THOUGHTS ON UFC 123 by ACA President Matt Granahan

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This past weekend’s UFC event was packed with exciting action.  The action was nonstop from the first free fight on Spike featuring NCAA national wrestling champion Marc Munoz vs All American wrestler Aaron Simpson to the nailbiting main event between Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida.  Both George Sotiropolous and Phil “Mr. Wonderful” Davis displayed a mastery of submissions in their wins.  “Mr Wonderful’s” submission win was especially exciting and displayed a rare combination of strength, technique and tenacity.  Davis converted a DWL/Kimura into a one arm hammerlock and was able to hold Tim Boetsh’s arm behind his back with one arm before transitioning his other arm to finish the submission.  Davis, like Jon “Bones” Jones is a young fighter that seems destined to become a champion.  While Davis is on the road to championship greatness two former champions and future hall of famers took to the octagon as BJ Penn earned a flash knockout victory over Matt Hughes.  When the camera shined on Hughes he asked “what happened?” Hughes had looked like he was on the road back to the championship after an impressive win over Renzo Gracie and a submission victory via Shultz headlock over BJJ Blackbelt Ricardo Almeida.  Saturday night wasn’t Hughes’ finest moment and he may want to ask himself what he has left to prove.  Hughes had one of the most dominant title reigns in UFC history, he completed destroyed UFC legend Royce Gracie and he has avenged all of his losses except for his two submission losses to Dennis Hallman.  At 37 years old does Hughes want to risk tainting his legacy by continuing to take fights with nothing left to prove?  That is a question only he can answer.  Speaking of Dennis Hallman he had an impressive knockout victory over Karo Paryisian.  “Superman” Hallman has been experiencing a UFC rebirth of sorts as of late with a win over Ben Saunders and Saturday’s vicory over Karo.

The main event battle between Rampage and Machida did not disappoint.  As the decision was set to be announced in this back and forth battle I told my friends sitting with me at the Ale House that Rampage was going to win the decision.  Of course the reaction I received was that I was full of it and most felt Machida would win unanimously.  In fact I was right and Rampage did get the decision.  To understand why he did you have to analyze the mma scoring system.  I learned the intricacies of mma scoring when I went through ISKA orientation and training.  It is not whether a judge completely agrees with the system and when you are taught to judge a fight you are told to look closely at each round NOT the entire fight.  That is why Rampage won that decision.  Each round is judge 10-9 unless there is a complete domination and than the rounds are judged 10-8.  Very rarely is a round ever judged 10-8 and it is only when one fighter isn’t even in the fight or supplies no offense and just enough defense to avoid a stoppage that a 10-8 round is awarded.  I didn’t think that Machida earned a 10-8 round 3 because his domination of Jackson wasn’t for the entire round and Jackson was in the fight for the first 3 minutes of the round.  In addition I felt that Rampage had done enough to narrowly win rounds 1 and 2 although they were close.  Again remember that judges score each round individually the next time you hear a judge’s call and don’t agree with it.  With that said there are still some poor judges out there but I don’t disagree with the judges on Saturday’s UFC main event.