PRO: Let me just say I really enjoyed this show from top to bottom and credit the UFC for putting it on. There are several cons to come but they’re mainly little annoyances and nothing bad about the product itself. Small things always stick out to me that annoy me so there will always be more cons than pros, even for the greatest show ever.
PRO: Cecil Peoples scored a fight correctly. But how funny is it that the first time this happens in the history of the world that the wrong guy won? It’s poetry in motion. With two points taken away from Marquardt and Leites winning the first round the correct score was indeed 28-27 for Thales Leites. This was the first time Cecil Peoples has been right about anything since giving someone an accurate fatality code for Raydan in Mortal Kombat (toward 2, away 3, A) at an arcade in 1993. Yet even then Marquardt clearly dominated the fight and was the better fighter. There is just something beautiful about that. The first time you’re right in 15 years and you’re still wrong.
CON: Marcus Davis: YOU’RE NOT IRISH. This needs to be said. Look we have this understanding in the United States that it’s assumed we’re all American so we frequently talk about our ancestry as we’re a melting pot from around the globe. Namely it’s the Irish and Italians but people have Native American history, Jewish history, Polish history and any number of places their grandparents came from. But when you travel internationally you’re an American. To fight in the UK and be UBER-IRISH with the kilt and clovers and shorts and overkill like having a drunk leprechaun as your #2 (okay, I made that one up) is just too much. He even said in this interview with BK, “I see a lot of kids who are from European decent ignore that and grab a hold of this MTV generation and hip hop culture and run with it. I am Irish, Scottish and Welsh and proud of it.” What? We all know MTV sucks and while many of us have considered hating our country over it that’s a bit of a lame reason. Over at 411, “My mom raised me as my dad was not a part of my life growing up. He was an in and out kind of father you know. I mean I haven’t spoken to him in over seven years. My mom’s side of the family is Irish so I feel closer to them. I wear my kilts as my way of saying this is who I am.” So because your mom’s family is kinda Irish you’re totally Irish? Do I even need to mention that your nickname, The Irish Hand Grenade, was so offensive the UFC had to change it for your UFC 72 fight in Ireland itself? Did this not tell you anything? Isn’t that like Akihiro Gono being born and raised in Canada and nicknaming himself “The Japanese Enola Gay?” What exactly is wrong with you?
CON: The crowd booing at some point during nearly every fight. Isn’t this England? The country that loves soccer? So let me get this straight, you can watch two hours of guys lazily kicking a ball to each other on grass with a final score of 0-0 but a ten minute fist fight upsets you and bores you to tears? Then you’re doing the wave and chanting 10 seconds later? I don’t know what the hell you people are on but I want some.
PRO: Jason Lambert. Despite what I’m about to say I love Jason Lambert; I believe I listed Lambert when I once listed my ten favorite fighters. Just something about that belly is unsettling. I remember the main critique I heard from the media after the highly publicized Liddell/Rampage II UFC event was that Liddell didn’t look in shape or like a dedicated athlete. Enter Lambert. Who could probably cut to 145lbs if he wanted and has the reach of Vern Troyer. Seriously, Jason, I love you. I was rooting for you (even against Adam Morgan’s man crush Cane) but you gotta do something about the belly. Cut to 115lbs, move to Bangladesh and maybe Jordan Breen will rate you in a top 10.
CON: “Defend at all times.” I really hate this saying and it never bothered me more than seeing a couple of people type it after Marquardt hit Leites with the illegal knee. I’ve also seen it said on multiple occasions when a fighter went to touch gloves and his opponent just took an easy swing at him (hi Manny Gamburyan and the guy from that boxing clip). I understand the sentiment but how are you supposed to protect yourself from something you can’t see coming or an illegal shot? It’s the same reason you never see a sucker punch coming, that’s why they call it a sucker punch. You can only defend yourself from things that are probable. Will someone on the Sherdog forums complain when a nut with a gun hops in the cage and shoots Ryo Chonan because fighters should always protect themselves while in the cage? Fighters aren’t preventing shots to the back of the head because it’s illegal and they have more pressing concerns at the moment.
CON: Joe Rogan, I enjoy your thoughts on fights. But please stop with the superior striker/grappler thing during the match. None of that crap is valid unless you apply it to MMA. I remember him saying Leites was above and beyond Marquardt on the ground. REALLY? Nate Marquardt has been submitted only twice in almost 40 fights by two of the best MMA submission guys you can find, Ricardo Almeida and Genki Sudo. Leites is a fine fighter and excellent athlete but to say he’s leagues better than Marquardt on the ground is an insult not just to Marquardt but to the things Marquardt has done to adjust the style to MMA. Yes, in a pure BJJ tournament I’m taking Leites but this is MMA and Marquardt was going to pound the crap out of him and avoid submissions easily. Marquardt is a powerful tank and he’s not going to be tricked by a gi-induced choke. This isn’t Abu Dhabi. Like when they say Alessio Sakara was a pro boxer. Have you ever looked at Alessio Sakara’s boxing record? According to boxrec the guy was 6-1 and the combined win total of all 6 guys he beat? ZERO. A combined 0-19 record of the six guys he beat when he beat them. This is probably why you pick against him whenever he fights anyone that knows how to punch. Sure, he was a pro boxer…. and he also gets knocked out by anyone with power. You have to look beyond the general background and adapt it to the actual sport they’re competing in.
PRO: Fightfinder MMA Experts. This was a big day for us, the crazy people that actually watch all of the fights. Mark my words, a couple of years from now someone (again, probably on the Sherdog forums) will make a statement in favor of Thales Leites winning a fight and will reference how he beat Nate Marquardt. We will know that person is an idiot. This is one of those fantastically obvious fights we will remember and down the road someone will simply look at fightfinder to back up their argument and pick a fight result without actually knowing that fight. We’ve all ran into it before but a fight like this only picks up our spirits. You can’t know a fight unless you saw it. How many fights end in a random punch or bad decision? People that watch the fights remember these things, people that just use fightfinder for results and arguments do not. Down the road this fight will be used by someone that didn’t see the card to argue for something and we’ll all be there to laugh. Rejoice. Rejoice.
PRO: Me remembering I’m a man. Earlier this week I closed my garage door, which takes about eight seconds, and a mouse ran in. For the first four seconds I reacted like a girl and made a high pitched “EEEEEEEE” sound and might or might not have had my hands at my head shaking. Then in the second four seconds I remembered that I possess a penis and testicles, grabbed a broom and swatted it out with a baseball bat style swing. Way to go me.