MMA Roundtable 2/8 Edition


Welcome to the MMA Roundtable! This week Roni, Collin and David hit a sixpack from UFC 156.

1. Rashad Evans- WTF?Rashad Evans

Roni – If you recall my predictions, I did call out Nog to be the winner, and noted this was “as a great stylistic matchup”.
While I also expected more from ‘Shad, I think people underestimates lil’Nog’s ability. He has great boxing, and ‘Shad could not beat him there.

Collin: Minotoro, that’s what.  Rashad was in a strange place in this bout.  Nogueira is well past his prime, but he is one of the best boxers at 205.  Most people are unaware of his accomplishments in Pride, but this is the guy who was at least equal with Shogun on the feet, battered Sakuraba standing and on the ground, and absolutely schooled Alistair Overeem on the feet.  And let us not forget either that this is the guy who used a super slick transition from back mount to armbar Nakamura, who submitted Dan Henderson, who nearly subbed Saku.  Rashad has a powerful right hand and good speed, but he is by no means a technical master on the feet.  His speed and athleticism are what wins him fights, and his clearest path to victory in this fight was to move around, score takedowns, avod subs and work some ground and pound.  And he tried to do this, but Nog was able to defend his takedowns and escape to standing, where Rashad was simply outboxed by a great boxer.

David: Rashad has looked like poo since he left Greg Jackson. He looked bad against Jones, forgiveable because everyone but Machida has looked bad against Jones here lately, but wasn’t much less impressive vs Phil Davis, and just keeps dipping down. Lil Nog was a deserved underdog, and for some reason Rashad tried ONE takedown in 15 minutes, and was more than happy playing patty-cake. Nog actually tried, but was too scared of the takedown to really mount offensely. Thankfully in THIS fight, the judges got it right.

2. Did Bigfoot win that fight or did Overeem lose that fight?

Roni: Come on now. Give Silva his dues. He beat Fedor before, and now he beat Overeem too. I won’t say AO “becomes a cat” when hit (like Silva stated), but an uppercut from Silva would drop most HW’s.

Collin: Both.  Overeem seemed to do what he does in many fights.  It isn’t like we haven’t seen this before.  Alistair has always had cardio issues, even at 205.  And his respiratory system will never be able to manage that kind of added size the way a man who is naturally that large can.  Bigfoot looked very fast and agile in this fight, and let us not forget that this is the man who outboxed Andrei Arlovski.  He is literally a giant who has learned to throw technically sound straight punches and who has surprisingly good cardio.  He made Alistair work, and when Overeem gets tired he wilts.  We saw it in the Kharitonov fight, twice against Nogueira and twice against Shogun.  Somehow the whole of the MMA sphere, myself included, seemed to forget that when Overeem fights top tier talent he gets tired, and when he gets tired he gets stopped.
David: Lets see, underestimate your opponent, give away any ground advantage, let your opponent dictate the fight, sounds like a BLACKZILLIAN thing. The difference is BigFoot wasn’t scared or intimidated. BigFoot isn’t beating Elite guys, he simply doesn’t have the head movement, but at 265, thats 3 guys MAX.  You let anyone with that power hang around, you will goto sleep.

3. Where does Frankie go now?UFC156

Roni: If I was him, I’d stay in this division. Barring Aldo fighting Pettis which seems to be the next title match, I think Frankie can dominate. Once Aldo goes up, he can take the belt home. Add to it the fact that he will become one of the few who won belt in two divisions in the UFC… not a small feat!

Collin: Stay at 145, beat up Clay Guida, beat up Dennis Siver, beat up Chad Mendes, ect.  He can and will beat most guys at 145, and will eventually get another shot there. I got a great Idea- How about Dustin Porier?

David: I think he won 3-5. The good thing about Frankie as a fan is he fights like a dog, but has to wait 6 months inbetween fights beacuse he gets the tar beat out of him. He should get a rematch with Aldo next, but I’m down with a Money #1 contender fight.

4. For the first time in UFC history, a fighter didn’t call for a title fight, what do you do with Benny?

Roni: I like when fighters do not call for a title fight. Some many does (and receive undeserving!!!) – what’s worse – they get it!!!
make him fight more top fighters and in time it will be inevitable that he fights for the belt! Every fighter should act that way!!!

Collin: !

David: A Matchup with Dodson would be great, then unfortunately he almost has to fight the champ. Mighty Mouse loves to fight, and the top of the roster is very thin.

5. More Impressive: Maia or Bobby Green?Maia

Roni: Maia, no doubt.
It is not the fact he won that fight, but the way he dominated someone like Fitch for the entire duration!

Collin: Maia.  While it was sort of shocking to see Bobby Green put on that awesome performance and end up submitting one of the top grapplers at lightweight, what Maia did was incredible.  Even those of us that saw Maia winning that fight didn’t think it would be a completely dominant squasing the way it was.  He dominated an great wrestler in wrestling, and absolutely crushed him with airtight control and submission attempts.

Side rant:  The fact that 2 judges gave Jon Fitch a 10-8 third round with Penn for laying in guard and landing light strikes, yet not a single one gave Maia a 10-8 in any round of a fight where he exercised submission attempts and took dominant positions at will disgusts me.

David: Maia. He fitched the Fitch. I loves me some Maia but that was just an epic performance. I understand that people that wouldn’t know Maia if he walked in the room with Lyoto Machida, but for people that enjoy a good ground war, I have seen very few that match what Maia did, and more importantly, WHO he did it TO. Bobby Green deserves some praise, and I’m sure he got a check from Dana.

6. How good was this card?

Roni: I liked it. Had everything you could ask for.
Big names, big matchups, exciting fights, and more importantly, most fights had consequences that affected their division.
I wish all cards were like that!

Collin:  It was awesome.  Maia ran a thorough jiu-jitsu clinic, Bigfoot brought the “Oh sh**!!” factor, Nog won (which made a fairly pedestrian fight awesome for me), and Aldo and Frankie are the best in the world.  Frankie showed unreal conditioning and Aldo showcased the insane explosing power that makes him great with those second round leg kicks.  My favorite card of the year so far, minus Yves getting jobbed in his fight with Vallie-Flagg.

David: There was literally only one fight that actually stunk. Other than that, it was an excellent show. Other than seeing some idiots give out a 49-46 scorecard in the main event, It was an enjoyable and great night of fighting.

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