Monthly Archives: April 2010

UFC 113 – Machida vs Shogun II: Anything can happen but Shogun Rua still has the edge


Job one for the UFC  is to make sure the judges who scored UFC 104 are not anywhere in the neighborhood when UFC 113 between Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida and Mauricio “Shogun” Rua kicks of in Montreal on May 8, 2010.  The closest these old farts should be allowed to get to the fight should be some  rundown Hooters joint showing the fight on a grimy flat-screen. Thanks to them, the travesty seen around the world has given birth to a sham of a rematch in which the putative belt-holder, Lyoto Machida,  should really be fighting to get his belt back from the rightful holder – Mauricio Shogun Rua.  Let the record show that.  Shogun Rua, who at the time, was the Light Heavyweight challenger, clearly won UFC 104.  No ifs, ends or buts about it.

“Lyoto made Shogun come after him. He determined where the fight took place, which, in my opinion, constitutes as effective Octagon control.”   (Judge Cecil Peoples, CageReport.Net)

Say what!?  This loony-tunes thinking  should go into the record books as a prime example of how not to judge a match and better still, how not to talk about it afterwards. Read the whole spiel here to get a sense of Judge Cecil Peoples’ words out in context.  His disingenuous “I’m just glad the other judges on the panel saw it the same way” should be part of the evidence as to why he and his sidekicks shouldn’t be allowed near a UFC fight anytime too soon – at least not as a danse de trois. But we digress.

Machida vs Shogun II

Machida vs Shogun: Anything can happen, but the edge goes to Shogun

Crunch-time For Machida (He has more to prove and at stake than Shogun Rua): Machida vs Rashad Evans was rightfully the birth of the Machida legend. He clearly pulled of a unique feat using tools in the MMA arsenal that had not been used in living memory. Then came a rock ‘n roller named Mauricio Shogun Rua who quickly defanged Machida and showed up the holes in his game.  It appeared the Machida legend was D.O.A. ( dead on arrival) and it may very well be was it not for the judges’ messing up of the public narrative. On paper, Machida is the still champion – but the fans know better – just like Americans are wiser for the grassy knoll. But we digress.

The bottom-line is that UFC 113  is  crunch time for Machida and his new-fangled Machida franchise.  He and he alone is the  one with something to prove to the world.  Because of what is at stake, Machida will be going all out to win by knock-out, but his ingrained instincts are gonna fight him. And an octagonal battle royal is unfortunately Shogun Rua’s old stomping ground.  The Brazilian rock ‘n roller earned his colors in Pride knocking off heads of guys who were tough – if not tougher than Machida.  He will welcome not having to chase Machida doing his old Ginger Rogers routine.

Be that as it may, anything can happen in this fight because the entire  Machida clan is determined to win this one for posterity – and realistic odds should reflect that. Losing is as much an option for the Machida clan as it was for the Gracie family and you can see how tough adjusting to new realities was for that first family of MMA grappling.

Stratagems Coming Into UFC 113: Expect Machida to keep Shogun off balance by feints that will be alternated with stinging attacks calculated to stun, knock out or establish an effective perimeter for Machida’s  método de guerra.  Shogun should watch out for tenderizing kicks from the outside and flying knees from the inside. Machida does not have knock out power, so he is gonna rely on kicks, flying knees and cumulative punches to do the job.  Tactically, Machida really needs that perimeter – an electrified fence  from behind which he can launch his trademark sneak attacks.  The said perimeter needs to be a real because nothing less can stop Shogun from advancing on Machida’s ass.  No secret there.

The flip-the-coin aspect of this fight comes in the form of what can happen when two fighters of this caliber advance on each other and virtually  collide.  Because of the accuracy of their strikes, anything can happen.  However we at Cyberaxis think that Shogun is marginally  favored to win because:

1. By attacking, Machida will be playing to Shogun’s strength  namely mixed martial arts from  the stand and deliver school of pugilism.  Rua’s instincts are gonna serve him well in this fight – as long as he doesn’t get careless.

2.  Accurate striking, as the tenderized ribs and bloodied face of Machida proved in the last fight, will make Machida more hesitant about charging Shogun. Remember Machida doesn’t really like to be hit and his back-pedalling instincts can easily reassert themselves in the heat of battle.

3.  Shogun Rua proved in the last fight that he either  has a strong chin or Machida’s strikes aren’t up to snuff when it comes to stunning or knocking him out.

The Machida team will try to neutralize  Shogun’s kicks; the same  kicks that hobbled Machida in the last fight. They are gonna try and neutralize that weapon, but its not gonna be easy. Punch counters are gonna  be costly as Machida would be trading fists for kicks and take downs may not be that appealing from a tactical standpoint. Whatever they come up with, the bottomline is that Machida’s team  can’t afford to have that kick working as well as it did in UFC 113.

The real fight of the night is Paul Daley vs Jeff Koscheck. Something fresh. Something new.  The stylistic differences between the two fighters are intriguing and the pre-fight rah-rah is as intriguing as anything we have heard in UFC. The low-grade disses have that ring that made bare-knuckle  school yard fights such a thrill to watch. Paul Daley may be a one trick pony, but he talks up a good storm. He gets under a Koscheck’s skin because he  sounds like he believes every word he says and anybody who doesn’t is a bit nuts.

Machida vs Rua – Comparative Tale O’ Tape:

Mauricio “Shogun” Rua:

Age: Born Nov. 25, 1981 (Age 27)

Record: 19-4-0 (16 KOs, 1 submission, 3 decisions)

Height: 6ft 1 in

Weight:  201lbs

Reach: 76.0 in

Style, Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

Stance: Orthodox

Years: 2002 – Present

Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida:

Age: 31 Born May 30, 1978 (Age 31)

Record: 16-1 (5 KO, 2 submissions, 9 decision)

Height 6ft 1 in

Weight 205lbs

Reach: 74 in

Style: Machida Karate, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Sumo,

Stance:  South Paw

Years 2003 – Present

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Flash Update:

As was to be expected, Shogun knocked out Machida in spectacular fashion in the first round after a blow to Machida’s temple brought Machida down for a ground and pound coup de grace which saw Machida out cold by the 5th blow. By the time the announcement of Rua’s win was made, Machida’s left eye was black and blue and almost swollen shut. Order has been restored to the Light Heavyweight Division. A wrong has been righted and the judges of UFC can now be encouraged to take early retirement.

We were off on Paul Daley vs Jeff Koscheck,  but not by much. We missed the end result, a win by Koscheck over Paul Daley by a lackluster ground game that had fans booing. But that result would have been totally different had Jeff Koscheck decided to standup and bang with Paul Daley like he said he might. He did not. From the opening round he cowered behind a crappy ground game that did not result in much pounding or submission holds. And with 36 seconds left in the first round, Koscheck faked being hit by a knee in the face and really lived up to the “mamma’s boy” aspersion that Daley was bandying about. The referee got to the bottom of the fake and the fight was resumed with Kosckeck immediately resorting to the tried and true – the wrestling. He managed to wangle 3 wins over 3 rounds for a decision that was anything but glorious.

And Now The Travesty of the Night: By this time, Paul Daley was wigging out so much that he just slugged Jeff Koscheck in the face out of sheer spite. The referee had to jump in and contain him. Can you say Mike Tyson moment? We are very disappointed by Paul Daley’s reaction and await to see what sanctions will be imposed on him. He deserves most of what is coming down to him – and for a young man who had so much unvarnished promise, this was very disappointing. How stupid and unprofessional can one be?

copyright© 2010 cyberaxis.wordpress.com

Appendix:

UFC 104 Fight Video: Mauricio Shogun beats Machida bloody, but senile judges, and god knows what, rob him blind (Cyberaxis)

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Frank Mir talks about loss to Shane Carwin – Cyberaxis reflections on the interview


First of all, it is clear, upon closer analysis, that the Shane Carwin pummeling and loss did a major number on Frank – a big part of which had to do with the way he set himself up going into this fight (physically, mentally and emotionally) on top of the Lesnar/UFC public relations albatross he hung around his own neck. The fact of the matter – if you analyze the language, body and otherwise – is that he is devastated and not yet out of the woods on this one.  Think Rashad Evans after Machida – but with the detritus of his pre-fight antics still in the air.  Mir is ultra subdued and this picture is worth a thousand words.

The fact that it took him this long to even talk about his UFC 111 loss  speaks volumes about the wallop he took from it.  But the humility, whether enforced or not, is a tad more becoming than the unmoored smack-talking before the fight.  In certain ways it hacks back to the man  Frank Mir could be – the man we praised in the pre-UFC 81 article here. But that is were the commendable stuff ends.

Everything else in this short interview makes little sense. Take your time. Listen to it and then come back. If his breakdown of the fight doesn’t leave you scratching your head, then we don’t know what will.   Is the man we once thought of  as one of the most cerebral in the octagon  a one trick pony reduced to learning one thing per fight?

It became a problem of over-training for one aspect. I was so obsessed with not being taken down . You can see when he shot on me I was so appeased  with myself, I said look you can’t take me down.  You are an excellent wrestler  and I think I was just celebrating mentally saying hey look, I can avoid the takedown. I have improved my game.  I forgot about being punched in the face. (Frank Mir to David Stanford, Edmonton, Canada, MMACanada.Net)

A stunning revelation considering that Frank had had to move his head out of the way a couple of times after  being hit with sneaky rights in the clinch position.  Unbelievable.  We think  Frank was just talking off the cuff and trying his loquacious best explain away a fight in which he did most things wrong. He cannot win if he goes into fights with one plan and fails to adapt on the fly. He should have realized the danger he was in when Carwin kept roughing up  his knees and pummeling his face with sneaky rights in the clinch position.  The ultra-relaxed demeanor is what partly got him in trouble when he found himself underneath a hyper-aggressive Brock Lesnar at UFC 100. What gives here? Never let them see you sweat? Sheesh!

Is the big revelation of the interview that he cannot win as a “muscle-head”, and need to take more of his chances as a tactical fighter? Sorry. Been tried before – and by a fighter who is perhaps a better all-round heavyweight than him: Randy Couture. And he fared only marginally better. Ditto the Texas Crazy Horse.  Our conclusion? Interviews are not gonna help Frank Mir in the interim. A better PR strategy would be to remain mum and let his fists do all the talking – but that would be like asking Frank to quit gabbing without the benefit of a rehabilitatory half-way house.

copyright© 2010 cyberaxis.wordpress.com

Dana White vs Anderson Silva: White’s threat to fire Silva crosses a line


Dana White’s  threat to fire Anderson Silva from the UFC in the wake of UFC 112 went way over the top.  Period and close quotes. It doesn’t matter that Dana may have been riffing off Anderson Silva’s  post-fight apology.  The bottom line is that there is a difference between Anderson saying that he is sorry for not putting on the best show for fans and Dana White saying he will fire or to use Dana’s phrase “cut him” if he ever fights like that again. Say what Darth?

(If the YouTube clip below has transmigrated to regions unknown, please Google it using the search term: Dana White threatens to fire Anderson Silva on Jim Rome Show.)

We at Cyberaxis think White may have been carried away by a moment here (see the video above); the locker-room  rah-rah-chest-thumpin’ with Jim Rome.  But then  Jim Rome is  a talking head who  riffs  off of his brain stem and  thrives on this kind of s*it; this rabble rousing.  Dana White should have known that. The end result of the cave-banging? Dana trying to show off the size of his spiked club – the one he hunts wooly-mastodons with – instead of  articulating an a well thought out position.  Foreign territory? Well, it shouldn’t because Dana’s statement really amounted to management by public statement which  is ill-suited for the organization the UFC has evolved into nationally and internationally.  Testosterone-driven dialogue is rarely good except on the  gridiron or in jock- infested locker rooms.

The 64 million dollar question is whether Dana White will adapt  to the pressure for the UFC to become more buttoned-down or will he get chastised by circumstance?  Place your bet on the latter because as hard as it may be to imagine at this point, the UFC (and MMA of which it is emblematic in  compressed space-time) is bigger than the face of its enterprising lights. Translation: The UFC and MMA are bigger than Dana White – a truism to some, but not all – especially when one is fixated on the moment and its momentary distortions.  The Fertittas,  or other pretenders to the MMA throne, are not  stay in the shadows forever.

Dana White

Dana White: Management by press statement gone awry?

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Anderson Silva vs Jon Jones: The Spiderman vs The Superman – Or the fight Dana White should book next


And no kidding too ….

Jon Jones Kicks Obrien

“Roy Jones” incarnate with the MMA chops – The coming of Jon “Bones” Jones a.k.a. Johnny B. Nimble. Is  Jones, The Superman, ready to eat the Spiderman’s lunch? Or is it a case of “The Other Natural vs The Supernatural.” Remember you heard it here first.

The message board gurus think it’s too premature and Dana White thinks that throwing Jon Jones to the sharks too early  may not be a good idea.  B.S. !  He had no  such compunctions  when big ol’  Brock Lesnar came along;  and pound for pound Jones is a better fighter than Brock will ever be.  “Johnny B. Nimble” has all the genes that have made Anderson Silva an MMA terror –  and perhaps a little bit more.  Jones exudes the  “oh yah”  kind of machismo hatched in gym of hard knocks and street  corners where no quarters are given or taken without a whiff of  blood: the (then) un-inked representation of martial genes  with a buzz cut to match.  In case you haven’t noticed, this “kid” is as fearless as  Shogun Rua was in his heyday. Yes, Shogun the  former Pride alum who is also waiting to hand Anderson Silva his head back to him when he comes back to the 205lb division. (Anderson Silva fought Irvin at 205lbs on July 19, 2008 and Forrest Griffin at UFC 101 on August 8, 2009. Both times he knocked his opponents out in the first round.)

And as if chops were  not enough Jones has the  sangfroid that allowed him to keep his cool when Brandon Vera was blasting his family jewels. Jones took the punishment like a gladiator then came back to blast Vera’s orbital  like squash in a Ghallagher smashfest. Aah, the few, the proud,  the Marines. This is the kind of bang the army can’t  buy when it pays Dana and the Fertitta brothers big bucks for spots on their prize-fighting show. But we clearly digress

Anderson Silva - Naked Ambition

Anderson Silva – “The Other Natural”: The best there ever was with the accent increasingly falling on “was”. Remember he is 36 and counting. Old men don’t fight our wars.  Is he about to meet his comeuppance in the form of Jon “The Supernatural” Jones? This would be the mother of all fights in early 2012. And one that would coincide with the Apocalypse of Mayan lore.

The blogmeisters who are pooh-poohing this kid’s chances against Anderson Silva may just be  underestimating his  ability to adapt to opponents Cain Velasquez’s-style and  to bring it like it was  1999 all over again. We here at Cyberaxis have more than a hunch: one teeny-weeny slip-up and one of the fighters will be looking for their mouth-guards, and it won’t be Jon Jones.

UFC has nothing to lose in bringing a non-title  superfight between Jon Jones and Anderson Silva to the Octagon by Christmas 2012.  Nothing to lose and everything to gain.  Beyond riling up the masses – the peasantry with the pitchforks –  it will make major, major bank for the UFC. (Are you reading this Lorenzo?)

Lorenzo on Bones vs Silva

“Mene, Mene, Tekel u-Pharsin”: The writing is on the wall of Anderson Silva’s kingdom.

The smart money says make it happen as a non-title superfight at a weight not exceeding  205lbs and let the headline chips fall where they may. If nothing else it will stir up the MMA pot like no other recent fight except perhaps  Mir vs Carwin or Machida vs Rashad Evans. Give the fans credit. They may be  onto something here, the blogsphere naysayers notwithstanding.

The interest in this fight is IN-tense to a point where Jones can’t even escape it.  His tweet on the subject shows that he is guardedly intrigued by the possibility. And anyone who thinks he is remotely intimidated by the prospect ought to re-read the tweet without the “No child left behind” befuddlement:

Jon Bones tweet on Anderson Silva

Subtext to the Spiderman: “I ain’t scared o’ ya.” Bernie Mac would be proud.

Mentally, Jon Jones thrives on this kinda shit; this “gee-whiz” kinda shit. Giving him less would be shortchanging the Golden Child, besides bringing the UFC into the babysitting business. (Reference – Dana’s  remarks about going slow on Jones. It ain’t lovemaking Babu. It’s the freakin’ U-F-C! where goombahs knock each other’s heads off or die trying.)

The company needs to realize it is  in a fast-moving ticker business and capitalizing on inspired match-ups has to be in its mission statement. When the UFC misses certain opportunities,  it sometimes  never gets the opportunity to recapture them because of the protean nature of the biz. Fighters are always coming and going, and personalities, winners and losers are always in a state of flux. (Exhibit One: Lyoto Machida vs Quinton Jackson had the shelf life of about 5 months until Rua showed up and spoiled Machida’s victory dance. Now nobody cares about Machida vs Jackson.  And the Machida-Rua re-match has all the sabor of recycled spit.) Moral of the story? You strike when the iron is hot, and right now its hotter than a Texas cattle-branding iron.  The fans are feelin’ it and it only behooves the UFC to listen to them. Anytime before Christmas of 2012 would be just fine. You readin’ this Dana? How about you Lorenzo?

Come back soon to read more about why Jon Jones would be poised to rip tentacles and arachnoidal hairs off of the  Spiderman. Well, we exaggeratin’ a bit, but ya get the drift  😉

And just to whet your appetites, Anderson may have reached the pinnacle of his physical form last night in his UFC 134 match-up with Yushin Okami. The uber-chiselled Silva who walked into that Octagon  with probably a minus 8% body fat quotient was as physically imposing a specimen as we have seen in all UFC fighters to date. Anderson really looked like a character out of an MMA fantasy movie starring Bolo Yeung & the gang. But at 36 years, can Silva hold onto his form, let alone top it against a strapplin’ young champ whose natural hormones are pumping at full bore?

We say no friggin’ way.  So in this sense time is the biggest threat against a delicately well-matched Silva/Jones fight. The more time Dana & Lorenzo wait, the less meaningful this fight will be. In the the interim, don’t bet against Jones, unless you desperately wanna be parted from your money.

The Lowdown: Anderson Silva will not take this superfight until Dana and Lorenzo give him retirement money for three lifetimes. Nothing less would be worth having his orbital crashed  with granite elbows. We at Cyberaxis know he will ask for mucho dinero because Silva’s momma didn’t raise a fool.

copyright© 2010 cyberaxis.wordpress.com

Appendix:

UFC fans should forget about Anderson Silva vs Jon Jones (Brent Brookhouse, SB Nation, Bloody Elbow)

Jon Bones Jones, the new Anderson Silver, totally dominates Mauricio Shogun Rua at UFC 128 to become heavyweight champ (Cyberaxis)

Hours before the biggest fight of his life, Jones subdues a robber (Steve Cofield, Yahoo Sports)

Performance Anxiety?: Anderson Silva’s recent fights convenient scapegoat for low draw (Black Lesnar, http://www.watchkalibrun.com)

Anderson Silva: Crouching Tiger, Clowning Monkey At UFC 112 (Fight Video Link)


Here is Anderson Silva’s problem in a nutshell: If  you are gonna showboat all over the octagon  like Buffalo Bill, and carry on at like Crouching Tiger and Clowning Monkey  – then you better knock the f*ck out of your opponent at some point before the 5th round to close the deal. Fair is only fair – both in love and in war.  Fans are entitled to something  for their forbearance. In MMA they pay to see people  fight and not clown around like circus tricks. (DID you see Anderson Silva trying to use the referee as a tactical obstacle at the end of the 3rd round. And in response to that, did you see the irritated referee trying to  push Silva towards the fight not to mention the warning to not run away from engagement in the last round. The push from the referee was a first for us – and darn amazing too.) Google Anderson Silva vs Damian Maia, UFC 112 video  to get a sense of what we are talking about.

Anderson Silva’s overdue comeuppance will probably arrive via a Shogun-style or Chuck Liddell-like rock ‘n roller.  His opponent-taunting and crowd-riling-clowning was the height of disingenuity.  Silva was actually more culpable than his hapless opponent, of not pushing the fight to some kind of pre-5th round  conclusion.

But having said that, we have to point out that UFC is just as culpable, or perhaps more so, of not finding Silva credible opponents.  At this point they really need to ask him to step up  the 205lb division where the likes of Shogun Rua are waiting for him. (Forget about the Machida/Silva matchup. It proves nothing beyond the voyeuristic psychodrama some people are just dying to be privy to.  Besides,  Anderson would probably demolish Machida, which would lead to no earth-shaking revelations.)

But back to the present, Anderson Silva clearly has a P.R. problem  even by his own post-fight admission.  The clowning was not the problem. The reluctance to engage from the 3rd round onwards was. And nobody can explain that satisfactorily except Anderson. Perhaps there was a vulnerability that Maia failed to fully exploit, his heroic 4th round rally notwithstanding.  Silva may have put on some kind of clinic in the first 2 rounds, but that will not save him, from the debacle of the last 3 rounds. And this is something that will not go away easily given his rap sheet  in two other fights.  The suggestion that he may have had a physical or mental meltdown is beginning to make more and more sense.  The “Oh I punished him because he dissed me” line sounds like  a lot of twaddle from a guy who is clearly grabbing at P.R. straws.  He  should be hanging out with Frank Mir. And while on the subject, the only difference between Anderson Silva and Brock Lesnar right now is the fact that Lesnar is not in Dana’s doghouse right now.

Now having said all that, Dana White  should not have put Damian Maia in there with Silva. That was clearly his and UFC’s failure. While it  may be a measure of how hard it is for him to find a worthy opponent for Silva, Dana White should have just come out and said so in the name of candor.   If not, that realization should have tempered his tirade in the post fight press conference. A lop-sided view of the whole thing just makes Dana look like he is covering his own rear.