Did you miss me? Well, dry your tears icemigos. I have returned. There was a rough few weeks with no MMA events – at least none that I was able to see. And now… now… I have three events to draw from. Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Henderson, Strikeforce Challengers: Voelker vs. Bowling III, and Bellator 47.
Let’s start from the top. What’s up with Fedor? Sure, anyone can get knocked out by Dan Henderson but before that Fedor was swinging wildly. Yes, Fedor is known to try and finish a fight when he has someone hurt but there was an almost desperate recklessness in Fedor’s attempt to finish – not the precision timing that KO’d Andrei Arlovski in mid-air.
Maybe Fedor was always overrated or maybe he’s just not as good as he used to be or perhaps it’s just a matter of his heart not being in the game like it once was… I don’t know. Regardless of the reason, it still bums me out. Not that I don’t like Hendo but I loved the idea of this mysterious, humble, unbeatable Russian fighter. It’s not just the actual fall of “The Last Emperor” that’s a bummer, but the ecstatic glee that so many fans exhibit at watching it is equally depressing. And for the record, I don’t think it was an early stoppage. It’s a bit unfortunate in that, if Herb Dean had waited an extra two to three seconds, Fedor would’ve recovered. At the same time, Fedor was out cold so you can’t really say it wasn’t the right call. Either way, it’s kinda sad to see another nail in PRIDE’s coffin. It’s like finding out there’s no Santa Claus. Actually, it’s like finding out there is a Santa Claus but he’s got third stage testicular cancer… and the reindeer are going to be shot and made into reindeer jerky.
Anyway, howsabout that Miesha Tate win? By submission! Against Marloes Coenen! I didn’t see that coming and neither did Marloes. Zing! What can you say? “Congrats, Champ”, I guess. I think Tate vs. Kaufman is gonna be off the chain! Do the kids still say that? They don’t, do they? I’m just gonna make up my own slang so no one can say it’s dated. I think Tate vs. Kaufman is gonna be Snoopy Sleestak!
Seriously, what the fuck, Robbie Lawler? He did that thing. That inexplicable thing where a fighter is clearly losing a fight on points and they go into the third round and do nothing as if they have the fight in the bag. I hate that shit. Props to Tim Kennedy who got tagged with an uppercut to the shnozz that looked like it should’ve ripped his nose off and sent it flying into Mauro Ranallo’s lap. Has anyone ever actually died from their nose being driven up into their brain like you hear about in grade school? If it didn’t happen there, I’m gonna have to say it’s, for all intents and purposes, impossible.
Paul “Semtex” Daley showed a great improvement in his takedown defense against a top level wrestler in Tyron Woodley. Still Woodley was able to tie him up and control him in the clinch and get enough takedowns to secure the W. I’m definitely look forward to watching Daley fight as his takedown defense and ground game improve.
Scott Smith is one of those solid-but-never-great fighters that are getting surpassed by the new generation. The new generation in this case was Tarec Saffiedine. No comeback for Smith this time. Yet, mad props to him for trying to pull it off til the very end unlike someone who will remain named: Robbie Lawler!
In the Strikeforce Challengers card, Ovince St. Preux looked impressive as ever destroying the previously undefeated Joe Cason in the first round. I think this performance has to move OSP to main card status fo sho.
Sarah Kaufman outboxed Liz Carmouche for a solid three rounds to get the win 30-27 on all three scorecards. No shock there. Did I mention that I think Kaufman vs. Tate II is gonna be Snoopy Sleestak?!
Bobby Voelker stopped Roger Bowling impressively in the second round of an exciting rubber match with a vicious knee and a flurry of punches. Hell, I’d tune in for Voelker vs. Bowling IV!
Moving on to Bellator 47. They were all pretty solid fights and no upsets. Neil Grove looked like a cross between Dana White and Bas Rutten. I’ve never seen such a punch-for-punch slugfest that all took place sitting on the ground. Grove aka “Bas White” eventually got the stoppage against Zak Jensen via ground-and-pound.
Chris Horodecki, recently cut from the UFC, got the better of Chris Saunders but Saunders kept it competitive against the veteran.
I thought Nazareno Malegarie had a shot against Marlon Sandro if he was able to get it to the ground but he wasn’t. Sandro dictated the fight and had the better striking for three rounds. Not surprisingly, Sandro gets the 30-27 on all three score cards.
I think Pat Curran got the better of some questionable decisions against Roger Huerta and especially Toby Imada but in his fight with Luis Palomino and in this fight against Ronnie Mann, Curran looked great.
Also, it seems Alistair Overeem has been cut from Strikeforce after a less than thrilling performance against Fabricio Werdum and his announcement that he would not be ready to fight in the heavyweight tournament in September. It seemed Alistair tried to pull a bit of a power play and it seems it backfired on him. It’s like that scene in The Usual Suspects when Keyser Soze shoots his whole family as they’re being held hostage to show his enemies that they have no leverage over him. Ever.
Historically, Zuffa doesn’t respond well to those tactics. That’s why they built UFC as the brand rather than any particular fighter. Unlike, say M1-Global, Zuffa is not dependent on any one fighter. I mean, Dana White threatened to fire Anderson Silva for fuck’s sake! You think he’s going to have any hesitation cutting Overeem? I’m not taking sides here. Just saying that I’m not all that surprised. For better or worse, no one fighter is bigger than the UFC and now, by extension of ownership, Strikeforce.
Alright. That’s all I got for this week. It’s been nearly a month, the least you could do is leave a comment.