Breaking down UFC Fight Night 26

Final thoughts on UFC Fight Night 26

8/21/13 in MMA   |   MortonsLaw   |   156 respect

Blog Photo - Breaking down UFC Fight Night 26

Some rather shocking events transpired at UFC fight night 26 during the launch of the new Fox Sports 1.

While people made a case for Travis Browne beating Overeem, I can’t say I saw that happening. In fact, the fight went as I thought it would until Overeem ran out of steam against the cage. One can even question how the fight wasn’t stopped considering how many unanswered blows Browne sustained. However, to the refs (Mario Yamasaki) credit, Browne recovered as well as anyone in the history of the UFC.

And if you were listening to the fight, Joe Rogan was on point as usual by recognizing the lack of respect Overeem displayed by dropping his hands. While I concur with Rogan’s assessment, I do believe Overeem was fatigued and didn’t have much energy left. He also may have been in shock that Browne didn’t collapse the way Brock Lesnar did.  Another factor in that could also be Overeem not being as performance enhanced as he clearly was for the Lesnar fight. (He did eventually get suspended for a reason).

There’s definitely something behind Overeem’s last two performances. Whether he’s fatiguing, doesn’t respect his opponent, or doesn’t possess the same power for aforementioned reasons, there’s no way someone with his caliber striking should be getting dropped by the likes of Big Foot and Mr. Browne. And in no way is that a knock to either fighter; Alistair Overeem was the 2010 K-1 champion for a reason. However, there is no drug testing in Japan, so who knows how many fighters are enhanced over there.

What the hell happened to Shogun? Yes, I’m sorry, but if you’re a fan of Chael Sonnen--stop reading now. I’m not going to praise Sonnen for the win. I’m perplexed at how an all-time great like Shogun now has a losing record (5-6) in the UFC. He clearly is missing something. Is it focus? Is he content and lacks the hunger he once had? Is he breaking down already at the age of 31?

It was mind blowing to watch Shogun actually attempt takedowns on Sonnen. Yes, he did get one, but that should not be the game plan. It should’ve been separate and strike or clinch and knee. Then on multiple occasions he just left his head there. It was so inviting Sonnen eventually took the bait and ended the fight. Chael had to be surprised by how careless Shogun was. It was too easy. It seems Shogun is just going through the motions. I don’t get it--he is too good. What is wrong with Shogun?

What was Uriah Hall thinking going to a wrestling camp? I understand the need to defend a takedown, but his strength is striking, so why go away from that? Could you imagine Anderson Silva going for a takedown? And I’m not saying Hall is on that level as a striker, yet I do believe he can be something special if in the right camp. I think going to Greg Jackson would make the most sense for him. Why not train with Jon Jones and co.?

His fight with John Howard was so painful to watch from every aspect. The game plan was mindless. The stalling and inactivity made you want to bring back the Pride yellow card.  We get it, you guys are cool with one another, but we don’t need to see a touch of gloves after every exchange. Unless somebody wakes Uriah Hall up, he could end up being an extremely talented fighter who fades into oblivion without a legacy.

It’s funny how sometime last year I had written about Matt Brown and how mediocre a fighter I thought he was. I said he was the guy whose ceiling was reached years back and that he was as good as he could be. I was dead wrong. And I don’t mind being wrong. Matt Brown has elevated his fight game to levels perhaps that he and his camp only believed were possible. And that’s a credit to his hard work.

However, his post fight comments were rather amusing. He tried to build his win over veteran Mike Pyle by saying Pyle is the best in the weight class, and that he’s better than GSP. That was one of those moments where you say calm down and enjoy the win. It was even more amusing when he mentioned GSP and title fight. You just beat a guy not ranked in the top ten and you want the best in the division? Crazier things have happened in the UFC, so who knows?

What was Joe Lauzon and his corner thinking not adjusting to the striking clinic Michael Johnson displayed? At some point you have to change things up and not just be a punching bag for three rounds. I was screaming for a takedown attempt, or even a hard fake at a takedown followed by an uppercut. Lauzon just stood there and accepted his Beatdown.

And after hearing about the next great MMA fighter, I finally got to witness Conor McGregor with my own two eyes. While I like his standup and the fact that he comes to fight, nothing showed me that Jose Aldo has anything to worry about just yet.
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