Blood looks good, but how great was Brett Rogers Saturday?
I'm seeing a lot of comments about how impressive Brett "The Grim" Rogers looked on Saturday night, how he held his own against the best and beat Fedor bloody. But after re-watching the Fedor-Rogers fight five times, Roger's performance does not hold up to scrutiny.
The nose jab was a cut, not a break, and Fedor bleeds easy. If you've watched Fedor in Rings or Pride, you already know that he has a tendency to be cut and bleed profusely in fights. In fact, more so than most fighters, it's been one of the few sticking points in his career. His match with Antonia Rodrigo Nogueria was postponed because of it, while his only loss came from archaic rules about cut stoppage in Rings.
Rogers had a nice jab, but it didn't slow Fedor in the least. You can also see that Fedor's nose was already cut before the fight.
Rogers's dirty boxing on the cage was far from impressive. The whole point of pushing another fighter up against the fence is to "gas" them by forcing them to carry more weight on their upper body. Fighters like Randy Couture are masters at this technique.
Fedor's gas tank was never tested.
Rogers threw a couple of weak knees while illegally grabbing the fence, and that's about all you can say about his clinch game. The only fighter that looked tired was Rogers...in round one.
A lot of people are pointing to his short barrage of hits on the ground as evidence of his skill. On repeat viewings of the match one can see that several shots missed Fedor's head completely or grazed the side.
At any rate, Rogers wasn't able to finish the fight there, didn't significantly damage Fedor, and couldn't hold position.
Next, Rogers did not follow his game plan, which might indicate that he is a little weak in the mental aspect.
Rogers said over and over again he would come out aggressive and stalk Fedor. In reality, when the cage door slammed shut, Fedor stalked Rogers. Brett even looked a little scared on the ground in round one, backing away from Fedor's bloody visage, while throwing a few weak kicks. Maybe Rogers already knew then that he had given his best, and it just wasn't good enough.
Last, Rogers showed terrible sportsmanship, sounding like a crybaby after the match. I blame Gus Johnson for even planting the idea in people's heads that he deserves a rematch. A rematch should only be broached in a post-fight interview if there was any controversy on who actually won the fight, like with Machida and Shogun at UFC 104.
Rogers was soundly knocked out and finished.
Please don't confuse my intentions with this article. Rogers is better than just about any heavyweight on the Ultimate Fighter 10 , besides perhaps Roy Nelson, and has a great record in MMA.
But one thing "The Grim" is not is an elite fighter. Perhaps he is skirting gatekeeper status in the UFC. Rogers could take a Cheick Kongo, maybe a Cain Velasquez, but probably not if he gases as fast as he did on Saturday.
Rogers needs to fight more mid-level names to build up his skills. Throwing him into deep waters with better fighters could crush his will to compete before reaching his true potential.
Knocking people out with one hit is fantastic, but there comes a time when punching power is not enough and competition stiffens. Rogers needs to develop his ground and pound, make his clinching more effective, and work on where his head is at before he deserves a rematch.
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