Sunday, June 24, 2007

Ultimate Fighter & Kimbo

Last night The Ultimate Fighter Finale took place. There were several very good fights including Manny Gamburyan Vs. Nathan Diaz for the "title" and Jens Pulver fighting BJ Penn to settle an old score. Before we look at those fights, let's check out the under card.

Cole Miller easily beat Andy Wang by a TKO at 1:10 of the first round. Miller is one of those guys that doesn't look tough, but is.

Joe Lauzon is another kid who doesn't look tough, but he proved otherwise when he beat Brandon Melendez with a rear naked choke at 2:09 of the second round.

Although Doug Evans seemed to easily win the first round, Roger Huerta won by a TKO in the second.

In the most controversial fight of the night, Gray Maynard and Rob Emerson's bout was labeled a "No Contest". Maynard dominated the first round and looked to end things in the second when he picked Emerson up and slammed him to the mat. Emerson was already in pain and the slam was sure to end it. When they hit the mat, Emerson tapped and the fight was over... except for the decision... which was ruled a no contest. Here's why: when Maynard drove Emerson to the mat, he also slammed his own head into it and knocked himself out! The decision was that since neither man was able to continue, the fight was ruled a "No Contest".

In a post fight interview Maynard tried to argue that he wasn't out, but simply tired. This was patently NOT THE CASE. Maynard was knocked senseless by his own slam and to argue otherwise [especially as the video of him with his eyes rolled back and then waking up and trying to raise up but instead falling over] was ridiculous. I do think that an argument could be made that since Emerson tapped before it was clear that Maynard was out, he should have won. Maynard was dominating and had he not knocked himself out would have won.

Manny Gamburyan Vs. Nathan Diaz was somewhat anti-climatic. Gamburyan won the first round despite repeated efforts by Diaz to gain a submission. The second round ended abruptly when Gamburyan shot in for a takedown and dislocated his own shoulder! [At least he didn't knock himself out.] Diaz was awarded the "title" of the Ultimate Fighter for season five and a six figure contract with the UFC.

The final fight of the night was Penn vs Pulver. Penn had won in their previous meeting five years ago. There had been bad blood between them since. That all ended when BJ Penn submitted Pulver with a rear naked choke at 3:12 of the second round. Both Penn and Pulver congratulated each other on a tough fight and even agreed to work together in the future. I was glad to see that their feud had ended. I like both of these guys and couldn't decide who I would pull for. Ultimately, I like that Penn won and things were settled.

Season Six of the Ultimate Fighter is set to have Matt Serra and Matt Hughes as opposing coaches and we can be sure that they'll fight in the finale.

In other MMA news: last night Kimbo Slice easily won his mixed martial arts debut against 46-year old former heavyweight boxing champion Ray Mercer. Kimbo submittd Mercer with a guillotine at 1:12 into the first round. Kimbo then issued a post fight challenge to "Tank" Abbott to fight on September 14th. Kimbo is best known for his extremely popular "underground" fights that began appearing on You-Tube. It will be interesting to see how Kimbo does when he meets an real MMA fighter.


Chad said...

In the fights I've seen Kimbo in, he's fighting some big dudes, but not necessarily the most trained or conditioned fighters in the world. So, most of these fights are very short and sweet. If you look up "Kimbo vs. Bear" on YouTube, you'll see that Kimbo loses to a guy that can take a punch and lasts more than just a few minutes. So, I don't think he stands a chance with a "real" MMA guy.

Craig Zablo said...

Chad - I've seen the "Bear" fight. You're exactly right about Kimbo's ability. He's a bruiser, no dount, but how will his strength hold up against a real MMA fighter? And let's face it, Tank Abbott is tough, but no longer a top contender.

Chad said...

Seeing his fight with Mercer, my thoughts on Kimbo are confirmed. Ray Mercer was clearly not in the best shape he's ever been in. If Kimbo is looking to just come in and sweep the UFC, we're gonna see him gettin' his butt handed to him more often than we have been. I feel like he's kind of a loose cannon type that belongs more in the toughman arena than UFC.

Craig Zablo said...

I agree with ya, Chad. And despite the fact that Kimbo beat Ray Mercer, it was a 46 year old Ray Mercer!