Last night I was watching the fights from the UFC 112 Abu Dhabi, and was as many others blown away by – especially Silva vs Maia fight. But the surprise started much before the main event.
To begin with, the fight card looked stacked!! Looked awesome – and I loved the match ups. Could ‘The Answer’ find a way to defeat ‘The Prodigy’?, was Maia’s bjj enough to match the Silva’s out of this world stand up? – and then the legend match: Hughes vs Gracie. In short – the line up had all the components to excite fight fans around the world.
Evening started out entertaining with the ‘minor’ fights on the main card. UFC always has their fight night divided into two parts: The undercard where the fights are not being televised (or most likely not) – and the main card with the top fighters and upcoming stars.
The two first fights on the main card promised all good: Rafael dos Anjos vs. Terry Etim – Terry Etim and Kendall Grove vs. Mark Munoz. De Anjos vs Etim was truly an exciting match up – and Grove vs Munoz was fantastic. What a pull-off by Munoz. After being rocked and dominated, he slips (yet another submission) the armbar and make use of Groves side position, gets mount and goes berserk in a good ol’ fashion ground n’ pound. A very well deserved W!
Then the funny stuff began, starting out with the legend match. Good ol’ american wrestling against fine tuned brazilian jiu jujitsu. I expected a stand up war – that would also go on the ground (and back up – and back down). Don’t think anyone ever saw Hughes kicking that much – which turned out to be a good recipe – but a very boring and predictable match. (I actually began to wonder, if anyone had shown Hughes some of the K-1 fights with the dutch lumber jack). Especially when it got cleared that Renzo wouldn’t attempt a take down on the cowboy. Great game plan from Hughes, a plan – not to lose by Gracie, end result a pretty boring result for the spectators.
First title fight: BJ Penn vs Frank Edgar. The Prodigy vs The Answer. Another well thought tactic, this time perfectly executed by Frank ‘The Answer’ Edgar. And yet another match up which on paper seem to be rockin’ the socks of any fight fans out there. Great bjj against great wrestling. Both fighters with bombs in their hands. But here we go again with tactics that are more designed not to loose, than to win.
Yes – I do believe that Edgar worked harder, but Penn did more damage. And I was surprise to find, that the judges would give the victory on that foundation. I thought a title fight had to be won convincingly – and not just by the teeth of a hair. I found the fight to be much more equal than to give the belt to the challenger.
Which bring me to the last fight with Anderson Silva and Demian Maia. Someone DID tell Silva not to go on the floor with the bjj specialist. (Top of the pop according to UFC commentators Rogan and Goldberg – which once again made the event so entertaining. Thanks!!!) So ‘The Spider’ stayed up and demolished, crumbled and made a mockery out of Maia, who didn’t seem to bring anything to the table, besides his bjj. First in the fifth round Maia actually started to throw some swings. But then it was too late. Too little – too late.
I can sympathize with all the people hating on ‘The Spider’ for not knocking Maia out – or just doing the ’round abouts’ for the last two rounds. Hey! I’ve hated on Kyotaro for doing the exact same thing on the K-1. But it doesn’t take away the fact, that Maia was the challenger. He was the one, who should’ve gotten in there, proving himself – prove to the world, that he was better than Silva. All Silva had to do – and did – was to defend his title.
As much, as we might not like how he did it, he did defend it – and showed that Maia is classes below.
Anyway – tomorrow will be a normal blog from my own little training world.
Ps. A good fight I would recommend: Aussie vs Ali Gynuar from the Amsterdam Fight Club event. Check also Chris NGimbi – excellent dutch fighter who uses angles in such a fluent, smooth fashion, one can’t help getting excited.