Archive for December, 2010

The Ultimate Fighter Season 12 TUF12 – Finale – Ep. 12

Monday, December 6th, 2010

The Ultimate Fighter Season 12 TUF12 – Finale – Episode 12 aired last night. The show had a little something for everyone – grappling, striking, take downs and questionable decisions by the judges. 

One of our favourites, Nam Phan, started out the show with his bout against Leonard Garcia, with both fighters as featherweights. Garcia came in as a very experienced fighter, one of whose fights qualified for fight of the year.

Round one began with the men trading kicks and then Phan hurting Garcia with a strike to the jaw. Garcia tried a superman punch and a spinning back fist, neither of which worked. His giant looping strikes were not very effective, but his straight jabs connected. Phan was a far more technical striker than Garcia, with more shots hitting their target.

Round two had Garcia more effective with strikes and kicks and achieving a double leg take down. Phan hurt Garcia, though, and followed up with multiple strikes causing Garcia to go down. Phan then applied ground and pound, got on Garcia’s back and had both hooks in. The remainder of the round continued on the ground, with Phan controlling the situation.

Round three began with Garcia coming in quickly for multiple strikes and kicks. Phan’s face was bleeding from what looked like many scratches. Garcia had another double leg take down. He was exhausted after this onslaught and moved about the octagon with arms down at his sides, still striking on occasion, but with limited energy. Phan’s strikes were effective.

Unanimous decision in Garcia’s favour. The audience booed at great length: Joe Rogan complained about the judging for some minutes and even Garcia said that he thought he had lost and would fight Phan again.

Johny Fredericks fought against Rick Story next. Round one had Story in total devastating control while standing. The second round was more even with the men trading take downs and trying chokes.

In round three, Fredericks had a take down and both men fought for control.

Unanimous decision in Story’s favour.

Cody McKenzie fought against Aaron Wilkinson in the next fight. Both men were in The Ultimate Fighter Season 12. McKenzie’s favourite (only?) technique is the guillotine and he has won all his matches with it. It didn’t matter how much his opponents trained to avoid it, they invariably stuck their necks in the crook of his arm and were goners. Prior to this fight, he had had only lost one and that was in the quarterfinals of TUF12.

Wilkinson is a strong fighter, but McKenzie rushed him right away and he was taken down, with McKenzie trying for the guillotine. Even when Wilkinson managed to stand up, McKenzie still had the makings of the guillotine there. Wilkinson dropped to the floor and kept getting out and then going back into the choke. The match ended with McKenzie on his back holding Wilkinson, his forearm across Wilkinson’s face, not his neck. Tap out. When we saw Wilkinson immediately after McKenzie let go, he looked as though his jaw were dislocated. Frightening.

In the fight between Demian Maia and Kendall Grove, the much shorter Maia displayed his take down techniques multiple times in rounds one and two. When on the ground, in the superiour positions, Maia scored with ground and pound. He attempted chokes, but Grove defended. Unanimous decision in Maia’s favour.

Stephan Bonnar then battled Igor Pokrajac in the co-main event. Bonnar achieved a take down in round one and attempted a guillotine afterward. In round two, Bonnar threw Pokrajac with a tight harai goshi. On the ground, Pokrajac kneed Bonnar’s head from the bottom and had a point deducted. 

In round three, on the ground again, with Bonnar in control, Pokrajac got loose and tried a juji on Bonnar. Bonnar had a point deducted for punches to the back of the head.

Unanimous decision – Bonnar. 

The finale of The Ultimate Fighter came next, between Jonathan Brookins and Michael Johnson. The bout began with Brookins trying a single leg take down which Johnson stuffed. Johnson connected with his strikes and Brookins was tagged and dropped. Johnson attempted a guillotine and then struck Brookins’s jaw two more times. The guy was dazed and completely unstable on his feet. I was surprised that he managed to survive the round. Brookins had his hands too low, head too high and hair too long (he kept brushing it out of his face even though he had it tied up.)

Round two had Brookins taking Johnson down and connecting several times when in half guard. He trapped one of Johnson’s arms under his leg and used his forearm to strike Johnson. Johnson got up, but Brookins had one of Johnson’s legs. Johnson struck Brookins with elbows to the face, but Brookins retaliated with a huge take down.

Round three began with shots to Brookins’s jaw from Johnson. Brookins then took Johnson down with a single leg. On the ground, Brookins began in full mount, but Johnson rolled out. Standing again, Brookins took Johnson down again, but in a dangerous move, throwing himself to the ground, landing on his back and immediately turning over and getting into Johnson’s half guard. Ground and pound followed.

Unanimous decision in Brookins’s favour.

Both these guys have real skills, but Johnson needs to work seriously on his ground game. He was completely dominated. Brookins, on the other hand, needs to work on stand up: he stands straight up; his hands are far too low and his jaw was the perfect target. He can take a punch, though.

The Ultimate Fighter Season 12 TUF12 Finale had boxing and submission attempts, so whoever watched, had something to relate to. There were FAR too many commercials for games; there are always far too many commercials for the free shows, but perhaps that just annoys me. Brookins is a truly nice guy and fought and won against another nice guy (how unusual in the UFC!)

ayjay

December 6, 2010

The Ultimate Fighter Season 12 TUF12 – Ep. 11

Saturday, December 4th, 2010

The Ultimate Fighter Season 12 TUF12 Episode 11 contained the two semi-final matches, the first being between Kyle Watson and Jonathan Brookins, and the second between Michael Johnson and the sole Koscheck team member, Nam Phan

The fight between Brookins, a wrestler, and Watson, a jiu jitsu guy and one of Matt Hughes‘s coaches, was a fight between friends and teammates. Brookins’s game plan was just to be quicker. St-Pierre said he didn’t know who would win as their skill sets were so different.

In a filler scene before the fight, Koscheck‘s team complained about their lack of training and jealousy of GSP’s team having had great guest coaches and GSP’s main coach, John Danaher.

Round 1 of the first fight began with Watson controlling the stand up until a take down by Brookins. Getting up quickly, Watson was again taken down, with Brookins in his butterfly guard. Brookins calmly held Watson’s arm, applied ground and pound while in full guard and tried to get behind Watson for a rear naked choke. Watson managed to turn over to avoid it.

Round 2 began with a take down by Brookins again. As in the first round, when on the ground, Brookins was in control.

Round 3 Brookins achieved a double leg take down and was in control on the ground. When standing, Watson was effective. Time ran out when on the ground after the second take down of the round.

Watson was defensive on the ground, with only one strike that I noticed. Very little can be accomplished on one’s back. We’ve seen few fighters manage to strike from there. The superiour position is on the top. Watson turned over once, but when he was taken down, mainly was on his back, trying to get his arms free. The fight got quite boring because of Watson’s defensiveness.

Unanimous decision in Brookins’s favour. 

Afterward Watson said he planned on using all GSP and Danaher had taught him. Brookins said that he wanted to be great, but not lose himself along the way. He is the most introspective person we have seen on The Ultimate Fighter.

The second fight, between Nam Phan and Michael Johnson, promised to be interesting: Phan is a very strong, competent striker and Johnson is very athletic. Even GSP stated that on paper Phan was better, but he felt that Johnson’s athleticism would allow for him to be explosive. He also thought Johnson had the best transition from stand up to the ground.

In the training, unbelievably, Phan actually trained by himself one day: he didn’t ask his teammates to train with him since they had been up late the previous night (drinking and mocking him) and the coaches were elsewhere. Later when the coaches and team were together, Koscheck stated that they should be supporting Phan, but only after mocking Phan once himself.

Phan said that Johnson had holes in his game and that he himself had more boxing experience, whereas Johnson was more of a brawler.

White thought Phan had the edge and was more well-rounded.

Round one began with Phan kicking and then being taken down by Johnson. Johnson let Phan up (this is a common practice by him, sort of wearing the opponent down) and then took him down again. Phan retaliated with kicks and strikes, but was chased around the octagon by Johnson. A knee by Johnson opened up a cut below Phan’s eye and a small one to the side of the eyebrow.

Round two began the same way, with Johnson chasing Phan until Phan gave a hard body shot to Johnson’s liver. Johnson then backed up himself and, for the next two minutes or so, had arms fairly low, protecting his body and mainly just managing to stay in the game. Johnson did attempt a take down but Phan bounced off the cage. By the end of the round, Johnson had recovered and started being aggressive again.

Round three had Johnson take Phan down, but Phan tried a juji gatame. When in the clinch, Phan applied another body shot, but to Johnson’s other side. Johnson had another take down and ended in a loose guard.

Split decision in Johnson’s favour.

We were of two minds in this fight: Phan is a very good fighter and we wanted him to succeed, but did not want Koscheck to win, so we were hard-pressed as to whom to cheer for. The fight was far more aggressive and exciting than the previous semi-final bout.

In camera after the fight, Koscheck said that he had no one else to blame for the results: Josh Koscheck had picked the team and Josh Koscheck was responsible for the results. Yes, that’s right: he talked about himself in the third person. He was alienating himself from the results. It was that Josh Koscheck guy who was responsible, not “I”.

If he had wanted Phan to win and to salvage something from the season, his team should have been supportive of the sole person left, training with him and backing him up, not mocking the guy and embarrassing him. Koscheck and his coaches should have been behind Phan completely. That absolutely didn’t happen.

The finale of The Ultimate Fighter Season 12 TUF12 is on Saturday, December 5, 2010 on Spike at 9 p.m. EST.

ayjay

December 4, 2010