UFC 147 and FX RecapRich Franklin and Clay Guida both came into this weekend with strategies that relied heavily on the use of footwork. Franklin used his footwork to set up clean, effective, significant strikes. Clay Guida on the other hand, just used footwork. In this writers opinion Guida's performance on Saturday was one of the worst in UFC history. For the majority of the five round main event with Gray Maynard, Guida literally did nothing. It was an interesting weekend for the UFC, who staged events from Atlantic City to Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Here are the main talking points coming out of this weekend.
We'll start with the main event that did deliver, and thank god it did because a lot of people were not happy about plunking fifty dollars or so into this card which lacked many relevant fights. At least those who shelled out their money were treated to an exciting main event between two legends who almost always tend to deliver such fights
Rich Franklin won a unanimous decision over Wanderlei Silva, with a 49-46 sweep across all scorecards. I had it 48-46 for Franklin, with him winning rounds one, three, four, and five 10-9, and Silva taking round two 10-8. I find it ridiculous that not one judge gave Silva a 10-8 second round despite being as close to finishing a fight as you can be without actually finishing a fight. Luckily the inept judging didn't mess up the result of the fight, as it was pretty clear that Franklin won the other four rounds.
I was very impressed with Rich Franklin last night, enough to actually believe that he can make another run at the UFC middleweight title like he says he wants to. Is he going to beat Anderson Silva, no. But can he beat most of the middleweight division? I think so. Other than Vitor Belfort who will always be a bad matchup for him, Franklin could compete and I think has a good chance at beating the likes of Sonnen, Munoz, and Bisping. Heck he already beat Okami, who up until a few months ago was widely considered the third best middleweight in the world. I don't see anything in Franklin's game that shows his skills have regressed enough over the years so much that he can't compete at the top of the middleweight division he used to rule. You have to remember, the only losses this man has suffered in his nine year, nineteen fight UFC career have come against Anderson Silva, Dan Henderson (I still maintain that he won that fight), Vitor Belfort, and Forrest Griffin. Despite being 37, Franklin's striking still looks as sharp as ever, and I look forward to seeing him back in the octagon. Plus, his willingness to engage at the end of the fight when a lot of guys would get on their bicycle was nothing short of awesome.
I have mixed feelings on Wanderlei's performance. He showed flashes of the old Wanderlei by clobbering Franklin in the second round and nearly getting the stoppage. But then he also spent the remaining three rounds sitting back and getting beat to the punch, instead of capitalizing on Franklin who had to be still shaken up at the start of the third. However you want to remember his performance, one thing is for sure about Silva. His chin isn't as worn as everyone (myself included) seemed to think, as he took some heavy shots from Franklin and remained conscious for 25 minutes. While he clearly looks like a fighter whose prime is long gone, last night showed that there is still a bit of fight left in Silva, and he probably earned himself at least one more fight in the UFC.
Fabricio Werdum absolutely melted a clearly overmatched Mike Russow in the first round. The uppercut that finished the fight was a thing of beauty, and while I don't think Werdum will ever compete with JDS on the feet, his striking is vastly improved. A win over a top ten opponent and Werdum would be ready for the winner of JDS-Velasquez 2.
Does Brazil have the best crowds in MMA or what? The crowd was hot for the entire night, sounding more like 50,000 than the 16,000ish that was in the arena.
Now onto the other main event. On Friday night, Clay Guida handed in one of the worst UFC performances I have ever seen. I understand that the use of footwork is crucial to some fighters in the UFC, but this was ridiculous. Where guys like Dominick Cruz use footwork to land strikes without getting hit, Guida was only concerned with not getting hit. While he only got hit 52 to times by fight metric numbers, he only landed 49 strikes over five rounds. That is just brutal. For those who are comparing Guida's performance to Carlos Condit's against Nick Diaz, Condit landed 159 strikes over five rounds, triple the output of Guida. Maynard was clearly frustrated, as were the fans who turned on Guida mid fight. I had the fight scored 48-47 Maynard, who I gave the third, fourth, and fifth rounds too. After that performance id be shocked if Guida gets another main event slot again.
Kudos to Gray Maynard for continually trying to make it a fight. That sequence in the fourth where he let Guida hit him flush an overhand right, only to shrug it off, stuff a takedown and nearly finish the fight with a choke was great stuff. Maynard definitely left with more fans than he entered with.
On the preliminary half of the card Friday night, consensus number two ranked featherweight Hatsu Hioki was upset by Ricardo Lamas, who took a unanimous decision over the former Sengoku champion. Hioki's best round was the first, but in the second and third Lamas continually threatened with guillotine chokes. I found it shocking how someone with the grappling game of Hioki could continually leave his head in position to be choked. Hioki was smart to turn down the title shot against Aldo, because he is clearly not ready for that level of competition.
Published by Jeff Zanatta - Sun, 24 Jun 2012 20:50