Two welterweights duked it out last night (July 21, 2012) as veteran Brian Ebersole returned on short notice against a very large, strong and powerful James Head in the second bout of the evening on the UFC 149 main card in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
After a rather entertaining start, this was the fight that ended up starting the horrible string of boredom that closed out the show and had fans chanting "BS" to the UFC by the time the night was over.
Brian Ebersole has always been one of the most entertaining and unpredictable veterans in the UFC ever since he started fighting for the promotion early last year.
So why was he attempting to pull off one of the most amateur and ridiculous fight strategies in recent memory? And what happens next for both fighters?
Follow me after the jump for our James Head vs. Brian Ebersole UFC 149 post-fight review and analysis.
Early on, this fight wasn't so bad. Ebersole had his first few takesdowns stuffed badly by Head, who turned on the aggression and really started throwing big punches both in space and in the clinch. Head kept a strong pressure on the veteran and did a good job of repeatedly backing him into the fence and once he had him there, he really opened up with the combinations on the feet.
Ebersole returned fire in the second round by ramping up the awkward levels. He began throwing strikes from strange angles and attacking at random times which confused Head and forced him to take a step back in terms of his offensive output. The veteran also continued shooting in for takedowns despite the fact that he couldn't get them and was getting stuffed easily.
Head's biggest mistake was finally giving in and attacking Ebersole with a guillotine choke, which was something that Ebersole wanted because he had full confidence in ability to defend the submission and wind up on top.
If the first couple rounds were frustrating, it was the third that turned this bout from "ho-hum" to "unbearable."
Ebersole refused to engage Head in the stand-up and instead decided that since shooting from a distance for takedowns was doing so awful, he'd better try it again for another 10 times and only do that until the final horn rang. Obviously, this failed to work and thankfully, when the scores were announced, the judges rewarded Head for actually putting forth successful offense throughout the fight with his punches and defensive grappling.
For Brian Ebersole, this was just dreadful. It was like he was competing by the motto "If at worst you don't succeed, make zero adjustments and try to same stupid thing another 30 times because he'll for sure screw up next time." I just don't understand why Ebersole refused to make adjustments and why his corner was so insistent on him using his wrestling. When he was mixing up his attack, he actually was finding some success. His wrestling did him no favors last night whatsoever. He fought like a man who just fought four weeks ago and wasn't able to fully prepare for a main card level opponent.
I'm expecting Ebersole to drop down to lightweight for his next fight. I think an interesting opponent for his debut would be someone like Jacob Volkmann. Other candidates include Gleison Tibau or perhaps fellow veteran Sean Sherk.
For James Head, he was the bigger, stronger man in the cage and he fought like it. I can't blame him too much for the result of this fight because when he was in control, he was actually pushing the action and throwing combinations. It's not his fault that his opponent got takedown fever and decided to shoot in from a distance with no set-up whatsoever about 10 times in a row. Head's takedown defense was on point and he looked pretty good all-around here. It will be interesting to see how he performs in his next opportunity.
So what did you think, Maniacs?
Were you perplexed by Ebersole's "takedown from a distance or bust" strategy? Did any of you expect Head to pull off the victory last night?