UFC 98 is in the books,and it was a night full of great fights. We saw an upset, a grudge settled, and a new light heavyweight champion crowned.
It appears Karate Dojos everywhere will see a spike in enrollment on Monday morning.
Here are five things I learned from UFC 98.
1. Urine is the new Red Bull.
It's official. Tomorrow when I wake up instead of going in the toilet, I will go in a cup. I will then proceed to drink contents of said cup, and reap the benefits.
I had been using the nipple tweak thing up until now, but that's so 2008. If you want to train like the pros, you gotta drink your first urine.
It has all the vitamins you need for the day, and its the breakfast of champions. At least the breakfast of the new light heavyweight champion, Lyoto Machida.
2. Sean Sherk was paid to keep the fight standing against Frankie Edgar.
Ok, so I don't actually believe that. I will say it seemed extremely weird watching Sherk get picked apart and continue to stalk Edgar like he had some awesome one punch power or something.
Sherk got caught up in this new phenomenon sweeping MMA, fear of being boring. It's no longer good enough to win, you gotta exchange. You need knockouts or at least lots of exchanges. Sherk should have shot in early and often, and used what got him to the dance.
As a boxing guy by nature, I have an old boxing adage that seems appropriate. Win this fight, and look good in the next one.
3. The answer is there is no answer to Machida's style.
The questions coming into this matchup were mostly about Machida's style. What would Greg Jackson come up with to answer the Shotokan Karate black belt?
Would Evans attempt to take Machida down and ground-n-pound him? Would Evans attempt to make Lyoto lead so he could counter?
The answer was not as shocking as it was definitive. Evans couldn't get into range to land his shots.
Machida laid back out of range and landed his KO.
Just how do you beat Machida? He stays out of punching range. He has a great sprawl. He is very hard to hit cleanly, and has great Jiu Jitsu.
There is no answer yet, because he has no losses. There are some hints, as some subtle flaws were shown in his fight against Tito Ortiz. In retrospect now, how good does Ortiz look now that Machida has tore thru Silva and Evans?
Against Ortiz he showed he was susceptible to dirty boxing in the Thai clinch. While Ortiz certainly did not do significant damage in the clinch, that is something worth noting for future opponents.
Also it seems that triangle/armbar attempt late in the Ortiz fight is the closest Machida has come to losing in the octagon. Though Machida has a black belt in Jiu Jitsu, this may be something worth exploring. Perhaps he can be submitted.
Outside of Anderson Silva, I don't really see anyone giving this guy much of a challenge anytime soon.
4. Professor X needs to leave the dancing to the dance floor.
I have said it time and time again. It is one of the oldest rules in boxing. It seems MMA fighters have not learned about this rule yet. You do not shake booty on your way to the ring. It is bad luck. It detracts from your focus. If you need to see the best example of this, see Phil Baroni.
I can't say its the entire reason why he lost, but it played a huge part. Oh, and that other rule about always keeping your hands up too.
5. Rampage should not fight Machida under any circumstances.
I know that Rampage gets the winner of Evans/Machida. Now that it is Machida, I don't want to see Rampage fight him. I give Rampage about a 10 percent chance of winning that fight. I only give him that high of a chance due to his puncher's chance.
Machida's style is all wrong for Rampage. If you saw the Griffin fight, you know what I'm referring to. Rampage can be beaten by an elusive fighter who can utilize kicks and movement.
Machida is at least twice as fast as Griffin. He will lay back and potshot Rampage all night. It will be like the Evans fight, except I believe Rampage to possess a better chin.
This is a fight that makes Rampage look very bad. The UFC should avoid it for as long as possible. I have an idea. Scrap the Griffin/Silva fight and sign Silva/Machida instead.
That way we can get a Griffin/Rampage rematch and I can avoid seeing my favorite fighter get exposed for five rounds.