Brazilians dominate UFC 156
I’m still stunned by Alistar Overeem’s performance. I don’t know what he was waiting for, or why he just showed blatant disrespect by dropping his hands like Roy Jones Jr. in his prime. Overeem clearly was overconfident and appeared to toy with Bigfoot instead of putting him away. The game plan was mindless. He just stood there and didn’t attack as I thought. He continued to clinch instead of disengaging and throwing bombs. I couldn’t believe what I was watching. He is the superior striker, but surely didn’t have the superior chin. This was a huge upset.
And Overeem should know better than take anyone lightly. He was present when Fabricio Werdum shocked the MMA world by ending the 9-year winning streak of the legend Fedor Emelianenko. I’ll never forget the look on Overeem’s face when Fedor tapped out. You would’ve thought someone told him a family member died. To disrespect Silva as he did, who was the second man to beat the Last Emperor--it’s just mindless--and he paid for it. Gotta love the post knockout trash talk by Silva standing over Overeem and yelling at him.
The funny part is Silva’s win only throws the proverbial monkey wrench into the heavyweight title picture. Cain Velasquez went through Silva like he wasn’t even there. That is what I thought Overeem would do, but apparently the Blackzilians would rather stand and do nothing instead of actually throwing punches. So what does the UFC do now for Velasquez’s next opponent? Do they sell us on Bigfoot being a different fighter than when he was steamrolled by Velasquez in their first fight? They may have to try, but that fight was only last May. I feel that Daniel Cormier and Fabricio Werdum are more deserving of a title shot over Bigfoot, but both guys have scheduled fights.
I had written in my preview of UFC 156 how disappointed I was in Rashad Evans’ performance against Jon Jones. I really expected him to come out and manhandle Antonio Rogerio Nogueira via wrestling, as Phil Davis and Ryan Bader did in their wins over Lil Nog. However, Evans did the polar opposite and only attempted a few takedowns in 3 rounds, with only one being successful.
Evans opted to stand in front of Lil Nog and got beaten in the majority of their exchanges. Nogueira jabbed him to death. Evans may throw one punch a minute. He waits, waits, waits and then throws a punch or the occasional combo. He appears to be more focused on showboating than throwing punches. I would really like to understand the philosophy of the Blackzilians. Nogueira is as legit a boxer as their is in MMA. I laughed when I heard that Evans thought he was a better striker. The game plan was simple: Lunge forward with punches to set up the take down. You can’t shoot until you somewhat soften up your opponent, especially when they are expecting the shot.
And the judges got the decision right. I scored the fight 29-28 Nogueira. Rashad was stunned he lost. If he didn’t have the takedowns, how did he think he won the fight when anyone could see Lil Nog landed more significant strikes? I don’t get it. Rashad Evans has really turned into an ultra-conservative fighter ever since he got knocked out by Machida. So much for his title shot against Anderson Silva.
It was billed as a “superfight” and it did deliver as advertised. Jose Aldo came out and dominated Frankie Edgar for 2 rounds with vicious leg kicks and great jabs. The only problem being the fight was 5 rounds, and as we know, Edgar only gets better as a fight goes on. Edgar started checking those brutal leg kicks that dropped him in the second round. Edgar even caught one kick and dropped Aldo. Edgar started to dictate the pace and appeared to land more strikes in the later rounds as Aldo fatigued. However, Edgar looked like the more beaten fighter and that may have played a factor in the judges decision.
I thought the judges did a great job most of the night, but I was curious as to how two judges scored the fight 49-46 Aldo. Edgar won at least 2 rounds, and depending how you scored the third round, may have won the fight. I agreed with the other judge who scored it 49-48 Aldo. I felt overall Aldo did do more damage and won the fight. Edgar did not get robbed here as some people may write. Great fight and now we shall see if Jose Aldo stays in the featherweight division or moves up to lightweight.
Very rare to see Jon Fitch dominated as he was for 3 rounds by Damian Maia. Maia turned the fight into a wrestling and jiu-jitsu clinic. To Fitch’s credit he couldn’t be finished. Maia was not only the stronger fighter but faster as well. Maia is now 3-0 at welterweight. Judges were dead on with the 30-27 decision across the board.
Joseph Benavidez controlled most of the fight against Ian McCall. Another one the judges got right, 29-28 across the board.
Very entertaining and surprising show. Just when you think you have it figured out--we are reminded that anything can happen.