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UFC 117 Post-Fight Thoughts and Analysis

  • Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen is the second greatest fight I have ever witnessed live. The superlatives surrounding the bout, the pre-fight hype machine, the edge of your seat feel, the shocking domination of the perceived best fighter in the world and the crazy holy shit ending.  The only other time I had that feeling is Fedor/Crocop.
  • I thought it was very surreal, but also very fitting that both fighters most glaring weakness was exposed.  Anderson Silva’s defensive wrestling has long been a problem that just hadn’t been really exploited by an opponent until Saturday night. Sonnen’s submission defense, well I don’t know what to say, maybe it’s mental, maybe it’s technical, but it must improve.
  • Unfortunately for a betting man like myself the future line for Georges St. Pierre vs. Anderson Silva (if it happens) probably won’t have GSP as an exploitable underdog like I originally figured he would be.  It’s too bad because even before this fight took place I didn’t really see how Anderson would stop GSP’s knee tap and guard passing.
  • The question on a lot fan’s collective minds, did Anderson Silva get old overnight like Roy Jones did?  I’m not so sure. While it’s always stupid to point out a pre-fight injury in a post-fight interview, I do believe he’s telling the truth and that it did have some sort of effect on him.  That being said, I was legitimately shocked how inactive his guard was for the first 4 rounds, it was lethargic against a man who is notorious for being submittable.  This fight also marks the first time that I’ve seen Anderson dazed from a strike, so the getting old argument is not out of the realm of possibility.
  • Referee Josh Rosenthal did a fantastic job in the main event, but if you watched the Johny Hendricks vs. Charlie Brenneman fight on the undercard it was a really lame stoppage by Rosenthal.  So Brenneman gets knocked down and the fight is stopped as Brenneman(fully aware) is trying to upkick Hendricks to keep him off him, just not proper refereeing.
  • Phil “Mr. Wonderful” Davis is all kinds of wonderful on many different technical levels.  Just a brilliant prospect.
  • Speaking of betting, my picks were horrible on this card, there I said it.
  • Ben Saunders vs. Dennis Hallman, well apparently Saunders has not learned to fight off his back and Hallman’s victory over John Howard was not an aberration.
  • I had Clay Guida losing the first 2 rounds against Rafael Dos Anjos, but I’m sure that the judges had it differently.  It’s a classic example of the guy on bottom doing more work than the guy on top(there’s a “that’s what she said” joke for everyone that will inevitably post it in the comments) and judges just not comprehending that someone can win off their back.
  • Matt Hughes vs. Dennis Hallman 3 anyone?  
  • Junior Dos Santos needs to mix it up more with his strikes, but that’s the only negative thing I can say about him. Brilliant fight from JDS.  I thought he showed some advanced ring intelligence for someone still so young.  When he realized he probably wasn’t going to finish the very tough Nelson he slowed his pace as not to lose all his cardio.  Takedown defense was excellent as well and he got 15 more minutes of ring time, just all around brilliance by Junior Dos Santos.
  • Thiago Alves got Fitch’d, enough said.  No but seriously Fitch looked great.  I thought it was more indicative of Fitch’s improvements in stand-up and sharpening his wrestling skills, than it was Alves’ weight and layoff.