By: Joyce Lynda Valdes
Dana White is known for telling his athletes not to let a fight go to decision; usually, because most of us think [a few] judges in the business are
morons not impeccably qualified to judge Mixed Martial Arts fighting. And in some cases, when both opponents are performing spectacularly, it seems a judge may have terrible difficulty making a decision, which results in what looks like it took a flip of a quarter to decide. Apparently, many fans believe last night’s UFC 144 Lightweight Championship fight between Frankie Edgar and Benson Henderson would fall into this latter category.
Usually when a Champion loses his title, it is based on a very clear loss of the fight, like a KO or a submission. When a title-fight goes all 5 rounds, you expect the contender is required to dominate the champ through every round to earn the victory. Last night, Bendo looked good and I would say he definitely had rounds 2 and 3 but I wasn’t too sure about the 1st, 4th, and 5th. I thought those rounds could have gone either way. White himself, scored both fighters even until the final round, which he gave to Edgar. Edgar never looked as though he clearly won a round, but he didn’t seem to clearly lose 3 rounds either. Just upon watching the fights though, I scored it 3 rounds for Henderson.
Fightmetric released its official statistics showing Bendo took all five rounds. Frankie Edgar is still asking for an immediate rematch, which sounds appealing to many fans right now, but rumors of a rematch with Anthony Pettis may be much more enticing to Henderson, if he ever wants to live down the famous “Showtime Kick”.
RAMPAGE DOESN’T LOSE WEIGHT, LOSES HIS FIGHT:
UFC 144 brought Quinton “Rampage” Jackson back to Saitama, Japan, the city that launched his stardom as a great MMA fighter in those wonderful days of PRIDE, but so much publicity surrounded Rampage returning to a city of his adoring fans that a usually routine question like: “Hey, how’s the weight cut going?” may have been lost in translation. Rampage tipped the scales at 211 pounds during weigh-ins for his co-main event bout against Ryan Bader, making him 5 pounds over the assigned Light-Heavyweight weight requirement. Jackson admitted he had an injury that made weight cutting difficult. Regardless, Jackson was required to give up 20 percent of his fight purse to Bader, (estimated at $50,000 ) which meant coming into the fight, Bader had already made more than what he earned winning his last fight ($48,000). Maybe it was the added confidence of making some of Rampage’s money, but Bader was able to take Rampage down with some ease and dominate him through 3 rounds, earning himself a Unanimous Decision victory. Jackson would later reveal he suffered a knee injury in training, which confused some fans as to why he walked the streets with Ariel Helwani for an in-depth interview lasting 45 minutes, the night before weigh-ins.
Despite the disappointing loss, it’s a relief to know Quinton “Rampage” Jackson has not joined the recent trend of fighters who retire via post-fight interview with Joe Rogan. In the post-fight press conference, Jackson said:
“See, I know I’m getting to the end of my career, because I say I don’t want to fight past thirty-five, but, honestly, before I hurt my knee you guys should have seen how I was training. I’ve got really good sparring partners. I’ve got this really good wrestler named Tyson Jeffries that kicks my butt in wrestling and at the beginning of this camp, I was kicking his butt, I was taking him down and the wrestling got real competitive and that’s how I hurt my knee. He’s one of the best wrestlers I know and I was dealing with him, I was handling him. I was sparring really good and I was looking like a superstar and then I hurt my knee. That made me think, ‘Oh man, I’ve got a long more time to fight.’
When I got hurt, it was unfortunate, but now, I know what I can do if I come in a hundred percent. I think I’ve got a lot of years [left]. I’m ready to put on more shows. I heal up fast, I’m like a werewolf. I wasn’t even supposed to fight here, so I’ll be back really soon”
Looks like Jackson will at least still stick to his plans to retire at the age of 35, which gives us a couple more fun years with the fighter who may not always win, but he always entertains.
AZUSA HAS NICE BIG…EYES:
Azusa Nishigaki was our UFC 144 Guest Octagon Girl and upon first glance you could have pegged her to be Arianny Celeste‘s sister (at second glance, her first cousin). Azusa (the former Sengoku Ring Girl and “Miss Japan” Beauty Pageant Finalist) was a perfect addition, pacifying fans who were missing Brittney and Chandella. Got to hand it to the UFC, they sure know how to ease any sense of loss. Dear Azusa, we would just like to say thank you for your big eyes, ample cheeks, and luscious smile. Did I forget anything?
FIGHT NEWS, RUMORS AND FEUDS:
Ronda Rousey and Meisha Tate continue with heated verbal and written exchanges before they get in the cage next Saturday at Strikefore: Tate vs. Rousey. Tate called Rousey “pampered and protected”. Rousey responded with a lengthy blog that in essence questions if Tate knows the meaning of those words and suggests she invest in a dictionary. If this were a schoolyard fight, I’m pretty sure one of these ladies would be hiding a razor in her cheek.
Rich Franklin wasn’t shy to speak out during the FUEL TV live weigh-ins about Quinton “Rampage” Jackson missing weight and blaming an injury. Franklin felt if Jackson was able to get so close to the limit, he should have been able to make weight. Jackson was none-too-pleased by Franklin’s opinion and offered this warning: “Rich Franklin needs to watch his mouth before I smack him the next time I see him.”
Anthony Pettis is the unofficial next Lightweight contender for Benson Henderson. Pettis beat Joe Lauzon at UFC 144 with a first round knockout. Melvin Guillard was seeking a rematch with Lauzon, prior to the fight.
Brian Stann will face Alessio Sakara at UFC ON FUEL TV 2 but has already called out Michael Bisping as his next opponent. Stann spoke to EsNewsReporting.com and was fired up after hearing some of Bisping’s remarks on him. Stann explained:
“I wouldn’t try to do anything but walk straight through him [Bisping] with a right hand. He called me a ‘white belt’ and said that I was ‘exposed’ so I’d love to see him put his money where his mouth is.”
Both Stann and Bisping’s last fights resulted in losses to the best smack-talker in the biz, Chael Sonnen.