“You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go” — Bob Dylan
So after last week’s exciting showdown between Josh Koscheck and MMA’s most famous male nurse, Brad Tate, this weeks’ TUF had nary a glimpse of Brad. Talk about loose ends. That’s just bad storytelling. Was Brad asked to leave? Did he leave on his own? Was he there but they chose to cut him out as to not take focus away from the two fights on the show? Whatever, but you can’t just build your story up to such a dramatic showdown as TUF did last week and then just drop it like it never happened.
The whole thing pisses me off. Let me tell you something about storytelling – and make no mistake about it TUF, through editing, comes storytelling – you have to wrap up storylines. Especially major ones. Seriously. A one-minute scene could’ve resolved it.
Anyway, fight-wise, a lot of people didn’t give “Deadliest Catch” Cody McKenzie a chance against Nam Phan but I did. Cody aside from his “McKenzietine” is a tough, unorthodox scrapper. It’s hard to fight a dude when you can’t anticipate how he’s going to fight. And for the first round, Cody proved that to stymie Nam with his game plan and lanky, unorthodox attack… but in the second round Cody was gassed and Nam was able to drop Cody with a hard body shot and finish him with strikes. If Cody trains hard and rounds out his game while at the same time not losing his unpredictable style, he can definitely have a bright future in MMA.
The other semi-finals fight was Jonathan Brookins against Sako Chivitchian. The only thing you need to know about Brookins is that he hung with Jose Aldo for two rounds. Brookins added another first round submission victory over a tough Armenian to his resume.
Thursday’s WEC 52 was the second-to-last card from the promotion before its merger with the UFC. While not the best WEC card ever, it still proved the WEC consistently delivers the goods. And made me realize how much I’ll miss it when it’s gone come 2011.
Demetrious Johnson showed why he’s called “Mighty Mouse” by showing a power and skill that belies his small stature and finishing the bigger, tough Damacio Page with a third-round Guillotine. Joseph Benavidez also showed that power and skill can come in a small, compact package as he outclassed Wagnney Fabiano to a second-round Guillotine Choke victory. Erik Koch made quick work of Francisco Rivera with a head kick that he finished off with punches.
In the main event, “The California Kid” Urijah Faber made the wise decision to drop down to bantamweight where he will have more of a size and power advantage – and where Jose Aldo doesn’t fight. Faber’s brutalized leg via Aldo’s kicks is very happy about this move. Despite Takeya Mizugaki’s heart and toughness, he had little to trouble Faber, who dominated him decisively until Faber sang him a lullaby in the form of a Rear Naked Choke in the first stanza. The question remains how Faber will fare against top-level bantamweights like Benavidez and current champ Dominic Cruz, but it will be exciting to watch Faber as he tries to climb his way back to championship glory at 135lbs., especially considering that Cruz’s only career loss came via first-round Guillotine from Faber almost four years ago at featherweight.
Friday night I got to catch the last three fights of MFC 27: Breaking Point. I heard I missed some good ones. Thanks, Time-Warner cable for not carrying HDNet anymore.
Dwayne Lewis vs. Razak Al-Hassan was a boring Split Decision victory for Lewis.
Ryan Ford vs. Pete Spratt was a serious grudge match since in their last fight Ford landed some blows after the end of the round that Spratt claimed cost him the fight, as he was still rocked going into the next round. However, things didn’t go any better for Spratt this time around as Ford out-struck Spratt and submitted him with a Rear Naked Choke in the second round. Good fight.
In the MFC Middleweight Championship bout, Jiu-Jitsu ace “The Phenom” Douglas Lima was getting outwrestled and ground-and-pounded by Jesse Juarez for most of their fight when Lima was able to scramble and slap on a slick Triangle Armbar combo in the third round for the victory – a “TriArmbargle” as Senor Chael calls it.
Saturday, or whenever the hell it was in Germany, was UFC 122. Alessio Sakara who was supposed to fight Jorge Rivera had to drop out due to flu-like symptoms that had him apparently vomiting. Sakara wanted to fight but wasn’t able. I wonder what happens if someone pukes during a fight. Would it be considered a No Contest? Who would clean it up? And most importantly, would that puke start a Twitter account? Though I forget the details, I remember hearing recently about a fighter who basically forfeited his fight because he had to take a shit and it wasn’t going to wait. Shitty way to lose. Grooooan – I know, I know.
Overall, UFC 122 was worth the price of free. I didn’t think it was a waste of time to watch but I wouldn’t have been happy if I had paid $45 for it. It was a card that made me realize that I’m going to miss the WEC… a lot.
In one of the undercard fights that made it on to the televised show, “Kimbo Killer” Seth Petruzelli took on Karlos Vemola. Vemola’s nickname is “The Terminator” and he showed why. In the first round he slammed Seth on his back like he just took a shot of whiskey and Seth was the shotglass. Seth, to his credit, kept his cool and went for a Triangle and an Armbar but “The Terminator” just slammed him again like he was scolding a bad dog for pissing on the rug… and Seth does have a tendency to piss on things, or people… Vemola’s power was just too much for Seth to handle and he got TKOed in the first round. While Seth isn’t a world-beater, I enjoy watching him fight. This is his second loss in a row since his return to the UFC. I hope he doesn’t get cut but it looks like it’s a strong possibility.
“Bang” Duane Ludwig fought Nick Ol’fannypack or whatever that dude’s name is. [Osipczak] The fight started off okay with some good back-and-forth and as the fight went on it seemed like someone was lowering the speed of the tape until by the end of the fight it seemed like they were fighting in invisible molasses. It was a close fight that I thought Nick won but Ludwig walked away with the W.
Krzysztof Soszynski vs. Goran Reljic: K-Sos was consistently just a little bit better than the tough Reljic and it made for a good fight but not much back-and-forth to generate a lot of excitement.
The likable Ultimate Fighter Season 7 winner Amir Sadollah took on kickboxer Peter Sobotta. Sadollah’s Muay Thai and boxing were simply quicker, crisper and more accurate than Sobotta’s. And as the fight went on, Sadollah retained the same pace while Sobotta slowed down. An easy to score 30-27 Unanimous Decision victory for Amir.
Germany’s own Dennis Siver faced the Brit Andre Winner. Winner was landing a few crisp jabs. Siver was throwing haymakers almost as fast as Winner’s jabs. It was impressive that such a muscular guy can throw big hooks that fast. Eventually one of them landed flush and Winner went tumbling back and Siver jumped on him and sank in the Rear Naked Choke in the first round.
The main event between Nate Marquardt and Yushin Okami was a little more exciting than other recent underwhelming headliner Mirko Cro Cop vs. Frank Mir but if you saw that fight you know that’s not saying much. Nate tried to play it too safe as fighters from Greg Jackson’s camp tend to do and apparently no one told him that the third round was going to decide the fight. As there didn’t seem to be much desperation from the man who has recently talked about how badly he wants that title shot. And let’s face it, as great of a fighter as he is, Okami isn’t a very exciting fighter himself. So, Yushin and the judges got it right and Okami won by Unanimous Decision. Does this mean he gets his title shot as Dana promised? Much like Gray Maynard getting his shot against UFC Lightweight Champion Frankie Edgar, you can’t argue that he didn’t earn it but that doesn’t mean anyone is excited to see it. Okami is not a good enough striker to hang with Anderson Silva and he’s not as good of a wrestler as Chael Sonnen to be able to do what Chael did to Anderson. In a Silva vs. Okami bout, Okami’s impressive striking and wrestling skills will be about as effective as Demian Maia’s striking and wrestling were against Silva.
Okay, I’m going to go drink more coffee. You lovely humans go do whatever it is you do. Twitter, right?