Tuesday, October 22, 2013

UFC 166

Both kids were sick, so my viewing of this event was hit or miss.. Comments on the fights I saw.

K.J. Noons looked great against George Sotiropoulos. He always does when he can talk his opponent into a boxing match. But for a striker who hasn't had a KO/TKO win since 2010, not a good sign. Losses in 5 of his last 7 have him skating on very thin ice. I don't know what the issue is. K.J. has good tools when he wants to use them, he just tends to fade in and out of fights.

Aussie George, I really like him. I think he's a game guy who is eager to learn and improve, but he needs two things. His wrestling has to get better. 155 is loaded with wrestlers, and you just can't fight off your back and win consistently. His posture.. everyone knows George has bad posture, but I'm here to tell you it's terrible. It's killing his wrestling, and it's killing his punching power. He lands some flush shots, but he's so kyphotic and internally rotated that his shoulder blades don't articulate at all. So he's arm punching. His hand speed and power would improve dramatically if he'd get that fixed. I fear that he's on his way to the B leagues after 4 losses.

Sarah Kaufman is a stud. No doubt, but she will need to make sure that she evolves and keeps improving along with the rest of the field. She seemed a beat slow in the fight with Jessica Eye. Her technical adjustments in fight were effective, but she wasn't as crisp as Eye didn't seem to have an answer when Eye countered. It was a razor thin loss to a talented fighter, but a major back step for the #2 fighter in the weight class.

Jessica Eye is a known unknown. She's coming up a weight class but looked good in a close fight with Kaufman. She is not to be underestimated. She's 12-1 with a single loss to the very capable Aisling Daly in her 4th pro fight. I don't think she's got much for the Rowdy one stylisticly, but she choked out Zoila Gurgel.

Hector Lombard is back. Good grief. He straight up poleaxed Nate the great. Not much else to be learned. When he's on he's terrifying when he's off.. meh.

I think Marquardt is on his way to the WSOF. Too many losses, not enough fan support.

C.B. Dollaway is just not good enough to throw his hands up and taunt his opponent. His hands are better than they used to be, but they're not that good. His technical grappling is good. Some of the exchanges with Boetsch warmed the cockles of my mat burned grappler's heart. He needs to keep working on his hands, figure out "face punchery" and "Peruvian Necktie" does not constitute a complete submission game. It was a close fight, and I feel like the judges gave it to Boetsch for "not being a butthole."

Boetsch rights the ship after two losses. I'm not sure where that puts him. He's a little too short for the current middleweight division, but I don't think he can make the cut down to 170. So he's kind of stuck. See also Monson, Jeff.

John Dodson is a tough guy, and has real pop for a 125 pound fighter (7 of 15 wins by TKO/KO 5 of those in round 1). In a fairly thin division that could see him getting another shot at Mighty Mouse sooner rather than later.

I don't know what to make of Shawn Jordan. Starches Pat Barry then 4 months later wanders right into a Napao right hand. Considering he's got 20 total fights and only 3 have gone the distance, I have a feeling Uncle Dana will be keeping him around for a while.

Is Gonzaga back.. sorta? maybe? he's 5 of his last 6 with the one loss being a weird KO to Travis Browne as he was trying to get a single. In a thin UFC heavyweight division that makes him damn near a contender.

I worry about Diego Sanchez. Maybe he cut his tongue, maybe he was just dehydrated and tired, but he was very obviously slurring his words after the fight this weekend. The guy is just 31 and still active. If he's already showing such obvious signs of CTE that would be tragic.

DC goes to Light Heavy where he belongs, and Big Country? Well he's doing what he wants. He could be a real contender, but he insists on driving his own bus. Any Professional who has himself for a trainer has a fool for a fighter.

Cain is the man. If he can avoid Werdum's guard, and keep from walking into a big shot from Browne or Gonzaga... I don't think there's anyone who can beat him. I really like Josh Barnett, but I don't think he's got the tools to be Velasquez.

JDS? At 29 he can start a support group; along with Rich Franklin, Chael P., and a whole host of guys who were beat by the best but better than the rest.

An aside on the Rousimar Palhares deal. I'm a submissions guy. I like watching good grapplers, and Palhares is a great grappler. I don't like him though. He violates the most sacred rule of submission: if you don't have to injure the other person, DON'T.
Toquinio has 4 times been cited in MMA for holding submissions past the point of submission. He's done it in grappling. He's not a good person, and no one should have to put their career on the line in order to fight him.
As an aside to the aside, I personally think the heel hook should be illegal in MMA. There is too much danger to the knee (which is far less forgiving than a elbow or shoulder), and there is no way to improve position on it, and it is often used to stonewall a guard player or passer. It's a 'hail mary' that prevents good grapplers from working.
Finally there is no pain response to the heel hook until it is too late. Your knee doesn't "hurt" till it pops. In the heat of battle, a pro fighter is not going to be aware enough to tap before it hurts, and having guys get their knees blown out all the time makes no sense to the business of MMA.


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