Ah, October. Decaying leaves scattered on the ground. Cantankerous elder ladies complaining to me at work because we’re sold out of pumpkin seeds. Let’s not forget the college crowd, the ones advertising a huge costume party several weeks leading up to it’s Halloween date…only to be shut down by the campus police minutes before it could even begin. Could someone please remind me why I like this month?
Wait! Forgive me, I got my months confused. It’s not October. That’s still a month away. This month right here is Brocktober! How could I forget so easily? Three UFC Countdown specials, UFC 116: Lesnar vs. Carwin Replay, The Ultimate Fighter 12, and most importantly, UFC 121: Lesnar vs. Velasquez. Mr. Brock Lesnar, thank you for inventing a month so giving.
Unfortunately, our favorite Viking disguised as pro-wrestler turned hunter/mixed martial artist didn’t quite live up to the expectations that the month of Brocktober presented. Then again, most mixed martial arts fans wanted Lesnar out of the UFC since the moment he made his first appearance in 2008 so maybe “unfortunately” is poor choice of a word. When it’s all said and done, though, it is I, Maverick Maddox, who has the last say.
Now at this point, you (yes you, Wrestling-Edge readers!) might be asking “Who the hell is Maverick Maddox and why should I care?”. To answer the latter question: you shouldn’t care. No, seriously, my own parents refuse to acknowledge my existence. To answer the former question: My Twitter says I’m an avid MMA fan who has a passion for Jiu-Jitsu, writing, and having laughs. My OkCupid says I enjoy cuddling and if you’re an 18-23 year old female who loves cuddling too, you should message me. I say they’re both absolutely correct.
On a serious note, I’m Edward Maddox. A friend of mine sent me a link to Wrestling-Edge.com where it stated that they were looking for MMA reporters. Since I had been writing about MMA events since Spring of 2009, I figured why not at least try to apply? After several exchanges with Amish Patel and a brief example of what I’d like to write, I got the job. Needless to say, I’m super excited to write for a website that has dedicated readers.
What I have to offer to Wrestling-Edge.com readers are what I call Maverick Retrospects. Basically, twenty-four to forty-eight hours after a big MMA card, I’ll post my thoughts and concerns on the overall event. I’ll break them down by bullet point, starting with the opening fight and moving to the main event. I’ll even post about a Preliminary Fight or two if need be. And since UFC 121: Lesnar vs. Velasquez was last night, I say we go ahead and give this a go.
-First off, I would like to thank my good friend, Corey, for telling me weeks ahead of time that the movie theaters would be airing this card just like they did with UFC 111, 115, and 118. I figured instead of paying $45, I’d just pay the $15, buy some popcorn, and watch it on a bigger screen. So, I left about thirty minutes before the card aired and headed twenty minutes out to the location of my theater that aired the last three cards. As I head in, something seems peculiar, for I’m not seeing any muscle heads with their Affliction shirts. I asked the guy at the ticket booth if they were airing UFC 121 and he replies “Not this time.” So, guess who didn’t get to see Court McGee, his favorite TUF winner, fight last night?
-Speaking of The Ultimate Fighter, it’s amazing to see how far the guys from The Ultimate Fighter Season 10 have come since that show? My general rule of thumb for The Ultimate Fighter is that every cast member has the potential to make it big in the UFC, we’ve learned that time and time again. Well, The Ultimate Fighter 10 was the only exception to that rule. That season was that bad in my opinion. But wow, Matt Mitrione looked fluid in his fight with Joey Beltran at UFC 119, undefeated Jon Madsen made light work of Gilbert Yvel, and Brendan Schaub absolutely had his way with Gabriel Gonzaga. While I still believe Jon Madsen will have issues fighting anyone who knows how to sprawl and stop a takedown, Matt Mitrione and Brendan Schaub seem to keep getting better with each fight. I’m not saying I want to see the two clash or anything, but the idea has crossed my mind several times. I think it would be a fun fight for both Heavyweights.
-Any thought I had about Tito Ortiz being able to beat Chuck Liddell if the two were to fight in their current forms has been absolutely destroyed by Tito’s poor performance last night. You’d think that after five years of doing it, he’d stop standing in the same position and letting his opponents pick their shots. Forrest Griffin arguably stole the rematch due to stalling tactic, and it surely wasn’t helping him in his fight last night with Matt Hamill. Congratulations to Hamill, though. His wrestling looked absolutely aggressive, and his elbows would have made Tito Ortiz in his prime proud. As far as Tito Ortiz goes, I don’t want to seem like an armchair martial artist, but if he refuses to work on his footwork, boxing defense, and how to follow-up on his boxing combos, then he might as well just hang it up. Outside of the first round, Ortiz had nothing for Hamill.
-As my Facebook status said last night: “Diego Sanchez vs. Paulo Thiago…what a war!” If you missed this fight, do yourself a favor and watch it. Don’t be surprised if it pops up on my end of the year list (which will certainly be on Wrestling-Edge.com on December 25th *cheap pop*). No seriously, this fight was so good that if Dana White said they were going to have an immediate rematch, I wouldn’t complain in the slightest. Paulo Thiago finally began doing something he hadn’t done since his UFC debut, initiating the aggression. Paulo Thiago was probably more active in this fight than he was against Kampmann, Swick, or Koscheck…and that’s scary as hell considering that two of those three fights he won via stoppage. However, he fought a focused Diego Sanchez last night, and while Sanchez isn’t the most technical fighter on the planet, he’s one of the last fighters you want to go to war with. There are some out there that would argue if Paulo Thiago had a better gas tank, he could have ended that fight. That may be true, but let’s not forget it was Diego Sanchez who drained his gas tank with his relentless pacing in the second round. I also loved that Sanchez channeled his inner Matt Hughes and upped it one notch by screaming while carrying Thiago. I’m not sure if this performance means Diego Sanchez is back or not, as John Hathaway was able to pick him apart for simply being a smarter fighter, but it was, as Michael Cole would say, Vintage Sanchez!
-Give Jake Shields a gimme fight at Welterweight before giving him a title shot.. Jake Shields gassed last night simply because he hasn’t adjusted to fighting at Welterweight. If he fights a Georges St. Pierre or a Koscheck like he fought last night, he will lose horribly. If last night was your first time watching Jake Shields in action, I’ll let you know now that he’s not a horrible fighter. Like I said, he just needs to readjust to a different weight class. For the last year and a half, he’s been fighting at Middleweight. That’s a crucial weight cut to get used to. I say give him a Welterweight match against a guy who looks great on paper, but would be an easier win for Shields. That way he can have another fight at Welterweight to see if he’s finally adjusted and it’ll give him one more fight to tune up for before being thrown in a title match. My initial suggestion was Chris Lytle, but Jake Ellenberger could be an equal fit.
-I’ll never doubt Cain Velasquez again. Did he look great or did he look great. Brock has severe holes in his game. I mean, you know it’s pretty bad when you lost in the same fashion that you almost lost to in your last fight. From the moment he’s debuted, Brock has relied on physical size and speed to best his opponents. It was this combination that made him a legitimate threat to anyone in the Heavyweight division, but both Carwin and Velasquez have shown that if you can get past the size and speed, then Brock has nothing else to offer to the table. With Cain Velasquez’ win last night, we get to see a title clash with Junior dos Santos sometime in 2011. Mark my words: it will be a Heavyweight fight for the ages. As for Brock Lesnar, unfortunately, an inevitable rubber match with Frank Mir is well on its way and I honestly have no interest in wanting to see it.
That’s all for now, folks. I hope you enjoyed the read. I guess I’ll be seeing you for UFC 122: Okami vs. Marquardt.