twitter google

The Aftermath: UFC 102

GonzagaDuring the Ultimate Fighting Championship‘s most recent installment of UFC 102 the company once again showed why they are the very best at what they do. Fast paced, electrifying , and well-matched battles between some of the most dangerous fighting talent from around the planet combined with flawless timing, production and execution made UFC 102 an event that delivered in every way.

Call me crazy, but does Todd Duffee vs. Brock Lesnar, or Todd Duffee vs. Shane Carwin sound good to any of you? Don’t get me wrong, a seven second knockout in his debut doesn’t go a long way in answering the questions hanging over a fighter as green as Duffee’s head, but the previously mentioned heavyweights are still relatively green in the grand scheme of things. Brock has five fights, Duffee has five fights, Carwin’s fought a combined total of just over thirteen minutes, and Duffee has put just over ten minutes in during his professional career of hurting people. Of course Duffee has some proving to do before he’s held in the same regards as Lesnar or Carwin, who have both proved their positions at the top of the UFC’s heavyweight division with impressive victories over top rated opponents. While Tim Hague doesn’t hold a victory over a Randy Couture, Gabriel Gonzaga or Frank Mir, the enormous heavyweight brawler showed his resolve in his UFC debut where he was blasted with Pat Barry head kicks early on, yet managed to secure the stranglehold submission when it was all said and done.

It’s okay to get excited about prospects in this sport if they give you something to be legitimately excited about. Five wins, five knockouts, the fastest knockout in well over a hundred UFC events, and an awesome nickname like “The Irish Car Bomb” make Duffee a prospect worth getting excited about.

As much has been made about Randy Couture’s forty-six years of age, perhaps more should be made of it. Not in a negative light, but quite the opposite; Randy showed in his three round battle with Antonio Rodrigo Nogieira that he can continue to compete at the highest levels of this sport. A true one of a kind, Randy continues to defy logic and set precedents as to what a man nearing his fifties can be capable of. It sounds cold, but it’s true, “The Natural” is closer to fifty than he is forty.

George Foreman made headlines some fifteen years ago when he became the oldest boxing heavyweight champion in the history of the sport at forty-five years of age, eventually retiring at forty-eight. The difference is that Big George relied heavily on his massive 6’4″, 250-plus pound frame and clubbing knockout power that had carried him throughout his illustrious boxing career, while Couture has never been known for a big punch. They say the last thing to go on a fighter is their punch, I firmly believe this statement is true and feel like it carried Foreman a long way before his age caught up with him.

The thing that makes Couture so remarkable is the fact that he is in a sport that involves punching, wrestling, submissions; anyone that has spent any chunk of time in training mixed martial arts will testify to the enormous variety of injuries that can be suffered during training alone. Joints are twisted, knees are bent in funky directions, and there’s no sport in the world that requires more from you cardiovascularly in fifteen minutes than fighting does. Randy is a work in progress, a man they will look back on decades from now as the standard for durability, and having just inked a career closing six-fight deal with the UFC, this legend’s story is far from done being written.

Two things were validated during Aaron Simpson vs. Ed Herman: A) Ed Herman is an absolute warrior, and B) Simpson is for real. The fight between the two was absolutely violent and raw, a true pleasure to watch. Unfortunate would be an understatement to describe the bout ending injury suffered by Herman during an Aaron Simpson takedown late in the first round. The Team Quest trained fighter showed the type of grit that would have made John Wayne proud, answering the bell for the second when it was more than obvious that he had suffered some sort of serious injury to his left knee. Up until that point we had a real war on our hands.

Herman is as tough as nails and utilized upkicks from the ground as well, if not better than I had ever seen employed before. When Simpson threw his punches you could hardly see them, but you could hear them, and that is a truly frightening thing. Both of these warriors were battered and rocked during several moments of the first round, in what was one of the most exciting rounds I have witnessed in quite some time, and it was nothing less than a tragedy that the fight had to end the way it did. However, these things happen in this sport unfortunately, otherwise the bout may well have given Couture vs. Nogueira a run for it’s money in the “Fight of the Night” department, as epic as that heavyweight battle was.

I don’t know, but maybe after a fighter is kicked in the groin so hard that he is vomiting in the Octagon it’s time to take the executive action and stop the fight. Chris Tuchscherer was absolutely leveled with a left kick to the ballocks in the opening moments of his UFC debut against Gabriel Gonzaga with a kick that seemed difficult to misplace. Now I’m not saying that Gonzaga meant to get things started with the sack-kick, but it didn’t even appear as if the kick had a chance of landing anywhere other than the groin. Regardless the fight should have been stopped as it was apparent that Tuchscherer was in no condition to continue, but kudos to Chris for manning up and sacrificing himself for the thrill of the fans. Not to say he was going to trounce Gonzaga if the foul hadn’t occurred, but it immediately cancelled any chance of a fair fight.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it a thousand more times, “really good at everything” will trump “amazing at one thing” every time. Nate Marquardt making surprisingly short work of Demian Maia was a perfect example of this. While the bout didn’t go very long to say the least, it didn’t have to. The whole thing with Maia is that you don’t want to go to the ground with him. The days of having to be worried about one specific area of your opponents arsenal are dead at this level of fighting. All Marquardt had to do was keep the fight standing and punch Maia in the face a few times. In what came as somewhat of a surprise, it ended up taking a couple less than a few. When Maia threw the second kick of the bout to Marquardt’s head and Nate flicked it away like a misdirected spitball you could just feel the wind being sucked from Maia’s sails, and it was as if he panicked when telegraphing that fateful third kick. The Octagon is no place to panic.

On a side note, kudos to Marquardt for holding off on that last punch to the downed and out submission specialist. So may times we have seen men that are clearly unconscious being battered about the face with the excuse,”Well, it’s the referees job to stop the fight”. Thank you for that show of class and respect to your opponent Nate, you’re a class act and great representative for the sport.

28 COMMENTS
  • edub says:

    First: great article Cory.

    second: Ive seen a few people on Junkie and now you Cory praise Nate for his not hitting Maia when he was already out. This was a very noble thing to do But i dont think a fighter should be defined by one incident. Ill give him his respect for doing it but I will also remember that this is the same guy that punched Ricardo Almeida in the face after tapping to a guillotine. Everybody got all over Hendo after hitting Bisping when he was out, but lets also remember that he is the same guy who didnt need the ref to stop him from hitting Bustamante, Renzo Gracie, and Chonan when they were already out.

  • sensiman says:

    Im not sure he would make it with Lesnar and I dont even like that jug head. I dont know how he would fair against Carwin either(he is my favorite). I would like to see Duffee vs Kongo,or against Gonzaga, Cro-cop even.

  • BigDave says:

    I agree nate showed huge class maybe others I.e. Hendo or the dude that just ko’d torres can take notes, when you see the guy is clearly out stop hitting him ref or not. These guys should be fined for late strikes especially when they brag about it afterwards. I also think some of these refs need to never ref again like the dude that reffed the torres fight or the fatass that was at the M-1 event last week. One of these days someone is gonna be seriously hurt or even die from one of these shots.

    Like the article but I have to say i’m not on the duffee bandwagon yet think brock would destroy him and cant see him beating carwin either. Why not bring up the best HW in my opinion and the guy that got screwed out of a true #1 contender fight Cain Velasquez. Now Cain has to fight Ben Rothwell? When he finishes that fight inside the first round that wont get him a title shot cause who cares if you beat Rothwell. It looks to me that Cain is going to have to beat Ben the beat Nog or dos antos before he gets a title shot that Carwin just got handed to him.

    I just dont like it thats all but ya again good article.

  • xtreme_machine says:

    Nate just jumped a hole lot on my list of favorite fighters

  • Rich S. says:

    Nate definitely showed class, but that could’ve ended up being a huge mistake..

    For example.. Rampage KO’s Wandy.. Those extra punches weren’t needed, Wandy was dead..

    But, despite falling flat on his face, Maia started to roll over, and was still moving..

    Don’t get me wrong, I DO believe it was a legit knockout victory, props to Nate for a perfectly planned punch, Maia had the ole’ “Where the hell am I?” look on his face when he rolled over.. But he wasn’t out cold, and had the ref decided NOT to stop it, Nate would’ve just lost a dominant position..

    As for Duffee, he has some great opportunities in this division.. I don’t know what his chin’s like, or his ground game, but I want to see him jump in there with the top dogs.. Give him Gonzaga, give him Kongo, whatever..

  • fraz says:

    Great article.
    I see no reason at all to get excited about Duffee (yet), but it’s good to see another heavyweight in the division near the top of the weight limit rather than near the bottom end. After TUF 10, hopefully we’ll get another couple of legit fighters in there to help round things out.

  • xtreme_machine says:

    what is next for Jardine?

    I know!

    Jardine Vs TechnoViking

    if anyone forgot here is the link
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7hJ4qKlO5uU

  • hindsightufuk says:

    couple of things i need to know, Todd Duffee, his nickname isnt really the Irish car bomb is it? apologies for being gullible but i need to make sure!
    And did Tuchscherer really vomit?
    Great post by edub, also remember Nate was the fella with the numerous knees to the face and spiking Thales Leites. Great call on the Hendo moments.
    finally, Ed Herman, i mean props for giving it a go and all that, and it looked like it could have been a great fight, but if i got a really bad knee injury, and i decide to go back out for round two and give it a bash, the last thing im doing is immediately throwing a kick with my bad knee as my standing leg. Maybe throw a few punches, try and walk it off a little, the knob.

  • danw84 says:

    “And did Tuchscherer really vomit?”

    I was there, and while they did bring out the bucket and he looked pretty interested in it, I don’t think I saw him ACTUALLY throw up.

    Regardless, that was the most brutal low blow I can think of having seen. It was only a few seconds into the fight, it’s not like he took all 5 minutes because he was trying to rest. He was hurt.

  • moosebaby02 says:

    I dont care Gonzaga kicked him in the nads on purpose. Duffee could be great. Someone said it give him Gonzaga. Ed Herman is the man. Nate could have kept on going but sometimes you just know you when you have the fight in the bag and sometimes there is a little extra bad blood between fighters that cant be helped ie: Hendo cracking Bisbing for having no respect. Not saying it was right just saying. Captian America is the man and i hope he does well in LHW

  • Guy Gaduois says:

    Great article.

  • fanoftna33 says:

    The one fight I would like to see out of this ufc would be Nog vs Gonzaga, If they dont give Nog a title shot, that would be a good chane to see Gonzaga choke in a big fight,again.

  • Scott H. says:

    Fan:

    I just don’t see that fight happening. Nog has earned a title shot, or at the very least a showdown with one of the up-and -comers for a title shot.

    Gonzaga (espeacally with the $ he is making) likely just earned his way back on to the televised portion of a Card. Who wouldn’t want to see him against Duffee as the opening fight on a PPV? Kongo would be another PPV worthy fight for him, or maybe dos Santos if he (inexplicably) loses to Cro Cop. I don’t really have any interest in Gonzaga – Cro Cop II.

  • fanoftna33 says:

    From what ive read the next fight for Kongo will be Mir. But a showdown with Duffy would be cool. I dont see Dos Santos getting by Cro Cop in that fight,but Dos Santos would also make a good match.

  • Jstew3785 says:

    Duffee vs Gonzaga would be good. Or…. Duffee vs Herring. I know Herring doesn’t want to fight up and comers, but somebody has to. Either guy would tell us exactly where Duffee is and if he is legit or not.

  • Scott H. says:

    If Cro Cop does win, wouldn’t Couture – Cro Cop make a great fight…

    I’m sceptical though… Cro Cop hasn’t look that good the past few years, I think he’s going to have all he can handle with Dos Santos. We only have to wait a few weeks to find out… God, I love the UFC. Top fighters, fighting each other, every month.

  • Bullylover says:

    cro cop vs coutoure would be an awsome fight.

  • I would really like to see Duffee soem more. Its hard to judge a guy in 7 seconds.

  • Batman says:

    I think this was a pretty good card but the UFC needs to step up the main events a little bit. They need at least two great matchups per card. Kieth Jardine isn’t a main event guy or co-main event material. Please UFC find four guys with star power on every card, is that so hard?

  • submit662266 says:

    Nobody will like hearing this, but I think Randy AND Nog looked old. If either of them had fought Cain, Carwin, or Brock it would’ve ended quickly and badly. I love both guys (both have legendary stories and careers), but I thought they looked slow. However, I will never forget Randy escaping from those submission attempts. I had never seen him in that situation, I thought he was beyond hope of escaping, and he pulled the rabbit out of the hat. It was awesome.

    Nate’s stock went up in my book. I agree with posts above that something should be done about the additional strikes that are often thrown in MMA. Its tough b/c there is a fine line: many people take a heavy shot and recover. Not sure about a fair solution.

    Duffee needs to fight tougher competition before getting shots at top guys. However, the UFC doesn’t work that way. If it is deemed that the fans want to see him against top level fighters, the UFC will make it happen.

    I had low expectations of this card, but 102 delivered the goods.

  • submit662266 says:

    Wow, I made the p4p rankings!! I always dreamed of big moments like this when I was a kid and never thought I’d be mentioned in the same conversation as AngryMike or Mushin. YYYYYEEEEEEAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!

  • edub says:

    Where’s the list submit.

  • Angry Mike says:

    ^
    ^
    Cripes. I think I feel old.

  • submit662266 says:

    edub, scroll up on this page, and on the right side, 5 OZ of Pain have listed the official p4p top ten readers. Edub happens to be the best mma fan in the world right now!!!

  • edub says:

    Hahahahah I thought about what u meant after I posted and immediately smacked myself in the head.

  • MMA-LOGIC says:

    “Call me crazy” Your crazy! and Carwin has proved as much as Houston Alexander had when he beat Jardine…nothing. It was his first AND ONLY fight against a top 20 fighter and it was just as much Gonzaga’s fault as Carwins …luck.

    “perhaps more should be made of it” I think more should be made of the fact that Couture has had 8 title shots (THATS 8!)and earned them with a total of 4 wins in non title fights (Machida won 6 in a row to get his first!), has a record of only 12-7 at HW and 4-3 at LHW, has only beaten 11 people in the octagon (including Halme, Graham and Arsdale) and been beaten by 6 (including everyone who is really anyone except Ortiz). He is a good fighter but has been made into an undeserving champ on more than 1 occasion through popularity.

    “take the executive action and stop the fight” Yeah the same “executive action” should have been taken after couture smashed Gonzaga’s nose (and title chances) with a head butt early in their encounter too.

  • xtreme_machine says:

    MMA-LOGIC

    great point man, i agree

  • edub says:

    Its not a head but if your taking someone down and you clash heads. Besides fighters have fought and won with broken noses before.

    And to call Carwins win luck is just stupid. He got knocked down weathered the storm, escaped mount from a former grappling stalwort, got up slipped a couple punches and delivered the finishing blow. No luck involved.

LEAVE A COMMENT!

You must be logged in to post a comment.