Locked in the Guillotine MMA News Report 10.05.12: Another Heavyweight Main Event Edition
Posted by Robert Winfree on 10.05.2012
News and thoughts on Forrest Griffin's Xanax controversy, thoughts on UFC on FUEL TV 5, Glover Teixeira getting turned down by Shogun Rua and Rashad Evans, a preview UFC on F/X 5 and more!
Hello again one and all, and thank you for coming to the best Friday weekly news column here on 411mania. Speaking of 411mania, you may have noticed the new comment system. Those of you who come here only for my column wont have seen it yet, but all the regulars should have heard this before. The new system should cut back on spam, but does require you to register an e-mail address to post comments or log in with one of the social media websites. Twitter, Facebook, all those good things, or just register with an e-mail address, it's really easy and should hopefully cut back on the volume of idiocy that the comments section in all zones of 411mania have been subjected too at various times. Fortunately the MMA zone hasn't been as flooded with these type's of comments as other zones, at least not to my knowledge but the mods are good at what they do. To anyone who's interested in having discussions in the comments or expressing themselves intelligently this is a theoretical step forward, though only practice will see if theory is born out.
Now this has meant the end of feedback sections in several other columns in favor of ongoing discussions in the comment section. I'll leave it up to you guys how we go, the section could stay, or I could respond to you guys directly in that section. Unfortunately our feedback section this week will have to be skipped. There were some comments, but before I could document them and get my responses together we switched styles and those comments were lost. I'm sorry to those who commented, hopefully the new system will work out wonderfully for all of us.
Well with that longer than normal housekeeping section done, let's get to the intro. The UFC's Fuel TV series continued to deliver fun, if basically irrelevant, fights. There's also the upcoming UFC on F/X card to breakdown, which is headlined by another heavyweight bout between Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva and Travis "Happa" Browne. Then of course there's news, though not as much as normal this week. You survived a long intro, so being Locked in the Guillotine shouldn't be much of a problem should it?
Peralta is still impressive: Robert Peralta defeated Jason Young by TKO in just twenty three seconds. Peralta has some power in his hands and some good striking, and could use a step up in competition now. Good way to kick off the prelims, even if it was fast.
Nelson wins: Gunnar Nelson choked out DaMarques Johnson with a rear naked choke in the first round. Nelson looked calm and collected during his UFC debut, and Johnson isn't exactly an easy out. I definitely want to see a little more of Nelson after this, there's tons of talent there. Good fight to keep the event rolling.
Watson comes up short: Brad Tavares showed much improved striking and some technical improvements in his wrestling in his split decision victory over Tom Watson. Watson did a good job of showing his style and what he's about in the cage, but it was a couple of dominant grappling exchanges that sealed the win for Tavares in my mind. Still a pretty fun fight as the Fuel TV cards continue to bring entertaining fights.
Another split decision: Akira Corissani defeated Andy Ogle by split decision in another pretty fun fight. The live crowd disagreed, and I'm not terribly sure I disagree with them. Both guys had good striking and grappling, though it seemed Ogle had the edge in grappling.
Kingsbury's eye stops the fight: Jimi Manuwa defeated Kyle Kingsbury when the fight was stopped on the doctors advice between rounds two and three. The first round was all Jimi Manuwa as he displayed some power striking and diversity of technique, but Kingsbury refused to be stopped and survived what could easily be a 10-8 round. In the second round Manuwa seemed to tire and Kingsbury kept coming on strong. Unfortunately for Kingsbury during the first round some swelling started over his left eye, and between the second and third rounds it had swollen so much that he couldn't open the eye and the fight had to be stopped. Bad break for Kingsbury because he was coming on as Manuwa was fading. Good showcase for Manuwa though, and a good fight to end the prelims on.
Injury strikes inside the cage: Che Mills defeated Duane Ludwig when Ludwig tweaked his knee late in the first round. Ludwig was fighting free of a clinch position and his left leg just got caught up and twisted, and with something as intricate and delicate as a knee that's really all it takes. Unfortunate ending to the fight, and hopefully it isn't anything too serious.
They can't all be winners: John Hathaway defeated John Maguire by unanimous decision. The fight was pretty unspectacular, and not all that memorable, but another win for Hathaway as he keeps marching on through the ranks. Maguire had a really hard time getting inside the reach, or implementing any kind of grappling exchanges.
That was a surprise: Matt Wiman defeated Paul Sass by submission with an armbar in the first round. Pretty much everyone was picking Sass to win by submission, though a few picked Wiman by decision or possibly TKO. I don't think anyone saw Wiman submitting Sass, but he did. Most of the round was contested on the mat, but it was exciting stuff, Sass had a couple of leg lock attempts, but never locked it in tight. In a transition Wiman saw an opportunity to get an arm and held on to it, adjusted the technique a couple of times to get it just right and forced Sass to submit. Great fight by Wiman, and he had a pretty good post fight interview too.
One Punch indeed: Brad Pickett knocked out Yves Jabouin with a huge uppercut in the first round. The round was pretty exciting, Jabouin was using more kicks and knees, but Pickett stayed patient and as soon as he got the timing and the range down, he got inside and landed a beautiful right uppercut to the jaw of Jabouin that knocked him out cold. He followed that up with a bit of the internet sensation "Gangam style" dance. Great win for Pickett who finally got to showcase his power punching.
Dan Hardy victorious: Dan Hardy defeated Amir Sadollah by unanimous decision to start his first win streak since 2009. This was a feel good moment for the live fans, though I did get a bit of a laugh out of Hardy saying he wants to bring the belt back to England. He's lost decisively to both the Champion and the interim champion. Still, nothing offensive here though I still think Hardy will lose every time he steps up in competition.
Struve with some striking: Stefan Struve defeated Stipe Miocic by TKO in the second round of the main event. Miocic looked good in the first round, he got inside, landed some good shots to the body and head, but Struve seemed to find his range in the second. He used his jab much better than he ever has before, and he landed some inside uppercuts that rocked Miocic. Miocic has a great chin, and it took a lot of blows to finally force the stoppage, but Struve landed enough to get the job done. Good second round for Struve, but the first still showed the problems he's got. Think maybe he fights Mir after Mir gets back from his injury, though Struve himself said he wants to fight Fabricio Werdum. Honestly either of those make sense, or Struve could step up on short notice and fight Daniel Cormier. Either way his next fight will be more telling than this one was.
No one wants to fight Glover: Apparently not one of the UFC's top tier light heavyweights wants to fight Glover Teixeira. Shogun Rua turned down a fight with Teixeira, and earned a bit of Dana White's ire in the process, and now it's come out that Rashad Evans also turned down a fight with Teixeira at UFC 153. No one has amassed such a good record against upper level fighters without actually getting in the cage with them than Teixeira has. The reality is that Teixeira is a tough opponent, and guys like Shogun and Evans aren't at a place in their careers where they have to take fights like that just because Dana White wants them too. Glover Teixeira still isn't a name, and really has only one UFC win to his credit. A guy with those credentials shouldn't be fighting the upper echelon of talent in a division with as much talent as 205. Hopefully Teixeira wins his next couple of fights impressively and gets some name value so upper level guys feel they gain something by fighting him.
Forrest has anxiety?: News came out that former UFC light heavyweight champion Forrest Griffin failed a drug test following his loss in 2009 to Anderson Silva. The drug in his system was Xanax, a prescription anti-anxiety medication which he took claiming he had trouble sleeping the night before the fight. Well, to anyone who saw the fight, you had reason to be anxious Forrest, because Anderson Silva made you look like you had no idea what you were doing in that fight. Seriously, if anyone reading this hasn't seen that fight look it up. Not that I blame Forrest, if I knew I was going to fight Anderson Silva, I'd need that type of medication too.
Dave Bautista is fighting?!: Former WWE champion Dave "Batista" Bautista is making his long awaited debut fighting in an MMA organization. This almost seems like one of those long running jokes that's about get paid off in some huge way. Bautista is fighting Vince Lucero, who has a record of 22-22-1. This is the definition of a train wreck fight, but those fights have a place in the world of MMA. In a smaller promotion, I don't see the harm.
UFC makes some cuts: Charlie Brenneman, Michihiro Omigawa, Walel Watson, Eiji Mitsuoka, and Tommy Hayden have all been cut from the UFC. Of those, I think Watson and Hayden have the best chances of returning down the line because both guys can still improve. Brenneman and Omigawa have been putting on boring fights for their entire UFC careers and will need a shift in style as well as overall improvements to their game to earn a return trip. Really none of these guys will be missed, and one has to imagine a few more cuts will be coming up before the end of the year.
Is it just me or are these posters getting painfully generic? I know a minor show like this one isn't going to get a great artistic treatment or anything, but come on. A little effort would go a long way here. Anyway, let's take a look at the fights.
Josh Neer vs. Justin Edwards: Well, neither of these guys are going to be making waves at welterweight, but both guys are also in consistently entertaining fights. Josh Neer has been enjoying a career renaissance of sorts, despite being KO'd by Mike Pyle in his last fight. Edwards lost his last fight and could easily be looking at a pink slip if loses here, but Neer is likely going to be too much for him.
John Dodson vs. Jussier Formiga: This is the fight I'm most looking forward too on this card, and of the whole weekend really. Jussier Formiga was considered the best flyweight fighter in the world up until he lost to Ian McCall in February of last year, and has since done nothing but win. John Dodson is probably best known for knocking out TJ Dillashaw at bantamweight to finish off the last season of TUF and then dropping to flyweight. He defeated Tim Elliot by unanimous decision in his last fight. The big news is that the winner of this fight will get the first crack at the first ever UFC flyweight champion Demetrious "Mighty Mouse" Johnson. This is a tough one to call, very tough. Both guys are fast and technical, both are among the best flyweights in the world right now, so it comes down to little things. Dodson very likely has more power, but Formiga has tons of submission wins to his credit so grappling might not be in Dodson's favor. Like most flyweight fights this probably goes to decision, and Dodson could easily score enough points to win a decision. That said, I'm picking Formiga here. Either way this should be fun to watch.
Jay Hieron vs. Jake Ellenberger: Jay Hieron finally makes his triumphant return to the UFC. Hieron is a very good fighter, and was the first guy to defeat Jake Ellenberger back in 2006, but Jake Ellenberger has done nothing but improve since that encounter. In fact Ellenberger was on track to possibly be in the title picture before an unfortunate set back loss against Martin Kampmann. A loss for Ellenberger here will mark the first losing streak of his entire career, but this seems more like a fight to get Ellenberger back on his feet. That said, Heiron is certainly no joke and a win for Heiron catapults him up the rankings. Hieron is a tough guy, but I think he falls in the first to Ellenberger's relentless assault. If Hieron does get out of the first though, his chances go up drastically to the point that if this fight goes more than five minutes I think he takes it.
Travis Browne vs. Antonio Silva: For the second week in a row we've got a heavyweight fight headlining an event. This time it's undefeated Travis Browne taking on "Bigfoot" Silva. Browne has kind of been flying under the radar at heavyweight, despite being undefeated he's just not really had the platform to make a name for himself. He has some impressive victories, his knockouts of Stefan Struve and Chad Griggs spring instantly to mind, but he's also had some stinkers like his fight with Cheick Kongo or his fight with Rob Broughton. Antonio Silva was last seen getting smashed by Cain Velasquez in a fight where Bigfoot bled a lot from a relatively small cut before being overwhelmed by the former champion. Bigfoot has a jiujitsu black belt, but is a relatively top oriented grappler. Silva has some good wins in his career, but I'm not sure he can beat Browne. I'm calling for a Browne win, in the first or early in the second.
I promised it last week, and this week you've got it. My hatred for MMA judging. There's oh so much to hate about MMA judging in its current form, overrating takedowns, the ridiculous notion that going forward means your "pushing the pace" and should win a round, not properly scoring stuffed takedowns, anything involving Leonard Garcia. The list just goes on and on.
Personally, more than anything, I hate the notion that one takedown wins a round. It seems to be a disturbing trend in MMA for fighters to stand and strike until the last twenty seconds of a round when they shoot for a takedown to try and "win" the round. If you're getting comprehensively out struck on the feet one takedown does not negate four minutes of losing. It just doesn't, and shouldn't. If you want to see an example of that, the first round of the recent fight between Evan Dunham and TJ Grant is a perfect example. TJ was doing well on the feet, landing harder shots and with more frequency, but in the closing seconds of the round Dunham shot and managed to secure a takedown as the horn sounded to end the round. To Dunham and his corner that meant he won the round apparently, as evidenced by his shock at losing the decision. One takedown doesn't negate minutes of work where you were losing. In fact a takedown itself should count for very little for my money, what counts is what you do with it. A takedown and the guy on bottom getting up immediately means nothing to me, you scored a takedown, but the other guy escaped instantly, the two actions cancel each other out. Maintaining top position, passing the guard, landing shots from the top, those things do count. Getting a guy down and being unable to keep him there for any real length of time shouldn't count for anything.
In much the same vein, I hate the notion that moving forward wins you fights. I tend to refer to people who think this way as Nick Diaz fans. Forward motion means nothing if you aren't effective with it. When Nick Diaz fought Carlos Condit, he wasn't effective. He never got Condit up against the cage, never landed big combinations or punches, and was eating kicks and punches as he moved forward. If you don't do anything effective you shouldn't be scored for it. You know who else moved forward without being effective? Chris Leben when he fought Anderson Silva. Take a look at how that worked out for him. Not everyone is Anderson Silva, but the principle is sound. If what you're doing isn't effective, it shouldn't count. One fighter pushing the other against the cage shouldn't count if they aren't effectively attacking. Want an example? Take either of Cheick Kongo's fights with Travis Browne or Shawn Jordan, he spent almost the entire fight pushing them against the cage but did nothing with it. For a comparison, look at what Randy Couture did to Gabriel Gonzaga. Yes they were clinched and Gonzaga was against the cage, but Couture was attacking with knees, elbows, punches, transitioning for takedowns, he was effectively active from the position. Kongo did nothing but grab shorts and lean on his opponents, Randy Couture made a career out of wearing his opponents out by clinching and making them work, making them fight off his punches and elbows.
Bad judging ruins fights, it ruins fighters records, it kills the enjoyment of the sport. If as a professional fighter you can't rely on a judge to do his job, to do a good job at it, to fairly weigh the action and determine a winner when neither guy can be finished, then what's the point of having them? Judges in MMA need to be held accountable for their actions, and right now they aren't. There isn't an oversight committee, there isn't a review board that makes them explain their scoring and penalizes them for screwing up. Until those things are in place, judges making errors have no direct consequences and therefor no incentive to alter their behavior. Until then, until there is some negative consequence for being an inadequate judge, we'll continue to have problems with judging in the sport.
That does it for this week, and unfortunately I wont be here next week. For the first time in 57 weeks I'm going to have to miss one as I'll be on vacation. I will be back the week after though, you have my word, and I'm sure your necks could use the rest. So you've got a break coming up from me and the Guillotine, I hope you use it wisely. You've survived and escaped again, I'll be back in two weeks. Though if major news breaks between now and Tuesday evening, when I leave, I'll try and have at least something on that submitted before I head out. I'll see you in two weeks then, until then be safe, God Speed and Party On!