Mr. White Takes His UFC 151 Ball and Goes Home

Now that the smoke has settled on the cancellation of UFC 151, I’m convinced that this is the most idiotic decision in the history of the modern UFC. I’m tired of reading that this is.

Now that the smoke has settled on the cancellation of UFC 151, I’m convinced that this is the most idiotic decision in the history of the modern UFC. I’m tired of reading that this is Jon Jones’ fault. I’m tired of reading that this is Greg Jackson’s fault. They both did exactly what they should have done and anyone who disagrees lacks a fundamental understanding of what it takes to prepare for a championship fight in the UFC. How is Jones supposed to watch tape, gameplan and then drill that gameplan in three days, which is how much actual training time he would have had before the onset of his media commitments? Yes, Jones could probably beat Sonnen nine times out of ten even without proper preparation but why take any risk at all at this point in his career? He didn’t create this situation and it isn’t his responsibility to fix it.

The people who did create this situation are Dan Henderson, Team Quest and Dana White. Hey, Dan Henderson and Team Quest. How about you tell the UFC as soon as soon as an injury occurs so that they can prepare a backup plan in case Henderson can’t go? Hey, Dana White. How about you not react in the least professional way possible? Here’s a step by step breakdown of Mr. White’s reaction. One, freak out. Two, call Jon Jones and try to strong arm him into taking a fight against Chael Sonnen with three days of real training time to prepare. Three, double down on your freak out when Jones declines the fight and throw your most marketable asset under an oncoming semi truck full of matches and gasoline in front of every microphone that happens to be in range of your spittle spewing lips. Four, cancel the entire event screwing all the other fighters on the card as well as fans who paid for tickets and travel, vendors, event staff, PPV providers etc.

Anything would have been better than what happened here. Have Anderson Silva fight Joe 205er. Have Jones fight Sonnen in a non-title fight with Sonnen guaranteed a title shot if he pulls off the upset. Find two in shape name guys and throw together a catch weight fight. Move the fight to free TV. Drop the price of the PPV and partially refund ticket prices. Anything other than this immature nonsense. I’ll take any bet that if Mr. White would have put out the word that Henderson was scratched and the card needed a headlining fight within 48 hours or the card was going to be cancelled altogether, a solution would have presented itself. Instead, he made a ridiculous worst case scenario snap decision.

Dana White has done some great things in his time overseeing the UFC. This is not one of them. Hopefully, everyone involved learns lessons about the importance of having a second fight that can carry the card and immediate notification of serious injuries. This is a scenario that cannot be repeated if the UFC hopes to continue its explosive growth.

Where Are They Now?

Nearly every aspect of MMA has been under evaluation on how it can be improved. Whether it’s drug testing and TRT regulation, referee calls and judge’s scoring, or the actual combat rules altogether; everyone is.

Nearly every aspect of MMA has been under evaluation on how it can be improved. Whether it’s drug testing and TRT regulation, referee calls and judge’s scoring, or the actual combat rules altogether; everyone is giving their two cents on how to improve the sport one way or another. After all the debating that has taken place about more issues in MMA than anyone can possible address, it’s strikingly peculiar that nobody has brought up the issue of MMA rankings and how they should be calculated.

There are a plethora of websites, television shows, and other MMA related organizations that have their own version of an MMA ranking order. MMA is a unique sport that doesn’t quite follow the style of a traditional ranking system, and it’s unlikely that any two ranking lists are identical. Even with all the facts and statistics about a fighter, there is much information left for personal interpretation to form, sometimes bias, opinions about a fighters ranking order in their respective weight class. A fighter’s winning streak, quality of opponents, ability to finish, and fighting frequency are just several of many factors that are viewed differently from person to person in the ongoing argument of ranking order significance.

For the most part, the majority of MMA ranking lists share similar names, but to have a fighter like Erik Koch ranked as the third best featherweight in the world on one list, and then not even have him in the top ten on another is truly baffling. When was the last time that such a ridiculous ranking conundrum occurred in any other sport? Most likely, it hasn’t. Arguing a fighters position one or two slots is one thing and is perfectly acceptable, but in this case, top three to outside top ten is pushing the envelope too far.

MMA has always had its mixed opinions on ranking, but now the importance of this issue is greater now then it has ever been. While it’s true that some MMA promotions, such as UFC, will give a title shot to anyone that they believe deserves one, many title shots are influenced by media rankings, and with nearly every weight class having several fighters that could be given the next title shot, it is important that the rankings reflect who truly is the most deserving of such an opportunity.

No ranking system will ever be perfect, but if anyone’s MMA rankings are to taken seriously, there needs to be at least a few general guidelines put into place so there can be a mutual understanding of how MMA rankings will be determined and the majority of ranking lists would come to a similar consensus, but still leave room for minor debate.

Written by : Ryan “Fight Freek” Poli

Strikeforce Rousey vs. Kaufman: Post-Fight Breakdown

Ronda Rousey vs. Sarah Kaufman Ronda Rousey continued to steamroll through the 135 lb division in exactly the same fashion as her previous fights. She used a less than technical flurry of strikes to bull.

Ronda Rousey vs. Sarah Kaufman

Ronda Rousey continued to steamroll through the 135 lb division in exactly the same fashion as her previous fights. She used a less than technical flurry of strikes to bull rush Sarah Kaufman and close the distance. From there, she used her fundamental Judo to get Kaufman to the mat. She landed in the mount position and immediately attacked an arm. Kaufman managed to defend for about thirty seconds but had to tap once Rousey get her arm extended. Rousey erased any doubts as she completely overwhelmed another former champion and at the moment, I don’t know who else is out there for Rousey to fight at 135 lbs. Obviously, a fight with Christiane “Cyborg” Santos looms as the super fight of women’s MMA. But considering that Santos has struggled to make 145 lbs in the past and was just busted for PEDs, I’m not sure how realistic that fight would be. Rousey seems unlikely to back down from anyone but even she would have to consider the ramifications of going into a fight at that much of a size disadvantage against a known PED user. Meisha Tate’s performance against Julie Kedzie earlier in the night was unbelievable and it may have been enough to earn her a rematch with Rousey but I’m not sure that fight would go any different than it did the first time. Whatever happens, Rousey is at the top of the food chain in women’s MMA and that can only mean good things for the future of the sport. Unfortunately for Kaufman, this fight drops her out of title contention for the moment. But she’s still one of the best in the world and I’m sure she will continue to get big fights in Strikeforce.

Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza vs. Derek Brunson

Derek Brunson is a promising prospect but he really should not have been fighting Jacare at this point in his career. Jacare made quick work of the relatively inexperienced fighter dropping him with a counter right hand in the first thirty seconds and following up with a few more punches for the finish. Brunson obviously needs to focus on his striking defense to make sure he doesn’t leave such huge openings when he throws. He still has a chance to develop into a contender and a loss like this to Jacare should not be seen as establishing his ceiling. For Jacare, this was the best striking he has ever shown. He landed a deadly accurate counter and followed up with two more that landed directly on the chin. He used the minimum amount of energy to do the maximum amount of damage. This performance should earn him a rematch against Luke Rockhold to regain the middleweight belt he lost to Rockhold last year. Strikeforce has no one else to offer at 185 lbs and they might as well make the best fights available for as long as the organization lasts.

Tarec Saffiedine vs. Roger Bowling

Roger Bowling came to the cage with improved cardio and a better overall approach but it wasn’t enough to defeat Tarec Saffiedine who is beginning to look like a contender in the welterweight division. Saffiedine won the first round by controlling the distance and counter striking effectively. He landed several solid knees to the head and body of Bowling. Although Bowling was the aggressor throughout the fight, Saffiedine was actually the one in control and never allowed Bowling to do any real damage. The second round was similar to the first. Bowling continued to be the aggressor throwing boxing combinations and mixing in kicks to the legs and body. Saffiedine was less effective with his counterstriking in the second round, which made it a more difficult round to score. Saffiedine was still the more accurate and technical striker but because Bowling pushed the action and threw a higher volume of strikes, I scored the round in favor of him. The third round was progressing similarly to the second until Bowling decided to try to shoot for a takedown to win the round. Instead, Saffiedine stuffed the takedown and immediately climbed onto Bowling’s back securing the round and fight for himself. Even in a loss, Bowling showed a huge improvement in cardio. He still has dangerous power but he was overmatched technically against Saffiedine. I expect to see him in more fights against similar minded strikers and hopefully, he will continue the approach that he brought to this fight. With this win, Saffiedine likely earns a shot at Strikeforce champion Nate Marquardt in the depleted welterweight division. I’m not sure Saffiedine has much to offer a fighter of Marquardt’s caliber but it seems like the only logical fight for the promotion to make.

Anthony Smith vs. Lumumba Sayers

One-dimensional fighters can no longer survive in MMA and while Lumumba Sayers has heavy hands, he doesn’t have a ground game and it showed in this fight. In the first scramble of the opening round, Smith moved into full mount easily. From there, he landed ground and pound cutting Sayers before he was eventually able to escape and get back to his feet. But soon after, Smith slipped while throwing a punch and Sayers followed him to the ground. Within a few seconds of climbing into Smith’s guard, Sayers was tapping to a triangle choke. Smith showed near technical perfection in locking up the submission but Sayers offered almost no resistance. For Sayers, this establishes him as a fighter who is basically only capable of engaging in striking matches. Anyone with a ground game will dominate him. Smith’s performance was difficult to gauge because of the little resistance offered by his opponent but he did show some strong technique on the ground and deserves a step up in competition for his next fight.

Ovince St. Preux vs. T.J. Cook

The opening fight of Strikeforce Rousey vs. Kaufman played out exactly the way the promotion planned with Ovince St. Preux earning a scary one punch KO victory over T.J. Cook. To Cook’s credit, he managed to survive until the third round but doing so only set him up for a highlight reel loss. The fight started with Cook landing a couple big power shots to the body and legs but St. Preux quickly returned fire and dropped Cook with a left hand. He pounced for the finish but was unable to get it as Cook recovered and came back throwing big punches. Both fighters showed an excellent chin in the first round but St. Preux won it relatively easily. The pace slowed in the second round as St. Preux recovered some of the energy he expended in the first but he eventually landed an explosive double leg takedown and controlled the round from that point. He passed to side control and then moved into full mount. Cook gave his back and St. Preux ended the round in a dominant position. Before the start of the third round, Cook waited until the last second to insert his mouth piece and was visibly tired. St. Preux’s first punch of the round was a huge left hand that shut Cook down completely. Thankfully, St. Preux realized what happened and didn’t try to land any more strikes. Cook was out for a while but did recover and leave the cage under his own power. And unfortunately, this fight probably means he won’t be in Strikeforce much longer. By his own admission, he is not training full time and part time training just isn’t enough to compete at this level. St. Preux will likely get a second chance against a high level fighter in his next fight after losing to Gegard Mousasi in his previous fight. He obviously has the athleticism to compete in the light heavyweight division but he needs to continue to improve his technique if he hopes to challenge for a belt in the future.

MMAFix Staff Picks: Strikeforce Rousey vs. Kaufman

Ronda Rousey (-650) vs. Sarah Kaufman (+475) Ryan Poli: Kaufman is a good striker, the best Rousey has faced, but Rousey will have no problem closing the distance and making Kaufman fighter her game. Rousey.

Ronda Rousey (-650) vs. Sarah Kaufman (+475)

Ryan Poli: Kaufman is a good striker, the best Rousey has faced, but Rousey will have no problem closing the distance and making Kaufman fighter her game. Rousey by submission. Winner: Ronda Rousey

Alan Wells: I know Rousey has looked unstoppable but give me the +475 on the former champion all day. Rousey has never been hit hard and Kaufman has been training non-stop on keeping this fight standing. Not only do I love these odds but I’m picking Kaufman straight up to win. Winner: Sarah Kaufman

Ronaldo Souza (-485) vs. Derek Brunson (+385)

Ryan Poli: Souza is one of the best middleweights in the world and people seem to have forgotten that since his loss to Luke Rockhold. Souza’s grappling is top notch and will get Souza another submission. Souza by submission. Winner: Ronaldo Souza

Alan Wells: Brunson isn’t ready for Souza at this point in his career and unless Jacare comes in disinterested, he’ll earn the victory. I don’t see any value in betting either way on this fight. Winner: Ronaldo Souza

Tarec Saffiedine (-300) vs. Roger Bowling (+250)

Ryan Poli: Both fighters won there last 2 fights but Bowling has finished both his opponents while Saffiedine had 2 decision wins, with one of them being a split decision. Bowling has more momentum going for him, and that should get him the win. Bowling by KO. Winner: Roger Bowling

Alan Wells: This fight will be decided early. Either Bowling will land a knockout punch or Saffiedine will survive the early flurry and go on to earn the decision. I’m picking a winner, I’m going with Saffiedine but if I’m betting, give me the +250 on Bowling’s hands.. Winner: Tarec Saffiedine

Ovince St. Preux (-610) vs. T.J. Cook (+425)

Ryan Poli: Close fight to call, but Cook has lost several times by submission, while St. Preux has won several times by submission. St. Preux by submission. Winner: St. Preux

Alan Wells: The opening fight of Strikeforce Rousey vs. Kaufman is obviously designed to get St. Preux a win. But if you’re jonesing to put some money on the main card opener, why not put it on Cook’s right hand? Winner: St. Preux

Strikeforce Rousey vs. Kaufman: Pre-Fight Analysis

Ronda Rousey vs. Sarah Kaufman As a huge fan of women’s MMA, I’m always excited to see the women get the headlining spot and I’m happy to see Strikeforce giving these athletes their due. Since.

Ronda Rousey vs. Sarah Kaufman

As a huge fan of women’s MMA, I’m always excited to see the women get the headlining spot and I’m happy to see Strikeforce giving these athletes their due. Since medaling in Judo at the 2008 Olympics, Rousey has burst onto the MMA scene finishing all five of her fights via armbar in the first round. She has some of the best and most explosive grappling in the world of women’s MMA having proved it over and over again. She grapples to finish and not to just control the fight. However, her inexperience in the striking game has been apparent and that could be a problem for her against former champion Sarah Kaufman. Kaufman is one of the best technical strikers in the world and she has shown that repeatedly throughout her career. Her only loss came when she relinquished her title to Marles Coenen via armbar submission in the third round.

This fight has a couple of clear paths it can follow. Rousey will undoubtedly be looking to get this fight to the ground and use her world class Judo to finish the fight. The key will be whether or not her takedowns and throws will be enough to get the fight where she wants it. If she can get Kaufman down, the fight will likely be over quickly as even accomplished grappler Meisha Tate was no match for Rousey on the ground. But Kaufman has worked hard to develop an excellent defensive wrestling game in order to keep her fights standing. As a striker, she obviously has to be able to stay on her feet to execute her gameplan. If she can avoid Rousey’s throws and stuff the takedowns, this fight will get interesting very quickly. Kaufman will have as much of an advantage on the feet as Rousey has on the ground. Rousey has never been hit hard enough to put her in trouble and Kaufman definitely has the ability to do that. It will be very interesting to see what happens if Kaufman can test Rousey’s chin.

The bookmakers have Rousey as a huge favorite at -600 with Kaufman at +450. I know that Rousey has looked unstoppable thus far but she hasn’t faced anyone with the technical striking and defensive wrestling of Sarah Kaufman. Maybe I’m crazy, but I think Kaufman has a real chance to win this fight. This is they type of fight where we will find out early which course the fight will follow. Either Rousey will be able to get Kaufman to the mat and dominate from there or Kaufman will be able to keep the fight standing and show why she is considered one of the best technical boxers in women’s MMA. Either way, this fight is going to be a landmark. If Rousey dominates Kaufman the way she has every other opponent thus far, she will be solidly established as one of the best pound for pound female fighters in the world. But if Kaufman can pull off the upset, Rousey will be exposed and forced to go back to work on developing a full MMA game instead of just relying on her Judo.

Ronaldo Souza vs. Derek Brunson

In another seemingly significant mismatch, veteran and former middleweight champion Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza faces prospect Derek Brunson. Souza’s only loss in Strikeforce came when he dropped the belt to Luke Rockhold and he rebounded from that loss by defeating Bristol Marunde via submission in the third round in his last appearance. Souza has long been one of the best middleweights in the world and might be the best grappler at 185 lbs. His striking is decent but he has always been at his best when he can take his opponents down and work his submission game, which could make this a more interesting fight than expected because his opponent is an excellent wrestler. Brunson is a former collegiate wrestler who achieved at a high level in Division II. His striking has improved since entering MMA and he was undefeated before accepting a last minute fight against veteran Kendall Grove in ShoFight two months ago. He lost that fight via a questionable split decision and one has to question the logic behind a prospect accepting that type of fight. But regardless, he gets a huge opportunity to rebound against Souza.

This fight presents an interesting matchup of styles. Souza will likely struggle to get Brunson to the mat given the latter’s amateur wrestling pedigree. And Brunson will be hesitant to use his best weapon because he won’t want to spend too much time on the ground with Souza. That combination of factors could result in a striking match, which still benefits Souza but eliminates his best offensive attack. Souza comes into this fight as a huge favorite at -485 with Brunson at +385 and that seems appropriate given the gap in experience. But any time fighters are forced to avoid their strengths, upsets can occur. That said, Souza should have a comfortable advantage on the feet and will likely earn the victory but Brunson does have the power to land a knockout punch if given the opportunity. Either way, it will be interesting to see how this fight plays out given the fighters’ styles.

Tarec Saffiedine vs. Roger Bowling

The second fight of the night is likely to be one of the better fights on the card as Tarec Saffiedine and Roger Bowling face off in the welterweight division. With Tyron Woodley losing to Nate Marquardt for the vacant middleweight title, the winner of this fight could move into the title picture with an impressive performance. Saffiedine brings a well-rounded game to the cage and he will look to use that against Bowling. His most recent victories have both come via decision against Scott Smith and Tyler Stinson. He is a capable stand up fighter with solid Muay Thai enhanced by his length and reach advantage. As a Team Quest fighter, he also has excellent wrestling is capable of taking the fight to ground if he doesn’t like the way the striking is going. Bowling has a similar skill set except that his stand up game is mostly boxing and he has more power in his hands than Saffiedine. He can also take the fight to the ground if necessary but prefers to box.

Saffiedine is a significant favorite coming into this fight at -290 with Bowling the underdog at +245. That line seems to be a little too far in favor of Saffiedine. Bowling has the power to end any fight and Saffiedine has show susceptibility to punching power in the past. He was hurt bad by Tyler Stinson in the first round during his last fight and if Bowling is able to land as cleanly as Stinson did, the fight will be over. But Saffiedine does have the more well-rounded game both on the feet and on the ground and that should be enough to earn him a decision victory. The key will be to use his length to control the distance and avoid Bowling’s power. But if he lets Bowling get inside, we could see an upset.

Ovince St. Preux vs. T.J. Cook

To get Strikeforce Rousey vs. Kaufman started, two light heavyweights coming off of losses look to rebound as Ovince St. Preux faces off with T.J. Cook. St. Preux has long been one of Strikeforce’s prized prospects but lost in his last appearance against Gegard Mousasi, which was his first big test. This fight seems to be an effort to get St. Preux back on the winning side as Cook has just two Strikeforce appearances and was less than impressive in losing his last fight to Trevor Smith. Cook had no answers for Smith’s wrestling attack and that plays directly to St. Preux’s strength. Expect St. Preux to use his wrestling to ground Cook and attack with ground and pound from there. St. Preux will be looking for the finish or at least a dominating decision to show that he is still a serious prospect at 205 lbs.

None of the major books have a line on this fight but it’s safe to say that if they did, St. Preux would be a huge favorite. This is a bounce back fight set up for him to win and win impressively. But Cook won’t go along willingly and he has the ability to land some dangerous strikes. The struggle for him will be keeping the fight standing and that will likely be his downfall. Once St. Preux gets the takedown, he will look to pass and strike his way to victory.

UFC 150: Post-Fight Breakdown

Ben Henderson vs. Frankie Edgar The headliner for UFC 150 resulted in yet another controversial decision in a lightweight title fight. This time, Ben Henderson retained the title in a split decision where two judges.

Ben Henderson vs. Frankie Edgar

The headliner for UFC 150 resulted in yet another controversial decision in a lightweight title fight. This time, Ben Henderson retained the title in a split decision where two judges scored the fight 48-47 for Henderson and one score it 49-46 for Edgar. Edgar was upset with the decision after the fight and the internet consensus has Edgar winning the fight. I scored the fight 48-47 for Edgar but I don’t have a problem with the outcome at all and I don’t think saying that Edgar was “robbed” is an accurate assessment as many are claiming.

Henderson clearly won the first round and everyone is in agreement on that. He employed the unique strategy of attacking Edgar’s calf with kicks to slow the contender’s movement and had great success in doing so. Edgar’s calf was swollen and bruised by the end of the round. The former champion came back in the second round and evened up the scoring by knocking Henderson down with a clean right hand and then trying to finish with a front guillotine. The scoring on this round is also not in doubt but starting with the third round, judging became absurdly subjective. The final three rounds were some of the most difficult to score in any recent fight. Both fighters landed at various times but neither landed anything significant. Edgar seemed to be moving forward and bringing the fight to Henderson but compustrike showed that Henderson outlanded Edgar in significant strikes. On the other hand, Edgar won the takedown battle. Add that up and you get a judging nightmare. Boxing has long had an unwritten rule that the champion gets the nod if the fight is too close to score and that may have been what happened in this fight.

Scoring aside, Henderson leaves this fight as the champion and he will fight Nate Diaz next. Diaz has patiently been awaiting his opportunity and he will be rewarded with a title shot as promised. For Edgar, the loss has to be gutting but he is still one of the best fighters in the division. A fight with either Donald Cerrone of Anthony Pettis would make sense and a win against either would likely catapult him right back into top contendership. And of course, an immediate title shot awaits him if he ever decides to drop to featherweight, which he could easily do.

Donald Cerrone vs. Melvin Guillard

In the clear fight of the night, Donald Cerrone came back from being hurt early to knockout Melvin Guillard. And the entire fight lasted seventy six seconds. In the opening exchange, Guillard landed a counter left hook to Cerrone’s jaw and dropped him. Guillard rushed forward and flurried for the finish as Cerrone backed up toward to the cage. But Guillard was unable to end the fight and backed up to reset. Almost immediately upon reentering the pocket, Cerrone landed a kick just above Guillard’s temple. As Guillard wobbled, Cerrone rushed in and landed a right hand that turned out Guillard’s lights for at least a minute. If I have ever have seventy six seconds to kill, I’m not sure I could think of a better way to spend it than rewatching this fight.

The loss is a set back for Guillard and his chances of getting back into the title picture seem unlikely at this point. Despite that, he is always one of the most entertaining fighters in the division and because of that, he will always have a place in the UFC. Cerrone has now won six of his seven fights in the UFC with his only loss coming to title contender Nate Diaz. The lightweight division is absurdly stacked but he deserves to be on the fighters at the top of the stack. He, Anthony Pettis and Frankie Edgar seem to be the top three fighters outside of the champion Ben Henderson and Diaz. Hopefully, Cerrone will face either Pettis or Edgar in his next fight and either one of those fights would be guaranteed fireworks.

Jake Shields vs. Ed Herman

Jake Shields impressed no one by grinding out another unimpressive decision over Ed Herman. Herman actually won the first round by pushing Shields against the fence and controlling position. He never threatened the former Strikeforce champion but he did enough to win the round. That strategy came back to bite him in the second round as Shields used the clinch against the cage to score a takedown and controlled Herman from top position for the remainder of the round. He landed no significant strikes and his most threatening attack of the round was a weak kimura attempt. Herman learned from his mistake in the second round and came out looking to keep his distance and strike with Shields in the third round. But Shields managed to close the distance and repeated his performance from the previous round to earn the decision.

Ed Herman is basically the same fighter he’s always been. He has some dangerous submissions but lacks a striking game to support his grappling. Against the right opponent, he can provide exciting fights but he doesn’t present much of a threat at 185 lbs. Shields continues to be a bit of an enigma since coming to the UFC. He defeated Dan Henderson and that can’t be ignored but he also struggled with Ed Herman, which is not the mark of a great fighter. I don’t think the UFC can justify giving him a top tier fighter after that performance but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him matched with Yushin Okami after they both earned victories at UFC 150.

Yushin Okami vs. Buddy Roberts

This fight was a much of a mismatch in the cage as it was on paper. Roberts managed to land a few punches early in the first round but once Okami decided to take the fight to the ground, it was over. Roberts seemed to know that his only chance was to score a knockout and threw wild power shots at Okami through the early part of the first round. He landed a few but Okami was never in danger. Eventually, Okami tired of the striking and clinched with Roberts. From there, he dragged him to the mat and quickly passed to mount. Roberts gave up his back and Okami used the position to ground and pound Roberts who seemed ready to give up before the bell sounded. The second round was similar except that Okami didn’t wait to clinch and drag Roberts to the mat. Instead, he did it early in the round and once again ended up back mounted on Roberts throwing punches. Roberts seemed to accept his fate and covered up waiting for the fight to be stopped, which it was.

Roberts clearly doesn’t have what it takes to compete at the top of the division and is a middling middleweight at best. But Okami needed a fight like this to prove that he is still a dominant fighter. A loss to the best pound for pound fighter in the world followed by a crazy knockout loss in a fight he was dominating don’t mean that Okami is done. He deserves to be competing at the top of the division and should get a contender in his next fight.

Max Holloway vs. Justin Lawrence

UFC 150 started with an excellent striking display by Max Holloway and Justin Lawrence. In the first round, Lawrence landed the majority of the power strikes. He spent the round head hunting in search of the knockout. He managed to land a couple of clean punches but never seemed to have Holloway in major trouble. Despite that, he definitely looked to be the more dangerous fighter. The second round began in similar fashion but Holloway showed why his brand of Muay Thai is the most dangerous standup attack in the sport. Despite Lawrence’s power, Holloway stuck to his technical approach and eventually scored the finish in true Muay Thai fashion. He landed a knee to the liver and followed it closely with a right to the body and a left hook to the liver. Clean punches to the chin aren’t the only way to end a fight and Holloway proved that by decimating Lawrence to the body. The liver shots rendered him unable to do anything other than curl up in a fetal position and Holloway pounced with a flurry to finish the fight. His performance was a tribute to trusting technique over power and should serve as a reminder to the rest of the MMA world as to how effective body work can be with four ounce gloves.

For Lawrence, the loss is a set back but he put on a good enough show to prove that he has a future in the sport. After only five career fights, he will certainly improve going forward and will likely be given a winnable fight in his next appearance. Holloway now has back to back wins and at just twenty years old, seems to have a bright future. If the UFC is smart, they will not rush him into fights against more experienced opponents and allow him to continue to work on his game against other young fighters. He is only in the UFC because he was able to step in as a last minute replacement against Dustin Poirier and he is not yet ready for the upper or even middle levels of the featherweight division. Hopefully, the UFC will be smart and give him another similarly inexperienced prospect in his fight and allow him to continue to grow.