Friday, March 9, 2012

Thoughts on UFC/Strikeforce weekend: I REALLY miss PRIDE judging

So for those of you who missed my half-hour diatribes on the UFC on FX 2 card and the Strikeforce 39: Tate vs. Rousey card on KUNV this Tuesday, SHAME on you!

Anyway, there were plenty of lessons and moments to take away from the weekend, so let's first talk about UFC, then Strikeforce.


Judging: The ONLY way to make a fight designed not to end in a draw, end in a draw

In some ways, this is a pretty hilarious turn of events. Dana White added a sudden-death fourth round in the event one of the Flyweight Tournament semifinals ended in a draw. Turns out it was a smart idea.

Unfortunately, the fighters didn't know it was a draw until the event ended.

That's right. For those who didn't see, the athletic commission in Australia made a mistake in recording the judges' scores in the Demetrious Johnson-Ian McCall fight. Two judges had the fight scored as a draw, but the scores wound up reflecting a split decision in favor of Johnson.

It's really too bad, since the fight over those three rounds had been nothing short of amazing. It's a shame that a fight that easily could have turned into a Fight of the Year candidate ended in such a ridiculous manner.

It's times like this when I really wish PRIDE's format of judging where they pick a winner based on the whole of the fight. Granted, that had it's controversial moments, but at least you weren't relying on people to do basic math, adding three numbers together.

Geez, people are stupid. The only consolation is I get to see the two fight again, though it sucks for Joseph Benavidez, who absolutely dominated his opponent and submitted him to earn a title shot.

Well, here's hoping the wait doesn't make him go ice cold.

GSP has a LOT of challengers coming his way

Martin Kampmann eked out a submission in the final round of a main event he was getting crushed in.

This is terrible for Thiago Alves, who may be falling out of the elite welterweight category, but it is great for the UFC, who now will have new challenges at 170 lbs.

Besides Kampmann, Johny Hendricks, Nick Diaz, Jake Ellenberger, Josh Koscheck, Diego Sanchez and of course, Carlos Condit will all want a shot at the title when GSP is back from his injury, and with months to go they all have a chance to reel off one or two really good wins to get in line for that shot.

Good luck to him, but he won't be clearing out this weight class for a while.


Women's MMA is in good hands if you can focus on the one weight class

What I saw on Saturday night epitomizes why the 145-lb. women's division needs to go away. The weight class 10 pounds south put on two absolutely amazing fights.

First off, Ronda Rousey silenced critics by judo throwing and arm-breaking her way to the title against Miesha Tate.

I will say two things: First, Sarah Kaufman was still No. 1 contender in my view. No result, no matter how dominant, can invalidate that.

Second, Rousey still has to work on her stand-up game. In both instances where she took down Tate, it was in reaction to getting sent backwards by a Tate punch. It looked like she was forcing the fight to the ground because she knew she was clearly outmatched on her feet.

With all that said, Rousey epitomizes what women's MMA needs: a mouthy, skilled, good-looking fighter to draw in anyone and everyone. Even Dana White admits she will be a huge star.

The thing is, her fight wasn't even the best on the card. The fight of the night, hell, of the weekend, was the prelim main event between Kaufman and Alexis Davis.

The two put on a clinic both standing and on the ground. Though I feel that Davis won, I can see the argument for Kaufman and have no problem seeing her get the title shot she earned.

The 135-lb. class needs to be taken seriously and built up now that there are some legitimate fighters in it. Strikeforce needs to stop dividing interest with a 145 class and push these girls. This class could easily go 10-deep or so, and it's time the company invest in that prospect.

Men's MMA in Strikeforce sucks

Speaking of ceasing to invest in stuff, when did Strikeforce's men's classes go from second-best in the world, to UFC's feeder, to a complete waste of thought?

Josh Thomson earned the chance to get beaten again by Gilbert Melendez in the worst possible lead-in to the Rousey fight. I won't even get into the other fights and instead just advise you that they were a COMPLETE WASTE OF TIME!

If you're not even going to try here, let's just move Melendez into the UFC and prepare for the company to die already.

Anyway, I wound up 5-7 for the weekend (3-3 UFC, 2-4 SF), though I firmly believe the judges scored three of my losses incorrectly. (Once again, nice job judges.) Be sure to check in later today for my Bellator picks and thoughts on The Ultimate Fighter Season 15!

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