The Ship Be Sinking

Mouth Almighty

I Love Anderson Silva

Because he saved that fucking show. This was enough of an experience that it’ll probably get a few posts, so here’s some initial reflections just on the show itself (bear in mind, I have no idea what made TV):

First off, it must be said, this was one of the worst UFCs in God knows how long until the main events, and I’m sure not all of that came across on PPV. The undercard was just an ocean of endless low-action decisions, some of them botched by the judges (more on that below), with a few fuck-finishes thrown in for good measure. This show was no good; this show sucked. It was dildos, it was very poor. It was….

No Buys.

And that is why I love Andy Silva, because when he dropped the hammer of Thor on Forrest- never my favorite guy- and finally looked like the doom-of-the-living fighter he used to be, the place came unglued and it was magic. One of those great, great memorable moments that makes a 20+ hour sleepless round trip to Philly worth while. When they showed the replay footage of that last jab which finished poor Forrest off, I’m sorry, but I cackled like a madman. 3 hours of pent up tension from a grotesque and disappointing undercard all let out in one go, when one of my least favorite fighters collapsed to the canvas like a toy robot with its batteries suddenly removed. Epic, glorious, superior. Silva saved the whole fucking show with that performance, and given that he turned around my first live UFC from “I hate life” to “YEAH AWESOME”, I can’t even be mad about his previous performances anymore. Come back Andy, all is forgiven!

– The Baba O’Riley video is absolutely everything it’s cracked up to be. They’ll never show it on TV because it’s become this legendary live-events-only thing and the rights fee would be pretendous, but my God would that thing make some fans for life if you opened a network show with it.

– In the first bout, Villefort vs. Lennox, the finish was all fucked up. It was a good competitive fight (which Philly began booing literally 8 seconds in…) which could have gone either way, but Villefort caught an unintentional headbutt while going for an armbar and the fight was stopped due to a cut. Trouble was, the cut was ruled to have come from a punch so it was called as a shady TKO victory for Lennox. If they’d made it to the cards either guy could fairly have won; I thought it was even, with Villefort edging the 3rd. I’d actually like to see a rematch as it was one of the better undercard fights.

– Roop vs. Sotiropoulos was just one-sided, as George S. was the far superior grappler and largely ran over Roop.

– Riddle vs. Cramer was…ugh. Not the worst fight ever, but Riddle just took him down, and laid on him, and punched him a little…and laid on him…and changed position slightly…and punched him once….and laid on him….and my eyes glazed over…and he laid on him…..

Cramer had a guillotine early on, but it was arm-in and a hard finish, and after that he didn’t have another good position until Riddle slipped on a kick attempt early in the third. Not much happened, but Riddle did use an armbar attempt from the bottom to set up a sweep, so he’s starting to learn some skill to go along with his hugeness.

– Leites vs. Sakara was an abortion. It actually wasn’t quite the sort of fight I was afraid it would be, but it was in fact equally bad in a different way. Both guys did very little but if anything Sakara stunk the joint out even worse- he was on his bike for huge chunks of the fight, fleeing into the night like he’d stolen something from Leites. Leites sorta kinda woulda coulda tried to chase him, but he’d throw these idiot high kicks that never had a prayer of connecting, or else he’d do these weird hopeless shots from far, far outside that really only worked once or twice, and other than a few brief moments on the ground he didn’t do anything either. The crowd booed this to death and the ref actually called time in the third to tell both guys to stop fucking dancing and fight. And then to top this off, the judges completely fucked up the decision because as bad as Leites was, Sakara was twice again. So he had our second godawful fight of the night concluding with our second fuck finish of the night.

– Howard vs. McCrory was a perfectly fine and fun wrestling match, but a bit hard to take by this point as it was obvious that neither guy was going to finish. Howard deserved the win, but in fairness McCrory looked totally blown up in the 3rd and may have just hit the wall at 170. His future’s clearly at middleweight, as he’s a very young guy and looked more filled out and mature that ever before tonight.

– I hated Pellegrino vs. Neer far more than I hated Leites vs. Sakara. I just have no words for how much I hated this fight. Mostly it was just the wrong kind of fight in the wrong position on the wrong card I think, because it wasn’t THAT bad; I’d just had enough lay-and-pray, obvious-2-minutes-in-it’s-going-to-the-cards type of fights on the evening. Neer did not look like the guy who tooled Mac Danzig, and I wonder if his legal/substance issues are catching up with him or distracting him. Hope he can get those sorted out.

– Big Dog and the other guy was a better fight, and I’m glad to say that my total lack of faith in Kendall Grove has once again been rewarded with a performance commensurate with my estimate of his potential. How a 6’6 middleweight can have absolutely zero control of distance as a striker I have not a clue. Ultimately this one just seemed to boil down to: he couldn’t keep Almeida off of him, and he couldn’t keep it standing once Almeida got close. From there he was outworked, and there you are. Grove LOOKS like a guy who should be a tough package for anyone, but he just doesn’t have the skills or the mental approach to take advantage of his physical gifts.

– Hendricks and Sadollah, well…look. Was it stopped early? A lot of people will tell you yes because Hendricks wasn’t landing solidly in his final flurry, but all my instincts say Sadollah was OUT. He visibly tried to stand up twice after he went down and couldn’t get his legs under him, and if you’re the referee you’re looking at a guy taking unanswered shots in a vulnerable position which he doesn’t seem able to get out of. It wasn’t the best stoppage of all time, but to my mind it’s not an outrage. I thought the screwed up cut determination in the opener was a far worse offense, since there it gave a TKO win to the wrong guy as a result of a foul instead of going to the cards where the fight was in the balance, whereas here Sadollah was getting his ass kicked and the only question was whether that had happened long enough yet or not.

– Riley vs. Nelson got booted up from the unteleviseds for timing reasons and ended up screwed by the decision as it was another fight where it was obvious 2 minutes in that only one guy could win and he almost certainly wasn’t going to be able to finish, so the crowd tuned out almost immediately. About halfway through a pretty decent fight broke out on the lower level which honestly had more action than 70% of the undercard, so of course that got the crowd’s attention as well. Bit of a clusterfuck.

– Andy and Forrest was touched on above, but I’ll add that word going around after the show was that Forrest had a broken jaw which accounted for his sprinting from the ring like that. No confirmation, just rumor. Ed Soares apparently almost got into a fight with the crowd as well, which I missed and just read about now at home. The more details I read, the weirder this show seems. It was very Philadelphia.

About Anderson’s performance, what else can you say really? He just destroyed Forrest, either breaking his will or his jaw and eradicating him in the first round of a fight where Forrest may not have landed a single meaningful offense maneuver. If he wasn’t taking Forrest seriously, you know what? Maybe he didn’t need to. That was one of those performances which establishes both that stylistically it’s an awful matchup for one guy and great for the other, but also that those two guys as fighters are in completely different classes. I cannot imagine Forrest winning a rematch in any way now; outclassed barely does it justice. Silva has this weird thing going in which he was first a babyface who no one was that into and wasn’t a draw, then he was a heel that no one was into because of his awful fights, but he almost became this weird anti-hero tonight; he treated Forrest with outright disrespect in the cage, motioning him up and shaking his hands after he’d knocked him down and just acting like a giant prick…and then he got huge, huge cheers after the fight. Some of it may have been timing, some of it may have been some nice touches he threw in acknowledging the initial boos, but whatever it was I think this may just have finally made him at least something of a real star as opposed to just a truly great fighter.

– And the main event…was actually really, really good and the best overall fight of the show I thought. I honestly think the story of the fight was that at least one of two things occurred:

1. Kenny saw how GSP used clinchwork to tire Penn out, and decided to replicate that strategy without being able to make it anywhere near as effective.
2. Kenny got clocked hard in the first round and just went blank, retreating to a safety first mode either from instinct or because he felt overwhelmed.

For what it’s worth, and I may be alone here, I had it 3-0 BJ entering the 4th. Florian got a lot of clinches but did so little with them, most of his kicks were blocked, and Penn was obviously landing the much, much (MUCH) harder blows. They were close rounds, but in none of them would I rather have been Kenny Florian than BJ Penn. Florian seemed very afraid to pull the trigger on his strikes and not even all that eager to roll despite a few nominal takedown attempts, and seemed to my mind (obviously I couldn’t hear corner advice) to be essentially using the clinch because nothing else seemed to be working to him, and doing so at least partially nullified what BJ could do. And yet, even in those clinches, Penn landed very hard uppercuts and sharp elbows as the clinch broke and I got the sense that Kenflo was actually wearing down faster than Penn was. Obviously once Penn got top position it was over; the only surprise to me was how vicious his GNP looked- those short elbows just destroyed Florian.

Anyway, more on this later. The crowd dynamics of this one were at least as memorable as the fights themselves.

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August 9, 2009 - Posted by | MMA | , , , ,

2 Comments »

  1. […] Original post by theshipbesinking […]

    Pingback by Latest News » Blog Archive » I Love Anderson Silva « The Ship Be Sinking | August 9, 2009 | Reply

  2. […] with Alexander, you might be pretty excited for a fun standup war. You’re not getting it. I saw Sakara’s last fight, I and everyone else who attended UFC 101, and you did not- because there was 0.0% chance that UFC […]

    Pingback by UFC On Versus Predictions: I’ve Seen The Future And It Works « The Ship Be Sinking | March 16, 2010 | Reply


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