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Should Alves’ win over Hughes count?; Vera’s future; Miragliotta involved in controversy for second week in a row; possible roster cuts; and other UFC 85 thoughts

icfc.jpgIt was a win that the mixed martial arts community should be heralding as the ascension of a new star into the elite of the welterweight ranks. Instead, nobody knows quite sure what Thiago Alves’ sensational win in the main event at UFC 85 against Matt Hughes means for his career.

Being one of the top prospects from the leading camp in MMA, Alves of American Top Team has all the makings of a top five fighter in the world welterweight rankings. Owner of an impressive 8-2 record in the UFC, the son of a baker holds notable wins over Derrick Noble, John Alessio, Tony DeSouza, Marcus Davis (in a non-UFC bout), Chris Lytle, Karo Parisyan, and just last night added a win to his resume over the greatest welterweight of all-time in Hughes.

But pollsters are left to ponder just how to score this victory for Alves. It was a spectacular performance by the man known as “The Pitbull,” except that he was the beneficiary of an unfair advantage.

Hughes is not a small welterweight. He is a fighter who must put his body through hell in order to condense himself into a compact 170 pounds just so he can make a brief rendezvous with the scale of record. Hughes had to put himself through hell to fight a man whose body did not have to endure the same kind of stress. Alves apparently tried to make weight, but didn’t even come close. Four pounds is a big deal when you’re talking about 170 and the size difference between the two was as plain as the eye could see.

Hughes, notorious for having a size and strength advantage over his opponents, looked like a lightweight compared to the massive Alves. If Alves was forced to get down to 170 and was able to put on that much weight, we’d be singing his praises for being a master weight cutter. Instead, the fact is that he didn’t make 170 lbs. and had a head start on Hughes when it came to the race of re-hydration.

Alves claimed in his post-fight interview that he rolled his ankle in the days leading up to the fight and couldn’t run as much as needed in order to cut weight. If that’s the case, it’s a valid excuse and to some degree, Alves deserves credit for gutting it out. However, it would have been nice if Hughes had been apprised of the situation before he began his mad dash to 170. One also couldn’t help but notice just how healthy Alves looked when delivering the flying knee that put Hughes away.

Rarely has this blog defended Hughes, but to view the outcome of Saturday’s main event at UFC 85 as a loss against him would be a disservice to Hughes and the interest of fair play. Alves looked good and Hughes did not. However, in a catchweight bout, the win should not help Alves move up the welterweight ladder and Hughes should not be penalized for accepting a fight in which his opponent missed weight by four pounds. Getting a portion of Alves’ purse is great, but the size of your wallet does not offer a competitive advantage when it comes to the actual fight.

This is the second time in as many weeks in which MMA fans have been subjected to a fighter in a highly-anticipated contest failing miserably when it comes to making weight. A week ago, it was Gina Carano failing to make 140 pounds for her fight against Kaitlin Young at “Saturday Night Fights” on CBS. Carano spent a good portion the day before the fight in the sauna trying to shed as much water weight as possible. However, the incident is a reminder that too many fighters rely on weight cutting and don’t pay enough attention to actual weight loss.

Some fighters are blessed with the ability of sweating off 15-20 pounds two days before a fight. But being able to do that is a gift that most fighters do not have. The key is managing your weight properly leading up to the fight so that you don’t have to rely as much on unhealthy tricks and tactics to shed unwanted pounds. For my second-ever Smoker, I weighed over 200 pounds when I started my training two months out. Thanks to will-power and sacrifice, I weighed-in at 178 lbs. for my fight and I was able to eat the night before. The reality is that I had to give up the joy of food. It is a reality that many fighters make but a sacrifice that even more need to make.

The difference between weight loss and weight cutting is not one of semantics; they are two completely different things. It’s a reality I live with every day as my wife prepares for her MMA debut in Virginia next week. When she won the WKA Muay Thai title last year, she cut 10 pounds in the sauna. That amount of weight is unheard of for a female to cut and it was not a pretty sight. This year she’s losing the weight the right way, but it’s not exactly a fun time for her at dinner each night watching my son and I eat 2-3 helpings of Hamburger Helper while she feasts on cod and Brussels sprouts with no seasoning of any kind. If Alves wants to be be a 170 lbs. fighter, maybe he should walk away at 190 lbs.?

In the case of Carano, she didn’t maintain and monitor her weight properly leading up to her fight and as such, she yet again failed to make her contracted weight. In the weeks leading up to the promotion’s debut on CBS, EliteXC Live Events President Gary Shaw talked about future plans of instituting a women’s title. It sounds like a great idea, so long as Carano is not allowed to compete for it. Why should someone who has never made weight for a 140 lbs. fight be allowed to fight for a 140 lbs. title? Which begs the same question for Alves, why should Saturday’s win over Hughes put him a step closer to the 170 lbs. title when his most recent victory didn’t come at that weight? The fight we saw between Alves and Hughes doesn’t amount to anything more than an exhibition and shouldn’t count for the record books.

Other UFC 85 Thoughts:

— Can someone please tell me why Alves got a $50,000 bonus for KO of the night? I’m sorry, if you don’t make weight, you should be ineligible for the award. The only thing I can think of is maybe Alves called the UFC right after he hurt the ankle and disclosed everything ahead of time. If he did that and fought anyway, my guess is that the UFC actually isn’t upset with him not making weight since he was willing to fight hurt on a card that had been besieged by injury. That’s the only reason I can think of for giving that kind of bonus to someone who missed weight by four pounds. Even if that’s the case, Hughes should get a cut of the bonus in addition to a cut of Alves’ purse.

— It was another not-so great night for Dan Miragliotta Saturday in London. Dare I say it, but I believe the stoppage of Brandon Vera at the hands of Fabricio Werdum was a tad early. I’m not even going to address how much time was left in the round because the issue of time remaining is irrelevant; I’ve talked to officials before and they’ve told me they cannot make decisions based on time. If a fighter is out; he’s out, whether there is 4:59 on the clock or 0:01. Even if you take the time element out of it, it was still an incorrect stoppage. Giving up mount shows poor skills on the part of a fighter but it does not assure automatic victory for the opponent. Vera was in a bad way but was still defending himself. He was eating some shots while blocking others. He was coherent and aside from escaping the position, was doing everything he was supposed to in that spot.

However, the decision once again puts Miragliotta in the center of a controversy and it’s prompting reckless knuckleheads to once again impugn Miragliotta’s integrity with no regard. Two bad calls does not make you a bad official when you’ve been calling fights for years. Nick Lembo, the legal counsel for the New Jersey Athletic Control Board, made a great point in my interview with him last week; which was to ask critics to judge Miragliotta on his full body of work. Up until John McCarthy’s recent retirement, Miragliotta was primarily a New Jersey-based official. Living in Philadelphia, where MMA is illegal, I’ve spent a lot of time in Jersey over the years watching pro and amateur MMA bouts. Miragliotta has been an official for many of them and usually did an outstanding job. Is he perfect? No, but name me an official in any sport who is. If you can lay out a history of bad calls by Miragliotta and want to brand him as a terrible official, by all means, do so. But to make outlandish statements based on two calls just isn’t rational.

The vitriol displayed towards Miragliotta is just downright embarrassing. And I’m willing to bet that a lot of the same people in the forums who proclaimed Miragliotta a great ref simply because he stopped some over-zealous fan in Montreal are now the ones taking a big crap on him and labeling him “retarded” or “the worst official ever!”

Miragliotta’s issue could be that he has too much empathy for the fighters. If you think he looks the part of the fighter, it’s because he is. I don’t think he still competes but I do know he has trained. I also know that Miragliotta at one point was the co-owner of his own fight gym. He’s not some random fan who submitted the NJACB a referee application and said, “I love MMA! I want to be a ref.” No, Mirgaliotta is a guy who has been in the trenches. Perhaps he saw how bad of a way that Vera was in and felt the overwhelming need to protect the guy. Perhaps he saw a look in James Thompson’s eyes that made him feel like the next punch he was going to receive was going to turn his lights out. This is all purely conjecture on my part but my point is, why can’t people just grade his officiating and leave all of the personal nonsense out of it? I realize I’ve been making several futile attempts at chastising people for how certain people choose to express their opinions, but if you can say whatever you want to say, why can’t I?

— Vera doesn’t want to move to light heavyweight but it’s obvious to me that he’s giving up too much weight at heavyweight. Look at guys like Tim Sylvia and Brett Rogers. These are two fighters who are super heavyweights that cut to heavyweight. In this day and age, if you’re not cutting weight, you’re putting yourself at a disadvantage. Personally, I feel that the disparity between light heavyweight and heavyweight is too steep with a 59 lbs. weight gap. I wouldn’t mind seeing the heavyweight limit reduced to 235 lbs. and that 236-280 pounds becomes the super heavyweight limit. But nobody wants to hear about adding additional weight classes no matter how much the sport truly needs it. So as things stand, people need to get into Vera’s ear about going down to 205 lbs. The situation reminds me of Eddie Alvarez. Alvarez liked fighting bigger guys and never wanted to leave 170 lbs. He was a very good fighter at 170 lbs., but then he ran into Nick Thompson and it changed his perspective. Now, he’s at 155 lbs. and instead of just being very good, he’s elite. At heavyweight, Vera is also very good. At 205 lbs., he’s the future champion in the division.

— The replays showed that Herb Dean erred when he took a second point away from Nathan Marquardt for the elbow to the side of Thales Leites’ head. Dean didn’t have the benefit of replay like we did and maybe didn’t have the best position to make that call. Combat in the Cage promoter Ed Hsu made a good point the other day in that he feels like bigger referees aren’t able to move as quickly and bend down as much as smaller referees due to size. His feeling is that smaller refs usually do a better job of getting into proper position. But in regards to the point deduction against Marquardt, correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t spiking someone on their head illegal? Did Dean give Marquardt a makeup call for not taking a point away from him for that pile driver?

— I second Joe Rogan’s thoughts: what we saw last night from Michael Bisping was the best we’ve seen him look. He came out there like an animal. But the thing that I noticed is that he finished Jason Day with a relentless combination and not power shots. Why do I keep harping on Bisping’s lack of power? Because to have any shot at beating Anderson Silva, you’ve got to hurt him and hurt him bad in order to have any shot at the upset.

— Speaking of Anderson Silva, rumors continue to persist that we could hear next week that he’s moving to 205 lbs. I’d rather see him stay at 185, but if there’s nobody left for him to fight, then what’s the harm in moving him to light heavyweight? If the UFC isn’t going to let him make millions to fight Roy Jones Jr., the least they can do is let him do is move up because with Dan Henderson and Rich Franklin out of the way, there are no money matchups left for him at middleweight.

— If you did horribly in your picks for UFC 85, you’re not alone. By my count, I went 4-7 on the night. I was the leader in CBSSports.com’s Head-to-Head picks standings but I think last night’s effort is going to drop me back a couple of notches. However, I did pick the Alves upset. If you called a win for Kevin Burns and you’re not related to him or best friends with him, then you’re my new hero. I had no idea who this guy was heading into the event and still don’t know much about him. Time to do some research.

— If you’re wondering why I didn’t do a big production review of yesterday’s show, it’s because I thought it was pretty damn good. Like UFC 84, the pacing was very solid and we got to see a lot of fights. I know the pacing is good when I am having trouble fitting a bathroom break in. If the pacing keeps up like this, I may need to start watching UFC events with a catheter. Seriously though, my only complaint is that the HD broadcast wasn’t as strong as UFC 84 was. I have no logical explanation for that other than perhaps the arena made certain things difficult, or they decided not to bring their most expensive equipment overseas?

– Burns got the bonus for submission of the night. Being a blue belt and submitting Roan Carneiro from bottom position is no joke, folks. That feat alone means that whoever Burns trains under should promote him to purple belt. Matt Wiman and Thiago Tavares received bonus for the fight of the night, which was well deserved. That fight was awesome and man, Wiman looked light years better than I have ever seen. Before last night, I just viewed him as a pedestrian guy at 155. However, his jiu-jitsu game was great! I knew he was good on the ground, but he looked world class.

— A lot of people are referring to Martin Kampmann as a submission guy. While his jiu jitsu has been very impressive in his recent fights, Kampmann is better known for his striking. Next to Anderson Silva, I would say he’s the most technical striker right now in the UFC. The fact that his ground game is so good makes him a dangerous threat. I’ve felt for awhile now that his best weight is 170 lbs., but if he’s going to stay at 185 lbs., I’d like to see him in some big fights. Kampmann vs. Bisping for a shot at the title would be a hell of a fight.

— Did Thales Leites read my column about how fighters need to become more litigious after a foul? He did it the right way; he simply told the ref he wanted his five minutes. If Scott Smith had done that, a huge mess could have been avoided. So fighters, when a ref asks if you are okay, say “yes” even if you’re not, and tell them you want your allotted time to recover.

— I was on the fence about putting Marcus Davis in my welterweight top ten for so long. I just wanted to see how he’d do against a step up in competition. While he didn’t look bad vs. Mike Swick, he still was unable to walk away with the victory. Speaking of Swick, the performance we saw from him was clutch. Who knows what another loss would have meant for him?

— Speaking of must-win situations, I would say that Jason Lambert and Eddie Sanchez are in the most danger of being cut. Lambert has lost three out of his last four fights. I’d love to see him in the WEC because lord knows they need the help at 205. Sanchez is 3-2 lifetime in the UFC but his wins are all against guys who are no longer in the promotion. He’s great if they need a last-minute replacement, but is there a need to keep him on the roster when he’s only just a phone call away? As for Thiago Tavares, Jorge Rivera, Roan Carneiro, Jason Day, and Jess Liaudin, I think it would be a mistake to drop any of them. Tavares has two losses in his last three fights but has too much upside. Carneiro is an underrated fighter who got caught in a bad submission. Much like Tavares, he’s too talented to risk losing to a competitor. Liaudin has back-to-back losses and an unimpressive 12-10 record, but the UFC has plans to expand further into Europe and he’s a good guy to have on the undercard for International purposes. Rivera’s record in the UFC isn’t the best but he has an entertaining fighting style. As for Day, the kid deserves at least one more chance.

Luiz Arthur Banta Cain (or whatever his name is) didn’t impress me with his antics vs. James Irvin at UFC 79. But he looked good before the foul and he looked really good last night vs. Lambert. He seems like a surly guy, but as a fighter, he’s a keeper. I’d like to see a match between him and Thiago Silva. If not Silva, how about Goran Reljic?

44 COMMENTS
  • Sven says:

    “If the pacing keeps up like this, I may need to start watching UFC events with a catheter.”

    The highest praise possible, I guess?

  • MoreThanUFC says:

    I gotta disagree about dropping Sanchez. Is he a gatekeeper ( maybe a can ), sure. But the guy took a fight against Crocop, he has taken two on short notice. He’s a standup guy, and Dana loves that. He aint going anywhere.

    And good for you defending Mirg. I thought he did a great job when we saw him on the NJ card. With a slight break in US action, he could spend some time with Maz or Mario and learn what reffing the big gigs are all about.

  • cyph says:

    It’s laughable that you are discounting Alves’ win against Hughes. Hughes decided to take the fight and Alve’s 10% of the 50k KO bonus. Are you arguing that the 4lbs would’ve made a difference in the fight? Alves won the first round and then proceeded to destroy Hughes in the second. It wasn’t even a close fight.

    Hughes did nothing when he had the dominant position whereas when Alves was on the top twice, he had incredible ground and pound that knocked Hughes silly. Proof that GSP beat a Matt Hughes who’s no longer the dominant fighter he once were. Sorry, Sam, you’ve gotta drop Hughes out of your weak P4P list and knock GSP to #2. But of course, you won’t because GSP is your man-crush.

    It’s really simple why Dana decided to give Alves the 50k bonus. This guy is a future superstar and Dana will do everything in his power to keep him.

    You can defend the Mirg all you want. In the sport of what have you done for me lately, the Mirg has to be on his game. If he’s not, then he should be prepared to get flamed from all corners of the InterWeb just like fighters who put up a horrible fight. That is two events in a row he laid a big stinking egg on. Perhaps he needs to let the fighters fight and not institute the new Mirg MMA rules? And he needs to stay consistent as well. If he allowed Kimbo to take 50-60 punches UNDEFENDED because of weak punches, then needs to do the same for Vera. Vera not only defended it well but Werdum’s attack was quite weak, hitting mostly Vera’s hands.

    Herb Dean was once the target of fan’s vitriol, but now he’s praised as one of the best referees in MMA. The Mirg’s got a lot of work to do to get back in there. Any more fuck ups and he may get death threats…LOL.

  • C-Pop says:

    Good article.
    My beef with that ref is the inconsistencies that make him brutal.
    20 elbows to Kimbo up against the cage on his back, arm pinned vs mount in the center of the ring, maybe 5 clean punches.
    I am sure fighters just want to have an idea of if a certain ref consistently airs on the side of fighter safety or what.
    In baseball certain umps call certain pitches strikes or whatever.
    This guy in a week showed 2 extremely opposite reactions to ground fighting.
    BTW-stopping the kimbo fight when the guys ear was hanging off and his eyes were rolling around his head seemed ok.

    As far as dropping guys, PLEASE UFC drop Gurgel after his next fight, PLEASE.

  • Sam Caplan says:

    Cyph, you need to get your facts straight, Hughes isn’t in my P4P top ten. If you’re going to label something as “weak,” at least take the time to look at it. And as far as the man crush comment, either tone down the personal rhetoric or your posts will be removed. If you want to disagree, great, that’s why we have a comment section. But this is a pattern of you making things personal and it won’t be tolerated any longer.

  • Mike says:

    People are amazing me right now. When Travis Lutter didn’t make weight, people tried to run him out of the business and threatened his life. Now, Thiago Alves misses weight (by 4 pounds vs Lutter’s 1.5 pounds), and he gets a bonus and people say he should get a title shot. Wow. I’m not saying Alves isn’t a good fighter. On the contrary, I really enjoy watching him fight and think he and GSP would put on a great show. All I am asking for is a little consistency. Regardless of whether Alves is entertaining or not, this should be a huge mark against him. Missing weight is a huge slap in the face of your opponent and the sport itself, regardless of what the excuse may be (you can still ride a bike with an injured ankle; I know, I’ve done it).

  • Sam Caplan says:

    Mike, thanks for being a voice of reason.

  • Brent says:

    “Four pounds is a big deal when you’re talking about 170 and the size difference between the two was as plain as the eye could see.”

    Are you serious?… Alves is ALWAYS that big…. for every fight.. and it’s not a question of hydration…. he had a sprained ankle! are you telling me he didn’t hit the sauna with the trash bags and sweats on because of that?

    and @#6: people were pissed at Lutter cause he’s a douche, and because it was clear he still had that 1.5 of fat on him at weigh-ins

    Thiago is built like a tank, and he’s never had problems making weight before

  • schwa says:

    #8
    He has had problems cutting before, he was suspended for using diuretics in early 2007. I would like to see him make weight and beat another top 10 before he gets a title shot.

  • cyph says:

    Sam, “man-crush” means that you’re GSP’s fan in MMA speak. If you think that’s a personal insult, then I apologize. It was not a homo-erotic insult if that was what you were getting at.

    I’m glad you dropped Hughes out of your top 10 P4P.

  • Mike says:

    Brent,

    It’s not as much about how big Alves was, as it is about the fact that he didn’t put his body through the same agony the Hughes did. I’m not going to deny that Alves is a big welterweight in every one of his fights, but again, it is about the fatigue that comes with cutting weight. And those last few pounds (the pounds that would have taken him from 174 down to 170) are the ones that do the most damage to your psyche and physical condition. Hughes made the sacrifice and Alves didn’t.

    Also, regardless of whether you like the fighter or not, missing weight is missing weight. End of story. And if your argument is that it is tough for Alves to make 170, then maybe he shouldn’t fight at 170.

    I understand though that missing weight isn’t something he does all the time. Since it is a first time offense, I will concede that Alves shouldn’t be pushed back to the bottom rung of the welterweight division, but he certainly shouldn’t be next in line for a title shot after Fitch when his most recent fight wasn’t even at welterweight.

  • paddiosf says:

    Even if he had been 170 he wouldv’e beat Hughes, those 4 pounds didn’t make a difference once they weigh-in they rehydrate and they fight at different weight the night of the fight..Alves won the fight…The Post about Alves shouldn’t have a title shot is outrages…Hughes is a Legend of the sport but his time has come to retire, what next for him fighting mid-level WW and work your way back up the rankings at 34?

  • Guy Gaduois says:

    #6 Mike is right –
    The only explanation is that the UFC likes Alves, whether for marketability or simple personal favoritism and does not like Lutter. Also, everyone likes a winner, and Lutter lost, so his relegation to competitive Siberia is self – caused, UFC imposed.
    Fans who don’t hold the same standard for Lutter and Alves – that’s inexplicable . . . is Alves simply more likeable, is it race, do that many people hate Hughes and love Anderson Silva – what else can explain such rank hypcrisy?

  • king mah mah says:

    I think it’s ridiculous trying to defend Alves not making weight and saying he deserves a title shot. He said he sprained his ankle and couldn’t run. Yeah, that might be believable if he didn’t jump multiple feet in the air with flying knees! His ankle certainly didn’t bother him during the fight. So his excuse doesn’t hold any water as far as i’m concerned.

    I agree 100% with you Brent.

  • king mah mah says:

    I’m sorry i don’t agree with brent, i meant #11

  • Tommy says:

    This wasn’t a title fight. Maybe Alves should not have taken the fight on short notice and just told us fans to get f*ucked. Matt has been cutting weight since high school wrestling. After over 20 years, it’s really not that tough on him to cut the weight anymore. Alves does like to party in his off time and therefore does put on weight. He tried to make weight in a short amount of time, without cheating, he just couldn’t get it done. I don’t feel Alves deserves a title shot but I would let him fight for the #1 contendership.

  • mike wolfe says:

    Hopefully White/UFC do the right thing and give Hughes some sort of substantial bonus, and do it publicly. Hughes agreed to take the fight on short notice because of Liddell’s injury. Say what you want about Hughes, but he was willing to take the fight even though he wasn’t UFC’s first choice as a headliner. If his ego is as big as many people argue, he’d have said no just to make the point that he’s nobody’s second choice.

    Furthermore, Hughes took the fight knowing that his opponent would be a difficult fight match up due to his size, age, and motivation to use him as a stepping stone. In terms of his career, the fight with Leites did nothing for Hughes.

    So then Leites comes in overweight with a questionable story about an ankle injury. Frankly, the tape on Leites’ ankle seemed like a ruse to support his weight problem. I couldn’t see any evidence that the ankle was tender or problematic.

    Knowing that Leites hadn’t undergone the physical rigors of cutting weight while he had, Hughes could have refused to fight because of Leites’unfair advantage. But that would’ve left UFC high and dry on a card that wasn’t the strongest already. Can you imagine what a cancellation on the eve of the fight would’ve done to pay-per-view revenues? Never mind that all the Hughes haters would have gone apopleptic.

    Hughes took a beating in a fight that did nothing for his career but which benefitted UFC tremendously with the card and with their next welterweight contender. Even though the ankle injury smells like a set up, Leites gets a huge bonus? Does Hughes have to settle for the high hard one? That’s a bad precedent to set, because anybody else in Hughes’ position in the future–called in on short notice to bolster a card–would be a lot less inclined to take one for the team/UFC.

  • paddiosf says:

    I’m sure if it wasn’t a true injury UFC or Dana would been upset enough to not give him a Bonus? Come on Guys, those guys are check medically before the fight and if he didn’t have a bad ankle, it wouldv’e been known the UFC officials..Dana wouldv’e have had a comment on something that Big..Alves has had how many fights in the UFC and he has never missed weight..

  • king mah mah says:

    Ok, now you’re saying that Alves getting drunk all the time is a reasonable excuse not to make weight. If he put on that much weight from getting plastered then he shouldn’t have taken the fight.

  • king mah mah says:

    Wheather his ankle was sprained or not, it didn’t affect him jumping around like a babboon in the octagon. So it shouldn’t have affected his running or anything else. Sounds like BS excuses to me.

  • king mah mah says:

    #19 was directed at #16

  • mike wolfe says:

    Whoops. change Leites to Alves. never try to edit after a big night.

  • king mah mah says:

    To all the people saying that not making the weight is no big deal,…. then why couldn’t Alves do it?!

  • Sam Caplan says:

    Brent:

    It doesn’t matter about the ankle, he still had an unfair advantage. If the ankle was going to be that big of a problem, he should have called the UFC so they could have alerted Hughes and they could have established a 175 lbs. catchweight so that Hughes would not have had to subject himself to the full cut.

    Look, Alves is always big for 170 lbs., but last night was the biggest I’ve seen him. Rogan even made the same observation.

    And four pounds is a huge difference when you’re in the process of trying to shrink yourself. Hughes had to go the full distance to 170 while Alves never had to go past 174. And the advantage was still there when it came time to re-hydrate. Alves was going to be the bigger fighter regardless, but that extra four pounds helps and he was probably able to put more weight on because he didn’t dehydrate himself to the extent that Hughes had to.

    You’re talking to someone who picked Alves to win even before I knew there was a weight advantage. I believe that Alves is the better fighter than Hughes at this stage of the game. If Alves made 170 lbs., he still wins the fight. That doesn’t take away the fact that he still had an unfair advantage.

    There are reasons why they have weight classes in the first place. If fighters don’t honor weight limits, why even have them? Let’s just sign fights and say “Hey, just try and show up at this weight, okay?”

  • Tommy says:

    No one get me wrong here, I hate people that don’t make weight or cheat. I just hate Hughes more and therefore don’t mind seeing him take a beating, regardless of the circumstances.

  • Kyle says:

    Of course his win should count, is that a serious question? Hughes agreed to take the fight, so it counts. That argument is basically saying that the Pride Grand Prix doesn’t count because its open weight if a heavyweight wins.

  • king mah mah says:

    What was up with his “i’ve been a good boy” comment?

    Yeah, he’s been so good that he couldn’t follow the rules! Like making weight!

  • Brandon says:

    Nice write up, keep up the good work.

    I don’t think they should drop Eddie Sanchez just yet. He’s a big lumbering guy who swings for the fences and his fighting style (of getting knocked out in dramatic fashion) is a very good style to open up the events. It’s a good way to get the crowd excited right from the start.

    #3 – Cyph – Obviously you either have ADD or else are clueless, it wasn’t the fact that the weight difference was 4 lbs. The point is that Matt Hughes had to bust his butt off to cut down to 170lbs days leading before the weigh in while Alves “claimed” he rolled his ankle therefore he took it much easier. I also agree that Alves did not show any signs of injury through out the fight even though he put quite a bit of pressure on the injured leg. Just watch him man handle Hughes and stuff his take downs , circling around and putting a lot of pressure on it when pushing Hughes towards the fence or away. I’m just saying if he really had a sore ankle then you would think he would at least show some kind of weakness or visible pain.

  • king mah mah says:

    I hope he does get a title shot…………and doesn’t make weight! Blaaaaaaaah!

  • bjjdenver says:

    Sanchez shouldn’t be dropped, because he is a good soldier, he fills in on a minutes notice and will fight anyone. Before they go dropping him, I think they at least owe him a fight or two with proper preparation.

    Alves…

    -Comparing to Lutter, by most estimations, Travis was given the “chance of a lifetime”, by getting a TITLE shot without following the normal path. He had months to prepare and still missed weight for a championship fight. the fact that it was only a 1.5 overage, makes it even that much worse, imo.

    -Alves took the fight on somewhat short notice, and battled a late injury that affected his ability to cut the weight. I’m not giving him a pass, but I can cut him a LITTLE slack.

    -He probably deserves to be in line for a title shot, but as I have stated in prior posts, he needs at least one more fight, to show he can make the 170 cut off for championship fights.

    -I didn’t think he deserved the bonus for ko of the night because of his failing to make weight, and that should be a new rule they have in the UFC.

    Reffing…

    -Consistency seems to be a big problem, not only from ref to ref, but fight to fight as well as judge to judge. IMO, this is a HUGE problem that could impact the way the sport is accepted by more mainstream audiences.

    -Of the past few weeks, I have to say that the Vera stoppage was the worst instance. There has to be a way for the ref to pause the fight and get a better look at the fighter, without something like an 8 count.

    Marquardt…

    -In my initial viewing, I was a little disgusted by Nate’s “tactics”, but I rewatched it a couple times and that elbow was pretty OK by me, but i could see how in the heat of action, Herb would call it. I do have a little problem with all the back to the head fouls, when fighters are intentionally turning their heads away, even turning their backs to their opponents. i don’t expect them to sit their and get hit, but there are better ways to defend.

    -The spike on the head, looked a little like he was trying to flip him up and slam him on his back, but just failed to do so after 3 rounds of fighting. could have been tired and slippery, just not sure on this one.

    -the illegal knee. No doubt it was illegal, however, I don’t think nate did it intentionally. If you rewatch the fight, leites is on one foot and one knee. he comes up off that knee to stand, but immediately goes back down to it. Unfortunatley, Nate was in the process of striking, so I think it was just bad timing.

    Overall, I thought 85 was a pretty good card. It had to follow in 84’s huge footsteps, but considering how cursed it seemed to be, it was just fine.

  • bjjdenver says:

    One more.

    Bisping…

    -They should just strip Anderson of his belt and give it to Bisping.

    -Ok, Seriously, he did what he was supposed to do yesterday and beat on a guy that didn’t put up much of a fight. Sorry, I am ok with MB, but I need to see much more before I anoint him as the next great 185er.

  • Michaelthebox says:

    Sanchez isn’t going anywhere, I’ll say again. The UFC loves company men like him. The absolute last message they want to send to fighters is “if you fill in at the last minute and you lose, you’ll get cut.”

  • RUSH says:

    I think they’ll keep Sanchez around as well. I mean how many HW’s are left? I can barely count 15 of them in the UFC.

    I definitely do think its the end for Liaudin and Lambert in the UFC

  • Two Toes says:

    “And as far as the man crush comment, either tone down the personal rhetoric or your posts will be removed. If you want to disagree, great, that’s why we have a comment section. But this is a pattern of you making things personal and it won’t be tolerated any longer.”

    Lol at this comment. I guess it’s alright for the writers here to sling personal insults at the people involved in MMA but when one of the readers does the same they must be muzzled. Quite pathetic.

  • Matt says:

    Another solid card from Zuffa and hopefully it continues for the rest of the year.

    The TUF finale should be a better card then expected with so many Pink Slip matches, the fighters will have that extra incentive to win.

    Alves not making weight doesn’t bother me just because the fight was signed on short notice. That is hardly an excuse but I’m sure the UFC had gotten notice in advance from ATT that Alves wasn’t going to cut it.

    Also I don’t believe that Alves is the number one contender. He has two fouls on his name for using diuretics and missing weight.

  • Jye says:

    A bit off-topic here, but I keep hearing a rumour that Dana’s big news is gonna be Chuck v A Silva at UFC 88. Has anyone else heard about this??? I gotta say it does fit in considering we’ve been hearing consistent news about Silva going to 205 and also Chuck main-eventing at UFC 88.

  • Zack says:

    Dana confirmed to Carmicahel Dave and Cindy that it is NOT going to be Mayweather. I’ve been seeing the Liddell/Spider rumor in the same places as the Mayweather rumor, so I’m thinking its not true either (though much more plausible).

    I’m guessing another sponsor or TV deal.

  • DPK says:

    The people who don’t think losing 4 pounds is a big deal, must never have competed in any event where weight cutting is a fact of life. 4 pounds when you are under 3-5% body fat is not easy, it sucks, and it drains your body fast when you haven’t cut the weight right. If it was easy, I doubt Alves would have given up 10% of his purse by not losing it. He got the win, good job to him, it would have really killed him to lose that match after not making weight, but I think he needs to make weight at least once more and beat a top contender, before he can even think he is going to get a title shot. Honestly, if he made weight and beat Hughes I would be the first person saying he deserved the winner of GSP v Fitch, but he blew it, so he needs to prove himself not in the cage, but on the scales

  • Sam Caplan says:

    DPK, thanks for speaking the truth.

  • Zack says:

    If you cobble together all the legit sources out there, Dana’s announcement is NOT one of the following:

    1) Mayweather, per Carmichael Dave and Cindy from UG
    2) TV deal. In a radio interview he says it isn’t a TV deal, it’s something “leftfield”

    Given that, and in the context of changing “the next 5 years”, I think we can also rule out Chuck vs Spider. This may still be part of the announcement, but not big enough.

    So what’s left? A new equity partnership with a huge entity like ESPN? Going public? Selling?

  • darkmetal says:

    Sam, with all due respect, I am getting pretty sick of the “I know Miragliotta, and he is a hell of a guy, I am willing to go to bat for him.” syndrome.

    Bad calls are bad calls, and when they come fast and furious in ways that even the average untrained fan can see they are the act of an incompetent or worse, someone who is corrupted, then it is time for a change in who is officiating these matches.

    Personally, I think Miragliotta has gone beyond the “3 strikes” rule and at the very least needs someone who is unbiased to pull him aside and have a talk with him. Personally, his credibility is shot for me, and I would be much happier that he find a new line of work.

    Perhaps this seems harsh, but the very status of MMA is at stake. We are seeing prime time news shows depicting all of MMA via the charade that was Elitexc/CBS, and it is giving hope to those who want it to end or be banned. Realise that one of the 2 Presidential candidates, John McCain, wanted to ban the UFC as a simple “blood sport”–and considering the Liberalism of Barack Obama, I am sure he would probably ALSO be on board to look “compassionate”.

    We need to elevate the sport, quite frankly, or one day the foundation will crumble and send it back into the abyss it was not that long ago.

    Giragliotta is a big part of that problem.

  • Drew says:

    #11 Mike said it all…….some of you guys are still missing the big picture…. Ya Hughes probably still loses, but Alves prob doesn’t win in such convincing fashion had he had to push himself further like Matt to make weight……

  • CrazyMike says:

    I didn’t have a problem with the Hughes/Alves fight right up until the end when he started begging for a title shot. Champions don’t make excuses about not making weight. It’s as simple as that.

    Hopefully Dana will sit down with him and remind him of that fact.

  • Cath says:

    Mirg’s reffing just annoys me. He’s inconsistent and I’ve always considered him to be overly cautious (fighters deserve a chance to work through a bad situation). Still, bad officiating is something you deal with in any sport. You never how the refs or judges will be feeling on a given day, so you should never leave the fight up to the refs and judges. I say, win decisively and you don’t have to worry about sloppy refs and idiot judges.

    Alves did a great performance last night. They are going a little too easy on him for the weight thing, but then, it wasn’t all that important of a fight and every other fighter in the UFC was out with injuries… aw, hell. I’m just glad to see Hughes get his ass kicked. Guy’s a dick. I live near MFS, so I can tell you truthfully that I have yet to meet anyone who has something nice to say about him. And I’ll argue to the death that Newton choked him out before the head slam. Blah. Maybe I’m letting my personal opinion shade my thinking. Yeah, if Alves had used a chainsaw on Hughes, I’d probly have cheered.

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