The MMA 5&1 1.02.13: Year-End Awards Fill In Edition
The Part at the Beginning
Welcome back to the latest edition of the MMA 5&1! I am not Stewart Lange, and no I am not French. I am Jack McGee, former fill in writer for the Hollywood 5&1, and for the foreseeable future I am taking over this column for Stewart. Your usual author is taking a hiatus from weekly writing here at 411, but will still be around for staff columns and such. So during that time I will do my best to keep his seat warm until he returns. I may make some slight changes to the column, but will roughly stick with the tried and true 5&1 formula that you have come to know and love. As for me, I am a huge MMA fan, but do not pretend to be an expert. I hope you’ll enjoy what I bring to the table, and thanks for reading.
Also, I’m on the old Twitter machine… Follow @jackmcgee411
They make you get this damn thing at 411. Social media and all. I know, you won’t follow me, it’s cool, it’s cool.
IF CAIN vs. JDS III HAPPENS, WHO YOU GOT?
Reports of Strikeforce’s Demise Are Accurate: In what turned into a giant clusterfuck as expected, the Zuffa acquisition of Strikeforce led to headaches for all involved, and the death of the promotion. Sure, they are scheduled to run one last event in January, which is just a formality for Showtime, but the death of Strikeforce was something we all saw coming, and that is a shame. Strikeforce is filled with some talented fighters, but the moment that Zuffa took control and they were not treated like the UFC fighters (bonuses, special bonuses and such) then it got messy. Dana White wanted to have a part in it, but his distain for the Showtime executives and their fights led to that not happening. The UFC was able to take in some talent, but then Showtime made them agree to not sign anyone else. The UFC was unhappy, the Strikeforce fighters were unhappy, and it just all fell apart. Some thought that it would be fine, but then it happened. The September 29th Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Healy event was cancelled, due to Melendez getting injured. Allegedly. Sorry, I am a bit of a conspiracy theorist. With no real main event, Showtime didn’t want to air the show, and with ticket sales already poor and refunds to be handed out, Zuffa didn’t want to take a bath on the untelevised event. Strikeforce was scheduled to return on November 3rd with Strikeforce: Cormier vs. Mir. But Mir was forced to withdraw due to injury, and Luke Rockhold, the co-main eventer was also injured, and the second event in a row was dead in the water. We all knew when Zuffa bought out Strikeforce that they were doing so to pillage their roster and library, but the way it went down has just been sad. Strikeforce’s final event, which was originally named CHAMPIONS is scheduled for January 12th. Unfortunately, both Gilbert Melendez and Luke Rockhold were expected to defend their titles at this event, however they were both forced off the card due to lingering injuries. Some have claimed that they threw themselves down the stairs at their gym to get off the show so that they could enter the UFC with as little Strikeforce stank on them as possible. And at this point, who could blame them! Now the show is headlined by Nate Marquardt vs. Tarec Saffiedine; a main event anywhere in the country…
Mark Hominick: I have to admit, I do hate to dwell on the negative, but looking through the 411 MMA year-end stuff, I wanted to stick with that as much as possible so the most disappointing had to be done. This unfortunate award goes to a guy I have been a fan of for a while, and someone that has recently stated that he will be retiring, Mark Hominick. Hominick was a guy that worked hard, and after five straight victories earned a featherweight title shot against Jose Aldo at UFC 129. Hominick lost that fight, but earned even more fans by surviving the five rounds and growing the alien on his head you see above. He closed out 2011 with a seven second loss to the Korean Zombie, his first fight following the death of trainer Shawn Tompkins, and the fight that really signaled the end for Hominick. Hominick fought two times in 2012, losing to Eddie Yagin at UFC 145 and then Pablo Garza at UFC 154. Both loses came via decision, and while some would say they weren’t too bad, anyone that had previously watched Hominick knew he simply wasn’t the same fighter at all. He looked slower; he looked like he was almost going through the motions of being a fighter, which can be dangerous. Following UFC 154, the 30-year old fighter made a difficult, but smart choice as he retired from the octagon. He cited the passing of Tompkins as something that really changed things for him, but also noted that he wanted to spend time with his family. Mark Hominick may have had a bad 2012, which no one will deny, but after 32 fights, he made the right choice I think. I’ll always be a fan, and I wish him well in everything he does in the future.
Jose Aldo vs. Chad Mendes: I know that some will see Jose Aldo vs. Chad Mendes, and think to themselves, “that was a good finish, but not exactly the best KO of the year.” Guess what, I would agree with that. That is why I labeled this one my FAVORITE KO of the year. I remember heading into the fight that al the talk was Mendes was too big, he’ll ground Aldo, and that Aldo wasn’t he same vicious finisher he was in the WEC. Aldo finished Mendes in the first round of the main event at UFC 142. Again, it wasn’t the exact KO that I loved; it was what happened after the fight was over. The fight ends, and in a scene from a great fight movie (or pro wrestling) Aldo charges form the cage and into the rabid crowd of Brazilians to celebrate his victory, in his homeland, with his people. On that night, Jose Aldo was the baddest motherfucker in Brazil; there was a raw emotion there that made me smile. Some say that MMA doesn’t produce any real emotional moments, but things like watching Randy Couture return to win the heavyweight title and Jose Aldo celebrating with his people are proof that the sport does provide some excellent moments, moments that make us love the sport.
Ronda Rousey vs. Meisha Tate: For what seemed like months, Meisha Tate slammed Ronda Rousey. She didn’t deserve a title shot. She’ll never make weight. She’s one-dimensional. What happens the first tome someone escapes the arm bar. She may not have deserved it, but she got a ton of attention for the fight, and was undefeated, although not at 135. She seemingly made weight with ease. She used that “one dimension” rather well. Tate did escape the arm bar, Rousey didn’t panic, took her down again and made her tap, and almost snap. Ronda Rousey came in with a game plan, my fiancé knew what the game plan was, the guy sweeping the floors at the bus station knew what the game plan was; but Tate couldn’t stop it. She delayed the inevitable, but she could not stop what was going to happen. I thought this was the best submission because Rousey essentially calls her shot, and delivers time in and out in the same finish and round. Only this time, she became the champion. It was this submission that officially strapped the rocket to her ass, and is why women are coming to the UFC.
Ronda Rousey: When it comes to fighter of the year, I think that we can agree that it comes down to Anderson Silva, Benson Henderson, Jon Jones and Ronda Rousey. Henderson is a good champion, but there are many that think he lost the second Edgar fight, and that takes shine off of his year. Silva destroyed Sonnen, proving the first meeting was a fluke, and as expected, took out Bonnar with ease. It was a case of Silva being Silva, which is great. Jones took out rival Rashad Evans via decision, and then after the UFC 151 debacle, defeated Vitor Befort. All three men turned in good years, but I feel that Ronda Rousey is the fighter of the year. In her 5th pro fight she defeated Miesha Tate via submission, RD1 arm bar to be accurate. Tate slammed Rousey, said she hadn’t earned the shot, and that she was a one trick pony. That one trick was pretty good because Tate couldn’t stop it. From there the media blitz was officially on because Rousey was the new face of women’s MMA. From there, she went on to defeat Sarah Kaufman via submission, RD1 arm bar to be accurate. It was said that Kaufman had more experience and a more well rounded MMA game, too much for Rousey; oddly enough, she beat Kaufman faster than she did Tate. Ronda Rousey had a great year in the cage, she became the new face of the division, and love her or hate her, her attitude got the women into the UFC, something most felt would never happen. One title, two first round arm bars, one new UFC contract, the cover of the ESPN The Magazine body issue all add up to one of the most important fighter years in recent memory.
This week’s & 1 model of the week is Brittney Palmer…
Because she’s my favorite…
In remembrance of that beautiful French bastard Stewart leaving the column, there is only one proper way to close out this edition.
~VIVA LA FRANCE~