Sunday, April 11, 2010

Reflections on UFC 112

Well, I experienced something new in watching the latest UFC event; I watched it at 10 am as it aired real time. It was kind of interesting to watch it while eating a breakfast burrito and a diet coke, instead of typical evening food and drink. Overall, even though there were two championship fights, I am glad that I watched it at the local pub rather than purchasing the PPV myself, since the fights just were not all that interesting.

As I have spent the last 24 hours thinking about it and talking with others about the fights, I have 3 observations:

First, Matt Hughes is not ever going to contend for the 170lb. title again. Look, I love Matt Hughes, I like the way he fights, I love his walk-out song, "Country Boy," I think he is a great guy and had a lot to do with bringing diversity to MMA by dominating so many fights based upon his wrestling skills. But yesterdays fight, even though it was a knockout victory, showed why he will never wear the belt again. From the very beginning of round 1 it was clear that he has lost at least a step and just doesn't have the speed to shoot in, lock up, and take opponents down. Without that ability, Hughes is just never going to take GSP or John Fitch for that matter. So, a tip of the hat to Hughes for a victory in a fight featuring two over the hill fighters. It was an interesting fight to watch, but painful in the end for what it revealed.

Second, BJ Penn got robbed. I don't mean to disrespect Frankie Edgar or the fight he put on, but he did not take the belt from BJ, which is what you are supposed to do as a challenger. Penn, landed the stronger, cleaner strikes, and he dominated the center of the Octagon the whole fight. Yes, he got taken down twice, but he got up as fast as he was taken down, and Edgar made nothing of it. I don't know why Penn did not press the fight more at certain points, but I did not really think he needed to in order to win. I was stunned by the decision, I thought at best it was 50-46, with Edgar taking the last round. This was a terrible decision, and it is one more example of why MMA needs a new scoring system to help judges make more objectively sound decisions.

Third, Anderson Sylva is so much better than anyone, that its not even fair to have fight anymore. Well, ok, he is better, but he should be required to take two, maybe three fights in the future. Since he has so thoroughly cleaned out the 185lb division, he needs to move up and fight the light-heavyweight champion, and then, once he gets that, he needs to move up and fight for the heavyweight belt. I think he can make a serious run at that belt and it would be an incredible feat to take all 3 belts and would solidify him as the greatest MMA fighter of all time. If he takes both of those belts, then the UFC needs to work out a deal for him to fight Fedor to determine who really is THE GREATEST FIGHTER in the world (Fedor, in my view is the only guy who has a real chance at beating Sylva). The other thing that was clear to me after watching him fight, and also from having seen GSP fight recently, is that GSP is a nice fighter, but would get utterly destroyed by Sylva, and the UFC should have NO INTEREST in matching up GSP with Sylva.

Well, that is how I see it, let me know what you think.

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