Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Gracie vs. Hughes

Royce needs to win this fight, not only for his family, but to bring the sport back to its truth.

I think Hughes' style will actually benefit Royce. He will take the fight to Gracie and press him. In that type of fight, it will allow Gracie to be more aggressive as well and not just settle in the guard. If one of the two make a mistake on the ground it will more than likely be Matt. I think it has a chance to end in the first round with Royce winning. If Hughes wins, it will be a lucky punch knockout (very doubtful) or a bias UFC decision. (Anyone remember Ruas/Oleg)?

Anyone honest about the UFC competition today will admit that the fighters have weaker skills than in the past. "Jack of all trades, master of none." Time limits that force aggressiveness have led to sloppy fighters and boring fights for anyone who appreciates the tactics of it all. How often have the great tacticians lost due to a knockout? Or is it a judges decision awarding victory to stupid aggression over patient dicipline? Someday it will be ugly like boxing. Too bad.

I was concerned that with the pulling in of fans with NO CLUE to the discipline of real fighting, due to the rules that force sloppy fighters in the UFC, that the climate would become like that of boxing. Some people are wondering if this fight is fixed.


Not only would Hughes or Gracie not do it, but Dana (UFC President) doesn't need to do it. If Hughes wins, the sloppy fighting is justified and the fans with nothing better invested in the sport than to want to see a good brawl will be happy and flock to the UFC even more. If Gracie wins, he again proves that discipline and technique is the best way to fight, and MMA purists who are tired of the "jack of all trades, master of none" brawlers will come back to the sport with renewed passion. It is not fixed because either result is win/win for the UFC.

Being a purist and a lover of the disciplne rather than the show of MMA, I hope Royce wins this bout and does it quickly. I have watched the UFC go from being a place where contrasting styles were tested against one another, and the grappler usually won, to a sport where thoughtless aggression is rewarded by a judges decision, even if the losser had the clear tactical advantage and would have dominated a no time limit fight. One example of this is the fights that Sam Hoger has been in of late. A new dedication to smart fighting made him so much better after TUF 1 concluded. Had the fight with Bonnar or Evans been allowed to continue with no time limit, he had the best chance to win those matches, even though in those matches, Hoger was forced to do more standup than he desires due to the time limits.



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