Welcome to the Roundtable! David screwed up this week, so no Joao, so we are going Three Amigos Style!
1. Was Machida the right call by Dana?
Collin: I’d say yes. Shogun looked bad, for lack of a better word. He gassed out early, as he has a tendency to do in fights that he takes lightly. The warning signs were there beforehand, giving him a less than stellar opponent, him going back to Curitiba to work out with unkowns instead of working with Wanderlei and Rafael Cordeira, among others. Lyoto was slightly boring, even drawing boos, but he closed the show spectacularly. If Bader didn’t come flying in though, Machida would have happily cruised to a decision drawing the ire of Dana and the crowd. The way it worked out though, Machida deserves it the most.
Jim: Absolutely. He looked dominant over Bader while Shogun started to gas early and had more trouble with Vera than I originally anticipated. I also thought Machida looked better against Jones than Shogun did, and I think Machida would stand a better chance in a second fight than Shogun would. Dana White said whichever guy looked more impressive the other night would get the shot and that man was undoubtedly Lyoto Machida.
David: Naturally, Shogun gassed, and Lyoto was actually winning the fight with Jones before he gassed. Machida gave a highlight reel KO. But Let me give you an idea, Jones isn’t a 6-700K PPV draw, and Machida isn’t even that good.
How about we do Jones/Machida II on FOX?
Collin: Keep him around. He looked decent this weekend, though he gassed hard himself. Let him fight Bader next; if he loses, drop him from the top 10 but keep him around as an exciting fighter to middle on FX Prelims. If he wins, keep him around the top 10, fighting guys like Glover Texiara, Maghalaes, etc.
Jim: I think Vera earned more fights with the UFC after his performance against Shogun. Bader makes some sense but I’d like to see the UFC match Vera up with Thiago Silva again. We know Vera wants that fight after what happened the first time they went head to head. Throw Vera in there with Thiago Silva and he can go from there.
David: Dana loves Vera for some reason. I try and get him to move to Heavyweight, where I personally think there is room for him. Keep him away from Carwin and the other monsters and let him fight guys like Russo and Struve.
3. If you had NO idea who these guys were before the night, would this card have turned you into a fan?
Collin: For sure. These were all great fights. I’m a bigger fan of everyone except Bader. The first two fights were both awesome. Lauzon looked awesome, showcased an improved gas tank and Varner showed he still belongs at this level and the Barboza fight wasn’t a fluke. Swick was the great feel good story, he got a big impressive KO. Demarques Johnson fought admirably too, and went up a notch with both the fans and Dana.
Jim: There is no doubt about it. What we witnessed was 3 great knockouts and two of them in devastating fashion. Swick vs Johnson alone would have turned me into a fan. They started the main card off with a bang. Varner vs Lauzon was exciting the entire way until that tremendous triangle ended Varner’s night.. Machida’s KO against Bader was a thing of beauty, and I enjoyed the Shogun vs Vera fight immensely. If you didn’t get amped for those fights you just have your pulse checked because you might be dead.
David: I would say so, Only 1 fight was dull, and we were saved from a 15 minute lay-down by an eyepoke Koscheck could be proud of.
4. Scale of 1-10, how satisfied were you as a fan of the UFC on this card?
Collin: 9 Everything was there. ADCC level grappling from Rani Yahya, wild slugfests from Swick/Johnson and Shogun/Vera, great back and forth fight with great submission finish from Lauzon/Varner, and slow, technical striking from Machida. It was all there.
Jim: 9 works for me as well. The Davis vs Prado ending kept it from being a 10. The main card was bliss for us MMA fans. I really couldn’t ask for much else then what was put forth by the UFC. Knockouts, subs, fantastic back and forth action. It had everything we as MMA fans want.
David: 8. You lose a point to the lackluster main event scene, and 1 due to FOX CUTTING OFF ON DVR- AGAIN. I had to tape Fuel repeats to get round 4&5. Everyone came to the cage ready to go, and that was GREAT.
Collin: Working beautifully. They are definitely working out the bugs, but I think they are finding their groove for making exciting and relevant fights. The first fight was too short, so they went to three fights that were obviously headed to less than stellar decisions, to fights meant to a good mix of slower paced fights with barnburners in the last two. I am quite happy with what they are doing here.
Jim: I initially had my doubts about the Fox-UFC relationship, but man have I turned a 180 or what. I thoroughly enjoyed Randy Couture and Brian Stann’s commentery on the fights, and Curt Menefee is much better than I anticipated. I think they’ve tried to put forth exciting fights since the beginning and they’ve definitely won me over. Hopefully it continues.
David: I’m a hardcore,but a BROKE hardcore, so free fights work for me, but you know what is really working? UFCTV, I mean Fuel. They are showing a TON of PPVs, the Insider show is well done, and the Champions roundtable has tons of BLOWN potential, but it may improve. I don’t think Fox loves the ratings, and I HATE shows that go over, but all-in-all, I love the deal, even more than Spike.
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