A pretty dramatic night for the UFC, all things considered.
Alan Belcher d. Patrick Cote (Submission) This fight is a pretty good indicator of why fighters need serious education as to rules in general. Belcher lifted Cote up and faceplanted him, and Cote reacted as though the ref were going to call a foul--and then complained that he wasn't, rather than stopping Belcher from choking him out. Stupid move. Good fight by Belcher, but he needs a win over someone in the top 8 before he can be seriously considered for title contendership--put him against Marquardt after the Sakara fight, maybe.
Matt Mitrione d. Kimbo Slice (TKO) Today in sentences I never expected to write: I am impressed by Matt Mitrione. On TUF and in the Jones fight, Mitrione displayed little more than the ability to swing formless punches from his hips and gas out within minutes: tonight's Mitrione was throwing (sloppy) headkicks, using (sloppy) knees, attempting (sloppy) submissions and murdering Kimbo with (surprisingly good) leg kicks. Most rookie heavyweights are pretty lucky if they're boxing successfully for more than a couple of minutes: Mitrione has some interest in a rounded game, and that's pretty cool. As for Kimbo, well...he's Kimbo. I'm pretty surprised that Dana's talking as though he's all done: he's such a cash cow that I wouldn't have blamed him for keeping him on. Will be interesting to see what happens from here with MMA's hottest and yet most worthless commodity.
Jeremy Stephens d. Sam Stout (Split Decision) You know, it's not that this fight was boring, by any means: it was a very sound exhibition of technique and both guys are very impressively skilled. The trouble is that every Sam Stout fight is largely the same: a close, technical contest without much in the way of drama or highlight. With this fight, Stout is now 4-5 in the UFC, and of those nine contests, eight have gone to decision, and that rarely helps you climb the ladder. It's not a question of his level of skill, there just seems to be something missing. Stephens has talent, but he needs a lot of sharpening before he can take a stab at the upper echelon of the division.
Josh Koscheck d. Paul Daley (Unanimous Decision) Well, now. The real story isn't even the fight--Koscheck remembered that he had a brain and a talent base and made Daley look like a grappling dummy for 15 minutes straight, not a surprise--the story is the stupidity. Daley throws a blatantly illegal knee (which Kos now claims to not remember) and Koscheck plays it off like the world's greatest soccer foul despite that it didn't touch him, Koscheck trash-talks him from the mount to close out the fight, and Daley assaults him post-fight and forces referee Dan Miragliotta to restrain him. Josh Koscheck is the new #1 contender and will be co-coaching the next season of TUF opposite Georges St-Pierre; Paul Daley has been fired from the UFC and will not be welcomed back. How quickly the mighty fall. I don't see anything at all that Koscheck will be able to do to GSP in the rematch, but I will say this: between the two of them, there's going to be a whole bunch of double-shooting TUF alumni.
Mauricio Rua d. Lyoto Machida (KO) Daaaaaaaaaaamn. The implications, the drama and the future are all terribly interesting, but really, that's the only instinctual reaction I had to the fight. Machida was following his gameplan, alternating takedowns and strikes, and seemed to be doing well, but all it takes is one good right hook, and Shogun's counterstriking was just too good. If the winner of Rampage/Rashad gets the next shot as was initially intended, it could get ugly--Rampage is still built to get demolished by Shogun, but his lack of takedown defense might be a liability against Rashad. (Of course, if Rashad keeps it standing, it would be pretty hilarious. And quick.) Have to see how Machida recovers from this--fighters who stay undefeated at length often suffer in confidence when their record is snapped. As for Shogun, the world's his oyster for the moment.
It's indicative of just how high he's held in regard that even with the still-boiling hatred directed at him, Anderson Silva remains one of the first names that came up in title defense discussion. Anderson is wrapped up with Chael Sonnen, and after that, Dana wants him defending against Vitor Belfort--after that, we could see another champion vs. champion match.
Greatest hit from the undercard would seem to be Yoshiyuki Yoshida getting decisioned by Mike Guymon--at 2-3 in the UFC and only one victory in the last two years, he may be on the bubble. Depends on how desperate the UFC is to break into the Japanese market, at this point.
All in all, a good if not great card. All praise to the new champion.
Nice to see Shogun get what really should have been his late last year. Machida was doing OK until he got caught, but he didn't do anything with either takedown and getting in close with Rua's always dangerous. I like Lyoto though (it's not like he can be held responsible for wacky judging decisions) so hopefully he can bounce back and I expect he will. There's any number of good fights out there for Shogun, starting with the winner of Rampage v Rashad.
I always thought Mitrione was somewhat unfairly typecast as the useless oaf on TUF but he looked more well-rounded last than he ever has before. Not that he's going to make waves in the heavyweight division any time soon but he seems to have a willingness to develop that could at least make him pretty decent. Of course, it's worth bearing in mind it *was* against Kimbo who, with the greatest of respect, remains a very limited mixed-martial artist. I'm still not sure why doing slightly more than nothing on the ground against Houston freaking Alexander made people think he'd developed a ground game.
Daley v Koscheck reminded the world of why a decent wrestling background will trump striking more often than not. Daley showed only moderate takedown defence and once the fight was on the ground he had nothing.
I thought Stout was a little unlucky to lose the decision, but I'm afraid I just don't care enough about him to get worked up about it. Nothing against the guy, but he just inspires apathy in me for some reason.
Onto the aftermath....
Carl CX:Paul Daley has been fired from the UFC and will not be welcomed back. How quickly the mighty fall.
For the life of me I can't figure what logic allows Gilbert Yvel to pull a paycheck from the UFC whilst Daley gets a life ban. The only thing I can think is that Daley's indiscretion was done under the UFC banner in 2010. Not that he wasn't completely out of line but a 12-18 month suspension would have seemed more fitting to the crime.
Carl CX:As for Kimbo, well...he's Kimbo. I'm pretty surprised that Dana's talking as though he's all done: he's such a cash cow that I wouldn't have blamed him for keeping him on.
And James Toney is right there for him! I thought they would've milked him for a couple more fights, but he clearly isn't going improve significantly so if they want to give up a few easy PPV buys to give his spot to someone more talented, or with greater upside, then I have to applaud it.
Originally posted by dMrFor the life of me I can't figure what logic allows Gilbert Yvel to pull a paycheck from the UFC whilst Daley gets a life ban. The only thing I can think is that Daley's indiscretion was done under the UFC banner in 2010. Not that he wasn't completely out of line but a 12-18 month suspension would have seemed more fitting to the crime.
Hit it in one. It comes down to 'preserve the integrity of the UFC', essentially. In this case, though, it's a combination of that and the Strikeforce brawl a couple weeks back. Dana talked great (if deserved) amounts of shit about Strikeforce for letting it happen and for what he rightly assumed would be a near-total lack of response.
Reportedly, after the Strikeforce brawl, Dana had a talk with Nick Diaz for his role in it, the gist of which was "if you ever do anything like that in the UFC, you'll never fight with us again." The UFC is still struggling to a) make itself more legitimate than boxing, b) get legalized across the globe and c) crush Strikeforce back to regional status. This serves all three purposes: the UFC can point out that big boxing fights regularly involve assault that would not be permitted in their organization, they have clear examples of their willingness to self-police and ensure the integrity of their sport to reluctant lawmmakers, and they can point out that they've only had two cases of post-match assault (the other, very loosely, being Babalu/Heath) and both ended with immediate termination despite the relatively high positions held by either man whereas their primary American competition had a massive in-ring gang brawl on national television and their only punishment involved not considering a pair of fighters for their next card. Hell, they've spent millions of dollars making it clear that Anderson Silva is the world's best fighter, and they still publicly talk about cutting him for being an ass.
Basically: if you did something idiotic before you came to the UFC? Probably doesn't matter. If while employed by them you make the UFC look bad? You're probably gone.
-I might have been the only Canadian rooting for Belcher. I love that world's-worst tattoo. Plus, he can read my thoughts. "Give him a piledriver!" /gives him a piledriver "I WAS JOKING!"
-Also, I have no idea how Belcher survived the first round. Everything on his face said tapout, but he never actually tapped.
-I refuse to feel any sympathy for someone that fires an illegal knee and miss. Plus, some replays suggested that Daley scraped Kos's eye while he flung the knee.
-We were so caught up in watching replays of the post-fight attack that we missed Kos's post-fight interview, which is a shame. Josh Koscheck is a wonderful man, and I'm afraid I might end up cheering for him when he fights GSP, which could get me thrown out of my own house.
-I was so happy that Jason MacDonald got re-signed with the UFC, as he's my absolutely favorite lesser-known fighter. I am no longer happy, given his graphic leg injury.
-So let's see if I've got this right: Rua > Machida > Evans > Griffen > Rua > Machida > Evans... And two of those four already have a win over Rampage. The light heavyweight division is officially re-stacked.
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