Damn, no one I wanted to win won...
Randleman has lost significant part of his athleticism, and outside of his wrestling, he was never the more skilled fighter in his bouts, I felt really sorry about the Monster
I'm a big fan of NYBA, he has tons of courage and is always entertaining, but I must say Riggs was great that night. He looked exciting, trying some crazy shit on the feet and was close to finishing with that triangle attempt.
Nick Diaz vs Scott Smith - When you watch that fight you can't help but think "How the hell Diaz manages to not get fuckin' killed with that weird chin-hanging arms-flailing style". Facts are - Diaz destroyed Smith on the feet and finished him on the ground and it was completely one-sided.
Brett Rogers vs Andrei Arlovski - No matter how fast and crisp boxer he is, it seems like Arlovski just couldn't feel the rhythm of the striking. When one of the heaviest punchers of your division comes swinging, you can't just step straight backwards. Arlovski should really change the way he plans his fights.
Robbie Lawler vs Jake Shields - I was pretty sure this would be the fight where my guy will finally win, and after the first 1-2 minutes, I was confident Lawler will destroy Shields. However, Shields made the best out of that clinch attempt and sunk the submission beautifully. He's a good fighter, and another striker vs grappler showdown, against Cung Le for the belt, will be really cool.
This is why I say that while AA is a top fighter, he is not a true champion.
At the highest level, effectively fending off an aggressive (an inevitable) barrage like Rogers' flurry is a must.
Now Rogers will climb the rankings.
Lawler-Shields. Wow, didn't anticipate that.
After a few minutes it looked like Lawler was too strong physically. Did he try to slam Shields out of desperation? Congrats to Shields, he tried hard.
Baroni should check out our cardio thread, he may be in need of some extra air
Nick Diaz is amazing.
While I don't really agree with Fighting Irish on "there is room for a strong jabber in MMA", I think Diaz' strategical and tactical employment of careful long range boxing is by far the most intelligent, proficient and devastating one can expect to see.
It also suits this character perfectly. Gotta love how he can be careful and annoying to his opponent at the same time.
Yeah, really too bad about AA. I like the guy a lot as a fighter, just seems like he always comes up short when it counts. He can't out train his chin, so he needs to learn some better strategy.
I actually picked Shields to win the fight, but after seeing Lawler stuff his first takedown attempt I was beginning to have my doubts. That was a great guillotine though (with the arm in no less) and it didn't look like Lawler had any idea how to escape from it (hence the desperation slam).
I actually think that Baroni fought a good fight and that his cardio looked decent, not as good as Riggs though. He also took some heavy shots to the liver/body which will take the wind out of anyone, even someone in great condition, and kept fighting. He surely did a hell of a lot better than his Hammer House brother Kevin Randleman.
And speaking of Randleman, he REALLY needs to go train with someone who can teach him how to strike and some submissions if he wants his career to go anywhere. I was yelling at the screen the whole fight for him to engage, he looked very hesistant and was trying to win the fight with one big punch (which he almost did, but squandered the opportunity with what looked like a complete lack of knowledge on how to choke someone, looked like he thought it was a wrestling match or something and was trying to pin whitehead).
He's got an iron chin and knows it. Smith definitely made it an easy fight for him though. Absolutely no headmovement, which made it easy for Diaz to repeatedly tag him. Continuing to go for the big straight right to the head instead of switching up and going after Diaz's body, even after his best punches had had no effect.
I kind of feel bad for Andrei. He has everything, skills, size, speed, a highly marketable physique, but he just didn't win the genetic lottery when it comes to getting hit.
Man, I just can't say it's only because of his chin.
I like Andrei, he looks like a good guy and his style is very exciting to watch (when he's getting KTFO too, unfortunately). But the shots he caught from Rogers were hard, the problem was something that could have been avoided with better gameplan and defensive tactics.
It's true that he accepted the fight on short notice, and chances are that he was training specifically for his boxing debut, but still, like Schwarzfahrer said, you just can't be Top 3 heavyweight who's supposed to be great striker, when you have been knocked out in the first round two times in a row, because of your negligence to your opponent's offensive prowess.
Barnett explained the KO well, Andrei tends to back up with his hands down and when some one has power and slugs boom. I love Nick Diaz the fuckyou attitude the punches in bunches. I also picked Shields, I dont think Lawler is that good. Rogers vs AO will tell a lot about if he is legit.
Rogers vs AO I predict AO by muscle attack.
But seriously, I was shocked to see Arlovski get switched off so quickly. I expected him to at the very worst dominate a round or two before getting dropped. You can't blame this just on a poor chin, Barnett's analysis was spot on.
In addition, it is not my place to second guess a world class athlete's training choices, but I have to wonder how good of a decision it is for him to focus on boxing so much when he does not seem to have the instinct or the chin for it, and when it seems to not do wonders for his overall skillset. Just some musing, not trying to give any authority to my opinion.
Also, Baroni looked good and well rounded for once. Unfortunately Riggs was so crisp and natural, the gulf in skill really was apparent.
Shields and Diaz have a really good camp-
Diaz is a stud.
I thought Baroni looked decent but took a beating.
and AA needs to get his head screwed back on.
I really want to see Shields in the UFC.
Well, on the one hand his greatest weakness seems to be getting punched in the chin, so spending the majority of time working against someone trying to do just that (boxing) does make some sense.
But, he really made 2 cardinal mistakes in this fight that caused him to lose:
1) He allowed the more aggressive slugger type opponent to gain momentum on him
2) He backed straight up while dropping his hands
1 is really the big mistake and violates the strategy most effective for fighting a more aggressive slugger type opponent, #2 is really just the manifestation of that mistake.
Tough to argue with him training with Roach, but there are some striking coaches out there with arguably equal boxing knowledge on top of knowledge of other striking disciplines (Muay Thai, Muay Boran, etc...) and strategy.