Tuesday, May 30, 2006

UFC 60

What a non-event that main event turned out to be!

What can I say, the BJJ master turned out to make rookie BJJ mistakes, and look the most pathetic out of all who represented BJJ or submission wrestling in UFC 60. A couple things were readily apparent.
1. Royce Gracie did not train against wrestlers. One of the biggest things about grappling wrestlers is their ability to gain the side mount. The way he extended his arms and allowed one to be trapped in Hughes legs, and the other to be extended in an arm bar, showed he did not expect to be in that position. His head was not prepared for the defense.
2. Royce lost his composure when his positioning was quickly dominated. How does a Jiu Jitsu master commit the cardinal sin of giving up his back unless all heart had failed him? Giving up your back, only to play possum in that situation, showed that Royce's heart was defeated. His legendary status will label him a "warrior," but his performance showed anything but.

Many modern UFC fans will hate the Sanchez vs. Alessio fight. The only complaint I had about that fight was Sanchez' inability to use any other takedown technique. Shooting in for a wrestlers one leg takedown was not working, and though willing to exchange a few blows, he did not use those opportunities to shoot in high. Alessio did well in the defense, and it was nice to see a striker hold his own and stay on his feet, but clearly he was all to happy with "surviving" and not fighting. He knew if he pushed the fight, Sanchez would control the position. In boxing, the Golden Boy started losing decisions to other good fighters that he would simply just avoid. Likewise in the UFC, the ignorant fans who booed Sanchez in favor of Alessio should have been pissed at Alessio's performance and known the fight belonged to Sanchez. Avoiding good fighters is not to be rewarded by a judges decision. I liked the fight because it was a chess match. How could Sanchez get passed the de fense of Alessio to finaly press the fight? The question was answered and the judges scored correctly.

The best fight of the night, being a Jiu Jitsu enthusiast, was Dean Lister. In classic BJJ fashion, Dean fought his way into an opportunity to take his apponent down, work his guard, and apply a textbook triangle, which is one of the most gratifying submissions to work against an opponent. Chuck Liddell needs to stand by.

I just wanted to point out the biggest fights of the night. I didn't mention Brandon Vera, but he had a good showing as well and I think he will go a long way. I am not sure if he was a Marine or Sailor, but that mixed with fighting out of San Diego means I will keep my tabs on him.

Overall, the Hughes vs. Gracie fight was the worst of the night, fans of BJJ left more disappointed and angry at Royce than anything, but encouraged by seeing Lister. The UFC is weeding out the competition. The victories were submission based, the fighters in this UFC were more disciplined than others I have seen lately. Fighters like Chuck Liddell and Forest Griffen (brawlers) will not last long as contenders in the UFC if Lister and Vera have anything to say about it. Though the growing pains hurt, the future looks a little bit brighter.



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