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Shooting From The Hip: UFC 104 Edition

cecilWill the UFC say sayonara to Yushin Okami? As difficult as that may be to comprehend by many of the avid followers of the sport; It’s a lot more likely than many may think. Word around the campfire was that the loss to Chael Sonnen was the last one on Okami’s preexisting UFC contract. As much success Yushin has had inside the UFC’s middleweight division, the unsolvable problem with Okami has continued to be his absolute lack of marketability. It seems very probable that Okami may have just given the UFC the excuse to lose the liability that they have been looking for.

I don’t know, maybe the CSAC could have gotten out of Pat Barry’s face for a second after the biggest win of his career. I mean the guy’s completely overjoyed with his knockout performance, full on crying, and there’s some athletic commission guy so wrapped up in what he’s doing that he’s overlooking the emotions Pat is going through. I understand it’s important to get the winner over to the neutral corner to make sure the loser is in good health, but lets try chilling out just a little bit on forcing the fighters to cut their celebrations short. Either way I thought it was hilarious when Pat ended up hugging some random athletic commissioner he had probably never seen before in his life.

Ryan Bader just dove into the deep end of the UFC talent pool with his most recent victory over Red Schafer. Undefeated with three consecutive wins in the UFC, with his most recent win coming over a guy on a two fight win streak leave Bader in a position where there’s no room to take a step backwards. His dynamic wrestling base combined with C4 in his fists are going to make Bader a handful for whoever he draws next. I’d personally love to see a fight between “Darth” and Tito Ortiz sometime in the future.

Anthony Johnson’s post knockout celebration was overkill at it’s finest. I don’t know, but maybe mugging some poor Japanese guy that you outweigh by 20 or 30 pounds could justify a case for being humble following a victory just this once. AJ celebrated like he had just crushed Georges St-Pierre in the fight of his life, and I found it to be completely disrespectful to his opponent, and us, the fans.

Cain Velasquez and Ben Rothwell both got robbed by Steve Mazagatti on Saturday night. Velasquez was robbed of the highlight reel, decisive finish he had trained so hard for, and Big Ben was robbed of the opportunity to suffer a legitimate defeat. There’s no question about it, Rothwell was getting his lunch money taken from him in a major way. He was looking like he was going to need some oxygen and an IV in the corner after round one. The fight was going to end badly for Rothwell one way or the other, but he deserved to suffer his defeat like a man. Ben trained his butt off for that fight and for it to be stopped the way it was is inexcusable.

UFC President Dana White’s words following the UFC 104 press conference were, “You know what I think of [Steve] Mazagatti. I don’t think that guy should be allowed to watch MMA, let alone referee it.”

I was really happy to see Velasquez working the elbows in this fight, but lets zero in on that rear-naked choke. In Cain’s last bout with Kongo he must have had his back for 5-10 minutes of the bout, yet never really committed to a good old fashioned RNC. It happened again in the bout with Rothwell, but it didn’t really matter. My main point being that Velasquez’ top notch wrestling is going to put him in a position where he can take his opponent’s back more and more in the future. A solid rear-naked would enable him to seal the deal much quicker while taking minimal damage to both his fists and elbows. Lets face it, punching someone 50-100 times every fight out can’t be good for your hands.

For the record, I had the Machida/Rua fight 50-45 in Shogun’s favor. A complete travesty of justice in my opinion. The rematch couldn’t happen soon enough for my taste.

Cecil Peoples is single handily trying to turn our sport into boxing, and we can’t let it happen. Someone please, demote this man. Cecil recently had this to say, “The way I saw it, Lyoto was landing the more cleaner and damaging strikes throughout the fight”. Well I’m sorry Cecil, but the way you saw it sucked.

Pictured: Cecil Peoples

13 COMMENTS
  • Xspur says:

    -Okami, you’re a great fighter, but just not entertaining enough for the UFC I guess. I’m sure I’ll be watching you in SF. How cool would that be? very…
    -Bader is ready for a step up in competition, but we all know how the UFC wants to milk these TUF guys along. Personally I’d love to see him fight Jon Jones, but I doubt that’s one the UFC is wanting to put on. Perhaps he likes of Soszynski, Hamill, or dare I say Jardine??!
    -The fact that we all know Rothwell was headed to dream land doesn’t justify the stoppage. Like Cory said, it robbed from both fighters. They were in Calli, where the hell was Big Jon!! As far as the RNC goes, I think Cain is afraid to getting his position reversed and ending up on his back. And that’s why we don’t see him going for allot of submissions. As a wrestler, and a very good one, I’m sure he is just more comfortable maintaining position and going for the TKO.

  • MacBatty says:

    “Well I’m sorry Cecil, but the way you saw it sucked.” – Cory Brady

    That quote is priceless!!!!

  • Bad Monkey says:

    I was literally speechless when they announced Machida as the winner. I was favoring him the whole way, but by the end of the fight I felt sure Rua had won. He pressed the action the entire fight and one look at the bruises on Machida’s body tell you he was landing effectively.

    I agree completely with the need to rapidly change the judges who score these fights. How about getting some guys who have actually been fighters in the past or experienced trainers who really know what they’re seeing in the cage to judge the fights. Traditional boxing judges have proven they have little understanding of how to effectively judge an MMA bout. Viva Revolucion!!!

  • RoadsideGraphix says:

    Rua put a beating on Machida but he didnt beat him down. I think the rematch will end in a KO one way or the other.

    MMA points system is flawed and we could probably get a computer to give more accurate results.

  • fanoftna33 says:

    Okami is to good for the ufc to let go, he has been overwhelmed in 1 fight for the ufc out of 8 total fights thats not bad.
    Before Bader gets a fight against someone like Ortiz he needs to address his lack of conditioning. He clearly lost the second round against Schafer and looked a little like Coleman does after the first round of his fight. Schafer has been finished off by guys like Bisping and Bonner so a very lackluster decision win against him does not earn anybody the right to fight someone like Ortiz, maybe Cantwell, but nobody near the top 20.

  • edub says:

    fanoftna33: He clearly lost the second round against Schafer and looked a little like Coleman does after the first round of his fight. Schafer has been finished off by guys like Bisping and Bonner so a very lackluster decision win against him does not earn anybody the right to fight someone like Ortiz

    This.

    Id agree with what Xspur said in give him Soszynski.

  • Rich S. says:

    1. I’m convinced that we’ll be getting the notice of Okami’s release from the UFC later this week.. It’s a shame, but the UFC clearly doesn’t want to market this guy, and a loss to Sonnen probably erases everything Yushin did previously in the UFC’s eyes..

    2. Bader has some seriously scary power.. I mean, WOW! That running right hand in the 1st round blew my mind.. With that said, Red Schafer’s chin is GODLY.. How he survived all those bombs, I may never know..

    3. The only thing Cain Velasquez got robbed of was a definitive knockout victory.. In the opening moments I thought Rothwell actually looked pretty good (I figured he would have a rough Octagon debut). His striking was crisp. But Cain changed all that very quickly.. Cain’s a small guy compared to some of these other HW’s, but his power is certainly on par.. He wore Big Ben down, and NEVER stopped for a second.. He was constantly punching and transitioning.. He’s moving up the ladder, we’ll so how he does against the Heavyweight elite..

    Also, it’s nice to see Joe Daddy back to his old ways.. He hit a rough patch there for a while, but now he’s been reinvented at the Jackson camp, and he’s back to that brutal, controlling wrestling of his.. It’ll be nice to see where he goes from here..

    Oh, and Anthony Johnson is still a scary, scary man..

  • Makington says:

    I say it everytime, but this, and Grappling With the Issues are the best things about this site, and why I visit this one exclusively. However, it seemed a bit shorter this time, which makes me a sad, sad boy.

  • deals says:

    Wow, The comments made about Mazagatti are really crazy in this article. I think people are so upset about Shogun losing that comments are just flying crazy like bats out of hell.

    He warned Rothwell that if you don’t start intelligently defending yourself, then he’s gonna stop the fight. Ben looked him in the eye and acknowledged that he understood. So if you ask me, the ref did his job.

    Everyone scores differently in fights. I think you’re nuts to score 50-45. I know we’re all upset here but lets not get too crazy. The actual score was 46-45 i believe (may be wrong) which is a just score. Except it should have been in Shogun’s favor.

    Just my opinion.

  • edub says:

    deals: Wow, The comments made about Mazagatti are really crazy in this article. I think people are so upset about Shogun losing that comments are just flying crazy like bats out of hell. He warned Rothwell that if you don’t start intelligently defending yourself, then he’s gonna stop the fight. Ben looked him in the eye and acknowledged that he understood. So if you ask me, the ref did his job. Everyone scores differently in fights. I think you’re nuts to score 50-45. I know we’re all upset here but lets not get too crazy. The actual score was 46-45 i believe (may be wrong) which is a just score. Except it should have been in Shogun’s favor. Just my opinion.

    You’ll prolly get flamed for it but i gotta agree with you on the last part. 50-45 wouldve been a terrible score IMO. However it wouldve done justice to the fight in that the right fighter would have won.

    The thing about Mazzagati is that he warned and warned, but he didnt pay attention. Ben Rothwell was sliding himself against the fence for a chance to get up. He was doing fine gettting his knees together and waiting to stand up. Although he was taking some hard shots while he was doing it he was on his way up when the fight was stopped. There is just no excuse for that. When your a referee you have to treat everyone fair but know every fighter individually in the same breath. Has Mazzagatti not seen Rothwell fight before? Did he not see the freakish amount of punishment he was able to take against Arlovski?

    However you look at it its still a bad stoppage. And it is no where near the first for Mazzagatti.

  • MMApride19 says:

    fanoftna33: Okami is to good for the ufc to let go, he has been overwhelmed in 1 fight for the ufc out of 8 total fights thats not bad.
    Before Bader gets a fight against someone like Ortiz he needs to address his lack of conditioning. He clearly lost the second round against Schafer and looked a little like Coleman does after the first round of his fight. Schafer has been finished off by guys like Bisping and Bonner so a very lackluster decision win against him does not earn anybody the right to fight someone like Ortiz, maybe Cantwell, but nobody near the top 20.

    The main problem with Bader… is how often he thrown those bombs. He rarely does anything to set the big shots up. And literally just threw huge bombs all the time. That would fatigue most fighters out quickly… He needed to pace himself abit in that fight, and throw a variety of strikes rather than BIG bombs lol. Because i really think against higher competition.. those punches will be far to easy to telegraph.. and then counter. Or… as we saw in his fight against Schafer, let him tire himself out lol. He was just throwing everything into those shots haha. I couldnt believe how Schafer survived those big shots though… wow… just wow… lol. He took some HUGE shots. And some how recovered!! Couldnt believe it lol. He is tough as nails that guy.

    Bader needs to learn to throw more combinations in order to set up those KO punches. Because against a better striker… he is going to get caught.

    However, i think Bader is a bright prospect for the LHW division. He should do very well in the next few years. Well im predicting he will. A few fights and wins against some higher fighters in the LHW division will propel him right into the top contender picture. But he is going to have hard work getting there lol.

  • Makington says:

    Well striking is imo the least tiring aspect of MMA, except for the obvious ones like laying and praying. I think Bader wasted too much energy when he was trying to finish Eric, who prove his jaw is made of some sort of space metal. The crazy thing is though Eric was dazed, he never looked like he was in a lot of trouble to getting knocked out. Then again, he absorbed quite a few flush knees that would have murdered a normal human in his fight with Houston Alexander. I look forward to seeing both fighters again soon, but I really hope Bader tightens things up with his striking and fights a bit smarter.

  • The Driver says:

    The guy Pat Barry hugged after his fight was not a CSAC official. That was Joe Silva. It was funny though.

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