A Fanboy’s Impressions of UFC 88
Everyone has seen the fights from Atlanta, but here are some quick hit impressions on UFC 88 from your mma fanboy:
- What is with the nipple tweaking of Greg Jackson’s crew? Is this the way they power themselves up? GSP did it in UFC 87. Rashad did it incessantly in UFC 88. I do not need this in my cage fight viewing experience. Unfortunately, they both won and I am sure we are going to see more pre-fight nipple tweaking as a result. At least Nate Marquardt from Jackson’s camp did not resort to using nipple power en route to knocking out Martin Kampmann!
- My jaw dropped when Chuck got knocked out. Chuck and Rashad seemed to throw rights at the exact same time. Only difference was that Rashad got there a bit quicker. Is age catching up to the ex-champ?
- Now that the Chuck vs Forrest fight will be scrapped, Randy Couture vs. Brock Lesnar will be the most anticipated fight remaining in 2008. It is the UFC fight I am most looking forward to in the future behind GSP vs BJ Penn which happens Super Bowl weekend.
The Waiting Game
- What is it like to be Jason MacDonald? You are the second fight of the night and you force your opponent, Jason Lambert, to tap out to a Rear Naked Choke in the second round. Do you immediately go to the monitors in the back and cheer after every remaining fight ends without a submission? It must be nerve wracking wondering if you are going to get that $60,000 submission of the night bonus. He did get the bonus for the fourth time in his UFC career.
- The Lightweight division in the UFC is incredibly tough. How do you pick your fantasy mma winners of these fights on Cageplay.com? Kurt Pellegrino had lost 2 of his past 3 fights and looked shaky against Alberto Crane (remember Crane’s head kick?) in his sole win. I was thinking he would lose and be out of the UFC, but he dominated Thiago Tavares on way to a decision win. By the way, you can catch this three round fight for free on UFC.com.
- With Thiago Silva out with a back injury, who should replace him to fight light-heavyweight title contender Lyoto Machida? How about Ricardo Arona who was in attendance at UFC 88? He may be able to smother Machida on route to a victory as he did to Wanderlei Silva back in 2005. I believe a loss is exactly what the UFC wants Machida to get. This may be too soon as UFC 89 is in a couple of weeks.
- Rich Franklin dominated Matt Hamill at UFC 88 and won with a kick to the liver TKO. What will the UFC do with Franklin? I would rather be the second best fighter at middleweight rather than the 10 to 20th best fighter at light-heavyweight. I can see a Franklin-Machida rematch at 205 as the UFC loves rematches. However, I really want to see either a Nate Marquardt-Rich Franklin or Dan Henderson-Rich Franklin fight at 185 in a battle for second best in the Middleweight division.
- Chuck Liddell has a decision to make – retire or keep fighting. If he decides to keep fighting, I would like to see Liddell vs. Anderson Silva in Silva’s climb up the light-heavyweight rankings. I am not sure where Anderson Silva will end up. He last fought Irvin at 205 and is going to defend his 185 lb title versus Patrick Cote. Interesting how Franklin moved up because he could not beat Anderson Silva, yet Anderson Silva has also moved up.
For Argument’s Sake:
- Tito Ortiz was run out of the UFC after losing to Lyoto Machida. He was “over the hill” and the “game had passed him by”. After UFC 88, Tito is the only person to have faced both the UFC Light-Heavyweight champion, Forrest Griffin, and his newly named number one contender, Rashad Evans, and not lost. Tito beat Forrest Griffin and drew Rashad Evans due to a point deduction. Does Tito move back into the Light-Heavyweight rankings due to his performance against the top 2 in the division?
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