Home > Uncategorized > UFC 67: “LAMBS TO THE SLAUGHTER”

UFC 67: “LAMBS TO THE SLAUGHTER”

Okay, so the official title of the show was “All Or Nothing,” but it might as well have been “Lambs to the Slaughter.” On the other hand, some of the victims booked for the names on this card fared much better than I thought they would. NOTE – that still isn’t saying all that much.

New LJ icon (made by me – I finally re-installed Photoshop) to mark the occassion.

The big news before the fight was Travis Lutter missing weight and, subsequently, his shot at Anderson Silva’s Middleweight Championship. Lutter came into the weigh-in with a shaved head and removed all his clothes to make the weight, but was still two pounds over the 185 limit. Per regulations, he was given a second chance after two hours to make weight, and after two hours in the sauna (and whatever other measures were taken) had only lost a half-pound.

MIDDLEWEIGHT BOUT: Patrick Cote def. Scott Smith via unanimous decision. What an awful, awful fight. Both guys were tentative as Hell and the few attempts made at a serious offense were pathetic. Cote had Smith rocked in the first round, but opted to make a goofy fucking face at him (literally) rather than go in for the kill. That lack of aggressiveness is exactly why he was on the Ultimate Fighter season dubbed “the Comeback.” The crowd booed the shit out of this one. Normally the crowds at Maderlay Bay are way too quick to boo a fight, but they were well within reason in shitting all over this one. Cote got the nod after three rounds. I guess you’d have to give it to him, since while he did next to nothing Smith did nothing at all. Awful, awful fight and both guys should be ashamed of themselves.

LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT BOUT: Quinton “Rampage” Jackson def. Marvin Eastman in the 2nd via ref stoppage. Good ol’ Rampage kept going for his slams, but Eastman’s a decent wrestler and his build simply wouldn’t allow for it. Kind of a slow first round, but there were enough explosive exchanges where the crowd didn’t completely turn against it. A hair over three and a half minutes into the second, Rampage managed to rock Eastman and went for the ground and pound until the ref stopped it. Afterwards, as they showed the replay, Jackson said “I love Marvin Eastman, he’s my brother and all, but right now it’s time for some BLACK ON BLACK CRIME.” He admitted to being incredibly nervous, then said he was looking for a sparring partner. Jackson’s fucking hilarious in interviews, and is crazy marketable. His acquisition almost makes the entire buy-out of WFA worth it by itself.

WELTERWEIGHT BOUT: Roger Huerta def. John Halverson in the 1st via ref stoppage. Fight went all of 19 seconds, with a controversial finish. Huerta got Halverson down to the ground and went for a knee while Halverson was on his stomach, which put him out before Huerta mounted his back for further punches to the back of his head. A knee to the head while the recipient is down on his stomach is illegal. Joe Rogan was really ragging on the decision. The replay at different angles showed the knee just hitting Halverson’s shoulder, but other replays seemed to confirm my opinion that it also not only grazed his head (which was the knockout blow), but that Huerta was going for the head. Understandable when you’re used to fighting under different rules, as such a strike is almost instinctive, but that was definitely a partial headshot and the fight should’ve been stopped at least momentarily after that blow.

HEAVYWEIGHT BOUT: Mirko Cro Cop def. Eddie Sanchez in the 1st via ref stoppage. Ho boy. Mirko looked like a complete fucking serial killer here, right down to calmly walking towards Sanchez, who was jumping and running away from him the entire fight. Cro Cop here was like Jason in the “Friday the 13th” films. Sanchez managed to make it last longer than people expected, mostly due to dancing away from Cro Cop the entire round. Cro Cop got a good kick that grazed Sanchez but had enough in it to rock him, followed up with some punches standing then followed him to the ground. That was all she wrote. It’s very important to note that Cro Cop came out to his Pride music, which is really interesting considering they also received Pride footage in the week leading up to the fight to showcase him. Granted, the footage Pride gave isn’t nearly as impressive as the rest of his highlight reel in that organization, but none the less it’s a move that’s got a lot of people talking.

MAIN EVENT – MIDDLEWEIGHT NON-TITLE FIGHT: Anderson Silva (c) vs. Travis Lutter
The big story going on was Lutter, who didn’t make weight despite precautions taken including shaving his head, putting more hours in the sauna, completely dehydrating himself and being weighed completely naked. More thoughts on that below (him missing weight, not being naked). Lutter came in looking absolutely terrible, to the point where I remarked that coming out he looked like he already lost the fight. Ed and Dan agreed. Shockingly, once the fight started, Lutter showed signs of life by taking down Silva twice (which is no easy feat by any stretch of the imagination) and actually getting a mount at one point. He was punching Silva, who was covering up, but the punches while looking good didn’t have anything behind them. Knowing this, Lutter went for an AWFUL armbar (don’t believe his or UFC’s hype about how fantastic he is on the ground – Lutter’s above average but not fantastic) which Silva slipped out of. Silva, already annoyed at Lutter for not making weight, was absolutely PISSED and told him to get up. It went to the ground again, Silva got out again and instructed Lutter to stand back up. Lutter literally laid on his back with his hands behind his head and waited for the round to finish. Crowd booed him for that one. Normally I wouldn’t blame a fighter for doing that (as lame as it is), but when you’re in the situation that Lutter was in you have to do something to try to save face. In between rounds Lutter looked completely gassed. Again though, much to my shock, he took Silva down immediately in the second round. He couldn’t get anywhere, and Silva used his freakish Manut Bol legs to trap Lutter in a triangle choke, which he held on for a LONG time. Lutter’s head was turning purpleish from the strain, but his oxygen wasn’t being cut off so he didn’t tap. Silva couldn’t finish him, but Lutter also couldn’t get out. Realizing this, Silva started hitting Lutter on the top of his head with elbows from the bottom, causing Lutter to tap. Joe Rogan asked why the elbows weren’t illegal, and the explanation from Eddie Bravo (per the rules) was that it was due to the angle of the elbows. Rogan very firmly noted that the angle they’re coming from doesn’t make a difference when it’s the point of the elbow hitting with the same force and velocity, and said the rule doesn’t make any sense. Bravo agreed, as did I, but them’s the rules.

The main event ended before midnight, so we’d have at least two prelim fights airing. We only saw the first, as Dan had a cold and literally kicked Ed and I out of his apartment so he could get sleep.

LIGHTWEIGHT BOUT: Frankie Edgar def. Tyson Griffin via unanimous decision. Holy shit, what an amazing fight this was. Edgar went in as the underdog but was able to outwrestle Griffin. Everything happened so fast that I can’t even fathom noting highlights. First round went to Edgar on Eddie Bravo’s scorecard due to outwrestling Griffin, but Griffin also had the edge on stand-up which compensated for it, so I’d give the round to him 10-9. Second round was as close to dead even as you’re going to get. Third round was all Edgar, as he’d wore Griffin down and was able to take him to the mat. Shockingly, with 30 seconds left in the third, Griffin was able to lock in a wicked knee bar. He had Edgar’s knee completely hyperextended and was rolling with it, but Edgar refused to tap. Edgar was biting down so hard on his lip from the pain that he literally drew blood, but was able to last the round. The hyperextension of Edgar’s knee looked even worse on the replay. Before the decision was announced, the cameras and mic caught one of Edgar’s corners telling him that while he may win the fight on decision, if he were to ever be in that position again he’d better tap. He’s absolutely right – especially in a submission like that, where the knee is completely hyperextended, you always take the loss rather than take the risk of shortening your career or worse. I haven’t read anything indicating the severity of the injury, but Edgar was limping pretty badly after the fight and I’ll be shocked if he’s able to fight again anytime soon. Lesson to UFC fighters – don’t be a fucking hero (or Chris Leben). It’s far better to admit defeat in one fight than to allow damage that will haunt you for the rest of your career. The decision went to Edgar, 30-27. You can’t argue with that, since it was such a close fight that all but the third really could’ve gone either way. It’s worth noting, however, that if Pride criteria were to be used for the scoring of this fight, Griffin probably would’ve won since they score on the entirety of the fight rather than round by round and Griffin finished very strongly with the kneebar.

The other fight shown after this, which we didn’t see, was a 14-second affair where Terry Marvin beat Jorge Rivera via ref stoppage. Jorge’s a really great guy and has some skills, but it’s more and more obvious that he just doesn’t have it to fight at this level, which is sad and a damn shame.

FINAL THOUGHTS:
Overall, a really solid card though it was riddled with disappointments. Cote/Smith should’ve been a lot better than it was, and though Cote took the booing after the fight lightly and was professional (while simultaneously amusing), he probably should’ve apologized for the performance. Seriously, the fight was Heath Herring bad (NOTE – if you saw the last Fight Night on Spike TV you know that Heath Herring’s performance is the new measuring stick for an awful UFC fight). Jackson’s win was decisive, though I think everyone was hoping for some slams if not a single slam – that’s the fault of the matchmakers, though, who provided a good story but not the exciting fight that Jackson could’ve had. Cro Cop was expected to completely decimate Sanchez and knock him out. That didn’t happen, but that’s only because Sanchez backpedaled the entire fight – which is the best possible strategy he could’ve had against Mirko RoboCop.

As far as Lutter missing weight and changing it from a five-round championship fight to a three-round non-title bout, a lot of folks are upset. Long story short – Lutter knew he had to cut weight and didn’t, and if he can’t cut to that weight, then he shouldn’t fight as a Middleweight. It’s as simple as that. Lutter still put up a Hell of a fight, though if you believed UFC’s hype about Lutter being unstoppable on the ground, then I direct you to the word “gullible” that’s written on your ceiling in pig’s blood. To a lot of people it seems ridiculous that a guy can lose a title shot by being a pound and a half off, and some will make the excuse for Lutter that fight was made “last minute” because of the injury to Georges St. Pierre that cancelled his Welterweight Title defense against Matt Serra. The problem with that argument is that Lutter knew after winning The Ultimate Fighter that his next fight would be against Silva and should’ve been training appropriately from the get-go. Not only that, but he had over a month’s notice when the fight was going to occur, which is plenty of time to cut down to the required weight (170 to 185). Besides, there are fighters who have had much less notice for a fight and were still able to cut (or put on) the weight necessary.

Two possiblities for why this happened – either Lutter’s natural weight is over 185, which means he should be fighting as a Light Heavyweight, or he didn’t apply himself to all areas of his training the way he ought to. In any case, what happened is inexcusable. While I feel bad for him having lost his shot and I’m sure he feels like shit for how it went down, he has absolutely nobody to blame but himself.

Next event is UFC 68 on March 3rd. So far it’s a loaded card, with the main event featuring the return of Randy Couture in a Heavyweight Championship Match with current title-holder Tim Sylvia. It also marks the first fights for welterweight Matt Hughes and middleweight Rich Franklin after their respective title losses. Both went into their fights perhaps a little too cocky, though I think that affected Franklin much more than it affected Hughes, so he (Franklin) has more to prove with this next fight and a lot more work to do if he wants to prove himself deserving of a rematch. UFC 69 has already been announced with the main event of Georges St. Pierre defending the Welterweight Championship against Ultimate Fighter winner Matt Serra, which was the fight that was originally supposed to main event last night’s card.

More later…

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