Despite many people considering Jorge Masvidal a live underdog, on Saturday night Gilbert Melendez proved why his Strikeforce lightweight reign may not be in any trouble for the foreseeable future. While Melendez has been open and honest about his desire to fight in the UFC’s much deeper lightweight division it appears that the Zuffa brass are no longer interested in bringing over Strikeforce fighters currently under contract. This leaves Melendez no other option but to continue to clean out the considerably shallow pool of talent in the Strikeforce lightweight division.
Saturday night Melendez once agains showed that he is a big fish in a small pond as he completely dominated the talented Masvidal over five largely one-sided rounds. Masvidal had no answer to the pressure and tenacity of Melendez, though, you wouldn’t have known that in watching Masvidal show no sense of urgency in the contest. It wasn’t the most exciting fight but it was an excellent representation of how much better Melendez is compared to his Strikeforce contemporaries.
Cyborg Destroys Hiroko Yamanaka
Having been out of the cage for over 18 months while Strikeforce was unable to find anyone to fight her, Chris “Cyborg” Santos did not show any ounce of “cage rust” in beating the hell out of Hiroko Yamanaka. Cyborg tore out of her corner at the opening bell like a bat out of hell and immediately dropped Yamanaka with a short right hand. Yamanaka was able to get back to her feet only to be beaten mercilessly by Santos until the fight was waived off 16 seconds into its duration.
It was classic Santos and further evidence that she is without a doubt the best female fighter in the sport of MMA right now. Unfortunately, due to this finding willing challengers to actually get in the cage to mix it us with the champion will be an increasingly difficult task for Strikeforce and company.
Photo by Josh Hedges/FORZA LLC via Getty Images
It seems as if destiny is conspiring against fight fans. Months ago, when the UFC announced that UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre would fight Strikeforce welterweight champion Nick Diaz at UFC 137 the fight world rejoiced in what was sure to be a fight of the biggest magnitude. However, the fight gods didn’t think that this was to be done and with Nick Diaz going all, well, Nick Diaz, the end result was a Diaz-Penn main event at UFC 137 after GSP was hurt and unable to fight Diaz’s replacement, Carlos Condit.
Fast forward to Diaz’s thorough beatdown of BJ Penn at UFC 137 and again fight fans were teased with the much-anticipated GSP - Diaz fight to take place at UFC 143. However, yet again, life has conspired to wrap us fight fans up in the proverbial wet blanket as news broke today that St-Pierre tore his ACL and is effectively shelved until next year.
St-Pierre’s ACL on his right knee will need to be surgically repaired. The surgery will effectively put GSP on the sideline for about 10 months, though his doctor, Dr. Sebastien Simard has gone on record as saying that given St-Pierre’s remarkable healing ability the recovery could be around 6-9 months. According to St-Pierre, he suffered the injury in wrestling practice when he heard a crack.
The news wasn’t easy for St-Pierre to digest given the gravity of the situation and the fact that he may have worsened the injury by trying to endure through the pain.
"I believe there is only one person to blame after what happened, and it's myself," GSP stated at a press conference on Wednesday. "I'm the kind of guy that sometimes I [experience] pain, and I can go through it. That's what I do all the time. But I learned a big lesson in my life, and it's just going to make me stronger, smarter and more clever.”
Nick Diaz will now face Carlos Condit at UFC 143 for the interim championship. It’s a an announcement that GSP didn’t exactly enjoy, especially give that Diaz has been spitting verbal venom at St-Pierre since their names were placed on a bout contract.
"Right now, a lot of people are saying bad things about me because it's easy to hit a guy when he's down," St-Pierre said. "Life goes up and down. Right now, I'm down. A month ago, I was world champion, and I was on top of the world. Now I'm in a downfall. But you recognize a champion from how he comes back from a loss, not how he is when everything goes well.no comments
Full results from the Xtreme Knockout card in Arlington, TX:
XKO Middleweight Main Event
Josh Foster (5-3) SUB RD 2 (Triangle) JJ Holmes (2-3)
Time of Submission: 2:18 RD 2
What is up with these East Texas Boys? Longview, TX established itself as a haven for fighters with absolutely no quit in their hearts. Josh Foster inarguably exemplifies this trait as he rallied back from a the brink of defeat at the hand of the uber-talented JJ Holmes to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. Early on the fight was all Holmes. The wrestling/grappling stand out utilized his patented double leg takedown to completely control the opening round. Even when the fight was on the feet it was Holmes who did the most damage with some punishing knees while in the clinch. Holmes continued the beating into the second round but Foster would not go away and Holmes seemed to slow as the round went on. Finally, Foster seized his moment as he was able to pull Holmes into his guard and lock on a quick triangle. At first it appeared Holmes would power through it but Foster made the necessary adjustment to sink the choke in even deeper putting Holmes to sleep and securing the unlikeliest of victories.
XKO 180 Lbs. Catchweight Fight
Hayward Charles (3-2) SUB RD 1 (Triangle) Andre Kavanaugh (2-2)
Time of Submission: 0:45 RD 1
Kavanaugh is an intimidating presence to say the least. After all, the man is built like a tree stump and is as fast as he is strong. Unfortunately, Kavanaugh ran up against a fighter who lacks any sense of fear in the cage in noted jiu-jitsu practitioner Hayward Charles. Despite catching a number of hard punches in the early seconds of the fight Charles was able to quickly pull guard and caught Kavanaugh in an absolutely airtight triangle choke that left the Austin native little other option than tapping out. To say it was an impressive win would be a vast understatement.
XKO Flyweight Fight
Randy Villarreal (8-6) TKO RD 1 (Strikes) Frank Ortega (4-7)
Time of Stoppage: 2:41 RD 1
Randy Villarreal has long-lamented the fact that he would prefer to fight at the flyweight limit of 125 pounds. Unfortunately for Villarreal opponents at that weight class are few and far between so the majority of his career has been spent fighting opponents much bigger than himself. Saturday night Villarreal finally got the flyweight fight he had been longing for and if his performance is any indication of what he is capable of doing at 125 then the flyweight division may be collectively put on notice. Against Ortega, a very dangerous fighter with sick jiu-jitsu, Villarreal was merciless in his aggression. Despite Ortega trying in vain to take the fight to the ground and work from his guard Villarreal seemed more than willing to accommodate him on the ground. Once Villarreal was able to take the full mount he rained down a seemingly endless assault of elbows that left the referee with little option other than to waive a halt to the bout.
XKO Bantamweight Fight
Eliazar Rodriguez (1-1) SUB RD 2 (Rear Naked Choke) Homer Garcia (0-1)
Time of Submission: 1:07 RD 2
In what turned out to be your classic “grappler vs. striker” match Rodriguez, thie grappler in this scenario emerged victrious with a workman like performance. However, early on it appeared that Garcia’s boxing would rule the day as he got off to a quick start battering and bloodying Rodriguez’s face behind a stiff jab and fluid combinations. Rodriguez would rally back in the second round with some punches of his own but once he took Garcia to the ground the fight was over as he deftly slipped in a perfect rear naked choke to secure the victory.
XKO Middleweight Fight
Ciprian Hangan (2-0) TKO RD 1 (Strikes) Chris Collins (0-1)
Time of Stoppage: 1:37 TD 1
I freely admit that watching Cipian Hangan fight is a guilty pleasure of mine. The guy is a non-stop whirling dervish of tenacity and his penchant for knocking people out has quickly earned him the praise of fight fans here in North Texas. Given his love of standing and banging with his opponents it often comes as a surprise that Hangan is a judoko expert with over 20 years of experience. However, none of that judo was on display against Collins who was overwhelmed with the non-stop aggression and tornado flurries of punches that has Collins hitting the deck multiple times in the round. Eventually Hangan grew tired of toying with Collins and after dropping him again with a hard right hand before raining down punishment that promoted the referee to stop the fight.
XKO 175 lbs Catchweight
Aaron Culpepper (1-0) UD Steven Cloud (0-1)
Scores: 30-27, 30-27, 29-28
For a pair of fighters making their pro debut both Culpepper and Cloud put on a technical battle that belied their inexperience as professionals. While it became pretty evident that Cloud was looking to take the fight to the ground to exploit his jiu-jitsu prowess it was Culpepper’s stricking and submission defense that carried him over three exciting rounds to victory. Despite being as game a fighter as one could ever see in the cage, in the end, Culpepper was simply too much and his boxing and impressive ground and pound carried him to an impressive victory.
XKO Welterweight Fight
Josh Lee (8-7) SUB RD 2 (Rear Naked Choke) Roy Spoon (7-4)
Time of Submission: 3:27
Joshua Lee upset the apple card in the night’s opening bout with a thorough domination of highly touted contender Roy Spoon. Lee wasted little time in displaying his incredible wrestling ability in securing takedowns and ground control throughout the opening round forcing Spoon to work of his back for the majority of the rounds. In the second Spoon looked to right his ship and caught Lee shooting in with a tight guillotine seconds into the round. However, Lee would not be denied and after some nice transitions on the ground was able to sink in the rear naked choke that put Spoon to sleep.
The Dr Pepper Arena in the North Dallas suburb of Frisco played host to a night of MMA action as Fight Game brought together some of North Texas’ most talented fighters under one roof to give fight fans their MMA fix.
In the evening’s main event Sean Spencer, fighting out of Guy Mezger Combat Sports, gave his hometown fans in Frisco reason to cheer as he gutted out a three round unanimous decision over Derrick Krantz of Marshall, TX. Spencer had his hands full throughout the fight as Krantz never gave up an inch in the battle and made Spencer work for everything. Fortunately for the fans of Spencer their fighter was more than up to the challenge and behind some terrific boxing and excellent takedown defense was able to bloody and batter the face of Krantz who may very well be the poster child for toughness. In the end Spencer was awarded the fight by scores of 30-27 on all three cards to improve his record to 7-1; Krantz falls to 10-5 in defeat.
In the evening’s co-main event Mohler Jiu-Jitsu’s Jason Sampson saw unblemished record disappear as New Mexico’s Josh Montoya effectively spoiled Sampson’s homecoming. The fight was as close as war as one will ever see as Sampson came out the gates roaring behind some vastly improved boxing and his awe-inspiring takedowns. Sampson’s relentless pressure in the opening rounds seemed to indicate that the fight would not last the scheduled rounds but Montoya would rally back in a fiercely contested second round. With this fight being a rematch of their bout in August, a fight in which Sampson emerged victorious via an armbar, Montoya apparently did his homework and worked hard to seal up his takedown defense. This paid dividends Friday night as Montoya was able to evade some of the takedown attempts Sampson threw at him. With Montoya able to stuff some of Sampson’s takedown attempts the fight became more of a stand up affair than many would have anticipated. Whereas Sampson appeared to be loading up everything on his shots, Montoya looked to simply score using quick flurries to neutralize Sampson’s advances. The third round was pivotal as both fighters attempted to leave it all on the line. While Sampson kept pressing forward Montoya would counter with quick hands and some hard body shots that looked as if they hurt Sampson. However, Sampson would end the fight strong trying in vain to end the fight with a rear naked choke.
Make no mistake, the fight was close and a strong case could be made for either fighters but in the end the scorecards read 29-28, 29-28, and 28-29 in favor on Montoya. With the win Montoya improves his record to 10-7; Sampson tastes defeat for the first time falling to 8-1 with the loss.
Bubba McDaniel was able to nullify the charges of Eric Schambari to gut out a unanimous. While the fight may not have been the most action packed bout one will ever see you have to appreciate the relentless submission attempts that were in abundance during the fight. Surprisingly, it was McDaniel who nearly ended the fight on multiple occasions with triangles and some tight guillotines. All of this despite McDaniel claiming to not hold a belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and Schambari reported to be a BJJ black belt. In the end the fight boiled down to a war of attrition and ultimately it was McDaniel who emerged victorious. With the victory McDaniel improves to 19-6 while Schambari falls to 13-4 in defeat.
Arlington’s Douglas Frey, Mohler Jiu-Jitsu, made it a short night against Houston’s Tim Snyder, fighting out of 4oz Fight Team. After some cautious moments in the opening seconds, Frey deftly shot in a secured a takedown. With the takedown secured, Frey moved in for the kill and after securing an airtight guillotine Snyder was left with no other option other than to tap at the 2:59 mark in the opening round. With the win Frey improve his record to 10-7; Snyder drops to 12-9-1 in defeat.
Saekson Janjira-trained Charles Byrd looked impressive in his vicious domination of Robert Agee, Gladiator Academy, earning a pretty one-sided unanimous decision. Bryd wasted little time in establishing his Muay Thai pedigree opening up the fight with crisp inside le kicks that were then punctuated by an overhand right. This combo seemed to befuddle Agee who soon found his left eye bloodied and his legs unsteady after eating a big right hand from Byrd in the opening round. Credit has to be given to Agee for surviving the early onslaught of Byrd but the second and third rounds didn’t fair any better for him. Byrd was simply too tenacious to be stopped and even in the round that Agee nearly submitted Byrd with a rear naked choke, the third, he found himself penalized a point for holding the cage. None the less, the night belonged to Byrd and his big right hand. With the win Byrd improves his record to 4-2; Agee falls to 2-2 in defeat.
In what turned out to be a spirited battle, George Pacurariu, Octagon MMA, improved his record to 4-1 with a unanimous decision victory over Austin’s Michael Lytle, fighting out of Austin Extreme Sparring. The action was furious early on as both fighters winged punches at one another. After trading a number of bombs in the opening round, the fight went to the ground where each fighter had their moments with some short punches on the inside but is looked as if Pacurariu was the more comfortable combatant in this realm. The fight came down to the third round and it was there that Pacurariu took control of a fading Lytle to grind out the round and win the decision. All three judges scored the bout 29-28 in favor of Pacurariu and with the loss Lytle falls to 1-2.
Sean Holden, fighting out of Guy Mezger Combat Sports, made his professional debut a successful one coasting to a unanimous decision victory over Wes Linsley, fighting out of Wylie Boxing Club. Holden controlled the tempo and utilized a smothering ground game to keep Linsley, who is a noted amateur boxer, from using his perceived advantages on the feet. While Linsley did enough to prevent Holden from ending the fight early it was clear that this fight belonged to the Guy Mezger trained prospect. In the end all three judges scored the bout 30-27 in favor of Holden who sees his record go to 1-0; Linsley falls to 0-2 in defeat.
The night started off with bang as Neal Ewing, fighting out of Octagon MMA, improved his record to 2-0 with a second round rear naked choke of Jabari Shakur, fighting out of Phalanx MMA. Ewing used his superior wrestling acumen to control the pace of the fight and was able to secure a number of takedowns in the opening round. However, credit has to be given to Shakur who, despite making his pro debut Friday night, was game throughout the contest and was able to weather much of Ewing’s storm. Still, Ewing proved to be the better man this night as he deftly slipped in a rear naked choke at the 1:52 mark of the second round.no comments
The absolute best thing about being a fight fan is witnessing those rare moments in the sport when two warriors put forth such and epic battle within the confines of their arena that words fail to accurately relay the message. These are those epic wars that leave witnesses awash in a weird mix of exuberance and humility. The rarity of these fights is what makes the fight came so special. For every Ali-Frazier, Gatti-Ward, Griffin-Bonnar, Fedor-Big Nog, there are a plethora of fights that all well short of the mark to make them memorable contests. All of which brings us to the latest inductee into “Greatest Fights” category in this past Saturday’s epic battle between Dan Henderson and “Shogun” Rua at UFC 139.
The encounter between the two legendary fighters seemed like it would have been best suited about seven years earlier in Japan, the fact remains that these two veterans of the sport brought it for five rounds. Call it a war of attrition, or call it a test of limits between two sadists, but the fact remains that this fight will be talked about for generations in terms of its greatness. And while Henderson will go down as the official winner of the contest, squeaking by with a decision victory, the very real fact of the matter is that the fight could have gone either way. Hell, poetic justice would have called for the fight gods to make this bout a draw given that you really hate to see a loser emerge from such an epic contest.
"Every time you come off a fight like that, you're going crazy, but that's without a doubt one of the best fights ever in MMA – without a doubt," UFC President Dana White stated to MMA Junkie. "I have so much respect for both of those guys to dig down that deep in a five-round fight.”
"That was like our Ali-Frazier III. It was unbelievable. It was incredible."
Yeah, it was that damn good of a fight. Though, of course, following such a dynamic fight the questions surround both participants are where do Henderson and Rua go from here?
For Henderson, the winner of this epic encounter, a title shot seems like a natural spoil reserved for him. Not that this is based solely off of his fight with Rua but given the Hall of Fame credentials, and star power, Henderson possesses it would seem that a title shot should be his right. Granted, this may sting a bit for Rashad Evans who is the current number one contender for the UFC light heavyweight strap but given his inability to stay healthy (though this should not be counted against him) the fact remains that a Jon Jones – Dan Henderson fight would be enormous. But, the UFC’s light heavyweight picture poses a problem given Evans aforementioned promise shot against Jones. While I would be in favor of Henderson being moved to the head of the line for a shot at the 205 lbs strap, fair is fair, and for Evans to be forced to wait out his shot again would be wrong.
This leaves the possibility of a return to the middleweight division where Henderson had been a fixture prior to moving up shortly after arriving in Strikeforce. Henderson has made no secret that he is done with the middleweight division as the cut down to 185 lbs is simply too unenjoyably for the 41 year old. However, given that current middleweight champion Anderson Silva has effectively cleaned out the division the UFC seems eager to give some new blood to the division. In fact, White seems especially enamored with the prospect of Henderson dropping down to middleweight for a rematch with Silva.
"We'll talk about it. If [Henderson] doesn't want to fight at 185, I'm not going to tell him, 'You have to fight at 185,’ explained White. “But I know him. If that fight's available, he'll probably take it."
The future for Rua seems a little bit easier to predict. The UFC has generally awarded its marquee names “softer” touches following noteworthy performance. And it’s hard to be more noteworthy than the battle Rua just engaged in. Rua could be well served in taking on Stephan Bonnar who emerged victorious in his bout at UFC 139. There is also the prospect of perhaps a Tito Ortiz fight or any other mid-tier light heavyweight on the UFC roster. Rua has been on a run lately taking on some killers so a much deserved respite should be in order of “Shogun.”no comments
The main event of UFC 139 read like that of an old PRIDE card. Dan Henderson versus ‘Shogun” Rua. Hell, it was enough to have you double checking the fight card to see if Sakuraba would be making an appearance. Alas, those days are long gone but that does not mean that a Henderson vs. Rua fight in 2011 is any less enthralling. With Henderson’s late career resurgence and Rua’s establishment of a force in the UFC light heavyweight division this fight held the interest of many people within the world of MMA.
However, what fight fans were treated to was a fight that will go down as an all-time classic war.
Despite being 41 years old, Henderson of late has been a pretty quick starter and such was the case tonight as he came out aggressive in the opening round and looked to have had the victory in the bad early on. With a massive Henderson right hand connecting on the head of Rua, “Shogun” went down where Henderson tried to end things with a front choke. However, Rua would manage to survive Henderson’s flurries and his huge right hand to see the second round. With the pace slowing a tab bit in round two Rua looked capitalize in the early parts of the round by landing some good knees while in the clinch. Henderson would come rallying back with some huge bombs of his own rocking Rua. Despite being rattled Rua continued to press the action but paid the price by eating some more hard flurries from Henderson.
The third round began in earnest with both fighters methodically trading punches. Then, Henderson changed things with a huge right hand that floored Rua again. Henderson jumped on the prone Rua and unleashed an absolute storm of vicious shots on the ground. But despite opening up a can of “whoop ass” on Rua, “Shogun” impressively managed to survive to see the end of the round. At the start of the fourth round, it looked that Henderson may have punched himself out during the action of the third round. This seemed evident as Rua managed to take Henderson down but was unable to keep him on the ground. Henderson soon returned the favor, shooting in and securing a double leg takedown of his own but he too was unable to do much of anything. Back on their feet Rua began to gain momentum, rocking Henderson with a huge uppercut that wobbled the legend. After eating some more shots, Henderson was able to score a takedown but Rua still was beating Henderson like a drum. Surviving on nothing more than guts and adrenaline, Henderson managed to somehow make it to see the end of the round. With Henderson gassed out entering the fifth round Rua looked to capitalize and seemed to do just that taking Rua down and getting the mount where he unleashed some ground and pound. While Henderson never stopped trying to survive it all seemed in vain as Rua was all over him, securing the mount and and again rained down punches to Henderson’s head. However, try as he might, Rua could not get Henderson to quit as the fight closed.
All three judges scored the fight 48-47 in favor of Henderson who did enough in the first three rounds to secure the fiercely contested war. With the win Henderson returns to the Octagon victorious and improves his record to 29-8; Rua, though valiant in defeat, falls to 20-6 with the loss.
“I hit him hard, thought I could finish him the first three rounds,” explained Henderson in his post-fight interview. “I hit him hard and clean a few times...the gas tank was running low in there. He stayed in there with great heart like a champion should.”
Some fights just scream excitement the moment they are announced. Such was the case for me when it was announced that Wanderlei “The Axe Murder” Silva would fight former Strikeforce champion Cung Le at UFC 139. When you put two fighters with such dynamic striking ability in a cage against one another fireworks are all but guaranteed.
While the fight may not have been an all-time classic affair, it was nonetheless and exciting, fun little scrap. Cung Le established the temp first in the opening round using his uncanny array of kicks to keep Silva at bat and event rock the former PRIDE FC legend. But just as PRIDE never dies, so too does Silva never quit and “The Axe Murder” closed out the round with a flurry of punches that opened up a cut over the eye of Le. This ebb and flow continued into the second round as but Le and Silva took turns swapping punches and kicks, each throwing as if they were trying to take the other’s head off. But as the second round wore on it appeared that Le was running out of gas. Not that Silva looked all that fresh but Le’s snap and energy seemed to wain as the round continued. With Le clearly losing the snap on his attacks Silva soon seized upon his fatigued opponent. A hard right hand from SIlva dropped Le to the canvas. Silva, as he’s done his whole career, pounced on his wounded opponent and after landing some absolutely vicious knees to Le’s head, the follow up hammer fists that bounced of Le’s head was enough to prompt the referee to stop the fight.
The official time of the stoppage was 4:49 in the second round. With the win Silva improves his record to 34-11-1, 1 NC; Le falls to 7-2 in defeat.
“He hit me hard because I wan’t moving my head,” explained Silva after the fight. “He’s a real tough guy.”
Strikeforce Middleweight Main Event
Lumumba Sayers (5-2) KO RD 1 Antwain Britt (11-6)
Time of KO: 0:28 RD 1
If you blinked then you missed the awesome Sayers knockout of Britt. They call him “Heavy Hands” and the moniker seems apt for Sayers who put Britt’s lights out with an uppercut that followed a right hook. Incredible performance by Sayers on Friday night.
Strikeforce Women’s 145 lbs Bout
Ronda Rousey (4-0) SUB RD 1 (Arm bar) Julia Budd (2-2)
Time of Submission: 0:39 RD 1
It’s hard to get a good read on MMA media darling Rousey given that her fights end so damn quick. While we know her striking is incredibly weak her judo and submissions are top notch. Case in point was the grotesque way in which Rousey dislocated Budd’s elbow in seconds. It was as dominant win as you could have hoped for from a fighter making their fourth professional fight.
Strikeforce Catchweight (188 lbs) Bout
Adlan Amagov (9-1-1) KO RD 1 Anthony Smith (14-7)
Time of the Stoppage: 2:32 RD 1
Adlan Amagov is the type of fighter that most American MMA fans view as an enigma. It’s hard to truly gauge the prospects of fighters hailing from Eastern Europe but it appears that Amagov is the real deal. If nothing else, Amagov brings fun to the cage with his sambo and his wild leg kicks. Funny then how this fight featured really none of that. Sure, Amagov got a takedown but it was the wild sweeping right hand that put Smith out for the night with a highlight real KO.
Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Bout
Trevor Smith (9-1) SUB RD 1 (Guillotine) TJ Cook (12-4)
Time of Submission: 4:28 RD 1
Despite the edge in experience enjoyed by Cook, Smith controlled the majority of this fight. Once Smith got the fight to the ground Cook was simply out of his element and after some grappling, Smith was able to slip in the mounted guillotine to end the fight.
Strikeforce Middleweight Bout
Derek Brunson (9-0) UD 3 Nate James (13-8-1)
Scores: 30-27, 30-27, 30-27
While this was not an incredible fun fight to watch you do get the sense that there may be a future for Brunson. Sure, he’s as green as grass but working with Greg Jackson should improve his all around game. Right now Brunson is a wrestler first and fighter second. This wasn’t a performance that will set the MMA world a fire but there’s clearly some upside to Brunson.
Photo credit: Showtime/sho.comno comments
Not a lot to talk about on a very vanilla TUF. Here is the recap from tonight’s episode of The Ultimate Fighter 14: Miller vs. Bisping:
Dustin Pague shows his kind side by giving a homeless man a bag of goodies. It’s a really solid move for anyone to do.
Pague has a tough semi-final bout against TJ Dillashaw. While Dillashaw looked like an early favorite it’s hard not to see Pague possibly springing the upset.
Jason Miller brings over food for the house and convinces Pague to eat a handful of bugs for $60 dollars. Yeah, you heard that right, $60 to eat a couple of bugs. There are the things that happen in the Ultimate Fighter house.
This season’s coaches challenge is an air hockey battle between head coaches Jason Miller and Michael Bisping. The winner of the challenge wins $10,000 and each guy on his team wins $1,500. So, the stakes are considerably high for this air hockey battle.
Bisping beats the hell out of Miller at air hockey but falls and busts his ass in his gloating so karma came back.
TJ Dillashaw did what many expected him to do and completely dominated Pague over the course of their fight. Not that Pague wasn’t game, it was just at this time Dillashaw’s wrestling and tenacity were too much.no comments
The enormity of the UFCs premier on the FOX network was not lost on the world as the buzz radiating from fight fans was palatable. However, like most things in life that are built up to astronomical proportions there have been some very vocal criticisms levied at the UFC on FOX main event between Cain Velasquez and Junior dos Santos. Perhaps, those criticisms are a bit absurd given the historical significance of the fight as a whole, but, there is no denying that the UFCs impression upon mainstream America could have been a bit smoother as a whole.
Sure, going live on network television for the first time in your company’s history is a daunting task, to say the least. Let’s take a look at the good, and the bad, of the premier of the UFC on FOX.
The Historical Aspect – You can’t deny the fact that Saturday was a huge milestone in the history of the sport that was once infamously referred to as “human cockfighting.” While the UFC is not the first promotion to have an MMA card broadcast on national network television they are clearly the biggest promotion to do so. While Elite XC and Strikeforce beating the UFC to the punch the very real fact remains that the UFC is the straw that stirs the MMA drink. With the UFC already identified as the MMA brand in the world the fact that they are now teaming up with FOX is a huge victory for MMA as a whole. As the saying goes, “a rising tide lifts all boats.”
The Fighters – Go big, or go home. If the UFC wanted to put their best foot forward they arguably couldn’t have done better than the two hard-hitting heavyweights in Cain Velasquez and Junior dos Santos. Factor in that this wasn’t just any fight, but the battle for the UFC heavyweight strap and it had all the makings of an explosive night of action, well, at least on paper.
The Production – I’m mixed on my reviews of the overall FOX broadcast but what I did like, and this is important to selling fighters to mainstream America, is that they ran the vignettes of the fighters painting them as the definition of humility (which they both are to a fault). If I wanted to show my mother that MMA fighters are not barbaric, blood-thirsty sociopaths then I couldn’t do any better than introducing her to Velasquez and dos Santos.
Brock The Commentator – With Dana White wilting under the bright lights of a live television broadcast Brock Lesnar was cool, insightful, and humorous as a guest commentator. Of course, Lesnar’s polish isn’t by accident of course given that being a former WWE wrestler sort of requires exemplary commination skills. Still, for a man who looks like he can rip man’s head off with his bare hands, it was good to see a very insightful Lesnar comment of the fight with poise and professionalism. Lesnar was one of the bright moments in the broadcast.
The Fight - Granted, it’s not the UFCs fault that the Velasquez-dos Santos would last shorter than one of my sneezes but you can’t but have been let down after the fight was over so fast. You can’t blame the fighters. After all, fighters fight. That’s what they are paid to do and on Saturday night dos Santos was the much better fighter. Still, you can’t help but wish the UFC would have show the Ben Henderson - Clay Guida fight on tape delay. Now, that was a fight that would sure to garner new fans.
Wait, This isn’t Football? - While there was much polish on the production thanks in large part to both FOX and the UFC trying to put their best foot forward, there was too much of a “NFL on FOX” vibe to it. Actually, as one person on Twitter pointed out, it was like “NFL on FOX” meets the old American Gladiators set. Curt Menefee, who served as the lead host was as vanilla as they come but he did add a flair of professionalism that was important for this event.
Why Are You Yelling, Dana? - Throughout the years we’ve come to appreciate (or despise) UFC President Dana White for his no-holds barred candor and penchant to be as blunt as a baseball bat. All of which is why it was so off-putting to see the F-bomb dropping executive so nervous. The bright lights of live television seemed to prompt White to scream his opinions into the microphone. For a man who is as usually cool as the other side of the pillow, his stammering non-sequential opinions were not something you’re going to see White put on his personal highlight reel. Of course you can’t be too hard on the guy. After all, this was the biggest moment of his career and he was pretty truthful about his nerves heading into the fight. The UFC may have been better served by having Kenny Florian serve as co-host and relegate White to a smaller role.no comments