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Affliction: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Whether or not Affliction made a dime from their second mega-card, “Day of Reckoning,” it would be hard to deny the event was a huge success from an aesthetic viewpoint. Every fight on the card was everything fans could of wished for (although it took Antonio Rogerio Nogueira and Vladimir Matyushenko a round to get going). At the end of the year, this will surely be in the running for best fight card-it was that good.

The Good:

Fedor Emelianenko proved, once again, why he is the best fighter on the planet.In a fight against a physically superior opponent, he remained composed and waited for his opportunity. The resulting knockout was one that no one watching will ever forget. He targeted a man’s chin perfectly — while that man was flying at him 100 miles per hour through the air. Absolutely fantastic.

The phenom is back. Even at the ripe old age of 32, Vitor Belfort looked just as quick as he did hurtling across the cage to dismantle Wanderlei Silva in Brazil. It was a timely performance for Belfort. The UFC is in desperate need for credible opponents for middleweight kingpin Anderson Silva. Belfort has a big name and the credibility that only a former champion can bring to the cage. UFC matchmaker Joe Silva, who was sitting near the ring, had to be thinking about making this fight. I hope he does.

This show also provided some nice comic relief. Albert Rios with his gold plated chain and silly glasses made me laugh. Maybe after the win he can trade it in for one actually made of solid gold? And how about Bobby Green taking the time out from kicking a guy in the balls to mark out over Donald Trump and Oscar De La Hoya sitting ringside? Act like you’ve been there before!

The Bad:

Tito Ortiz on commentary. Some ex-fighters are great. Both Shamrocks, Randy Couture, and Frank Mir all bring an expert viewpoint and make solid points. Tito brought a giant head. And awkwardness. Don’t forget the awkwardness. Tito still gets a reaction from the crowd, but this didn’t seem like a group enjoying booing him and looking forward to rooting against him when he makes his return later this year. The crowd hated him and seemed to just want him to go away. Perhaps the bad boy has worn out his welcome?

What was going on with Vladimir Matyushenko? He sleep walked through the first round before getting stopped in the second. Horrible performance and the one fight on the card that failed to live up to expectations.

Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou looked like a world beater in the first round, but ran out of steam in the second. It seems like a consistent pattern at this point. Is it just me, or is it unacceptable for a professional in his prime to be unable to fight for three rounds?

The Ugly:

Why didn’t the broadcast cut away from a disoriented Matt Lindland receiving medical care? After suffering a career changing knockout, the Olympic Silver Medalist was acting erratically in the ring. It isn’t appropriate for an incoherent fighter to dictate his own medical care. I talked to my uncle, an emergency EMT, who agreed the whole scene was a debacle. At least have the courtesy not to show it all to us. The disoriented fighter deserves more than that base voyeurism.

Dan Lauzon put on quite a show after some questionable low blows. But his sloppy rear naked choke was truly ugly. Greene may have made a name for himself, but he needs more work if he’s getting finished by a fighter whose balls are too sore to get his hooks in.

Josh Barnett’s post fight comments were not exactly in good taste, talking about losing his friend Justin Levens to “suicide or something.” That “something” consists of two deaths being investigated as a possible murder/suicide. Maybe glorifying a killer on live television isn’t the best idea, Josh? Levens may have been a friend, but his final moments were clearly nothing to be proud of.

“Baby Fedor” Kiril Sidelnikov took a horrible beating. Young fighters, take note of what Fedor’s style looks like when the fighter employing it doesn’t have the champion’s unique athleticism. Not everyone can lead with their head with their hands hanging at their waist.

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