Monday, July 21, 2008

That was a lot of Free MMA

Thoughts on Saturday's free MMA (in order that the fights aired):

Buentello def Goodridge via unanimous decision: At least it was free. Goodridge has the excuse of taking the fight on 1 day's notice. Buentello, what's your excuse? No, I don't buy changing opponents at the last second as an excuse for a performance like that.

Belfort def Martin via TKO: You think Martin would have gotten better at avoiding flying knees after his fight against Irvin. Belfort put together an effective Machida-esque backing away & countering first round. Martin showed that he doesn't know how to cut off the ring & can only chase.

Dollaway def Taylor via Peruvian necktie: Dollaway lived up to his ASU/Hot Chicks with Douchebags lineage with an insanely illegal "how-the-hell-wasn't-that-a-1-point-deduction" knee to Taylor when Taylor was practically laying on the ground. Dollaway then submitted a still stunned looking Taylor later in the first.

Burns def Johnson via TKO: Burns gave a shining example of a Pyrrhic victory in a fight that probably won't set Johnson back, but might end Burns's career.

Why Johnson will be fine: Mazzagatti was the only one that mistook the eye-poke for a knock-down, and Johnson was winning the fight at the time. UFC management will probably consider it a win in future matchmaking and not set him back. He probably won himself a bunch of new fans because 1) fans like guys then think got screwed 2) he handled himself really well after the fight (eg. criticising the crowd for booing Burns).

Why Burns could be in trouble: Its one thing unintentionally poke someone in the eye during a fight. Its bound to happen when using MMA gloves. Its another thing to do it 4 times during a fight. It doesn't look good, but as long as you don't make a habit of it, people won't hold it against you or claim that you're a dirty fighter. Its yet another thing to admit after the fight that you have to throw your left hand as an open-palm strike (with your fingers near your opponents eyes) because you've broken that hand so many times. You've now admitted that you'll probably land one or two eye pokes a fight. Congratulations, you're now a major eye injury waiting to happen.

Velasquez def O'Brien via TKO: That was dominant. I'd say Velasquez has solidified his standing as a legit heavyweight.

Edgar def Franca via unanimous decision: Edgar reminded everyone that he's one of the UFC's elite, up-tempo lightweights that can't finish. Just like Guida & Griffin, he's fun to watch, but he just can't finish. Meanwhile, Franca learned that the lightweight division has changed a lot since he took on Sherk for the title.

Vera def Any via unanimous decision: I won't be using the word entertaining or any of its synonyms to describe Vera for a very long time. I think Vera and his bloated salary have earned a trip to the undercard after his last 3 fights. Its not a completely impossible idea, the UFC has sent big salaries down to the undercard before (ex. Gonzaga & Sokoudjou). Al tough, it was nice of Goldburg & Rogan to spend the second half of the fight making excuses for Vera.

Silva def Irvin via TKO: Damn! I expected Silva to win, but I didn't think he'd steamroll Irvin that badly. Damn! It was almost enough to get me to start pulling for Evans to beat Liddell just so there'd be a chance of Anderson Silva vs. Forrest Griffin, Champion vs Champion (what better way to show that you have the best fighter in the world than by giving him a chance at 2 belts).

Markham def Farber via KO: Farber showed some very nice stand-up & dominated the first 95 seconds. Then, he dropped his hands too much, and Markham dropped him with a high-kick that you'll be seeing on highlight reels for years to come.

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