Wednesday, July 9, 2008

How Big of an Upset Was It?

The general consensus (and my initial reaction) was that Forrest Griffin's victory over Quinton Jackson was one of the biggest upsets in MMA history. Even the most dedicated Griffin fans would agree with that. A recap of Rampage's past bouts in the UFC, though, reveals a different picture.

Marvin Eastman (KO 2nd Round) AGE: 35
-Rampage scores his first KO in the Octagon and also hears his first boos as a UFC fighter. After the fight, he admits he was rusty from a long layoff. Following this victory, many people questioned whether he was deserving of a title shot at Chuck Liddell.

Chuck Liddell (TKO 1st Round) AGE: 37
-A solid left hook sends Liddell to the mat and after a few more shots the referee stops the fight. This fight made Rampage a household name and also began his rise as an overrated fighter. He caught Liddell with a haymaker. 9 times out of 10 that punch misses.

Dan Henderson (Decision) AGE: 37
-It was a solid fight by both men who found themselves in a ring with an opponent they could not finish. At the time it seemed like a huge win for Rampage because Henderson was coming off a victory over Wanderlei Silva. Henderson's brutal loss to Anderson Silva would show just how underwhelming Rampage's victory really was.

Forrest Griffin (Decision Loss) AGE: 29
-Rampage spent most of the fight getting his knee tore up by kicks from Taekwondo Master Forrest Griffin. The rest of the time he was backing up or literally on his back for an entire round. He did land some good punches when he felt compelled to actually move forward. He would again cite the long layoff as an excuse for his performance.

You gotta give credit to UFC's marketing department for their efforts. They have done a terrific job of building up a fighter and turning him into a superstar. The facts, however, do not support the hype. He beat three fighters past their prime. That's hardly the work of a monster, especially in a division as stacked as Light Heavyweight.

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