Photo by Ken Pishna via MMA Weekly
UFC 124 is going to be one of those events that splits the audience in multiple directions. It was generally entertaining and had some good finishes and that will be enough for people to call it a success. But the event remained a one-fight show from a business standpoint regardless of how the fights actually went. There will be a camp that wasn't entertained by a one-sided main event and some sloppy technique, and there will be those that are thrilled with the "action" of the card. In the end this is going to be a very personal card from an enjoyment perspective.
- Mike Fagan already provided the link to the Fight Metric report for Georges St. Pierre vs. Josh Koscheck but it's still something else to really look at. St. Pierre outlanded him 136-30 for the entire fight. But the fourth round is the one that really amazes me. Koscheck landed ONE of THIRTY attempted strikes in the round. As the fight was getting more out of reach he just could not find GSP in his attempts to land some hail mary KO.
- I think it's officially time to stop pretending Josh Koscheck has anything other than rudimentary striking. Even a semi-competent striker isn't going to sit and try to unload with nothing but an overhand right. He did connect with an uppercut once and threw it one other time and then never went back to it. His corner should have explained that St. Pierre was ducking under the overhand right and to fake it and come up the middle with an uppercut. Instead after the uppercut didn't land the second time it was thrown, it was completely abandoned.
- Joe Rogan had me steaming last night. Doctors and referees are a part of the event to protect the involved fighters. Rogan regularly pointed out that Koscheck couldn't see strikes coming toward his right eye and that only having one eye was hurting his depth perception. For Rogan to throw a fit that the doctor is in the ring checking Koscheck's eye is ignorant and unprofessional. The fact that Koscheck "wanted to keep fighting" doesn't matter, the ref and doctor are there because a fighter is almost always going to want to keep going. Its a safety issue and I would think someone in Rogan's position would know better than to have a temper tantrum because the doctor is checking a badly swollen eye.
- Can we all stop it with the Sean McCorkle love now? The guy attacks the arm and when it didn't work on Struve he immediately looked lost and started to gas. Then came some of the worst attempts at ground and pound from a heavyweight I've ever seen in the UFC. Struve went to a "beautiful" sweep that never should have worked and from there came the finish. But really, the finish came as soon as McCorkle didn't get his kimura.
- I was pretty confident that Jim Miller would get the win over Charles Oliveira but I didn't ever see it ending with a kneebar in my mind. Still, this isn't a reason to write off a very talented guy in Oliveira. His aggression ended up costing him in giving up the takedown and then again when he continually attacked from his back it seemed clear that Miller was just waiting for an opening and as soon as he saw a chance he spun for the leg and made sure he didn't let Oliveira escape. There is a bright future for both of these guys.
- I've seen a lot of people dismissing Mac Danzig's knockout of Joe Stevenson but that just seems stupid. Stevenson was a big favorite coming in but Danzig had him scouted perfectly. Joe jumped in with wide punches and Mac looked like it was exactly what he knew would happen. Danzig circled away from the power the entire fight and whenever Stevenson threw a wide punch he would simply pop him with a couple straight punches and clear from the danger zone. They didn't look hard but it's standard counterpunching to use the other guy's momentum against him. So when the left hook landed and flipped Stevenson's switch, it was just the end of a perfect gameplan.
- Thiago Alves vs. John Howard was just exactly the same thing we've seen a lot lately. One guy who is very technically sound and throws crisp quick shots dominating a guy who throws looping power shots. Danzig did it to Stevenson, GSP did it to Koscheck, Daley did it to Smith and Alves did it to Howard.
- Finally, it's time for Dustin Hazelett to go back to the regional circuit. He needs to build up his confidence and needs to build up his game. His BJJ game is not nearly as impressive against guys who know what they're doing on the ground and his stand-up is brutally bad. Unless he is handed tailor-made match-ups by the UFC, he's not going to find any regular success.