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UFC 81: Fight Critic Part I – Event Analysis

I really enjoyed UFC 81 and am giving it a solid A for simply being a fun show. There weren’t any match of the year candidates but there weren’t any clunkers either. What we did see were some amazing comebacks. I really thought Frank Mir and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira were done for. But seeing fighters maintain their composure through such adversity is why so many people look up to them. Wouldn’t it be great if we could all hang tough like that when life is kicking our ass?

The timing of the matches was slow, as usual, but that’s just how the UFC does it. It’s clear to me that they intentionally want to slow the pacing of the show down between quick finishes. I don’t agree, but I can understand that some people might prefer that kind of tempo. But it was a really enjoyable show and it got the bad taste out of my mouth that was left from UFC Fight Night 12 a couple of weeks back. That being said, the show was far from perfect in my eyes. What’s really starting to irk me is how the UFC’s politics are starting to have an adverse effect on the quality of their telecasts. I’m sorry, but there’s something terribly out of place on an MMA broadcast when a fraud like Barry Bonds is identified to the TV viewing audience and Renzo Gracie is not.

Renzo was clearly visible when he was walking down with Ricardo Almeida to the cage and there was nary a mention of his presence. I’m sure he’s persona non grata with the UFC because he had the audacity to earn a living by agreeing to coach an IFL team. But it is just not right. It’s time the UFC didn’t allow petty issues to dictate its media policies. They’re bigger than that. Allowing Mike Goldberg to say something to the effect of, “And Ricardo Almeida is accompanied to the ring by Renzo Gracie of the legendary Gracie family” isn’t going to effect the UFC’s bottom line.

Maybe I’m wrong, maybe not identifying Renzo was unintentional. After all, how many times was Michael Bisping shown on camera and not identified? Then again, maybe that was intentional too. Maybe the UFC didn’t want to focus on him out of fear the crowd would boo him out of the building?

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11 COMMENTS
  • Sam Cupitt says:

    Rogan seems to have been doing a good job of forgetting Randy. Like at the weigh ins, he said Sylvia would be the first person to become 3-time heavyweight champion and then somone corrected him and he said something like “that’s still with the UFC”

    Then tonight when he was interviewing Nog, he congratulated him on being the new heavyweight championship.

    I still enjoy Rogan though and I too believe their censorship is crazy. I think it was UFC 79 and Joe Rogan mentioned Fedor Emelianenko and you could actually hear his buttocks clenching and Dana’s teeth grinding.

    BRING BACK UFC UPDATE!

  • Zack says:

    They did everything they could not to show anything more than the brim of Randy’s cap while cornering Tyson Griffin. Just goofy.

  • Al says:

    The whole ignoring Couture thing was ridiculous. From the cameramen scurrying around to avoid having Randy n their shot, to Gray Maynard being pointed out over Randy as his training partner.

    IMO, the UFC needs to give up commentary and production control. It won’t happen as things stand – but I thought for all the world that a deal with a network would necessitate that. It brings legitimacy and more importantly (to me at least), unbiased analysis. I don’t want every fighter to be proclaimed as world class, purely because he fights for the UFC. It’s clearly not the case the majority of the time, and nearly always makes me cringe.

    It was nice of Rogan to mention JZ though.

  • platypus says:

    politics r funni

  • Hard Ass says:

    So, Big Nog is now the UFC champ. Where are all the Fedor haters that say he’s never fought anyone?? Didn’t he beat Nog 2 times?? Also, didn’t he beat current #6 in the world Mark Hunt? And wasn’t Coleman in their first fight ranked #2 in the world?

    Let’s all face the fact that there is only one true heavyweight champ right now…..FEDOR! Sad thing is that he will only gain respect if he fights 2 opponents at the same time because the heavy weight class is in such bad shape. I would love to see him fight Nog and Rampage at the same time……Fedor would still be the favorite! LOL!

  • Evan says:

    “Where are all the Fedor haters that say he’s never fought anyone?? ”

    people are criticizing his recent fights, not all of them.

  • Jeremy says:

    I thought their production has been sloppy the last few PPV broadcasts they have done. Don’t know what’s up with that lately, as it wasn’t that way in the past.

    Rogan has actually mentioned JZ in the past, so that wasn’t that big a surprise to me. The Couture thing is all politics, and it will probably be that way until he comes back to the UFC, if he ever does. So as unfortunate as it is, we should probably all get used to it.

  • woooburn says:

    yeah, he mentioned calvancante during the recent fight night as well. wouldn’t be surprised to see him in the octagon eventually, though during the fight night, i think he might have been mentioned in the same breath as several other non-ufc fighters

    side note: what’s lil nog’s current contract like? any chance he’d follow his brother to the ufc, now that he’s been successful?

  • Evan says:

    Two events in a row where we got 8 fights if I am not mistaken! They aren’t wasting as much time between rounds thankfully.

  • Sam, I think the hardcores are starting make you paranoid. I didn’t even notice Renzo was there. The broadcast team rarely mentions John Hackelman when he comes out with Iceman and there’s always people in the entourage that aren’t mentioned.

  • Bill says:

    And what was up with showing “the undertaker” and “Kurt Angle”? You’d think Couture woulda gained more respect in the eyes of the UFC than those clowns. Don’t like the sellout mentality of the UFC.

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