UFN 19: 10 Things I Learned Last Night
1. ROGER HUERTA WILL BE BACK
Despite Hollywood aspirations, a guy that puts on entertaining fights every time he sets foot in the cage is always an asset.
His fight with Gray Maynard was solid from start to finish, and some are still wondering how Huerta's shoulder isn't all jacked up following the deepest kimura we've seen in some time.
Strikeforce seems to be OK with their fighters taking indefinite hiatuses to focus on films (cough, Cung Le, cough) and have a relatively thin lightweight division outside of Josh Thomson and Gilbert Melendez.
Prediction: 18 months, tops.
2. NATHAN DIAZ NEEDS TO STOP TALKING
How does a guy who gets dropped 10 seconds into a fight talk about wanting a top-five or even a top-three opponent next after the fight?
Diaz needs to hold off on the "give me a contender" talk and stop flapping him gums for a minute. You can't cut a promo talking about "whippin' that ass" and then get dumped 10 seconds in.
Besides, Melvin Guillard handed that guillotine to Diaz on a silver platter, giving away a victory in the process.
Beat someone of consequence and do it convincingly Nate, then you can talk all you want.
3. FIGHT OF THE YEAR?
While it's certainly not high profile enough to garner any awards at the end of the year, Nate Quarry and Tim Credeur certainly put forth an award-winning effort in my book last night.
For all the accolades people bestowed on the Clay Guida vs. Diego Sanchez fight, this one might have actually been better, as the back-and-forth was punctuated with repeated knockdowns, fantastic flurries, and a monstrous mouse under Quarry's right eye.
With the win, Quarry pretty much cemented himself as the gatekeeper for the middleweight division, while Credeur will most certainly be back.
4. CARLOS CONDIT WILL BE A CHAMPION IN THE FUTURE
That may sound like an odd statement considering he lost the first round of his fight to UFC newcomer Jake Ellenberger and was left in the fetal position on two different occasions, but what he showed after that furthers my belief that good things are in his future.
We've now seen "The Natural Born Killer" spend 30 minutes inside the Octagon and both times he got better as the fight went on. His cardio is off the map and he's always had an impressive offensive arsenal.
He's just 25 years old, knows what it's like to be in the spotlight and under the microscope, and with some work on his takedown defense, watch out.
You can't teach a guy to have the heart that Condit constantly displays.
5. ONCE AGAIN, WE HAVE SOME OFFICIATING ISSUES
The Steve Steinbeiss stoppage was apparently horrible.
Basically, Ryan Jensen locked in a choke, Steinbeiss gave the referee the thumbs up, as if to say, "Don't worry, Chico, I'm good" and the referee waved it off.
Did I mention the referee in question is a boxing official?
Additionally, I know fights are subjectively judged and different people see different things, but how do you have a split decision where one judge has it 29-28 for one guy and the other two have it 30-27 for the winner?
6. IT'S NOT A DOUBLE STANDARD PEOPLE!
A few people have made mention of Joe Rogan not being seated next to Mike Goldberg last night due to the fact that he's filming "The Zookeeper" with Kevin James, and how that seems like a double standard in light of the Rampage-to-film-"The-A-Team" fervor.
Here's the thing: Replacing Rogan is pretty straight forward as we saw last night. Kenny Florian does a good job, Randy Couture has done a solid job in the past and people aren't paying beaucoup bucks to listen to Rogan.
On the other hand, Rampage was slated in the main event of a fight that has an entire show dedicated to helping build it up. Now, the UFC is going to his hometown for no apparent reason.
7. RICH FRANKLIN IS THE MAN
Talk about a guy who doesn't get the recognition he deserves. The former middleweight champ was a great interview on the telecast last night, joking about the tough tests he's faced in his past few fights and being candid about how his fight with Vitor Belfort came about.
He stopped short of saying, "the public thought me and Dan going at it again was bullshit," but at least he didn't skate around the truth like so many others would have done, Dana White included.
All he does is headline shows against tough-as-nails opponents and Saturday is no different.
8. SO MUCH FOR MY BROCK LARSON CAMPAIGN
Hard to stump for a guy getting an upgrade in competition when he gets beaten at his own game by a huge underdog.
Just last week I was ready to begin a campaign to secure Brock Larson a step up the ladder into the deeper waters of the welterweight division.
Now, Mike Pierce handed him a clean 30-27 thumping and Larson's once shiny 26-2 record has lost some of it's luster and my campaign plans are on indefinite hiatus.
9. MY POWERS ARE GROWING
Sam Stout didn't even get a chance to fight last night after talking to me last week.
It's one thing for fighters I interview to lose, even in spectacular fashion a la Tim Hague, but this is ridiculous. Now they can't even get a chance to earn a paycheck.
The next test? Cole Miller on Saturday night. Though things didn't work out, let's see if just the thought of doing an interview with me is bad for your health.
10. PRETTY SOLID PREDICTIONS
I'll take a 7-3 night any day of the week.
That runs my record up to 73-55, a far cry from the .500 batting average I started out with this spring.
We'll see if we can't keep the ball rolling on Saturday night...
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