Another Saturday UFC PPV, another wide round of criticism for almost everyone involved in the event. It's really puzzling that I, traditionally the cynic amongst my circle, seem to draw the most optimistic/positive conclusions from an event where 50% of the participants (in non-draw bouts) lose. More perplexing still, however, is the negativity that gets attached to those on the positive side of that ledger. Waiting a few hours after an MMA card really allows you to see when and where you disagree with the consensus that emerges among bloggers everywhere.
Then, you can explicate those disagreements.
- My expectations for Rampage Jackson were severely impacted when he basically said that he wanted to get his leg out of the MMA bear trap just as soon as Hollywood made it fiscally feasible to do so. Because of that, I had big questions about his motivation for his fight, his desire to recapture the 205 belt and whether or not he was taking Matt Hamill seriously. Well, he was. His take down defense (while not exactly tricked or tested by Hamill) looked solid, he didn't gas, and he fought a smart fight. It was the same thing he did against Machida - implement a game plan and execute it to perfection - but this time, he gets a round of boos from writers everywhere that feel he "sullied his name" by winning his second consecutive headlining bout. The guy gets a title shot if he's healthy - I'd say his star is in a pretty good place right now.
- Matt Hamill is a heartwarming story of the ability to persevere and succeed that will never sniff a UFC belt.
- Joe Rogan needs to shut the fuck up. I enjoy the man's commentary (and approximately 150 seconds of his 60 minutes stand up routine), but here's a simple list: don't tell the doctors when to let a fight continue and don't tell fighters what weight class to fight at. Big Country would have to live on that Cast Away island with Wilson the volleyball for a year to make 205 lbs. When you say that Mir/Nelson looks like "an actual heavyweight versus a guy that just loves food", you're not just dumping on Nelson - you're also dumping on Mir, both for taking the fight and being unable to finish it quickly. It's just a stupid, mean, counterproductive thing to say during a fight. Shut the fuck up.
- Roy Nelson's pretty fat. He's also lost two straight fights. Total bum, right? Not even UFC worthy. Well, not unless you consider that his last two losses - with yesterday's coming off of a fairly epic layoff - came to the current #1 contender and a former UFC HW champion. It seems that Roy was as surprised by Mir's take downs and strength as the rest of us were, and for the first time I've ever witnessed, Nelson gassed before the end of the bout. Whereas some seem content to dismiss Roy Nelson as a never-was, I'm going to give him the benefit of the doubt (even though he made me look dumb) and chalk this performance up to ring rust.
- Frank Mir was also in that bout, and I don't have any issues with his performance. He's clearly fallen in love with MT knees to the head, and he probably hit Roy with about a half-dozen of the sort that put Mirko Cro Cop to sleep. He also dusted off his Nevada high school wrestling and dictated where the bout took place, making that '03 Grappler's Quest bout seem like an anomaly in the process. This win puts Mir at 5, looking into the UFC's Big Four at HW - Velasquez, Dos Santos, Lesnar and Carwin - and while he may never again defeat anyone in that quartet, he's still one of the best heavyweights in the world today.