Before I begin the event recap I have some big news from our commissioner about next season's payments. From now on we are using www.fantasysportsvault.com. Jay forwarded me the e-mails between him and his contact so these are the important details that you need to know about the site and how to play next season.
- The camp name is Mania1, which is the same as the Playground camp name.
- Fees have to be received by the date of Event 2 (UFC on FX 3), which is May 15th
- Entry fees will as always be $20
- No late fees can be accepted so sign up to fantasysportsvault.com and pay your entry fee ASAP
- International people can sign up to the site. Anyone that does not live in the US or Canada has to enter the FSV Corporate Office address as their place of residency. This address is 3210 California Avenue, Seattle, Washington, 98116.
- Payments can be made by e-check or paper check for domestic users and by credit/debit card for all users.
- First, second and third placed players will be paid out.
- There will be payouts for event winners.
- Funds can be transferred internally so you can transfer money to other players if you make side bets but you need to have funds in your account so that the admin can make the transfer for you.
Jay, if I've misinterpreted anything or left out any other important information then let me know and I'll edit this post. If anyone else has any queries then feel free to post them in the comments or e-mail myself or jay.
Now onto the event itself and yet again the high profile fight is going to be overshadowed by the controversial outcome as Carlos Condit took a unanimous decision victory over Nick Diaz. And in the immediate aftermath of the fight Diaz retired from MMA, claiming that he was tired of losing fights that he felt that he'd won. Personally I think that this was just a typical Diaz outburst but whatever you think about the scoring you can't argue that Nick performed at his best tonight. The fight itself was hyped up by many (including myself) as being a potential FOTY candidate but ultimately it didn't live up to expectations. Both Diaz and Condit are known for having excellent cardio and BJJ and for being aggressive strikers but tonight the difference was in the superior footwork of the Natural Born Killer as he consistently avoided Diaz's punches in bunches combinations against the fence, keeping his distance and attacking with kicks to the leg, head and body. It may not have been as exciting a performance as we've come to expect from Carlos but it clearly worked as Diaz was left frustrated by his inability to land meaningful strikes or combinations and it was Carlos who landed the greater volume of strikes. The most effective offense for Diaz was when he took control of Carlos' back in the final round and attacked firstly with a rear naked choke then an armbar but Carlos was able to defend and reverse the position just before the bell. It gave Nick the round but not the fight. The fight was close but ultimately the judges decided that Carlos' superior movement and kicks were more effective than Diaz pressing the action and controlling the centre of the cage. I personally had it 48-47 Diaz but it could have gone either way, if anything I was surprised that 2 judges scored it 49-46 as I thought that Nick took at least 1 of the opening 2 rounds but at the same time it depends on what criteria of scoring you place greater emphasis on. What can't be disputed is that Carlos had a great gameplan that neutralised Diaz's offense and that Nick had no answers for the movement of Carlos or his kicking based attack, it was a poor performance by his standards and controversial decision or not it quite simply wasn't up to the standards that he has set in the past. And throwing a temper tantrum at the end of the fight is not the way to get back to the top of the division either.
The co-main event was a Heavyweight bout featuring top 10 BJJ stand-out Fabricio Werdum taking on TUF 10 winner Roy Nelson. As usual in a fight pitting 2 BJJ black belts the majority of the fight took place on the feet, however surprisingly this was anything but sloppy kickboxing. In fact Fabricio put on a striking clinic especially in the opening round, bloodying up Big Country with brutal knees from the thai plum as well as knees to the body. Clearly training under Rafael Cordeiro has paid off as Werdum displayed excellent muay thai throughout the fight, although he did tire in the later rounds. Werdum also clearly had the advantage on the ground, taking Nelson's back in seconds when they first went to the ground and also baiting Roy into diving into his guard before attempting to land an armbar in similar fashion to how he infamously submitted Fedor Emelianenko, but Roy was able to defend and get back to his feet. Fabricio still has cardio issues but this was one of his best performances to date and for a man who is equally capable of being very good or very bad on his day this was exactly what he needed to reestablish himself as a top HW contender. As for Roy he once again showed his toughness as he took Werdum's best strikes and kept attacking despite having a busted nose. He was outclassed but you can't help but like a guy who never quits no matter how badly hurt he is and who constantly looks to finish fights. Great fight. Unfortunately for me this was changed from the hot bout at the last minute so I only won 11 points.
The Welterweight fight between Josh Koscheck and Mike Pierce was an absolute stinker where both guys cancelled each other out. Kos has been derided throughout his career for not sticking to gameplans or fighting to his strengths and unfortunately for him this was one of those performances. Despite seemingly having the wrestling advantage he only attempted 3 takedowns, landing 2 of them and doing nothing on top whilst Pierce was only able to take Kos down 1 out of 6 times. In the end that was enough to squeak a split decision but it was far from an impressive performance. Instead of mixing up his strikes with kicks and takedown attempts he spent the entire fight headhunting, looking for the big overhand right to KO Pierce and trying to set it up by throwing out an open palm with his left hand which resulted in eyepokes that could have led to a point deduction. Pierce was able to stick to his gameplan and gave Kos trouble throughout the fight, landing several punches from the clinch and in the striking exchanges but ultimately his downfall was his inability to consistently take Kos down. He made it an ugly fight and on another day may have taken the decision, in fact if Kos hadn't have taken him down in the second and third rounds then he would have won. This fight proved that Pierce is capable of fighting the elite of the division and that Kos is still arguably the most hated man in the UFC (Rashad Evans and Michael Bisping are his main rivals for that title) but still has the same flaws that have prevented him from winning any championships in MMA. On a side not Herb Dean's officiating was abysmal, he was constantly rushing Kos to work and was seemingly favouring Pierce throughout the fight. The favouritism shown by referees towards certain fighters is getting increasingly blatant during every event.
The Bantemweights once again produced excitement as top contenders Renan Barao and Scott Jorgensen clashed. Barao was the favourite coming in, having not lost a fight since his debut in 2005 and impressing in the WEC and UFC including a dominant first round submission victory over Brad Pickett. Throughout the fight Scott looked to dictate the pace and put Renan under pressure but was unable to take him down at all during the fight and was reversed every time he pushed Barao against the fence. Renan's superior strength and diverse striking attack which included flying knees and spinning kicks to the head and body was too much for Scott to deal with and despite slowing down in the third round his excellent TDD and superior striking was enough to secure a decision victory. Scott made it a tough fight for him as he always does but the better man won. Renan in my opinion should get the next title shot against the winner of Dominick Cruz and Urijah Faber, although his cardio will have to be better than it was tonight to match the pace that those 2 set. And it's a shame that Mike Goldberg spent more time talking about Jose Aldo than Renan Barao especially during the first round, I guess every Brazilain in the lighter divisions has to be compared to Aldo but I found it incredibly disrespectful to a top talent.
Ed Herman once again impressed in the opening bout. After a mixed record following his stint on TUF 3 and a horrific knee injury suffered against Aaron Simpson I honestly thought that Herman's career was done. Since coming back he has looked like a different fighter, finishing both Tim Credeur and Kyle Noke in impressive fashion in 2011. In the past Herman struggled against wrestlers so I expected Clifford Starks to be a tough opponent and during the first round he was. Starks landed clean on Herman on several occasions with big right hands but in the end it was Herman's superior grappling that sealed the victory. He landed a nice double leg takedown in the opening round that once again showed that superior credentials don't always mean that you have better wrestling in MMA and he briefly threatened on top before losing the position. However he made up for that mistake in the second round, landing a nice trip takedown from against the fence and quickly took Clifford's back. From there it was academic and Ed was able to lock in the rear naked choke and force the tap, earning him his third consecutive finish since his return from injury. Ed still has the same flaws on the feet that he's always had but he finally seems to be living up to his potential in the cage.
I can't comment on the new UFC intro as unfortunately I missed it but I was disheartened to see the same terrible death metal song used in the promo for the event. However I was impressed with the improved production values during the event, the new clock is far more visually appealing and the usage of statistics during the fights is a much needed improvement. It's something that Strikeforce have used for years now so it is nice to see the UFC finally displaying the number of strikes thrown in fights as it progresses, plus it gives Goldberg something to talk about without sounding like a moron. That didn't prevent him from claiming that Josh Koscheck is the most improved striker in MMA, that Roy Nelson is a true champion or that Fabricio Werdum's thai clinch is as dangerous as Anderson Silva's but it's an improvement at least.
Now with the recap out of the way follow me after the jump for the latest stats.
This week has seen some big changes in the money pool as 3 players were cut for not paying on time including the leader TBranson, which suddenly opened up the league and saw a certain moped riding Sith lord take the top spot by default. And tonight saw a return to the high scoring ways of the Mania league with new season record scores set by the top 2 ranked players and further embarrassment for a certain Texan as well as the SOPA supporter with smelly fingers.
Congratulations Darth Drew on being the first loser. Because despite scoring a new season record total of 99 you were pipped at the post by BNF who scored an outstanding 101. That'll teach you for bragging all the way through the event thread. BNF earnt himself $20 by correctly picking 10/11 fights with 6 perfect scores (Thompson, Poirier, Herman, Barao, Natal and Werdum), only failing to correctly pick Carlos Condit. This was also a new record improvement in scores from one event to the next and sees BNF move up from 11th to 2nd place and establish himself as the Jedi's Chosen One. Now don't let Darth Drew corrupt you to the Darkside of the pool because of your love for
Natalie Portman sarah. And yes making references to the horrific prequels is a low point for me.
As much as it pains me I have to give the Dark Lord credit where it is due, tonight he performed exceptionally and increased his lead at the top from 4 to 21 points. Drew did it by correctly picking 10/11 fights and like BNF his only mistake was picking Nick Diaz. However he wasn't quite as strong at picking methods which ultimately cost him the $20, picking 5 fights perfectly (Herman, Brown, Barao, Natal and Werdum). However with a 21 point lead at the top I doubt that Darth Drew is that bothered about missing out on an event win.
What happened Dubs? This was a new low for you as you only managed to correctly pick 5/11 fights correctly, which were Poirier, Herman, Brown, Figuoera and Barao earning you just 31 points. You deserved to come last just for picking Daniel Stittgen alone. You owe BNF a sig of shame and fall behind jay in the overall standings.
After a strong start to the season tonight was an absolute disaster for the big hearted Canadian Scottidog. I feel bad for kicking a nice guy like you while you're down but it has to be done. Like Dubs you only picked 5/11 fights correctly although this crucially included the hot bout and a single perfect score (Herman by second round submission). Only Poirier, Herman, Barao, Natal and Koscheck were correct giving you a score of 36 that sees you fall from 5th to 15th, just a point above the past it Agar. Going from second top at an event with 73 to second last at the next with 36 has to hurt as well, if you're going to be inconsistent then do it right like BNF.
Best reaction to losing the Hot Bout
kg12: I hope a big massive neon sign from a casino bar crashes down on him, just Patches from Dodgeball.
Best Batman reference/unambig meltdown of the night
unambig: Riddle me this. Why is Riddle a retard? Was he a botched abortion?
Peregrine: (Herman) is gonna take a big shit. Starks all day.
Peregrine: my stream just went to shit
Rolandando: weren't you the guy defending SOPA?
Maybe he was taking a page out of the Stinky Fingers playbook for trolling or maybe he really is a hypocrite. You be the judge.
MMA Playground season 12: The Dirty Dozen
5 / 10 events complete
Highest score: BNF 101 UFC 143
Lowest score: TuffGong 20 UFC on FOX 2
Biggest lock: Charles Oliveira (picked by everyone)
UFC on FOX 2 Biggest underdog: Nate Diaz UFC 141 (picked by Ricky Dooby and TuffGong)
Most improved: BNF 31 UFC on FX 1, 101 UFC 143 (+70)
Fastest decline: Rolandando 96 UFC on FX 1, 47 UFC on FOX 2 (-49)