Recap and Analysis: Strikeforce Knocks Out the UFC in the First Round

via www.opposingviews.com

The first head to head live competition between the UFC and Strikeforce ended early and in dramatic fashion as the upstart promotion from San Jose slaughtered the established champion in the first round. The UFC bouts, fights that looked bad on paper, were worse in execution. Meanwhile, a Strikeforce card with five top 20 fighters in action delivered highlight after highlight. Over on Spike TV, Demian Maia was feeling a little lonely, the only top 20 fighter on a card full of middling prospects and journeymen.

Some thoughts:

  • The Ultimate Fighter has never featured fighters less ready for primetime. I like Jonathan Brookins, but Jonathan Brookins has a long way to go before he's ready to compete with real world class talent. Luckily, the UFC has an undercard stocked with other less than stellar fighters from previous seasons of the reality television show. Fans aren't the only one to notice.  I talked to some sponsors last night and they realize it too...and some are shying away from fighters they don't think will ever be top guys.
  • I really like Matt Lindland as a person, and seeing him literally snoring in the cage was a little scary. That's twice in recent fights Matt has been knocked cold. At 40, it may be time for Matt to concentrate on his stable of fighters, his gym, and his family. It's been a great career.
  • Demian Maia is an excellent fighter, one of the very best in the UFC's middleweight division. I like to think of him as the UFC's Shinya Aoki, a ground talent that knows no equal. He dominated a competent Kendall Grove from bell to bell, showcasing his underrated takedowns. Maia has been working diligently with Luiz Dorea, the same boxing coach who works with the Nogueiras and Junior Dos Santos. The hard work showed, as the longer limbed Grove couldn't take advantage of what was once a weakness for Maia.
  • The fact that Strikeforce had a much better pedigreed card must drive Dana White nuts. Situations like this are why Dana is so vocal about how much he hates rankings all the time. Now if anybody plays this card, he can simply say "These f**kin' internet dweebs are circle jerking right now. These rankings are fu**ing terrible."
  • Amazingly enough, Lawler's knockout of Lindland wasn't even the best KO of the night. Paul Daley just whalloped Scott Smith with a left hook that dropped him right on his face, a textbook Ric Flair flop. Daley actually landed three hooks in a row, backed up and let Smith wildly chase him and then put him to sleep. Daley made a mistake in the Josh Koscheck fight. He paid for that mistake with his job. He deserves another chance and he certainly wasted no time reminding people why we all enjoyed him so much in the UFC. Daley versus Diaz would be a tremendous fight.
  • In the main event Dan Henderson rehabilitated an image that was severely tarnished early this year in Nashville by Jake Shields. Despite the loss, the crowd reacted like Henderson was still a star. That's the great thing about MMA - a handful of losses won't end your career. One thing that has rarely been mentioned - Henderson has never been that good at 185 pounds where he met Shields. He's struggled before against ordinary fighters like Kazuo Misaki. He told me he feels better at light heavyweight and showed it against Babalu.
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