The beautiful thing about the fight game is how costly a single mistake can be. Thiago Alves was clearly on his way to winning a decision with roughly a minute left in high fight with Martin Kampmann at UFC on FX 2 before he decided to go for a takedown when it appeared Kampmann was hurt. Kampmann was able to lock up a guillotine and tighten it up and leave Alves with no choice but to tap out.
For Alves, this has to be an incredibly frustrating moment in his career. Much of the talk heading into the fight revolved around Alves no longer looking to be the guy who had long been considered a top three fighter at 170 pounds. Having lost three of his last five, it was a clear moment in his career where he needed to pick up a victory and he was certainly on his way to doing so.
The old Alves leg kick was back and Kampmann's tendency to wilt against men who do the simplest of things one can do in a fight (read: walk forward and throw punches at his head) were moving Alves toward a no-brainer decision victory.
Now, Alves has to think about how costly his one decision will be for his career.
- Kampmann didn't look great by any means, but he did hurt Alves badly in the first round and have his moments. He still has huge liabilities in his defense that are always going to plague him against anyone willing to come forward and punch, but he finds ways to win and is versatile enough to never be out of a fight.
- For Alves, losses to Georges St. Pierre, Jon Fitch, Rick Story and Martin Kampmann aren't exactly shameful. But his time as a title contending welterweight may well be over.
- I don't want to sound like I'm being too negative, but Joseph Benavidez taking on Yasuhiro Urushitani always felt like a waste of everyone's time. Urushitani had nothing for Benavidez on paper and that carried forward into the fight itself.
- I really feel that Ian McCall did enough to win his fight with Demetrious Johnson, and if not win it, to at least have gotten a "sudden victory" round. McCall's dominance in the third round was clear enough in my eyes to have gotten him a 10-8 round. He had dominant position twice in the round, both times opening up with flurries of punches that were landing while Johnson did nothing but cover up. You shouldn't have to dominate all five minutes to get a 10-8 round, McCall really deserved to at least have a fourth round in that fight. Update: As has been made plenty clear by now, McCall did deserve a 4th round as the scores were actually a draw but were tallied incorrectly.
Much more after the jump...
- Demetrious Johnson is a hell of a good fighter and a lot of fun to watch. Fighting Joseph Benavidez at 125 pounds will be a great fight to watch so I'm resigning myself to simply being happy with what we're getting and hoping McCall gets a shot at the title in the near future.
- James Te Huna isn't ever going to compete for a title in the UFC, but he's a brutal puncher. Aaron Rosa was just the latest in a long line of opponents who were clearly shell shocked once they felt the force of his punches. People forget but Te Huna did trouble Alexander Gustafsson in their fight before Gustafsson was able to get the upper hand and finish the fight. He's going to be a tough out for anyone at 205.
- Anthony Perosh joins Mark Hunt in the "really? three straight wins in the UFC? This is really 2012?" category. Perosh also picked up his third straight stoppage win and now he basically has to be put into a meaningful fight.
- Steven Siler looked much better than I expected. He was able to apply enough pressure to keep Cole Miller from ever getting comfortable and his combinations were sharp enough to offset any moments where Miller was able to pot-shot with single punches.
- Oli Thompson and Shawn Jordan put on one of the more entertaining heavyweight fights in recent memory. The two men really went all-out and Jordan's win was impressive enough to remind why he was seen as an interesting heavyweight prospect prior to coming to Strikeforce and losing to Devin Cole.