Pardon my lack of journalistic unbias…but…NOOOOO! UFC 121 most definitely did not go the way I’d anticipated as it concerns the main event. Cain Velasquez is our new UFC Heavyweight Champion, and Jake Shields is apparently a future number one contender for the Welterweight title.
Brock Lesnar was looking to become the first man to ever successfully defend the Heavyweight Title three consecutive times within the UFC. Unfortunately the weather forecast for Brocktober changed in a hurry, as he was stopped by the undefeated Cain Velasquez in the first round on Saturday Night.
Brock pushed the pace early and rushed Velasquez and appeared to be in control. A flying knee, several punches, and a takedown had Lesnar in a very favorable position early. Velasquez, showing resiliency came back and simply dominated Brock on his feet and also managed to take the 270 pound champion. With just under a minute left in the first round, Herb Dean had seen enough and called the fight, declaring a new, and undefeated UFC Heavyweight Champion.
While I wasn’t impressed with the boring nature of Cain’s post fight interviews, which nearly put me to sleep, his performance cannot be denied. Next on the list of contenders is Junior Dos Santos, in a matchup that has been clamored for over a year. My sources tell me there is a strong possibility that Dos Santos/Velasquez may actually take place on the Super Bowl Sunday card that should also feature Jon Jones vs. Ryan Bader and Anderson Silva vs. Vitor Belfort. That card could wind up being one of the best in MMA history.
So where does Lesnar go from here? Who knows. A rematch with Shane Carwin is unlikely as Carwin is booked to face Roy Nelson in a few months. A possible rubber match with Frank Mir? I doubt the UFC would go that route again, as Frank Mir was in control for about five seconds of the combined two fights. I’m anticipating perhaps a returning Todd Duffee, if Duffee gets his act straightened out. It’s no secret that Dana White is no fan of Duffee’s ego and wants it to be put in check, other options include possibly Cheick Kongo or Brendan Schaub. After this I’d expect Lesnar to return to the title picture.
Those short cited individuals whom think Lesnar will give up the sport just based on the title loss, think again. This is a huge money maker for Brock, and is truly what he aspires to do. As long as he opts to chose this as his career, the money will keep rolling in, as he averages over 1 million PPV buys per fight, an unheard of figure in comparison to pro wrestling.
Jake Shields squeaked out a controversial split decision victory. Coupled with the fact that I don’t like Shields, because he’s the only fighter I’ve ever seen with 15 consecutive wins that STILL makes excuses (yes, even when he wins), Jake Shields style of late has been terrible. Shields was formerly a fighter that would take the opponent down and finish the fight. He obviously underestimated the heart of Martin Kampmann, who clearly worked diligently on his takedown defense, and controlled a great portion of the fight. I had Kampmann winning the bout based on Aggressiveness, octagon control and obviously damage inflicted.
Jake Shields abused a flawed judging system and managed to walk away with a victory. It seems as if fighters have been neutered within the confines of the octagon. Instead of battling for a finish, you must instead fight for the takedown or to avoid the takedown, in fear of being lied on for fifteen minutes. As critical as I am over Chael Sonnen, he is a perfect example of how wrestling should be utilized in a mixed martial arts fight. After landing the takedown, work to finish the fight!
It’s looking like it’s time to say good riddance to UFC mainstays Tito Ortiz and Gabriel Gonzaga, after both suffered losses Saturday night.
Tito Ortiz is simply irrelevant now within the MMA game. While he came into the fight in the best condition I’ve seen him in years, Matt Hamill’s wrestling completely overpowered the Huntington Beach Bad Boy. Hamill went back to the Ortiz playbook of the man’s prime, and ground and pounded his way to an 11-2 record. Hamill should get a nice step up in competition after topping Keith Jardine and Tito Ortiz this year. Hamill is hoping for, and likely will receive a top 10 opponent for his next battle.
Gabriel Gonzaga is ridiculous. Seriously. Ever since knocking out Mirko Crocop, Gonzaga has convinced himself he is some sort of stand up, kickboxing, fist of fury god. This is not the case, as the youngster Brendan Schaub pounded his face in for the duration of three entire rounds. Gonzaga is a very well respected black belt in brazilian jiu jitsu, and in the one bout since the Cro Cop fight that he used it, he defeated Justin McCully in under two minutes. In other bouts, He has gone 2-6 since, being finished by KO or TKO five times. Gonzaga is very likely to be released, unless he is fed to Lesnar, or given a rematch with Crocop as a retirement bout for the Croatian star.
Gonzaga is going down the same path as Jorge Gurgel, another one of the greats in the jiu jitsu department, whom put excitement over career and engage in stand up wars instead of utilizing their incredible strength on the ground.
Schaub, on the other hand, looked spectacular, and continues to improve his already impressive boxing skills. Smooth combinations, excellent footwork, and a killer instinct could take him very far, as he attempts to pry his way into the upper echelon in the heavyweight division. The Brendan Schaub that fought at UFC 121, and the man who fought Roy Nelson just under a year ago are light years apart. I’d like to see a re-match there, as I feel the result would be drastically different the second time around.
So my overall thoughts are this. Jake Shields is still Jake Shields, and I don’t like him. Tito Ortiz is done. Gabe Gonzaga needs to start tapping people out, and people should really stop underestimating Matt Hamill.
I’d also like to say that the Lesnar loss should be appealed…..and I’ll tell you why…
The Undertaker was in the crowd. It’s no secret the powers in which The Undertaker possesses, and I believe he was still a little upset over….. Well…..
See? There’s a perfectly reasonable explanation for the loss…Lesnar couldn’t worry about two men at once. It’s simply unfair.
That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
That’s all for this weeks edition…
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