As if UFC 72 wasn't in enough trouble already.
UFC Fight Night 10 was a great card that like the sport itself was diverse and well rounded.
We had KO's, decisions and what was with the triangle choke?
And also like the sport, it delivered.
As expected, fan apathy was a major factor going into tonight's event. Even on free TV, a card devoid of star attractions and big name fighters is a tough sell. But in the end I was pleasantly surprised.
Before I dive into the card, I'd like to just vent about the McFedries/Radev stoppage. Now I know Steve Mazzagatti to this day takes a lot of heat for the Edwards/Thompson stoppage, but Jorge Alonso puts him to shame with his reaction to the McFedries KO.
Not since Gary Goodridge elbowed Paul Herrera into the land of numbered sheep have I winced like that at a knockout. Anyone who disagrees with me should:
1. Watch the replay of Radev being carried out on a stretcher.
2. Take a close look at the stoppage of Johnson/Reiner for a look at how it should be done.
And shame on McFedries for trying to prove a point. I know, I know, keep fighting until the referee stops it, but at some point you have to realize (even through adrenaline and momentum) that your opponent is on ice.
Maybe he was punishing Radev for his loss against Martin Kampmann at UFC 68. For those with a short–term memory or not enough Jackson's to order the event, Kampmann choked out McFedries with an arm triangle but refused to break the hold despite Herb Dean repeatedly beating on him. No doubt that McFedries has lethal hands, but his ground game is going to cost him against anyone smart enough to avoid striking with him.
And while I'm ranting about one KO, I might as well finish with the other. I know Anthony Johnson is patting himself on the back for his KO against Chad Reiner, but Johnson himself was rattled just prior to that.
Sometimes a slugfest can be rewarding (see Stout/Fisher) but for the most part I'm not a big fan of it because it doesn't require a tremendous amount of skill. When two guys go in there and swing for the fences it really just comes down to who connects first. I felt that way about Jardine/Alexander as well back at UFC 71.
Reiner at 0–2 may find himself looking for a new place to fight. I think Johnson will be back but with just one fight (and 13 seconds) of experience in the UFC he still has a long way to go and a lot to prove.
And what was with Johnson's pre–fight promo? Very few fighters can pull that shtick off. Rampage is one of them. Johnson is not. Win some fights before you get too crazy.
Speaking of crazy, how relentless was Thiago Tavares? From his grappling to his ground–and–pound, he ran a clinic on the veteran Jason Black. When people talk about pushing the pace that's about as good an example as you can get.
Now 2–0 in the UFC, look for Tavares to get some upcoming airtime. I would love to see Tavares/Florian.
I don't think this loss hurt's Black's career but I have to question his tenure at 155. When Joe Silva says you look like "Abe Lincoln with rabies" at the weigh–ins it might be time to reconsider your drop in weight classes.
Not to long ago, we posted some disappointing news about UFCmania's sponsorship of Jon Fitch. Now that wound has been reopened as Fitch turned in another outstanding performance against a very tough opponent.
What impressed me the most about this fight was that if you watch how Fitch competes, you'll notice how he's always working. Tied up against the cage? Hammer fists to the thigh. Slammed to the mat? Punches to the ribs and head.
Even when he was in danger of being choked out he was able to maintain his composure and work through it. And when he came out for round two he was a much different fighter. Gunny Highway said it best in Heartbreak Ridge: Improvise, overcome, adapt.
If Fitch doesn't face a top five welterweight on a major PPV in his next fight it will be an absolute travesty. I know I'm a biased Fitch fan, but the guy does happen to be 6–0 in the Octagon and on a thirteen fight winning streak.
One of the more popular MMA forums just had a thread titled: Dear UFC, please scrap Franklin vs. Okami in favor of Stout vs. Fisher III.
Not only was it funny, but it was also a pretty good idea. This was one of the better fights you'll see this year and Spencer Fisher looked sharper than ever. I won't call it one of the all–time greats because from an MMA standpoint this was strictly a stand–up war with no groundwork whatsoever.
Believe me, I'm not complaining because the entire fifteen minutes was an edge–of–your–seat war. Sam Stout may call himself "Hands of Stone" but after the punishment he took from Fisher I think it's safe to say the rest of him is made of stone as well. Look for both of these guys to be back real soon. They've earned it.
I'm sure UFCmania will be checking in with his thoughts from being in attendance just as soon as he gets home (and sobers up). Until then, be sure to leave your feedback on tonight's card in the comments section below.