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Affliction: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Whether or not Affliction made a dime from their second mega-card, “Day of Reckoning,” it would be hard to deny the event was a huge success from an aesthetic viewpoint. Every fight on the card was everything fans could of wished for (although it took Antonio Rogerio Nogueira and Vladimir Matyushenko a round to get going). At the end of the year, this will surely be in the running for best fight card-it was that good.

The Good:

Fedor Emelianenko proved, once again, why he is the best fighter on the planet.In a fight against a physically superior opponent, he remained composed and waited for his opportunity. The resulting knockout was one that no one watching will ever forget. He targeted a man’s chin perfectly — while that man was flying at him 100 miles per hour through the air. Absolutely fantastic.

The phenom is back. Even at the ripe old age of 32, Vitor Belfort looked just as quick as he did hurtling across the cage to dismantle Wanderlei Silva in Brazil. It was a timely performance for Belfort. The UFC is in desperate need for credible opponents for middleweight kingpin Anderson Silva. Belfort has a big name and the credibility that only a former champion can bring to the cage. UFC matchmaker Joe Silva, who was sitting near the ring, had to be thinking about making this fight. I hope he does.

This show also provided some nice comic relief. Albert Rios with his gold plated chain and silly glasses made me laugh. Maybe after the win he can trade it in for one actually made of solid gold? And how about Bobby Green taking the time out from kicking a guy in the balls to mark out over Donald Trump and Oscar De La Hoya sitting ringside? Act like you’ve been there before!

The Bad:

Tito Ortiz on commentary. Some ex-fighters are great. Both Shamrocks, Randy Couture, and Frank Mir all bring an expert viewpoint and make solid points. Tito brought a giant head. And awkwardness. Don’t forget the awkwardness. Tito still gets a reaction from the crowd, but this didn’t seem like a group enjoying booing him and looking forward to rooting against him when he makes his return later this year. The crowd hated him and seemed to just want him to go away. Perhaps the bad boy has worn out his welcome?

What was going on with Vladimir Matyushenko? He sleep walked through the first round before getting stopped in the second. Horrible performance and the one fight on the card that failed to live up to expectations.

Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou looked like a world beater in the first round, but ran out of steam in the second. It seems like a consistent pattern at this point. Is it just me, or is it unacceptable for a professional in his prime to be unable to fight for three rounds?

The Ugly:

Why didn’t the broadcast cut away from a disoriented Matt Lindland receiving medical care? After suffering a career changing knockout, the Olympic Silver Medalist was acting erratically in the ring. It isn’t appropriate for an incoherent fighter to dictate his own medical care. I talked to my uncle, an emergency EMT, who agreed the whole scene was a debacle. At least have the courtesy not to show it all to us. The disoriented fighter deserves more than that base voyeurism.

Dan Lauzon put on quite a show after some questionable low blows. But his sloppy rear naked choke was truly ugly. Greene may have made a name for himself, but he needs more work if he’s getting finished by a fighter whose balls are too sore to get his hooks in.

Josh Barnett’s post fight comments were not exactly in good taste, talking about losing his friend Justin Levens to “suicide or something.” That “something” consists of two deaths being investigated as a possible murder/suicide. Maybe glorifying a killer on live television isn’t the best idea, Josh? Levens may have been a friend, but his final moments were clearly nothing to be proud of.

“Baby Fedor” Kiril Sidelnikov took a horrible beating. Young fighters, take note of what Fedor’s style looks like when the fighter employing it doesn’t have the champion’s unique athleticism. Not everyone can lead with their head with their hands hanging at their waist.

37 COMMENTS
  • Lord Faust says:

    I thought the show was pretty good, but no “best fight card of the year” candidate. 36 minutes to get through the first round of a fight, with questionable ‘low blows’. The Nog / Matyushenko fight was plodding and, aside from the final knee that ended it, was unremarkable.

    Tito was unbearable. I don’t like to fighter-bash, but listening to Tito try and wrestle with the english language reminded me of his fight with Machida. The next time I hear someone being paid to speak use the word “gots” instead of “has”, I’m hoping they are fired.

  • Ryan Baxter says:

    This was a terrible event.

    I’d liken the production of this to a high school football game versus that of the NFL (UFC).

    Bad sound, bad video, bad commentary and second rate fighters.

  • capitan says:

    I agree that the coverage of Lindland after his KO was in very bad taste. Plus, it took them over five minutes to show a replay of the knockout itself. I was literally screaming at my TV for a replay. The production quality of the broadcast still felt sloppy and amateurish and left a great deal to be desired.

  • john says:

    the worst part was definitely TITO, by the way who is the feeodore character he was talking about so much, he must be good, maybe even as good as FEDOR. Fedor is a true legend and Titho couldnt even pronounce his name right, the other guy kept saying it correctly everytime tito said it wrong, you would think he would get it right

  • beenthere says:

    Vladimir Matyushenko had a torn groin. I heard from the back it was pretty bad; thats why he couldn’t shoot in for any take downs.

  • Lord Faust says:

    John: I’m pretty sure Tito got his name right; it’s the rest of the world that seems to fumble over his name. Although, every 2nd or 3rd time someone said his name, it was a different variation.

  • Dox says:

    This event looked fantastic from top to bottom…it offered a different product than the stale “cage fighting” appearance that so dominates the market. As an MMA fan for many years, and a person who cut his teeth on PrideFC, Affliction is nice to see. It is carrying momentum through a week that should be solely the product of Penn vs GSP.
    Every event could be improved, but this was leaps and bounds above Affliction Banned, and clearly left a footprint.

  • Chris says:

    Give us Arlovski v Fedor 2!!!!

  • Tomasi Akimeta says:

    The proper pronunciation for “Faydor’s” name IS “Feodor.” The Russian spelling (known as Cyrillic) spells his name with an umlaut over the letter e (like this: ?ë???) which gives it the “EH-Yo” sound. Basically, it’s the Russian form of “Theodor.”

    In fact, if you listen to how Russians say his name, they say it the appropriate way (check out the Feodor Documentary). It’s we Americans tend to butcher proper pronunciations.

  • kingtcb says:

    Fight card was enjoyable for sure. I agree 100000% tho I would never buy another one with that jackass Farrell on it his voice and microphone skills were gut wrenching. And did anyone catch that guy walk right in front of the camera at the end of the show and just stand there for a second. What poor quality. Also agree about Josh and his sloppy non understandable interview “or something” last but not least Oscar shoulda stayed home to wear more womens clothing because him and trump just looked awkward in there

  • Joseph says:

    The Affliction card was REALLY good.
    Those who are hating because of the guest interviewers, etc, need to get a life.
    This was their second show and they should be improving.

    Great production improvement from the first event and DEFINITELY fight card of the year so far. It is going to be tough to find a fight that tops Fedor vs Arlovski.

  • HexRei says:

    Josh Barnett’s post fight comments were not exactly in good taste, talking about losing his friend Justin Levens to “suicide or something.” That “something” consists of two deaths being investigated as a possible murder/suicide. Maybe glorifying a killer on live television isn’t the best idea, Josh? Levens may have been a friend, but his final moments were clearly nothing to be proud of.

    Who needs courts and a justice system when we have you, huh? Barnett was sad to see his friend go, and as of now it still is unknown what actually happened there. Shame on your chastising Barnett.

  • Freedom says:

    “He targeted a man’s chin perfectly — while that man was flying at him 100 miles per hour through the air. Absolutely fantastic.”

    since when has closing your eyes and throwing big loopy punches been known as targeting someones chin perfectly??? Did you even watch the fight.

  • JOe K. says:

    Good event. Some production issues.

    But great fights. IF they have another event I will be buying their third just as I bought there second and first.

  • Ft. Dub says:

    I enjoyed the show as well. Fedor was impressive – regardless of the fact that he was not dominating at the time of the knockout, he clearly was calm and poised. The most amazing thing to me was the fact that Fedor’s back foot – usually used to generate power – wasn’t even planted on the ground when he hit AA. That shows amazing power.

    Also, after the punch landed, Fedor walked off with no emotion whatsoever. It proved to me that he doesn’t get overly worked up in good times or bad, part of what makes him an incredible fighter.

    Watch Showtime boxing and you’ll see second rate announcing and production as well. It goes to show not that Affliction sucks, but just how few people can do a great job of producing and announcing a show.

  • BigDave says:

    Sam,You are starting to sound like a guy that has no clue about whats going on.
    First off lets start with Tito Ortiz. I think the guys a dick but as for his commentating he was far better then the others on the show and easily better then someone like frank trigg. or shamrock. They booed him because thats what they always do to him because of his ring antics but his is still one of the top draws in MMA. Now Lauzon should have been dq for the shit he pulled with the non exsistant lowblows. He was getting beat convincingly. As for the finish it was a sick choke in tighter then i have seen in a long time.

    Now to the point you made about Josh Barnett. Show some fucking class Sam. Last time I looked the situation is still under investigation, so Barnetts comments where heartfelt about lossing a close friend to a horrible tragedy. Unless you are phsycic and know all the facts about this leave you opinions to yourself.

    Editor’s Note: Big Dave, I didn’t author this article. So who is the one who has no clue what’s going on?

  • Ft. Dub says:

    One more thing – Dan Lauzon was acting like a little b!tch for taking almost five minutes per non-low blow. If you watch the replay, he clearly gets kicked once in the hip and grabs his nuts. Another time he is kicked above where any normal pair might reside – he either hasn’t had his boys drop yet or he was clearly faking.

    He was hurt the first time and wanted to take the time to recover from the legal blows and the second and third it was clear that the fight wasn’t going particularly well and was hoping for points or a disqualification.

    None of those kicks would have merited more than a pause and a high-five at most from a self-respecting fighter. Using those as ammunition for points is LAME.

  • john says:

    sorry, but everyone going after sam about this post is a moron, its written by johnathan snowden

  • ACK! says:

    I agree that this will go down as one of the best cards of this year… Looking back at 2008, there are few cards that really compare. Dream put on a couple good shows, Affliction’s first event was solid, and of course there were a few decent UFC events, but from top to bottom Day of Reckoning stacks up to any of them, in my opinion.

    @Ryan Baxter: They didn’t show the replay of the KO because it wasn’t clear whether Lindland was going to be ok… If he went out on a stretcher there’s a good chance they wouldn’t have shown it at all. This is common in sports when athletes suffer brutal, life-threatening injuries they often don’t show the replay out of respect for the athlete. I have no problem with that.

    Also, I don’t have a problem with them showing a disoriented Lindland simply because as a longtime fan, you want to see for yourselve how he’s doing and whether or not he’ll recover. If they had simply told me that his eyes were glazed over and he was acting erractically for some 5 minutes, I’d be fearing the worst. Being able to actually see him assured me that we was probably going to be OK.

  • Brandon says:

    I thought the Lindland footage was fantastic, it brought some fantastic drama to the event. I much prefer what Affliction did compared to the UFC who simply cut away and ignore what’s going on in the ring simply to talk about an upcoming movie or a new show on spike.

    I will now remember this show simply by seeing how out Lindland truly was.

  • Tyler says:

    Jonathan Snowden I don’t know where to begin picking apart your list, but I’ll start with your criticism with the camera crew showing Matt Lindland trying to regain his bearings. Why shouldn’t that be shown that’s what happens sometimes when a fighter is knocked out. If people are going to go out and buy greatest knock out dvd’s they should see the results of what can happen to a fighter when they’re laid out. Also Tito Ortiz was bad at the in ring interviews after the fights but as a color commentator during the fights I thought he was very good breaking down the fighters strengths and strategies and it was good to hear him be honest saying Lauzon was putting on a bit of an acting job. Kiril Sidelnikov’s style wasn’t his problem it was the fact that M-1 deciding to match up a twenty year old fighter with a guy who’s 35 very experienced with great hands and Kiril isn’t ready for someone like that not to mention he should be fighting at light heavyweight.Also the whole Vitor is back bullshit is getting really old he’s the same fighter he’s always been explosive with fast hands who folds under pressure when things don’t go his way.

  • bcolflesh says:

    LOL – comments removed and turned off for the Ferrall “news” item:

    http://www.fiveouncesofpain.com/2009/01/26/5-oz-of-pain-to-appear-on-mondays-edition-of-the-scott-ferrall-show/

    Mine was factual – I can imagine what some of the others must have said.

  • Austin says:

    I’ve seen Kirill fight numerous times. He just had a bad night.

  • Grappo says:

    Watching the Lauzon fight, I was just thinking how his annoying theatrics were probably royally screwing up his chances to fight in the UFC. It sure didn’t make me interested in seeing him fight again anytime soon.

    Tito – awkward and fumbling, yes. Especially during interview segments. But he wasn’t any better or worse than the other guys giving commentary. I didn’t really like any of them. I’m a fan of Scotty Ferrall’s Sirius show, but he and Chuck Zito (especially Zito) were just annoying and pointless. That’s all I’ll say about that because it seems Ferrall is a touchy subject.

    I agree about the lingering on Lindland after his KO. Camera steady on the unconscious man, dead silence from the commentators… it was creepy.

  • Todd says:

    “He targeted a man’s chin perfectly — while that man was flying at him 100 miles per hour through the air. Absolutely fantastic.”
    Are you a writer or a giddy schoolboy? You sound like a kid describing his superhero. A) Fedor wasnt looking where the punch landed
    B) 100 mph through the air? XD XD XD
    C) Tell mom and dad to let the grownups do the coverage

  • DamonO says:

    Don’t worry Sam. I would not look too deeply into a nasty comment directed at you when that person can’t even spell correctly.

  • Jackyl says:

    I thought this show was great. The ring vs cage dynamic was very evident during this event. Some of the wrestlers/takedown specialists were not able to just push their opponent up against the cage then take them down. The huge ring surface seemed to open up the fights a lot more. This made the fights a lot more exciting. I enjoyed the contrast that was offered vs the UFC. The matchups were also great. I’m looking forward to a third show.

  • AVWZ says:

    I was disappointed in the production value of this show. The picture quality was terrible; it looked like a local cable show. It was great Tito Ortiz was there but, you guys know how he did. Josh Barnett’s comments were awful – my woman was going “What?”. I really hope they pick it up for next time. The fights were really great, but Fedor’s trainer said he didn’t prepare like he should have. Imagine if he lost. Also, get rid of the Wolfman guy. To Affliction, I really want to enjoy more MMA on a big scale. Please. Yes this is begging.

  • Q says:

    I wouldn’t take a comment seriously if the poster didn’t know who the author of the article was.
    I agree completely about the Tito comments. However, the “RULES” for posting are headlined by “No fighter bashing”. If it is done in the article then the people who post are bound to do it as well. So yeah, Tito sucked the big one.

  • kidneybeans says:

    Since someone took down my post about Scott Farrell I guess I have to put it back up, And yes Joseph I was the one bitching about that tool of an interviewer. And I have every right to do so, I was not the only one who thought that guy was a serious drawback for the entire evening.

    His voice was reminiscent of a 90 year-old emphasyma patient shouting from deep within his iron lung, and those facial expressions were stolen right out of a wwe script. Only their second event, but whoever had the idea to put that guy on camera should be looking for a job.

    And as I did with my original post I will close by saying this was the best ppv I have ever purchased, but the only thing Scott Farrell’s presence added was stupidity.

  • Mike Wolfe says:

    Couple of thoughts:

    My guess is that Dana White has replayed the ko of Lindland numerous times. Maybe even has it on his cell phone.

    Watching Scott Farrell was like seeing a third breast on your girl friend for the first time. I wasn’t sure whether to laugh or cringe. And either way, it wasn’t necessary to enjoy the experience.

  • Kuch says:

    Doesn’t someone already write a column under this name at 411mania.com?

  • NJMMAFAN says:

    Kidney-Farrell should be OK to bash, hes not a fighter…his voice was pretty AWFULL…I had to turn down my surround sound when that guy came on, and i remember making a comment about the possibility of throat cancer or something.

    Mike Wolfe-I doubt Dana wants to be reminded of not having Vitor right now…He mentioned regretting letting AA go, id like to see Dana reach out and snag AA and Vitor again. They were both entertaining, and good ambassadors of the sport.

    And as for anyone who thought production was great…HOW? there were numerous times where i was screaming for a camera change cause i was either staring into a torso or the refs back. The audio wasnt great, picture quality was ok i guess. Its kinda funny that to me, WEC is as good as you get when it comes to production, and a company w/ trump involved is shite.

  • atj-lucko says:

    Actually I think showing the whole Lindland thing was a good thing. If they didn’t show it then it would leave the viewer asking what’s going on.
    Some people are overly sensitive Lindland was knocked out, whats the big deal? why is that ugly? or showing it ugly? Watching to people fight in a full contact blood sport is ok, but showing the affects of that fight is ugly?

  • nate says:

    When I dream…. all I can see is Fedor’s beautiful knockout of Arlovski.

    Arlovski didnt make a mistake, if he covered up the whole time he would be fighting to prevent losing.
    You should fight to win. That means when you think it is time for the kill you go in like a vulture. Arlovski went in for the kill and got caught.

    I dont think you can prevent those types of things. The same thing could have happened to any fighter.

  • nonvilent fightfan says:

    Tito is stuck in the past. He capitalized on the few strengths he has early in the history of MMA (smart move), when few fighters had dynamic skill sets. But todays fighters are more well-rounded (grappling, submission, stand-up), highly skilled in each discipline. Tito is obselete and has become non-competitive. His game has not evolved and is still one-dimensional. His persona is a disgrace and would be well-suited in WWE pseudo wrestling. It is completely expected that his commentary would reflect these things. In a sport with so many admirable and intelligent people like Couture, A. Silva, and Fedor; Tito is shameful and hard to stomach.

  • Dr.Stoppage says:

    Tito’s performance was like Kharma coming back to bite him on the ass for all those times he was a dink in the octagon,working on his bad boy image.

    But man, he was awesome on the Apprentice.

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