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UFC 121 Mailbag

By on October 24, 2010

Every now and then, there’s an event that deserves its very own mailbag. UFC 121 was precisely such an event, with heavyweight superhero/pariah Brock Lesnar losing his title and several more head-scratchers in the form of judges’ scorecards. Let’s hop right into this mailbag and see what people are saying.

Brock Talk

Finally, that cocky jerk gets the beatdown that he deserves. He never really deserved the spot that he had, and has been over hyped from the start!
James from Ohio

Hahahahaha, it was great seeing Brock get beat tonight! I’m not a huge Cain fan, but he’s a way better fighter than the one-dimensional Lesnar ever was.
Bill from Pasadena, California

One sad part of MMA is the revisionist history that immediately takes place when a highly-touted fighter suffers an inevitable defeat. All of a sudden, the former UFC Heavyweight Champion was a hyped up, one-dimensional fraud who was built up to be marketed to dumb pro wrestling fans?

I’m not buying it.

I’ve always hated hearing people say that someone like Lesnar is one-dimensional. He comes from an amateur wrestling background. Sure, his takedowns come from that specific area, but what about his ground-and-pound? Is that not a skill? And if not, why don’t we see fellow wrestlers like Lesnar’s training partner Cole Konrad pounding out top heavyweights within a round or two?

Did they teach Lesnar how to submit someone with an arm triangle or pin them against a cage while in half-guard during his days at the University of Minnesota? Sorry, but if you think Lesnar’s just using “wrestling” in there, you’re mistaken. Brazilian jiu-jitsu doesn’t just mean slapping triangle chokes on people from the guard. It also means good, solid top control and positioning. Furthermore, I doubt they worked on ground strikes during Lesnar’s college wrestling practices.

Also, I don’t get the whole thing where people immediately discredit the loser of a fight while talking up the winner. If Lesnar was never really that good, what does it say about Cain Velasquez? Furthermore, what does it say about the entire UFC heavyweight division? Are we to believe that the only good heavyweight in the world is Fedor Emelianenko? Oh, wait…he lost to Fabricio Werdum, who only had moderate success in the UFC, so what do we take away from all of this?

I prefer to think of Lesnar as an amazing athlete and an absolute beast who fought another top-notch heavyweight and got beaten. This kind of thing happens in MMA. The sky isn’t falling, and the heavyweight title will be in the hands of either Velasquez, Lesnar or Shane Carwin for some time to come, I think.

What’s your take on the judging from the event? I thought Martin Kampmann got screwed.
DZ from Florida

I don’t know about that; it was probably too close to say that anyone could have been “screwed”. I do think that Nelson Hamilton is a bit crazy for giving all three rounds to Shields, as I think Kampmann clearly took the second round. You can’t give a guy that much credit for getting full mount if he doesn’t do anything with the position and his opponent escapes almost immediately. How does that trump the landing of significant strikes and a deep submission attempt?

Along those lines, I also think that Luis Cobian must be out of his damn mind to have given Diego Sanchez all three rounds over Paulo Thiago. How did Thiago not clearly win round one? It’s insane? Thankfully, Sanchez deserved to win the fight, but hearing that 30-26 scorecard just reminds you of how bad MMA judging continues to be. I think judges should have to explain their decisions or make themselves available to the media after fights, just like the fighters themselves. Why can’t we ask Cobian what he was thinking?

Two other fighters on the undercard were given what were apparently very suspect decisions, as Chris Camozzi won a split decision over Dongi Yang, while Paul Taylor was said to have been screwed over by split decision against Sam Stout. I haven’t seen either fight, but at this point I will be more likely to believe those who saw the fights live, rather than to give the judges the benefit of the doubt.

Is Tito Ortiz done? He certainly looks like it, from the performance he put on against Matt Hamill. He looked to be about 1,000 years old and had no answers for what seemed to be a very obvious strategy from Matt Hamill, either.
Scott from England

Yeah, I think he is. He may not retire, but I expect him to be cut from the UFC since he makes a ton of money and doesn’t have a whole lot left to offer. Is he good enough to fight competitively? Sure, he is. But is the UFC going to keep shelling out money to have Ortiz face the likes of Vladimir Matyushenko or Stephan Bonnar? I highly doubt it.

He’s absolutely done as any kind of a contender. I don’t think he even showed that he could be the Strikeforce champ at 205 pounds during the Hamill fight. His previous strengths- his cardio and his wrestling- are no longer great assets and his striking hasn’t visibly improved over his last several fights. Aside from that, all of the injuries and long periods of inactivity have clearly taken their toll on him, as well.

I really don’t think that Ortiz will retire. He doesn’t seem ready to do so, and like I said, it’s not as if this is a situation where Ortiz is just too old to even compete. If he doesn’t mind silly things like hurting his “legacy” or isn’t opposed to taking a pay cut to fight in Strikeforce or elsewhere, he can certainly keep on fighting. However, even if he had somehow beaten Hamill, he just didn’t look good in the process. His athleticism, speed, cardio and overall effectiveness as a fighter have all been hampered by his age and injury history, and there’s no turning back.

E-Mail Jon Hartley

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