Listen to some commentary on the Pride Fighting Championships and how the Japanese crowds were said to have 'understood the fight game' better than western audiences. Remember how fans at the Saitama Super Arena were quiet while fighters would work to change position and then erupt with cheer when fighters would attempt finishes. We were also told that the Japanese and Asians didn't care as much about who won a fight but rather saw the 'samurai spirit' in MMA fighters who were cheered even in defeat. UFC 140 was all about the losers looking good even in defeat. After the jump I'll explain a little further how UFC 140 and fans' knowledge base for MMA have come together to be more like eastern audiences in a very good and respectful way. I'll also discuss how rare standing chokes are in MMA at the higher levels and why Jones was able to pull off such a great move against an opponent with much more experience and practice in submissions. I'm not in the leagues with the guys who know how to write Judo Chops though. Maybe at the end you'll agree with me that UFC 140 was the best fight card of the year.
You don't need something like a Phd in MMA to know that Jones vs. Machida put the 'art' in mixed martial arts. Maybe Stephen Quadros, the 'fight professor' from Pride could have told us. Imagine if he and Bas Ruten were calling the action last night instead of Rogan and Goldberg. I'm getting off topic but I know someone somewhere is giggling like a little girl. Machida was able to use his strategy in the first round to roughen up Jones. Jones adapted well in the second round and beat Machida at 'his own game' so to speak by using a Jiu-Jitsu technique he picked up within the last five years. Lyoto knew the choke and its defense because he began training in Jiu-Jitsu 18 years ago! That's pretty incredible if you think about it. Then again, it was the transitions that made the choke possible. The strikes from the clinch and the bloodied forehead all contributed to Lyoto's being dazed enough to get caught in that choke. Very rarely do we see high level MMA fighters being caught in standing chokes. Savor the image of that fight ending choke. It was violently and beautiful at the same time. Simple.
I tried to keep this article as short and sweet as UFC 140 was last night. I know I glossed over some stuff or could have explained things in more detail. The fact is that we the fans got a great show. And the UFC gave us that great show. Knock Dana and the Fertitas all you want, but never say they don't give fans some awesome fights. It's Sunday morning now and I'm content thanks to UFC 140. I really hope it does well financially because it deserves to. If you order one pay-per-view/fight card this year, I'd recommend UFC 140. It really was one of the best fight nights in MMA history for me an many others. I personally think the fights collectively were better than watching Rua vs. Henderson. Henderson vs. Rua was great and epic but I'm still gonna go with UFC 140 as my 'event of the year'.