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Random Rants: Examining leftovers from UFC 93

After writing several feature-style articles yesterday covering the fallout from UFC 93, I still found myself with a lot of items remaining in my notebook. I figured it might be a good idea to produce another “Random Rants” column and clean everything out.

— Overall, I really enjoyed UFC 93. Was it a great card? No. But I felt it was definitely good. I know it’s early, but at the end of the year, I still believe Marcus Davis vs. Chris Lytle will hold up as a “Fight of the Year” candidate. Denis Kang vs. Alan Belcher was good for what it was. Mark Coleman vs. Mauricio Rua was sloppy but very entertaining at certain times. And while Rich Franklin vs. Dan Henderson won’t contend for “Match of the Year,” it had a lot of energy and a good pace to it. The only match that I did not enjoy all that much was Jeremy Horn vs. Rousimar Palhares, and even that wasn’t a bad fight.

— Belcher mentioned to FiveOuncesOfPain.com’s Cory Brady that he is interested in moving up to light heavyweight. However, following his upset win at UFC 93 over Kang, I don’t see UFC V.P. of Talent Relations Joe Silva allowing that move to happen right now. There’s still a lot for Belcher to accomplish at 185. A fight vs. Patrick Cote once Cote is healthy might not be a bad idea. In the meantime, Belcher needs to do something about that Johnny Cash tattoo on his arm. I hate to be critical, but it looks like a bloated Wayne Newton.

— Kang definitely came up short but he looked very strong in the first round. He showed good wrestling and solid combinations. The problem was that when Kang took Belcher off his feet, he was unable to inflict much damage. Belcher defended himself well off his back.

— Jonathan Snowden, author of Total MMA: Inside Ultimate Fighting and a frequent contributor to FiveOuncesOfPain.com, writes that the Davis vs. Lytle fight did not live up to the hype. I’ve got to disagree. In fact, after the first round, I felt that it had delivered and that everything else that took place after it was icing on the cake.

— The big difference in the Davis vs. Lytle fight was speed. Davis routinely beat Lytle to the punch. The win allowed Davis to improve to 8-1 in the UFC, which is extremely impressive.

— Rua didn’t just look bad on Saturday night, he looked small. When he was in PRIDE, he was absolutely shredded. At UFC 93, he looked like a middleweight. Rua is still young but I’m beginning to wonder if he will ever return to form. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to see it, but he gassed just as hard vs. Coleman as he did against Forrest Griffin at UFC 76. If he fights like that at UFC 97 against Chuck Liddell, he will get destroyed.

— I’ve yet to see The Wrestler, but I’ve heard a lot about it and watched several trailers.  Coleman appears to be the Randy “The Ram” Robinson of the UFC. He looked good for his age, but still looked his age. I love the nostalgia aspect of MMA and it was great seeing Coleman walk to the cage one more time. It wasn’t so great seeing him take so much punishment. Coleman gassed early because he’s 44. What was Rua’s excuse?

— Liddell vs. Rua is a match that makes perfect sense in my mind. It’s a fight between two guys on the downslide and by matching them up, the UFC all but assures itself that it will be able to rehabilitate the image of one of the fighters. While Rua vs. Liddell seems very logical to me, the UFC 96 matchup between Quinton Jackson and Keith Jardine still has me baffled. What does the UFC have to gain with that one? Jackson is already a legitimate title challenger for Rashad Evans. And if Jardine beats Jackson, how are you going to convince two friends in Jardine and Evans to fight each other?

— It was another solid outing by UFC play-by-play announcer Mike Goldberg at UFC 93. I don’t know who the UFC had preparing all of those factoids for him, but they make a huge difference. Goldberg sounds much more prepared when he’s able to rattle off those facts and figures and the information he provided added a lot to the broadcast.

— Edith Larrente can’t get into the U.S. but apparently had no trouble getting into Ireland. Seeing three ring girls together like that just seemed a little awkward though. It almost was if Larrente showed up unexpectedly and they somehow found a way to fit her into the broadcast.

— The presence of Full Tilt Poker as a sponsor was very noticeable. Poker sites are starting to get involved with MMA, much to the delight of several agents and managers that I’ve spoken to.

16 COMMENTS
  • joey says:

    Davis lost twice in the UFC; one TKO to Melvin Guillard and another to Swick.

  • ultmma says:

    good shout out to Goldberg, those facts sheets have made a world of difference over the last two broadcasts

    Sam I don’t know about you but the UFC allowing full tilt to be in the center of the Octagon is good for the UFC, but doesn’t that block out all other gambling websites to the fighters? Now its either full tilt or nothing.

    Zuffa isn’t going to allow fighters to be sponsored by poker stars or (insert other poker “teaching” site here) anytime soon.

  • Bloated Wayne Newton says:

    I liked the card, but didn’t love it. Kang was thoroughly disappointing, Belcher was suprising. All the talk was about Franklin having more tools, but it looked to me like he had a right jab and a left body kick for the majority of the fight, what’s next for him? Shogun needs an American training program, go to Top Team or XC, if he shows up like that against Chuck, its gonna be a short night. Watching Coleman was a little hard for me to stomach. He’s got two little girls to support, but when is enough, enough? Bring on UFC 94!!!

  • Davey D says:

    To me, UFC 93 showed us what it takes to be in the UFC. That is: gameness. You better be ready for whatever. The five prelim bout’s all ended via TKO, we saw one of them. Red Schafer vs. Luiz Cane coming soon. The fight’s aired showed me just how hard it is to compete in there, it was very grity. Hendo vs. Ace should’ve been a five rounder…great fight. Shogun vs. Coleman was a personal war between the two and they put on a good show, gassed or not, it isn’t easy. Kang looked good until he got caught, let your hand’s go next time Denis. Belcher vs. Cote sounds great. I wouldn’t mind if Chris & Marcus ran it back either. Horn fought his heart out on Saturday, will he be back? Rosimar Phalares should fight Robbie Lawler next if Zuffa can do it. Cheers!

  • Jonathan Snowden says:

    Sam,

    I thought Horn and Pulhares had an interesting fight. It was amazing to see how Horn, so outgunned physically, was able to keep the fight competitive with just the power of his mind and the fighting sciences.

    I agree that Davis and Lytle was an entertaining back and forth, you and I both saw that Lytle was too slow to keep up with Marcus. He should have focused on taking him down, but instead was more than happy to lose a fight to win $40,000. Continually promoting he fiction that well rounded fighters and groundfighting is “boring” and being a “pussy” can’t be helpful in a sport that features a ton of both.

  • rondog6669 says:

    I agree with your whole article. Horn needs to fight a can to gain some cofidence

  • Mike Wolfe says:

    How many fights does Horn have left on his contract? Maybe I’m wrong, but his last two fights looked like a guy living up to his obligations rather than a guy who is still enthusiastic about fighting.

  • D.Capitated says:

    Look at Horn post-Liddell II:

    -Prangley: Most people I know think Prangley deserved the decision. Horn was on the bottom most of the fight absorbing blows and looked very lackluster. Even after cutting to 185, he looks soft.

    -Sonnen: Caught Sonnen in a submission after losing most of the fight up to that point. Not terribly unlike Sonnen/Filho I.

    -Lindland: Not competitive.

    -Vitale: Niko had lost 3 of his last 4, two of them pretty brutal KOs by Lawler. The fight was a tossup.

    -Santiago: Not competitive.

    -McGee: Who?

    -Marqhardt: Not competitive.

    -Lister: Not competitive.

    -Palhares: Had a good 1:30 in round 2. Otherwise, not competitive.

    Its not that the UFC brought him in and exposed him. He’s been headed downhill for awhile. He does have a name though, and toughing out Palhares will proabably get him another 4-5 fights outside the UFC before people notice where he’s actually at. If he’s really lucky, maybe a fight with Belcher or Kang.

  • dedstrk says:

    I agree with Snowden. I don’t think it lived up to the hype. To much high fiving and not enough going to the ground when it was appropriate to do so.

  • William W. says:

    “I still believe Marcus Davis vs. Chris Lytle will hold up as a “Fight of the Year” candidate. ”

    No way. The fight was good, but not great. Why? Because they decided to take the “mixed” out of MMA. Hell, even Davis backing down when he promised to “stand there and bang” in his quest to deliver a fight of the decade. By the end of the year, everyone will have forgotten about this fight. Well, except maybe for Sam. :)

  • Jackyl says:

    “Rua didn’t just look bad on Saturday night, he looked small. When he was in PRIDE, he was absolutely shredded. ”

    I know a lot of you don’t like to admit it but……Wasn’t everyone in PRIDE absolutely shredded? Shogun, Wanderlei, Rampage, Nog. They were all jacked to the max and fought like caged animals. Isn’t it basically common knowledge that they are a little lax with the roids over there? I don’t think I have seen any PRIDE fighter look as good as they did in PRIDE, or fight with the kind of intensity you saw In PRIDE. That being said I’m not sure where a lot of the criticism for Shogun is coming from. Sure he looked sluggish and his cardio wasn’t great. But he showed some great work in the clinch. Those leg kicks he threw from the clinch were awesome. He also neutralized Coleman’t GnP by going for a lot of subs from the bottom. He didn’t look great, but I thought he looked good.

  • Tyler says:

    I guess people are never going to get tired of bringing up steroids.
    What is amazing to me also is that when they make a statement about certain fighters or Japan in regards to steroids they act as if their the first one to mention it or bring the subject up as if they’re breaking a huge story.
    It’s like they’re saying to themselves let me mention steroids here no one else has been beating that subject to death since Pride is gone and now some of those fighters are in the U.S.

  • Jackyl says:

    What is your explanation for why they are so shredded in PRIDE and not here? So you are knocking me for bringing it up, but are you denying it?

  • Tyler says:

    Watch the first fight with Coleman and Shogun and tell me Shogun was “shredded” and at no point in his career was Nog.
    Also Rampage has been better in the UFC then he ever was in Pride.

  • Jackyl says:

    I didn’t say shredded. Sam did. Rampage better in UFC than in PRIDE? He went five rounds with Henderson, got a flash KO on Liddell, lost to Forrest. His best performance was his last one against Wanderlei Silva. Hello….power bomb on Arona, the beatdown of Liddell, need I go on? He was a much better fighter in PRIDE, just like all the other ones. I think you should look up the image of Fedor’s hand being raised after the Nog fight. Nog has a frickin six pack!

  • BigDave says:

    Ok i must have been watching a different fight card then all of you where. Lytle vs Davis was a very entertaining fight which i feel was scored wrong as i had lytle winning a close decision but but it could have gone either way. The coleman vs Rua fight was tough to watch, why the ufc would allow a guy like coleman to get into the octagon is beyond me im just glad the put him in there with a over hyped fighter like rua or else he may have been seriously injured. Horn vs palharas was just boring, horn is looking like he doesnt want to fight anymore. Kang, what can i say about that guy he was easily winning and got caught end of story. Now Hendo vs Franklin. Can people stop saying that either one of these guys is a top 10 fighter cause they are clearly not. Hendo is now going to go onto getting his ass handed to him by Bisping.

    One last thing about this article, you are out to lunch if you think that jardine doesnt deserve to fight for #1 contender. Rampage lost to forest Jardine stopped him and for my money rampage cant hang with Jardine. As for Jardine and Evans being friends they have both stated they would have no problem facing each other should it come to pass.

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