Well this was the lamest UFC since UFC 61 I’d have to say — or maybe UFC 55 — depends on whether you hate long boring decisions or disappointing flash knockouts more. I’d say UFC 61 was worse because we had a 5 round dance off rather than just several boring 3 round waltzes.
I blame Joe Silva — he seems to have forgotten that styles make fights. Let’s go through the card.
Frank Edgar vs Spencer Fisher — this had some possibility for intrigue given Fisher’s advantage standing and decent BJJ skills, but the King just played stupid. Compare his fight with Edgar to Hermes Franca’s tactics against Sherk. Hermes didn’t win, but he fought the best possible fight and came close to submitting Sherk with a guillotine in round one and almost KO’d Sherk with knees in the 2nd and 4th rounds. He built his whole game plan on attacking Sherk at the most vulnerable moment for a wrestler with a disadvantage on the feet — the shoot. Spencer on the other hand just went in there and brawled. When he did manage to get back to his feet he insisted on low percentage moves like throwing high kicks(!) and superman punches. Not smart. On his back he did nothing. Edgar’s not as polished as Sherk as a BJJ player (not even close) and it seemed Fisher had opportunities to go for submissions that he missed. I dare say that Penn, Stevenson, Tavares, Aurelio and Florian would all have very good chances to catch Edgar with a submission. This fight does move Edgar close to title contention. I figure two more wins over top contenders and he’ll have earned a shot. If Huerta beats Guida or Gleison Tibau beats Tyson Griffin (both are long shots) they would be logical next matchups in comparable contention.
Ed Herman vs Joe Doerksen
You can’t really blame Joe Silva for this one — well except for the fact that you’ve got to have a back up in mind if you’re going to book Dave Terrell for a fight. He should’ve had a 185lb fight on the undercard so someone in shape could step up to the card in the 80% chance that Terrell pulls out injured. As it was, it was sad to see Doerksen go down when he was clearly undertrained for the fight. Especially since this is likely his last shot at the UFC. Given more notice I think he beats Herman 80% of the time. As it was, he had Herman beat but the bell saved Ed at the end of round 2. Am I the only one who thinks that the bell shouldn’t save a fighter from a submission?
Karo Parisyan vs Ryo Chonan
As I predicted Chonan had the judo skills to prevent Karo from landing any flashy throws. It was totally second nature for him to avoid putting his weight in a position where Karo could launch him. Joe Silva should have been able to figure that out too. But Chonan doesn’t have the skillset to mount any kind of offense against Karo. His standup is worse than Karo’s, his reach is just awful and he is a weaker wrestler. Recipe for a stalemate.
Thiago Silva vs Houston Alexander
This was good match-making. Alexander shocked the world by KO’ing Jardine when he was sent in as a last minute substitute, expected to set up the TUF fighter for a title shot. It made perfect sense to feed him Sakara — not quite a can, but not much of a prospect for title contention either. Houston had earned the right to face Thiago Silva. The weakness here was not doing sufficient build up of Thiago. When he came out and crushed Houston, the casual fans I was with just concluded that he sucks since he lost to a no body.
Rashad Evans vs Michael Bisping
Believe it or not I’m not going to rag on Joe for this one. We’ve chewed over how this Fight Night headliner became a PPV main event many times.
I have to say it really sucks that Chris Lytle lost by cut to Thiago Alves. He was really giving Alves all he could handle and a 3rd round would have been excellent.
It’ll be interesting to see if Gono can contend at welterweight and Aurelio has saved his career.
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