As I predicted, and just about everyone else on the planet, Jan Finney didn’t have a chance against Cris “Cyborg” Santos in last night’s Strikeforce MMA championship challenge. Cyborg defended her Strikeforce Women’s World Middleweight title by defeating Jan Finney in 2:27 of the 2nd round with some really brutal strikes. In the end, the point referee Kim Winslow took away from Cris for blows to the back of Finney’s head wouldn’t help her get a win over the world’s top-rated WMMA fighter.
I think a huge issues is that so many people think that they can fight MMA, just because they’re fit, have boxed, or they’ve trained in Muay Thai for a couple of months at their training center. Add a couple of tattoos and a TapOut T-shirt and they’re ready to go, right? Well, not exactly. And seriously, people need to take a look at last night’s fight as an example of how not to move forward in your career. Did you see Finney’s face at the end of that fight? True, she did some damage to Cyborg, but there was really no comparison.
The mistake fighters make with Cyborg every time is they try to stand and bang. The problem when you try that strategy with Cyborg is that she really possesses an extraordinary standup game. Even if her strikes weren’t solid, even if they didn’t hurt, and even if she didn’t hit her mark – her style of bull-rushing opponents head on is what gets them every time. Kind of like information overload – Cyborg-style.
If you want to beat someone like that, you need to train and then use the same type of strategy Werdum did for his fight with Fedor. He knew there was no way he could standup against Fedor and win, so he fought a smart fight and used not just his brawn, but his brains – and that is what Cyborg’s next opponent needs to do.
First – get her to knock you to the ground and give her a false sense of security; next, lure her in and make her think she’s going to control you from the top and start her ground and pound – and finally, use your ground skills to submit her. You do this – you just might win. But if you think you’re going to go toe-to-toe and exchange blows with her, well, you should think again.
To her credit, Jan Finney actually has pretty good standup game, when she has a chance to use it. For example, take a look at the video below. In her fight against Tama Chan, she shows some obvious boxing skills. But last night was about MMA, and MMA in the ring with the world champion, vying for the Championship Belt, and in spite of her heart and desire to win, she had no business being in that ring.
Cyborg said in the ring that she felt Finney was a worthy opponent, showing her sense of sportsmanship and respect. In this post-fight interview, she also says she’s surprised at how well Finney lasted, but that she felt the fight should have been stopped sooner.
For now, Finney needs to find a different sport in which to compete...sorry but every now and then someone bites off more then they can chew and a serious ass beating follows. Just part of the game my friend – always has been, always will be. Her alternative? Treat MMA as more than a hobby. You’ve got some skills, lots of heart and the desire, and you definitely earned my respect for that last night. Train like that and come back in a year – it could work!
(Photo credit -- Esther Lin/STRIKEFORCE)