Sorry Ireland. But your beer and whiskey are still way better than ours, and I still really want to visit St. James Gate some day, so I hope you don’t hold this sub-par UFC event against me personally, okay? We cool?
UFC 93 is officially in the books and while I can’t say it was the most disappointing pay-per-view to date, it certainly left me feeling a bit dirty and cheated. At least UFC brass caught a nice break with Dan Henderson securing the other TUF coaching spot, now Dana and crew don’t have to hard-sell Rich “Please no not Vegas again” Franklin as the coach who could care less.
Speaking of Rich Franklin, does anyone know if he has a friend or family member on the judging staff or something? Not that he didn’t do well, I’d say he absolutely grabbed the final round as Hendo started to gas out a bit, but are we really supposed to believe that Rich earned a 30-27 one of the scorecards? Epic overseas judging fail yet again.
I don’t mean to say that Michael Bisping isn’t that good, but….
There is just no real nice way of saying that Dan Henderson should tear through Bisping with mild to moderate effort. But I guess that’s the road one must travel to get back to Anderson Silva.
While we’re on the subject of match ups, UFC 93 also pumped out two underwhelming fight announcements. First we hear that Quinton Jackson is going to meet Keith Jardine at UFC 96, and then of course it’s Mauricio Rua vs. Chuck Liddell at UFC 97…as the main event. So we get to see Rampage put a beating on Keith Jardine and believe me, it will be a beating, and then we get to see if Shogun can defeat another former champion who is only somewhat past his prime. Woo-hoo.
Shogun might as well have lost…
Despite some other little nuisances, Mark Coleman vs. Mauricio “Shogun” Rua is what really pushed my dissatisfaction for UFC 93 over the edge. I don’t know that I can accurately describe it, but it was sort of like watching two dying seals fight over the last salmon. Neither is really in any condition to be fighting, but they both want that damn fish.
Mark Coleman gassed out hard in the very first round and looked like a battered tree stump before meeting his ultimate TKO demise. But I am almost willing to give Coleman a pass since Coleman is A. Very old. B. Admittedly outclassed in every other aspect but wrestling, and C. Had to cut down to a meager 205lbs for the first time in his career. So yes, “The Hammer” put on a terrible showing, but he’s been around the block and this very well could have been his last rodeo. At least I hope it was. I know that Coleman said he actually wants Mauricio again for the rubber match, but I just can’t support that idea.
Shogun Rua on the other hand gets no leniency for this second piss-poor octagon performance. I’d like to ask him what exactly his excuse is this time for showing up with the cardio of a geriatric emphysema patient. Especially after all the ridiculous B.S. spouted from Joe Rogan about how everyone would finally get to see the thoroughly prepared, ever-ready Shogun that made waves in Pride. The scary thing is Rua probably wouldn’t have finished Coleman if not for an incorrect forced stand-up. Lord only knows what the scorecards might have read…
If this really is the type of fighter that Rua has become, he might as well be cut from his contract and on a plane back to Brazil. Shogun’s last two performances were not that of a top ten or even top twenty light-heavyweight fighter, regardless of how many other notables he managed to destroy over in Japan. The UFC’s stacked 205lb division is simply no place for someone who has to build themselves back up from scratch.
The rumors were always bubbling below the surface about Shogun juicing while in Pride, which would certainly account for his lousy UFC showings (and noticeably softer physique.) But I always hoped that the rumors were just that, so maybe Shogun can put such chatter to rest when he faces off against Chuck Liddell in April. Talk about a do-or-die match.
Jeremy Horn still lost, but he looked miles better than in his last two outings and held up remarkably well against the uber-strong Rousimar Palhares. You keep on truckin’, Jeremy. Also if you didn’t catch it during the broadcast, Jeremy Horn apparently does not like the nickname Gumby, despite the fact that it has been his nickname for quite some time now. So no more Gumby, you hear? How about Pokey?
And can anyone shed some light on why Rousimar Palhares was so emotional during his entrance? I can understand crying after the fight a la Forrest Griffin, or the happy I’m-trying-not-to-cry a la Marcus Davis, or even crying during the fight which is probably what I would do if you threw me into the Octagon, but crying during your walk-in? Not that I’m judging since it clearly didn’t effect your performance, but what was that all about Toquinho? Will this be a regular thing?
I thought it was straight up stupid that Marcus Davis and Chris Lytle absolutely HAD to stand and trade the entire fight. There is a reason its called mixed martial arts and not kickboxing, their little pact was lame and pointless. Chris Lytle could have shot a few times and probably earned enough points to win that fight, and who knows maybe we even could have seen a submission attempt from one of those guys. I know, I know, that’s just crazy talk.
My point is the “stand and bang” agreement actually prevented the fight from going places which could have made it more exciting. Its not like Forrest Griffin and Stephan Bonnar decided to have an all out striking war, it just happened that way. Why don’t we all just agree to the general MMA rules and see what unfolds naturally next time, okay fellas?
Alan Belcher came up with the upset that I actually called him to make. So thank you, Alan. If I had been confident enough to place a bet on my prediction I would indeed have some extra scratch right now. D’oh. Denis Kang looked impressive right until the moment he got guillotined like a French infidel, though it was his octagon debut, so I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and say that he should be able to secure a victory the second time around. Unless the UFC totally screws him and throws him to Nate Marquardt or something.