Ever wanted to see some of the early and/or regional promotion work of your favorite fighters? That's what the Bloody Elbow GIFathon is for! Tomorrow night is UFC 167, and today's GIFathon focuses on six fighters competing on the PPV. Dallas Winston is here to provide commentary on the archival footage from our secret vault known as "Youtube", and these wonderful GIFs aren't possibly without the tireless work of Zombie Prophet.
Today you'll see:
- Georges St-Pierre's wicked kimura finish.
- Rory MacDonald armbarring a guy named Elmer.
- Sergio Pettis' emphatic finish to his MMA debut.
Georges St-Pierre vs. Dave Strasser (2005)
Mookie Alexander: Ahhh the good ol' Goldenpalace.com advertisement on GSP's back. Anyway, this was the one fight St-Pierre took outside of the UFC after Matt Hughes defeated him. The fight with Dave Strasser is short, and features the usual elements to a GSP fight: Takedown, advance position, and of course in his older fights he'd actually finish his opponent. After he kimura'd Strasser he returned to the UFC, and you pretty much know the rest of the story.
Dallas Winston: Strasser might not jump to mind as a scintillating submission grappler in MMA, but he's savvy enough to coax BJJ World Cup Champions like Vitor Vianna to his school for grappling improvements. I don't want to be over-critical of GSP so I'll just include a humble request for more guard passing and submission attempts. Also, this is why Marcelo Garcia considers the kimura a strong man's move -- notice the wide base, strength and exertion St-Pierre expends to wrench this catch.
Johny Hendricks vs. Richard Gamble (2008)
Dallas: Broken record alert, but this is another example of the basic top-side submissions that can drastically increase the finishing voracity of a dominant wrestler. Controlling your opponent's upper-back and head is key to maintaining position, and that scenario is highly conducive to pursuing neck and head-and-arm chokes. Considering that Hendricks is often likened to Dan Henderson for his combination of blistering punching power and overbearing wrestling, dabbling with more submission attempts like this one would add another fearsome weapon to his arsenal.
Chael Sonnen vs. Amar Suloev (2007)
Mookie: Yeah you're seeing this right. Chael Sonnen with a TKO finish from mounted crucifix in an otherwise dominant beatdown of Amar Suloev.
Dallas: Amar Suloev is a pimp too: an early member of Russia's Red Devil Sports Club, Suloev holds wins over Yushin Okami, Murilo Bustamante and, as a middleweight, he stood toe-to-toe with a prime Chuck Liddell at 205. This win coincided with Sonnen's drop to middleweight and resulting career surge after he was submitted in the UFC by Jeremy Horn and Renato Sobral. Suloev retired one fight after this and, based on his lack of urgency and activity from the bottom, I'd guess it was just that time.
Rory MacDonald vs. Elmer Waterhen (2009)
Mookie: Before you say anything, Waterhen is a First Nations Canadian, so this isn't some intentionally horrible D-level pro wrestling stage name. He's also sub-.500 in MMA at 14-17 as of September of this year, so he's definitely not a world beater. This is RoryMac in King of the Cage, and after a brief and entertaining period of striking from close quarters, Rory took this to the ground and styled on Elmer.
Dallas: If I wasn't such a perfectionist when it comes to being professional -- seriously, I'm the consummate professional, you assholes -- I'd work some mixture of Elmer and Waterhen into an "Old MacDonald's Farm" joke. This sequence strikes me as the type most fans would be scoring for Waterhen despite MacDonald exemplifying control, aggression and superior offense from his back. Notice how he always follows the "position before submission" rule with his dogged maintenance of head/posture control preceding the finish.
Robbie Lawler vs. Jeremy Brown (2005)
Mookie: No joke, this is Lawler's only submission win. Ever. In history. He's been fighting since 2001. Even this armbar win was preceded by him rocking Brown with a hard left hand and a knee. He's violent.
Dallas: Wow. I actually had to double check Mookie there, as my foggy memory was mumbling that Lawler has shown some legit albeit under-utilized grappling prowess before. On the bright side though ... when it comes to facing Robbie Lawler, I'd rather tap out than face the alternative.
Sergio Pettis vs. Kyle Vivian (2011)
Mookie: Did you know Sergio Pettis' first pro fight was in Canada? It's true! This is the first of two head kick finishes for Sergio, and while early stoppage was claimed, the way Vivian crashed to the floor suggests an immediate stoppage was needed. The referee pretty much saved him from Pettis punching his face through the mat.
Dallas: To me, the big question is whether Sergio can replicate his big brother's silky smooth sub-grappling acumen. We know the kid can strike, but Anthony's raucous finishing ability is a dual-pronged one and the career-defining test against a dominant wrestler looms over Sergio's future.