Call me Russ L

That was the weekend that was (in MMA)

Posted in Combat Sports by Russ L on 31 December, 2006

(If you don’t want spoilers from this weekend’s big-time MMA events then don’t read this. You’ve had fair warning).

New Year’s Eve weekend is typically a big time for fightsports, with both Pride and K-1 running spectaculars, but this year the addition of cards from the UFC and IFl made it even more of a Mixed Martial Arts festival than usual.

It’s a shame everyone’s fave Carlos Newton didn’t get a win in the IFL, but that’s the only thing I personally found of note from that one. The K-1 card attracted my attention principally due to how poor the line-up seemed, but I’m glad to see that loveable ol’ Paulo Cesar Silva got a win (bless ‘im). Akebono and Genki Sudo retired from MMA after their bouts; Sakuraba didn’t. Hopefully his friends and family stage an intervention and/or he gets sectioned soon, ‘cos this surely can’t go on.

Pride, conversely, had a fantastic card, and from everything I’ve read very little of it disappointed. So far, by the power of the internet, I’ve seen three of the fights. Joachim Hansen’s hair and beard make him look like a 381,799% harder version of Mitchell or Webb (I don’t know which is which. The human-looking one) of That Mitchell & Webb Look. In some kind of Nordic reverse-Sampson affair, though, Shinya Aoki had very little difficulty finishing him off very quickly. Fun while it lasted, but I didn’t expect that at all. A gogoplata, too! Superb. Mark Hunt vs Fedor Emilianenko, meanwhile, must have left a lot of fighters dismayed. Even on an obvious off-day Fedor looks a good five steps ahead of everyone else. Valiant display from Hunto, however. He seems to have finally found the time in his busy schedule for a bit of submission training.

Anyone who knows me, though, will know which one I was most excited about. James Thompson accepting a fight with Hidehiko Yoshida on short notice filled me with dread, but the boy done good. A great, great fight, with Jimmy-Mac hanging on in there through all of Yoshi’s sub attempts and eventually making his way out of them. He even had a happy little stab at a knee-bar himself at one point. A really scary moment came when Yoshida got the better of the stand-up and sent James reeling in the corner, but the cumulative damage of punch and knee after punch and knee eventually took its toll on the judoka. That last re-start should not have happened, and shame on the ref since Yoshi was half-unconscious already. I hope he’s alright now, but I can’t pretend that’s the main thing on my mind – Bristol Jimmy is back to winning ways with a huge victory. It’s Eric Esch for him next, at Cage Rage. Work on that kneebar, guvnor.

Another one of my faves fought on the UFC card, which you can see most of here (it’s televised on Bravo over here tomorrow night, but there you are if you’d rather). In the only one from it that I’ve watched so far, Michael Bisping took his biggest victory yet over Eric ‘Red’ Schafer. There’s been a lot of irritating stuff said about Mikey B on the internet, from both those for and against him. Your usual Sherdog-style dumbasses are keen to suggest he should be put in against the cream of the UFC light-heavyweight division right now, and in response to this others who should know better have (primarily out of pure reaction, I’m sure) hugely underated him. I’m definitely a fan (and was so a good while before he appeared on ‘The Ultimate Fighter,’ thank you very much), and I’m chuffed with the level he showed himself to be at currently. Schafer seemed to be able to take him down at will, and so obviously his wrestling/takedown defence is still the principle point he needs to address (especially in the American bigleagues), but his striking (derided as sloppy by some) continues to do the business and his submission defence worked a treat (there are those who have pointed out that Schafer very nearly caught him a few times. So, he was able to escape from Schafer’s closest catches… and that’s a bad thing?). He’s not at the top of the UFC yet and absolutely nowhere near, but I really do shake my head at those who would claim he isn’t proving himself as much as I would at those who think he should be Chack’s next challenger.

~ Russ L, thinking hard about would be a good next opponent for Bisping.

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7 Responses

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  1. throughsilver said, on 2 January, 2007 at 12:10 am

    ‘Joachim Hansen’s hair and beard make him look like a 381,799% harder version of Mitchell or Webb (I don’t know which is which. The human-looking one) of That Mitchell & Webb Look. In some kind of Nordic reverse-Hercules affair, though, Shinya Aoki had very little difficulty finishing him off very quickly.’

    Maybe I’m missing something, but do you not mean Sampson?

    Also, I don’t think Fyodor was on too much of an off night. Hunt is ridiculously strong, a striker you need to be careful of, and someone has been teaching him sweeps and subs. Scary.

  2. Russ L said, on 2 January, 2007 at 6:30 am

    I do, yes. I will edit (edit, edit, edit… I’ve been listening to Regina Spektor too much). My absent-mindedness knows no bounds of late.

    Fedor looked listless. Of this I am sure. Perhaps he’s been feeling absent-minded too.

  3. Taekwon do Forms said, on 6 January, 2007 at 6:38 pm

    I agree with throghsilver, Hunt is becoming stronger and stronger every time…

  4. Russ L said, on 6 January, 2007 at 10:18 pm

    I’m not about to deny that, not for a moment. I also have a liking for Hunt, in some funny sort of way. Nonetheless, I still don’t think Fedor looked his usual calm-but-relentless self.

  5. martialarm said, on 7 January, 2007 at 2:57 pm

    the UFC and IFl made it even more of a Mixed Martial Arts festival than usual.

    Thats for sure..

    Michael Bisping was awsome..

  6. Andrew Gladstone said, on 3 June, 2008 at 11:26 pm

    The UFC had a very stellar event but Pride’s was just better from top to bottom. Still who didn’t enjoy seeing Tito Ortiz get his ass whooped?

  7. Russ L said, on 4 June, 2008 at 5:47 am

    Blimey, there’s a post from the past.

    In retrospect, by far the best thing about the weekend was the poster for the UFC card. They both look they’ve just finished voicing a rap that included the lyrics “Well my name’s Chuck Liddell and I’m here to say…”


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