Thursday, May 15, 2008

TUF Episode 7

This week again featured two fights. I prefer this format as it cuts out most of the training and house drama bull****. However, I understand the season would be cut in half for this format to work and that won't fly but at least they gave us a couple weeks like this. This week featured Amir v. Gerald and Cale v. Patrick. The first fight looked like an interesting clash of styles of (respectively) the kickboxer v. the wrestler. Let's dive right in:

Round 1: Gerald looked dominant and Rampage wasn't far off by saying Gerald looked like a "mini-Rampage". He had total control in the grappling department and delivered two great slams with some controlling ground and pound. However, Amir remained mobile and avoided any serious damage on the ground which is more than I expected from him.

Round 2: Gerald came out looking tired and Amir looked fresh. Amir was able to scramble very effectively against Gerald's weaker shot attempts and was able to get into more dominant positions on the ground and looked stronger standing. Eventually Amir caught him with a well placed and well timed knee that dropped Gerald. Although Gerald did not appear out he was not protecting himself so the ref had to stop the fight.

While Gerald is correct that he wasn't out the ref does have the right to stop the fight if the fighter is not intelligently defending himself. On those grounds I thought it was a legit stoppage. While Amir did not look very strong he obviously is more resourceful than most people thought and could have another trick or two up his sleeve. With this win Forrest goes up 5-1.

In the second fight it is billed as "skill" against "skill" because both Cale and Patrick are standup fighters. I put skill in quotation marks as neither of them showed much skill in this fight. Let's get into the details:

Round 1: Both fighters were swinging for the fences and Patrick certainly had the better of the punches. He dropped Cale once and landed more shots over all. Toward the end of the round, in what looked like desperation, Cale was able to score a takedown and get some ground control to end the round.

Round 2: After Cale's corner implored him to continue with the ground and pound, as they knew it was the only way he'd win, Cale came straight out and took down Patrick, who had little to no ground defense in his arsenal. Cale landed some effective strikes on the ground leading to an overwhelming win in round 2.

It came down to a decision that was hotly contested as Rampage (and even Forrest to a certain extent) believed that Patrick won the first round and Cale won the second which should've lead to a third. However, the results came back that Cale had won a split decision. This is frustrating as you never find out the scores of these fights, just the winner. I totally disagree with the decision. I suppose two of the judges gave the first round to Cale for his takedown but I think Patrick looked much more dangerous in that round. The fight was sloppy and I was happy I wasn't forced to watch another round but it was unfair to Patrick who is probably at the end of the road in terms of his MMA career. Also, Cale looks like a bust and probably won't survive the next round. Rampage again was pissed (although to a much less whinier extent) and took it out on Forrest. The preview for next week shows Forrest going off but then it turns to lighthearted pranks so I doubt there's any real beef between the two, just normal competition between two fighters.

This win beefs up Forrest's record to 6-1. The compulsory last fight was announced between Rampage's superstar C.B. and Nick, Forrest's second to last pick. Although anything can happen in a fight I certainly expect CB to win based on his elimination round performance which would send the teams' records to a Serra v. Hughes standing of 6-2 going into the quarterfinals. This would leave two of Rampage's top 3 picks to fight their way to the finals, which as we saw last season, is certainly a possibility. It's shaping up to be an interesting second round and I'm looking forward to Forrest and Rampage's pranks next week.

On a related note, the TUF 8 coaches were announced as Minotauro Nogueira and Frank Mir who will be coaching the old style of two weight divisions of lightweights and light heavyweights. Obviously this will set up a championship match between the two after the show concludes sometime in late fall/early winter. It should be interesting to see how these two approach coaching and competition as coaches. As far I know the two do not have a history nor any beef. Nogueira already owns two gyms so he is probably a natural teacher. Mir on the other hand, while he is a great grappler, I'm not sure about his coaching skills or experience. It should be an interesting season. But let's not get too ahead of ourselves seeing as how this season is not even half way through. Until the next time,

Soccer kicks and head stomps...

No comments: