In case you were one of the few MMA fans on the planet that didn’t catch last night’s UFC event, fellow MMA fanatic Michael Hans has provided some guest commentary for The Punch. His thoughts on UFC 84 (FYI, I wholeheartedly agree with points number 1 and 4):
1) Loved the Penn fight. He dominated and I would like to see him rule the lightweights for years to come. I know why he wants to fight GSP, but that’s for personal, not professional reasons. He wants to beat the one guy who is a true challenge for him and avenge his lost to George. If he stopped and looked at it from a professional standpoint, he should stay at 155 and have three to four title defenses a year. He could be the Matt Hughes of the lightweights and rule the weight class for the next five years. If he goes up and fights GSP what does it do for the sport? If he loses, it devalues the lightweight belt, if he wins, is he going to just stay up and fight at middleweight? The UFC needs marketable champions at every weight class. Dominant fighters that they can bring in multiple guys in to challenge and get their asses handed to them. That’s what made watch Hughes title run so fun. I say, let GSP and Penn defend their belts for as long as possible.
2) Jardine went down like I thought that he would. I like the guy, but his chin doesn’t match up well with an aggressive heavy hitter like Silva or Houston Alexander. The only reason he was able to beat Liddell was because Liddell is a counter puncher. He was not aggressive and let Jardine control the fight. If you are fighting Jardine, you need to come at him hard and take a chance, hit him right and you will knock him out.
3) Keep your eyes on Goran Reljic. This Croatian sensation has it and I expect him to be a top contender in a few years. His over 80 reach is off the charts. He has dynamic power in his kicks and just the right look and fighting style that fans pay to see. Granted he almost got KOed last night, but you could also say that he kept his composer, fought back and had an entertaining fight for his first time in the UFC. How many fighters over the years have you had to hear that fighters have to get used to the limelight and that it takes a couple of fights under the pay-per-view lights to get their bearings? This 24-year-old kid looked good, and he could have a belt some day.
4) Shocker. Lyoto is boring. My buddy, Backdoor, says, Lyoto is a strategic fighter. I say, people pay good money to see a fight, not a track meet. Engage or go home! If Machida fought with Silvas passion he would be a hell of a fighter, but he doesn’t and never will. This guy needs to only fight aggressive risk takers. His next fight, if he even gets one, should be against Silva and then we’ll see if he will engage or run. My bet is that Machida will bring his track shoes.
5) Palhares looks good. Real good. Glad to see Sokoudjou get a TKO. I like the guy, and he needs to string some wins together.
6) Shocked to read this morning that Heavyweight, Shane Carwin, was a Division II National Wrestling Champion. You throw in his punching power, with what I can only assume is dominating ground game, and you got the makings of a great fighter.