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My post-UFC 75 thoughts including what’s next for each fighter

The show opened with Mike Goldberg and Joe Rogan talking about how Henderson vs. Rampage was going to be the first of many PRIDE vs. UFC matches. That left me scratching my head. I’m sorry, but has Fedor been signed to unify the PRIDE heavyweight title against Randy Couture and the UFC heavyweight title? Has the UFC stepped up and beaten K-1 to the punch for Takanori Gomi and will we see him fight B.J. Penn again? And maybe I missed it and Dan Henderson has already agreed to fight at 185 and unify the titles in that division?

I guess if Chuck Liddell beats Keith Jardine then Liddell vs. Wanderlei Silva for Dec. 29 will officially be signed and that will count as a PRIDE vs. UFC match. But other than that, what else is on the immediate horizon? I just don’t see the Super Bowl of MMA series ever taking place. Which is fine, but it’s time to stop promoting such a concept if there’s no guarantee of a satisfying payoff.

There’s also no point in promoting a PRIDE vs. UFC feud if you aren’t going to even show PRIDE enough respect to put their titles on TV. Maybe I missed it, but I don’t recall seeing Henderson’s PRIDE middleweight and welterweight titles being brought to the ring. And after Jackson was named the winner there was only one belt put around his waist — the UFC light heavyweight title. Did the PRIDE middleweight and welterweight titles decide not to sign contracts so the UFC elected to make the decision not to put them on camera? Were they lost in the mail when they were sent over from Japan? Why couldn’t they have waited until after the unification match to retire the PRIDE title?

Enough with the sarcasm because I thoroughly enjoyed UFC 75. It was a much better production than UFC 72 or UFC 70. For some reason those two international shows had a stale feeling (the resolution and lighting weren’t that great for those shows). UFC 75 truly felt like a big event and commercials aside, I really did feel like I was watching a PPV for free. Mike Goldberg and Joe Rogan were very good on the show and Randy Couture added a lot during the Henderson vs. Rampage main event.

Even the commercials were better! UFC 70 felt so B-league when it came to advertisers. There weren’t any Girls Gone Wild promos or anything like that for UFC 75 so the prestige of the event wasn’t taken away from. The timing of the matches was good and the editing of the pre-recorded comments by Goldberg was a lot more seamless than usual.

A general thought that I have is in regard to a lot of people who have issues with Dana White for being critical of the competition. At the end of the day though, the UFC knows how to put on an event and they know how to run an MMA fight promotion. They aren’t in the learning stages. It isn’t trial and error with them. They have the game down to a science. I’ve even spoken to people inside the industry who aren’t fans of Dana and the way he carries himself yet even they admit that the UFC simply understands the business of MMA better than anyone else out there.

The fights themselves were good. There wasn’t a match of the year candidate but there weren’t any clunkers either.

Onto the matches…

Houston Alexander TKO over Alessio Sakara in round 1 - I guess technically as a journalist I’m supposed to remain impartial and not root for guys and what not. But this is the fight game and I pride myself as not being your typical sportswriter. So full disclosure: I’m a Houston Alexander fan. I was of Houston’s after the demolition of Jardine; I became a bigger fan last week after I interviewed him with Eric “Performify” Foster for MMAjunkie.com; and I completely marked out when he mugged Sakara and then got on the mic and showed MMAjunkie.com some love during his post-fight interview with Rogan. The guy is just a cool dude.

When Eric and I interviewed him he was super nice to us. I wondered if maybe it was because he knows we’re “media” and he was buttering us up a bit? Not so. With the Junkie name drop he showed me that he just sincerely appreciates the fact that Junkie gave him fair coverage leading up to his debut vs. Jardine. Everyone buried him but Junkie gave this guy the chance to tell his story. I think he claimed Junkie to be a sponsor but to my knowledge that technically isn’t the case. The site has done a lot to support him (as they do for a lot of fighters) but I don’t think they funded any of his training. I think he used the sponsorship route so he could work the mention in. I’m sure Eric and Dann can correct me if I’m wrong.

The fight itself was short but brutally entertaining. Rogan said it best when he stated “Houston Alexander is violent.” It’s kind of a weird statement considering this is fighting and fighting by nature is violent but Alexander kind of elevates the level of violence in his fights. It’s almost like not watching MMA but more of a guy assaulting another dude. Honestly, I can’t say I haven’t learned anything more about him as a fighter but we can’t say Alexander has fought nothing but suspect competition since entering the UFC. Granted, I don’t place a lot of stock in Sakara as an opponent but Keith Jardine rates as a quality win in my mind. I believe this dude is for real but I know not everyone does. But at the very least you have to admit that this guy is entertaining as hell.

Luke Thomas, Matt Cava and I discussed on the UFC 75 preview last week on Inside the Cage Radio how the “Italian boxer” thing in regard to Sakara is just a flat out promotional joke. Kudos to Luke for doing the research on Sakara’s boxing background because even though he is a boxer in Italy, his record isn’t all that impressive. His wins have come against some pretty weak competition. If you’re really a good boxer, wouldn’t you eventually graduate from the Italian boxing scene and take your act international? He’s simply a guy at this point that the UFC knows will do nothing but trade hands and probably end up losing the exchange.

Back to Alexander as I round this up. The UFC has struck gold in him and they need to keep the Houston Alexander express running. I don’t want to see an extended layoff for him that could kill his momentum. He’s used to fighting often so I’d book him to fight Stephan Bonnar at UFC 78 in Newark this November.

Marcus Davis armbar submission over Paul Taylor in round 1 -
I wish I remembered the site but I remember reading a column by a pretty well-known pundit who claimed a year and a half ago that Davis was past his prime and was winding down his career. In reality, who could blame him? But the fact is that Davis is far from done as he’s in his prime right now. Davis was nothing more than a boxer for years but his work with Jorge Gurgel has paid dividends in his ground game. And his continued work with Kru Mark Della Grotte is also apparent. When I finish my overachievers article, Davis will be on it because this guy made himself into a mixed martial artist brick-by-brick. I guess his kettle bell work has paid off too because I don’t remember his physique ever having as much definition as we saw last night.

As for Taylor, he seems like he has solid kickboxing skills but I don’t think we need to see him as anything more than a local guy they use on the non-televised preliminary portion of European shows.

So what’s next for Davis? He’s on a 10 fight win streak and has won five consecutive fights in the UFC against Forrest Petz, Shonie Carter, Pete Spratt, Jason Tan, and now Taylor. It’s time for the UFC to challenge him and give him a step up in competition in the welterweight division. Josh Koscheck is coming off a loss at UFC 74 so why not Koscheck vs. Davis as Kos’ first match back?

Cheick Kongo defeats Mirko Cro Cop via unanimous decision – I guess nobody lives in fear of that left high kick anymore so guys are willing to come right at Cro Cop and fight him like anyone else. Cro Cop got beat my a bigger, stronger, and faster fighter who brought the fight to him the entire time. The crazy thing is, Cro Cop didn’t look that bad. He came into the fight in good shape and really stepped up his training. You could tell though that he gave into frustration. He’s not used to people fighting him like that. So now you’ve had Gonzaga and Kongo go right at him. It looks like the Cro Cop myth has been broken. He’s getting paid a ton of money and has yet to be involved in a big money matchup for the UFC and he’s not in a position to be involved in one for his next match.

Kongo really pushed the pace and you could tell that Cro Cop didn’t like it. Cro Cop is used to attacking guys and didn’t like constantly being put on the defensive. I think maybe he took Kongo lightly and assumed that because he was the more respected striker from a reputation standpoint that he’d be able to dictate the terms of the match. He just didn’t have a plan B when he realized things weren’t going his way.

I was also surprised to see Kongo show some ground skills. I didn’t think there was a chance in hell the match would go to the ground. Then again, I didn’t think there was a chance in hell the match would go the distance. I still wouldn’t call Kongo proficient on the ground but at least he showed us something on the mat. Some progress is better than no progress. I guess working with Juanito has made a huge difference. Man, I remember in PRIDE when Rampage had trouble affording decent sparring partners. Thanks to his success and his new affiliation with Juanito, he’s going to have top sparring partners for years to come and probably won’t have to pay a dime because a lot of people are going to want to improve their games under Juanito’s tutelage.

Kongo is just so marketable. I mean, the dude is huge and he’s jacked and he’s a striker! What more could you ask for? You just put him on a poster and non-MMA fans are just going to assume this guy is lethal. If he can improve his ground game further and develop a takedown defense then he could actually turn into what Cro Cop once was.

So what’s next for these two? How about an extended vacation for Cro Cop and a match between Cheick Kongo and Andrei Arlovski?

Michael Bisping wins split decision over Matt Hamill - If you’ve read my work you know I’m a Bisping mark. And if you listened to the UFC 75 preview on Inside the Cage you know that I said I might cry if he lost. Well, Bisping didn’t lose but I almost cried anyway. I’m a Bisping fan and even I know that Matt Hamill won that fight. Luke, Matt, and I kind of buried Hamill on the radio show last week but wherever Hamill has trained lately it’s done him some good because now he has some semblance of a standup game. Look, he’s very stiff when he punches and has no rhythm (like most wrestlers) but I was still surprised by his boxing skills in the first round. He was really heavy handed and now knows how to capitalize on that attribute. He’s clearly done a lot of sparring because he took some decent shots from Bisping and kept his composure (BTW, I love how they say he had to drop out of TUF 3 because he had a concussion… welcome to fighting!).

When I spoke with Bisping he basically indicated he didn’t think Hamill could hurt him. His concern was getting taken to the ground and being controlled by Hamill. He wasn’t worried about standup and wasn’t worried about ground and pound. Basically, I don’t think Bisping was mentally prepared to get hit last night. It’s possible he went light on sparring and instead focused more on his takedown defense during training. He just kind of looked shocked that Hamill was standing with him and his face looked like a mess towards the end of the first round.

Two things are obvious to me after this match.

First, Bisping needs to drop down to middleweight… NOW! His philosophy about not needing to fix something if it wasn’t broken made a lot of sense at the time but I’ve done a 180 after last night’s bout. It’s inevitable that he’s going to have to move to 185 lbs. There’s just no way around it. He’s not big enough and doesn’t have the punching power. Hamill was just too strong. Why wait until he loses to drop? What’s the point in not making the move until he gets obliterated by someone like Liddell, Silva, or Shogun? Why not take his perfect 14-0 record and pack his bags for the middleweight division and go there with his head held high as opposed to making the move under the auspices of trying to make a comeback. It’s not like the division doesn’t need him.

And second, I have to go on a rant about the judging, which is something I rarely have done in the past but Hamill got robbed and I can’t contain my thoughts any longer.

It’s hard to call it a hometown decision because the lone UK judge, Chris Watts, scored it 30-27 for Hamill. It was the two clowns from the U.S., Jeff Mullen and Cecil Peoples, who scored it 29-28 for Bisping. The hometown thing was still a factor though because the crowd reaction had to have influenced how Mullen and Peoples scored the match. Peoples has a history of judging poorly. To this day I do not understand why boxing judges who don’t understand the MMA game are used. MMA is getting bigger and needs MMA-specific judges. Look, if there’s a guy who understands both boxing and MMA then he should be allowed to judge. But he should be used as an MMA judge based on his merits in regard to MMA and his boxing credentials should have nothing to do with anything. Seriously though, you could take random fans from the audience and they know how to judge an MMA match better than people like Dalby Shirley and Cecil Peoples. And correct me if I’m wrong, isn’t Peoples a lousy boxing judge? I’m sure he’s a nice guy and all and knows his stuff, but I think he might have short-term memory issues. I’m not just saying that to be funny. Perhaps five minute rounds are too long for him and he only remembers the last three minutes of each round?

The biggest issue is accountability. The NBA, NFL, and MLB have a grading system for their officials and use that system to determine who gets assigned to playoff and All-Star games. Do the commissions have any kind of accountability system whatsoever? Or is being a judge like a bureaucratic position and the only way to lose your gig is if you do something corrupt and get caught?

BTW, can someone tell me why everyone pronounces Bisping’s last name as “Bis-Bing?” Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t there a “P” in his last name instead of a “B?” Is it a UK thing where “P” is pronounced “B” like “R” is pronounced as “H” in Brazil?

So what’s next for these two? Obviously a drop to middleweight for Bisping. If he stays at light heavyweight then I really need to see a rematch between him and Hamill. As for Hamill, if Bisping drops then I’d like to see him possibly face one of the losers in the upcoming Liddell vs. Jardine, Shogun vs. Griffin, and Ortiz vs. Evans matches.

Quinton Jackson defeats Dan Henderson via unanimous decision - Finally a UFC main event with a payoff! It’s nice to have a match with a lot of hype going into it that lasts more than two minutes. Rampage vs. Liddell was just so unsatisfying. This one did the trick for me. And what was with the intense staredown from Jackson before the start of the match? Henderson simply grinned but Jackson didn’t break character and Henderson wiped the grin off real quick. It’s kind of weird trying to staredown a friend of yours. I guess it sent a message to Henderson that the match was going to be no joke.

Henderson is a strong guy and really showed a lot of moxie vs. Rampage but the match kind of reminded an NFL game where a 265 lbs. speed rusher gets off to a strong start against a 300 lbs. offensive lineman but just wears down as the game progresses. By the end of the match Henderson was clearly tired.

It wasn’t non-stop action but I thought the wrestling was good and I thought the exchanges the two had when it came to punching were plenty of action.

Rampage looked well prepared and I don’t care about the size disadvantage, a win over Henderson is impressive. He looked like a complete fighter tonight and reminded me of the old Rampage. He’s a worthy champ and I can’t wait to see a rematch with Shogun early next year.

As for Henderson, I think he can be a .500 guy at light heavyweight but he can be a dynasty if he goes back down to middleweight. If I was the UFC I would sign him to an extension and pay him like a top light heavyweight but get him to commit to the middleweight division. I know Henderson wants to stay a light heavyweight and I know he can hang with the best guys in the division, but money talks and bullshit walks. Pay him fairly and I’m sure he’ll go back down. They promoted the hell out of the PRIDE vs. UFC feud at the top of the show and they really don’t have the fighters under contract to make those claims. But they still have the PRIDE welterweight (185 lbs.) champ in Henderson under contract and I think a match between him and the winner of Anderson Silva vs. Rich Franklin is the only way to go.

29 COMMENTS
  • jazzn says:

    Sam, on the UFC site it says that Peoples was the one who scored it for Hamill, not Watts.

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  • Sam Caplan says:

    Jazzn:

    I’m going by what Bruce Buffer announced last night.

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  • Dan says:

    Nice summary, I agree with pretty much everything. Although I have to say, when I watched the Bisping-Hamill fight live, I wasn’t really surprised by the decision. While I agree that Hamill should have won, I feel the problem for him was that in round 2 and 3 he really didn’t do any damage. Round 1 he clearly won on all levels but in the second and third, even though he pushed the pace the entire fight and got some takedowns, he didn’t really do anything with it. Had he done some ground and pound when he had Bisping down he probably would have got the decision. Now it kind of looked like he took him down and layed on him and then Bisping got up after a while.

    Of course, a big part of the problem is the judging criteria and how it’s being used. I feel it could work if they used a wider spectrum of points (10-7, 10-8, 10-9, 10-10) like they’re supposed to. But now they just use 10-9 all the time out of lazyness.

    Judging the way they are doing now I thought this fight could be scored either way. Hamill may have won the fight, but Bisping won the decision, and that’s a big differencewith todays scoring(unfortunately).

    I agree with Crocop moving down, it’s either that or retire I think. Watching the fight a second time he actually looked quite improved but eventually got mauled by the bigger man. And as you say, he is so one-dimensional that when he gets beaten in the striking he has absolutely nothing to fall back on and thats something he would also have to work a lot on. If he could work on taking the fight to the ground more he would gain a lot because his ground and pound can be vicious, it’s just that he usually just go there when his opponent goes down after a strike. Imagine if he would have a nice trip-takedown, then it would have looked like it did in the end of the first round the whole fight. Or is this kind of fighter a dying breed in MMA?

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  • pr0cs says:

    I was most disappointed with Bisping’s performance after the fight. I think he too thought he lost the match from the look on his face and his disposition. The fact that he chose to rub the ‘questionable’ win in Hamill’s face really angered me. If Bisping would have came out at least a little humble saying “I expected that I would have lost that, I just didn’t do enough to win the fight” I would have felt better about the fight but with Bisping coming out cocky I was really turned off.
    I was a Bisping fan but I’m starting to turn, I really think he’s starting to believe his own hype.
    If he doesn’t move down in weight then he needs to fight a serious contender at 205 to help him make up his mind. He didn’t look very good against Hamill and if he fought any contenders with that style he’d take a mauling.

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  • Jeremy says:

    - “Nice summary, I agree with pretty much everything. Although I have to say, when I watched the Bisping-Hamill fight live, I wasn’t really surprised by the decision. While I agree that Hamill should have won, I feel the problem for him was that in round 2 and 3 he really didn’t do any damage. Round 1 he clearly won on all levels but in the second and third, even though he pushed the pace the entire fight and got some takedowns, he didn’t really do anything with it. Had he done some ground and pound when he had Bisping down he probably would have got the decision. Now it kind of looked like he took him down and layed on him and then Bisping got up after a while.”

    Dan, your thoughts are pretty much why I didn’t have an issue with the decision and why I was a bit surprised when everyone else was so up in arms about it. Listen everyone knows when you go into some guys backyard to fight you can’t just expect to get the decision. Hamill didn’t do enough to get that 2nd Round, takedowns are nice but he had to do something with them and he didn’t. It’s very similar to when a fighter has an effective jab or low kick and expects to win the fight standing that way. It’s not going to work for the most part because the judges look at the big punches as more effective thus more points. I thought Bisping took the third round without an issue personally.

    Is it right or wrong, I don’t know. But it certainly didn’t surprise me in the least that Bisping got the decision and I actually would have given it to him myself if I were scoring 29-28.

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  • jaydog says:

    Good wrap up, Sam. As a Cro Cop fan, last night was severely depressing and I don’t look forward to seeing more of his fights if they’re going to go like these last two. On the other hand, I’m a big supporter of Quinton Jackson and his entertaining wit. He made me proud last night by showing that he’s got skills to match when the pressure is on. In Pride, Rampage couldn’t have been more amusing (talking on a cell-phone in the ring, ringside social commentary, etc). But seeing him viciously clobbered by Wandy and Shogun has made me nervous leading into all of his fights. No one wants to see the funny guy getting pounded on like a punching bag. So, it’s good to see him getting serious. I hope he enjoys the limelight. He deserves it.

    Marcus Davis made a convert outta me with his high-energy approach. And bouncing back from a near TKO had me on my feet. Very nice. About Houston, I think it was Goldberg who exclaimed, “That man is violent!” Part of me reacted to that statement as a comment on Alexander’s race. When he beat Jardine, I was hearing that it looked like a mugging and that it nearly triggered an instinct to call the cops. Whatever you think of my reaction, I have to agree that Houston fights like he means it. There’s emotion behind his attack unlike a lot of the cool-headed counter-punchers out there.

    I’m not a Bisping fan (although I do love the Clash), so it really pissed me off to see him get handed a decision that he didn’t deserve. After the fight his comments revealed his lack of class as he claimed that he beat Hamill in boxing and that he should go back to wrestling. Bisping has attitude and that sells bigtime in the UFC, but I’m not impressed. Personally, I could stomach it better if showed that he had some honor as well.

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  • Sam Caplan says:

    There are no racial connotations from my perspective. I can’t speak for Goldberg but I doubt there are any from his perspective. I said Couture mugged Gonzaga too. To me, mugging is when you grip a dude up with a one armed clinch and punch the hell out of him with your free hand.

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  • jazzn says:

    re #2 I wonder which is correct?

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  • Grape Knee High says:

    Re: Houston Alexander

    He reminds me of the old school Wanderlei Silva. Back when everyone knew him as Vanderlei Da Silva. Always moving forward, with bursts of energy, punching with full power at all times and using knees in a devastating fashion. All in all, fighting like a caged animal.

    That said, obviously, we don’t know much about his grappling or his gas tank. Time will tell when he gets better opponents.

    Re: Alessio Sakara

    He’s a gatekeeper. Like the UFC’s version of Daijiro Matsui. Ignoring the fact that Sakara has no ground game to speak of and mediocre skills overall, he has the “look” of a fighter and is easily identifiable by the fans when used as a stepping stone. From a marketing standpoint, better to use Sakara as a patsy than some unknown Midwesterner from MFS.

    Re: Marcus Davis

    Color me impressed. What a fucking fight.

    Re: Cro Cop

    I say match him up against Arlovski and let one of them save their careers. As for Congo, I’d say it’s pretty clear Big Nog will be his next opponent and the winner of that fight will move on fight Couture next year.

    Re: Congo

    Nothing about that fight tells he’s graduated from B-level fighter. Sure, he is a bad matchup standing for CC, but CC came in a implemented the world’s worst possible gameplan. If Congo can beat someone actually willing to take him down, then I’ll be convinced.

    Re: Hendo

    I thought he won, but I guess I’ll have to watch it again. I thought he won rounds 1 and 3 pretty clearly, and I gave him 5, although that was arguable. Close fight either way, one that was much closer than the 49-46 on two judges scorecards.

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  • garth says:

    If a fighter in MMA can win a fight by running backwards 14 out of 15 minutes, we’re got boxing, and I’ll watch something else. The finel criteria for judging is Octagon Control. Decision Bitch Bisping had none of it. He threw hands that did no damage save perhaps one or two in the final round. He basically ran and occassionally tossed out lollipop shots that were his hardest.
    When you watch someone get beat over the head with a chair for three rounds and still win, that’s robbery. Worst decision I’ve ever seen.

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  • [...] Caplan at Five Ounces of Pain on Alexander being described as violent: “It’s kind of a weird statement considering this [...]

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  • Jeremy says:

    - “If a fighter in MMA can win a fight by running backwards 14 out of 15 minutes, we’re got boxing, and I’ll watch something else.”

    That’s basically what we had in the match, since Hamill’s takedowns weren’t as prevelant as we all thought they would be prior to the fight. And when he did get a takedown he really did nothing with it. It was definitely a very close decision though, I just didn’t see it Hamill’s way but I could see how someone could.

    I thought Jordan Breen’s discussion on the two judges who scored for Bisping and why is interesting. He says that both judges have karate scoring backgrounds which are points based and what Bisping did in the fight might have helped him in the way those two judges score. Also his thoughts on the 2nd round being a 10-10 round were interesting as well.

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  • Rich says:

    I agree with Dan and Jeremy’s comments. Hammill got the takedowns yes, but couldn’t do anything. Takedowns are great but the scoring is based on EFFECTIVE striking and grappling, Hammils grappling wasn’t effective.

    Also, why hasn’t anyone mentioned the fact that Bisping defended at least two takedowns? Maybe that scored with the judges? I’d certainly call the ability to stop a skilled wrestler taking you down effective grappling.

    But perhaps I remember it slightly differently to how it looked on TV. Having said that I wasn’t impressed with how Bisping handled himself after the fight. But, as Joe Rogan often says, a fight can look a lot different when you’re in it.

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  • c-ing_red says:

    Re: Cecil Peoples – Cecil is a crap judge. But he is a martial artist. He knows the craft well. Jeff Mullen is also. MMA is a young sport and they would do better to get other judges (possibly from pro boxing) to judge the fights.

    MMA is a difficult sport to judge, but I think it is easier to train a judge to judge a fight than train a martial artist to be a judge.

    Just my take…..

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  • daveykb says:

    Just read that CroCop suffered a broken rib in the first round that left him struggling to breathe for the remaining 2 rounds! Also when a reporter at the airport in Croatia asked him if he plans to retire now he said…”we’ll have to see”

    I feel for him, i really do! Im dissapointed for him so god knows how he feels!!!

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  • Ivan Trembow says:

    The UFC, specifically Marc Ratner, is responsible for bringing in the judges, officials, inspectors, etc. and essentially acting as the athletic commission when they run shows in unregulated places like the United Kingdom.

    Two people that watched the event with me are now pretty sour on the whole sport in general, saying that it’s corrupt and full of crap. I had to try to convince them that it was just incompetence and gutlessness on the part of the judges, and not corruption.

    Again, when making the argument to my pissed off friends that the judges were simply incompetent and gutless as opposed to corrupt, I basically had to say never mind the fact that the judges on these unregulated UFC shows are hired by the UFC, paid for by the UFC, chosen by the UFC, flown in by the UFC, etc. In the case of that particular fight, I think it was just a case of the judges being gutless in not wanting to have the fight scored 2 rounds to 0 headed into the final round, which is unfortunately not that uncommon to see, and then giving the final round to Bisping, which at that point would give him 2 rounds to 1.

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  • dice says:

    I think cro cop is a very proud guy and I don’t see him sticking around and getting his ass kicked anymore. Even though he is making a fortune each fight, its looks like he might not make it out alive if he were to finish out his contract (and I don’t see him cutting to 205). If congo’s next fight is indeed against Big Nog then that is a waste of the momentum he has just built for his career. He may win the battle when standing up but will definitely lose the war when it hits the ground.

    Yeah hamil got robbed and everyone knows it (I guess except for bisping after seeing him talk after the fight). My girlfriend who knows jack all about mma saw that fight and was very confused at the outcome. They need to get some type of rating system like the NBA, NFL etc. for these judges (that was previously mentioned I believe). And yes bisping needs to drop to middleweight, I think his future is very bleak at 205 (I think someone like houston alexander would maul him)

    Hendo vs rampage was a good fight and hopefully will prompt dan to move back down to his more natural weight class. MMAWEEKLY’s Damon Martin called it a “dominant performance” for rampage. I guess he was watching a different fight than I was. My advice to MMAWEEKLY is to actually have their writers watch the fights they are reporting on. You can say a lot of things about Rampage after that fight but the word “dominant” is not one of them (I had it 48-47 for rampage as did sherdog)

    And finally I have to agree 100% with sam that this UFC vs Pride thing is not going to happen. First off last night wasn’t UFC vs Pride, it was the current UFC champion vs Pride Champion. Rampage’s career was made in Pride long ago and he had only 2 fights in the UFC before this fight. Now Randy vs Fedor would be a UFC vs Pride event, as both of them have fought for years in their respective organizations. And like sam said, what future UFC/pride events are on the horizen? You don’t that many pride lightweights signed yet and you still haven’t announced the signing of fedor yet.

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  • Brent says:

    “It was the two clowns from the U.S., Jeff Mullen and Cecil Peoples, who scored it 29-28 for Bisping.”

    “Clown” is a polte term for Mullen and Peoples – there is no need for them to ever destroy another fighters career.

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  • Sam Caplan says:

    Here’s my take.

    I don’t believe the fix was in. There was no conspiracy. Did the UFC bring in the judges? Sure. But Marc Ratner is a straight up dude. It wasn’t a conspiracy, it was incompetence. And look, no judge is going to be perfect. My issue is that there is no evaluation process and no accountability. If a fighter turns in poor performances, he loses his job. But if a judge routinely makes questionable calls what happens to him? If their anyone evaluating his performance and determining whether he’s qualified to continue as a judge?

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  • Mike Kenobi says:

    Am I the only person who thought that Henderson won the fight? He dominated the first round, could be said he won the second and/or the third, and then handily won the final round. He was on top of him for most of the final round until the last couple of seconds… Can you believe Rampage talking about his broken knuckles after the fight? He landed two good shots the whole fight.

    Bisbing also lost, don’t get me wrong I love the guy and hate his opponent, but I have now lost all faith in the UFC judges and I wonder if Dana is pulling the strings. I just can’t grasp how these judges can score the fights the way they did. Maybe they should score them from a bar where they can see all of the action on TV… I hope to see Fedor come just to see if he is as good as they say. Hoping to see Big Nog and Couture battle really soon.

    Never been more pissed off after a UFC event. I guess I just said that a couple of months ago in Rampages last fight, but god these fighters need to realize the judges are going to screw them and the have to finish. I don’t think they should have given Rampage an edge for being champ either, cause Hendo is also a champ and it was a UNIFICATION bout! No advantage should have been given to either fighter.

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  • jaydog says:

    A deaf blogger in my area (somewhere between DC and Richmond, VA) has created a “Hamill was robbed” post that is getting loads of discussion going. I’m assuming that Hamill is the subject of much interest among the deaf. This post seems to indicate that anyhow.

    http://www.ridorlive.com/?p=2386

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  • Jeremy says:

    - “Am I the only person who thought that Henderson won the fight? He dominated the first round, could be said he won the second and/or the third, and then handily won the final round. He was on top of him for most of the final round until the last couple of seconds… Can you believe Rampage talking about his broken knuckles after the fight? He landed two good shots the whole fight.”

    Mike, you are not the only one, but the majority definitely from what I have read think Rampage won the fight. I think a 48-47 score is the most likely thought as well. I know Breen on Beatdown after the Bell said he thought it was the closest 49-46 fight he ever saw. It was a close technical fight. You would probably get a similar percentage of people who think Bisping one as you would Henderson won. Although with much less anger involved I would think as well.

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  • Jeremy says:

    I see fightnetwork.com has a quote up from Cecil Peoples, here it is:

    “I gave Bisping the second round, first because Hamill was beginning to run out of gas after the first round. Bisping fought like he wanted that fight. He came back aggressive [from the first round]. Hamill did take him down, but he did nothing with the takedown. Overall, Bisping was more aggressive. Hamill just held him down. Bisping’s punching was more effective.”

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  • Matt says:

    Sam,

    I brought this up on my radio show in ourr UFC 75 review, but what do you think about Houston Alexander vs. Wanderlei Silva?

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  • Justin says:

    I see fightnetwork.com has a quote up from Cecil Peoples, here it is:

    “I gave Bisping the second round, first because Hamill was beginning to run out of gas after the first round. Bisping fought like he wanted that fight. He came back aggressive [from the first round]. Hamill did take him down, but he did nothing with the takedown. Overall, Bisping was more aggressive. Hamill just held him down. Bisping’s punching was more effective.”

    that’s total bullshit.

    I mean, yes, Hamill was running out of gas but he was still doing the most. I don’t care if Bisping danced around “acting” like he was boxing. Bisping did nothing throughout the whole fight until the last moment. Hamill blocked almost ever hit Bisping threw at him.

    And Bisping…….what a %$#*. I can’t believe in his post fight speech he told Hamill to go back to wrestling. Even his fellow English men knew he was fucking crazy and shouldn’t have got the win. yesterday on MMAweekly the poll was like 225 to 16 in favor of Hamill winning. I just can’t believe that that many people would have got it wrong. Especially when one judge scored it 27-30.

    I am completely disappointed with the decision. I really hope something comes out of all this. This was the first time in MMA that I was comletely sick to my stomach over a complete bogus decision.

    All in all it doesn’t matter because niether of these guys are top ten material. That being said, though, at least give props to Hamill for coming out and beating Bispings ass at his own game.

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  • oj says:

    Sam –

    With all the UFC vs. PRIDE and title unification promos, i was wondering the same thing as you… where the F is the PRIDE belt?

    Am i the only one that thinks its a total lack of respect to PRIDE, the belt and every fighter that ever held that 205-lb belt to not even show the title at any point during the “unification” bout? Hendo had both his welterweight and middleweight titles on his shoulders when he entered the Octagon after Rampage beat Liddell. I was expecting him to AT LEAST walk out with the PRIDE title. They put so much hype around the “unifcation” bout and to the casual fan it probably looked just like a regular UFC championship bout.

    It would have been nice to see Rampage hold both titles simultaneously before the PRIDE belt was officially retired. But i guess we’ll never see that belt again just like we’ll never see PRIDE again.

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  • bmackin says:

    You think Hamill should…”face one of the losers in the upcoming Liddell vs. Jardine, Shogun vs. Griffin, and Ortiz vs. Evans matches” ????

    First off you must be assuming that Liddell and Shogun are def winning which for almost 100% certainty they should…but even if for some crazy reason either of them lose its ridiculous that you even mention that as a possible match up for Hamill. Oritz and Hamill won’ fight because of their history together. Also Ortiz might not be the same guy as when he was a title holder, but he still is 2 tiers above Hamill as a fighter. Jardine, Griffin and Evans are the only opponents that should even be considered here. Even then I think Hamill is about 2-3 fights away from fighting any of those guys.

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  • bmackin says:

    Hamill gave the fight away…he was stupid to think that his stand up was that great that it would win him the fight. After a nice 1st rd where he displayed his improved stand up game he should have kept the fight on the ground for the rest of the fight. I know Bisbing escaped a couple of times and tried a couple subs but Hamill would have won w/out a doubt if he kept the fight on the ground. I scored the fight this way:
    1st rd: easily goes to Hamill
    3rd rd: goes to Bisbing
    The only questionable rd…rd 2…I scored for Bisbing. I don’t think Hamill did enough in that rd. Bisbing was active the entire time. Hamill’s take downs may have scored pts but once on the ground he did absolutely nothing. I don’t see this as being the “most controversial fight of the decade” as many other fans do.

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  • bmackin says:

    Ahhh…did my reply get deleted? If so why????

    In reply to: “As for Hamill, if Bisping drops then I’d like to see him possibly face one of the losers in the upcoming Liddell vs. Jardine, Shogun vs. Griffin, and Ortiz vs. Evans matches.”

    Basically what I said before (in me reply that was deleted)….how can you even put Hamill’s name in the same sentence as Shogun, Liddell, or Ortiz ? Yes Ortiz isn’t the same fighter as he was when he held the title put he is still 2 tiers above Hamill. Jardine, Griffin, and Evans shouldn’t even be considered as potential opponents yet. Hamill is 2-3 fights away from fighting any other of those three. Even if Ortiz loses to Evans in the rematch I don’t see them fighting due to their history together.

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