Rather than go through all the fights, or even the majority, I have one fight in each of these to cover.
At UFC 111, a preliminary fight was shown at the end of the main card to PPV customers. This fight was between Jerod Hamman and Rodney Wallace, light heavyweights who couldn’t look any more different. Hamman is tall, almost spindly, with white, pasty skin. Wallace is a short, overly-muscular black man.
Being so muscular allowed Wallace to put a great deal of weight behind his punches, but he gassed out early as well. In addition, I think having big muscles gets in the way in a sport which allows for fine motor skills when doing some submissions.
Round one had Wallace connecting with an upper cut against Hamman’s head so strongly that Hamman’s head went up and back like a PEZ dispenser. Hamman accomplished a take down with an uchi mata, though, and didn’t give up after being clobbered severely.
Round two had Hamman doing another uchi mata, better and more strongly than the previous. He is an awkward-looking fighter and one viewer here suggested he was “Forest Gumby”. His techniques were solid, though, and he rolled Wallace over whenever he wanted to as Wallace became more tired.
Round three had Wallace throwing Hamman withkuchiki taoshi, grabbing a leg after a kick attempt and sweeping out the other leg. A late flourish of strikes by Wallace had Hamman wobbling like Jackie Chan in “The Legend of the Drunken Master“.
Both men did not give up and, although exhausted, Wallace had moments later on in the match in which he fought solidly. The match went to Hamman by unanimous decision.
UFC 112 had Anderson Silva against Demian Maia. I have avoided watching this match until today because Silva’s antics in recent fights have bothered me so much. Silva’s match inUFC 97 Redemption was boring to watch and I was certain this would be more of the same.
Silva took a minute and a half before he threw a kick, but once he started, he connected with a leg kick and spinning back kick. He then threw strikes and more kicks. Maia was extremely hesitant and followed Silva around the octagon. Silva had his arms down a great deal leaving openings for Maia. The crowd was chanting “Silva!”.
Round two had Silva doing a couple of capoeira movements, then standing still with hands down. Maia rushed at him for take downs, but Silva escaped each time. Silva taunted Maia to fight and then would strike and kick whenever he wanted. Low leg kicks to Maia’s lead leg succeeded each time.
Round three had Silva attacking the lead leg many times and indicated that Maia was completely outclassed: Silva could do whatever he wanted, whenever he tried anything.
Round four had a change in the audience and in Silva: Silva circled the octagon continually and did nothing. The crowd chanted “Maia!” Maia then became frustrated with the constant circling. Chanting of “GSP!” came next. The round ended with a chorus of “Boo!”.
Round five began with Maia’s left eye virtually swollen shut. That did not seem to impact his performance, though, as he did better in this round than any other. Maia’s strikes connected and he tried a couple of take downs. Silva received a warning from the referee about his circling the octagon and not doing anything.
As usual, Silva won and kept his belt. As usual, the fight was boring for the most part: Silva taunts his opponents and then monkeys around; his BJJ opponents pull guard and he avoids the ground. When Silva connects with a strike or kick, the technique is fast and flawless. The problems might be the opponents or perhaps he is no longer interested in being on the receiving end of the punch or kick or ground technique. Silva apologized to the crowd and suggested that he had ring rust from lack of fights. He has apologized before, but his fights are not getting better.
April 20, 2010