Archive for April, 2010

Final UFC 112 thoughts

April 12th, 2010
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Photo by Josh Hedges, UFC.

Photo by Josh Hedges, UFC.

I wanted to be sure and watch the B.J. Penn fight a couple of times before organizing my thoughts in one last comment on the UFC’s debacle in Abu Dhabi.

Did B.J. Penn win the fight?

When I went back and watched the fight, I tried to take the view of Douglas Crosby, the judge that scored the fight five rounds to none in favor of the challenger. You can make the case that Frankie Edgar won the bout 48-47 by winning the last three rounds. I could see that. However, there is absolutely NO WAY you could give Edgar either rounds 1 or 2. Round 1 was EASILY Penn’s round. Way ahead on the strikes and Edgar was doing his best Michael Jackson impression, dancing around the cage like someone scared to engage. Round 2 was Penn’s as well, UNLESS, you’re one of those dudes that thinks a takedown is equivalent to 50 strikes. Edgar was “credited” with a takedown late in the round, even though in my opinion, that wasn’t even a takedown. Penn kind of was tripped on Edgar’s shot attempt and did hit the ground, but bounced right back. There’s no way you can call that a takedown.

Rounds 3 and 4 were close and Round 5 was definitely all Edgar, but the simple fact that two judges had Edgar winning four of the five rounds is a joke. I stand by my 49-46 score that I had doing play-by-play of the fight, but anything between that and Edgar winning 48-47 I’d have no problem with.

What’s next for Penn?

Honestly, I have no idea. Saturday proved when B.J. Penn stays in Hilo to train for a fight, he’s probably not going to be in very good shape. He was at his best against Kenny Florian and Diego Sanchez, when he trained in California with the Marinovich’s. In HIlo, he runs the show and has nobody to tell him no. He’s not the same fighter when he stays home and as you saw in the final rounds against Edgar, he was in no shape to go a full 25 minutes at even a decent pace. All he did was stand in the middle of the cage and box, and yet he was still completely drained by the end. If Penn’s going to be successful, he’s got to get out of Hilo when he trains for a fight.

As for what’s next, I really don’t know. I got the impression Dana White is favoring an Edgar/Maynard fight over a rematch with Penn, leaving B.J. to fight who? One thing the UFC is going to realize is that Penn is probably the only lightweight fighter that could headline a card as champion and draw decent buys. Do you think an Edgar/Maynard main event would sell a PPV? I’d expect that to be a UFC Fight Night bout more than anything else.

I don’t really know where Penn goes from here. All of his exciting lightweight fights are outside of the UFC (Alvarez in Bellator; Aoki, Melendez in StrikeForce). I can’t think of one UFC lightweight I’d be excited to see him fight. If he stays in the UFC, I think he moves up to 170. Koscheck, Alves, Fitch are all 10x better fights than anything at 155. If he gets the rematch, he takes it, but even if he comes back and beats Edgar, what’s left to do as champion? I think it’s time to move up in weight.

What to do with Anderson Silva?

Quit giving him BJJ guys to fight. Silva lost a lot of fans with that performance on Saturday, but the UFC also shares in some blame. He wants to fight the best, and they gave him Demian Maia. Great matchmaking. Vitor Belfort was the original opponent and is a fighter that would bring the fight to Silva. Once Belfort went down with injury, you could have had Dan Henderson fill in for him, but Henderson bolted for StrikeForce because the UFC is cheap and didn’t want to pay him. Oops. For that, you get Demian Maia, who flopped around on the ground trying to get Silva engage in his world. This is mixed martial arts. If you’re good enough to take a guy down, then you can fight on the ground, but flopping on your back and daring a guy to come down there to fight is as weak as anything Silva did.

Silva’s in the same boat B.J. Penn would have been if he won. A champion with no real challengers at his weight class. Since the Belfort fight is still out there, and maybe Chael Sonnen can be put into the mix, he’s got 1 or 2 more fights now. But when the time comes that a division is cleared out, its cleared out. Either bring GSP up to 185 or let Silva jump to 205. The fact that the UFC would make Silva cut to 170 for a GSP fight instead of the smaller fighter jumping to the bigger weight class shows just how little respect the UFC has for Silva, even though it tries to market him as the pound-for-pound best. Vitor has got to be Silva’s next opponent and from then, it’s time to throw him in with the big boys at 205, permanently.

That’s a wrap on UFC 112. If you bought the PPV and were disappointed in what you got, have no fear. StrikeForce brings us a FREE fight card on CBS on Saturday night, featuring Henderson/Shields, Mousasi/King Mo and Melendez/Aoki.

After Saturday, the Melendez/Aoki fight may actually be the one to determine the current No. 1 lightweight in the world…

UFC 112 LIVE results

April 10th, 2010
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*Spoiler alert* I know some people that are trying to wait until the replay this afternoon at 4 p.m. to watch the fights, so if so, obviously don’t read on.***

In the televised opener, Mark Munoz (8-1) finished Kendall Grove (13-7) by TKO at 2:50 of the second round. Grove won the first round and had Munoz in trouble twice. Once, Grove caught Munoz coming in with an uppercut and had him staggered for a good minute. Munoz held on to Grove’s leg and took a lot of hammer fists to the side of the head, but survived that and survived a series of chokes near the end that looked like they could have ended the fight.

Grove looked tired after the first round and didn’t have the energy to explode off his back after Munoz had taken him down. He eventually landed some power shots and Grove rolled up and couldn’t defend himself.

7:40 a.m. – OK, I’ve finally found enough energy to roll out of bed and pick up the lap top. This is WAY too early for a UFC fight.

7:45 a.m. – You want a lesson in Brazilian black-belt jiu-jitsu, check out the methodical approach Rafael Dos Anjos just took against Terry Etim, submitting him by armbar in the second round.

7:50 a.m. – Phil Davis and Alexander Gustafsson are on the TV now. This Phil Davis guy is seriously a freak. He wins the eye test, but Gustafsson showing he belongs. Takedown and elbow combo lands by Davis. Wow, submission choke out of nowhere. Anaconda choke and Gustaffson taps. Hell of a performance by Davis. Time to give him a big name at 205.

7:55 am. – Maybe I can catch a quick 20-minute nap right here…My TV guide says this PPV is going four hours and lasting until 11. I hope not. Hughes and Gracie. Anything other than a Hughes unanimous decision would surprise me.

8 a.m. – Lied about the nap. “Country Boy Can Survive” plays as Hughes enters. Can ANYONE imagine what it’d be like to hear this at Aloha Stadium? People would eat it up. I swear, Hughes/Penn III makes so much sense for the main event of the Aloha Stadium card. Shout out to Robbie Lawler, in Hughes’ corner. What a great knockout of Melvin Manhoef in his last fight. Good to see him able to walk…

8:20 a.m. – That was painful to watch. Hughes stops Gracie with less than 30 seconds left. Gracie could barely walk. At one point, Hughes actually helped him back to his feet. A Gracie had no business being in the cage. Not the first time we’ve said that. Hopefully the last.

8:25 a.m. – Here we go. Penn/Edgar up next…

Two-inch reach advantage for Edgar.

First round in the books. Penn has a cut under his left eye, not sure where it came from. Not THAT much action in the first round, but Penn landed a few more shots and looked cleaner in the standup game. I give that 10-9 Penn.

R2-Very interesting second round. I think you have to call that a takedown although it looked like he might have slipped. Either way, he got right back to his feet. Penn controlled a lot of the early round and landed some good jabs and a couple of combinations. Very close round, I think the clean jabs were enough to give it to Penn 10-9.

R3-Turning into one of those fights that stays standing with nobody hitting that real HUGE shot, but it’s like the Sherk fight in the sense that Penn hits more shots on his feet every time. They are all close rounds, but I haven’t seen Edgar land a big enough shot that gives me the impression he won a round. Penn’s corner telling him to take it to the ground. Penn’s probably up 50-47 or 49-48 on all cards.

R4-I have to say, I don’t agree at all with Joe Rogan on this fight. It’s a pretty lackluster fight and Edgar deserves credit for being a great defensive fighter, but nothing Edgar throws makes you think he can knock Penn down. I do think Penn looks a little slow and not very explosive, I wonder if the knee pad on his left knee is an indication that he’s hurt.

R5-Edgar scores a takedown to start the round. Wow. Penn quickly back up however. I still think Edgar has to finish this fight to win. Rogan screams HEAD KICK which Penn clearly blocked. Edgar with a left hook. This is the first round I think you can say Edgar is clearly ahead at some point. Penn throws his first high kick and stumbles on his knee. I think his left knee is seriously bothering him. Penn shrugs off a takedown attempt. Edgar lands a jab. Don’t know if Penn is tiring, but this is a clear round in favor of Edgar. Fight ends with a flurry. I think Edgar wins this round, but I think Penn wins the fight.

I have it 49-46 Penn. We go to the cards…

50-45, 48-47, 49-46 Frankie Edgar defeats BJ Penn to win the UFC lightweight title. I am absolutely stunned….

Maybe covering a fighter over and over, you get used to how he fights and you look at things a different way. Did Frankie Edgar really beat BJ Penn standing? How did one guy give Edgar all five rounds? I would love to know the numbers on strikes landed…

Very shocked….

Joe Rogan just announced Anderson Silva will face Georges St-Pierre at 170 if Silva wins.

Middleweight title fight is underway…

It took 75 seconds for someone to throw a strike. Anderson threw a weak leg kick and Mike Goldberg called it like it was Shawn Michaels Sweet Chin Music.

The announcing tonight is as bad as I can ever remember it being.

I can’t even describe what I’m watching. Anderson putting on the most embarrassing trash-talking disrespectful display I have ever seen. Anderson doing dances and taunts and daring Maia to throw a punch and all kinds of stuff. Silva pounds the mat telling Maia to fight him.

This has been a clown show of a MMA card if I’ve seen one.

Anderson just ran away from Maia the entire fourth round…Dana White is yelling at Anderson’s manager during the fight. Maybe Dana should not throw Anderson in with BJJ guys OVER and OVER…

Maia’s left eye is swollen shut. Why is he even in the ring now? You won’t hear any hate from me about Demian Maia…

Maia landed two huge shots…swinging from his knees. Demian Maia winning a ton of fans here…Maia trying to get a takedown but just can’t.

I woke up at 7 a.m. for this?

Anderson warned for not fighting….maybe the ref should warn Dana White for horrible matchmaking.Fight is over.

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, DANA WHITE GIVES YOU THE BEST POUND-FOR-POUND FIGHTER IN THE WORLD….

I think Silva wins 48-46. 10-8 and two 10-9 rounds for Silva to start and then Maia wins the last two for lack of activity.

Scorecards read…Anderson Silva by unanimous decision and they don’t even read scores…what a horrific UFC card.

Dana White didn’t even put the belt around Anderson when the decision was read.

UFC 112 picks

April 9th, 2010
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Don’t forget to check out the UFC VIDEO VAULT where the weigh-ins should be uploaded some time on Friday.

UFC 112 is called Invincible, but should be titled Mismatch. Here’s a look at the four key fights of the day.

Kendall Grove (13-6) vs. Mark Munoz (7-1)
Vegas line: Munoz -180, Grove +150

Which Kendall Grove is going to show up? Are we going to see the guy that got KO’d by Jorge Rivera or the guy that submitted Jake Rosholt in his last fight and looked determined as ever in his win over Evan Tanner? After three straight UFC wins, it seemed Grove was a possible title contender. Two fights later, he was fighting just to stay in the UFC. With three wins in his last four fights, Grove has reversed the trend, but can’t perform the way he did against Ricardo Almeida on the Penn/Florian card.

Grove’s got to do two things to win this fight. He can’t get tagged standing early and he’s got to control Munoz’s ground and pound if he gets taken down. What Grove has for him is a great submission game, thanks to his large limbs. His 6-foot-6 frame will help against the 6-foot Munoz. I think if Grove can keep him at bay standing, it’ll force Munoz to try to come in for a takedown and take it to the ground where Grove should be able to use his submissions to finish.

Grove via triangle choke in Round 1

Matt Hughes (43-7) vs. Renzo Gracie (13-6-1)
Vegas line: Hughes -430, Gracie +310

Matt Hughes was once the greatest welterweight in the world. But since beating B.J. Penn, Hughes is 2-3 and one of those wins was a close decision against Matt Serra that could have gone either way.

Fortunately, Hughes is fighting a Gracie, and Renzo has seen better days. It’s pretty simple how this fight is going to go. The way you see Georges St-Pierre fight nowadays has been taken directly from Hughes. Wrestling and ground control. Expect Hughes to take down Gracie at will and hold him on the mat. The only question is whether Gracie will be able to come up with some type of submission from his back. He might get one or two decent looks at it, but I expect a fight very similar to St-Pierre/Hardy last month. A dominant unanimous decision for Hughes that’s about as impressive as Josh Barnett beating Mighty Mo.

Anderson Silva (25-4) vs. Demian Maia (12-1)
Vegas line: Silva -900, Maia +550

Unless Silva somehow shows up motivated even less than when he faced Patrick Cote, I don’t see this ending well for Maia. Hopefully Silva watched Roy Jones Jr., the man he’s talked about endlessly boxing one day, plod his way through a snorefest against Bernard Hopkins last weekend and say to himself, OK, lets move on from that ridiculous idea.

This fight would get interesting if it somehow made it to the mat. Maia will try everything in his power to get it to the ground as quickly as possible. That’s his only chance to win the fight. Silva for my money is the most dominant champion in UFC history at any weight and won’t let Maia get that far. Maybe it’s a flying knee that catches Maia shooting for a takedown, maybe its another jab knockout ala Forrest Griffin, but Anderson Silva has much bigger goals on his mind and won’t let Maia pull off the upset.

Silva by TKO in the first round.

B.J. Penn (15-5-1) vs. Frankie Edgar (11-1)
Vegas line: Penn -700, Edgar +420

Like Anderson Silva, Penn has such bigger goals to attain that it won’t let him look past another overmatched challenger. Edgar’s got great takedown defense going for him and probably won’t be afraid to stand with Penn. That’s a perfect model for Penn, who has pretty much used his boxing to dominate foes at 155 pounds. I think this fight goes somewhat like the Sean Sherk fight, with Edgar standing with Penn for a long period of time and slowly getting jabbed to death.

Edgar might try a few more takedowns than Sherk did (which should be easy since Sherk tried all of one), but I don’t expect Penn to oblige. Penn shows why Freddie Roach called him the best boxer in MMA and boxes his way to another dominant victory at 155 pounds, ending his streak of fights at that weight class in order to move up to 170.

(Double prediction bonus, Penn wins by TKO in round 3 and fights Matt Hughes next at Aloha Stadium in September)

We can only hope….

UFC 112 Video Here

April 7th, 2010
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Just got word that the UFC press conferences and weigh-ins will not be available live, but they will be available later that day and can be viewed above.

The pre-fight press conference should be available for viewing late Wednesday afternoon. The weigh-ins, which take place at 1 a.m. Hawaii time Friday morning, will be available later Friday afternoon.

Posted in Fights | 1 Comment »

UFC 112 fight week is here

April 5th, 2010
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UFC 112 is just five days away. Live on PPV this Saturday, the UFC brings us two title fights, including B.J. Penn’s defense of his world lightweight title against Frankie Edgar and a middleweight title fight between champion Anderson Silva and challenger Demian Maia. Also, Maui’s Kendall Grove will be in action on the televised portion of the card against Mark Munoz.

The event takes place in Abu Dhabi, which is 14 hours ahead of Hawaii. The fight will be shown live on pay-per-view beginning at 7 a.m. Hawaii time and will be rebroadcast at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. that same day.

The time difference will present a challenge, but we will have the pre-fight press conference and the weigh-ins available to watch live on this blog later in the week.

To give you a little taste of what’s ahead, check out the UFC’s pre-fight interview with B.J. Penn HERE.

Will this be Penn’s last fight at 155 before moving up in weight? Does Frankie Edgar have a chance to pull the upset? What’s in store for Kendall Grove with a win on Saturday? Lots of questions to ponder and discuss as we get ready for one of the UFC’s biggest fight cards of the year.