Saturday, August 11, 2012

Reflections of... UFC 150 (More an instant take, really)

For some reason this card made me want to write. Not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing.

Well one good thing is that after I only managed one win on last week's free UFC card, I was a perfect 5-0 tonight.

Honestly, the lightweights are the reason that this card was worth it for me. The only reason.

I was able to see every fight on this card, and with the exception of two finishes on the preliminary card, I was unimpressed up to the co-main event. The fights were clearly high-caliber, but were pretty lackluster, and there was a lot of timid fighting out there.

Thankfully, Donald Cerrone and Melvin Guillard managed to kill that boredom in their less than one round of fighting. I thought Guillard had him, but Cerrone did a great job of delaying the action while he stabilized, and his knockout punch shook everyone in the Buffalo Wild Wings. For the first time that night, there was an energy.

This set up the main event perfectly, and the two put out a good effort. There is some controversy regarding the fight (I know right? A Frankie Edgar fight with controversy?!), but I do think that the fight is arguable enough that the champion retaining is reasonable.

Honestly, only the first two rounds were decisive. Ben Henderson clearly got Round 1, and Edgar clearly won Round 2. From there, it's a toss-up. I felt that Edgar got Rounds 3 and 5, while Bendo got the fourth.

Edgar fought basically the same fight for the last three rounds: aggressive, but a little sloppy with wasted motion. Bendo fought that way in Round 3 but with what I felt were less damaging punches; Round 4, I felt Bendo was more efficient and that outweighed Edgar's work; then in Round 5, I saw Bendo not act with aggression and it looked like he fought too timid to give him the round.

Had this been PRIDE, I'd say the alteration of style would make Edgar look like a more stable option, though on the whole, Bendo threw more strikes and landed a higher percentage, so even that's not certain.

Overall, I think Edgar has earned the right to stay at 155 if he so chooses, but he's AT LEAST two fights away from getting any rematch in my view. If he does drop to 145, I'd be alright with him getting the shot after Aldo's next fight. He's proven himself to be an elite at the weight above, so a title shot should be his incentive to drop 10 pounds.

I do get annoyed at his fighting style for producing screwy decisions every time, but hey, he's keeping in the hunt, and that's all that can be asked. Until that stops, he can fight in whatever class he can maintain.

If I had to be Joe Silva or Sean Shelby for a moment, I'd say Nate Diaz and Bendo is the title match while Anthony Pettis fights Cerrone for the No. 1 contendership. From there, Maynard-Miller and Lauzon's next fight should be the determinants for the No. 1 match after that. Edgar would be good for Lauzon, and if he drops, maybe Sotiropolous or Guida.

Once Eddie Alvarez's contract in Bellator expires, he's also in the mix. I think the biggest lesson that should be learned here is that Nate Diaz is wrong: Gilbert Melendez needs to shut up about being the best in the world.

Fact is, there are legitimately 10 guys who could give Bendo a problem in the UFC alone, and they all fight constantly. The one at the top of this mountain takes precedence over the man who fights the same three guys on a loop because he was too stupid to get out of Strikeforce when his last contract ran out.

I see so many people still keeping Shinya Aoki in the top 5, and that's a load of crap. There are 11 UFC guys better than him. Alvarez and Melendez have beat his ass, and Bellator champ Michael Chandler should be ahead of him. I see no reason why Aoki should EVER be ranked above 14 or 15 at this point.

On the whole, it was a good night in the lightweight division. What should get everyone excited is that the run of title fights is going to continue on every PPV through the end of the year. The Light Heavyweight title is on Sept. 1, the Flyweights get their first champ on Sept. 22, and the last three months respectively will get Featherweight, Welterweight, and Heavyweight title matches.

Here's to a good rest of 2012 in UFC!

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