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понедельник, 9 ноября 2009 г.

Perhaps the Most Exciting Event of 2009

Last weekend we witnessed one of the most exciting line-ups in mixed martial arts better known as MMA. Strikeforce have managed to do a good job here and despite watching an edited Russian version of the tournament, I have to say the fights were brilliant.

Here are some of my comments on the fights and then on the show itself.

Gegard Mousasi vs. Thierry Sokoudjou - nice fight where Gegard's standing skills were just too much for his opponent. It frankly looked like Sokoudjou was having a really tough time throwing any kind of punch against the talented striker and in the end the result was predictable, TKO, as expected, should have put some money on Gegard here.

Fabricio Werdum vs. Antonio Silva - Fabricio is a very talented jiu jitsu fighter and was able to show his skills in the match but was unable to submit "Big Foot" Silva who has a black belt in jiu jitsu himself. The first round was certainly Silva's, who showed some superior striking ability and counter punching but the second and third rounds were Fabricio's. I especially enjoyed some of his muay thai knees to the head Fabricio tried to deliver. A very close decision win for Werdum in my opinion that does nothing to justify him fighting Fedor in his next bout at least.

Jake Shields vs. Jason "Mayhem" Miller - both guys are actually great on the ground and although shields was given such great odds, I think we all saw that at some point Miller nearly executed a nice rear naked choke on Shields (who was saved by the end of the round). His title fight for the middleweight Strikeforce belt was basically a submission grappling match and it was sad to see Miller not being able to execute his stand up kick boxing skills. In the end, after five exhausting rounds in the cage, Shields dominated with takedowns and grappling and that earned him the decision in the end.

Brett Rogers vs. Fedor Emelianenko - every fight with Fedor is exciting to watch whether it is a grappling or stand up battle. No one can really predict what will happen. Everyone was saying that Fedor would win by submission but there you go.

Brett Rogers looked relatively solid with his big punches, ground and pound and defending himself on the ground from submissions. I think it was also visible that Rogers was able to use his size advantage but Fedor's ability to overcome that was also obvious. The first round was tough on Fedor. Rodgers managed to cut and possibly break Fedor's nose in the opening punch. Blood was everywhere which prevented Fedor from breathing through his nose (no good if you are fighting in an MMA tournament no doubt). In the second, Fedor was able to evade some nasty ground and pound (while to be fair getting hit as well) and with a nice overhand right took Rodgers down and followed up with further strikes to the head of a grounded opponent. TKO for Fedor after a powerful punch to Rodgers who was expecting a takedown from the Sambo legend.

Fedor Emelianenko keeps his perfect record and has added further to his legend. Despite injuring his hand and getting his nose broken, he was able to show that he is still the number 1heavy weight in the world.

The production, at least the Russian edited one was horrible though. I have not seen the CBS version, but the version I saw should be rated as less than poor. (it was Pay Per View and live, not some cheap recording)

You probably would not even know that Strikeforce was organizing nearly the entire thing if you saw it. A ton of M1-Challenge flashbacks from Feb 2009 where no name fighters met were shown throughout the tournament. Instead of letting us hear about the fighters that we are going to see, they showed us over and over no-name fighters from M1. It was ridiculous. The under card was completely ignored. Did not get to see the entrances (apart from Miller's and that was criticized but idiot commentators), did not hear any comments about their past accomplishments. The Russian commentator at some point actually said that he has never seen Jason "Mayhem" Miller fight and does not know anything about him. Terrible! I would just love it if Fedor ditched that Finkelstein and his M1 cronies.

Great fights but poor promotion. Would love to hear some comments about what the CBS show was like.

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