Ed Wood wrote:And in this case I'm actually inclined toward the opposite impression of the fight, between the strange and somewhat anticlimactic finishes and the protracted bouts between older fighters struggling to maintain the fitness to persevere in the later rounds.
Ed, today I'm more composed. I was elated to see Sonnen get smashed. I respect his ability but he took the trash talk too far. He said he'd pat Anderson's wife on the butt and make sure she made him a steak just the way he liked it. (Shades of Clubber Lang, Rocky III) What really bothered me was he talked about Brazil. He said Anderson and his friends were playing in the mud as Chael and his friends celebrated American technology and ingenuity. Said he'd get a care package and send them some soap. Ed, I wanted him to get his ass kicked. I loved the way he got his ass kick. Slipped and fell on his face. He got finished in a fetal ball. I love it when someone who has it coming gets theirs. People were high-fiving in the sports bar I was in on an AF base. Black and white (well, most of the white fans wanted Sonnen--understandable, let's face it. Guy looks like a rock star or a movie star. He took Anderson down in 4 seconds!) Any way, there was absolutely nothing anticlimactic to me.
The undercard fights were marked by contests that were quite close and should therefore have been fairly intriguing but I generally found myself somewhat ambivalent even when I disagreed with the decision rendered (the Tibau v. Nurmagomedov fight) and overall just managed a sort of Bronx cheer appreciation for Melvin Guillard's thoughtful victory because he managed to go fifteen minutes without throwing himself into some submission or other.
Tibau beat the young guy, IMO. Nurmagomedov cried at the end and you could tell he thought he lost. I thought perhaps he earned a split decision, but there is NO WAY that should have been unanimous 30-27 across the board.
Guillard was a surprise to me, too. Usually in a high level fight he pounds a guy for two minutes and does something silly and gets submitted. I have never seen Melvin go that long and be that composed.
The McKenzie v. Mendes and Kim v. Maia fights were both unfortunate, the former because McKenzie really shouldn't be booked in fights against someone of Mendes' caliber and it showed very quickly and the later because I was almost sure that it was going to turn into a terrible kickboxing fight and it's unfortunate that it ended so quickly after Maia showed a willingness to actually fight to his strengths. Hopefully he'll continue to eschew his bland standup at welterweight.
I saw McKenzie put a beat down on one fighter on TUF, but you're right Ed, he was out of his league. I told my son it looked like an adult beating up a kid.
The Maia/Zombie fight disappointed me, too. I think what happened is he suffered a cartilage separation. Perhaps superior strength from coming down in weight but rehydrating gave Maia a huge advantage. Seemed like he put the body lock and squeezed up. That with the way the Korean Zombie landed put a lot of pressure in one spot. I didn't see a strike that could break a rib, but the way he landed all the stress went to his side. Weird injury.
The next two fights might have been much more appealing if I'd had a sentimental attachment to those involved but without that added inducement I felt both were less than exceptional. I'm no more convinced that Cung Le is relevant as an UFC fighter after the performance Patrick Cote turned in in a losing effort and Griffin managed to very emphatically underscore his weaknesses as a fighter, defense in all arenas, while nevertheless beating Tito Ortiz by virtue of not turning to stone after the first round.
Ed, those next two fights to me were very appealing. I never thought much of Cung Le before, but he fought a very strategic, intelligent fight IMO. Cote and he both looked a little soft, but particularly the latter. Still, it was like a chess match IMO.
Forrest definitely has no defense. Tito had no gas. I wonder why he looked so red. A lot of guys look red like that from performance enhancers. Ortiz did appear to be a statue for a while there. I think his emotions might have got too him. Still, Forrest allowed Tito to look pretty good and the fight was at least entertaining. It went the way I thought it would. At least Tito put on a good show in spurts. I thought they could have given him a sentimental draw. So did Forrest. One of the knockdowns was fairly impressive.
The title fight did at least highlight the strengths of each fighter very well: phenomenal takedowns in the case of Sonnen and an amazing ability to inflict a lot of damage in a relatively small numbers of strikes and short time in the case of Silva. Sonnen remains a solid fighter who is a very bad stylistic matchup for Silva because of his wrestling but the combination of Silva's potential to end a fight standing very quickly and Sonnen's historically very bad submission defense on the ground makes it unlikely that Sonnen would win more than a fight or two out of ten if the two were continuously matched up. Hopefully another challenger will manage to distinguish himself in short order because as of this moment it's hard to identify a clear cut next matchup for Silva, most likely it will be one of Hector Lombard, Mark Munoz or Chris Weidman.
Agree totally on the match ups. Great wrestling is Silva's kryptonite. The difference this fight was that Silva really did go to his strength on the ground, Chael's weakness. I felt like I was watching an animal fight where a gator and a python were fighting. I have to say both guys are very exciting fighters. It ended fast.
On Silva's next match up, I wonder if he wouldn't consider stepping out of the Octagon now. He's only 37, which isn't that old these days in MMA, but he's got nothing to do but go down IMO.