Demetrious Johnson vs Miguel Torres: Regardless of what you thought of the result of the fight, which was awarded to Johnson via unanimous decision, it’s hard to deny it was one of, if not in my humble opinion the best fight from UFC 130. It is rare in todays mixed martial arts landscape that you get a fight in which the majority of it takes place on the mat yet features so much sustained action but that was the case here. This match up figured to be one of wrestler versus grappler and that’s exactly how it played out as Johnson effectively used his wrestling and speed advantages to repeatedly take Torres down. Likely expecting such the former WEC bantamweight champion flexed his ground game with numerous submission attempts, sweeps, and transitions. Unfortunately as has become habit the judges favored the fighter who spent more time in top position rather than the active guard of Torres. I can’t say I was shocked by the decison but was surprised it was unanimous in Johnsons favor. There’s an old adage in fight sports that says, “There were no losers in that fight.”, and while unless a draw or no contest that’s usually not the case, this was the kind of loss that shouldn’t hurt Torres too much in the standings and definitely not in the eyes of fans. And of course congratulations to ‘Mighty Mouse’ who took another big step in the 135 pound division with the win.
Rick Story: Riding a 5 fight win streak wasn’t enough for Rick Story so he requested the UFC brass give him top tier welterweight Thiago Alves to which Alves was more than happy to oblige. Story said that he had seen Alves quit in fights when faced with adversity and planned on doing the same and certainly started out with the intention of doing so. From the onset Story got up in Thiagos face pushing him against the cage in an attempt to rough him up while stifling Alves offense in the process. Rick took the fight to ‘Pitbull’ and controlled the first 2 rounds however unexpectedly and unusually Thiago maintained his conditioning late in the fight and closed strong against a fading Story. That didn’t stop ’Horror’ from marching forward even while being blasted with solid punches from Alves. Story demonstrated a solid chin along with strong will to push through the firepower being sent his way as both fighters went to to toe in the final seconds of the fight. After 3 hard fought rounds Story did enough early to earn a decision and make a statement to the top welterweights that he has arrived.
Chris Arreola: Fighting for the second time in 13 days Arreola stepped in as a late replacement to headline ESPN2 Friday Night Fights and looked good in stopping Kendrick Releford in the seventh round. Sure Releford isn’t going to be challenging for a title anytime soon yet he was able to land more than a few stiff jabs on Arreola but the fact that Chris was willing to get back in the ring in such a short time span shows that ‘The Nightmare’ may indeed be taking his career as seriously as fans have been hoping for. Don’t get me wrong, even at his best I’d be hard pressed to see Arreola beat either of the Klitschko brothers but at ages 35 and 39 respectively the Klitschkos may not be around too much longer while Chris is 30 and relatively fresh having only taken a real beating in his loss to Vitali in 2009. Up to this point Arreolas moniker ‘The Nightmare’ has been as much an indictment on his career at times as he has been to his opponents. However if Chris can maintain his current path he may be on the road to fulfilling the American dream.
Roy Nelson: Much like Santa Claus, Roy Nelson is referred to as the jolly fat man of MMA. Nelson has faced criticism but has been able to have success despite a less than impressive physique. Even in defeat to Junior Dos Santos he was applauded for his toughness having survived three rounds while being battered around the octagon. Saturday night Nelsons lack of top conditioning caught up with him as Frank Mir dominated him in every aspect of their fight. Roy not only got outwrestled, outstruck, and outgrappled but was fatigued by the end of the first round. UFC President Dana White was none too pleased with Nelsons effort and if ‘Big Country’ doesn’t get more serious about getting in better shape soon his next fight in the octagon may be his last, win or lose.
Maurice Harris: Once again Maurice Harris dissapointed on Friday Night Fights getting stopped in the third round by Tony Thompson. Sure nobody expects Harris to make a run at this point in his career but he is not without talent which makes watching him so frustrating. It’s not just that Harris lost but he put up such little resistance. Thompson knocked Maurice down in the second round and though he got up it was apparent him losing was inevitable from that moment on. Harris played the role of punching bag in the third round going down twice more before the ref finally waved things off. If Harris had ever been able to match his mental game to his physical talent he may have been a legitimate contender in the heavyweight division, but unfortunately time has passed him by and he’ll be added to the list of fighters who fans will always ask, what if?
Omar Chavez vs Genaro Trazancos: In full disclosure I did not watch this fight thus one may wonder how I can categorize it at all let alone in this category. My reason is simple, Trazanacos entered the fight with a 1-9 record in his previous 10 fights only going the distance in one of said losses. If that’s not bad enough his sole win in that stretch was against a fighter whose record was 0-6-3 at the time. Omar, much like his brother Julio Jr. and to a degree his father, the great Julio Cesar Chavez is building his resume on tepid opposition. The difference being Chavez Sr. would eventually establish himself as one of boxings top pound for pound fighters at his peak, a status which seems unreachable to either of his sons from what we’ve seen thus far in their careers. Getting back to the actual Chavez/Trazancos fight, Omar won when the referee waved it off in the fourth amidst boos from the fans in attendance. I doubt that Omar Chavezwill ever win a legitimate world championship in boxing but then again his brother fights for one next weekend so you never know in this crazy sport. Of course I will not at all be surprised if the name Chavez appears in this same category next week.
I can be reaced at ScienceOfViolence@gmail.com and Twitter.com/916Chris