Ivan's Blog

Featuring Ivan Trembow's Self-Important, Random Rants on Mixed Martial Arts, Video Games, Pro Wrestling, Television, Politics, Sports, and High-Quality Wool Socks

Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Mixed Martial Arts--- As the MMA world reflects on Lyoto Machida's dominant KO win over the previously undefeated Rashad Evans, the fact that Machida didn't get a title shot sooner has been made all the more amazing by his performance against Evans.

Earlier this year, with a UFC record of 6-0 and an MMA record of 14-0, Machida was still passed over for a title shot in favor of Quinton Jackson (even with Jackson’s legal issues), who had won an incredible two fights in a row.

Even when Jackson’s injuries made it clear that he couldn’t fight on the May 23rd card, Machida still wasn’t going to get the next title shot.

It was only because both Jackson and Frank Mir were injured (thus preventing the UFC from delaying Evans’ first title defense until July) that Machida got a title shot before Jackson.

Even then, published reports at the time said that it still would not have happened if Zuffa had been able to convince Georges St. Pierre to move up his title defense against Thiago Alves to May 23.

The only reason they finally gave Machida the title shot when they did, rather than having him fight yet again before getting a title shot and likely against another tough opponent like Thiago Silva, was because all three of these things happened:

1. Quinton Jackson was hurt and couldn't fight on May 23

2. Frank Mir was hurt and couldn't fight on May 23

3. GSP was not willing to move his fight up to May 23

If any two of those things had happened, we’d be looking forward to Evans vs. Jackson in July, and Machida would have yet another tough fight before getting a title shot.

It’s only because all three of those things happened that Evans vs. Machida happened on May 23.

It’s kind of crazy to think that such an historic night would not have even happened if not for all of those things happening at the same time.

Other MMA Thoughts: I’m not surprised by Mirko Cro Cop’s return to the UFC, but I am surprised that he’s fighting in June. Cro Cop is fighting just five months after reconstructive knee surgery? And he’s having a training camp three to four months after reconstructive knee surgery? That doesn't sound like a great idea.

Andrei Arlovski vs. Brett Rogers being added to the June 6th Strikeforce event is fantastic news. Having said that, the idea that Phil Baroni vs. Joe Riggs is going to be a main card bout, while Rafael Feijao vs. Jared Hamman is going to be an untelevised prelim bout, is beyond pathetic.

Recent Boxing Events: Jermain Taylor vs. Carl Froch was a very good fight with an incredible 12th round. I had Froch down by a large margin going into the 12th round, as did two of the judges. The one judge who had it 8 rounds to 3 in favor of Froch going into the 12th round is right up there with the two judges who had Michael Bisping beating Matt Hamill in the “incompetent at best” category.

Play-by-play announcer Gus Johnson added so much to the incredible 12th round of Froch vs. Taylor. I was initially against it when Showtime replaced Steve Albert with Gus Johnson, but after that 12th round, I’m not so sure anymore. Albert is more of a traditional boxing play-by-play man, whereas Johnson is more of a “telling the story of any given fight” announcer, much like Jim Lampley, only not constantly missing it when big punches land or saying that something landed when it didn’t like Lampley does. Johnson can add a lot of drama and excitement to a big fight finish, as play-by-play announcers are supposed to do, without saying the same thing every time like Mike Goldberg does (”and it is all over!”).

Andre Ward's recent win over Edison Miranda was a star-making performance for Ward. Miranda is a legit top-level fighter, and dominating him like that is a big accomplishment.

Play-by-play announcer Nick Charles may have been too hard on Miranda during the fight, but I usually enjoy the commentary of Nick Charles and Steve Farhood just about as much as I enjoy any announcing team in boxing or MMA. They tend to be very straightforward and honest with their assessments of up-and-coming fighters, and that’s a particularly big deal on a show like “ShoBox” with all of the up-and-coming prospects that appear on it.

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