The Ship Be Sinking

Mouth Almighty

Thoughts On The Evening

– That, folks, is why I don’t do predictions for WEC events. .500 is basically random chance, which is what happens when you’re still building a knowledge base. Oh well.

– Froch/Kessler was a strong, strong contender for fight of the year in boxing. For whatever it’s worth since there appears to be controversy I had Kessler winning a fairly clear decision. It was one of those fights where if you sit back at the end of 12 rounds and say “gee, I thought this guy won” you could come to a completely different decision than if you watched and scored each round based on close inspection of what actually happened. Kessler was particularly effective with a left jab/right straight to the body combination which visibly wore Froch down, and to me won many rounds for him. In some respects, mostly for the controversy, this fight was a fine example of the truism that boxing judges and fans often underrate body punches the way MMA judges underrate leg kicks.

– Speaking of, if Keith Keiser is not forcing Cecil Peoples to watch tonight’s WEC main event on a loop Clockwork Orange-style, something has gone very wrong. My legs were hurting from running 10 miles on Friday, but after that? I feel great! No troubles here! It can always be worse.

– Antonio Tarver did a fantastic job on commentary tonight. He came up with several useful technical insights which completely escaped me, and provided them in a clear and direct fashion which spoke to the point of things instead of beating around the bush and self-contradicting as a lot of color commentators tend to do. A fantastic job by him. He hasn’t really made a strong impact on me before in this role, but after tonight I’m going to make a point of listening to him in the future; if I learn something new from a color commentator and have nothing to strenuously object to, that’s as much as I can ask.

– Julio/Angulo was what you’d expect. Combined with the main event, HBO’s BAD tonight was like an instructional video on the difference between boxing and running. Tomasz Adamek used his movement and boxing to set up his offense, and at every moment you expected him to land a hard shot; Joel Julio used his movement to run for his life, and at every moment you expected him to vault the ropes and flee into the darkness. It amazes me that so many people had Julio winning clearly at the point that the fight was stopped, which to me amounts to judging malfeasance and a complete misunderstanding of what makes movement into effective movement. The huge majority of punches thrown by Julio- nearly all in the second half of the fight- were flicking shots with no power on them which mostly slapped off of Angulo’s gloves. This isn’t tag or fencing or, God forbid, the amateurs; that’s not effective offense for the most part, and when a guy with 31 KOs in 35 wins gets on his bike like that it’s usually a clue as to who is doing more damage with their punches. At this point, despite looking better than he ever has before, Julio is a busted prospect until and unless he proves otherwise; if he fought every fight and every round the way he fought a couple of the early ones tonight he’d be a scary man, but he doesn’t so he isn’t so he’s an afterthought. Meh, the love child.

– What to say about Adamek/Arreola? I had it close for Adamek, but I was being kind to Arreola in retrospect, I think. Arreola probably fought the wrong fight early, laying back and letting rounds pass seemingly content in the idea that his power would tell later, except that it didn’t and he hurt his hand which all but ended the fight. When the naturally larger man has little going for him but activity and size and refuses to impose his size or let his hands go, he loses. Adamek did a fine job of boxing, but it was the same job which lost him the majority of rounds against Steve Cunningham; Arreola let him off the hook. Adamek moves on to any number of several interesting matchups- his cruiserweight titlist predecessor David Haye foremost among them- while Arreola slips back from contender to also-ran territory. A David Tua fight?

– Korean Zombie vs. Leonard Garcia. Wow. Just wow. One of the greatest MMA fights for action ever. For whatever it’s worth despite picking the Zombie I thought Garcia won rounds 2 and 3 to take the decision, but I won’t argue with anyone who had it for the Zombie and I’d love to see a rematch. You must see this fight. Frye/Takyamaesque. An astonishing fight on every level, and I have infinite respect for both men.


– Scott Jorgensen looked splendiferous as always after an early scare, and fully deserved his decision win. Dude is world-class at his weight, and I hope they find space to give him a title fight soon. I do not particularly want to see a rematch with Banuelos despite Goldberg hyping that a bit on the show; in my mind over 6 rounds Jorgensen has won at least 4 of them, and if we’re going to keep doing rematches of fights which are that close than no one is going to get anywhere in this sport. They could easily end up doing three more identical rounds which would “require” rounds 10, 11 and 12, which could end up 2-1, which would “require” rounds 13, 14 and 15, which would end up 2-1, which would “require”….

Jake Shields and Lex Fucking Luthor ringside was one of the most gloriously hilarious moments in the history of pro wrestling. And MMA I guess, but mostly pro wrestling. Him heading to UFC is probably for the best- In Strikeforce, there’s maybe one interesting fight for him (Jacare); in UFC, there’s 5 or more.

– As predicted, Roller/Njokuani was an IQ test for Roller; I was wrong, he passed, and congratulations to him. If he continues to fight smart and use his grappling and wrestling he’ll be a handful for anyone.

– Didn’t it seem like they were doing whatever they could to keep Mizugaki and Honey, Yeah, Yeah off the air? When you reach the point where you’re showing prelims twice before you show a fight….

– Incidentally, there’s a lot of “oh wow, Carl Froch, what sportsmanship!” out there. Bullshit, I say. When you claim that you were jobbed by the judges on a fair decision and that in your hometown the judges would have properly jobbed your opponent like he deserved, and there’s a million reasons for your loss but no, no you couldn’t be making excuses, and you won but you “don’t want to take anything away” from the other guy (except that he lost, that bastard) you’re a sore loser. He’s a sore loser, and the hypocrisy is particularly rich given that he got every possible call and benefit of the doubt against Dirrell. The fact that he was moderately less boastful than before does not really mitigate this. And now he’s threatening to leave the Super Six unless he’s given home town preference in the future. Oh, what a sportsman, what a classy guy. Can you imagine the crap someone like Floyd Mayweather would get if he tried this?

– Henderson/Cerrone was not what I expected, at all, and yet somehow was not the upset of the night. Not much to say here other than that Cerrone started slow again, and Henderson has developed a really brutal guillotine. There’s not much left for him in the WEC having finished both Varner and Cerrone, so I’m more than comfortable with Zuffa’s mooted decision to fold the WEC 155 pounders into UFC. Henderson vs. any number of guys could be an exciting quality fight. If they want to start him out slow then Takanori Gomi would be an interesting opponent, but I would have no objections to a “unification” fight against the Edgar/Penn winner either.

– Manny Gamburyan vs. Mike Brown was an interesting and strange fight. Not much happened until the finish; and then, out of nowhere, Manny demonstrated a KO power which A) he’s never shown before and B) which no one has ever displayed against Brown before. Who saw that coming? If he’s improved his power or counterpunching to the point where he can do that regularly, then sonofabitch. Technically there may be a ways to go for him, but if the other guy is unconscious he’s not really in a position to critique the technique. I don’t think he really has much of a chance against Jose Aldo, but he’s more than earned the right to take his shot.

– Aldo vs. Faber was exactly what I expected in the general dimensions of it, though not the specifics of Aldo targeting the leg. Aldo is a monster. Godzilla, Mothra, Monster Zero, that thingamabobber from Cloverfield, King Kong, take your pick- a goddamn monster. After Brown got KO’d on the undercard it was fair to say that at the point when he stepped into the cage, Urijah Faber was clearly the #2 featherweight on the planet; Aldo treated him like he didn’t belong in the same building as him. Unless Aldo decides he’s a lightweight now I don’t know who can even compete with him. No one can go strike-for-strike, and if Mike Brown and Faber can’t take him down….

All in all, one of the best nights of fights in a long time. The future is a bit cloudier with WEC having no obvious next big fight and the Super Six threatening to disintegrate (again), but for now things couldn’t be much brighter.


April 26, 2010 - Posted by | Boxing, MMA

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