By Jesse Holland
UFC 73: Stacked is in the books and I think the general consensus is that this night was about missed opportunities.
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira was finished. And I am appalled at the decision to let that fight continue.
Of course I'm referring to Herring's decision, not the referee's.
I'm sure the armchair elite will be swapping conspiracy theories for weeks to come, but the unfortunate truth is that Heath Herring had the biggest win of his career within reach and he let it go.
The ability to finish, or the "killer instinct" is not something you can learn in camp. You either have it or you don't.
Remember the fight against Jake O'Brien where Herring complained to the referee that O'Brien was blanketing him?
This is why Heath Herring is not a winner. He thinks a win is something you just come and pick up at the end of the week like a paycheck.
And what is with the head kick lately? Cro Cop should sue for royalties.
I know the UFC hype machine and related sites (us included) tried very hard to paint Nate Marquardt as a credible threat to Anderson Silva, but it was painfully obvious after just a few seconds that there is a dramatic difference in skill between not only Silva and Marquardt, but Silva and most of the other middleweights throughout the world.
Rich Franklin is not the answer. And with Filho and Kang fighting outside of the UFC, I'm not sure who is.
Speaking of fighting elsewhere, Mike Nickels is probably packing his bags. He's a nice guy, but he looked terrible on TUF 3, pulled out of the Jardine fight with back pain and has now been choked out by the "Veterinarian Psycho" Stephan Bonnar.
Not really the kind of resume that wows employers.
And pardon me for being a bit blasÃƒÂ© on the homecoming of Sgt. Steroid. I know he's not the first person to test positive and definitely won't be the last, but I'm at a point where I find it hard to forgive these kinds of personal "mistakes".
Tito made some mistakes himself and it ended up costing him the fight. No doubt a rematch is already being discussed. Spike TV anyone?
Like Herring, Tito had it in the bag but gave it away. And kudos for finally penalizing the cage-grab. Now let's make sure it's done with consistency and we might get somewhere.
"Kid" Robinson didn't get anywhere against Kenny Florian, but I'm giving him a free pass here because I didn't really expect him to. Though I'll admit I'm not a big fan of tapping from strikes. If it's not bad enough for the ref to stop it, why should you?
I wish Franca would have stopped the nearly invincible Sherk, but not unlike the Marquardt hype, Sherk is just too far out of Hermes league.
Dana should now bring Gomi to the UFC to face Sherk, or even better give us Sean Sherk vs. BJ Penn. Either scenario could ease the pain of losing the hundred clams I put on Franca for the win.
Hopefully Jorge Gurgel will clam up after this win. I got a kick out of his shtick back in TUF 2, but he went and stunk up the place against Danny Abbadi and then turned into a walking commercial for his new school in Ohio.
Jason Gilliam was quickly schooled by an impressive Chris Lytle. He may never join the ranks of the UFC elite, but Lytle is such a nice guy and a good father so I'm always happy to see him win.
Now 0-2 in the UFC, Gilliam should follow Sean Salmon's lead and go back to KOTC or another smaller promotion to regroup.
I may have to regroup myself after falling down to #10 over at MMAPlayground.com, but I still have bragging rights within the administrative circle since I am a whopping ten places AHEAD of UFCmania and twelve above Desert Dog.
In case you missed it, check out Druby Sunshine's excellent play-by-play of all the action at UFC 73. And leave him some praise in the comments section.
It might make him feel better after dropping to 32nd in the fantasy rankings.