Tuesday, October 11, 2011

UFC 136, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

UFC 136, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

The Good

Let's start with the main event. Frankie Edgar again takes a 1st round beating from Maynard but responds with a 4th round knockout. You just can't get much better than that. Edgar who has seen some criticism for not finishing opponents put an exclamation mark on the night. Next for Edgar will probably be the winner of Clay Guida and Ben Henderson now that Zuffa announced today that Gilbert Melendez will defend his Strikeforce belt one more time against Jorge Masvidal.

Jose Aldo had a good night en route to another unanimous decision victory. Some say that Kenny Florian was his strongest test as champion, I'm not sure if I agree. However, Aldo handled Florian's clinch-and-grind well. And score a one-sided unanimous decision. Next for Aldo will probably be Chad Mendes.

Chael Sonnen threw Brain Stann around like he was his kid brother eventually choking out Stann. After the one-sided beating, he immediately called out Anderson Silva. And issued a WWEish challenge, "If I win, you leave the division, if you win, I'll leave the UFC for good." Sonnen is one of the best at hyping fights. Next for Sonnen will be Anderson Silva.

Joe Lauzon did what no one expected and finished Melvin Guillard in just 47 seconds. The phrase "to get Lauzoned" will be sure to catch on. This isn't his first unexpected victory, let's recall his UFC debut against Jens Pulver when he knocked him out in 48 seconds. Lauzon is a fun fighter and always comes to fight. He'll probably never be a top contender, but he'll always be a great gatekeeper to move to the upper echelon of the division. Next for Lauzon, I'd like to see him rematch George Sotiropoulos.

Last on the Good list for me is Nam Phan. Phan utilized his superior boxing en route to a unanimous decision. The decision he should have received the last time these 2 fought. The win is Phan's first in the UFC and hopefully he can move on. Garcia is already asking for a 3rd fight. Next for Phan should be someone like Josh Grispi or Cub Swanson.

The Bad

Demian Maia falls to the Bad category with his solid, but uninspiring performance against Jorge Santiago. I believe the UFC offered Santiago on a silver platter for Maia who should have outclassed him easily and finished him early. Instead, Santiago pushed him to a decision. Maia, wins, but it's nothing to write home about. Next for Maia

Anthony Pettis gets a Bad rating as well. In a battle of great strikers, they turned it into a 15 minute wrestling match. Maybe Pettis lands in this category because of my disappointment that he didn't strike. Maybe he should be elevated to the Good category due to the fact that he landed 6 takedowns in this fight, 2 more than in his previous 7 fights combined. But overall, it was a pretty boring fight, so Pettis gets to remain in the bad category. Next for Pettis I think should be Joe Lauzon. Lauzon has decent stand-up and great jiu jitsu, he would test him like any good gatekeeper should.

Gray Maynard gets a bad rating for his first loss of his career. In another jaw-dropper of a 1st round, Maynard failed to finish Edgar after having him hurt badly. In spectacular fashion he lost this fight by 4th round knockout. But that should never have happened if he would have finished Edgar when he had him on the brink.  Next for Maynard should be the loser of Clay Guida and Ben Henderson if he wants to get right back into the title hunt. He and Edgar are 1-1-1 now, a fourth fight seems in order, down the road.

The Ugly

I have to start with Kenny Florian. Now I'll admit, I'm a big Kenny Florian fan. But I was extremely disappointed in his performance. I think Kenny needs to seek some help for his mental issues in title fights. Kenny destroys his opponents with crisp striking, vicious elbows and good jiu jitsu. In his last 2 title fights he looks like he's trying to channel his inner Randy Couture and use clinching and dirty boxing. That is not how Kenny normally fights, why change up so drastically? The main thing in this fight with Aldo that had me yelling instructions at my TV was elbows. Kenny is known for vicious elbows. All the times he had Aldo pinned to the cage, not one elbow. Every time Aldo took Kenny down, not one elbow. I remember the fight he had with Guida, he busted Guida open with his elbows and that was one bloody fight. No one has busted Aldo up, no one has pushed him into a nasty fight. Kenny could have done that, but instead he's 0-3 in title fights and probably won't see another one. Kenny needs to find some love for the sport to just compete or he should retire if he is only after the belt. Next for Kenny should be a serious re-evaluation of his career.

Melvin Guillard gets into the ugly category by being outclassed on his feet. Lauzon dropped him with a counter punch and pounced to finish the fight via rear naked choke. Guillard was a 4-1 one favorite to win this fight, and he should have walked through an opponent with terrible stand-up in comparison to his own. Guillard who thought he should be next in line for a title shot now gets thrown back down the ladder. Next for Guillard in my opinion should be Josh Neer. Neer who has recently returned to the UFC was Melvin's first loss in the UFC. A chance to get some revenge might help Guillard get back on track.

The last bit of ugly was Brian Stann's performance. He has shown that he still can't fight a good wrestler. Stann is a stand up fighter with zero ground game. I think Stann needs some time to work on his ground game and then maybe a fight with someone like CB Dollaway to test his new skills.

That wraps up my analysis of UFC 136. The Good, The Bad and The Ugly in all their glory.

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