Lessons from UFC 126
Wow. What a card. And to think, I was planning on doing a “Comedy Death Match” for a $200 cash prize instead of watching this.
Well, I actually did the death match and lost in the first round but was able to catch all of the cool shit that happened on this card regardless.
With the Super Bowl over shadowing this AMAZING fight card, I think it still held it’s own despite not getting props from ESPN as much as it should have. ESPN and other major sports news outlets have come a long way in accepting MMA in their stories but it still isn’t good enough for me, and I’ll explain why.
Lesson Learned: Anderson Silva is the greatest fighter in the UFC.
And it’s simple human emotion that makes him that way. He spent a majority of the first round showboating and hot dogging to the point where he made many hardcore MMA fans go, “Not this again! I hate this guy!”
Then what happened? He used a defensive kick normally used to create space and clocked his opponent on the jaw and sent him unconscious to the mat.
(I had a .gif file of the KO but the file was too large for my uploading ability. Sorry, friends.)
Silva has the second-best KO via kick (behind Anthony Pettis’ Showtime Kick) I’ve ever seen. That was brutally awesome. It seems like every time you are about to count Silva out, he goes and proves why he is the number one pound-for-pound fighter in the entire world.
I also want to incorporate a futuristic tone to some of this… because what we need now is for George St. Pierre to knock out that mouth-breathing douche juice Jake Shields so we can get the right to see THE super fight. Let’s all hope Jake Shields doesn’t spoil this with the “lay and gay.”
The reason I’m mad at ESPN is when I went to the second bar I was at that night, I watched the Worldwide Leader’s top 10 plays from the evening. This KO was ranked #9 on the count… right behind some weak-ass dunks and fancy basketball passing… ya’ know, because THAT doesn’t happen every day.
I don’t like it. A fight like this is rare and it’s ten times more exciting than one of 30 dunks from the night.
What I don’t get is Anderson’s celebration? He was so flamboyant after he knocked Belfort out. He might as well have sucked a dick in the octagon after the fight. I now think he’s at least tried it. I wouldn’t say it to his face in a dark alley, but still.
While we’re on the topic…
Lesson Learned: Vitor Belfort is the best gatekeeper we’ll ever see.
He won’t beat the top talent. He won’t get a belt…but young prospects beware, this is the dude you will be facing to get a title shot someday.
The craziest thing about UFC 126 was that if the Silva match wasn’t on the card, the card was still awesome. And that brings us to…
Lesson Learned: Jon Jones is the future of this sport.
I’m not going to hype this kid up any more than he already is because everyone is all over him and you can read that elsewhere. I’m not going to call him the greatest fighter ever. Why? LOOK AT HIS AGE. He is definitely worthy of the hype. He is 12-1 with VERY impressive wins. He embarrassed my second-favorite fighter in the UFC and earned Submission of the Night honors at UFC 126. He definitely deserves a title shot and I’m so happy he took it. Good luck fighting six weeks later, kid.
On the other hand, looking in the future, Vegas had Jones as an early favorite (don’t know if the line has shifted in three days but whatever) and all I want to say?
Don’t forget what Shogun has done in this sport.
Shogun is a champion for a reason and someone is going to figure this kid out. Unless he’s the next Fedor, he will lose a match eventually. Both Fedor and Jones have that one controversial referee stoppage as a loss but even Fedor lost recently and the same could happen for the young Jones. I’m VERY interested to see what happens.
Fuck, did I just compare Jones to Fedor? Ah well, I’ve done worse… and on the other side of the match…
Lesson learned: Ryan Bader is not done. He has ONE loss.
It’s hard to judge his performance in this one. Don’t let a fight like this fool you. Bader is a talented fighter and I think he’s well rounded. It’s just a shitty match up for him. Jones had a 10-inch reach advantage on him. Jones is a talented wrestler and Bader’s strength is wrestling.
If Bader steps up his boxing game, he can be a dangerous fighter.
Lesson Learned: Don’t listen to Bloodstain Lane.
I picked “Kid” Yamamoto (a legend in the Japanese MMA scene) in our fantasy MMA pool solely because Bloodstain was so confident in him. Boy was I wrong. Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson looked very impressive in his UFC debut despite only going to a decision.
Lastly, I want to touch on the Franklin/Griffin bout.
I really don’t think we “learned” anything from this match per se. Is Forrest back? Who knows. If you talk to fair weather fans like my friend Sticky-T, he thinks Forrest threw the Silva match when he got knocked out on a feint jab. Since then (August ’09) Forrest has only fought twice. He’s won both matches against Tito Ortiz and Franklin. Two fading stars in the division.
I hope they punish Rampage Jackson for turning down a title match with Shogun and make him fight Forrest Griffin. Why is that punishment? Simply because you need to bring your A game with Forrest. He’ll go to a decision every single time and make you work for your win. He’ll take punches and push the fight with his cardio machine-like body.
So my third futuristic wish list-type item…
Lesson Learned: UFC needs to make the Rampage v. Forrest rematch happen.
That’s all I’ve got from UFC 126. It truly was a great card, worth the PPV buy and part of an awesome weekend in sports. Hope you all enjoyed as much as I did and look forward to seeing all these story lines progress into nothing because as an MMA junkie/writer, we wear our hearts on our sleeves.
Next up? Strikeforce Grand Prix!