UFC 149: The Aftermath

Posted: July 25, 2012 in Marketing, PR, UFC

Via UFC.com/Getty Images

I love MMA and all the aspects to the fight game.  It isn’t just striking – it’s grappling, submissions, outthinking your opponent.  As you have probably heard others say, it is a human chess game.  Unfortunately, the undercard kept getting checkmate and rather than lose the main card just flipped the board over.  This was painful.

The undercard fights showed what MMA is all about. Hard work, dedication to win and the ability to use a multitude of disciplines. We saw solid wrestling, great submission attempts and a 7 second KO.  A great night of free fights on FX. (Thank you again UFC!)

That said, when this great night of fights converted me from wondering if I was going to buy this PPV to I’m definitely going to buy this PPV – it didn’t take long to get buyers remorse.  Now to all the fans that were whining online and yelling at Dana White – be quiet.  Something people need to keep in mind: the UFC’s only job is to put on the card.  You decide whether or not to watch/purchase and the fighters decide whether they are going to fight.  The problem is not with the UFC.

The fighters that disappointed me the most in this card were Hector Lombard and Renan Barao. I’m sure one of these names surprises you. Let me explain.

Lombard came in on a 20 fight win streak, a reputation as “a killer” and someone that could threaten the long standing throne of Anderson Silva.  I didn’t see that gentleman at UFC 149. I saw someone that came to the ring dressed like one of the stereotypical “gangsta” wrestlers from the WWE’s 90s who then had 0 aggression in the cage.  I’m not looking for a wild man, I’m just looking for a pulse.  Tim Boetsch may not have been the KO machine we’ve seen before, but at least we saw him throwing strikes and making an effort.  I felt like Lombard expected to just be handed the win.  For wrestling fans I just kept hoping it would turn comical like 1997’s battle of Shawn Michaels and Triple H for the now defunct European Championship. No such luck.

Similar to Lombard, Barao came with a lot of hype and was supposed to be “the Next Jose Aldo.”  I didn’t see that guy. I saw a guy not fighting to win, but fighting not to lose.  The man I kept reading about who presses the action and comes from every angle must have called out sick.  Faber did not do anything in my opinion to win the fight, but at least I could see he was trying. The man walked forward, would engage and would attempt to strike or go for a takedown.  I personally felt that Barao was there to use his reach to keep Faber away, win points and take the title.  Does this make him a bad fighter? No. It actually makes him quite intelligent, just not enjoyable to watch.  What put Barao on my disappointment list wasn’t even fighting intelligently, it was the post fight celebration. I know winning the title is a feeling some will never know, but don’t jump around the cage like you’ve KO’d a Chuck Liddell when all you’ve done is keep someone at bay. It reminded me of the celebration Thiago Alves had when he beat Hall of Famer Matt Hughes.  But his victory was tainted because he was easily 20 lbs over weight.  Really? You’re celebrating a win when you had a clear weight advantage? Kudos to you sir….

MMA is no longer guys looking to “stand and bang” or “Choke someone out.”  Sure you may still hear them say this in interviews because they are selling the fight.  They need you to tune in.  In a now intelligent era you’ll see more fighters looking for decision wins rather than KO or sub of the night.  The idea may be to take less damage and extend their career.  Although frustrating for fans, it is a smarter approach to the fight game for some fighters.  Now, I’m not putting this assumption across the entire sport. There are still some guys that thirst to compete and want to know they are the best, want to know they can decisively beat the best.  Those are the fighters that will always shine.  So fight fans, remember the next time you get grumpy about a card don’t get mad at the UFC (or Bellator if you’re watching them), the only people that can truly make the fight interesting are the two locked in the cage.

Now, that said, in my opinion who was the only real winner of the night? Matt Riddle.

This kid has come leaps and bounds from his days on TUF.  From an immature kid with some talent to a very scary threat at welterweight.  The standing triangle and trip he used to take out Chris Clements was a thing of beauty.

What did you think of UFC 149?

Via UFC.com/Getty Images

  1. ryankorz says:

    I missed it and I’m dissapointed to hear the main event was not as exciting as I thought it would be. I wish I had seen that arm triangle submission. Sounds like it was an ultra-slick move.

  2. edger won this twice what is wrong with ufc judges are they blind or bought off that was my 5 bought fight but i will not buy another one cause your judges are full of shit or blind

    • This is the problem with judging in general, you can’t leave it in their hands. I know it is a cliche at this point, but its true. To avoid these issues we need fighters to leave no doubts, KO or submission. All judges view a fight differently and we have no idea what they could be focusing on….

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