Monday, April 29, 2013

UFC on Fox 7: Main Event

The head kick that finished Nate Diaz.
If the prelims on FX weren't already amazing enough, Fox put on an incredible main card to follow up.

  • Matt Brown and Jordan Mein absolutely put on a show for fans to start the seventh Fox card off.  Brown is a guy who has hit rock bottom, but right now is on top of the world.  Mein is a young guy that is already a veteran.  For Brown, now is the prime of his career.  For Mein, the future looks bright for this vicious striker.  Brown stalked Mein around and traded blows for the majority of the first round.  He lived up to his introduction by being a "technical brawler."  Mein eventually caught him with a nasty body shot and dropped him.  Then suddenly, Brown threw up a triangle choke that appeared to be really tight.  Mein escaped and the crowd erupted to salute the incredible first round of this fight.  The second started the same as the first, with Brown stalking Mein and landing big shots. He eventually clipped Mein and finished him with elbows to the body.  Brown and Mein took home Fight of the Night bonuses for their incredible performance.
    • Mein is still young despite having already fought in 36 professional fights.  He can fight a lesser opponent in his next fight to look to bounce back.  He is good at all aspects of mixed martial arts and will have a bright future going forward.  I think he could fight somebody like Nate Marquardt or Rick Story in his next fight.
    • As for Brown, he is on a five fight winning streak and looks more impressive with every win.  He does have 11 career losses and 9 of them are by submission.  One of the top welterweights without a fight scheduled is Demian Maia.  Throw Brown against the best submission artist in the division to see if his submission game is legit.  If he gets past Maia then he is a top contender fight away from a title shot, against the winner of Rory and Jake Ellenberger perhaps.
  • Nate Diaz came into this fight coming off a title loss to Benson Henderson.  Josh Thomson came into this fight off a title loss to Gilbert Melendez in Strikeforce.  Both of these guys are at the top of the lightweight division and were looking to bounce back from losses to jump right back into contention.  Josh Thomson did just that.  People have beaten the Diaz brothers, but to finish them is another story.  Thomson used distance and kick to pick apart the great boxer in Diaz.  He landed a few head kicks in the first round, when low with the kicks early in the second, and finally went high again to secure the TKO finish.  He threw a head kick that knocked Diaz to the ground where he jumped on him and swarmed him with punches.  Nick Diaz threw in the towel from Nate's corner at the same time the ref stopped the fight.  This was a HUGE win for Thomson.  Diaz said he was moving up to welterweight but I do not understand why.  He and Nick need to seriously reconsider what they are doing if they want to be title contenders again.  As for Thomson, he has just beaten one of the UFC's best.  I would say he should fight Jim Miller, but he just lost at UFC 159.  Thomson vs Healy would be an interesting match but I have a better idea for Pat's next opponent that I'll let you know soon.  Maybe a bout with someone like Joe Lauzon, Jamie Varner, or the winner of Trujillo vs Nurmagomedov would be a suitable opponent for his next fight.  On a side note, I must confess that after this fight I developed a sort of "man crush" on Josh, so don't expect me to pick him to do anything but win his way to a UFC title in the next few fights.  He has the talent to back it up.
  • Daniel Cormier in his UFC debut handled Frank Mir without too much trouble.  Outside of a few leg kicks to the body of DC, Mir did nothing to threaten his opponent.  DC held him against the cage and beat him up for three rounds.  Herb Dean pulled them off the fence a bunch of times and he was actually getting so upset I thought Herb was going to tell Frank to take a seat so he could fire off a few punches.  Frank showed he is old and is about to be a gatekeeper or a retiree.  DC showed little punching power but he did show that the fight will take place where he wants.  The future of DC in the heavyweight division might have to come to an end sooner than later since Cain is still champ, but we shall see what the future holds for this guy.  I just hope his next fight is a tad bit more exciting.  I do have to confess that on any other card this would have been a decent fight, but this card spoiled us all night so it seemed worse than it actually was.
  • Finally the main event between champions.  Benson Henderson vs Gilbert Melendez.  I have to admit, I thought Ben would outstrike, outgrapple, and all around outclass a guy like Gilbert.  Obviously I have not seen enough game film on Gil, because this guy is for real.  They almost have identical skill sets and both have seen their share of split decisions in their title runs.  This one could have gone either way, but I do think Gilbert won rounds 1, 2, and 5.  Round 2 is the one where it could have gone either way.  Gilbert got in the grove of throwing left hooks only to set up the overhand right.  Henderson neutralized this and won the 3rd and 4th round for sure.  The second round is one of those rounds where you could score it differently every time you watch the fight, and it was the determining factor in the fight.  This is unfortunate for Gil, but two of the judges thought Benson won the fight.  He will not get an immediate rematch, but he is still a top 5 lightweight without a doubt.  As for his future, how about that fight with Pat Healy?  Healy was scheduled to fight him for the Strikeforce title before a shoulder injury to Melendez.  Healy just beat Jim Miller and Gilbert went to a controversial decision with the champion.  Let the winner of Maynard/Grant get the title shot, but in the meantime Healy and Melendez should be the main event of a Fuel TV card.  5 rounds for the chance to fight for the title.  5 rounds that should have happened in 2012. As for Benson, you all know how I feel about that guy.  The sooner you lose the belt the better.
On a side note, I tried fantasy MMA for the first time ever with this card.  I had Chad Mendes, Joe Benavidez, TJ Dillashaw, Josh Thompson, and Yoel Romero.  Thompson and Romero receive KO of the Night honors while Mendavideshaw went 3-0 also.  These fighters all finished their fights with knockouts within 2 rounds.  Needless to say I finished first place in a game of 50 people!  Thanks to my buddy's blog for having this fantasy MMA contest for the free T-shirt that I will soon be rocking!  Check his page out here if you like MMA and want more opinions than just mine.

I went 2-2 on the main card to go to 54/98. (55%)

Three Stars on the Main Card:
  1. Josh Thompson
  2. Gilbert Melendez
  3. Matt Brown
Overall UFC on Fox 7 Three Stars (SO TOUGH TO CHOOSE!)
  1. Josh Thompson
  2. TJ Dillashaw
  3. Chad Mendes

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