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Thread: UFC on FX 7 results: Winners and losers and the Sunday Perspective

  1. Default UFC on FX 7 results: Winners and losers and the Sunday Perspective

    UFC on FX 7 results: Winners and losers - Bloody Elbow



    UFC on FX 7 is in the books and all I can say is - thanks the heavens for the main card. All four of the FX fights helped to erase the memory of the Fuel undercard, which was pretty horrid. While Nik Lentz and Ronny Markes did their jobs and took home wins on the prelims, their fights were incredibly boring and probably made a bunch of folks change the channel. But the tide turned a bit with a good grappling battle between Godofredo Castro and Milton Vieira in the featured prelims bout, and it only went uphill from there. Anyway, onto the winners and losers.


    Winners

    Vitor Belfort: The Phenom fought a smart fight against a very solid opponent. He didn't rush things, and he found something that worked and exploited it. I thought it was a bit odd that he was making his counterfighting strategy so obvious, but it really messed Bisping up. The head kick in the first was something Bisping wasn't prepared to take, and he was completely confused when the one in the second got thrown. That's why it landed, and it's why Belfort got the TKO. I've been watching Vitor scrap forever, and I've never really sat there and thought "wow, this guy's a really smart fighter." But I did that tonight. Belfort's just an awesome fighter, period. He gets a lot of credit for his physical gifts, but he deserves credit for his smarts too.

    C.B. Dollaway: Dollaway's never going to win any popularity contests, but I was impressed with the way he adapted to what he had to face in the cage with Sarafian. After getting his bell rung a couple of times, he finally got his counter timing down well and made the most of it. I didn't like that he was super surprised by Sarafian's strength, since that was obvious on TUF Brazil and anyone with tape of his fights could figure that out. That just shows a lack of good preparation. But he got the job done (barely) against a touted prospect, and cemented his place in the company for a while. That's good enough to make this list.

    Khabib Nurmagomedov: The Eagle's for real. That uppercut was far from awesome technically, but it damn sure got the job done. I thought he'd have to grapple to win against a tough Thiago Tavares, but that wasn't the case at all. He's 3-0 in the UFC now, with wins over solid fighters in Gleison Tibau and Tavares. He deserves to be fast-tracked into a fight with a top 10 guy.

    Edson Barboza: A lot of guys are never the same after their first loss, especially when that loss involves getting your ass kicked all over the cage. But Barboza showed poise against a striker last night, and finished the fight in convincing fashion. I'm still really interested in his career path, and can't wait for his next fight.

    Losers

    Michael Bisping: It's easy to crap all over Bisping because he talks a mean game and can't back it up in top contender fights. But I liked his gameplan early. He was doing a great job of touching up Belfort while staying out of danger. It had all the makings of a decision win, especially since Belfort is known to fade quickly. Unfortunately for the Brit, he got outmaneuvered by a veteran who obviously scouted him well. Will he ever get his title shot? Probably not. But he's not just going to fade away into the darkness. He's a tough matchup for any middleweight on any given night. And we're not done hearing from The Count just yet.

    Ben Rothwell: I'm sick of hearing about how Rothwell has "reinvented himself" every time he steps into the octagon, because it's always the same dude fighting the same way. Losing weight doesn't magically make you a great fighter. Big Ben has great takedown D, I'll give him that. But he had zero offense against a guy that doesn't like to get hit, and his striking defense was just plain bad. Is getting submitted by an ADCC winner the end of the world? No. But when you're given plenty of time to hit a dude that folds under pressure and you don't even try to punch him in the grill, you have no one to blame but yourself when your win bonus doesn't show up in the mail.

    Ronny Markes: There's a lot to like about Markes on paper, but his performance against Andrew Craig can be summed up in one word - boring. When Nik Lentz grapples, at least you get the impression that he's trying to be aggressive and end the fight. Markes? Not so much. He hurt his stock badly by showing approximately zero urgency or killer instinct. He just held Craig down. It was enough for the W, but he won't be gracing main cards anytime soon despite a 3-0 record in the UFC. And, like Rothwell, it's his own damn fault.

    Diego Nunes: Did he suddenly forget how to grapple after he left Nova Uniao? It was weird to watch Lentz just dominate him, because Nunes is better than that. I don't know if he was hurt or what, but it was really, really disappointing. He didn't even show up.

    Pedro Nobre: I'm with Dana White on this one - that was an award-worthy performance. Escaping the kimura was extremely impressive. But there's no way in hell that those punches hurt him that bad, regardless of where they landed. Nobre stayed down because he knew he'd get another shot in the octagon if he did, and it would probably be at his natural weight in a more competitive fight. The moaning was ridiculous too. I feel really bad for Yuri Alcantara. The UFC paid him his win bonus, but that should have been a W on his record. The whole thing was a joke.

    Wagner Prado: Nobre is undoubtedly my number one loser on the night, but Prado's not that far behind him. Wagner was dominating the fight on the feet, as he should have against a natural middleweight. On the ground though, he handed Ildemar Alcantara a submission attempt on a silver platter. And once he got stuck in it, his defense was absolutely atrocious. Seriously - if your sub D is that bad, you deserve to get tapped. And you shouldn't be surprised when you get your pink slip. Brutal.

    UFC on FX 7 Results: Sunday Perspective - Bloody Elbow



    The UFC finally held a show in Sao Paulo, a city that has been in the UFC's sight's since before their failed attempted to host Anderson Silva vs Chael Sonnen II there. All in all the card was entertaining, despite a slow stretch in the prelims and some horrific refereeing. And Vitor Belfort's head kick knockout of Michael Bisping made sure all the Brazilian fans went home happy, but the next time the UFC comes to Sao Paulo they are going to have to come with something a bit stronger than this card.

    Sao Paulo is Brazil's cultural hub, akin to New York in many ways. With fantastic food, great music, excellent sports, and no shortage of fights, there is quite a bit for residents to do on a Saturday night. The UFC's scramble to sell tickets in the week leading up to this show is a good indicator that it takes some serious star power to be the biggest show in that town.

    On to the thoughts about the fights:

    Michael Bisping's biggest flaw continues to be defensive details. He famously circled right into Dan Henderson's right hand, and in the face of Wanderlei Silva's bull rushes he went straight back, and in this fight he bobbed right into that head kick. And Vitor did an excellent job of setting that kick up by throwing a few to the body to drop Bisping's hands and really set Bisping up to lean right into that kick. At 33-years-old it seems doubtful Bisping will ever get a title shot but he has the skills and name to remain a UFC Middleweight for years to come.

    Vitor, what to do with you? There is zero interest outside of Brazil for him to fight either Anderson Silva or Jon Jones again. I expect Vitor to bounce between Light Heavyweight and Middleweight getting interesting fights. Ever wondering what Vitor vs Hector Lombard would look like? Or him fighting Chael Sonnen? Or Cung Le? We might just get to find out.

    C.B. Dollaway's game plan did not make sense. He was getting lit up on the feet for the entire first round by Daniel Sarafian and seemed to completely forget that he was a wrestler. Now that said, Dollaway hurt Sarafian bad at the end of the second round and the fight likely should have stopped there.
    But Mario Yamasaki wanted to be able to leave the arena with out fearing for his safety, so fans were treated to a third round, in which Dollway did use his wrestling to ice this fight. It was a win for Dollaway at the end of the day, but not one that builds a ton of confidence in his approach to fights.

    Sarafian actually looked very good in this fight. His clinch game is very strong and he hits like a ton of bricks. Cardio issues will plague his as long as he carries that much muscle mass, but he certainly belongs in the UFC.

    Gabriel Gonzaga got one of the biggest wins of his career over Ben Rothwell. This fight was pretty standard late 2000s heavyweight fair. Both of them gassed after about 4 minutes and the fighter with more overall skills won. Gonzaga did a good job realizing that Rothwell had zero defense for any sort of right handed strike, and was landing at will with no set up what-so-ever. Gonzaga also checked to see if he guillotine choke was in on the big screen before committing to it, a very veteran move. Gonzaga is an ideal gate keeper for the Heavyweight division, and can stick around and collect a few paychecks. Rothwell also has a role to play in the UFC as the Heavyweight division isn't getting any deeper any time soon.

    Sambo ain't easy. Khabib Nurmagomedov got a resounding win with, frankly, a pretty fugly strike. The Russian keeps winning and keeps improving, but I think at some point his defensive flaws, like circling towards Tavares' power hand a few times tonight will catch up with him. Dan Miraglotta dropped the ball in a big way for the second time last night by letting Tavares eat some nasty strikes. Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Jim Miller, I want it right now, that would be a fantastic fight.

    Milton Vieira and Godofredo "Pepey" Castro had the fight of the under-card, and had it ruined by the judges. It was close but Vieira seemed to control the first and third round rather clearly, but the judges disagreed. Pepey did show some nice jiu jitsu skills, getting an excellent kimura sweep and showing strong back control, and Vieira showed off his slick grappling as well. Pepey also doesn't seem to mind playing the villain as he mocking waved the crowd louder as they booed the decision.

    Ronny Markes, until further notice, is no longer a quality Middleweight prospect. He has showed zero growth in his game, Markes just kept driving Andrew Craig into the fence and looking for takedowns. This seemed the ideal fight for Markes to work his stand up as Craig is wild on the feet, but he opted for fairly passive grappling. A Pyrrhic Victory of the highest order, Markes will have to impress quite a bit to get back the title of prospect.

    I dug the Nik Lentz fight. Lentz has taken a big step forward as a fighter in that he has really opened himself up to unleashing ground-and-pound from everywhere. His attack was diverse and relentless. One thing for me personally that separates upper-tier fighters is their ability to continually attack with strikes during grappling, be it standing clinch work or on the ground. That kind of never ending attack is what causes fighters to look so helpless against the likes of a Georges St. Pierre or Chael Sonnen on the ground, and Nik Lentz had that last night. He also used some nifty rides against the cage to keep Nunes down and throw some punches under the arm pit.

    Edson Barboza looked very sharp after moving out to NYC to train at Renzo's gym. His boxing looked excellent and his hands really made the difference against Lucas Martins. One point of interest is how active Martins has been recently, 7 pro fights in the last three months. Muay Thai guys tend to be aggressive in getting fights, but that is plain unsafe and calls into question if he really should have been fighting.

    Iuri Alcantara didn't deserve to that win taken from him. I'm all for refs being more active in stopping fouls, but fouls need to actually occur for it be a good thing. I don't care if you are a follower of the "Mohawk theory" or the "headphones theory" of strikes to the back of the head, that elbow was legal. There were a few little punches that were behind the ear, but nothing out the ordinary for an MMA fight. I don't think Pedro Nobre was acting too much, I think he really was about that hurt, it was just a legal blow that did the damage.

    Wagner Prado isn't at a UFC level. His grappling just isn't there, even if he went down to Middleweight you need a certain level of grappling to survive in the UFC. Striking ability is great and is often the x-factor when elite fighters meet, but there is a base line of grappling ability required to reach the upper levels of this sport and if a fighter doesn't have that, it will be exposed eventually. Getting tapped by Phil Davis is excusable, but looking totally lost in a kneebar by Ildemar Alcantara is a problem.
    There are many paths to freedom, not all are peaceful



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    i wanna see vitor versus shogun in 2013in brazil just puttin that out there, since vitor seems to want a fight at 205 to get back to jon jones

    bisping can fight belcher i kinda dont like that rockhold tweeted he was healthy right after the fight make him rematch jacare while weidman or lombard step up to face anderson

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