More feedback to UFC 143
Sunday, 05 February 2012 11:11
Good, solid show.
Poirier's full mount triangle armbar might be the submission of the year.
The overriding theme that I was left with was Roy Nelson's incredible toughness. Werdum shattered his nose and Nelson would not go down. Amazing. But he needs to improve his game; he wanted to brawl and Werdum did not fall into the trap.
Main event was the implementation of a brilliant plan by Greg Jackson and its execution by Carlos Condit. Stand and bang may make for fun fights but, like Werdum against Nelson, it wouldn't have been a winning strategy for Condit. By sticking and moving, Condit frustrated Diaz.
Thumbs in the middle. Second card in a row the undercard > the top card. Not a good trend.
Best fight: Riddle vs. Martinez
Worst fight: the top card except Werdom-Roy and Herman-Starks was disappointing
KO: Stephen Thompson and will be a contender for KO of the Year
On the fb prelims Thompson, who comes into MMA with an alleged 57-0 record in PKA style kickboxing and a Machida-esque style, does a paint job on the other guy, Stittgen, before dropping him cold with a single lead leg round kick. This guy bears watching.
Natal is just too much for Kuiper, who shows skills and at 22 has a definite upside. So far so good.
On the FX show, first I want to mention a Volvo commercial that featured a Mil Mascaras doll, er action figure. I hope he gets royalties.
As far as the fights, late sub and way way outsized Henry Martinez made a great showing in a split decision losing effort vs. Matt Riddle. The fight turned right about the middle of the 2nd round and could easily have been a draw.
Matt Brown walked right through Chris Cope before dropping him for the count early in the 2nd. Maybe Cope should concentrate less on going 'woo' and more on ya know technique and stuff.
Then came a bizarre back and forth battle between Alex 'Bruce Leroy' and Edwin Figueroa, that saw Alex dominate most of the fight but not be able to cinch a sub and get penalized TWO points at one time for a second accidental but severe groin kick, but Figueroa also dropped him hard in the 1st, ending up with a 28-27 SD for Figueroa. A one point deduction, as would usually be done, would have left the fight a majority draw. Good fight though.
20 year old (and looking about 12) late sub Max Holloway more than held his own striking with Dustin Poirier and showed good grappling as well, but Poirier is just too good and cinched up an outstanding mounted tri/arm bar combination for the tap. Holloway has major upside. Great fight for the short time it lasted. So far still so good.
On the top card, they replaced the gladiator intro (which I still liked) with a new one featuring quick clips of fights through time going from Gracie-Shamrock to Anderson-Belfort CGIed over a like warehouse floor BG. Better than it sounds. Very cool in fact.
In the first PPV fight, Clifford Starks showed his so so performacne last time out was probably due to being a late sub as he came out doing a paint job on and busting up veteran Ed Herman, but Herman was able to take the ex wrestling standout down with a textbook legtrip early in the 2nd and once he did his vastly better JJ enabled him to take back and sink the RNC for the tap. Still think Starks is carrying too much upper body muscle. Also great for as long as it lasted. So far STILL so good, 'but'...
... Renan Barao and Scott Jorgensen just didn't click for a good fight, as Barao was able to toally dominate him standing and content to do so, stuffing all (few) TD attempts so we never got to see any of his JJ, and taking an easy but not very interesting decision. Jorgensen despite Joe Warren screaming gibberish all night was unable to adjust.
Koscheck vs. Pierce was nothing to write home about either, as Kos seemed to just be looking for the home run and Pierce seemed to be winning the first two rounds easily off minimal punching and clinch work. However he could not take Kos down and Kos was able to get a couple on him, and finally opened up in the 3rd and did some damage, resulting in a 29-28 SD for Kos. I and I think most of the universe had it for Pierce. Boring fight.
Werdum and Roy did their best to save the show with Roy as usual coming forward bravely and landing a couple hard shots but Werdum showing a lot of work in his Muay Thai battered him at will through most of the fight, especially with knees from the clinch, one of which sent his nose around by his ear in the 1st. I was amazed how many people were picking Roy before the fight. They're not in the same league. Good action fight.
The main, well, gotta say, Condit and Jackson conned the living shit out of everybody. They let everybody and especially Diaz think it was going to be a brawl, then fought an analytical, perfect technical fight, exposing Diaz' leaky defense, slow reflexes, and plodding footwork, sticking and moving and never letting him get set to punch. Diaz was completely unable to adjust and I don't get how anybody thinks plodding forward getting hit wins a fight. No it wasn't that much fun to watch, but he was hitting and not getting hit, not running, there's a difference a lot of people don't seem to get. However, the prospect of GSP vs. Condit now isn't exactly raising anybody's temperature.
I'm giving the show a thumbs in the middle, it may have been a thumbs up in the past but the standard of shows this year (apart from the FOX show) has been higher.
Best Fight: Ed Herman vs. Clifford Starks
Worst Fight: Josh Koscheck vs. Mike Pierce
I'm not a Diaz fan in the slightest so I was happy to see him lose. I know that this means we don't get GSP/Diaz but I dislike Diaz enough that I'd rather see him lose than watch a dream fight against GSP. I had the score 48-47 to Condit but was worried the judges might give it to Diaz based on the old philosophy of "leg kicks not being scoring strikes". Diaz's post fight antics are exactly why I dislike him so much, he is a petulant, whiny, arrogant baby who throws a strop whenever something doesn't go his way and you'd think he would have grown up by now. I'm not sure how he thought he won this fight, but then I'm not sure what planet he actually lives on.
I thought Werdum looked quite impressive, his stand up has improved so much since the last time I saw him against Overeem, but how Nelson can take that much damage and not go down is beyond my understanding of human tolerance. I didn't really get into many of the other fights due to the lack of either star power or fighters being forced down our throats (if I hear Renan Barao compared to Jose Aldo one more time I'm going to scream), and the annoying thing was that with all the decisions we didn't get a chance to see any of the preliminary fights which sounded very fun.
Thumbs in the Middle.
Nick Diaz has to be the bitchiest "street badass" this side of Rodeo Drive. I was hoping Condit would knock him out cold. But frustrating Diaz into cutting that pathetic postmatch "no mo' promo" was even more satisfying. There's an orange jumpsuit awaiting you, Nick. Let's just hope you don't hurt anyone anymore than you hurt Carlos tonight on the way to your fitting.
A good win for Condit, who, let's face it, deserved a night off from having to score a spectacular KO or comeback win after the series of great fights he's given us. Perhaps the fans will forgive him some day for being an intelligent guy and solid family man and get behind one of the more entertaining and versatile fighters to ever stalk the octagon.
Hopefully, Roy Nelson can stick around. He's one of a kind, though that kind needs to diversify to avoid extinction. Scott Ferrozzo was an entertaining one-of-a-kind guy once upon a time, too. He had no chance against Fabricio, who is a legit title contender.
JoshKosh is a legit bore in the ring, but such a hateful prick you hope he sticks around for an asskicking. But can anyone humiliate him as badly as GSP did already? Well, we can dream. Perhaps Condit can fluster him into a career tap out, but I'd much rather see Carlos take on GSP next. He's earned the belt, and a shot at greatness.
Slight thumbs up
Best fight: Riddle/Martinez
Worst fight: Koscheck/Pierce
Thoughts: Carlos displayed the game plan that all knew would work against Nick: Keep moving and throw kicks. That Nick never changed his strategy or checked a kick speaks volumes about Team Gracie. While I understand being upset, Nick's antics while Carlos was being interviewed made me sick. If Nick had lost the 5th because Carlos took him down with a minute left, we never would have heard the end of it. Nick is a classless little s++t that seems to get a pass for every childish stunt he pulls. I hope folks call him out on his behavior tonight.