Locked in the Guillotine MMA News Report 9.6.13 Double Review Edition
Posted by Robert Winfree on 09.06.2013
Thoughts on Glover Teixeira's big win and the rest of the results from UFC Fight Night 28 and UFC 164, plus news and thoughts on Erik Koch switching weight classes, Sean Sherk's retirement and more!
That's right ladies and gentlemen, I'm still here, and still Locking you in the Guillotine on a weekly basis. Big week this week, why you might ask? Because it's (dun-dun-DUN) double review week. Two shows within the time table for this to be submitted, that means you get twice the breakdown from yours truly. Plus news, like the new season of The Ultimate Fighter and injury updates after two shows. With that in mind, let's get to work.
Fast start: Magnus Cedenblad defeated Jared Hamman with a mounted guillotine choke early in the first round. Hamman got too aggressive on a takedown, Cedenblad grabbed his neck and rolled with the momentum and got the mounted guillotine choke. Nice stuff from Cedenblad, and Hamman could very well find himself looking for another fight promotion to sign his checks.
Couture fizzles: I had some technical issues during this fight, so most of my knowledge comes from the excellent coverage from Mark Radulich. Ryan Couture had a really hard time getting any effective offense against Al Iaquinta, Iaquinta landed some decent shots and managed to avoid being on his back for any real length of time. Couture will find himself in another promotion now, if you can't beat Iaquinta you don't really deserve to be in the UFC.
Heavyweight car crash: Soa Palelei defeated Nikita Krylov by TKO in the third round, basically because he had a bit more gas in the tank than Krylov did and the official didn't want to see the fight keep going. If you like car crash style fights, you can find some enjoyment in this fight. If you like seeing skill and technique, well, this isn't for you. This is the type of fight that justifies people mocking heavyweight fighters. Soa said after the fight that he broke a rib but didn't want to pull out of the fight, if true credit for fighting hurt but man oh man did this fight provide Samer Kadi and Pat Mullin with hours of mental anguish.
Hometown judging: Chico Camus defeated Kyung Ho Kang by unanimous decision in a fight that brought the energy back to the crowd after the slow-motion car crash from the previous fight. Camus had a hard time stopping the takedowns of Kang, but he had some decent work off of his back and Kang didn't have tons of pressure and damage from top position. I liked some of what I saw from Kang, he's strong and has some good takedowns, but he needs to be more active on top and his striking needs work, his lazy jab got him popped more than once by Camus. Good win for the hometown boy in Camus, I thought the judge who scored all three rounds for Camus needs his head examined, but with the late flurry in the third from Camus him winning was the correct decision. Good fight with lots of action, great choice to kick off the Fox Sports 1 prelims.
Korean knee: Hyun Gyu Lim defeated Pascal Krauss by TKO in the first round. Lim wobbled Krauss with a right that connected with his forehead. Lim displayed some good finishing skills, he didn't let Krauss regain his senses and eventually finished him off with a knee to the face. This is the second fight in a row that Lim ended with a knee to the face. Lim's defensive striking is really iffy, he doesn't move his head, and his striking technique could be improved upon, but he's got power and a finishers mentality, the other stuff you can teach. Impressive performance for Lim.
Pressure: Tim Elliot defeated Louis Gaudinot by unanimous decision in what wound up being a fairly one sided affair. Elliot just had tons of pressure, a high volume of strikes, and his top game was very active. Gaudinot just couldn't stop the takedown, or do anything off of his back. Elliot impressed me with his pressure, his forward motion, the ability to string combinations together, and mixing up striking with his takedowns. He's not ready for a shot at Demetrious Johnson or anything, but Elliot looked darn good and just overwhelmed and outworked Gaudinot from bell to bell.
Battle of the gatekeepers: Gleison Tibau defeated Jamie Varner by split decision to close out the Fox Sports 1 prelims. Tibau had two good rounds, especially the second round where he took Varner's back and had him mounted for a long portion of the fight. Varner came alive in the third round and took that round rather easily, but it wasn't enough to get the victory. Tibau is basically a career upper level gatekeeper right now, he needs to improve his cardio and his finishing ability to move up the ladder, but he's a good name to keep around to fill out cards if necessary. Ditto for Varner at this stage, but neither guy is really going anywhere right now.
Poirier is impressive: Dustin Poirier defeated Erik Koch by unanimous decision to get the PPV going. Poirier looked much better than his previous outings, his striking was better, his tactical decisions were generally better, he earned a 10-8 for the first or second round on two judges score cards which I feel was definitely justified. Koch had a close triangle in the first round, and a good third round, but Poirier applied pressure, landed good strikes, and displayed his solid ground game. Not to toot my own horn, but I did predict that would be the difference and that was why I was picking Poirier. Koch needs some help at this point, back to back losses are never good. Poirier's move to American Top Team seems to have done good stuff for him inside the cage and he could step up a little more in competition. I wouldn't hate a rematch between him and The Korean Zombie, depending on the return schedule for the Zombie. Great fight to get the night going.
Vera still sucks: Ben Rothwell defeated Brandon Vera by TKO in the third round. The first two round were rather uneventful, Rothwell was moving forward, and laterally, and trying to attack Vera. Vera would throw a few kicks to the leg or body through the round, but spent a lot of time moving sideways and backwards. In the third round Rothwell came alive near the end of the round, and blitzed Vera. Vera couldn't handle the sudden pressure and ate some punches that hurt him and Rothwell refused to give him a chance to recover. I know Rothwell isn't exactly top five right now, but the man clearly worked to improve. His cardio looked better, not good but better, he moved better while stalking Vera, I give Rothwell props for working to improve on areas of his game that were weak. Following the win he asked the fans if they'd like to see him fight Travis Browne, which everyone seemed like they were OK with. Personally I would like that fight, either Browne gets another win and moves towards a title shot or Rothwell knocks off a top ranked fighter. As for Vera, I want him gone. I don't wish unemployment on many fighters, but Vera has failed at light heavyweight, and now failed to beat Ben Rothwell at heavyweight. Just cut him and make everyone who has ever had to see him fight happy.
Mendes has been money: Chad Mendes defeated Clay Guida by TKO in the third round. I have to admit, I don't like Mendes based on his personality but he's the only guy to ever finish Guida with strikes. Since Mendes was knocked out by Jose Aldo he has improved, at this point he either should get a rematch with Aldo or fight Frankie Edgar for the next title shot. Clay Guida isn't an elite fighter, I've said it for a long time and he proved it again here. Guida wont get cut, the guy has a following and has people convinced that he's an exciting fighter, but he needs to seriously evaluate what his skills are and how he uses them.
The Warmaster is here: Josh Barnett defeated Frank Mir by TKO in the first round with a nice knee to the face while the two were clinched against the cage. Mir landed a few good shots during the exchanges, but he doesn't have tons of power and Barnett has a really good chin. In the clinch Barnett controlled and mauled Mir until the big knee to the face that dropped Mir. There was a bit of controversy about the stoppage being a little premature, and Mir did get back up quickly, but he fell limp to the mat and wasn't in a position to defend himself, plus Mir has no chin to begin with. This was a big return for Barnett, and a great performance for him as well. I don't know what is next for Barnett, but the guy is a top level fighter and always fights hard. Mir isn't going anywhere, but he again looked really tired after a couple of minutes and hopefully the guys at Jackson's MMA gym can keep working with him on the areas that he's lacking. The heavyweights didn't stink up the joint, despite the somewhat train wreck from the early prelims it wasn't boring at least.
It's Showtime: Anthony Pettis defeated Benson Henderson by submission in the first round to become the new UFC lightweight champion. I could not possibly have been more wrong when discussing this fight before hand. The early part of the round saw Henderson pushing forward and clinching a lot, a good strategy given his strength in the clinch and Pettis not being great while backing up. Then they separated and Henderson ate four really nasty body kicks in a row, Pettis tried something flashy and stupid and Henderson got on top of him. Unfortunately Henderson left his right arm on the canvas and Pettis snapped on an armbar. Henderson fought it for a bit, and in his post fight interview broke down the technical aspects of what Pettis did, before being forced to submit verbally. Pettis called out featherweight champion Jose Aldo following the win, which I don't see happening too soon. TJ Grant has a rightful title shot, and the same argument could be made for Ricardo Lamas at featherweight. If both men win, who am I kidding, when they win the situation could be looked at again. If that fight happens at lightweight I'm not sure I could give Pettis an edge, he's a nasty kicker but so is Aldo and Aldo's wrestling is better. I'm not sure at all what's next for Benson Henderson, but at this point I'm pretty sure he can't beat Anthony Pettis so another title shot is unlikely. Congratulations to Pettis, there's a good chance he'll hold that belt for a long time.
That's right, it wasn't just the one show, we also got the UFC's third Fight Night card on Fox Sports, headlined by Glover Teixeira fighting Ryan Bader. I also got to cover the event live for the site, and my report is located on the main page if you're interested.
Clucky is here: Sean Spencer defeated Yuri Villefort by split decision. Spencer winning wasn't the appearance from Clucky, it was the judge who scored the fight 30-27 for Spencer. Spencer could have won the second and third rounds, but he got hit with a barrage of leg kicks in the first two rounds, especially the first round. Spencer needed a win here, and in a running gag through the whole night the crowd generally went silent when the Brazilian fighter lost. Neither man is likely to get cut after this, but both men will need a better performance next time around.
Batman wins: Ivan Jorge defeated Keith Wisniewski by unanimous decision to get things going on the Fox Sports 1 network. Jorge normally fights at lightweight but was fighting up at welterweight here. Jorge had a rough first round because he couldn't get a takedown and spent a lot of the round pushing Wisniewski up against the fence. The second and third rounds went better for him, he got some takedowns in the second round and actually seemed to remember some striking skills in the third. Jorge did get pretty tired in the third round, but he was a relatively late replacement fighter here so there's a little bit of leeway and I do want to see how he'll fare at lightweight in the UFC.
Learn to finish takedowns: Elias Silverio defeated Joao Zeferino by unanimous decision mostly because Zeferino seemed incapable of finishing a takedown against the cage and got hit repeatedly when both men were standing. Silverio showed a kick heavy offense and I'd be interested to see what he can do against someone who could either finish takedowns properly or would be willing to engage in a striking battle with him. Zeferino has lost both his UFC fights and doesn't really bring anything to the fights so he could be cut in the near future.
Martins is legitimate: Lucas Martins defeated Junior Hernandez in his UFC bantamweight debut after successfully debuting for the promotion at lightweight. That's a crazy weight cut, but he handled it well and looked like a beast here. He hit Hernandez with punches that rocked the American, then grabbed a rear naked choke as Hernandez was falling, locked it in and a few moments later Hernandez went out cold rather than tap. Move Martins up the ladder at bantamweight and let's see how he does against a slightly higher level of competition. Hernandez will get another shot, he's fighting in a very thin division and has a reputation as a striker, which Dana White loves.
Winning debut: Kevin Souza defeated Felipe Arantes by split decision. Souza looks a fair amount like Anderson Silva, at least as far as his body type and movement goes. Don't get me wrong, he's got nothing like Silva's reflexes or foot work, but he's clearly trying to emulate Silva with his movements. Souza looked OK here, but Arantes was a stiff test for a guy making his UFC debut so I want to see what he'll do in his next outing. Arantes looked decent as well here, and there is a legitimate case for him having won the fight. All in all a fun outing from both guys.
Russian power: Ali Bagautinov defeated Marcos Vinicius by TKO in the third round to make a successful debut in the UFC. Fighting at flyweight is a pretty good way to make sure you'll stick around right now as the division is pretty anemic. Bagautinov hurt Vinicius in the first round with punches from the clinch but was unable to finish him then. Vinicius showed some good grappling skills, but he couldn't reliably get Bagautinov down, or keep him there outside of the first round. In the third Bagautinov landed a huge right hand that dropped Vinicius and this time he didn't let him recover. Again the crowd went dead silent after the stoppage, until Bagautinov didn't quite land a back flip in celebration, then the crowd cheered his fall. I really liked what I saw from Bagautinov here, he's got power in his punches, and the division needs bodies. Vinicius likely sticks around for at least another fight, hopefully he learns some wrestling so he can secure takedowns easier.
Natal dominates: Rafael Natal defeated Tor Troeng by unanimous decision in a fight that Natal mostly dominated. Natal has good guard passing, and he was able to get Troeng on the ground in every round. The two had a fun, if somewhat sloppy, grappling exchange with reversals, sweeps, and a couple of submission attempts. In the second round Natal absolutely leveled Troeng with a right hand to the chin, but Troeng displayed some crazy toughness and survived. Natal got a win here, but Troeng showed great heart and determination, and I'm looking forward to seeing both guys again after this one.
Polish win: Piotr Hallmann defeated Francisco Trinaldo by submission in the second round in a substantial comeback. Trinaldo, a southpaw, was landing some vicious power kicks to the body in the first round and had Hallmann in serious trouble. Trinaldo stopped attacking the body though, and Hallmann recovered enough to mount a comeback in the second round when he reversed a takedown attempt and wound up in half guard. After landing elbows to the head Hallmann got a kimura, stepped over Trinaldo's head with his free leg and forced the submission. Great display of heart because Hallmann was seriously hurt in the first round, and submitting Trinaldo is something of note. Good debut from Hallmann.
Benavidez is still a beast: Joseph Benavidez defeated Jussier Formiga by TKO in the first round. Benavidez landed a nice right hand that wobbled Formiga, hit a knee to the body and finished with a flurry on the ground. I'm not sure how Benavidez will do against Demetrious Johnson in a rematch but at this point he's more than earned that fight. It seems that Duane Ludwig has been doing good things for Team Alpha Male, they've actually learned how to properly strike. Formiga was once the top flyweight in the world but hasn't been able to adapt to the new level of competition that comes with being in the UFC, hopefully he does adjust because he's a pretty good fighter.
Jacare impresses: Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza stopped Yushin Okami with strikes in the first round in what is probably Souza's most impressive victory to date. Souza has incredible grappling skills, and his wrestling is actually pretty good as well, but his striking has long been a weakness until recently. Souza landed a big right hand to counter a kick thrown by Okami, the punch landed flush on the jaw and Souza didn't let up at all until the ref stopped the fight. Stopping Okami is a big deal, doing it in the first round is even more impressive. Souza would be fighting for the belt next if Anderson Silva had beaten Chris Weidman, or if Silva had stuck to his "I don't want to fight for the belt" line, as it stands Souza will likely take another fight between now and a title shot depending on how things with Silva and Weidman play out. Either way Souza has looked nothing but impressive since his loss to Luke Rockhold, and I dare say a rematch would go much differently now if they were set to fight again.
Teixeira wins again: Glover Teixeira defeated Ryan Bader by TKO in the first round to end the night of fights. Bader did manage to sneak through a right hand that put Teixeira off balance, but Bader has no striking outside of winging an overhand right, so Teixeira just waited while Bader threw a couple of follow up right hands then countered with a right left combination that dropped Bader. A few strikes on the ground later and Teixeira won his twentieth fight in a row. Glover didn't look great here, he remains a little slow on his feet and he had a hard time with the weight cut for this fight, but his finish was good. Being hit hard and still having the awareness to counter what your opponent is doing is impressive, as was his ability to get out from under Bader on the one takedown Bader landed. Early word is that Teixeira will fight the winner of the upcoming Jon Jones vs. Alexander Gustafsson fight for the title, which I think is more a by product of Jones' domination than anything else. I'm not saying Glover isn't a good fighter, because he is, but he hasn't beaten a consensus top ten fighter in his entire UFC career. I'd rather see him fight Rashad Evans, Dan Henderson, or someone in the top five or ten before he gets a title shot because beating Ryan Bader at this point doesn't mean that much. As for Bader, he's a gatekeeper at this point with some decent power in his right hand and OK wrestling. His wrestling game hasn't adapted to MMA as well as it could have and his striking remains rudimentary. More than that though, because those issues could theoretically be rectified, he can't overcome adversity. Anytime Bader faces any kind of adversity in the cage he crumbles. Jon Jones took him down early in the first round and you could see the life go out of Bader when it happened, Tito Ortiz hit him with one powerful punch and he immediately shot in for a sloppy double leg and got tapped out. Bader will be around for a bit, he's a former TUF winner and all that, but he's not even close to top tier talent right now.
Showtime paused: Anthony "Showtime" Pettis said during the press conference after his first round submission victory over Benson Henderson that he felt his knee pop. Fortunately it seems the issues isn't that serious, it wasn't the same knee he injured that made him pull out of his fight with Jose Aldo, and it has now been revealed it was a "Grade 2 sprain" which will require about six or seven weeks of rehabilitation. This is about as good as it gets with injuries, it wont require surgery and wont keep Pettis from competing for any length of time. While Pettis called out UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo following his win over Henderson, the UFC has said that his first title defense will be against TJ Grant. Grant was supposed to fight Benson Henderson at UFC 164, but a concussion during training forced him out and Pettis got the shot instead. Grant earned his title shot when he defeated Gray Maynard with strikes in the first round earlier this year. As for Aldo, we're waiting to see how long it will take his injured foot to heal before getting his next challenger, but Ricardo Lamas and Chad Mendes are the current front runners for a shot with Cub Swanson and Frankie Edgar not too far behind.
Sherk is done: Former UFC lightweight champion Sean Sherk announced his retirement from MMA this week. Sherk hadn't fought since his split decision victory over Evan Dunham, which most people thought he lost, three years ago. Sherk became the lightweight champion in 2006 when the UFC decided to bring the division back, he beat Kenny Florian to become the champion. Following a successful title defense against Hermes Franca he tested positive for Nandrolone and was stripped of the title, which he failed to win back in a fight with then champion BJ Penn when he returned to action. Sherk ends his career with a record of 36-4-1.
Bigfoot meets the Super Samoan: Sounds like a B movie title doesn't it? Likely something Roger Corman would have done which would have a devoted cult following today. But this isn't the movie zone, this is the MMA zone, so you probably know it means that former title contender Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva and Mark Hunt have agreed to fight. The two heavyweights will main event the UFC's next show in Australia on December 21 on Fox Sports 1. Mark Radulich couldn't have been happier at this news. Both men are coming off of losses, Hunt was knocked out in the third round of his fight with former champion Junior dos Santos while Bigfoot again failed to last two minutes with champion Cain Velasquez. The fight itself should be fun, it wont be a classic by any stretch of the imagination but both men have been putting on at least watchable fights lately.
Switching weight: Two fighters have announced their intentions of changing weight class. Scott Jorgensen will be looking to try his luck at flyweight after losses to the upper echelon of bantamweight fighters in the UFC. That's a good career move for Jorgensen, he's lost to Eddie Wineland, Urijah Faber, and Dominick Cruz. At flyweight he'll have a better shot at getting into title contention. On the other end of the spectrum is Erik Koch, who says he wants to try moving up a weight class and trying his hand at lightweight following his loss to Dustin Poirier last week. Koch was knocked out by Ricardo Lamas before that, which also cost him a title shot, and will be hoping that he can reinvigorate his career without cutting the extra ten pounds.
That does it for this week, check out the upcoming 411 Ground and Pound radio show, every Sunday at 9pm eastern standard time where Mark Radulich, Jeff Harris, Pat Mullin, and myself break down fight cards and basically all things MMA related. If you're reading this on Friday, when it comes out, tonight at 9pm eastern standard time my regular podcast, Everyone Loves a Bad Guy, will be on and I'll be welcoming back Mark Radulich to talk about HBO's epic drama series The Wire so please tune in if you're interested. And with those plugs over, you've escaped the Guillotine and I'll see you back here next week.