I must admit that when Frankie Edgar vs. Gray Maynard got pulled from this UFC 130 event I was pretty bummed and not really looking forward to it.
However, the more I started to put thoughts together for the fight previews, the more excited I got and I think the card delivered as best it could considering the circumstances. Let’s get right to it because I have a lot to say:
- Anyone that criticizes the judges for the Demetrious Johnson/Miguel Torres fight decision has issues. That was an incredibly difficult fight to score and using the criteria that the current system uses, Johnson deserved to win and a case could have been made for Torres. The ‘media’ folk claiming that Torres got robbed are terribly mis-informed. The fight was RAZOR close, that’s not the definition of a robbery. I personally scored the fight for Johnson. The small amount of time the fight was on the feet, he landed much more efficiently than Torres. Torres couldn’t stop his takedowns. Yes, Torres was active off his back, but there no way to tell how close the submission attempts were to actually submitting Johnson(none appeared that close to me). I was watching the fight at a bar and in the final round when Torres swept Johnson with two minutes remaining, I looked to the guy beside me and said take notes because everyone will give Torres the round if he stays on top. Johnson had won the first 3 minutes of that round before being swept(everybody forgot about that), and then was able to avoid damage and then gain top position back before the end of the round. It wasn’t a robbery by any means and could have easily gone the other way.
- Kendall Grove is just too weak to compete as a middleweight. Tim Boetsch tossed him around like a ragged doll. I personally wasn’t that impressed with Boetsch like a lot of folk. I mean it was Kendall Grove he was throwing around, not Chael Sonnen. I don’t expect him to make significant waves as a middleweight.
- Brian Stann put the stamp on Jorge Santiago. That was expected though as Santiago’s chin always fails him against anyone with good power. It was a good win for Stann, and the most impressive thing about him is that he throws STRAIGHT strikes. His leg kicks looked solid as well and he’s basically morphed his style into a middleweight Chuck Liddellin his prime. Is he a top ten middleweight now? I wonder if Jorge Santiago will give Stann his Sengoku Middleweight belt now? Haha.
- I told yall Rick Story was going to beat Thiago Alves. His style is made for someone like Alves and I think he’d stand a good chance of beating Jon Fitchtoo. A lot of folk thought Story hugged on Alves all night, but he stood in the pocket on several occasions and took some of Alves best shots. I don’t expect that style to bode for his longevity in this sport, but he took the fight to Alves and is now a solid top ten welterweight. Alves will always struggle against ‘grinders’, but he’s young enough to make some adjustments to his game and come back. I think Story should fight Fitch with Jake Ellenberger fighting the winner of Condit/Kim. No sense in using a prospect/contender to eliminate one another when you don’t have to.
- Travis Browne put the stamp on Stefan Stuve. Struve just doesn’t do well with guys with KO power and that showed again last night. Browne might want to keep his hands up though when he fights better competition, he was begging to get knocked out himself. That was a highlight reel knockout though.
- Props to Frank Mir for winning against Roy Nelson. I certainly didn’t expect him to take Nelson down that easily, but that’s what happens when you gas after the first round I suppose. I don’t think the win really helped Mir that much because it wasn’t an impressive showing in my opinion. He was gassed halfway through the fight himself. I’d like to see Brendan Schaub face Mir instead of Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira at UFC 134 because that fight makes zero sense.
- I was getting kind of mad at Rampage Jackson as he was fighting Matt Hamill. It was clear that Hamill was not going to be able to take him down, yet he was fighting overly cautious and not putting anything together. Then I learned that he had a hand injury afterwards, so I have to give him somewhat of a pass I suppose. I just thought he should have been able to get Matt Hamill out of there without going to a decision. I thought Jackson looked good though, he pretty much outclassed Hamill in all aspects but just didn’t finish him. It looks like we’ll get Rampage Jackson vs. Jon Jones for the title next, barring Jackson needing surgery on his injured hand. I think that fight would do well as a main event, and I would definitely be interested in watching. You would have the aggressive fighter in Jon Jones against the counter-puncher with power in Rampage Jackson.
I thought the UFC placing each fighter’s twitter account on TV as they were walking to the cage was simply marvelous marketing. I was sad to seem them go back to the old gladiator theme at the beginning of the show, I guess UFC 129’s production intro was a one time thing.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on the event, especially the Johnson/Torres bout. For those saying the judges had monitors, I think it must be understood that it’s no different than watching on tv and many fans where I was had differing opinions on that fight. Also, given Rampage’s performance last night, what chance would you give him to beat Jones if they fight?