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Strikeforce/M-1: Fedor vs. Rogers Report Card

Rogers_vs_FedorSo many things go into a MMA event,  even more when it’s broadcast on one of the largest television networks available.  Breaking down the evening into parts, let’s review and talk about the good, the not so good , and what Strikeforce/CBS needs to do to keep the momentum building  from tonight’s landmark card.

Good-

The Card itself flat out performed, from Silva vs. Werdum  all the way up to the main event.  With the exception of the Shields vs Miller title fight some might say this card over performed as the long shots  Rogers and Sokoudjou clearly came to fight and faired much better than most could have predicted.  Even with the slow pace of Shields vs. Miller there was still a story being told, and it was dramatic with Miller nearly securing the victory by submission as time expired in the third round. The main event delivered, Strikeforce, CBS, and us as fans could not have asked for more.   A+

Not so good

Johnson, Shamrock, Ranallo really need more time together.  CBS needs to decide who their play by play announcer is going to be.  Johnson often times seems unsure of himself, and incomplete in knowledge. If he is going to be the voice of MMA on CBS he needs to start covering and following the sport with the same dedication as he would College Basketball.  On too many occasions it is clear he doesn’t know what he is looking at, or calling, and is unfamiliar with the fighters he is talking about.  This is magnified by his willingness to go over the top about things he is more familiar with, thus making it clear to the audience at home that he is indeed learning the sport with them.  Ranallo on the other hand has the experience and has been around the sport for quite some time.  Often times instead of providing “color” he is finding himself following behind Johnson and adding the facts that should have been covered by the lead announcer.

I really want to like Frank Shamrock in the booth, and he does many things well, but leaving your partners hanging when asked “How did you score that round Frank.”  Is just inexcusable.  By no means was this the worst commentating ever, but improvement is needed to give people the full “Big Show” feel.   C+

Good

Having the referee’s  mic’d was a very nice touch. It really gave the home viewer a better understanding of what was going on in some situations.  Hearing fighters encouraged to protect themselves, let go of the cage, or to work for a better position goes a long way in making stoppages, stand ups and breaks in action make sense to the less experienced viewer.  A+

Not so good.

The camera work in many cases wasn’t very good tonight, too many shots from bad angles that really need to be fixed.  I can’t count the number of times we got direct shots of the back of the referee, and let’s be honest the  shot of Fedor’s belly panning up to start the main event wasn’t very pretty.( especially in HD)  C+

The future

There are a few things Strikeforce and CBS could do to really improve broadcasts in the near future.  While I think tonight’s debut was a solid effort,  here is my wish list of changes big and small.

  1. PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD BROADCAST LIVE NATIONWIDE.

Although MMA is currently being handled by CBS’s entertainment division, this is a sporting event.  CBS doesn’t ask football or baseball fans to watch games via tape delay,  MMA needs to be treated the same.  People are most interested in LIVE sporting events.

  1. Devote 3 hours to LIVE MMA.

It’s my feeling a lot is lost by not including fighter entrances. The anticipation of the fight doesn’t seem to build the same coming straight from a Poker commercial to Jimmy Lennon .  I’m all for excellent pacing of events but tonight seemed rushed.  And I have a funny feeling no one would complain if a 5th fight was added.

  1. Improve the Backstage reporter segments.

I don’t dislike the idea, but they seem ill prepared and clumsy at times.  If they were a little more produced perhaps instead of playing “telephone” with the translators, we could have a clean overdub of the answers in English.

Overall the event was nothing short of an excellent debut for Strikeforce who are clearly the big winner of the evening.   And honestly as critical as I may seem towards CBS, they did a fairly solid job based on the number of MMA shows they have produced. I guess if I really get bent out of shape I could always call them and demand a refund.

26 COMMENTS
  • submit662266 says:

    Of the three commentators, I think Frank Shamrock does the best job. Renallo’s knowledge may be adequate, but I don’t like listening to him. I try to give most people the benefit of the doubt, but I get irritated the second he starts talking.

    One thing I thought was well-done was the timing of commercials. i got home late and only watched the last two fights, but it seemed that they ran most of the commercials between fights and very few (if any) commercials between rounds. This format was much easier to watch than many UFC fight nights, which get bogged down b/c of commercials.

  • 27jride says:

    Oh my god who was that jerk off interviewer that did the post fight talks with the fighters?! That interview with Fedor was one of the most painful television moments I’ve ever seen! Seriously, that guy should never be allowed near a fighter again, let alone on TV!!!!!!!!!!!! Somebody should have punched him in the balls for being such an asshole!

  • 247fighter says:

    I completely agree with your review and am glad you called out the same camera angles I was annoyed with throughout the night. I would add on the positive note that the introduction of the show had an absolutely exceptionally well done video collage that exceeded nearly anything I’ve seen so far from any other promotion. The angles, music, slow motion and content of that introduction video were really on another level.

  • dpk says:

    Did anyone else hear that they just cancelled one of the under card fights as the guys were getting ready to walk to the cage. That is complete BS, they didn’t even let the guys fight as after the main event. I sure hope they gave these guys their show and win money, and hooked them up with any sponsor money they might have screwed them out of.

    Yeah, it was really weird that they kept asking Frank for the score, and he was like “I don’t know” They really needed to discuss this before the fights.

  • neijia says:

    Great report card, thanks. Funny yes CBS give me my $0 back. Seriously, I thought they did a great job. Commentator issue: bring in BAS!

  • JOEgun says:

    I agree with the commentating and camera angles.
    I cant forgive Johnson for his post fight interview with Fedor. They should just get rid of him. He sucks! straight up! Give the champ the mic next time and shut up! lol

  • Guy Gaduois says:

    The biggest detriment to the growth of MMA will be the willingness to let it stand or fall on its own merit. Tape delay is the worst idea for a burgeoning sport. Let it stand or fall. I wonder if perhaps the straight live broadcast has been a sticking point for the UFC getting a network deal?
    The tape delay for half of America doesn’t give the network any real idea of what kind of product and response they have. I think it’s bad marketing and it’s bad for the sport and the network’s own presentation of the sport.
    I had to DVR the thing (and the two programs after to make sure I got all of it) for work’s sake today.
    CBS did MMA no favors by the tape delay for the fights.

  • Tcan says:

    I think its great that what we are talking about are things that need to be tweaked a little, and not what a giant disaster it was. The bottom line is the fights were really good and they were on network tv. I agree with all criticisms, but they are minor and can be ironed out in time. I think everyone who saw it, left not necessarily with a better understanding, but with a greater appreciation of the sport. They will be back. I think its good for the sport to have another competitive organization. What do you think the over/under was on the amount of “fucks” that came out of Dana White’s mouth was? it went over.

  • drstu says:

    i liked the commercials, actually. unless the fighters are going to have “pride” style entrances like Miller did then i have no interest in seeing guys walk to the cage. i’ll take Johnson, Shamrock, Ranallo over Goldberg and Rogan every day.

  • BiG BaD BuLL says:

    something trivial I appreciated: ever notice how employees/ commentators for the UFC never mention the name of other organizations? the only thing you might hear is ” this fighter spent some time in japan” as opposed to actually naming the leagues. It s like “if it isn’t the UFC, it doesn’t matter”, whereas strikeforce (during sokodjou( sp?) fight)) mentioned the UFC several times, and not with an underlying current of disdain. I got the sense that there was a mentality of ” hey, we can both coexist.”

  • bjjnewb says:

    “i’ll take Johnson, Shamrock, Ranallo over Goldberg and Rogan every day.”

    How can you even out these guys in the same sentence as Rogan??? You may not like him for some reason, but none of these guys can hold his jockstrap when it comes to commentating. For example Talking about Wedun moving into “Half Mount”????What the hell is that, or after he corrects himself and says he wants to move into half guard …. which he was already in. Two of they guys had little to no knowledge of MMA what so ever and Frank said almost nothing….they sucked! plain and simple, at least Joe knows what the hell he is talking about…

    Overall greast fights…..Fedor is a machine….

  • fanoftna33 says:

    BiG BaD BuLL: something trivial I appreciated: ever notice how employees/ commentators for the UFC never mention the name of other organizations? the only thing you might hear is ” this fighter spent some time in japan” as opposed to actually naming the leagues. It s like “if it isn’t the UFC, it doesn’t matter”, whereas strikeforce (during sokodjou( sp?) fight)) mentioned the UFC several times, and not with an underlying current of disdain. I got the sense that there was a mentality of ” hey, we can both coexist.”

    Great point Bald Bull, it is refreshing to hear SF give other orginizations a little credit, whereas the ufc will not let anybody talk of any other org. I noticed on the Franklin vs Belfort fight, Goldberg said of Belforts ko’s the Wanderlei Silva ko was the most impressivs and Rogan had to mention the Lindland fight omitting the org completly.

  • MMApride19 says:

    bjjnewb: “i’ll take Johnson, Shamrock, Ranallo over Goldberg and Rogan every day.”How can you even out these guys in the same sentence as Rogan??? You may not like him for some reason, but none of these guys can hold his jockstrap when it comes to commentating. For example Talking about Wedun moving into “Half Mount”????What the hell is that, or after he corrects himselfand says he wants to move into half guard …. which he was already in. Two of they guys had little to no knowledge of MMA what so ever and Frank said almost nothing….they sucked! plain and simple, at least Joe knows what the hell he is talking about…Overall greast fights…..Fedor is a machine….

    Haha i know man. Rogan may piss some people off.. but the fact remains… he is a GREAT commentator. He is extremely knowledgeable of the sport aswell, and analyses each fight excellently. He uses all the technical terms.. and explans them. Explains what each fight is trying to do. He is indeed very good. For anyone to say they would rather have those 3 rather than Rogan is just absurd. Lol the bit that made me laugh was when Shield got Miller in that BODY TRIANGLE, and one of the commenators said, ‘oh look, Shields is now getting Miller in that figure of four body lock..’ HAHA. Then the other guy corrected him and said ‘yeh.. you mean the body triangle’.. It was cringe worthy to say the least. But was funny.

    The fact remains though… there commentating sucked balls lol, and no one has beaten Rogan at that game as of yet. But it didnt ruin it to much, i was more interested in the fights to be honest lol.

  • MMApride19 says:

    fanoftna33:
    Great point Bald Bull, it is refreshing to hear SF give other orginizations a little credit, whereas the ufc will not let anybody talk of any other org. I noticed on the Franklin vs Belfort fight, Goldberg said of Belforts ko’s the Wanderlei Silva ko was the most impressivs and Rogan had to mention the Lindland fight omitting the org completly.

    hmm i wouldnt put it down to Rogan and Goldberg though. They are likely under strict rules, and could get severly punished if they say the wrong things lol. Its most likely Dana White telling them what they can and cant say lol. Plus.. Rogan is an avid MMA fan, he loves watching ALL promotions, so im sure he would love to comment on other promotions fighters, but he is just not aloud to!!!

  • neijia says:

    Like I said before, bring in Bas. He is the best period. Rogan has the technical knowledge but is frequently one sided in his excitement which annoys me to no end.

  • BiG BaD BuLL says:

    Great point Bald Bull, it is refreshing to hear SF give other orginizations a little credit, whereas the ufc will not let anybody talk of any other org. I noticed on the Franklin vs Belfort fight, Goldberg said of Belforts ko’s the Wanderlei Silva ko was the most impressivs and Rogan had to mention the Lindland fight omitting the org completly

    something else I find humerousis that, should you go over to the UFC site and check out their forums, you’ll find nothing but degrading comments about strikeforce and fedor. granted, there are two different viewpoints here. 1- I understand that, from a business perspective, the UFC is about making money, and as such, wants to be the only one of its kind. 2- from the fans’ perspective, I love the UFC, but I love the sport of mma first and foremost. as a fan, I want what is best for the sport first, and what is best for the UFC second.

  • Angry Mike says:

    Lack of knowledge is an issue for Johnson, but if he had a stronger color commentator that wouldn’t be as much of an issue. He could pitch questions to a color guy who has experience and could explain the technicalities. I don’t think Shamrock is quick enough on his feet right now, so that’s part of the issue. The biggest problem, however, is the three person team. In the past Ranallo has been the play by play, and I don’t think he knows how to jump in now that Johnson is the lead guy. Strikeforce needs to cut either Ranallo or Johnson. Ranallo’s style is over the top and cheesey as hell, so it wouldn’t break my heart if they got rid of him.

  • BiG BaD BuLL says:

    MMApride19: hmm i wouldnt put it down to Rogan and Goldberg though. They are likely under strict rules, and could get severly punished if they say the wrong things lol. Its most likely Dana White telling them what they can and cant say lol. Plus.. Rogan is an avid MMA fan, he loves watching ALL promotions, so im sure he would love to comment on other promotions fighters, but he is just not aloud to!!!

    i agree, and don’t mean to imply that the blame is placed on them. I understand that this viewpoint is probably passed down by owners/ shareholders/ CEOs, etc. Rogan loves the sport in general. I live in Vegas, and he is frequently at the amateur fights that we have out here.

  • fanoftna33 says:

    Bald Bull, This is the only place I check out and comment about MMA just for that reason, I hate the sites like that where people rip up everything just because it isnt the ufc, and anybody who has a different opinion than them.

  • fanoftna33 says:

    MMApride19: hmm i wouldnt put it down to Rogan and Goldberg though. They are likely under strict rules, and could get severly punished if they say the wrong things lol. Its most likely Dana White telling them what they can and cant say lol. Plus.. Rogan is an avid MMA fan, he loves watching ALL promotions, so im sure he would love to comment on other promotions fighters, but he is just not aloud to!!!

    Good point Pride espacially about Rogan, if you check out his Twitter page he talks about all MMA, and surprising to me he really likes Michael Schievelo the commentator for HD net fights.

  • Vogairian says:

    Great article, agree 100%. The Two things that bothered me the most…

    1. Frank Shamrock. I couldn’t stand when he left I believe it was Gus Johnson hanging at least three times on who is winning the fight. It’s his job to give commentary, I’d like to hear what the fighter in the booth has to say about who he thinks is winning and losing. It kills me because a few times he threw out some great information and I was interested in what he was saying.

    2. Camera work. It killed me how slow they were to move from a bad angle. More than once we were looking at the back of a ref for too long. Also during the interview with Fedor, when they cut to Rogers and what he was saying was needing to be bleeped out, they sat that for a good 20 seconds with no sound.

  • Yourdaddydevilandlord says:

    Great fights, would have liked for the women to have made the televised card, hell I would have loved another hour or more but it was great for free. The commentators did suck, that Ranallo guy reminded me of Goldberg in his fake sportscaster voice and headbobbing mannerisms, and Shamrock was useless, and all Shamrocks shall go away now. The other guy was just that, the other guy. Give me Rogan on play by play with Bas and Mir. But Kudos to strikeforce on this show, I’m sure they are thrilled with the main event, with Fedor getting bloodied up just enough for drama and then planting Bretts mohawk dandruff in the sixth row with that lunge punch of decapitation.

  • BigDave says:

    Johnson needs to never watch a mma event again let alone call one. The best part was they didnt waste time showing the fighters entering the ring. they just got right to the fights after the werdum fight I turned the sound off and it was much more enjoyable to watch.

  • s00nertp says:

    Nobody mentioned this that I can tell, but I also REALLY REALLY liked that after the Werdum fight, they showed the stats (take downs, hits, etc.) to help show why he won. It was obvious from those that Silva lost the fight.

    Strikeforce was very slick with that.

    The article mentions this, but I also REALLY like the helmet cams. Very slick.

    The UFC needs to adopt this type of thing.

    I would also prefer to have an overdub of the interviews. It was painful listening to the translator.

  • Rich S. says:

    These cards are getting better, and all of the fights are exciting, but the commentary drives me crazy..

    First of all,
    They think that the audience they’re targeting doesn’t know much about MMA, so they will seriously say ANYTHING when advertising. Brett Rogers is the most exciting heavyweight in the world? Really? Fedor is considered to be the only fighter without a loss? WHAT? It almost seems like they have a big meeting the week of, put a bunch of random facts in a hat, and then draw and pick which fighter to put them with..

    Second,
    I won’t even talk about how annoying the commentators can be with their comments, but did anyone catch the pre-Werdum/Big Foot comments?
    It went somewhere along the lines of:
    “Now, Frank, do you think Silva could catch Werdum, here?”
    “Ohhhh, I don’t know, I don’t think he’ll be able to..”

    What? How can you say that? Sure, there are favorites in fights, but the commentator can’t just pick the one who’s going to win and stick with it throughout his broadcast..

    And sure enough, Big Foot came out rocked Werdum early on..

  • MMA-LOGIC says:

    My perfect commentating team would be Goldberg as the main dude with Roegan and Bas as co commentators with. Interviews before and after the fight could be done by guys such as Randy Couture and Frank shamrock. I know this will never happen but it would be sweet.
    Strikeforce rocks as far as the rest goes camera angles and such are easily addressed. I hope they can keep the great cards coming.
    Heres some fights I want and now.
    Rogers vs Sylvia.
    Fedor vs Overeem.
    Mousassi vs Hendo
    Aoki vs Thomson
    Diaz vs Shields
    Shamrock vs Sakuraba
    I also hope Santiago will be able to fight in Strikeforce.

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