THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER FINALE: A NIGHT OF GREAT FIGHTS AND BAD CALLS by ACA President Matt Granahan

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This past weekend’s Ultimate Fighter Finale Live on Spike was no doubt full of action packed fights.  Nam Phan’s octagon debut and the first 145lb fight in UFC History was tainted by a blatantly poor judge’s decision.  It appeared clear that Phan had won all three rounds over Leonard Garcia.  When the judge’s announced their decision it seemed as though it would be academic however two of the three judges awarded a 29-28 decison and thus the victory to Leonard Garcia.  The look of shock on Phan’s face was obvious as the crowd began chanting “Bullshit” in unison as Joe Rogan attempted to interview the victorious Garcia.  Joe Rogan did an excellent job of explaining the reason for the poor officiating.  It is clearly not corruption, on the UFCs part anyway, as the Nevada State Athletic Commission selects the judges for these events.  With great comedic timing Joe Rogan questioned whether the judges would award the Story-Hendricks fight to a mouse in the corner, a referee or perhaps the lady selling beer at the venue.  I had written after the Jackson-Machida fight that I agreed with the decision of the judges based on the judging system and the training I had gone through with the ISKA.  This decision however was blatantly wrong and would be tough to defend.

The other “bad call” I was referencing is when Cody McKenzie defeated Aaron Wilkinson with a modified front facelock from the mount.  Joe Rogan called the finish correctly saying it was a neck crank which put tremendous pressure on Wilkinson’s jaw.  The ring announcer however awarded McKenzie the victory via guillotine choke and in the post fight interview Rogan referred to the finish as a guillotine choke.  That finish was NOT a guillotine choke.  It may seem to be nit picking to point this out however in a few of the last few UFC events the commentators and ring announcers have had a tough time calling finishes.  For example when Matt Hughes finished Ricardo Almeida with an arm in headlock choke at UFC 117 and when Phil Davis used a modified hammerlock to defeat Tim Boetsch at UFC 123 Rogan and Goldberg seemed stumped.  I was joking with Randy Couture’s grappling coach Neil Melanson about this recently and Neil said that some of his friends were pretty upset that Rogan, with his lexicon of knowledge on bjj, couldn’t recognize a hammerlock.  Personally I think Joe Rogan is the best commentator in the game however he could stand to broaden his base of knowledge on submission wrestling techniques.  I know he studies bjj with 10th Planet which is a great system that incorporates wrestling however his knowledge of submission wrestling terms could be better. For example there are plenty of demonstrations of neck cranks, hammerlocks and headlock chokes he can view on the internet even if he isn’t going to train in them.  Many of these techniques can be found on our website and You Tube channel in addition to several other great sources.  Rogan could become an even better commentator if he learned a bit more wrestling terminology.

In other fights Stepahan Bonnar defeated Pokrajak by decision in a fight which appeared to have inconsistent behavior by the referee.  When Pokrajak fouled Bonnar he let the action continue but did deduct the point at the end of the round.  Conversly when Bonnar fouled Pokrajak in the final round the ref stood both fighters up to deduct the point while the timekeeper failed to pause the clock.  The fight thus ended during the stand up.  In the main event of the night Johnathan Brookins controlled much of the action against Michale Johnson scoring more take downs, exercising greater control and delivering effective ground and pound.  With this victory Brookins wins the 6 figure contract and becomes the Ultimate Fighter!