Anyone see this? I'm looking forward to the rematch - see who learns more and who gets better.
I thought the most telling comment was by (I think) Lou DiBella which was that Hopkins can't really work a full three-minutes a round anymore, and that his punch output has dropped in each of his fights. Lately he's been relying on his smarts and experience to disguise what he's losing physically - he's got a lot of smarts and experience, but it's not chess - smarts and experience aren't the whole ballgame.
Man's most valuable trait is a judicious sense of what not to believe. - Euripides
1) Taylor is a dangerously flawed fighter. The way he draws his hand back when punching leaves him seriously exposed to counterpunching -- something Hopkins didn't do enough of (though when he did, he did it very, very effectively). He also seems to have ample problem with footing as Hopkins stepped out on him. It seemed like it was easy for Hopkins to dictate the pace of the fight by forcing Taylor into awkward stances.
2) Hopkins won the fight, but not the boxing match. He was stupid, put simply, to believe he could win rounds playing pure defense. But all one really needed to do was look at Taylor after that fight to realize he'd been beaten up and knew it, while Hopkins was more or less fine.
3) In Ledermen's end of fight interview, Hopkins sounded like a man who knew NOTHING about how a boxing match is scored. He said something along the lines of "anybody who saw the whole fight would know I won it", and that the judges saw the whole fight, how could they have scored it for Taylor. Hopkins should know better than anyone that if you sit on the defensive and let a guy win rounds by landing 15 punches to your 2, you lose those rounds; and losing 8 of 12 that way means no matter how strong your finish, if you don't know him out, you lose.
Bottom line for me, then, is that Hopkins did indeed outclass Taylor... but he downright beat himself.
In a rematch, as long as it's sooner rather than later, I don't see Taylor correcting his flaws well enough to outdo Hopkins a second time. Which is a shame, really.
I am actually going to go watch this at a local establishment. This is the first UFC event I've went to watch since renting them from the video store back when Dan Severn was still doing it and wasn't aloud on PPV.