Locked in the Guillotine MMA News Report 11.23.12: Thankful Edition
Hello one and all and welcome to this very special post Thanksgiving edition of the Guillotine. I know that all my Canadian readers celebrated Thanksgiving back in October, and I do apologize for not properly recognizing it. As an American I tend to be a bit more nationalistic as far as holidays go. As for this week, we had the big two fight card that was UFC 154 go down, and of course all of the resulting news that spawned from that event. There’s also just regular news, and in the spirit of Thanksgiving I will again look at things in the MMA world I’m thankful for, and what some other fighters should be thankful for as well. Caught your head down while you were scoping out the leftovers and you’re again Locked in the Guillotine.
Just a quick couple of words on the best show on television right now. This was a perfect set up episode, and highlighted the tone of the show perfectly. The final scene, with Rick taking his newborn daughter out into the yard for the first time only to be sidetracked by seeing Michonne standing outside the fence, sums up the moments of hope and contrasting reality that the show works so well. I’m starting to wonder what Merle is up too, because it’s becoming more and more clear that he isn’t on the leash the Governor thinks he is. Andrew Lincoln’s acting continues to be superb, him talking with his dead wife on the rotary phone was darn near heart breaking. I’m really looking forward to the next episode, as usual with The Walking Dead.
Enough zombie talk, let’s get into the MMA action.
The UFC’s event in Montreal has to be considered a success, as some extremely preliminary estimates have the event trending towards the one million buy mark. That is very preliminary and not at all confirmed, but with that number even being talked about that should be a good thing for the UFC. The card was based almost entirely around the main event, and really should be looked at as another example of the UFC spreading itself thin in terms of talent and number of shows. That said, based on the main event, the show wasn’t too bad to watch, let’s look at the action.
Wrestling: Darren Elkins defeated Steven Siler by unanimous decision. The fight was controlled by the wrestling of Elkins from start to finish, anytime he wanted a takedown he got it. Siler had very little success off of his back, and his positioning when striking always seemed to leave himself open for a takedown. The win does move Elkins to 4-0 at featherweight, and a step up in competition is certainly called for in his case. As for Siler, he’s a tough fighter who never quits and will likely still have a job after this.
Menjivar gets back on track: Ivan Menjivar defeated Azamat Gashimov by submission in the first round with a pretty nasty armbar. Gashimov got the fight to the ground and looked to be a very strong person, but Menjivar took his time setting up the attack on the arm and as soon as he saw the opening he jumped all over it and forced Gashimov to submit. After Menjivar’s last fight, a fairly lackluster unanimous decision loss to Mike Easton, he needed a big win here. Nice bounce back for Menjivar as he starts moving again towards a title shot.
Riddle is the blur: Matthew Riddle defeated John Maguire by unanimous decision in a fight that both guys took on short notice, and it showed. Riddle, while always in great shape, didn’t have the same type of pacing that he normally does, and Maguire seemed to still be finding himself as far as striking goes. OK, that was a very kind way to say that Maguire did nothing the whole fight because he couldn’t get a takedown. Nothing memorable here, next please.
The blur continues: Antonio Carvalho defeated Rodrigo Damm by split decision in a really uneventful fight. Carvalho landed some really nice leg kicks in the first round, but as the fight went on both guys just seemed content to take pot shots without really doing serious damage. Again, nothing memorable.
Counter Striking: John Makdessi defeated Sam Stout by unanimous decision in a fight that saw Makdessi use great head movement and a solid jab to out point Stout over the three rounds. Makdessi looked good in this fight, he had good head movement and was on point with his strikes. Nothing terribly special, but this was at least watchable and a pretty good step up from the last two fights.
Diabate by submission?: Cyrille Diabate defeated Chad Griggs by submission with a rear naked choke in the first round. This was a nice win for Diabate who, despite being too old to make a title run, continues to improve his all around MMA game. For Griggs, he’s a good guy but if he drops another fight in the UFC he’s done with them. A finish is always a good thing, especially after two blur decisions and one moderately watchable decision.
The only way Cote can get a win these days: Patrick Cote defeated Alessio Sakara by disqualification after it was ruled that a few hammerfists to the back of the head by Sakara were what caused the finish. Personally I’m calling BS on that one, Sakara dropped Cote with perfectly legal shots, and the blows were unintentional. I know blows to the back of the head are illegal, and for very good reason, but I have to question the decision to rule that a disqualification in this case. Mostly I’m annoyed I’ll have to sit through another Patrick Cote fight somewhere down the road.
Hominick goes down: Pablo Garza defeated Mark Hominick by unanimous decision in a fight that once again demonstrated Hominick’s lack of skill on the ground. The first round was contested mostly on the feet, with Hominick just edging the strikes, even dropping Garza with a liver punch late in the round. Garza returned fire and cut Hominick under the left eye as the round ended. The second round was, for my money, a 10-8 domination on the ground for Pablo Garza as he took Hominick down and cut his face up with elbows from the top position. The third was much of the same, though less damaging from Garza in the third he still controlled the ground action and landed plenty of strikes. Hominick should be cut, this was his fourth loss in a row, but he’ll likely get one more fight under the Dan Hardy clause.
Dos Anjos is legit: Rafael dos Anjos defeated Mark Bocek by unanimous decision in what turned out to be a pretty one sided affair. Dos Anjos showed up and looked great in this fight, he stuffed every takedown attempt by Bocek and controlled the striking and the grappling exchanges. Before this fight I viewed dos Anjos as middle of the pack at best, but given this performance I’d like to see him take a step up in competition next. As for Bocek, he lost his four fight winning streak here, but is unlikely to get cut. Not a bad fight at all.
Well that was painful: Francis Carmont defeated Tom Lawlor by split decision in what was easily the worst fight of the night. Not only did I score the fight for Lawlor, but there just wasn’t that much action here. Watch this if you need help sleeping, otherwise this is totally skippable.
Big Rig: Johny Hendricks knocked out Martin Kampmann in the first round with a big left hand. Joe Rogan was quick to declare Hendricks the biggest power puncher in MMA, which is a monumental exaggeration, but I wouldn’t hesitate to call him the biggest power puncher in the welterweight division. Hendricks has proven he can hit hard, and his wrestling is still very good. He asked for a title shot after the fight, and at this point he’s clearly the next contender assuming he doesn’t get injured, or there’s some controversial stuff in the main event. Great win for Hendricks. As for Kampmann, he needs to work on his striking defense because it’s been a hole in his game for a long time and he’s relied on his recovery to make up the difference.
GSP is back: UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre defeated interim champion Carlos Condit by unanimous decision in a great fight. Condit proved again he’s got absolutely no quit and kept looking for the finish against the champion. GSP showed no ill effects from the knee injury, and his style looked better than ever. Georges wasn’t afraid to strike with Condit, and displayed his versatility and smooth transitions between striking and grappling. Condit actually raised his stock even in defeat, because he never looked beaten or out of the fight, even at the last ten seconds he was swinging from the bottom fighting his heart out. I feel compelled to point out the BS that was two 50-45 scores for GSP. GSP controlled a lot of time in the third round after he got kicked in the head and knocked down by Condit, but it takes a lot to overcome a knock down like that in my book and GSP didn’t do enough. Still, this was an awesome fight and a great way for GSP to come back after his injury.
Thiago Silva – Moron: Thiago Silva, who was last seen submitting Stanislov Nedkov with an arm triangle choke in the third round of the UFC’s event in Macao, tested positive for marijuana metabolites. Is it really that hard to not do stupid things? I have no intention of starting a debate on or about marijuana, the reality of the situation is that the commissions say you can’t have it in your system and so you shouldn’t smoke it during training camps. Personally I say don’t smoke it at all, but I also say don’t drink alcohol, smoke cigarettes, or use other recreational drugs. As a result of this test Silva has been suspended for six months and ordered to go through drug rehabilitation before the UFC will schedule another fight with him. No word as of this writing if the result of the fight will be changed to a No Contest, but it would be a logical step. For Thiago Silva, this is a huge deal. He’s only two fights removed from his false urine sample, and because of that hasn’t technically won a fight since he stopped Keith Jardine in 2009. One has to wonder how many more issues like this the UFC will tolerate before they give him his walking papers.
Todd Duffee is back: Former UFC heavyweight fighter Todd Duffee, who was released following a knockout loss to Mike Russow and attitude issues, will return to fight Phil De Fries at UFC 155. Since his release Duffee has gone 1-1, losing in quick brutal fashion to Alistair Overeem and stopping Neil Grove with strikes. I was never a big fan of Duffee, but if he’s humbled himself a little and is willing to do business he could be an asset to the heavyweight division.
Dan Miragliotta: I have to take a moment and point out some bad officiating that’s happened over the last couple of weeks. I mentioned last week that I hated the officials at the UFC’s Macao event telling the fighters “don’t leave it up to the judges”, and I really do hate that, but I also feel compelled to talk about a couple of really bad things that happened at UFC 154. The official for the Carmont and Lawlor fight was constantly asking the fighters to keep busy, and at one point threatened a stand up from side control. This is simply ridiculous.
Then, in a horrible bit of officiating, Dan Miragliotta allowed Patrick Cote to be struck approximately six times in the back of the head with hammerfists from Alessio Sakara. Then, rather than warning Sakara or providing Cote with a chance to recover following the illegal blows, he stopped the fight fully intending to give a TKO victory to Sakara. The fact that he was inches from the action and didn’t verbally warn Sakara about the strikes, or halt the action after a few of them, is the height of poor officiating in my book. Hopefully something is done about this, likely it wont be but one can hope.
Weidman out: Undefeated middleweight Chris Weidman was forced to pull out of his scheduled bout with Tim Boetsch. It was widely speculated that the winner of that fight would be the number one contender, or at worst fight the winner of the upcoming Michael Bisping and Vitor Belfort fight to become the number on contender. Replacing Weidman will be Costa Philippou. Costa was supposed to fight Nick Ring at UFC 154, but Ring became ill at the prospect of the beating Costa would put on him and pulled out of the fight. This fight no longer carries the same weight it did with Weidman and Boetsch, but it remains an interesting fight as Costa has long been a prospect who could use this opportunity to move himself into the next level of competition. Fortunately the injury is reported to be either a dislocated shoulder or something similar that, while it will require surgery, wont keep Weidman out for a huge length of time.
Well, Thanksgiving was yesterday, and while you all enjoy the leftovers I figured this would be a good opportunity to express some of the things I’m thankful for in the world of MMA. Also I think it would be fun to mention a few things that various MMA figures should be grateful for. So let’s start with MMA figures and then get into what I’m thankful for.
Dan Hardy should be incredibly thankful for his friendship with Dana White, and that for some reason Dana thinks Hardy is an exciting fighter. Otherwise he’d be fighting Paul Daley in BAMMA and getting knocked out.
Chael Sonnen should be thanking Dan Henderson’s knee injury, and Hendo’s lack of reporting said injury, because now he get’s to be borderline relevant until he actually has to fight Jon Jones.
Nick Diaz should be thankful that Colorado legalized marijuana and should move there as quickly as possible to enjoy that law until the Federal government overturns the law and makes it criminal again.
MMA officials should be thanking their lucky stars there’s no kind of oversight committee or repercussions for their bone headed mistakes, because otherwise several of them would be out of that particular line of work.
Nick Ring should be sending personal letters of gratitude to every judge in his last two wins, because Riki Fukuda and Court McGee both won those fights and everyone who wasn’t a judge at ringside knew it.
Anderson Silva and GSP super fight being so close to reality is probably the thing I’m most grateful for in the world of MMA. The fight between these two has been talked about for several years now and this is the first time it’s been really close to reality. After the fight between Carlos Condit and GSP Anderson Silva said he would be willing to take the fight with GSP. The ball is in Georges’ court at the moment, because Dana White is clearly amenable to the fight happening, and the thinking MMA world wants to see it happen. The two greatest fighters of all time squaring off, GSP and Anderson Silva, and it could actually happen. The talk has been there before, but this is the first time I’ve personally felt it was close to becoming a reality, and I’m psyched for that.
Jon Jones is another thing I’m personally grateful for. There’s plenty of divergent opinion on him, and rightfully so in many cases, but what he can do in the cage is amazing. To be as young as he is and to have accomplished as much as he has is incredible. Every opponent since he beat Ryan Bader has been a former champion. As much as we all knew he’d beat Vitor Belfort, Belfort is a former champion at 205.
Strikeforce’s demise is finally here, and thank heavens. The company has been on the decline in many ways for a long time. It also means I’ll never have to listen to Mauro Ranallo, Pat Miletich, and Frank Shamrock do commentary again. More than the company going away, that trio of commentary nightmares never being together again is something I am incredibly grateful for.
The Staff here at 411 are high on my list of people to be grateful for. They welcomed me when I came on board here, some sixty columns ago, and have always been supportive and willing to help out.
How about you guys? I know Thanksgiving was technically yesterday, but what are some MMA related things you’re thankful for? I’d love to hear your thoughts and opinions on that subject in the comments section. There’s leftovers to be eaten, so I’m letting you guys out of the Guillotine, I’ll see you next week. Until then, be safe, God speed and party on.