Last week I looked at the Benson Henderson vs Josh Thomson fight from UFC on Fox and judged the bout using the basic criteria of 'Who Did Most To Finish?', for the simple reason of treating MMA more like an actual fight and less of a point scoring game. The reaction by fans in the Bloody Elbow community was generally positive, and a welcome debate was sparked in the comments agreeing or disagreeing with my particular perspective. The results of the fan poll showed 43% of those who took part thought Thomson did the most to attempt finishing the fight, 37% thought Henderson did, and 20% believing neither fighter had done more than the other.
This week I am judging John Makdessi vs Alan Patrick from UFC 169 with the WDMTF ethos in mind, which officially was judged 29-28, 29-28 and 30-27 in favour of Alan Patrick. Here's a quick reminder of the WDMTF format:
- The fight will be watched on mute so I am not influenced by the announcers' commentary.
- The fight will be watched one time only, either live or from a recording
- I will use the 10 point must system to score the rounds, but I will not be going by the unified rules to determine who scores what. I will also more liberally apply 10-10 and 10-8 rounds where I feel necessary to help more accurately reflect the action in the round.
- I will write a commentary of the action as I see it minute by minute for ease of reading and for readers to more easily follow along when watching the fight themselves. I will be judging the round as a whole otherwise.
Onto the fight ...
Henderson vs Thomson: Who did most to finish?
KJ Gould attempts to use his own simplified judging criteria to score Benson Henderson vs Josh Thomson. Will it end the controversy, or generate more? Read on to find out the results.
- Minute 1, Some feeling out from both fighters, Patrick throws a light knee and hard underhooks Makdessi getting him off balance, but Makdessi whizzers and regains his balance. Some more light knees from Patrick, missed front snap kick from Makdessi. It's clear Patrick is looking to use his strikes to help close the distance and clinch. Missed spinning back kick from Patrick then a few seconds later shoots in on Makdessi ...
- Minute 2, ... trying for the double but Makdessi whizzers and circles away from the leg attack. Missed spinning back fist from Patrick, missed side kick towards the body from Makdessi. Leg kick lands for Patrick, front push kick lands for Makdessi, Patrick misses a spinning back fist again, Makdessi feints a spinning attack of his own.
- Minute 3, Makdessi attempting cleaner boxing combos doubling up on a jab before throwing a cross, Patrick wilder and wider with his punches but both aren't landing. Patrick misses with a compass kick, Makdessi lands a lead calf kick. Patrick trying to rush in with a clinch but is too telegraphed.
- Minute 4, Rear push kick from Patrick, lead side kick from Makdessi, a lot of range testing from both fighters with their hands. Another rear push kick from Patrick, low calf kick from Makdessi that he slips over but pops back up. Patrick cramming and jamming the strikes of Makdessi as he tries to muscle into clinch distance.
- Minute 5, High jab from Patrick, body jab from Makdessi, blast double from Patrick that takes Makdessi down but Makdessi whizzer escapes back to his feet. Both struggle in the clinch with minor knees by both fighters to the thighs and a couple of short punches. Rounds ends with both in the clinch.
Even round with similar striking exchanges, even if Patrick likely stole the round under unified rules with his late takedown and more aggressive attack. Under my rules though? 10-10 under WDMTF.
- Minute 1, Makdessi appears to have found his range and is looking to pick his shots, Patrick is still trying to close distance and get a clinch or double leg attack but seems to becoming more desperate. Patrick isn't really landing, but Makdessi does land a calf kick and nice body kick, while easily countering Patrick's takedown attempts with good footwork and use of the whizzer.
- Minute 2, Patrick still wild with his punches coming in to clinch, Makdessi lands a nice punch combo to the head and body. Patrick gets a blast double which Makdessi is able to whizzer and get back to the feet on, but Patrick is stronger this time with his underhook really off balancing Makdessi causing him to plant hard on his left leg. Makdessi is able to get some space to move while holding the whizzer and square up with Patrick in the clinch before being able to get a break.
- Minute 3, Makdessi looks to be controlling the distance standing and is the one moving forward. Makdessi is aiming punches and kicks to the body though most are partially landing, the rest missing. Makdessi also looking to use head movement and counter punch when Patrick throws wild strikes that miss.
- Minute 4, Makdessi appears to have a cut on his nose but is still stalking Patrick. Out of the two Makdessi is landing his strikes but none that I could call significant. Makdessi barely misses with a spinning back kick, Patrick misses by a mile with another telegraphed compass kick.
- Minute 5, Neither fighter are landing that well, but Makdessi is landing the cleaner strikes. Patrick is mostly missing and can't get much done with short uppercuts during a clinch attempt that Makdessi easily blocks before it can come close to locking on.
Makdessi appeared to land more shots and more cleanly with Patrick mostly missing. Patrick had a good double leg takedown but Makdessi got back up. Patrick controlled a little longer in the clinch but didn't land shots of note. I can see how the brief takedown and the cut on Makdessi's face might sway some judges for Patrick, but the better volume of strikes from Makdessi -- though none really significant -- convinces me he's doing more to advance to a finish. 10-9 Makdessi under WDMTF.
- Minute 1, Makdessi clearly has found his range in the fight and is able to land some strikes and combos. Patrick runs into a short left that causes him to stumble backwards but not enough to create an opening for Makdessi to capitalise on. Patrick appears to have slowed down and his strikes are easily avoided. Makdessi is controlling the distance still and Patrick is failing to clinch and is being thrown off easily by Makdessi.
- Minute 2, Makdessi still looking to land one or two shots with Patrick mostly retreating out of the way in the process. Decent head kick attempt from Patrick but Makdessi blocks.
- Minute 3, Patrick's strike volume has decreased significantly, Makdessi still picking his shots but isn't being overly aggressive. Patrick misses with a headkick, Makdessi times a kick from Patrick and lands a front kick to the inside thigh just above the knee causing Patrick to buckle and lose his footing momentarily.
- Minute 4, Patrick still wild with his punches, throws a looping hook that Makdessi is able to bob and weave before throwing a counter punch. Patrick looks for a blast double, Makdessi whizzers and they're clinched against the fence. Makdessi is slightly off balance from Patrick's underhook but not as badly as in Round 2. Makdessi is able to use his whizzer and square up in the clinch and looks to block the thigh and pry the leg of Patrick to stop knees and from him getting his hips in.,
- Minute 5, minor knees to the thigh from Patrick, minor body shot from Makdessi, referee breaks up the clinch. Good body kick from Makdessi, and a lunging jab to the body that barely connects. Patrick comes in wild but Makdessi is able to counter with shots to the body and a hook to the head that barely misses. Patrick aggressive to close out the round but Makdessi is able to land and off balance Patrick who ends up retreating as the round comes to an end.
Makdessi even more clearly landed better strikes in this round than the last, Patrick having less success with the takedown and clinch game. The body kick and off balancing strikes from Makdessi wins him the round in my eyes. 10-9 Makdessi under WDMTF.
Looking at which fighter did the most to finish the fight in my subjective opinion, I ended up with a score of 30-28 for John Makdessi. An even opening round that lead into a clear slow down in action from Patrick, and cleaner strikes from Makdessi in rounds 2 and 3. Patrick was aggressive with the takedown but couldn't do much with it to make me believe he was anywhere near to finishing, but with Makdessi landing accumulative shots, a couple of solid body kicks and shots that looked to buckle or off balance, in my opinion the fight should go to Makdessi based on damage and actively fatiguing Patrick.
What do you think? Have your say in the poll and comments about the result of the fight, and the WDMTF criteria.
- Knuckle Up #432: Offers the most accurate take on MMA's SuperBowl in UFC 169
- UFC signs top Japanese prospect Michinori Tanaka
- Potential Jose Aldo vs. Anthony Pettis fight at lightweight still has one sticking point
- UFC 169 results recap: Renan Barao vs. Urijah Faber
- UFC 169 results recap: Jose Aldo vs. Ricardo Lamas