May 06 20130 comments
Welcome to the latest addition of The Morning After… where we review the main card of UFC on Fox 7 and discuss where to from here for the fighters.
To explain the card in one word would be simple… ‘WOW’. Any card with 8 knockouts is gonna rate very highly on my scale but the technicality and downright brutality of the finishes made it extra special. This card really had it all; historic comebacks, career defining finishes, reinforcement of title contenders and formalisation of true champions. So let’s go through the main card!
Matt Brown vs. Jordan Mein
The bookies instilled Mein as the favourite but a small bunch of us were expecting Brown to bring the pain, and that’s exactly what he did. Brown outworked, out punched and out classed Mein on rote to a brutal TKO stoppage in the 2nd round. A combination of kicks, punches, knees and elbows was more than the highly touted Mein could handle and he cracked under the sheer force of Brown’s attack. Mein did have his moments and almost stopped Brown with a perfectly timed body shot, but Brown also displayed his toughness in pulling through and retaking the ascendancy soon after.
Brown is plain and simply tough so he will trouble anyone you put in front of him, so why not put him in there with a top contender who can also throw down! Having said that I’d like to see Matt Brown vs. Carlos Condit. Jordan Mein will bounce back, he is young and super talented he just needs the right fight next time out to build his confidence.
Josh Thomson vs. Nate Diaz
Wow, wow, wow! Although I picked Thomson to win this fight never in a million years did I expect Thomson to finish Diaz but that’s exactly what he did! Twice he landed shin on chin, the second time followed by a barrage of punches and that was the end of Nate’s impressive record of never being finished in the UFC. Thomson controlled the fight from the start until the brutal conclusion in the 2nd round. Nate tried the dirty boxing and smack talking but it was ineffectual and by the end his brother was throwing the towel into the Octagon to end the punishment.
Thomson can yet be great in the UFC and the most obvious next step is another fight with Gilbert Melendez but I’m not sure if either fighter wants this! Maybe the loser of T.J Grant vs. Gray Maynard or even Ross Pearson. Nate will need some time to recover and regroup as it seems the UFC family have worked out his physical and mental style. When he’s ready maybe a Clay Guida rematch or even Diego Sanchez where the loser basically goes home.
Frank Mir vs. Daniel Cormier
Plenty of hype, intense weigh in and then epic fail! This was really a terrible fight for both guys. Unfortunately a majority of the fight was spent hugging, sorry I mean clinching against the cage which incurred a chorus of boos from the pumped up San Jose crowd. DC needed to make an impact in order to legitimately validate his position as a contender in the UFC, but he didn’t. Frank Mir needed to get the fight to the ground in order to submit DC, but he didn’t… neither guy really did anything.
So where do they go from here? Well guys generally fight for titles and for as long as Cain Velasquez if the Heavyweight Champion DC will not fight for that title so a drop to 205 makes perfect sense. Based on his performance last night I would not be giving him an immediate title shot, instead I’d match him up against a top contender just to see what he really has. For me after Dan Henderson disposes of Rashad Evans I’d like to see Hendo vs. DC with the winner getting a crack at Jon Jones.
As for Frank, he no doubt has the skill to be competitive with mid-tier fighters but his days of competing with the best are well and truly over. He needs to ask himself does he still have the passion to fight? If yes then Dana can give him a couple of warm down fights on his way to a Hall of Fame retirement; if no then he hangs them up now and tries something else.
Benson Henderson vs. Gilbert Melendez
Really good technical fight where after 5 rounds both guys laid claim to an impressive victory. In the end Henderson retained his title via Split Decision which I think was fair as he did the greater damage (particularly via leg kicks) throughout the fight. My only criticism of Melendez is he didn’t push the action during the championship rounds which ultimately cost him the fight. These two are clearly the best at 155 however an immediate rematch isn’t on the cards so what happens from here?
Well for Henderson it’s easy; he gets married then fights the winner of T.J Grant vs. Gray Maynard which either way would be a great fight. Melendez probably has a few options; he could obviously fight the loser of that fight, rematch with Josh Thomson to determine the #1 contender or I’d like to see him fight Ross Person as their styles are very similar and there would no doubt be fireworks a plenty.
So in all one of the best UFC cards I have watched in a long time and it’s good to see the fighters are back to leaving it all in the cage (for the time being anyway). Take some time to let this marinate then buckle up for Jon Jones vs. Chael Sonnen