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MMA Week-in-Review (Including UFC 132)

by on July 4, 2011

By Daniel Galvan

UFC is starting to get on a roll again after having two awesome shows on back to back weeks. The bantamweight division has finally truly arrived in the UFC as the first UFC Bantamweight Championship match took place in the main event of a UFC PPV. It was a great five-round main event that capped off a night of flash knockouts, submissions, upsets, and great moments that will remembered for quite some time.

If you didn’t see it, Dominick Cruz defeated Urijah Faber in a back-and-forth close Unanimous Decision with four rounds that could arguably have gone either way depending on whether you scored power strikes (Faber) or number of strikes landed (Cruz). Personally, I had it 48-47 Cruz, giving Faber Round 1 and 4. Cruz was just too fast and unique for Faber. It was hard for Urijah to figure out Dominick in the early rounds. One major thing was that Dominick seemed to gas and slow down in the latter rounds which could be his Achilles heel in future title fights. I don’t know if it was because he took powerful shots or that he wrestled with Urijah through-out the fight, but I had never seen Cruz gassed in a fight quite like this. Nonetheless he was able to push his body to the limit in the fifth and win that round which was the most decisive round of the entire five-period bout. This was truly a great way to start the bantamweight division in the UFC, and make the little guys respectable main-eventers. While Faber winning would have been the best thing for the bantamweight division as he is a huge star, Dominick Cruz is continuing to become more popular and this fight could have established himself as a fighter that the casual audience would like to see fight in the future.


Before I get into whom Cruz should defend his title against next, I would like to rant a little bit about how the Bantamweights were handled. Here’s a question, in this day and age in the UFC when has a top 3 or 4 fighter who could very well be the next title challenger be on the facebook prelims? Not even Spike TV much less the PPV, but the possible title competitor is on the facebook prelims, where at most 30,000 people witness it, and the majority of those people already are aware of who Brian Bowles/Takeya Mizugaki are. I mean they are just shooting themselves in the foot, when they have the chance to put a guy on a platform that will introduce him to the audience. Granted Bowles fight with Mizugaki was unbelievably lackluster, but they didn’t know how that fight would play out before hand. It is inexcusable as a booker to think that, that is beneficial to your division. When the UFC is trying to establish the lighter weight divisions as serious divisions, then why the hell are they putting the No. 1 Contenders on the Facebook Prelims? That makes no sense, that’s like WWE having a No. 1 Contenders match for the WWE Title as a dark match. The other thing is they had to time to show it. I grant you that the Donny Walker/Jeff Hougland fight was better, but neither of those fighters have a glimmer of a chance of being a Bantamweight contender much less a gate-keeper unless they improve exponentially. They are doing themselves a disservice by not even introducing the name of Brian Bowles to the common audience.


So with that being said, I believe that the most logical choice for Dominick Cruz is Urijah Faber in the trilogy. First of all that fight is the biggest money fight UFC could do, and you can build off the rubber match story. The fight was close enough that a re-match would be acceptable and it is almost warranted after how Faber challenged Cruz like no other fighter has challenged Dominick before. Now as far as Brian Bowles and Demetrious Johnson go, my proposition is a labeled No. 1 Contenders fight between the two of them on the same show as the Faber/Cruz match on the PPV card. I think both of those fights are great fights, and the winners can face each other in a championship match.


While it wasn’t the co-main event, Tito Ortiz’s completely out-of-left field win over Ryan Bader was probably the biggest moment of the show, and a moment that will live in all of the fans that truly grasp the story of Ortiz’s struggles after his 2006 victory over Ken Shamrock. While many people will claim after the fight has taken place that Ortiz had a viable chance of claiming victory over his opponent, I did not hear one prediction pre-fight of Ortiz taking the victory. It was a short right uppercut that sent Bader onto the canvas, and eventually into the guillotine choke of the Huntington Beach Bad Boy. Everything was great from this fight, from the entrance to the finish to grave-digger post fight. Love him or loathe him, fans that have watched the Tito Ortiz story can only help them from smiling as that was truly one of those feel good moments of the sport that once again affirm the thought that anything can happen when two men strap on 8 Oz. Gloves.



The loss to Ortiz was a devastating one for Bader as he has to have a lot of pressure going into his next UFC fight after his second consecutive UFC loss to a fighter that was a +450 favorite. The fight that I think would make the most sense would be against Jason Brilz. Both guys are coming off two hard losses, and have shown glimpses of greatness in their UFC careers. The story of a fighter really falling after being close to a championship shot was present more than once during this show, but I’ll talk about a certain Aussie’s KO loss in a bit.


Ortiz has once again made himself an interesting light-heavyweight and has a couple of possibilities as far as his next fight goes. He claims that he is injury-free, but I would take that with less than a grain of salt. Ortiz saying he is injury-free is basically Brett Favre saying he is going to retire (except for Favre retired this year… I think…). The fight that I have heard a lot is a fight between him and Brandon Vera since Vera is supposed to return to the UFC after Thiago Silva tested positive. I’m really not interested in a fight with Vera as Brandon has seemed to have run his course in the UFC. I’d like to see the Huntington Beach Bad Boy face the winner of Rich Franklin and Lil Nog at the UFC 133 PPV next month which actually takes place on my birthday, (WOOHOO for me). A fight between Ortiz and Franklin would pit two name fighters that could be a fantastic co-main event for casual fans, and even a solid Spike TV main event.


Now on to the co-main event, oh how the mighty have fallen. Basically if you missed the Wanderlei Silva/Chris Leben fight then well here’s what happened…. Chris Leben uppercutted Silva repeatedly until Silva was knocked out so silly that he was grappling with the referee. There you go, Silva showed that it may be time for him to hang up the boots and call it a day. Leben looked like a man on the mission, and basically revived himself as a possibly middleweight contender for about the five-hundred and fifth time. While I’d like to see Leben submit at least another impressive performance before jumping onto the idea that Chris is a premier middleweight. Wanderlei just doesn’t have it anymore, and I would suspect the reason for that being his brawls earlier in his career and camp. Leben looked like a killer, and a fight that I think would simply be unbelievably awesome would be a Belfort fight, if Vitor is able to get through Akiyama at the Rio card.


Carlos Condit also solidified himself as the welterweight to get the championship shot after the Nick Diaz/GSP fight takes place after he had an awesome flying knee KO over Dong Hyun Kim. Not only was Carlos the first blemish on the record of Stun Gun, but he did it impressively in a fight that would make anyone who saw the fight look forward to the next MMA bout that was associated with The Natural Born Killer. Condit showcased how dangerous he is, and he also showcased something that could be interesting if he were to fight George St. Pierre. While it is almost a given that GSP will take-down Condit if the fight takes place, GSP has never fought a fighter that is as aggressive off his back as Condit is. Not even Jake Shields, who works much better from the top position. Carlos showed how fast he can put himself in a favorable position on the ground when he swept Kim in almost a matter of seconds after he was taken down. Condit poses a decent threat to GSP as he is dangerous in every second of every round. Condit has said that he would like to stay active, and he won’t do that if he waits for the GSP/Diaz fight to take place before fighting again. While I would love to see Condit face Paul Daley, I am about 99 percent sure about that fight not taking place. As far as UFC fighters go, I think if you want to give him a fighter that isn’t an elite fighter, but will promise an exciting fight, then I would give Condit Matt Brown. If someone would want to do a more competitive fight, then I think the most reasonable fight would be a fight with Charlie Brenneman.


The final fight on the PPV card was a bit controversial as Dennis Siver out-pointed Matt Wiman in a 29-28 decision victory. The best way to put it is, Wiman unquestionably won the fight, but Siver won two out of the three rounds. I had it 30-27 for Wiman as I felt that he was the aggressor and was kept it even when standing with Siver. I will say that round one and three were very close, and could have been scored either way, so I honestly don’t have too much of a problem with the decision. The second round was clearly Wiman’s, and was almost a 10-8 on my score-card. Aside from the controversy of the decision, this fight was an exhilarating back-and-forth fight that provided some great action. Controversial or not Siver continues to win, and another big win could put him right in the mix of things.


The two first-round knock-outs on the Spike TV card set the pace for this show. Melvin Guillard exhibited that speed kills when he just out-classed Roller in the striking department and over-whelmed with punches, getting the KO in the first. Melvin continues his roll of impressive wins and at 28 looks to finally be on all cylinders now that he is training with Greg Jackson. The fight that has been tossed around is Melvin Guillard vs Dennis Siver which supposedly will take place during the Houston show which would be a catapult for either guy to be put in the lightweight title picture. Rafael Dos Anjos scored his first career KO win, when he clocked George Sotiropoulos within the first minute of the first round. Dos Anjos looked impressive, and I am really looking forward to his next fight. I really don’t know where George goes from here as he was almost on the verge of getting a title shot, but has now suffered two big losses and he isn’t getting any younger.


The face-book prelims weren’t anything to write home about, but there were some diamonds in the rough within the four-fights that were shown via face-book. The most action-packed fight was Anthony Njokuani vs Andre Winner. A fight that delivered as promised, Njokuani simply out-struck the Brit, nearly finishing him in the first. Brian Bowles also defeated Takeya Mizugaki in what was a lack-luster fight. At first it seemed as though Bowles broke his hand in the first, but it was later clarified that no such injury took place. Nonetheless Bowles was just able to out-strike and out-wrestle Mizugaki for three rounds and score himself a decision victory. The other lack-luster fight was Aaron Simpson clenching his way to a decision win over Brad Tavares. It really did nothing for me, and may have hurt Simpson more than help him. The bantamweight opener that featured the Mr. Irrelevants of the card between Jeff Hougland and Donny Walker was actually a solid fight. Hougland took the first two rounds, but Walker looked to finish in the third, making it exciting. Hougland showcased impressive BJJ skills, and the ability to transition between different sub-missions.


Before leaving I’d like to talk about a few stories that occurred during this week that I felt were interesting. First off, Nate Marquardt released the information via interview that he was suspended by the Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission and fire by the UFC because his testosterone levels were above the permitted levels due to him having testosterone-replacement therapy. Look, I don’t care if he was drinking apple juice and his testosterone levels were above average, if it is above average then that is performance enhancing. And I am not just talking about during fight, if it is above average at any point while he is an active MMA fighter then he should be suspended. Why you ask? Because even though he is not fighting with higher testosterone levels, he is still training with higher levels which would lead to him benefiting from training that was advanced because he had above average levels. That is basically the definition of definitely performance enhancing. It also sends the wrong message that it is fine to cheat as long as you’re aren’t cheating during fight week. So with that being said whether it was stupidity or mal intent, Marquardt screwed up and deservedly got fired by the UFC after striking out from three pitches.


UFC announced that they will go to Japan, and that is something that I am looking forward to. I can only hope that they have a PRIDE theme, and bring back the crazy screaming lady. Brett Rogers was also released from Strike-force after he was arrested for an altercation with his significant other. I will say that crime or not Rogers was definitely on his way out of Strike-force after his loss to Josh Barnett. Pro Elite also announced a return which will take place in Hawaii in August. Usually competition in MMA is a good thing, and hopefully Elite has learned from its mistakes and provide a product that has longevity. Chael Sonnen’s suspension has finally ended, and hopefully he can return to the UFC after his long lay-off.


Nonetheless it was a solid week with a fantastic UFC show that will be remembered for quite a while. We also got light of the Marquardt situation, and a lot of returns and debuts were announced. With that being said, I can only hope for another great week in MMA.


By Daniel Galvan
Follow me @DanielGal
Send me an E-mail at


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