Locked in the Guillotine MMA News Report 3.21.14: Big Rig Era
Posted by Robert Winfree on 03.21.2014
News and thoughts on Johny Hendricks' condition after his title win at UFC 171 and the buyrate for UFC 170! Plus thoughts on the results out of UFC 171, a preview of UFC Fight Night: Rua vs. Henderson 2 and more!
Greetings everyone, nice to see you getting Locked in the Guillotine again. I'd like to thank you guys for being here and reading my thoughts on the ongoings in the world of MMA this week. The UFC had a welterweight themed event in the form of UFC 171 which crowned a new welterweight champion following GSP abdicating his throne atop the division. Plus a huge rematch is set this week, Mauricio "Shogun" Rua will be taking on Dan Henderson to headline UFC Fight Night: Rua vs. Henderson 2. While you're here give a listen to the Radulich in Broadcasting network, it's the home to the 411 Ground and Pound radio show, the Long Road to Ruin, the Cheap Seats, the Metal Hammer of Doom, and Everyone Loves a Bad Guy. Plus some that I'm forgetting, but we've got something for everyone so give the shows a listen, give us feedback, and enjoy the quality internet radio provided therein.
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Alright, UFC 171 took place last Saturday, we crowned a new UFC welterweight champion and had a good card all the way around, let's take a look at what went down.
Scottish power: Robert Whiteford defeated Danile Pineda by unanimous decision to get the night going. Whiteford had a good performance, he had decent takedowns and some hard kicks including a couple of head kicks in the second that opened a cut on Pineda. Nothing terribly memorable or offensive here, but Whiteford got his first UFC win.
Strickland impresses: Sean Strickland defeated Bubba McDaniel with a rear naked choke in the first round. Strickland looked impressive, he was landing some shots on the feet, on the mat he as active with punches as well as his passing of the guard. Strickland got the back when McDaniel tried to regain his feet and snapped up the choke in the transition and forced the submission. For a guy just 23 years old and fighting on short notice, Strickland could be someone to watch as he gets experience under his belt.
Scoggins continues to impress: Justin Scoggins defeated Will Campuzano by unanimous decision. Scoggins was making his flyweight debut here, he won his UFC debut fight but was at bantamweight at the time. Scoggins didn't lose anything with the cut to flyweight, his cardio looked solid. His striking and movement are solid, and he works for the entire fight. I was impressed with what Scoggins brought to the table here, another young guy to keep your eye on in the future.
Trevino with the upset: Francisco Trevino defeated Rene Forte by unanimous decision. I picked Forte at the roundtable, then Forte went and missed weight rather badly, and it showed in his performance. Forte had a good first round, but the poor weight cut really hampered his cardio and he just kept slowing down while Trevino comprehensively out struck him in rounds two and three, in addition to out grappling him when the fight went to the clinch or the mat. Good work from Trevino to take advantage of the opportunity given to him.
Garcia wins: Alex Garcia defeated Sean Spencer by split decision. This was a fun fight, especially the second round when both men were rocked at various points. The point that likely won the fight for Garcia was his ability to score takedowns. Spencer was able to regain his feet relatively quickly, but with the striking being so close scoring takedowns can be the edge necessary to win a fight. Garcia is 2-0 in the UFC now, and hopefully he avoids falling into the pattern of other Tristar fighters because his power is a big part of what makes him a successful fighter.
Bermudez impresses: Dennis Bermudez defeated Jimy Hettes with strikes in the third round. Bermudez looked really good, his punches were landing to the head and body, his wrestling both offensively and defensively was working, this was just a top to bottom great showing from Bermudez. This was Bermudez's sixth straight win at featherweight in the UFC, which ties the record of Jose Aldo for most consecutive wins in the division. I say move Bermudez up now, he looked great here.
Andrade wins: Jessica Andrade defeated Raquel Pennington by split decision in a fun fight. Both women came to fight, Andrade had some fun throws in the first and constantly pressed forward looking for punches. Pennington worked well in the clinch and when she fought from distance was having success, she just seemed to get caught up in brawling too often when she was winning from the outside. Fun fight from both ladies.
Heck of a fight: Kelvin Gastelum defeated Rick Story by split decision in a really good back and forth affair. Gastelum had a big first round, he hurt Story on the feet, controlled the distance, and landed a very accurate jab almost at will. The second round didn't have a lot of action until the very end when Story landed a big left that rocked Gastelum. The third was a close round with Story having a fair amount of back control and both men looking for openings. I'm a little skeptical of the 30-27 scorecard for Gastelum, but Gastelum had a good performance especially considering his difficulty making weight the day before.
OSP impresses: Ovince St. Preux defeated Nikita Krylov by submission with a von Flue choke in the first round. I said in my preview that I hadn't really been impressed with OSP in any performance, well now I have been. Krylov held onto the guillotine position while OSP had side control, and if you do that there is a counter choke available that OSP was able to get and choked Krylov out with it. Impressive outing from OSP.
Lombard wins: Hector Lombard defeated Jake Shields by unanimous decision. The first round of this fight was solid, Lombard was able to blitz Shields, land punches, avoid anything potentially offensive from Shields, just a great round. Sadly everything slowed down after that. Lombard was able to land punches from time to time, and had some impressive judo throws, but everything was done at a slow pace with very little overall activity. Lombard got the win, the most important thing, but he really needs some help with his conditioning because plenty of guys would have been able to capitalize on his slowing down in the second and third rounds.
Jury steps up: Myles Jury defeated Diego Sanchez by unanimous decision. Diego Sanchez is still something of a name, and he has exciting fights, but he's done as anything more than a gatekeeper. Myles Jury stepped up big time for this one, he refused to fall into the brawling style of Sanchez, kept landing his shots from the outside, controlled the grappling, basically did everything correct to beat Diego Sanchez. Jury remains unbeaten and should get a move up in competition.
Well that sucked: Tyron Woodley defeated Carlos Condit by TKO when Condit suffered a bad injury to his right knee. Condit took a couple of hard right hands, but didn't seem terribly phased by them. Woodley was slowing down a little and was reverting to the wet blanket approach while Condit was performing as he usually does. Sadly Condit appeared to injure his right knee on a takedown from Woodley, which was then exacerbated when he came down on it after a leg kick from Woodley and the fight was stopped. Woodley asked for a title shot after the fight, and depending on how the main event goes he could legitimately be in line.
As expected: Johny Hendricks defeated Robbie Lawler via unanimous decision to win the vacant UFC welterweight championship. Objectively speaking this was a fine fight, Lawler and Hendricks fought almost exclusively on the feet, Hendricks seeming to favor volume striking this time around while Lawler tried to get Hendricks to over commit to punches and land a big counter. Hendricks had a good first and second round, then faded in rounds three and four before rallying in the fifth and taking it to win the fight and the title. I've heard lots of praise for this fight, and in many ways it deserves it, this was far from boring and featured a fifth round that would decide the fight for either man. My issue was I didn't care, and not having some kind of emotional investment in the fighters prevents the kind of enjoyment and personal response that take a fight from being good to great, or great to classic. The next challenger to Johny Hendricks hasn't yet been determined, Tyron Woodley has a good case, the UFC seems to want to pair Hendricks with Rory MacDonald for their return to Vancouver on June 14 this year, Hector Lombard is unbeaten at welterweight, and Nick Diaz has come out of hiding to begin heckling the champion, claiming he deserves a title shot despite being on a two fight losing streak. I don't envy whoever has to sort this out.
Hendricks is injured: Following his win over Robbie Lawler to claim the vacant UFC welterweight title, new champion Johny Hendricks is hurt. During the fight he was complaining of his right arm being slow, or unable to get it to work properly. It seems he was having that difficulty because he tore his biceps at some point in the fight. Hendricks also fractured his left shin in the fight, and is scheduled to have surgery on his biceps this Monday. There was speculation that the UFC was hoping to pair Hendricks with Rory MacDonald for their return to Canada, UFC 174 will be held in Vancouver, but with the injury it makes that turnaround unlikely for the new champion. On the plus side, if the UFC is set on going with MacDonald and Hendricks, UFC 178 is being held in Toronto this September and Hendricks could be healthy by then.
Condit needs surgery: Following his knee injury at UFC 171, Carlos Condit will be needing surgery. It was confirmed following an MRI after the fight with Tyron Woodley that Condit has a partially torn meniscus and a torn ACL and will require surgery to repair them. This is bad news for the former interim champion, who has yet to set a place and time for the procedure.
Siver fails test: UFC featherweight Dennis Siver failed his post fight drug test following his win over Manny Gamburyan at UFC 168. Siver was popped for human chorionic gonadotropin(hCG). While hGC is a naturally occurring hormone in both men and women, it's on the banned substance list because of it's association with steroid use. HCG is normally a fertility drug in used by women trying to get pregnant, and it encourages the body to naturally produce testosterone. It's used by those on steroids to cycle off of them and get their bodies producing the hormone naturally after they've used the synthetic variants. No word yet on the possible repercussions, and Siver does have time to file an appeal, but one would assume a suspension and fine is forthcoming.
UFC 170 buyrate is in: UFC 170, headlined by UFC women's bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey, has a buyrate estimate in at 340,000 buys. This is actually a slight bump from the business the UFC has been doing, the prior event did under 250k buys, but down from the last event headlined by Ronda, which was UFC 157 and did 450k buys. Between those two fights was the super card she was part of along with Chris Weidman and Anderson Silva, but as a solo draw Ronda isn't proving to be that much better than the average PPV headliner. If we exclude UFC 168, the aforementioned super cad with the second fight between Ronda Rousey and Miesha Tate as well as the rematch for the middleweight title between Chris Weidman and Anderson Silva, and UFC 167, which was headlined by then welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre, this is the best buyrate the UFC has seen since UFC 162, which did 550k and featured Anderson Silva as champion defending the belt against Chris Weidman. That is a shocking statistic, a couple of years ago 300k or so was near the lower end of the buyrate spectrum, now the fighter that the UFC is hyping as their biggest star ever (UFC President Dana White's words, not mine) produces a rate that is on par with the disappointing buys for the third fight between UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez and former champion Junior dos Santos. I'm not saying the UFC is in some dire straits, that's an exaggeration bordering on absurdity, but compared with where the promotion was just eighteen months ago, it is a steep drop off in terms of buys and general interest. The promotion isn't going anywhere, but this is a troubling trend.
Well the UFC is bringing us a Sunday card, another Brazilian hosted Fight Night featuring the tried and true method of hometown guys taking on "evil foreigners". The main event is a rematch of one of the best MMA fights of all time, Mauricio "Shogun" Rua taking on Dan Henderson. But there's the rest of the main card to go through as well, so let's get to it.
Rony Jason vs. Stephen Siler: Well, two guys coming off of a loss will open the main card, in fact Siler lost his last fight to Diego Brandao who is on the preliminary card. Jason was on the receiving end of a nasty head kick KO loss to Jeremy Stephens in his last outing, so both men could use a win. Both men seem to prefer striking and are good grapplers, but neither is a great wrestler. Great wrestling is what has beaten Siler in the UFC and Jason doesn't have it, so I'm leaning towards him to land more strikes and land them cleaner over the three rounds.
Michel Prazeres vs. Mairbek Taisumov: This was supposed to be Mairbek Taisumov taking on Gleison Tibau, then Tibau got injured and we've got Michel Prazeres stepping in on short notice. I was really looking forward to seeing Taisumov and Tibau, Tibau is a borderline top fifteen guy who is a tough gatekeeper and I wanted to see how Taisumov would stack up against him. This is a much more winnable fight for Taisumov though, Prazeres had a close split decision win in his last fight and lost to Paulo Thiago in his prior UFC outing. Taisumov has just one UFC fight, but it was a clear cut unanimous decision win. I'm going with Taisumov to get another decision win as he out works and out wrestles Prazeres.
Fabio Maldonado vs. Gian Vallante: This should be a decent slug fest, both men are heavy handed and like to swing leather. I'm thinking Villante will take this one, avoiding the possible wild brawling and out land Maldonado to win the fight. Should at least be a fun fight to keep the night going.
Leonardo Santos vs. Norman Parke: Two TUF winners square off here, a submission specialist Santos taking on the solid striking of Parke. If Santos can't get this fight to the ground he's got almost no chance of winning here. I actually think Santos will be able to get this to the ground at some point and will tap out Parke once the fight gets there.
Cezar Ferreira vs. CB Dollaway: I can't recall enjoying a CB Dollaway fight, and Ferreira is in kind of a similar vein. This is unlikely to be a classic fight, there's a legitimate chance this becomes Jake Shields-like in the worst possible way. I'm leaning towards Ferreira, mostly because generally picking Dollaway is a mistake.
Mauricio "Shogun" Rua vs. Dan Henderson: Anyone who goes into this fight expecting a fight similar to their first fight, which was voted the second best fight of all time here at 411mania and by default the best fight in UFC history as the only fight ahead of it came from PRIDE, will be sorely mistaken. Both men are older, more physically broken down, and closer to the end of their careers. Rua has gone 2-2 in fights since their 2011 clash and is coming off of a knockout win over James Te Huna while Henderson ha gone 0-3 and is coming off of the first TKO loss of his illustrious career. If Rua is in the same type of shape, physically and mentally, that he was when he took on James Te Huna I think he can win. Rua can, and probably should, win this fight but Henderson, despite not having a win all of last year, is still a live pick. I'm going with Rua, I think he is able to land some shots, get a takedown and will finish this on the ground either with strikes or a choke.
And on that note, you've survived another Guillotine. UFC Fight Night: Rua vs. Henderson 2 is coming to you live this Sunday evening, Mark Radulich will have the live coverage here at 411mania and will be providing live updates on the 411 Ground and Pound radio show. The Ground and Pound radio show will be live this Sunday at 9pm eastern talking all things MMA and getting periodic updates on the ongoing UFC Fight Night event from the mandated reporter Mr. Mark Radulich as he handles live coverage. I'll see you guys back here next week, until then keep your heads up and your necks safe.