Monday, January 19, 2009

UFC 93 Final Thoughts

-Expectations are a tricky thing in professional sports. Mauricio "Shogun" Rua is finding this out first hand, after his uneven performance at UFC 93. It seems like everyone with an internet connection is coming after him for not being what they wanted him to be. While I agree his fight with Mark Coleman was strange and probably should have ended sooner, it's not like he went out and was submitted by Alan Belcher. When Brandon Vera spent three rounds dancing with Reese Andy, the outcry wasn't even this bad. Rua controlled most of the fight, staggered Coleman multiple times, and was never in serious trouble. I think everyone needs to take a deep breath and remember this is a fighter coming off serious injuries and a loss. For him to be cautious and have cardio issues in his return to the Octagon after 16 months is not shocking. If anything, it's realistic.

-The other thing is Mark Coleman deserves an enormous amount of credit for what he did in the cage. If the punishment Jon Fitch took against Georges St-Pierre was a 10, I'd place Coleman's at a 7. He was hit repeatedly in the head, body, and legs yet even when the referee stepped in, he was trying to fight back. It's another thing people need to remember. You put most other fighters in that match and they're not making it to the third round. Yes, calling it the "Fight of the Night" was a stretch, but Coleman deserves every penny of the bonus he received.

-Rousimar Palhares is just another jiu-jitsu guy.

-Phil Baroni is the most inspirational corner guy since Duke in Rocky IV. His "You're a legend!" speech was the real world equivalent of Duke's "Got him hurt bad. Now he's worried. You cut him! You hurt him! You see! You see! He's not a machine! He's a man! You want it more than he does! No pain! No pain! No pain! Okay, take it to him!". Obviously not as dramatic, but this wasn't a movie. By the way, check out the trailer from Rocky IV. First, they give totally give away Apollo's death. Second, the exploding gloves at the end is the best finish to a trailer I have ever seen.

-Dan Miragliotta pulled another "Miragliotta" during the Henderson/Franklin main event. When I saw him before the fight, I knew something had to happen. He's as close to a real world bumbling professional wrestling referee as we'll ever get. No matter what there will be a moment where you say, "Does this guy know what he's doing?" That moment occured when he had to ask the Vice President of the UFC Marc Ratner how much time to give Franklin to recover. It does not make a difference that Ratner used to work for the Nevada State Athletic Commission. He no longer does and should not be consulted at ringside by a referee. The fact it came to that is yet another strike against Miragliotta's record. From now on, I'm referring to him as Earl Hebner.

-After rewatching the main event, I still think Franklin won.

-Give Marcus Davis the winner of Hughes/Serra. He's popular, always puts on entertaining fights, and he's very good. A potential match-up with Serra would probably sell better because you'd have a New York vs New England angle to play. People would eat it up. Davis and Serra play those roles anyway, so you might as well give them a grand stage.


chappyd said...

earl hebner would have never asked shane mcmahon for a ruling during a match. he was on top of things.

Anonymous said...

I thought Henderson won the fight. The second was close and was where the tough call needed to be made. Hendo ended the round better to me.

Anonymous said...

Davis will never get Hughes. Serra would work better. Hughes isn't far from getting another title shot. His losses were to GSP and Alves. Those are the top two in the division. If he can beat Serra and get another win he will get another title shot.