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Why was “Strikeforce at the Dome” so bad?

Strikeforce at the Dome sucked.

There I said it.

Ever since Jan Nortje finished off Bob Sapp in 55 seconds, it has almost been like (to paraphrase a line from the late-great Bill Hicks) a turd has fallen into the collective drink of all MMA fans and bloggers.

You would be hard pressed to find much post event coverage of the show that took place this past Saturday on any MMA blog or website. It is as if everyone has just closed their eyes and are hoping that when they open them, the bad show will be gone.

It is not Strikeforce’s fault that the Washington event went down the way it did. Before the event I saw the card as one that was filled with fighters with not a whole lot of technique or drawing power but I thought that they would lend themselves to entertaining encounters.

Unfortunately that was not the case.

Most of the “undercard” fights were fairly entertaining and ended most by decision. They weren’t boring but they were the kind of fights you sit through in anticipation of the main event and when the main event turns out to be a lemon you don’t look back too fondly on them. This is what I like to call UFC 78 syndrome.

The three co-main events, Maurice Smith vs. Rick Roufus, Joe Riggs vs. Cory Devela and Bop Sapp vs. Jan Nortje just went against the expectations of the viewer but not in a good way.

The reason people tuned in to watch Maurice Smith was to hopefully get a glimpse of his legendary kickboxing skills and the matchup against a fellow kickboxer in Roufus was meant to provide this. Unfortunately, it appears the reason Maurice Smith took this fight with Roufus was to show that he was a better fighterthan Roufus. Roufus had previously TKO’d Smith in a kickboxing bout and the only logical reason to why this fight was taking place was simply for Smith to get some pride back. Smith’s better MMA skills awarded him a very sloppy submission win which just left me saying, “what was the point of that?”

The reason people tuned in to watch Joe Riggs was that ‘Diesel’ always provides an entertaining fight. He doesn’t mess around and he goes for everything at full force. Unfortunately Riggs had a pre-existing back injury before the fight which left him starting the fight pretty tentatively. His existing condition was aggravated via a slam from the promising Devela which left Riggs tapping just as he hit the mat. You would have to feel that a reason behind Riggs entering this fight with a back injury would have to be the need for a decent paycheck after the WCO debacle which left him with only 20% of what he would have earned for fighting on that show. All in all though, watching Riggs leave in a stretcher was a dark cloud that ‘Strikeforce at the Dome’ did not need hanging over their already lacklustre show.

And finally…

The reason people tuned in to watch Bob Sapp was for the spectacle and to see his immense strength and power. Unfortunately for Strikeforce and everyone watching in ‘the dome’ and at home, all they saw was what happens when Bob Sapp picks on someone his own size.

It wasn’t pretty.

A lazy takedown attempt by Sapp followed by some strikes from Nortje resulted in Sapp running away from his opponent until he took a shot and collapsed. Disgusted is probably a bit strong of a word, but Sapp’s hometown reaction to the 55 second “fight” was pretty close to disgust.

Watching Sapp get dominated is the opposite of any viewer’s expectations. The image of Sapp turning his back and running from his opponent is one which left the MMA world pretty stunned and that is the reason why this event has pretty much been swept under the proverbial carpet.

It is not often you get an MMA event without any real highlights but ‘Strikeforce at the Dome’ fitted that bill. The show is probably even more of a let down considering we have treated to action packed events such as EliteXC: Street Certified, WEC 32 and UFC 81 already this month.

Hopefully this doesn’t put many fans off the Strikeforce promotion as the upcoming collaboration with EliteXC in March should be a beauty.

Well it will at least look better in comparison.

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