My Take on MMA 9.03.07: Final Art of War III: USA vs. Brazil Thoughts
Welcome back to the latest edition of My Take on MMA. As always I am your host Larry Csonka. On Saturday Night I had a chance to take in and report on the Art of War III: USA vs. Brazil. This was their debut on PPV and as always I am curious to see a new MMA company’s show. The jump to PPV is a questionable one, one I took them to task for back in June when they wanted to run in that packed month. They decided to wait and debuted this month. How did they do? Was it a success or just another mediocre MMA show? Let’s break it down!
My Prediction: Crane
The Result: Luis Arthur Cane via RD 1 (2:45) TKO
Larry’s Enjoyment Index: 6.5
Final Thoughts: We got some bonus bouts from the under card and I have to say, thank God for that. As always is my custom we’ll discuss those first. Our first bonus is a light heavyweight bout, and for me light heavyweight bouts are either very exciting or boring, there tends to be no middle ground with me. After 2+ hours of watching the PPV, with slow bouts and disappointments these guys were a breath of fresh air and really had a fine bout. They worked quickly, both worked takedown and solid knee attacks and put on a skilled bout. Crane was just the better skilled man in the end, never looking rattled and making sure he had the best position t land shots and with seconds left he rocked the hell out of Stelly and took the fight. It wasn’t worlds better than some of the PPV fights, but just felt very fresh and exciting to me.
I am 1 for 1 on my picks.
My Prediction: Marcello
The Result: Christiano Marcello via RD 1 (4:58) Submission
Larry’s Enjoyment Index: 7.0
Final Thoughts: Our second bonus is a light heavyweight bout, and I do love those quick little bastards. For the most part lightweight bouts are exciting, fast paced and tend to liven up a crowd. This did exactly that. Both men come in with the same amount of fights and the same exact record and decided that they would put on a show. Marcello was always on the offensive to me, while Munoz played good defense, which was at the same time good offense. At one point Munoz was dropping bombs and I thought he would take it, but Marcello had different plans and got the back, secured the choke and that was that. Damned exciting fight here and I loved it, everything the lightweights can be.
I am 2 for 2 on my picks.
My Prediction: Prater
The Result: Carlo Prater via split decision (29-28 Prater, 29-28 Wisniewski, 29-28 Prater)
Larry’s Enjoyment Index: 3.0
Final Thoughts: This bout was our PPV opener and what a way to open a PPV, a shitty way to open a PPV. You know when Trig and Mauro are bagging on the fight that it is bad and they openly did that, in a nice way of course. The opening round was a very close round, but Wisniewski pushed it at the end and I gave it to him. Round two lacked action again but Prater had good takedowns and bloodied Wisniewski so I gave it to him. Round three followed the trend of being lackluster but I thought Prater did enough to win it and the fight. The worst part of the fight was when they did nothing in rounds one and two and were never broken up, stood up or warned that you could hear. Finally they were in round three, but I felt that there was bad officiating in the bout. Prater took round three for me and I had it 29-28 Prater with no question as to my score. I actually expected to hear a 30-27 for Prater. The decision was ridiculous because it should have been unanimous decision 29-28, no question. One of the judges was watching a completely different fight to give Wisniewski TWO rounds. I can see him winning round one, but after that there is no way he could have got round two or three.
I am 3 for 3 on my picks.
My Prediction: Andrade
The Result: Alex Andrade via RD 2 (2:20) TKO
Larry’s Enjoyment Index: 6.0
Final Thoughts: As I have said, for me light heavyweight bouts are either very exciting or boring, there tends to be no middle ground with me. I liked this fight. Andrade was very controlling and impressive looking, which continued into the second round where he escapes a possible submission and pounded Capoani until the ref decided to stop things. Andrade impressed in this fight, and having never seen him before I am excited to see him again. With more seasoning he could be a very good 205 fighter.
I am 4 for 4 on my picks.
My Prediction: Rinaldi
The Result: Ron Waterman via RD 1 (4:39) KO
Larry’s Enjoyment Index: 6.0
Final Thoughts: I have loosely followed the career of Ron Waterman for a good while now, through MMA and pro wrestling. He came into this fight at 41 years old and STILL jacked to the gills. I didn’t think he could take the fight due to a past of gassing out in many a fight. While Rinaldi was less experienced I figured he could take things to the ground and control the fight, gas Waterman and win via stoppage or decision. For about 85% of the first round Rinaldi did that and Waterman looked tired and like he was done. But when they got back to their feet, Waterman HUMBLED him in a big way and got the KO victory, shutting others and myself up in the process, for at least one night.
I am 4 for 5 on my picks.
My Prediction: Horn
The Result: Jorge Santiago via RD 1 (3:02) submission
Larry’s Enjoyment Index: 4.0
Final Thoughts: This was billed as Horn’s 100th fight, and when you look at the record it looked as if it was only his 99th, a small gripe here. I figured with his experience at a higher level that he could control Santiago and likely submit him. Dear lord was I wrong. Santiago owned him the entire round and got the impressive submission victory in round one. Some may say (thanks to Huckaby for the theory) that he’s at that rare point in a career where he’s a storied guy that is respected and just wants paydays knowing he’ll never win a major world title again. It’s pathetically sad as that will kill your legacy a lot more than losing and giving your all for a last grasp. Also we have to take into account that he dropped 17lbs on Friday to make weight, which in my opinion make shim stupid. Either way I feel that Horn looked horrible and Santiago got a HUGE win for his career. Where he goes from here is all up to him.
I am 4 for 6 on my picks.
My Prediction: Monson
The Result: Pedro Rizzo via RD 3 (2:40) KO
Larry’s Enjoyment Index: 6.0
Final Thoughts: Heading into the fight I was actually excited to see it. I have seen Monson and have heard a lot about Pedro Rizzo, I have seen some, but wanted to see more. Monson had worked on his stand up exclusively to try and even up the odds, which was a good idea I felt. Rizzo has a history of being an easy bleeder, and I thought if at the very least Monson had a jab that he could bust up the eyes of Rizzo. Monson did just that, dominated the round and did good damage including the cut over the right eye of Rizzo and took the round, he was off to a fine start. Round two was a very different round as Rizzo got another cut, but he also cut Monson. He was able to control more with the leg kicks and was able to stuff the shoots of Monson, a very important thing as Monson wanted to do damage and then shoot, he was thwarted and got busted open for it and Rizzo took the round. Round three was a lot like round two with Rizzo busting up Monson more, stuffing all shoot attempts and eventually knocking the shit out of Monson. After the fight they were both a mess. Monson totally split his lip, Rizzo had two bad cuts; one over the right eye and one under the left eye. Someone also lost a tooth, which they have found on the cage floor after the fight. It was a fine fight, nothing offensive but nothing great either.
I am 4 for 7 on my picks on PPV for the night. Anthony Njokuani defeated Keyon Mike Jackson and Lana Stefanac defeated Franita Gathings and Jason Maxwell lost to Thomas Schulte, which takes me to 6 for 10 on the night for my picks. Not bad, not great, but all in good fun.
Best Fight: LIGHTWEIGHT BOUT – Hector Munoz: USA (6-2-1) vs. Christiano Marcello: BRAZIL (6-2-1) – 7.0
Worst Fight: WELTERWEIGHT BOUT – Keith Wisniewski: USA (25-10-2) vs. Carlo Prater: BRAZIL (19-5-1) 3.0
Show Score: 6.25
Final Thoughts: All right, so this was the first Art of War PPV and overall it was fine. It was slightly above average, the one bad fight I thought and some good efforts and names familiar to the MMA world. The USA vs. Brazil concept was cool, but they barely played it up which hurt it. Mauro and Trig did a good job announcing, I liked their chemistry and that always helps. I despised the ring announcer, as a man would come out, he would say, “And now making their way to the ring…the BLUE/RED fighter!” Then when in the ring the normal ring announcing. He was just annoying to me, not a Bruce Buffer or Jimmy Lennon Jr. type, who I enjoy. I also have to mention that the IFA title looks like something made for a backyard wrestling federation, that was ghetto my friends, get a real title belt. Gladiator has better titles than you. In the end I enjoyed the show, I have certainly seen a lot worse and with that being said I will try them for another show, which is in October. Mild thumbs up for Art of War III.