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Sunday, August 30, 2009
Thoughts on Nogueira/Couture Fight; Oregon Athletic Commission's Doctors
by Ivan Trembow
Last night's fight between two of MMA's all-time greats, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Randy Couture, a fight which Nogueira won via a one-sided unanimous judges' decision, was a wildly exciting, hard-fought, gutsy fight. At the same time, it was sad to see just how far both fighters have fallen.
When Couture got knocked down in previous fights, it was against fighters with a lot of power (Chuck Liddell, Brock Lesnar). In this fight, he was repeatedly knocked down and almost out, against a man who has never been known to have strong punching power (Nogueira certainly has strong punching technique, but not strong punching power).
As for Nogueira, the lengendary chin that was missing in the Frank Mir fight was back in the Couture fight, but that was about it. In his previous couple of fights and also in the Couture fight, Nogueira’s reflexes were gone, his defense was gone, his head movement was gone, and he was moving like he was underwater. Just because he looked much better than Couture doesn't mean that he looked good in the fight.
In the Couture fight, even Nogueira's legendary submission-finishing ability was missing against an opponent who was semi-conscious at the time of the Round 1 submission attempt (and someone like Nogueira losing their submission-finishing ability would be the equivalent of a knockout artist losing their power). The drastically diminished reflexes and movement are far more troubling, though.
So, for me, while it was a very exciting fight to watch, it was also sad to watch.
On another note, there seemed to be repeated instances of questionable judgment by the doctors of Oregon’s athletic commission last night.
The doctors allowed Ed Herman to continue on to Round 2 even though he clearly had a badly injured knee, only for Herman to predictably suffer an even worse knee injury seconds into Round 2.
That wasn’t the only case of a fighter being sent out for another round who might not have been medically fit to continue. From Bryan Alvarez’ play-by-play of the Mike Russow vs. Justin McCully fight on f4wonline.com: "So the second round was about to start and as McCully was getting out of his chair he stumbled. They stopped the clock between rounds and brought the doctor into the ring and he looked at McCully, asked some questions, and then shook his head no. The fans started booing. So the doctor pushed him sideways and McCully couldn’t keep his base. Doctor did it again, same thing. More booing. And they booed and booed and the next thing you know, they took the stools out of the ring and THE FIGHT CONTINUED. Everyone in press row was wondering what the hell this was all about."
The judgment of the Oregon athletic commission’s doctors looks even worse as a result of this line in Sherdog's post-fight press conference recap: "[UFC president Dana] White said nobody went to the hospital when asked if Tim Hague was OK following his loss to Todd Duffee."
I'm assuming that White meant nobody in the Hague-Duffee fight went to the hospital, because it couldn’t possibly be the case that nobody on the entire card went to the hospital (especially given that several fighters were knocked out cold, an unconscious Chris Leben had a seizure in the cage, etc.). If it's accurate that the Oregon athletic commission's doctors didn't send Hague to the hospital for testing after his knockout loss, that is a travesty.
Friday, August 21, 2009
August 21, 2009: The August 2009 Independent World MMA Rankings have been released. These rankings are independent of any single MMA media outlet or sanctioning body, and are published on multiple web sites. Some of the best and most knowledgeable MMA writers from across the MMA media landscape have come together to form one independent voting panel.
These voting panel members are, in alphabetical order: Zach Arnold (Fight Opinion); Nicholas Bailey (MMA Ratings); Jared Barnes (Houston Chronicle); Jordan Breen (Sherdog); Jim Genia (Full Contact Fighter, MMA Memories, and MMA Journalist Blog); Jesse Holland (MMA Mania); Robert Joyner (Freelance); Todd Martin (CBS Sportsline); Zac Robinson (Sports by the Numbers MMA); Leland Roling (Bloody Elbow); Michael David Smith (AOL Fanhouse); Jonathan Snowden (Author of "Total MMA: Inside Ultimate Fighting"); Joshua Stein (MMA Opinion), Ivan Trembow (Freelance); and Dave Walsh (Total MMA).
Joachim Hansen is not currently eligible to be ranked due to the fact that he has been inactive for 12 months; and Josh Barnett is not currently eligible to be ranked due to his recent positive drug test.
August 2009 Independent World MMA Rankings
Ballots collected on August 18, 2009
Heavyweight Rankings (206 to 265 lbs.)
1. Fedor Emelianenko (30-1, 1 No Contest)
2. Brock Lesnar (4-1)
3. Frank Mir (12-4)
4. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (31-5-1, 1 No Contest)
5. Randy Couture (16-9)
6. Alistair Overeem (29-11, 1 No Contest)
7. Shane Carwin (11-0)
8. Brett Rogers (10-0)
9. Andrei Arlovski (15-7)
10. Fabricio Werdum (12-4-1)
Light Heavyweight Rankings (186 to 205 lbs.)
1. Lyoto Machida (15-0)
2. Quinton Jackson (30-7)
3. Rashad Evans (13-1-1)
4. Anderson Silva (25-4)
5. Mauricio "Shogun" Rua (18-3)
6. Forrest Griffin (16-6)
7. Gegard Mousasi (26-2-1)
8. Rich Franklin (25-4, 1 No Contest)
9. Keith Jardine (14-5-1)
10. Dan Henderson (25-7)
Middleweight Rankings (171 to 185 lbs.)
1. Anderson Silva (25-4)
2. Yushin Okami (23-4)
3. Dan Henderson (25-7)
4. Nathan Marquardt (28-8-2)
5. Demian Maia (10-0)
6. Jorge Santiago (21-7)
7. Robbie Lawler (16-5, 1 No Contest)
8. Vitor Belfort (18-8)
9. Chael Sonnen (23-10-1)
10. Yoshihiro Akiyama (13-1, 2 No Contests)
Welterweight Rankings (156 to 170 lbs.)
1. Georges St. Pierre (19-2)
2. Jon Fitch (19-3, 1 No Contest)
3. Thiago Alves (16-4)
4. Jake Shields (23-4-1)
5. Matt Hughes (43-7)
6. Josh Koscheck (12-4)
7. Martin Kampmann (15-2)
8. Mike Swick (14-2)
9. Carlos Condit (22-5)
10. Paulo Thiago (11-1)
Lightweight Rankings (146 to 155 lbs.)
1. B.J. Penn (14-5-1)
2. Shinya Aoki (21-4, 1 No Contest)
3. Eddie Alvarez (17-2)
4. Kenny Florian (11-4)
5. Tatsuya Kawajiri (24-5-2)
6. Diego Sanchez (21-2)
7. Gray Maynard (7-0, 1 No Contest)
8. Frankie Edgar (10-1)
9. Josh Thomson (16-2)
10. Mizuto Hirota (12-3-1)
Featherweight Rankings (136 to 145 lbs.)
1. Mike Brown (22-4)
2. Urijah Faber (22-3)
3. Wagnney Fabiano (12-1)
4. Jose Aldo (15-1)
5. Hatsu Hioki (20-3-2)
6. Leonard Garcia (13-4)
7. "Lion" Takeshi Inoue (16-3)
8. Raphael Assuncao (13-1)
9. Dokonjonosuke Mishima (19-6-2)
10. Josh Grispi (13-1)
Bantamweight Rankings (126 to 135 lbs.)
1. Brian Bowles (8-0)
2. Miguel Torres (37-2)
3. Takeya Mizugaki (12-3-2)
4. Masakatsu Ueda (9-0-2)
5. Dominick Cruz (14-1)
6. Akitoshi Tamura (14-7-2)
7. Joseph Benavidez (10-1)
8. Will Ribeiro (10-2)
9. Rani Yahya (14-4)
10. Damacio Page (11-4)
The Independent World MMA Rankings are tabulated on a monthly basis in each of the top seven weight classes of MMA, from heavyweight to bantamweight, with fighters receiving ten points for a first-place vote, nine points for a second-place vote, and so on.
The rankings are based purely on the votes of the members of the voting panel, with nobody's vote counting more than anybody else's vote, and no computerized voting.
The voters are instructed to vote primarily based on fighters' actual accomplishments in the cage/ring (the quality of opposition that they've actually beaten), not based on a broad, subjective perception of which fighters would theoretically win fantasy match-ups.
Inactivity: Fighters who have not fought in the past 12 months are not eligible to be ranked, and will regain their eligibility the next time they fight.
Disciplinary Suspensions: Fighters who are currently serving disciplinary suspensions, or who have been denied a license for drug test or disciplinary reasons, are not eligible to be ranked.
Changing Weight Classes: When a fighter announces that he is leaving one weight class in order to fight in another weight class, the fighter is not eligible to be ranked in the new weight class until he has his first fight in the new weight class.
Catch Weight Fights: When fights are contested at weights that are in between the limits of the various weight classes, they are considered to be in the higher weight class. The weight limits for each weight class are listed at the top of the rankings for each weight class.
Special thanks to Eric Kamander, Zach Arnold, and Joshua Stein for their invaluable help with this project, and special thanks to Garrett Bailey for designing our logo.
Labels: Mixed Martial Arts (MMA)