July 6, 2011
What did you take away from UFC 132? The main event may not have been the prettiest fight to watch, but I liked it. Having spent some time with Dominick Cruz over the past year, it was easy to see how much a rematch with Urijah Faber meant to him. Cruz mentioned in the countdown special he was tired of hearing about Faber, and I guess I can’t blame him, but Faber was the only loss of his career so he had to know it was always going to be a topic of conversation. Did Cruz demolish Faber? No, but I thought he did enough in the 4th and 5th rounds to justify the decision. Whoever the judge was that scored to fight 50-45 should never be allowed ringside again.
That was awful, and it happened earlier in the night when Dennis Siver was given a disputed victory over Matt Wiman. Wiman beat Siver up and still lost the fight. I remember when the discussion started for judges to have monitors at ringside. I thought it made great sense. If broadcasters and Dana White were using monitors, then why not the judges? Saturday night proved it has nothing to do with the monitors, it is a problem because some of these judges are just flat out clueless.
I have spoken to plenty of people who think Faber won the main event. It’s hard to argue when my own card was 2 rounds for Cruz, 1 round for Faber and 2 rounds even. I am far from an expert, but I haven’t heard a lot of complaints about my card. It was a tough fight to score, and both guys were effective. That wasn’t the case in the Wiman fight, and I don’t know where the Nevada state athletic commission goes from here in order to solve the problem.
The other storyline of the night involved two legends in the sport whose careers were hanging on by a thread as they entered the octagon. Tito Ortiz may not be a favorite of Dana White’s, but it’s hard to ignore what Ortiz meant to the UFC in the early days. Tank Abbott may have been the promotion’s first “bad boy”, but Ortiz showed early in his career that he had the skills to back up his loud talk.
Having not won a fight in almost 5 years and looking like a shell of his former self in his last fight against Matt Hamill, it was almost impossible seeing a scenario where Ortiz would defeat Ryan Baeder. Baeder, a former winner of the Ultimate Fighter had only one loss on his record and that was to current light heavyweight champ Jon Jones. He’s younger than Ortiz and appeared to be the guy who was going to send Tito right into retirement.
As we have learned time and time again in MMA there is no such thing as a sure bet. When Ortiz dropped Baeder with a right hand, and then locked in a choke forcing the younger man to tap, you could almost hear a pin drop as the crowd tried to convince themselves what they just witnessed. It was one of the great upsets in the UFC. I’m sure Dana White probably spit out a few f bombs in his seat knowing Ortiz lived to see another day, but sitting at home it was great to watch.
The result was sadly not the same for another legend on the card, Wanderlei Silva. Silva got destroyed in just 27 seconds by Chris Leben. Out cold face down on the mat in under 30 seconds is not the lasting memory we all want of a guy who had some many great performances first in Pride and then in the UFC.
All in all it was a good card. Cruz got his win, Ortiz got his lifeline, it’s just too bad “The axe murderer” got confirmation it’s time to hang em up.
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