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UFC 78: Evans and Bisping prove little, Alexander’s ground game not as good as advertised

By Adam Morgan


Rashad Evans and Michael Bisping proved very little. Well, that may be exaggerating it a bit, but this fight certainly didn’t propel Rashad Evans into the top five light heavyweights in the world, as Dana White had claimed it would. This fight doesn’t even push Rashad Evans into the top ten, in my opinion. As for Bisping, the only thing it proved for him was that he needs to drop to middleweight where he will have the size advantage. He got overpowered by Rashad and paid for it as the fight wore on. Although Bisping pushed the pace and tired Rashad early in the fight, it was eventually Evans’ raw strength and wrestling that won him the fight. This fight did nothing for either fighter’s career or for the fans. Never should another fight like this be booked as a main event.

Someone get Houston Alexander a gi immediately. For all the talk about how his ground game “is as good as anyone in the UFC,” it ended up being Alexander’s glaring weakness and led to his eventual demise on Saturday night. Watching Houston struggle to get out of Silva’s mount and get pounded out reminded me of watching Jon Koppenhaver struggle to escape Tommy Speer’s mount on one of the latest episode of TUF. It was BJJ 101 and Houston looked clueless. Alexander’s ground game was exposed and he needs to strap on a gi tomorrow and start training jiu jitsu extensively.

Karo Parisyan just can’t finish a fight. Despite his best efforts in the cage, Parisyan can’t seem to find a way to take it out of the judges’ hands. Chonan, however, is a tough fighter to finish, so it’s not surprising to me that this fight went to a decision. In a relatively unexciting affair, Parisyan was unable to throw Chonan like he normally does his opponents, didn’t look in the greatest of shape, and fought a decent technical fight. While not the most exciting fight in the world, it’s a quality victory over a quality opponent and what matters is the win. With the welterweight picture still in a state of limbo until Hughes and Serra fight, Karo is going to have to fight at least one more time before he gets a title shot.

Ed Herman made a mistake and almost paid dearly. Herman was caught in a tight triangle choke but was saved by the bell at the end of round two. If it wasn’t for the bell, we almost surely would have had a different outcome in this fight. Aside from that one mistake, however, Herman was impressive. He looked to be the more crisp striker on the feet and more than handled his own on the ground. And to top it all off, he got his first knockout victory. Herman is a good prospect in the middleweight division, but I need to see him several more times in several more convincing victories before I think of him as a legitimate threat to Anderson Silva’s title.

Frankie Edgar represented. Edgar represented hard for the New Jersey crowd, completely taking Spencer Fisher out of his element. Edgar and Fisher spent most of the fight on the ground with Frankie on top. Edgar continually tried to pass guard which kept Spencer spending most of his time trying to get back to full guard and didn’t allow him to try any submissions from the bottom. Edgar looked like the much fresher fighter going into the third round. Edgar’s performance was, once again, impressive. One or two more wins against top lightweights and he’s in line for a title shot.

Joe Lauzon took Jason Reinhardt’s lunch money. Man, did Lauzon look sharp or what? He controlled the entire fight and ended it with a slick rear naked choke. Reinhardt’s lack of experience against quality opponents really showed here and Joe just overwhelmed him. All the training with BJ Penn is paying dividends and yet another very talented lightweight in the UFC is throwing his name into the hat of possible contenders.

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