Feedback to UFC and Bellator



Thumbs Up
Best Fight: Ben Saunders vs. Luis Santos
Worst Fight: None

1) Thiago Santos d. Josh Burns:  This is a possible reserve fight for
the Bellator Heavyweight tournament semifinal.  Michael "Not a
Freebird" Hayes defeated Neil Grove, but suffered a serious eye injury.
Santos was originally in the tournament, but had visa issues and could
not fight in the first round.  Santos had too much experience for the
game Burns.  I thought when originally the tournament competitors where
announced, that Santos would be a favorite.  I think he will get into
the tournament and he will be a finalist.

2) Ronnie Mann d. Kenny Foster:  This was a qualifying fight for a spot
in the Season 6 Featherweight tournament.  Mann is one of m favorite
145lbers and I was happy to see get a spot in the season 6 tourney.  
Foster is always tough and dangerous, but Mann had so much to
determination.  Mann was a student of the late Shawn Tompkins and he
was devastated by the loss of his trainer and he dedicated this fight
to his memory.

3) Douglas Lima d. Chris Lozano:  Lima in fight showed why he is one of
the top prospects at 170 in MMA.   Another running up for KO of the
year in Bellator with Lima's sick KO on Lozano.  This was a really good
fight, but Lima was too accurate with his strikes.

4) Ben Saunders d. Luis Santos:  I was looking forward to this fight,
and I was surprised it went to the ground.  While on the ground,
Saunders displayed sick BJJ with going for triangles and omaplatas.  
Santos was just worn down by Saunders on the ground, and "Killa B"
Finally finished him off with a nasty looking keylock.  I thought
Santos wasn't going to tap and that Saunders was going to break his
arm.

Overall Analysis:  Another good show by Bellator.  Lima vs. Saunders
final of the Season 5 Welterweight Tournament is going to be a real
good fight and one mma fans should not miss.  Saunders has looked
really impressive since joining Bellator and looks to now start meeting
his potential.

Thumbs Up
Best Fight: Leonard Garcia vs. Nam Pham
Worst Fight: Damian Mia vs. Jorge Santiago

1) Joe Lauzon d. Melvin Gillard:  I had a feeling Melvin would lose
this fight as he walked to the ring.  He looked way too amped up and
felt he was going to make a huge mistake.  Lauzon is not the most
charismatic guy at 155, but he is very, very dangerous for any fighter.


2) Nam Pham d. Leonard Garcia:  I don't know what is it is, but I just
don't like Garcia.  He has exciting fights, but I am always rooting for
him lose.  Glad to see Pham get the win after he was screwed in their
first fight.  Funny at the end when Joe Rogan asked for the rubber
match,  Pham said no and Garcia said yes.

3) Chael Sonnen d. Brian Stann:  Sonnen looked great here and a lot
leaner then before.  I knew he was going to be too much with his
wrestling against Stann.  The right man won for the UFC.  Sonnen cut
the best promo in MMA history when he challenged Anderson Silva to a
rematch with him winning, Silva leaves the division and if Sonnen
loses, he will leave the UFC.   That is called a million dollar buy
promo and I already can't wait for that rematch.  I wish other MMA
fighters will learn from Sonnen.

4) Jose Aldo retained the UFC Featherweight Title against Kenny
Florian:  I think its time for Florian to retire.  What is left for him
in the UFC?   Aldo needs to go to 155 very soon.  Its getting tougher
and tougher to make the weight cut, and he is looking a lot more gassed
in his recent fights.   Florian was doing good in the beginning, but
Aldo's legs kick slowed him down and broke him down.

5) Franke Edgar retained the UFC Lightweight title against Gray
Maynard:  Round 1 was a repeat of their second fight.  I understand
Maynard was afraid he would gas himself out again, but damn he Frankie
finished.  Maynard should have never let Frankie recover in  Round 2,
and once that happened it was just frustrating to watch Gray give the
fight away.  Frankie finished Gray to end all the issues.   I wasn't
much of a Frankie Edgar fan, but after his last two fights with Gray, I
have officially become a fan.  Gray is going to have a lot of sleepless
nights over the next few months over this one.

Overall Thoughts: Great card from beginning to end.  Chael Sonnen made
it worth my PPV money for that promo he cut.  It is just so refreshing
to see a fighter know what to do with a post match interview.  I
understand about being respectful, but you have on opportunity to
demand a title shot or make a challenge to someone.   The title matches
where both great, but Edgar/Maynard 3 will the most memorable for
Edgar's comeback and also Maynard's meltdown.

John LaRocca
San Jose, CA

Hi Dave,

Here are some quick UFC 136 live event notes from tonight:

Steve Cantwell v Mike Massenzio:

What a war! Both guys got hurt in this fight, great start to the show. Crowd was cool at first but was hot for the end of the 1st and both of the last two rounds.

Aaron Simpson v Eric Schafer:

Scahfer reminds me of the side of beef that Rocky beats on in the 1st movie.  Near the end of end 3 dude yelled "30 seconds until you lose" at Schafer.  Can't argue with that!  Simpson should have finished that fight. As 30-27 as they come.

Tiequan Zhang v Darren Elkins:
Guys, no more country music walk outs tonight please. Some guys trying to start USA chant met w/ a loud shout of "boooo shut up" much to my relief.  Zhang showed some sub defense skills but Elkins is just too strong here. After two I'm seeing another 30-27 in the works.  Crowd starting to cool off from the hot first fight at this point.

Stipe Miocic v Joey Beltran:
Fun war. Crowd was hot for Beltran but he did not have the skillset to win this fight. 30-27 again.

Showtime Pettis v Jeremy Stephens:
Dueling chants to start. Stephens wagged his finger no no no at Pettis after the missed wild kick to end rnd 1.
Showtime clearly trained some grappling after Guida.
29-28 Showtime. He took rounds 2-3. Not the fight I expected but Showtime showed some new skills.

Jorge Santiago v Damian Maia:
Welcome to the jungle, best fight hype song ever?
At&t's network just took a shit and died in the bldg. Rnd 2 generates a bullshit chant in the cheap seats. Twice! Three times!  And here come a flock of boo birds. Crowd getting impatient for a finish tonight.
Looking like we will have 6 fights and 18 rounds... Crowd not pleased. 30-27 Maia.

Melvin Guillard v Joe Lauzon:
Crowd is hyped for this fight and super behind Guillard.
Wow!!!!!!! Lauzon rocks Melvin on a counter punch and sinks the guillotine in about 40 seconds.  Much Respect! Unbelievable win for Lauzon.

Nam Pham v Leonard Garcia:
Garcia gets the big homestate crowd pop. Phan may finish this one early, very good first round.
Round two is more hot action, crowd has been going nuts for this whole fight.
29-28 Nam Pham. Hell of a fight. Fight of the night by a million miles. Both guys talking to Rogan but the sound off the mic sucks.

Chael Sonnen v Brian Stann:
Stann gets nice reception.  Crowd very happy to boo/cheer/boo Chael but this pales in comparison to the heat he generated by proxy at UFC Rio.  
Wow Chael immediately clenches then gets the takedown.  Stann has no answer and gets dominated. Not a competitive 1st round.  10-8 probably even.
Rnd 2 Another takedown for Chael who is fighting like he has something to prove tonight. Wow I was not expecting that Sonnen submission at all.  
Toyota Center in unison "SILVA, SILVA, SILVA" they cut to him on screen and place erupts.  No way they can't book this fight now.  Missed opportunity not bringing him into the cage for face-off.
"Anderson Silva you absolutely suck!" WOW! We get some red meat for the beast curtesy of Mr Sonnen.  Can't hear everything he is saying though - the replay will be a total necessity when I get back to Austin.  "You beat me I leave UFC Forever".  
Loved the post fight like it was free money.
Makes me long for a Josh Barnett/Chael Sonnen fight somehow someway.  Imagine the promos building THAT one.

Jose Aldo v Kenny Florian:
Kenny backing up and taking shots but gets some brief takedown.  Enough to win the round much to everyone's surprise in my section.
2nd Round: Slow round but Aldo probably took it.  If I was in his corner I would not count on it though.  He seems to be picking up a little steam and really needs to bring it in the 3rd.  I really thought he would come out much stronger than this.
3rd round: Aldo connects w/ low kick and 2 quick punches - best combo of the fight so far.  Clearly takes the round.
4th round: Round barely started when some commotion breaks out in the crowd behind me.  Can't tell what is going on but that whole section started going nuts about it.  Sounds like a fight or something close to it.  Crowd in that section all chanting at top volume, "kick her out".  Wonder what THAT was about, guess it was more action packed than the championship round that became total background for several minutes.
Rnd 5: this is going to a decision and Ken-Flo has not done anywhere near enough to win it.  I would say Florian, Aldo, Aldo for the first three rounds but I can't really score the 4th. Aldo winds the 5th round and the fight.  Flipping off the cage after a 5 round fight is really stupid.  Just asking for a broken ankle.  
Kind of anti-climatic for a title fight.  Aldo looked beatable tonight but I'm not sure who the right guy to beat him will be.  

Frankie Edgar v Gray Maynard:
Rnd 1: Maynard scores a big knockdown - - WOW on my feat! Starting to get that feeling like this might get finished early.  Deja Vu to the max, 10-8 round but not quite as severe as the second fight first round. Crowd chanting 'Frankie' during the round, even as he almost gets finished. Surprised no callback support for Gray.
Rnd 2: Maynard not attacking at the start and I cannot fathom why.  Seems stalled out, more deja vu as Edgar takes round 2.  
Rnd 3: Where is Maynard's head at!?!?  He is giving this fight right back to Edgar…again.  I have it even after 3. Crowd super hot for Frankie .
Rnd 4: Maynard gets rocked and Frankie swarms then finishes him.  Crowd erupts for the KO! Great knockout and a fantastic finish.

Overall Thoughts:
The undercard had some high points but 18 rounds in 6 fights took its toll on the audience.  The main card gave us everything we were left hungry for and more though.  This was a very good show once the PPV kicked off.
Lauzon prob gets the Sub bonus over Chael, and Nam Pham/Leonard Garcia better get their FotN money.  Edgar gets the ONLY KO of the show and it was a damn exciting one.  The expo was a lot of fun too and made for a great two days in Houston.

Kyle Wallace

Thumbs up Best Fight: Edgar/Maynard Worst fight: aldo/florian Lightweight bout: Melvin Guillard vs. Joe Lauzon Wow I expected this fight to be quick but in the opposite direction. I think Melvin was a little too pumped and rushed right into a punch and got choked out. Kind of sucks because he was on a roll but it was definitely a good win for lauzon. Featherweight bout: Leonard Garcia vs. Nam Phan This was a really good fight pretty similar to their first fight except Garcia caught Nam in the last round and probably could have won it if he was able to finish him but Nam was quite happy that he won. Middleweight bout: Chael Sonnen vs. Brian Stann Well this fight went the way I figured it would if Stann couldn’t defend against sonnen’s takedowns. There wasn’t anything stann could do with sonnen because he is just a really good wrestler. Sonnen actually finished it though so more power to him. He wanted to send a message and boy did he. After the fight we got a pro wrestling stipulation fight set up. Loser leaves town or in Anderson’s case the weight division. Pretty surprising actually I’m curious what dana thought about this. Featherweight Championship bout: Jose Aldo vs. Kenny Florian This was an okay fight but pretty uneventful. There really wasn’t a whole lot Kenny could do except for the first round where he grinded aldo against the cage but after that he didn’t really do much. I give him credit for surviving and it wasn’t like he was gassed or any thing. Like joe rogan said he just was beaten by a better guy. Lightweight Championship bout: Frankie Edgar vs. Gray Maynard This was a really good main event. I couldn’t believe my eyes when the first round was basically identical to the first round in the first fight though not as bad. Then the way the fight was going I’m like no way there can be another draw. But Edgar hung in there and looked really good. I think Maynard just couldn’t keep up and eventually Edgar caught him and got some really good shots in to finish. I was very happy he won and he proved once and for all he was the better fighter.   Overall a pretty good show. The prelims were a mixed bag Mike Massenzio vs. Steve Cantwell and Joey Beltran vs. Stipe Miocic were pretty good fights but the main card was really good. I was disappointed Stann lost but I have to say the build to Sonnen/Silva II is going to be awesome.   Al Dinkelspiel New Jersey


Hey Dave and Bryan,
Thumbs UP!
The more I thought about this card, I realized I had to buy it
AND im very happy I did.
Best: Edgar v. Grey (AND Chael for busting out w/ the stipulations!)
Worst: Jose v. Kenny
Pettis v. Stephens
Happy that Pettis won cause Stephens is more of a gate keeper
BUT if Pettis keeps working on his game, I can see him being champ.
Melvin v. JLO
Melvin looked REALLY confident and just seemed  very
wild in the opening sequence of the 1st round AND
he paid for it. I thought it was an awesome finish. Another
mental lapse for Melvin. Not as big as an upset as people
played it out to be. JLO keeps getting better.
Pham v. Garcia
Fun fight. Happy that Phan won this one after getting screwed out of the
decision last time. Im cool with seeing this guys go...ONE MORE TIME.
Sonnen v. Stann
Stann was really outclassed and Sonnen really has a nonstop pace.
AMAZING PROMO. How can Dana argue w/ that idea???
I am very Anti-Anderson so I can't wait for that fight
Aldo v. Florian
Poor Florian. Is it me or has Aldo not looked as explosive?? I was hoping
Aldo would lose and go up to 155. Not sure where Kenny goes from here.
Edgar v. Grey
What can you say about Frankie?? That man would not GO DOWN!
Spectacular FINISH. I can't say enough great things about this fight.
Bring on Melendez, PLEASE!!!
Jesse Otawka
 

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