Oh dear, were my predictions wrong… Not only did I pull a dismal 2 out of 5, but I was also wrong on so many levels, it justified this separate post to discuss the after MMath of UFC193.
Where to start? I guess we’ll take it fight by fight:
Stefan Struve Vs. Josh Rosholt: Not only did I pick the wrong winner, I made the same mistake of many and… actually watched the fight. If you can call it that. Two fighters entered the cage and simply refused to utilize their respective advantage to cause any significant damage… Struve seem to forget he’s about 6 feet taller than everybody else and does not utilize his reach to save his life. Rosholt wouldn’t commit to the ground game even though he took Struve down at will. Nothing happened for 15 min. Well, aside for a growing irritation among the 50K+ Aussies in attendance… 0 for 1.
Uriah Hall Vs. Robert Whittaker: I got a couple of things to say. One for each fighter. We’ll start with the loser. If Uriah Hall wants to be Chuck Lidell and become a great counter striker he needs to add 3 things to his game plan: movement, speed of said movement and some urgency. He can’t expect to have enough time to rack up points, or be effective enough to finish if he only starts engaging a round and a half into a fight. Especially when his opponent thanks him for the lack of movement by repeatedly tagging him and escaping to the safety of center cage. As for the winner. Whittaker came prepared and worked his game plan almost to perfection. That being said, he’s lucky his chin is made of granite and could withstand two lethal head kicks and some really good shots when Hall finally woke up from his slumber. It was a very entertaining fight though, no complaints there. 0 for 2.
Mark Hunt Vs. Antonio Silva: I had a feeling this would end fast and it did. In favor of the right fighter for a change. 1 for 3.
joanna jedrzejczyk (JJ from now on) Vs. Valerie Letourneau: Valerie did what no other could. Go 5 rounds with Joanna. 3 of them very competitive. I even game her round 1. On the other hand, when you have laser guided missiles for punches and elbows, the odds will be in your favor. Joanna is a striker of a different league than any of the ladies in the UFC (Yes, that includes Holm) and I’d argue that it’s among the best overall. That was one hell of a fight. Hardly time to breathe between shots. and the last time I was right for the night. 2 for 4.
Let’s take a deep breath before we dive into the main event. The shocker. The kick heard around the world.
Here’s what I tweeted shortly before the fight:
Holm`s problem is that Ronda won’t be scared to close the distance. Ronda`s only danger is getting caught doing so… #UFC193
— Gil Shalev (@cobainco) November 15, 2015
See, like many around the world, it seemed logical to me that Holm could possibly catch Ronda coming in, but like the same many, I thought it very unlikely. I saw Ronda coming in, through Holm’s punches, grabbing a hold, take down, arm bar.
The fight started pretty much as expected. Ronda forcing her way through Holm’s reach. Getting tagged, true, but returning the favor.
The turning point in my book was seeing Holm stand up quickly after the takedown and the botched submission attempt. That’s when I understood this is anything but a standard Rousey title defense. And sho’ enough… it was lights out not long after that.
A lot has already been said about this. Comparisons made to Silva’s first loss to Weidman. To GSP’s loss to Serra. But one thing that I hardly saw reference to was one bearded man from Albuquerque, New Mexico and the man who – I believe – is responsible for this fantastic upset.
How many times did we see Greg Jackson lead a fighter into battle and come out on top? A lot, right? How many times were we witnesses to that man’s pretty awesome MMA strategic brain? Like sending GSP to jab Koscheck nearly to death? Or get in Thiago Alves’s face (“Coach, I think I tore my groin – I don’t care George, just take it and beat him with it!”)?
Ready for some conspiratorial speculations? Let me ask a couple of questions, and you may answer them right here in the comments section if you’re so inclined:
- What if Greg directed Holm to choose the last time she saw Ronda before the fight to get under her skin?
- What if Jackson wanted Rousey to come in super-aggressive?
- What if… What if it was the plan all along to get to the title fight after what is perceived as a sleepy point racking enterprise?
- What if Greg knew Ronda would sleep on Holm’s power and skill?
- What if Greg knew that Holm can get up if taken down?
- What if Jackson told Holm to take Rousey down the first chance she got, to further throw her off-balance?
Do these sound fantastic? Perhaps some of them do… but we’re talking about a man with a plan. A coach that stages a strategy per round, and knows how to adjust when necessary. We’re talking about arguably the best MMA coach in the world. A man who brought us 2 of the all time greatest champions, in addition to many more greatly talented fighters.
To sum this up. That kick shocked the world. But I bet you – Greg Jackson was not surprised. Not one little bit.
That is all for today folks. It was a great card with great entertaining fights. another event where the ladies outplayed the men.
See you just before UFC 194 with another attempt to predict a .500+