Jump to content

Ultimate Fighting


Recommended Posts

Scary ending to UFC main event

Sean Salmon is knocked cold by Rashad Evans, but is expected to be OK. Herring is upset in his debut.

By Dave Meltzer, Special to The Times

January 26, 2007

 

The Ultimate Fighting Championship Spike TV special event Thursday night in Hollywood, Fla. had a spectacular, and scary ending. The main event was a battle of former college wrestlers turned light-heavyweight mixed martial arts fighters. Rashad Evans (15-0), who was losing the fight, connected with a right high kick to the jaw of Sean Salmon (9-2), knocking Salmon out cold. Salmon laid motionless on the ground for several minutes before being carried out on a stretcher.

 

There was an uneasy feeling in the building as Salmon didn't move at all as he was carried out. He was rushed to a hospital, but UFC officials later reported at a post-show press conference that Salmon was conscious, talking and appeared to be OK.

 

The kick will no doubt be replayed repeatedly, and will almost surely be high on any list for the most spectacular finishes in any combat sport of 2007.

 

Perhaps the most interesting exchange took place after the show at the press conference. When a reporter asked about a prospective match with Evans vs. Keith Jardine, who made a name for himself by knocking out Forrest Griffin on Dec. 30 in Las Vegas, UFC President Dana White said that sounded like a great idea. Evans shot back that he trains regularly with Jardine in Albuquerque, and he would never fight him. White said that if he made the match, he'd fight him. Evans shot back that he would not, and the awkward exchange ended at that point.

 

The show at the Seminole Hard Rock Cafe drew a sellout crowd of 5,287 fans, and in the televised matches, saw a couple of upsets.

 

Hermes Franca (18-5), a Brazilian who was the hometown favorite from Jupiter, Fla., defeated Spencer Fisher (20-3) of the Pat Miletich camp in a mild upset in the light-weight fight. Franca was expected to have the advantage should the fight go to the ground, but Fisher seemed several classes above him standing. However, despite his technical advantages against the wild swinger, Fisher got caught with a roundhouse arm punch that started from below the waist and he was stunned.

 

Franca landed several more punches standing before the match was stopped at 4:03 of the second round.

 

It was Franca's eighth win in a row, all by stoppages, in the last 11 months. After the show, White strongly hinted at the idea of Franca getting a shot at champion Sean Sherk in July.

 

From an international perspective, the biggest thing on the show was the UFC debut of Heath Herring.

 

Herring, 28, a 6-4, 250-pound native of Amarillo, Tex., became a big star in Japan with the Pride organization in 2000 when he stopped previously unbeaten 300-pound wrestler Tom Erikson.

 

In 2001, he defeated Mark Kerr in what was pushed as something of a changing of the guard. A colorful character, Herring became a favorite in Japan with his black cowboy hat and rainbow-colored hair, known as the "Texas Crazy Horse." He once even formed a tag team with Japanese pro wrestling legend Terry Funk for a show at the Tokyo Dome.

 

He ended up with a 12-5 record in Pride, but four of his losses came at the hands of the three top heavyweights in the world, Mirko Cro Cop, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (twice) and Fedor Emelianenko.

 

His other loss, to Vitor Belfort, was something of a robbery as he dominated most of that match.

 

In UFC, Herring was expected to add talent and color to what had been a heavyweight division badly lacking in both. But in a match designed to showcase him to American fans, Herring (26-12 overall), after scoring an early first-round knockdown, was outwrestled for the rest of the three round fight. He lost the unanimous decision to former Purdue grappler Jake O'Brien (10-0), taking him out of title contention before he even got in line.

 

The crowd booed the fight, and O'Brien, because they expected fireworks from the fist and feet of Herring, and instead, he was constantly put on his back and neutralized.

 

Nathan Marquardt (23-6-2) put himself in line for a shot at middleweight championship with a dominant three-round decision over ground specialist Dean Lister (9-5).

 

The fight of the night, off television, saw local fighter Din Thomas (18-3) of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., beat Clay Guida (20-4) of Tinley Park, Ill. Thomas was the stronger stand-up fighter, while Guida was the better wrestler. In a fast-paced match where both had their moments, Guida used wrestling to win the first round. Thomas did more damage in the second round with his punches, even though Guida scored some takedowns. Both tired in the third round, with Thomas barely winning the round.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 683
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

DECISIONS, DECISIONS –

Part I: Nobody’s Perfect

 

Like all sports, MMA is a topic that lends itself well to debates. Which fighter is the best? What was the biggest upset of all time? Would Art Jimmerson have done any better without that one glove? But no matter the topic, most debates come back to the one big question: UFC vs. Pride.

 

There are many aspects to this question, from fighters to foot stomps to Fedor. However, there is one difference that has the most direct effect on a fighter’s record: the method by which judges award one fighter a win and the other a loss. And unlike most debates, the question of which organization has a better system of judgment might actually have a scientific answer.

 

What follows is part one of an examination of MMA judging criteria, the rules governing Pride decisions for events held in Japan and the Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts, first instituted by the New Jersey State Athletic Commission and most prominently associated with the UFC.

 

At its essence, the difference between the two systems is that of qualitative versus quantitative judgment – of Pride’s demand that judges decide who has fought to greater effect and the UFC’s attempt at requiring judges to assign points to fighters and therefore make a quantitative judgment of the fight. Admittedly, neither system is perfect, each with its own advantages and flaws. By subjecting the two to critical examination, we can see which system’s flaws are a greater hindrance to providing consistent, accurate, and objectively correct decisions.

 

Pride’s criteria are simple: Judges are to consider the fight in its entirety and decide the winner based on the following aspects, in order of priority:

 

1. Effort made to finish the fight via KO or submission

2. Damage done to the opponent

3. Standing combinations and ground control

4. Takedowns and takedown defense

5. Aggressiveness

6. Weight (in the case that the weight difference is 10 kg/22 lb or more)

 

All three judges must name a winner, so that, except in matches conducted under special rules, there can only be unanimous and split decisions, but no draws.

 

The problem with Pride’s judging rules is that of subjectivity. Even though Pride’s rules give a clear ranking of what aspects are more important than others, there is no mandate as to how much more important one category is than the other. Is damage worth twice as much as ground control? More than that? Who knows? This makes Pride’s criteria decidedly unscientific and subjective. Without concrete numerical values with which to measure one fighter’s performance against the other fighter’s, judging becomes a battle of differing interpretations of the criteria and differing opinion as to which particular minutes or seconds mattered most. One judge might give weight to a nearly successful submission attempt by one fighter while another judge will choose to favor the other fighter based on his accumulation of damage and combinations while on the feet. These two judges will arrive at different decisions, even though they both agree in principle on who won each aspect of the fight. In addition, by considering the entire fight, judges are often unduly influenced by the closing minutes of the fight, which leave a lasting impression more so than the beginning.

 

The problem of subjectivity is simple but its effects are profound. When judges are left to decide a winner based on their own subjective opinions, you inevitably end up with more disagreement, more controversy, and poorer decisions. Without an objective standard, fighters can’t form a strategy; not knowing if the judges they’re fighting in front of will weigh one aspect of the fight more than another. And when decisions are rooted in opinion, fans with a different opinion as to the winner will lose respect for the judging system and distrust the organization.

 

The criteria used by the UFC are more detailed and therefore engender different problems. Firstly, the “ten-point must” system is used, whereby the winner of each round is granted 10 points with the loser of the round receiving nine points or less. At the end of the fight, points are tallied and the fighter with the most points wins, either by unanimous, split, or majority decision. If both fighters have the same number of points, the match is ruled a draw. It’s the “nine points or less” part of the equation where things get dicey. Unlike in boxing where points are automatically deducted because of knockdowns, judges in MMA are noticeably reticent to mark 10-8 rounds, while 10-7 rounds are almost unheard of. This means that a fighter can overwhelmingly win a round and receive a 10-9 score just the same a fighter who held only a modest advantage.

 

This is likely the result of just how complicated it is to determine the winner of a round. Though Mike Goldberg breezes through the standards, saying that UFC bouts are judged based on effective striking, grappling, aggression, and octagon control, the official guidelines are not quite so clear.

 

To begin with, the priority of those categories (striking, grappling, etc.) is not a constant; judges must first take note of where the majority of action takes place during a round. If the majority of the round is spent on the mat, then grappling is worth more, while striking would be worth more should the majority of action take place on the feet. If a round contains an equal amount of stand-up and ground fighting, then grappling and striking would be weighed equally. Next, judges must keep count of “the total number of legal heavy strikes landed” to determine who wins the striking component of the round. While Pride’s rules use damage as the qualitative arbiter of striking effectiveness, the UFC’s rules require a quantitative numerical advantage for one contestant. The merit of each system is debatable, but it would seem certain that by using a clear quantitative standard, the UFC’s criteria would make for more objective decisions in the area of striking.

 

Quantitative definitions seemingly fall apart when judging grappling in MMA. The rules attempt to set a standard, saying, “effective grappling is judged by considering the amount of successful executions of a legal takedown and reversals.” However, takedowns and reversals are not the only grappling techniques that earn points. With submission attempts, guard passes, sweeps and other ground activity, not to mention Greco-Roman and other grappling action on the feet, judges have to keep track of a staggering number of factors and decide which of these to weigh more heavily than the others. The rules would like judges to count techniques and arrive at a concrete number corresponding to each fighter’s grappling performance. But based on the vagaries of the guidelines, is there any guarantee that judges will arrive at the same number? It is no wonder that takedowns (even into guard) and maintaining top position hold so much sway over UFC judges. These easily quantifiable factors can provide a simple number to judge grappling. But given the complexity of MMA, is that simple number good enough to encapsulate all the grappling in a round and thereby give one fighter a win and another a loss?

 

The idea of an objective standard is laudable, but as Pride and the UFC demonstrate, nearly impossible to implement. In Pride’s case, the simplicity of their criteria should indicate the same winner to anyone viewing the fight, so long as everyone grants the same weight to each category of performance. In the UFC, each judge would ideally count the exact same number of heavy blows landed, the number of successful grappling maneuvers, and submission attempts. Each judge would utilize the objective standard to decide the winner of each round and all three judges should arrive at the same decision. In both cases, proper standards should provide the same results no matter who the judges are. There should never be a split decision.

 

But there are plenty of split decisions. Viewed individually, split decisions can be blamed on a particular judge, simply accounting for inevitable variables in vantage point, concentration, and judging bias (e.g., giving more weight to striking rather than grappling or submissions). However, on a systemic level, a large number of split decisions would perhaps indicate a deficiency in the judging criteria itself. If judges frequently disagree with each other, it might be an indication that the judgment parameters are themselves unclear and inherently lend themselves to discord.

 

So getting back to the original question: Who’s judging criteria is better, Pride’s or the UFC’s? If split decisions are an indicator of poor judgment criteria, perhaps figuring out which system produces fewer split decisions will indicate which is the better one…

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thoughts after last night's Spike fights:

 

It's hard to shell out $39.99 for a pay per view when Spike has a night of fights that's as good as some of those pay per views, AND, you can see some of the ppv fights on youtube the day after anyway.

 

I really enjoyed all the fights last night. The crowd was clueless during the Irish Jake's wrestling clinic, I mean, bout with Herring. He HANDLED him and I thought it was a real good fight to watch.

 

Rashad was probably losing that fight, but it was a matter of time. Salmon was getting tired and Rashad just needed to mix it up (rather than a straight right every time), and BOOM! it was over. I don't really know what was up with putting Salmon in with Rashad - seemed like a step down for Rashad and the result was scary.

 

The Pros vs Joes after the fights was pretty hilarious. Couture submitted the contestants 18 times in 3 rounds. Really funny - the Joes were scared sh-tless.

 

When is Spike going to go hi-def? Even my local sports station is hi-def now. Come on.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thoughts after last night's Spike fights:

 

It's hard to shell out $39.99 for a pay per view when Spike has a night of fights that's as good as some of those pay per views, AND, you can see some of the ppv fights on youtube the day after anyway.

 

I really enjoyed all the fights last night. The crowd was clueless during the Irish Jake's wrestling clinic, I mean, bout with Herring. He HANDLED him and I thought it was a real good fight to watch.

 

Rashad was probably losing that fight, but it was a matter of time. Salmon was getting tired and Rashad just needed to mix it up (rather than a straight right every time), and BOOM! it was over. I don't really know what was up with putting Salmon in with Rashad - seemed like a step down for Rashad and the result was scary.

 

The Pros vs Joes after the fights was pretty hilarious. Couture submitted the contestants 18 times in 3 rounds. Really funny - the Joes were scared sh-tless.

 

When is Spike going to go hi-def? Even my local sports station is hi-def now. Come on.

 

 

I couldnt believe herrings performance and then his comments afterward. Rogan looked like he wanted to jump up and flying arm bar him.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i missed this whole thing last night, as i had to work late. i really was looking forward to watching the franca vs. fisher bout. sounds like it was a good one. and from what it sounds like, rashad dished out a pretty devastating knockout. sounds like there was a little tension between rashad and dana white afterwards. backtalking to the boss... AWKWARD!

 

can't find any video of anything yet. hopefully something will show up soon.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i missed this whole thing last night, as i had to work late. i really was looking forward to watching the franca vs. fisher bout. sounds like it was a good one. and from what it sounds like, rashad dished out a pretty devastating knockout. sounds like there was a little tension between rashad and dana white afterwards. backtalking to the boss... AWKWARD!

 

can't find any video of anything yet. hopefully something will show up soon.

 

man I wish that exchange was on youtube.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i missed this whole thing last night, as i had to work late. i really was looking forward to watching the franca vs. fisher bout. sounds like it was a good one. and from what it sounds like, rashad dished out a pretty devastating knockout. sounds like there was a little tension between rashad and dana white afterwards. backtalking to the boss... AWKWARD!

 

can't find any video of anything yet. hopefully something will show up soon.

 

man I wish that exchange was on youtube.

 

I must of been doing something else when that happened because I didnt see it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i missed this whole thing last night, as i had to work late. i really was looking forward to watching the franca vs. fisher bout. sounds like it was a good one. and from what it sounds like, rashad dished out a pretty devastating knockout. sounds like there was a little tension between rashad and dana white afterwards. backtalking to the boss... AWKWARD!

 

can't find any video of anything yet. hopefully something will show up soon.

 

man I wish that exchange was on youtube.

 

I must of been doing something else when that happened because I didnt see it.

 

 

Perhaps the most interesting exchange took place after the show at the press conference. When a reporter asked about a prospective match with Evans vs. Keith Jardine, who made a name for himself by knocking out Forrest Griffin on Dec. 30 in Las Vegas, UFC President Dana White said that sounded like a great idea. Evans shot back that he trains regularly with Jardine in Albuquerque, and he would never fight him. White said that if he made the match, he'd fight him. Evans shot back that he would not, and the awkward exchange ended at that point.

 

I think it went on after the show, back stage at the press conference. I was hoping that someone snuck a camera of some kind into the conference.

 

I taped the whole thing fight night and Joe/pro, and I did not see it either

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i missed this whole thing last night, as i had to work late. i really was looking forward to watching the franca vs. fisher bout. sounds like it was a good one. and from what it sounds like, rashad dished out a pretty devastating knockout. sounds like there was a little tension between rashad and dana white afterwards. backtalking to the boss... AWKWARD!

 

can't find any video of anything yet. hopefully something will show up soon.

 

man I wish that exchange was on youtube.

 

I must of been doing something else when that happened because I didnt see it.

 

 

Perhaps the most interesting exchange took place after the show at the press conference. When a reporter asked about a prospective match with Evans vs. Keith Jardine, who made a name for himself by knocking out Forrest Griffin on Dec. 30 in Las Vegas, UFC President Dana White said that sounded like a great idea. Evans shot back that he trains regularly with Jardine in Albuquerque, and he would never fight him. White said that if he made the match, he'd fight him. Evans shot back that he would not, and the awkward exchange ended at that point.

 

I think it went on after the show, back stage at the press conference. I was hoping that someone snuck a camera of some kind into the conference.

 

I taped the whole thing fight night and Joe/pro, and I did not see it either

 

 

that pros vs. joes was hilarious

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i missed this whole thing last night, as i had to work late. i really was looking forward to watching the franca vs. fisher bout. sounds like it was a good one. and from what it sounds like, rashad dished out a pretty devastating knockout. sounds like there was a little tension between rashad and dana white afterwards. backtalking to the boss... AWKWARD!

 

can't find any video of anything yet. hopefully something will show up soon.

 

man I wish that exchange was on youtube.

 

I must of been doing something else when that happened because I didnt see it.

 

 

Perhaps the most interesting exchange took place after the show at the press conference. When a reporter asked about a prospective match with Evans vs. Keith Jardine, who made a name for himself by knocking out Forrest Griffin on Dec. 30 in Las Vegas, UFC President Dana White said that sounded like a great idea. Evans shot back that he trains regularly with Jardine in Albuquerque, and he would never fight him. White said that if he made the match, he'd fight him. Evans shot back that he would not, and the awkward exchange ended at that point.

 

I think it went on after the show, back stage at the press conference. I was hoping that someone snuck a camera of some kind into the conference.

 

I taped the whole thing fight night and Joe/pro, and I did not see it either

 

 

that pros vs. joes was hilarious

 

I was funny when randy whispered through the cage to the other pros, that the guys were saying "dont hurt me, dont hurt me"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The fights I was most impressed with was the Ed Herman vs Chris Price fight and the Rashad Evans vs Sean Salmon. Ed pulled off a sick armbar. I was impressed, it was beautiful. Rashad Evans threw a nice high kick right to the head of Sean Salmon. He was out cold.

 

Originally i was excited about the Franca vs Fisher fight. But I really wasnt impressed by Hermes stand up. Im sure he was just going for the knockout, and he def got it, and unloading huge bombs, but those are the kinds of swings i would expect to see in a bar fight. I hope Sean Sherk murders him.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The fights I was most impressed with was the Ed Herman vs Chris Price fight and the Rashad Evans vs Sean Salmon. Ed pulled off a sick armbar. I was impressed, it was beautiful. Rashad Evans threw a nice high kick right to the head of Sean Salmon. He was out cold.

 

Originally i was excited about the Franca vs Fisher fight. But I really wasnt impressed by Hermes stand up. Im sure he was just going for the knockout, and he def got it, and unloading huge bombs, but those are the kinds of swings i would expect to see in a bar fight. I hope Sean Sherk murders him.

 

Sean Sherk will probably kill him. I hate sherk though. Ed's arm bar was sick. I might have to try that in class now. Im not really sure how that transition worked but I can probably figure it out.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

just saw the encore presentation of ultimate fight night. Heath Herring, great outfit, great entrance, takedown defense.... not so great. maybe he thought he was still in Pride and waiting for that yellow card to be brought out. well it was a bit disappointing, after all the hype that was built up. O'Brien took him down at will. the only issue i have with O'Brein is he never really tried to finish him off. no attempts at a ground and pound, no submission attempts, sometimes he didn't even try to take the mount. as Rogan pointed out, Herring wasn't even locking O'Brein's leg in half guard. he could have taken full mount anytime, he could have tried to ground and pound, he had several opportunities for a rear naked choke. but seemed he was content to lay on top and drop an occasional elbow. reminded me of Josh Koscheck's early fights. just make sure the other guy doesn't score any points and you win by default. not good, in my opinion. Poor Herring was trying desperately to finish the fight and keep it busy, but just couldn't stop O'Brein's takedown. i expected Herring to do a lot better on the ground.

 

Rashad now has a highlight that will last him the rest of his career. wow, that was crazy. good lightweight match too. will Franca's plea work on Dana White? could he get a title shot? and speaking of title shot, what is this i hear about Diego Sanchez fighting Josh Koscheck? what does Sanchez have to do to get a title shot this year? say what you want about Sanchez, but he is nonstop in the octagon. unlike O'Brein, Sanchez doesn't just lay on top of you. if Diego takes you down, he is gonna try finish you off with a submission or ground and pound.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

just saw the encore presentation of ultimate fight night. Heath Herring, great outfit, great entrance, takedown defense.... not so great. maybe he thought he was still in Pride and waiting for that yellow card to be brought out. well it was a bit disappointing, after all the hype that was built up. O'Brien took him down at will. the only issue i have with O'Brein is he never really tried to finish him off. no attempts at a ground and pound, no submission attempts, sometimes he didn't even try to take the mount. as Rogan pointed out, Herring wasn't even locking O'Brein's leg in half guard. he could have taken full mount anytime, he could have tried to ground and pound, he had several opportunities for a rear naked choke. but seemed he was content to lay on top and drop an occasional elbow. reminded me of Josh Koscheck's early fights. just make sure the other guy doesn't score any points and you win by default. not good, in my opinion. Poor Herring was trying desperately to finish the fight and keep it busy, but just couldn't stop O'Brein's takedown. i expected Herring to do a lot better on the ground.

 

Rashad now has a highlight that will last him the rest of his career. wow, that was crazy. good lightweight match too. will Franca's plea work on Dana White? could he get a title shot? and speaking of title shot, what is this i hear about Diego Sanchez fighting Josh Koscheck? what does Sanchez have to do to get a title shot this year? say what you want about Sanchez, but he is nonstop in the octagon. unlike O'Brein, Sanchez doesn't just lay on top of you. if Diego takes you down, he is gonna try finish you off with a submission or ground and pound.

 

if they wont give him a title shot, I would love to see him fight Koshchek. that would be a great fight. Koshek gets better each time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

just saw the encore presentation of ultimate fight night. Heath Herring, great outfit, great entrance, takedown defense.... not so great. maybe he thought he was still in Pride and waiting for that yellow card to be brought out. well it was a bit disappointing, after all the hype that was built up. O'Brien took him down at will. the only issue i have with O'Brein is he never really tried to finish him off. no attempts at a ground and pound, no submission attempts, sometimes he didn't even try to take the mount. as Rogan pointed out, Herring wasn't even locking O'Brein's leg in half guard. he could have taken full mount anytime, he could have tried to ground and pound, he had several opportunities for a rear naked choke. but seemed he was content to lay on top and drop an occasional elbow. reminded me of Josh Koscheck's early fights. just make sure the other guy doesn't score any points and you win by default. not good, in my opinion. Poor Herring was trying desperately to finish the fight and keep it busy, but just couldn't stop O'Brein's takedown. i expected Herring to do a lot better on the ground.

 

Rashad now has a highlight that will last him the rest of his career. wow, that was crazy. good lightweight match too. will Franca's plea work on Dana White? could he get a title shot? and speaking of title shot, what is this i hear about Diego Sanchez fighting Josh Koscheck? what does Sanchez have to do to get a title shot this year? say what you want about Sanchez, but he is nonstop in the octagon. unlike O'Brein, Sanchez doesn't just lay on top of you. if Diego takes you down, he is gonna try finish you off with a submission or ground and pound.

 

if they wont give him a title shot, I would love to see him fight Koshchek. that would be a great fight. Koshek gets better each time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Will Franca's plea work on Dana White? could he get a title shot?

 

I guess he is getting his title shot come July. I dont see him winning it, but we'll see.

 

against GSP no freaking way.

 

no against Sean Sherk

 

oh duh. yea I dont see him winning that either. BJ Penn is going to destroy sherk though.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Will Franca's plea work on Dana White? could he get a title shot?

 

I guess he is getting his title shot come July. I dont see him winning it, but we'll see.

 

against GSP no freaking way.

 

no against Sean Sherk

 

oh duh. yea I dont see him winning that either. BJ Penn is going to destroy sherk though.

 

Do you think BJ Penn is going to stay at 155lb after he fights Jens Pulver (more like tears through, IMO)? I would love it if he did. That way the 155lbs weight class can start getting as stacked talentwise as the 170lbs weight class is.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share




×
×
  • Create New...