A few thoughts from UFC 130

nullWell, UFC 130 is in the books.

The PPV was a little uneventful but still had plenty of intriguing storylines emerge. Here are some thoughts I took away from Saturday’s event.

– Rampage had a solid performance despite what the fans thought – The main event might have had a number of boos surround it, but I thought that Quinton “Rampage” Jackson had a solid performance against Matt Hamill. You have to consider a few things. First, Rampage had a fractured hand coming into the bout and still peppered Hamill with some big punches that didn’t manage to send him down. Second, Rampage stuffed each and every takedown attempt Hamill had with ease. To me, Rampage looked about as good as I have ever seen him and I think a healthy Rampage that shows that kind of takedown defense could pose a real threat to Jon Jones, if he is indeed the next in line for a title fight.

Roy Nelson really needs to do something with himself – In the co-main event, Frank Mir had little difficulty winning a decision over Roy Nelson. Mir simply had to survive the opening five minutes and then Nelson could barely breathe for the final two rounds. Nelson has the talent to be a real impressive fighter. He has the ground skills and the punching power to contend with anyone, but his lack of conditioning and his desire to stick with his obese physique is hampering his career. I would like to see Nelson commit to losing weight and see where that takes him. Maybe he fights as a smaller heavyweight, or maybe he can even cut down to light heavyweight. The window for him to succeed is closing, and the blueprint for beating him is out there. It is only a matter of time before his UFC run ends because he fails to commit to change.

Travis Browne is another KO artists in the heavyweight division – Cain Velasquez, Shane Carwin, Junior dos Santos, and now, Travis Browne. The heavyweight division is filled with some impressive knockout artists and Travis Browne is clearly part of that list following his first round KO of Stefan Struve at UFC 130. Of his 11 wins, 7 have come by first round knockout and he has some brutal finishes to his credit. Browne should now get a top-10 opponent in the division as he continues to work his way to a title fight.

Rick Story, Brian Stann step up in their divisions – Rick Story and Brian Stan both picked up big victories and are now clearly in the top 10 of the welterweight and middleweight divisions, respectively. Story had a decision win over Thiago Alves, but finished slow, while Stann had a second round TKO win over Jorge Santiago. Story showed that his style and persistence, along with his chin, can contend with anyone in the 170-pound division while Stann showed that his striking is up to par with some of the best in the 185-pound class. Story and Stann should be both contending for a top-5 spot in their divisions for their next fight.

– Torres unjustly handed a loss to Johnson – In prelim action, Miguel Torres lost by decision to Demetrious Johnson in a key bantamweight contest. All three judges scored the contest 29-28 for Johnson, but I felt that Torres should have been the winner. While Johnson did spend more time on top of Torres, it was Torres that was staying active and really more on the offensive, as he continued to work for sweeps and submissions. The only time the fight nearly ended was when Torres had attempted and triangle choke in the second round and a guillotine choke in the third. Torres also mounted Johnson on two separate occasions while Johnson never got into a dominant position. Saturday’s decision shows that judges still deem being “on top” as winning. They don’t seem to truly grasp the concept that a fighter can be on his back and winning. I mean, look at Royce Gracie. He spent most of his time in the UFC on his back, working for submissions. That turned out alright for him, right? I know that poor judging takes place in a lot of fights, but it would be nice to see judges not just look at a fighter on top as winning and truly consider how much damage has been done and which fighter is more active.

  

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