When the Blackzilians camp launched, many expected it to become one of the absolute top gyms in mixed martial arts. The combination of big name UFC stars and what appeared to be a very solid coaching staff seemed a recipe for success.
That hasn't really been the case thus far, with the camp becoming a bit notorious for disappointing performances. It's something that Dana White discussed during the media scrum following UFC 156, a card that saw Alistair Overeem and Rashad Evans of the camp both pick up huge losses (transcription via 5th Round):
f"Blackzilians didn’t represent [at UFC 156]," White stated following Saturday’s press conference. "It was a bad night for them. In the first round, [Overeem] was running into a clinch. He wasn’t throwing anything. Running into a clinch, his hands were down by his knees. Yeah, it was a weird fight.
"I don’t know if he thought he could out-slick him and … I don’t know what he thought. He looked terrible. Both of them looked out of shape. Rashad did nothing but this all night (mimics catching jabs with hand). They had a bad night. They probably got to reevaluate some things in their camp."
"I think [Overeem] looked terrible [Saturday]. Rashad’s a great fighter, Rashad looked terrible, [too]. Yeah, I agree [Melvin Guillard wasn't good in his loss to Jamie Varner]," White said in closing. "They’ve got some work to do down there at Blackzilians. They’ve got some work to do. Vitor [looked good against Michael Bisping], but they didn’t look good."
Belfort picked up the win over Bisping and, of course, with the talent on the Blackzilians roster, there are other performances you could pick out that were solid from the team.
But in big spotlight fights it has seemed that the performances turned in by the camp have been sorely lacking.
As a big Rashad Evans fan, I just can't understand what his gameplan was for Nogueira this past weekend. He never really looked to engage offensively and nothing he did appeared to be part of a cohesive strategy to win the fight.
Overeem had a different issue, fighting a decent fight through the majority of two rounds. But he spent so much of the fight disrespecting his opponent that it was almost inevitable that he was going to get clipped. That getting clipped turned into getting finished obviously made things much worse.