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Why was “Strikeforce at the Dome” so bad?

Strikeforce at the Dome sucked.

There I said it.

Ever since Jan Nortje finished off Bob Sapp in 55 seconds, it has almost been like (to paraphrase a line from the late-great Bill Hicks) a turd has fallen into the collective drink of all MMA fans and bloggers.

You would be hard pressed to find much post event coverage of the show that took place this past Saturday on any MMA blog or website. It is as if everyone has just closed their eyes and are hoping that when they open them, the bad show will be gone.

It is not Strikeforce’s fault that the Washington event went down the way it did. Before the event I saw the card as one that was filled with fighters with not a whole lot of technique or drawing power but I thought that they would lend themselves to entertaining encounters.

Unfortunately that was not the case.

Most of the “undercard” fights were fairly entertaining and ended most by decision. They weren’t boring but they were the kind of fights you sit through in anticipation of the main event and when the main event turns out to be a lemon you don’t look back too fondly on them. This is what I like to call UFC 78 syndrome.

The three co-main events, Maurice Smith vs. Rick Roufus, Joe Riggs vs. Cory Devela and Bop Sapp vs. Jan Nortje just went against the expectations of the viewer but not in a good way.

The reason people tuned in to watch Maurice Smith was to hopefully get a glimpse of his legendary kickboxing skills and the matchup against a fellow kickboxer in Roufus was meant to provide this. Unfortunately, it appears the reason Maurice Smith took this fight with Roufus was to show that he was a better fighterthan Roufus. Roufus had previously TKO’d Smith in a kickboxing bout and the only logical reason to why this fight was taking place was simply for Smith to get some pride back. Smith’s better MMA skills awarded him a very sloppy submission win which just left me saying, “what was the point of that?”

The reason people tuned in to watch Joe Riggs was that ‘Diesel’ always provides an entertaining fight. He doesn’t mess around and he goes for everything at full force. Unfortunately Riggs had a pre-existing back injury before the fight which left him starting the fight pretty tentatively. His existing condition was aggravated via a slam from the promising Devela which left Riggs tapping just as he hit the mat. You would have to feel that a reason behind Riggs entering this fight with a back injury would have to be the need for a decent paycheck after the WCO debacle which left him with only 20% of what he would have earned for fighting on that show. All in all though, watching Riggs leave in a stretcher was a dark cloud that ‘Strikeforce at the Dome’ did not need hanging over their already lacklustre show.

And finally…

The reason people tuned in to watch Bob Sapp was for the spectacle and to see his immense strength and power. Unfortunately for Strikeforce and everyone watching in ‘the dome’ and at home, all they saw was what happens when Bob Sapp picks on someone his own size.

It wasn’t pretty.

A lazy takedown attempt by Sapp followed by some strikes from Nortje resulted in Sapp running away from his opponent until he took a shot and collapsed. Disgusted is probably a bit strong of a word, but Sapp’s hometown reaction to the 55 second “fight” was pretty close to disgust.

Watching Sapp get dominated is the opposite of any viewer’s expectations. The image of Sapp turning his back and running from his opponent is one which left the MMA world pretty stunned and that is the reason why this event has pretty much been swept under the proverbial carpet.

It is not often you get an MMA event without any real highlights but ‘Strikeforce at the Dome’ fitted that bill. The show is probably even more of a let down considering we have treated to action packed events such as EliteXC: Street Certified, WEC 32 and UFC 81 already this month.

Hopefully this doesn’t put many fans off the Strikeforce promotion as the upcoming collaboration with EliteXC in March should be a beauty.

Well it will at least look better in comparison.

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  • garth says:

    so fighters going into fights hurt is ok? riggs and sapp both claimed injuries prior to the fight…why are they any less reprehensible than the cheaters? they go into a fight knowing they’re not competitive. they go into a fight knowing unless something really lucky happens, theyll lose fast. they go into their fights knowing they’re shorting the fans. bowing out of a fight due to injury is not a bad thing. it keeps you from cheating the paying fans out of a good fight. that’s what riggs and sapp did: cheated paying fans out of good fights.

  • hankd says:

    The Masvidal – Healy fight was pretty good…

  • RustyNailz says:

    Major snorefest. Good thing I didn’t have to pay for it. I don’t think I’ll waste my time watching StrikeForce (even if it’s free) unless it’s a type of show co-promoted with Elite XC

  • Rich says:

    ok, garth, but would they not be cheating the fans if they withdrew.. and they had to find less exciting/experienced fighters to step in??

  • D says:

    Why was Strikeforce at the Dome so bad?

    Sapp was a headliner. nuff said. The only Sapp fight that I’ve ever enjoyed was when he fought Crocop. That was a beatdown!

  • Cabelo says:

    Yeah, cause everyone looks favourably on a fighter who drops due to injury……Jens pulver sure got the respect for a smart decision to hold off against Swanson. And people sure do treat Matt Serra like the real champ after not fighting hughes.

    Lets face it, there’s a stigma against admitting to injury. You drop a fight, you get dissed. You admit to having been injured after losing, you get booed.

    Every MMA fighter has continuously nagging injuries that commonly blow up into major ones. It’s what full time training athletes like these deal with. You also have these fighters coming in, and winning. Antonio Silva had a torn MCL when he fought rodriguez, but I haven’t seen anyone commending him for a gutsy win…..all I heard was how boring and slow the fight was. I agree with it, it sucked, but I’m still going to give those fighters every ounce of respect for still stepping up.

    Complaints like garth’s are the biggest problem with North American MMA fans. They feel entitled to a fight of the type they expect. You see this in the keyboard pundits everywhere. You hear this in the arenas when the ‘fans’ start to boo because of a feeling out process, or a technical battle on the floor, trading control and position. It’s very frustrating to know that these guys pour they’re hearts and souls into these fights, then get shit for trying to win at whatever cost, beause if you’re not winning, you’re out.

    and did you forget about pride? Not the organization, the feeling. Up to three months training camp, and then you expect them to throw that all down the drain because of a small injury they think they can fight with, that they feel they can fight through, because their fans deserve it?

    To put these people on par with cheaters is straight up awful. You’re offal. Professional fighters hate submitting….to their opponent, or their own body. Personally, I’d rather lose fighting to win, than quit before I ever took the chance. In putting these fighters in with cheaters, you seem to be saying your little bit of money is worth more than these guys’ time, and effort. And that’s a joke.

    Personally, I pay for fights because I never know what’s going to happen, not because I wanna see exactly the fight I want to see, and the fighter I like win. Try to apreciate what the fighters go through to perform for you, instead of criticizing them for working through pain to give their fans what they want.

  • Mike Wolfe says:

    Let’s see if I understand the Riggs fight correctly. He had a pre-existing back injury that was quickly aggravated, thereby ending the fight. I wonder if GSP and Matt Serra are connecting the dots.


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