Greetings, Bloody Elbowers. Long time listener, first time caller. I've been watching every UFC card for years and have even done some work for the UCC here on the east coast, but had never gotten around to checking out Strikeforce until Saturday night. Lazy, I know. The reality is that I've been a total UFC homer ever since they bought out Pride. I didn't think there was anything else worthwhile out there for me. Last night I finally decided to expand my horizons.
This puts me in the somewhat unique position of knowing the sport without knowing the fighters I'm watching. I would imagine most of you had seen King Mo, Lashley, etc fight numerous times. This was my first. I thought I'd post my reactions and hopefully get some feedback from you guys as to their accuracy.
First of all, the packaging needs some serious work. The entrances are unfortunate and the commentators are second rate. Rogan really puts a clown suit on those guys. And that Luke Rockhold interview was painful. This stuff is all beside the point, but the fact is I felt like I was watching something from the mid 90s. And none of it should be that hard to fix. Just be professional and find a few people who can talk. I guess maybe that's harder than it seems. The UFC really got pretty lucky with Rogan.
Bobby Lashley vs That dude with the sideburns- Whoever is training Lashley should be hanging their heads in shame right now. That guy is as one-dimensional as they come. I know thats to be expected to some extent, but there is no reason Lashley couldn't have picked up some semblance of a submission game by now. I was shocked to see an athlete like that putting on such a mediocre performance. I would love to see some footage of his training camp. Are they working on anything else? Is Lashley just too stupid or lazy to improve his game?
The coolest part of this fight for me was hearing Griggs signed a 4-fight deal with Strikeforce immediately afterwards. Nice to see a guy like that cash in. Fireman, paramedic, hadn't fought in a while. He looked like he had some decent skills, too. Maybe he wins another fight or two and gains some relevancy.
Jorge "Muppet" Gurgel vs KJ Noons- I'd read you guys mocking Gurgel for refusing to use his jiu-jitsu, but I guess I didn't really recognize the extent of what was going on here. Yikes. For him to stand with a striker of Noons' caliber is just idiocy. I heard Frank Shamrock saying Gurgel "wants to have fun", and then acting like that was somehow admirable. What, trying to match your strength against someone else's strength isn't fun? I thought that was what MMA was all about?
Gurgel's cornermen should've thrown in the towel after that late shot. A nasty knockout at the beginning of round 2 was a foregone conclusion at that point. At the very least they should've told Gurgel to take the fight to the mat at all costs. It is irresposible and dangerous to let a delusional fighter walk into surefire head trauma like that. Reality check time for the Gurgel camp.
As for Noons, I was impressed. I know he did some shady things, but I'll look past that for hands like those*. Pretty, pretty punches. I'd love to see Noons and Dan Hardy throw some leather.
I think I could jack off to that.
*Great hands on a fighter is the equivalent of huge breasts on a woman for me. Having that one thing makes me willing to overlook some pretty serious flaws in the total package.
Tim Kennedy and his huge calves vs Jacare Souza- I'm gonna open myself up to criticism here and say that this was maybe the most boring fight I've seen this year. I'm laying the blame mostly on Tim Kennedy. I came away disliking him. For one thing, his stance was ridiculous. And I don't see how this guy could ever finish a fight. Is he really a top contender? I didn't see anything noteworthy in his game other than possibly takedown defense.
His attitude was also pretty lame. Trying to pump up the crowd in the midst of a snoozer like that was wack. Looks like this guy's got Rich Franklin Disease: thinks his fights are way more exciting than they actually are. Afterwards he was complaining about the decision and was like, "I mean, I kept one of the best grapplers in the world from taking me down, so..." like he thought takedown defense should be enough to win him the fight. I really didn't like this guy.
Jacare is someone I'd be interested in watching again. He seems to have a pretty good skill set. He's obviously got some power, and you gotta think training with Anderson Silva, Junior Dos Santos and Lyoto Machida will be good for his standup development. I assume he's got great BJJ based on how much the announcers talked about it. Yes, I am interested in watching Jacare defend that belt. Who will he fight next? Is Dan Henderson fighting at middleweight in Strikeforce? The announcers acted like they had a lot of great middleweights, but a guy like Kennedy being in title contention makes that seem unlikely.
King Mo vs Feijao- Obviously this was the fight I really wanted to see, given how infamous King Mo is in the MMA world. The first thing I noticed is he should definitely be fighting at middleweight. I mean thats just obvious. And a wrestler of his pedigree shouldn't have any problem with the weight cut. So yeah, middlewight.
I'm assuming this was a bad night for him, because I really didn't come away impressed at all. I liked seeing those body shots, but he was leaning on them pretty heavily for a while there. Body shots can't become that predictable. This vicious ground-and-pound I'd heard so much about was nowhere to be seen. Like I said, I'm assuming this was a bad night for him. I need to see him fight again before I judge his game.
Really liked Feijao though. I'd like to see him in the UFC (is that lame to say?). His takedown defense was stellar, and I was very impressed with the standup. It was cool to see a guy built like that executing muay thai. Muay thai seems to be employed mainly by the tall skinny guys these days, so it was nice to see someone with some power utilize that style. I loved the way he spun out of standing back control, too. If one of those elbows had hit flush (which they very nearly did), it could've been game over. Feijao looked to me like a guy coming into his own as a fighter.
All right gang, thats all I got. This is clearly a group that knows its MMA, so I'm interested in any feedback you guys might have.