Sweet! Finally the opening bout of the main card!
This is the main event...
The curiosity that is Dante Exum this is not.
I don't get it. This is a record right? Two fighters headlining a main event who are fresh off back to back losses?
But I thought the UFC was growing stronger?
So they say.
The problem with the UFC is that not even casual fans can put up with their current pace. The classic counter argument to those who criticize the notion of "oversatuation" is 'but how many NFL/NHL/NBA/MLB fans do you see complain about watching the 80+ games throughout the season?'
Simple. There is a reprieve. Right now, with many of the major sports their attention is captured by the draft, where everybody's imagination is captured by getting to know their future superstars, and role players. This establishes a story fans can care about. It ignites our anticipation. We grow hungrier for the sport, and hungrier for the teams we root for because the draft helps shape tomorrow's team. In other words, real sports let us glimpse the future in vivid, but sporadic detail.
Somewhere along the way Zuffa and Company found ancient wisdom in wrestlers cutting promos for 12 year olds. Now...there are some very intelligent people in the MMA community who find pro wrestling entertaining into adulthood, so this isn't some cheapshot aimed at people who still enjoy pro wrestling. But the way forward if the UFC wants something more than 'pro wrestling for sports fans' is something like 'sports for sports fans'. This card is a hilarious example of what they're doing wrong. James Te Huna is a fine fighter, but don't insult the intelligence of his fanbase by promoting him as a UFC Maori superstar. Nobody wants a Darko Milicic on their box of Wheaties so stop pretending every card is some can't miss product of graceful violence.
Are you done?
No. But thanks to the BE readers for suggesting a good place for biscuits and gravy here in SA, TX.
Nate Marquardt is +180. Seems like good odds.
Sort of. I used to think pretty highly of Nate. His style was entertaining, he was well rounded, and he could be sudden. Now...as God takes time away from his busy schedule to help protesters battle police raids on their homes...and calls Nate Marquardt to stop fasting in order to make 185...his decline has appeared to begin.
He's been knocked out cold in his last two fights to Hector Lombard and Jake Ellenberger, and got flat out dominated against Tarec Saffiedine. Granted, those weren't easy matchups, but they shouldn't have looked as insurmountable as they did for a guy who once fought for a world title and has been consistently successful.
In a way this is a good fight for him. Te Huna doesn't have any big wins. He's a Te Huna-of-all-trades, master of none...except when it comes to punching power.
The Shogun loss was pretty brutal. Te Huna looked like he took a shotgun blast to the chest. I suspect Nate can get by with his speed, but at 35, and without his TRT, who knows?
I think it's interesting that everyone on the BE staff picked Te Huna. Yea it's because they're better at this than me, but really? Are Te Huna's wins over Ryan Jimmo and Joey Beltran and Igor Pokrajac and Aaron Rosa that much more impressive than Nate's wins over Tyron Woodley, Rousimar Palhares, and Demian Maia?
I get it, don't get me wrong. Te Huna has big power, and Nate is declining while losing by vicious KO a lot lately going up against a former LHW. But Ellenberger and Lombard throw blistering strikes against quick agile opponents while Te Huna has been duck hunting thumpers.
Allow me to be the contrarian then.
Do I think Te Huna is a reasonable pick? Absolutely. But I also think Marquardt is capable of winning a decision by being the technician on the feet. The biggest hurdle for Nate will be getting the fight on the ground. A bigger hurdle will be getting the submission where he's never been lights out in top control, but I wouldn't be surprised to see Te Huna look to bully Nate to the ground, only to get caught in a guillotine in the process.
Yea but you don't actually believe Nate will win do you?
James Te Huna by vicious rapture face inducing KO, round 2.