UFC Welterweights: A Cure For Insomnia

A short rant, if you don’t mind.

Here are the top UFC welterweights in the world as it stands:

Georges St. Pierre (champ), Carlos Condit (#1 contender), Nick Diaz (stoned), Josh Koscheck, John Fitch and Jake Shields.

Here are the results of their last fight:

GSP: win via decision.
Condit: win via decision.
Diaz: loss via decision
Koscheck: win via decision.
Fitch: loss via knockout, but his last win was, yup you guessed it, via decision.
Jake Shield: win via decision.

Now, I know, the list of top contenders can include a few other names like Jonny Hendricks or, um, you know what? I don’t care.

If you take the last 5 fights from the above six fighters you have a combined record of 24-5-1, which in itself is pretty damn good. Except for the fact that 21 of those 30 fights went to decision. And of those 21 total fights, they racked up wins in 19 of the 21 times the fight went to the judges.

And lets not forget, if we wade a bit deeper, Mr. Fitch went to decision in 9 out of his last 10 fights.

…adfssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss wait, who, what… holy s*** even just writing about this stuff made me fall asleep on my keyboard.

What the F*** is going on!?!?

Now, I’ve been a MMA writer and fan for a long time…

Crap, tangent time.

Can everyone stop saying that you were fans ever since UFC 1? Can you stop trying to convince people that ever since you “watched the smaller Royce Gracie use BJJ to beat bigger opponents” that you were hooked? It’s bullshit and I don’t believe you any more than the guy with the Bluetooth on the off ramp asking for spare change. F***ing stop it!

If every fan and fighter that made that claim was actually telling the truth, then the UFC wouldn’t have been an a** hair away from bankruptcy prior to the TUF 1 Finale in while Forrest Griffin and Stephan Bonnar saved the sport.

And a special f*** you to everyone that has anything bad to say about them as fighters now. They earned a lifetime pass for that fight.

But I digress…
 
I remember a time when the welterweight division was looked at as the most explosive, athletic and action packed division. A time when Matt Hughes was slamming his way around the Octagon. A young GSP taking apart his opponents. Even Frank Trigg making his mark in the sport. BJ Penn, Sean Sherk and Carlos Newton bringing their own kind of aggression and skill to the cage.

Now we have entire fight teams whose fight is structured around the business of MMA.

The sport is growing too fast too soon. Fighters are afraid of so much as a single loss and will play it safe to ensure longevity over glory, or even fan interest.

I mean, who really wants to watch a Jon Fitch/GSP rematch? Or Kos for that matter?

Even Carlos Condit, one of my all-time favorite fighters went simple for his last fight against Nick Diaz.

To be fair, he found the way it takes to beat Diaz. Avoid the ground and DON’T STAND IN FRONT OF HIM. It is within the rules and structure of the sport and he did it to his advantage. Even if it was boring.

That is what the sport has become. I’m not interested in the main events any more. I want to watch the undercard with some young up-and-comer hungry for the win, the glory and the title coming out and acting like a f***ing animal inside the cage.

The more that the sport grows and finds its place in the mainstream sports culture the more it gets diluted with fighters not just out there to win, but actually afraid to lose.

The first victim has been the welterweights. They were on top of the mountain and now they work better than Xanax to put me to sleep.

It’s a tough business and these are tough guys who can no doubt beat the s*** out of me, but still, for all the sacrifices that they made to make it to the show it is all gone with the payday.

What happened to the desire to fight and dominate? Where are the Pride rules that kept the fight moving or you lost your precious money? Where is the intensity that came with being a professional in a sport with the most well rounded fighters and possible athletes in the world?

It’s been lost in a search for the mass audience.

When Icarus flew too close to the sun he fell back to Earth. I think, I was never good at NES games.

God I feel f***ing old. None of you even remember this anymore do you?

You probably watch Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh and don’t even remember Captain Nintendo.

What? Yes this was a real show.

No! F*** you!

Great, now I’m p***ed not only about the UFC welterweights, but also how old my balls are.

Primetime MMA Event Results for 02/11/2012

 

Okay, I’ve had a lot to drink tonight and I really want to go to bed, but I need to get this stuff out before I forget it due to the more pressing concerns that I have in the morning. Such as “where am I?” and “did I fall asleep next to a pile of my puke or from some unidentified source?”

So, first off these were some of the best matched up fights that I have ever experienced in a local MMA fight. They were the most evenly matched opponents and it was clear from the get go.

Thanks to SEG Entertainment and Driller Promotions for getting these fights green-lit.

Okay, let’s get this over with:

AMMY Fights:

Eulisses Sanchez (0-1) Spartan MMA VS. Michael Stadler (0-0) independent


Sanchez took control early and pressed the action against the cage. He lands the take down and gets back control with both hooks in. Sanchez flattens out Stadler and finishes the fight with a referee stoppage due to punches.

WINNER: Sanchez at 1:25 of the 1st Round via TKO

Zaur Jalil (1-1) Doc’s Gym and AMA VS. Kevin Vang (3-0) Ironworks


After a few wild swings from both fighters, Vang gets the take down, but Jalil is able to get butterfly guard and both fighters stand. Vang is swinging for the KO and eventually drags the fight back to the ground. He passes to cross sides as Round 1 ends.

Round 2 opens with Vang once again swinging for the fences, but Jalil finally lands the judo take down that we have been waiting for and solidifies scarf hold immediately working for the americana lock with his leg. Vang gives a strong attempt to escape, but the lock is too tight. Vang is forced to tap at 1:29 of the 2nd round.

Winner: Zaur Jalil via submission at 1:29 of Round 2

Sam Khom (0-1) “independent” VS. Ehsan Karam (0-0) “independent” *cough Warrior’s Cove cough*


Before the fight started a ring card girl walked around with an a** that made me not give a f*** about the fight that was about to start. But I’m a pro, I guess, so here’s what I got.

Khom, a right handed fighter, opens the round with seven consecutive right crosses without a single jab. Karam’s offense consists entirely of leg kicks. Yup, it’s a stand-up showcase.

Khom forces the action against the cage and gets double under hooks. I must still be thinking about that phat a** because I can’t figure out how he suddenly just falls down backwards, but Karam takes the opportunity to secure mount. Khom turns over to defend a few times, but Karam is able to sink in a rear naked choke for the win.

WINNER: Ehsan Karam via RNC at 1:57 of the 1st Round.

Kelly Ehrhorn (0-2) God’s Army (yes, you read that right) VS. Randy Lene (3-2) Spartan MMA


Lene comes out early throwing jabs. Sort of. They aren’t so much jabs as they are lunging motions with the intention of hitting someone in the face. That being said, Ehrhorn is standing square and takes a few shots. They tie up by the fence and Ehrhorn goes for the take down, but Lene grabs the fence and the ref stops the action to take away a point.

When the action starts again, Lene starts up again with punches that, if the right picture were taken, look more like Jesus on the cross than anything Freddie Roach would teach. Still, they find their home and Ehrhorn is wobbled. One more lands and Ehrhorn collapses backwards against the fence.

The ref stops the action and the God’s Army corner acts very un-Christian in their temper tantrum, storming off to have someone else drag their barely conscious fighter from the cage.

WINNER: Randy Lene (3-2) via KO at 1:54 of Round 1 (though I think that Tom Schmitz might have a few things to say about his striking at the gym on Monday)

Joel Wales (2-3) missed it again VS Jacob Ostrowski (2-1) here too, my bad 

Both men are throwing punches and the two look similar in their styles, but Wales is landing with great damage. He is able to get the take down and rides out the round in top half guard landing what strikes he can against the defending Ostrowski which upon further inspection have been very significant.

Round 2 opens and Ostrowski’s face looks like he has been in a car wreck. However, Wales does not pull the trigger and switches to leg kicks. Then going for a somewhat half-assed spinning back kick, he misses and Ostrowski is able to get a take down, landing on his back he locks in an arm-in guillotine and forces Wales to tap.

WINNER: Jacob Ostrowski via submission in Round 2

Tom Krenzel (2-2) Spartan MMA VS Tom Lytle (0-1) Warrior’s Cove

It appears that the cousin of Chris “Lights Out” Lytle has some place more important to be because he drags Krenzel in guard and locks in a not-quite-instructional-DVD-quality-triangle. But it is good enough to get the tap and the win.

He follows it up with a look of “how excited can I be?” that reminds me of my glory days cutting the rug at Middle School dances. But hey, it’s a win and he made it look easy. You go, Napoleon. 

WINNER: Tom Lytle just 28 seconds into Round 1 (SUBMISSION OF THE NIGHT)

Nick Reece (1-0) Borderline Combat (?) VS Corwin Nichols (1-0) Ironworks

Nichols looks like a giant at 168 and gets the early take down against the cage. He is fighting with a full head of steam and one young lady in the audience, upon assessing the situation, came to the assessment of “COME ON COR! F*** HIS FACE UP!”

Nichols needs no motivation and aggressively controls the fight on the ground until Reece can make his way to his feet. Nichols starts throwing punches reminiscent of Don Frye in his Pride days forcing Reece to shoot for the take down.

To his credit, Reece has not only defended the major strikes, but he has forced the action against a very aggressive opponent. Nichols locks up guard and eventually finds his way back to his feet. Nichols lands another power double that almost buckles the cage wall as time expires.

Round 2 opens with Reece the aggressor, showing no signs of backing down from the fight and attempting a take down. Nichols sprawls, takes the back. Reece makes a strong attempt to escape, but Nichols stays with him, locks up a body triangle and eventually sinks in the rear naked choke.

WINNER: Corwin Nichols via RNC in Round 2 (FIGHT OF THE NIGHT)

Personal Commentary: Corwin, yes, I know I pointed this out to you last night as well, but save some energy. You sounded like…well, this guy:

Please don’t hit me. I look forward to your next fight. Again, as long as it isn’t against me.
 

PRO FIGHTS:

Aaron Maldonado (5-2) Focus MMA VS. Kenneth Glenn (3-0) Spartan MMA

Both men start out pawing at each other and Glenn gets the take down, landing in top half guard. Eventually the fight is stood back up with more pawing. Glenn goes for another take down, Maldonado falling back to guard and trying a triangle attempt that misses.

Glenn passes to side control and quickly to mount. Maldonado turns over and Glenn has his back attempting the choke. Maldonado defends and is able to turn back into bottom half guard.

Maldonado is now showing a gash under his eye. He gets back to his feet and Glenn starts to throw bombs against Maldonado who can only cover and do his best to move and evade.

After several unanswered strikes the ref step in and waves off the fight. Maldonado’s corner explodes with explicatives as their fighter is still standing and attempting to defend. Their words are not heeded.

WINNER: Kenneth Glenn via TKO at 4:31 of Round 1

Personal Commentary: It was a tough call. It would have been a better call if it were an Ammy fight. Maldonado was still defending and at least trying to get away. However, in the heat of the moment the ref was protecting the visibly hurt fighter. Not to mention that Glenn still had a full gas tank and was throwing when the fight was stopped.

Don’t say you can make the call at home plate unless you been there. It’s tough, but it happens. 

Kurtis Ehrhorn (4-2) God’s Army VS. Lloyd McKinney (5-2) Spartan MMA/Ironworks

Ehrhorn comes out with a vengeance, perhaps hoping to make up for his brother’s brutal knockout earlier in the fight. He lands the take down and McKinney isn’t able to sink the arm-in guillotine. However, McKinney is able to secure an arm for a very deep kimura from open guard.

But Ehrhorn isn’t taping, he rolls against the cage and out of the submission. McKinney holds the arm and goes for an armbar, which is also avoided, then a north-south kimura, which Ehrhorn also escapes. It is clear the fighter refuses to quit regardless of McKinney’s impressive BJJ display. His arm will break before he taps.

However, Ehrhorn is willing to spit out his mouth guard. The first time lead against the cage to a warning, the second (soon after) results in a point deduction. The round ends with Ehrhorn landing a cage rattling double leg take down and avoiding another guillotine (after which he once against loses his mouth piece).

Round 2 opens with Ehrhorn dancing and taunting McKinney until all of the sudden his mouth guard comes firing out of his mouth for the FOURTH TIME (as if the Hand of God himself ripped it from his mouth)! McKinney lands a few punches before the ref call call off the fight. It is a disqualification of Ehrhorn for the constant and flagrant mouth guard violations.

Ehrhorn voices his displeasure at having to eat several punches before the ref waves off the fight and pulls a Forrest Griffin out of the cage.

WINNER: Lloyd McKinney via DQ in the 2nd Round

Personal Commentary: Get a dentist to fit your mouth guard and actual train with it before a f***ing fight. Otherwise, you deserve to be DQ’d. It is bush league s***. 

It was a close fight with both men pressing the action. McKinney got the better of what happened on the ground, but it was Ehrhorn that took it there. A fitted mouth guard could have turned this into the Fight of The Night.

It’s been a bad day for “God’s Army” and perhaps a name change is in order. Something along the lines of “God’s National Guard”?


MAIN EVENT

Billy Christianson (5-1) crap, sorry VS Ben Neumann (4-0) Warrior’s Cove

The fight opens much as expected with Neumann working the Warrior’s Cove style of gap fighting to keep the distance with leg kicks, however Christianson is having none of it and forces the action towards the cage.

Neumann jumps guard and transitions down to a heel hook attempt. He is either unwilling to go for the break or he is out of position because Christianson is able to eventually roll out of it and transition back to the top.

Neumann stays mobile on his back trying for a triangle, which Christianson passes and then starts to move for an armbar when Christianson lands a bomb square to Neumann’s face, dazing the fighter. Two more hard blows land to the now unconscious Neumann and the fight is called.

WINNER: Billy Christianson via KO in the 1st Round

Personal Commentary: This was the most hyped fight of the night. Warrior’s Cove is two doors down from the venue and the crowd seems fairly equally divided between camps. Neumann worked the game that has brought him this far, but Christian worked to the inside, stayed patient on the ground an capitalized. A well fought fight.

Okay, this is the edited version, but my head hurts.

These were the best fight match ups of the night. Regardless of my commentary, the skills of the fighters were equally matched as was their intensity. I hope to see a lot more of these kinds of fights in the future.

Not only that but the crowd *gasp* didn’t boo when the fights hit the mat. Amazing!

Though, come on guys, how many times to I have to say it: BOXING LESSONS NOT JUST FOCUS MITS!

Bill "The Grill" Cooper: He Came, He Saw, He Inspired

I’ve been around the game for a little while (okay, a long while depending on how you look at the statistics), I know a decent amount about the politics of the game, the rivalries, the attitudes. All the bull**** that shouldn’t matter but does.
I’ve been to a lot of seminars from a lot of grapplers. Some of the best in the world, and the best that ever will be, and still, I never rolled with anyone that inspired me to roll as much as Bill “The Grill” Cooper did.
Let’s put the 27x Grapplers Quest Championships to the side. Don’t look at the wins. Don’t look at YouTube or anything like that, because stats  and videos can’t tell you what it is really like to roll with a man.
There are a lot of different sorts out there. When you pay for a seminar, you aren’t just paying for the man or the skill, you are also buying the personality. Which can really suck.
I’m talking about people that preach. People that waste your time telling you about how you need to think or live you life.
If you knew anything about the people you were teaching (or at least me) you would know I will never be like you. I will never be a world champ and people paying for what I got will only ever happen on a street corner.
Just show me your f***ing moves. 
If you have advice, fight. Keep it to a few sentences and show me the G** D***ED TECHNIQUE!
And shouldn’t have to ask you if I am doing it right. I shouldn’t have to pry information out of you. That is what the money was for.
We’ve all been to those kinds of seminars or seen them on YouTube. And it sucks.

About three years ago I was at a seminar featuring TWO world champions. It cost almost $200 for what was supposed to be a two day event.

It turned into a one day, three hour event in which both seemed utterly bored and just kind of wandered around. Until one found a stash of rubber weapons used for self-defense and decided to play with those instead.

Yes, I am still bitter to this day.

If it is done right. It inspires with few words at all.
Here are four words: Bill “The Grill” Cooper.
Yes, that was just four, you don’t have to go back and count them.
Now, I missed the first few days (yes, I said few. For missing the original date Bill made up for it by staying FIVE DAYS!) so I didn’t get a chance to roll with him until one of the last days. However, I did get a chance to talk to others that had.
“What did you think of Bill?”
*Blank stare with crooked smile* was what I always got. Like people didn’t quite have the words to describe rolling with him.
More than willing to roll with anyone and everyone that wanted and with an insane gas tank, Bill rolled like he was playing around, experimenting, putting himself into awkward positions, but he never stopped. He was never stuck. It was never a mistake. 
It was inspiration.
Seeing him sweep a 280 pound brown belt over and over again made my stomach hurt.
I could never move the guy. I could never sweep him. How does this 160 pounder do it?
Simple: he is better than me.
But it isn’t strength. It isn’t some arcane knowledge that was passed down to him. He makes everyone think they can do it. That is can be done. And he does it with a smile on his face.
This was Bill’s first trip to Minnesota and, for the love of s*** I hope that it won’t be his last because you better believe that we still have more to learn from him and that we will be trying like mother f***ers to get him back out here.
Oh, did you miss the seminar because it was only “two hours”… sucks to be you guys (and yes, there were a lot of you from several gyms). I hear the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th days were pretty surreal.