I had to get in on this GSP-Hendricks discourse. Here are my thoughts on the card and the fight. Check the link out for your own damn good. And as always, thanks for reading.
Wait, ANTHONY LAPSLEY fought on a UFC card? In 2013?
Yep, it happened. We have the footage.
Sergio Pettis looked exactly as good as he should have.
This was the kind of performance you hope to see out of a young prospect. He outstruck a game Will Campuzano while fighting through multiple takedowns and being forced to go the full 15. This wasn’t some phenom punching a hole through an overmatched doofus; this was just a well matched fight. Plus, Sergio was fighting a weight class above his preferred one, so that’s also something to keep an eye on.
Oh, and hey, Mike Goldberg? Next time, stop bringing up Sergio’s brother Anthony every 16 milliseconds. In the "fight attributes" bar they always show during the walkouts, they should have just put for Sergio "In shadow of older brother". Good golly, Mike. They’re brothers. We get it.
Kudos to the phantom panel of judges that scored that Bagautinov-Elliott fight correctly …
… And refraining from pulling the trigger for Elliott just because he moved forward more. Sometimes we see fights where a guy moves forward alot, and this seems to be mistaken for aggression. But Timothy definitely was not the aggressor in that fight. He was certainly more disarming and off putting, but Ali hit him over and over and over again, right on the hipster beard. Props to Timothy for being tough as nails, but he dropped that one pretty soundly. He was just unable to get into "I’m Tim Elliott and I’m going to peck you 13 times while you hit me once" range. Ali Bagautinov’s boxing skills and power shouldn’t be underestimated.
Give us a Bagautinov-Lineker fight. That would be beautiful violence.
Lost in the St-Pierre/Hendricks controversy was the fact that Rory MacDonald completely and utterly shit the bed in that Lawler fight.
Whatever MacDonald thought he was accomplishing here was so staggeringly off that I sat there thinking "He knows he’s fighting right now, right?" and "Is he awake?"
Rory’s gameplan in the Ellenberger fight might not have won him many fans, but it was at least somewhat understandable. Ellenberger is a good wrestler who also happens to hit really hard, so standing at range, avoiding wrestling exchanges, and jabbing his face off is absolutely defensible.
But this was 15 minutes of bad decision making. He was fighting like there were no time limits. He’d let Lawler potshot him for 2 minutes while answering with a jab to the body, finally take him down, and literally lay his head on Lawler’s chest and take 33 deep breaths before he even considered moving.
I try not to critique fighters for their tactics in fights, simply because they have the courage and spirit to step into the cage while I sit here and eat Sun Chips. This was too blatant not to, though. Rory should have taken Robbie down every time he moved, as his "too little, too late" flurry of elbows and punches to end the fight proved. Instead, he put on a nice shadowboxing session and got hit a ton by Robbie Lawler. I’m not taking anything away from Rob’s performance, because it was a good one; congrats to him. Love that guy. But Christ.
Has the cliche "You gotta take it from the champ" become so ubiquitous among morons that judges actually factor it into their scoring?
This is the $64,000 question. And sadly, it’s probably the most likely explanation that Georges St-Pierre was given the nod on Saturday night. Because this was not a fight that had fans divided. Sure, alot of the rounds were close, and there were definitely some who scored the fight for Georges, but the feeling most fans got was that Hendricks deserved the victory.
He stifled many of the techniques that St-Pierre always banked on in the past to win him rounds. St-Pierre would shoot for the takedown, and Hendricks would defend and turn him against the fence. St-Pierre would get into a temporary striking rhythm, and Hendricks would mix in accurate counters with the wild hooks that brought him to the dance. Hendricks showed newfound skills, flashing a solid jab that stung St-Pierre several times. He was able to hurt St-Pierre’s thighs with kicks and knees, and he found a way to dump St-Pierre on his butt a few times and land some slicing elbows. All in all, it was a great fight that one man just fought a little bit better. And that man didn’t win.
Let’s get the obvious part out of the way first; one of the St-Pierre offenders was none other than the immortal Sal "HOW DO I KEEP GETTING THESE BIG FIGHT ASSIGNMENTS?!" D’Amato. Of course it was. Sal D’Amato thought Apollo Creed should have gotten the nod over Ivan Drago.
The swing round was the first, which two judges had for St-Pierre. To me, this round wasn’t even close. It was Johny’s round. So that’s just incompetence.
But what if it wasn’t? What was it, really? What if those two judges watched that round and subconsciously (or even scarier, consciously) thought "Well, it was kinda sorta close, but Hendricks failed to burn, freeze, electrocute, decapitate, waterboard, papercut, or take the life of Georges. And, you know, Georges is the champ. 10-9 Georges!"
If this is actually taking place … I mean, name a philosophy that’s more idiotic. You can’t. Why even have title fights if the judging criteria is going to be altered to favor the champion? In fact, why even have fights at all, when Las Vegas is going to favor one man over the other, and fans are going to think one guy is going to kill the other guy?
"You have to beat the champ to be the champ, and you can’t leave it in the hands of the judges, bro."
Just gag me with a spoon.