  Reis was
jumping at the same time which made it look even much more spectacular.
   Dantes is ranked one of the top prospects in the Bantamweight
division and he proved that tonight.  Interesting he and Galvao are
teammates and they could possibly meet in this tournament.  I doubt
Bellator's booker Sam Caplan will match them up against each other in
the semifinals.
 
4) Alexis Villa d. Joe Warren:  WOW, Dantes thought he had KO of the
night, but then Villa the 1996 Olympic Bronze Medalist KO'd the
Bellator Featherweight Champion out cold.  Villa is a beast and now a
heavy favorite to win this tournament.   Warren was trying to make
Bellator history by winning two tournaments in two different weight
classes (He won the Featherweight tournament and Championship belt) and
also two championships.  It was the biggest story going into Season 5,
but Villa crushed his dreams.   Warren was really emotional after the
loss.
 
Overall Analysis
What I like about Bellator is they match up fights right away that the
fans want to see.  Warren vs. Villa would make a great finals, but
since MMA is real and you can't control outcomes, they book it in the
first round.  Warren is one of my favorites and it was tough seeing him
get KO'd like this.  Bantamweight division in Bellator is the most
stacked in the promotion and it sure delivered with exciting fights.  
Next week is Bellator 52 an the start of the Season 5 Heavyweight
tournament.  I think the Heavyweights in this tournament are going to
bring a lot of early first round KO's.
 
John LaRocca
San Jose, CA

I give UFC 135 Jones vs Rampage a thumbs up.
Best match:  Mizugaki vs. Escovedo.  Jones vs. Jackson was a good main event.  Diaz. vs. Gomi was also very good. 
Worst match:  Assuncao vs. Yagin.
I thought the show was booked well and had some good finishes.  The two main fights went as I kind of expected them to.  Koscheck looked great and has turned himself into one of the best heels in MMA right now.  That goes without saying though.  It was a bad loss for Hughes, it wasn't as though he needed to have this fight. 
So perhaps Jones vs. Anderson is the new superfight to look forward to after this show.
Jason McNeil

Hey Dave,

THUMBS WAY UP!
Best fight: Jones vs Rampage, since it went longer than other good fights
Worst fight: Browne vs Broughton

Well, this was one hell of an event. Only one fight without anything interesting happening. I saw this at the same place I did 133, and it was packed way more with around 15 or so people standing around not able to find a seat. Probably around 200 people were here, maybe more. At times the picture froze for one or two seconds, but not during fights.

Mizugaki vs Escovedo, I saw it after the main event, very good, better than the first two rounds of the main event from a work rate stand point. Hopefully this guy will win more and get a title shot.

Ring vs Boetsch, wasnt anything until the beautiful hip toss, that kept it from being the worst fight.

Riley vs Fergusen, very good one round fight, Ferguson will probably get a title shot next year or so.

NATE Diaz vs Takanori Gomi, Didnt know NICK Diaz could qualify to get the submission of the night, haha. Gomi is at the end of the road, but he had a very good career. Good fight.

Browne vs Broughton was nothing special at all, just two lumbering big guys with no spark.

Rothwell vs Hunt, weird slow fight. Two heavy weight fights back to back was looking liek a bad call, but everyone including me got into this fight pretty well. They got tired and Hunt couldnt finish a dead guy off, he won unlike what many around me thought would happen, but it wasnt spectacular. The woman next to me hated the blood, especially in the 3rd round when it was squirting on Hunts ribs, now I get WWE's policy. No body clapped at the end for Hunt, but while it was going on other people liked seeing Rothwell dead on his feet and bleeding everywhere while Hunt couldnt finish him.

Hughes vs Koscheck, you get KOed twice in a row and maybe you should just end your career before you get like Sakuraba (who lost last night) or Ken Shamrock ect. Hughes will always be a legend, but dont make people depressed to see you past your prime and lose all the time. Riveting while it lasted, but everyone knew it would only take one good hit. This is a very interesting year, Cro Cop, Couture and now Hughes (Wanderlei too probably after this next fight), at least we have Jones going into the future.

Speaking of...

Jones vs Rampage, tremendous energy for this fight, Jones show boated a little too much and looked tired going into the 4th round, thankgod for long limbs. Crowd was about 60/40 Jones fans, no body hated Rampage, people booed Jones because they like Rampage so much. I think going in Rampage did a better job hyping himself up and getting people into him than Jones did. After it was over 30 people just left since Rampage lost. The woman who was brought with her boy friend said keeping someone in a clinch to make them tired using your long limbs is a "bitch move" and buried Jones for not fighting guys as tall as him, that made me and the boy friend laugh, she had about 4 long necks by this point. Jones is the real deal, but he needs to get comfortable being on top, and not crawl around in front of an opponent that has KO ability.

So in closing this was a great show and as long as they keep having very good fights with top names involved UFC will continue to do good on ppv I think. I bet this number was pretty high, not a million but way better than 134. Way better than WWE NOC.

William Bren

Best--Mizugaki/Acevedo
 
Worst Rothwell/Hunt
 
Fights were either very predictably one-sided or just devoid of talent. Hunt and Rothwell should be cut for not even being able to show up and do their job for a couple minutes a year.
 
Mike Devlin

Been looking forward to this night for a long long time.  It didn't deliver exactly as I
expected but I still give it a big thumbs up.
 
Best fight - Count this or not but I'm not objective in the least - JBJ and Rampage.
 
Worst fight - Brown/Brighton.  What a mess.
 
Diaz vs. Gomi.  Can't be objective here except to say that Gomi should be utterly
embarassed.
 
Nick "I never thought anyone could ever come up with a worse nickname than 'the athlete'
Ring vs. Boetsch.  I expected fireworks from Boetsch and didn't get them per se.  This
was 2/3 of a great fight and I got to see the most awesome hip toss in recorded history,
so I was happy.
 
Tony Ferguson, whatever he's like personally, is a beast. 
 
Brown vs. Brighton.  So completely disappointed.  But never fear...
 
Hunt vs. Rothwell.  This was like the Bizarro fight.  Who would have expected freakin
Mark Hunt to show technique and stamina?  I thought Rogan was going to have an aneurism
if Hunt pulled off the armbar.  This was not a good fight by any means, but was
incredibly compelling and fun to watch.
 
Hughes vs. Koscheck.  Disappointed in the outcome.  While I despise Koscheck I will
never, ever question his ability or his toughness and he proved that here.  I was
seriously questioning Kos' mental state after the jab, but once again he proved me wrong.
 
 
JBJ vs. Rampage.  What an exhibition by Jones.  He spent the first three rounds making
Rampage his bitch and the fourth round, he wiped his dick clean on him. 
 
Jones obvioisly had the outside and he showed Rampage wasn't going to be able to close.
Dave says the reach difference is the key, but I say it's the quickness.  It's hard as
hell to beat quickness, and you can't prepare well enoguh for it.  Bones is like Barry
Sanders.  You know he's coming and even where he is, but you can't do anything about it.
Again, not the fireworks I expected, but I loved it.
 
Not a great night by any means but well worth the PPV. 
 
Oct 8, BTW - Joey Beltran vs. Stipe Miocic will be fight of the night.  You heard it here
first.
 
Mike DeGeorge

I may be partial to the island boys but Mark Hunt vs Rothwell was pretty crazy/ugly but I'll take it any and every day over the lay and prey philosophy.  To me, that fight along with perhaps the Diaz-Gomi bout had me totally invested.  Within the first few moments of the Rampage-Jones exchange, it was obvious that barring a perfectly deployed punch by Rampage, this one was going to Bones. His hand and foot work and speed were light years ahead of Rampage's and his dynamically explosive and unorthodox stuff just crashed Rampage's strategy like a cheap computer. A brilliant performance and overall quality night.
Name withheld


 

Long-term, what are your thoughts on Lucha Underground?

 

What did you think of Wednesday's Ultimate Fighter TV show?

 

What did you think of TNA Impact?

 

What did you think of Lucha Underground last night?