He may not have taken top billing, but ask any average fight fan what they remember from Saturday night's Strikeforce show and the answer is more than likely to revolve around Nate Marquardt's complete and utter destruction of Tyron Woodley.
It's hard to believe it'd been a little over a year since Marquardt exposed the existence of TRT to the fight world, earning his UFC walking papers in the most unceremonious fashion imaginable. Even though a year in our sport may as well be a lifetime, the memory still seems strangely far-off.
But watching Marquardt re-sculpt Woodley's mug with that brutal double standing elbow, then prop up his slumping body with a pair of ferocious uppercuts before mercifully letting him crumble to the mat -- that was something else. "The Great" basically broke into Ring Rust's house, punted his dog through the front door, then torched the place to the ground for good measure. And all without raising his testosterone to superhuman levels.
After everything he's been through, Marquardt was clearly overjoyed. And rightly so. You'd have to be cold-blooded to not feel happy for the guy, even in the slightest. It's just unfortunate Marquardt's golden night was scarcely promoted and witnessed by a minimal number of eyes, for a promotion that is, by all accounts, a bloated, walking corpse of its former self. Because truthfully, a performance like that deserves better, and something like Marquardt-Kampmann or Marquardt-Diaz sounds a bit more pleasing to the ears than Marquardt-Mein or Marquardt-Saffiedine.
6 MUST-READ STORIES
Marquardt smashes Woodley. Former UFC exile Nate Marquardt defeated Tyron Woodley with a nasty fourth-round knockout to claim the vacant Strikeforce welterweight title in his first fight since March 2011.
Rockhold retains title. Strikeforce middleweight champion Luke Rockhold retained his title with a workmanlike decision victory over Tim Kennedy in the main event of Saturday night's Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Kennedy event.
Larkin wins 185-pound debut, asks for Strikeforce bonuses. Explosive prospect Lorenz Larkin decimated Robbie Lawler to take a unanimous decision win in his middleweight debut. Following the victory, Larkin dropped down to his knees and begged Dana White to start giving Strikeforce fighters post-fight bonuses.
Cormier to fight in September. Strikeforce heavyweight grand prix champion Daniel Cormier is slated to fight his final fight for the promotion on September 29, 2012. An opponent and venue have yet to be decided.
Johnson vs. Benavidez, Stann vs. Bisping. UFC 152 will be headlined by the UFC's inaugural flyweight title fight, which pits Demetrious Johnson against Joseph Benavidez. In addition, a middleweight match-up between Brian Stann and Michael Bisping has been tapped as the co-main event.
Strikeforce fighters reportedly stuck with Showtime, White disagrees. According to Dave Meltzer, champs Gilbert Melendez and Luke Rockhold, along with a few other Strikeforce regulars, would be unable to fight for the UFC even if their contract expires due to a deal Zuffa signed with Showtime. UFC President Dana White vehemently denied the claim, even going as far as posting on The Underground, "Dave has lost his mind!! Now he is just making s--- up."
Fact or Fiction: Nate Marquard's stunning finish of Tyron Woodley may have been one of the year's best.
Apparently Ronda Rousey created quite a stir when she told ESPY reporters that Kim Kardashian is just famous for "sucking d---." So TMZ invited Rousey onto their show, and surprise, surprise, the "Rowdy" one didn't exactly back down from her comments.
Mark Hominick, Stefan Struve and Rory MacDonald have no problem staring eye-to-eye with some of the most dangerous men on the planet. But put them in front of a horde of bulls, and it's game over, man.
Ever feel the urge to see our own Ariel Helwani knee a heavy bag? Then this video is just for you.
Coulda played my shit during the credits son!— Jason High (@KCBanditMMA) July 15, 2012
I'm sayin tho, I jumped all over a guillotine last night. I bet I looked like a gymnast or something. Did you guys see it? Wait....— Jason High (@KCBanditMMA) July 15, 2012
Most disappointing part bout all this is that I've heard nothin from @MikeKogan bout bein involved in a "dark" match....— Jason High (@KCBanditMMA) July 15, 2012
Seriously, @MikeKogan didn't say anything racist about me being in a dark match. Maybe he's sick....— Jason High (@KCBanditMMA) July 15, 2012
Looks like Tim Kennedy got for a piss in his undies and stumbled into a strike force event by accident!! twitter.com/bisping/status…— michael (@bisping) July 15, 2012
TITO AIN'T HAPPY
Wow. As time will turn.— Tito Ortiz (@titoortiz) July 13, 2012
He does it I'm a sore loser! If I did it I would of been a cheat my whole career. I haters can suck it. #neverhappy. Lol— Tito Ortiz (@titoortiz) July 13, 2012
MIGHT AS WELL JUST SETTLE THIS
Me beating you to a pulp wouldn't be fun... not being able to hit me will get frustrating RT @ShaneCarwin: we should spar, would be fun— Chad Johnson (@ochocinco) July 13, 2012
Announced over the weeked (Friday, July 13, 2012 - Sunday, July 15, 2012):
UFC 152: Joseph Benavidez (16-2) vs. Demetrious Johnson (15-2-1) announced as main event
UFC 152: Brian Stann (12-4) vs. Michael Bisping (22-4) announced as co-main event
Strikeforce: Daniel Cormier (10-0) vs. TBA on September 29th
FANPOST OF THE DAY
Today's Fanpost of the Day is a gif-loaded breakdown from Motmaitre: Ashi Barai the Foot Sweep: Judo and Karate's Love Child
Judo and Karate have more than white gis, colored belts and Japanese origins in common. Back in the mists of time, they also shared many common techniques, and still mirror each other's etiquette, terminology and philosophy. Gichin Funakoshi, Shotokan Karate's revered founder, adopted the white gi from Judo to give his new style legitimacy and respectability. Since then, both arts have evolved as two sides of the mixed martial arts coin, with Karate specializing in advanced striking, and Judo in grappling.
Watching these non-identical twins thus go their separate ways, like Luke and Leia Skywalker, makes it interesting to study the few core techniques they still have in common. Perhaps the most commonly used technique that is still core to both- and which would be a valuable addition to any mixed martial artist's arsenal- is the foot sweep, or as it is known in both arts, Ashi barai. Before looking at how valuable this under-used technique can be in MMA, let's see how it works.
Ashi barai is executed by holding the foot with the knife edge prominent (as if to execute a side kick), and slapping the side of the opponent's foot, ankle or lower leg in a way that sweeps it to the side, causing him to lose balance. This puts him at the untender mercy of the attacker's follow up strike or submission technique. In execution, think of it as using a broom or golf club to sweep in a sudden, arced motion. It is a remarkably efficient and versatile technique, achieving a complete takedown with precious little effort.
Here is Ashi barai being taught by a Karate Sensei:
And here is the Judo version being taught by a Judo Sensei (in Japanese, for extra authenticity):
Isn't that neat? To paraphrase an Internet meme, Two martial arts, One technique. This versatility is why Ashi barai could be such a valuable MMA technique in MMA. It can be used both as a strike from a distance (as it is used in Karate) and as a take-down from the clinch (as it is used in Judo). Let's look at it in practice in both martial arts.
Found something perfect for the Morning Report? Just hit me on Twitter @shaunalshatti and we'll include it in tomorrow's column.