Well, another UFC event happened last night and another zillion decisions were on the card. Yes, the main event was one of the greatest fights of all time, but that's not the point. The point is that MMA is pretty much broken at its highest level, the UFC and the decisionfests.
If you don't want to read this rant, fuck off down below to the rest of the reports cards. But in my opinion there are a number of simple ways the UFC can fix a sport that is clearly broken in a number of severe ways that are killing off fans in a hurry.
1. Implement "Pride" rules for a 10-minute first round. This separates the men from the game-players. Having a gruelling first round means guys can't just plan 5-minute spurts. They have to actually try and finish a fucking guy.
2. Fight hard to change the rules to allow soccer kicks. It would prevent so much of the bullshit where a guy turtles and is invulnerable to attack. I also think punches to the back of the head should be perfectly legal, but I guess I'm not a doctor.
3. Quicker referee breaks on stalling tactics. Okami shouldn't be allowed to lay on Lombard and hug him without punches or guard passing. Hendo shouldn't be allowed to lay on Fedor for four minutes on a fence. Break that shit up, dumb fucks.
4. No "saved by the bell." Jason Miller beats Jake Shields, instead of a stupid decision he shouldn't have won. If a fighter is close to a finish, the referee can determine that the round goes into "extra time." Although I hesitate to give refs extra rules to work around because, let's face it, they're fucking incompetent, I do think it would help the sport. I don't like the idea of "yellow cards" so shut up about that.
5. Incentives on finishing or disincentives for decisions. Punish fighters who try to go to the judges. No fighter should ever want to go to a judge. Ever. Fights that go to a judges' decision should be considered a failure of a fight.
6. Get rid of the judges and hand out draws. That will wake fighters the fuck up in a hurry and make them work for a finish. Imagine if GSP knew that Dan Hardy would get a draw against him if he goes 25 minutes? You better believe he'd start finishing guys.
I don't know about you, but I don't want to watch 40 consecutive rounds without a finish. That's just fucking stupid. UFC 1, as shitty as the fighting was, had about 10 minutes of action. We've gone to the opposite extreme.
My predictions: 7 for 11. The bed-shitting is over. For now. (It continues for Joben, however).
Card's report card: Let's face it. The best fight of the year doesn't negate eight consecutive fights of nothing. I give it a C-. Well, I had higher hopes for this card after UFC 157: Henderson versus Machida, but unfortunately we got what we've come to expect from the watered down UFC product.
Fight of the night: Brian Stann versus Wanderlei Silva
Knockout of the night: Wanderlei Silva (KO of the year). Mark Hunt did NOT knock out Struve, it was a verbal submission.
Submission of the night: Nobody
Biggest upset: Wanderlei Silva
Worst judges' decision: Diego Sanchez. Candidate for robbery of the year.
Most boring fight: Okami versus Lombard, but all eight decisions are candidates
Beatdown of the night: Nobody
[DISCLAIMER NOTE - All UFC images in this post were sourced from Facebook.com/UFC and are the intellectual property of Zuffa LLC/Josh Hedges.]
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Well, my general opinion of Guimaraes after watching him fight Dan "Hot Garbage" Stittgen was that Marcelo is easily the second worst fighter in the UFC's 170-pound division. That opinion hasn't changed. Guimaraes, an alleged Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu blackbelt, decided to stand and bang with Lim, resulting in a fuck-you-knee to the face.
The funny thing is that Lim was actually getting outstruck prior to the knockout, and a mixture of bad timing, horrible fighting technique, led to the inevitable. Like most Brazilians, Guimaraes lacked not for aggression. Brains, on the other hand...
Anyone who watched Lim fight has to be disappointed with the performance. Like a lot of Asian fighters, he backed straight up under pressure with his chin up and hands down and if not for a decent chin he might have been knocked out. By the fucking Jiu-Jitsu guy.
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A lot of people felt Kang got robbed in this one. I didn't. First of all, Kang's gameplan was mainly takedowns and then not much of anything. Bruce Leeroy, however, landed twice as many strikes, worked submissions, sweeps, and put it on Kang as the Korean began to gas.
Round one could have gone either way, although Kang's takedowns probably sealed it for him. But Cacares easily outstruck Kang, even from the bottom. He then put a beating on him in the third. Let's face it, Kang was saved by the bell. So I'm comfortable with this decision.
I like Cacares a lot, but the kid needs to up his intensity. He's been handed a bunch of freebies in a row in the UFC, and I feel like if he's tossed in against the sharks he's going to get ripped to pieces.
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I don't remember much about this fight except that the Japanese fighter almost got the finish in the third round and would have made me very happy indeed. I also remember Tokudome jumping into the "Fourth-degree Brazilian blackbelt" guard whenever he wanted without so much as a submission attempt. Whatever cereal box Marcello grabbed that belt from isn't helping him.
Marcello is like Guimaraes in many respects: Jiu-Jitsu guys with shit standup deciding to stand and bang until they get knocked out. They also have a low fight IQ in common. When guys like Rani Yahya and Demian Maia are playing to their strengths to great success, it's pathetic to see these two pretending to be Tyson.
As for Tokudome, I wouldn't apply for a green card just yet. The UFC doesn't need any more pillowfisted lay and prayers in the stacked 155 division. Save him for the next time the UFC rolls into Japan.
Winner: What the fuck did I JUST say?
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I don't know why Mizugaki sobbed like they'd just cancelled Pokemon on TV. He didn't really win a convincing fight. The first could have gone either way, he nearly swallowed his tongue in a fight-ending choke attempt in the second, and he won the third. Not exactly a candidate for Renan Barao.
To quote Vinny Magalhaes from Twitter: "Mizugaki's post fight 'celebration' just reminded me that TUF Brazil 2 is coming up soon."
Caraway seems to have a pretty great ground game and his chin is not to be trifled with, but like many fighters on this card he seemed to be lacking both heart and a sense of urgency. To finish a fight you need a little mix of rage and aggression with intermittent technique. See: main event.
Winner: I think I've already called for this fight in the past, but I'd like to see him against Raphael Assuncao.
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A couple of people saw this as an early fight of the night. I thought it was pretty hella boring. Riki Fukuda has a tenacious style but he lacks the crisp and smooth striking of Tavares. That much should have been obvious after the first round. But did he change his gameplan? Not. One. Fucking. Bit.
Although Tavares outclassed Fukuda everywhere, I was disappointed in both fighters. Brad didn't really push himself for his own takedowns or elevate a sense of urgency at any time. He was on cruise control early and was clearly aiming for a decision. When you're the fourth decision in a row, you might want to push the pace a bit.
Winner: Frankly, I think Tavares should try and make 170. Nick Ring won robberies against both Riki Fukuda and Court McGee. Give him Brad.
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Frankly, if I'm Joe Silva I'm cutting both guys. Nobody wants to watch Donkey Kong Kim mount another man for 10 minutes and not know the first thing about trying to finish, while waving to his corner like a fucking school girl and doing stupid donkey kong strikes.
That shit doesn't impress Dana fucking White and it sure as shit didn't impress me. Look, we got it. Siyar Bahadurzada was about as good on his back as a beetle, but when you dominate a guy that badly and can't really hurt him it's embarrassing for you. Not the dominated fighter.
Donkey Kong was being a prima donna out there. Waving to the crowd, smiling, and just generally being a complete fucking tool. Yes, we all expected this. But it sucked balls.
Winner: Cut him.
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My scouting report on this one was perfect. Yahya dominated Hirota on the ground, but gassed after two rounds, and was unable to finish the Japanese fighter. Although Hirota probably won't get much credit from fans, he's one tough sumbitch and nearly impossible to finish.
Although Yahya looked as dominant as Nik Lentz out there (hint hint) I thought it was troubling he gassed so early in round 3. By the time the bell sounded at the 15-minute mark, Yahya was ready to collapse. This is one of those instances where a five-rounder would have separated the boy from the men.
Yahya has all the skill in the world to be a dominant fighter at 145, but the kid needs to hit a cardio routine and stick with it. You can't just fight for 10 minutes unless you finish the guy.
Winner: Like I said, Nik Lentz. Or whatever the fuck happened to Hacran Dias?
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Same comments as Dong Hyun Kim. I'd cut Okami. He's an MMA sport killer and a fan killer. He's boring to watch, does little on the feet, lays on guys, and wins dull decisions. The only significant moments happened in the third round, but Okami got the decision. The question you have to ask yourself is... why?
Okami took Lombard down a few times, but what did he do with the position? Well, he buried his head in Lombard's midget chest. He landed the softest feather punches seen since Michael Bisping was last in the cage. He reached no dominant positions. In short, he did nothing.
Lombard was right to fear Okami. Like the fired Jon Fitch from the 170-pound division, Okami is a contender derailer, and nothing more. He has rudimentary standup that works because he's very tall. He has incredible wrestling. And he likes to lay on guys. And in MMA judging, you really don't need anything else.
But for MMA fans you need a fuckload more. You need to be entertaining. You need to be threatening in positions. You need to do more than roll on your back, exhausted, and get the fuck beat out of you in the third round.
I'd rather watch Hector Lombard lose 20 times in a row in a war, than watch Okami win every fight from now until the end of his career using his bullshit lay and pray. And those people who are calling for Hector to be cut... what's wrong with you? People were begging and praying for this guy to be in the UFC for the past five years. Give him a chance to fight someone other than the two most boring fighters at 185.
Winner: Fuck Okami, cut him.
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Catchweight : Diego Sanchez (F) versus Takanori Gomi (B+)
Prediction: Sanchez via decision
Result: Sanchez via robbery of the year
It's been a rough year for your humble narrator. First, Nick Diaz fought a boring fight against Carlos "The Running Man" Condit. Then Nate Diaz was beaten like a Chinese factory worker for five rounds by Benson Henderson after robbing true 155-champ Frankie Edgar. Then Chris Leben lost the most boring fight of his career to Derek Brunson, who was easily knocked out by a Jiu-Jitsu guy in Strikeforce. Then Thiago Silva popped for marijuana metabolites. Now this.
All my favourite fighters have been slowly but surely going to shit. Who's left to cheer for among the old school badass fighters? Well, ok, there's Wanderlei Silva. But not too many. Most of the guys winning today are decisionaters like Bendo.
Diego Sanchez was dirty as fuck in this fight. He looked terrible. He was timid, backed up the entire time, and showed the fire of the old Nightmare once and only once. The last 10 seconds of the fight, which presumably won him that round just like it won Wanderlei Silva the bullshit nod over Michael Bisping.
Many people have been blaming Greg "The Fighter Killer" Jackson, but I don't think so. I heard Jackson screaming for aggression and takedowns the whole fight. Sanchez ignored his corner. He held his left hand at his waist like he was King fucking Mo and tried to cock the right for a KO punch that never came. Takanori Gomi lit him up the entire fight.
What makes Diego Sanchez such a great fighter is an overwhelming confidence and fire in himself. Every fight he's been in he manages to take a lack of skill and overcome it with desire. His aggression against the blanket Guida won him the split decision. His screaming suplex of Thiago Silva. His insane blitz against Martin Kampmann. Where the fuck was that Diego? Even when he would lose he was fun to watch, like the third round shitkicking he gave to Jake Ellenberger.
Added to all this, he couldn't even make weight. At this point I think there's two options for Diego. Train harder, make weight, and watch tape from 2009 to learn how to fight. Or fucking retire. I don't want to see last night's Diego ever again.
Winner: Diego needs to think long and hard about how shitty he fought last night. And he does not deserve Nate Diaz, who I think would finish last night's Diego easily.
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Hi, my name is Stefan Struve. I'm 7 feet tall with an 85 inch reach and could literally front kick Mark Hunt all night without him reaching me. But I'm also European and I have a pea sized brain. I like to stand in front of K-1 kickboxing champions well within their short, stubby reach, and stick my chin out so they can KO me. I do this because, as a European, I like to choke in important fights to establish the fact that people from my continent can't win a UFC belt and shouldn't try.
Hi, my name is Mark Hunt. I'm a midget for 265 but I'm fat as fuck. I have huge power and almost no ground game. Thankfully, there are people like Stefan Struve and Cheikh Kongo, dumb fuck Euros both, who like to stand right in front of me and stick out their chin. Otherwise I'd have been retired years ago. Even though I have four minutes of cardio, every single fighter I've been matched against refuses to exploit this weakness. It's great, mate.
This shit fight didn't deserve a bonus. Struve was a moron. Hunt was so tired he looked like a feather could blow him over. The first person to call for a Mark Hunt title fight against Cain is going to get my official "you're a moron" stamp of approval.
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Light Heavyweight : Wanderlei Silva (A+) versus Brian Stann (A)
Prediction: Stann via KO2
Result: Silva via KO2
This was everything a fight should be. Fast-paced, exciting, aggressive, up and down, hits and misses, drama and suspense. And that was just the first fucking round. Take note, UFC fighters. This is MMA. Whatever the fuck Okami and Donkey Kong Kim were doing wasn't.
Stann and Silva banged in a beautiful display of balls-to-the-wall brawling. And the magical miracle KO by Wanderlei just goes to show that no matter how glassy his chin gets, he's still one of the most dangerous motherfuckers on the planet.
There's nothing bad to be said about Brian Stann's performance either. He went all out, knocked Silva down a few times, and fought his heart out. I will watch Stann fight and lose like that any time over the decisionfest lovers.
Winner: At his age and rep, Wanderlei should fight big names only. And even if it doesn't make sense, it would be sweet to see Lombard bang with Silva (I think Wanderlei said he's going back to 185).
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That's it. See you guys in two weeks when Nick Diaz submits GSP in the first round to win the UFC welterweight title and send fans into a deep depression.