SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 27: Nick Ring of Canada is punched by Riki Fukuda of Japan during their middleweight bout as part of UFC 127 at Acer Arena on February 27, 2011 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)
While the fight will go down in the books as a successful UFC debut for Nick Ring the three judges sitting ringside may be the only people who saw it that way. Ring looked flat for the entire fight and had no answers for Fukuda's seeral takedowns. The win keeps Ring's record a perfect 11-0 while Riki Fukuda sees a 7 fight win streak snapped as he falls to 17-5.
What was the high point of the fight?
The major factor in this fight was Fukuda's ability to take Ring down at will. After Fukuda's first takedown saw Ring attempt a triangle then an armbar, that was the only significant submission offense Ring mounted. After a close first round, Fukuda landed the bigger punches and chalked up four takedowns in the final two rounds. Ring attempted to use leg kicks to keep Fukuda off balance and while the leg kicks landed, Fukuda walked through them with ease.
Where do these guys go from here?
It is tough telling what will be next for Ring and Fukuda and if the UFC treats this fight as they have other bad decisions in the past (Garcia vs. Pham) then it is possible an immediate rematch would be in order. With that being said, the fight wasn't all that exciting and who knows if the UFC would want to see it again. When the decision was read as a straight sweep in Ring's favor, the masses let their displeasure be known. UFC President Dana White immediately voiced his anger and while White normally condemns the judging because the UFC has no part in the matter, on this occasion however, the UFC hand-picked all three.
Watch it now, later, or never?
Had it not been for the poor judging in this fight this bout would be a "never" in my book. While Ring showed a ton of potential during his time on TUF, major knee surgery kept him out of action for quite some time. I know fans and critics will chalk up his performance to "ring rust" but there was more wrong with Ring's game tonight that simply being out of step. Despite the official loss, Fukuda's wrestling looked strong but his hands need work and with Dana White and company acknowledging the poor judging, I'm sure Fukuda will get another shot in the octagon.