UFC 98: After the Dust Has Settled
Now that the dust from UFC 98 has settled, MikeDead and -C.B- are going to break down the Event.
Frank Edgar showed that he has an impressive standing game. Do you think that he’s one big win away from a title shot?
MikeDead: One big win; maybe. But I’m not convinced that a win over Sherk will be enough to get Frank Edgar that big fight just yet. The win over Sherk was certainly impressive, but I’d like to see how he fares in his next fight, and what a win over Sherk will get him in his next bout.
-C.B-: Sean Sherk said that he wanted to go into this match and knock Frank Edgar out as quickly as possible. Frank Edgar showed that he has a good standing game and while he may not have the knock out power he can still deal some damage on his feet.
With that said the Lightweight division has some good fighters and I believe that Edgar will need a few more wins before he’s gonna get that title shot.
Was their a match that you were disappointed with?
MikeDead: The Xavier Foupa-Pokam fight was a bit of a disappointment to me. But at the same time I wasn’t shocked to see it end the way that it did. Thirty-seven seconds in, McFedries wins in KO. I just thought that the fight could have been so much more then it was. It was exciting, but I think anytime you get two knockout fighters like Professor X and McFedries in the octagon, you’re always hoping for a longer fight.
-C.B-: It isn’t that I was really disappointed with the Phillipe Nover Vs. Kyle Bradley match, I just thought it would have lasted longer. Although Phillipe Nover lost his last fight too Efrain Escudero (who has a perfect 12–0–0 record) that match went the distance and I thought that Nover would rebound and take this match.
What did you think about the Matt Hughes/ Matt Serra ?
MikeDead: This to me was the fight of the night. When Serra had Hughes down in the first, I thought that Serra may have had that fight won, and in all honesty against any other fighter in that class, he very well may have had that won in the first.
But to Hughes' credit he was able to recover nicely, and really control the tempo from there on out. Serra allowed it to become a typical Matt Hughes fight, a ground and pound, test of endurance, and that in my opinion is what lost Serra that match.
Although I do have to point out that late in the third, the ref really needed to stand them up sooner than he did. Hughes is a fighter whose always been content to just pound on you whether your in half guard, or full guard, but with about two minutes left in the third there was very little action.
Once Hughes got the takedown, in his mind I believe he knew he had won that fight, and the ref did very little to allow Serra a chance to get back into it.
-C.B-: This was a war straight out. I sat there rooting for Serra (chating it up with Mike who was rooting for Hughes) and I really thought the decision was BS; but that’s the way things go sometimes. Regardless of winner of loser though to me this was a great match. Serra knocked Hughes down, in the first and to Hughes credit he recovered well and came back to win the second round.
I thought that Serra did a great job just blocking everything while Hughes was on top and got that takedown and submission in the 3rd but Serra just ran out of time.
Did the Hughes/Serra fight live up to the hype?
MikeDead: I believe it did, there was some light taunting going on in the 2nd, and you could just sense that each fighter was doing everything they possibly could. In the first round when Serra had the takedown, a lot of fighters would have gone down there, but Hughes showed some incredible will and ability in being able to recover.
And from the second to third I thought Serra did a terrific job staying in half guard, where we’ve all seen Hughes excel. A lesser fighter may have taken the risk of turning and gave Hughes an opening there to get in some strikes, but Serra did what he could to keep Hughes out of his game.
-C.B-: I thought it did regardless of the outcome. Sure the whole bad blood thing didn’t really show in the ring (they hugged it out after the match) but it was good for the pre-fight interview and everything. Regardless of that I still think it lived up to the hype, each guy having their moments to get the win.
Hughes made it known that he wants at least one more fight. Presumably he wants to go for the belt one more time, does he have what it takes to be champ again?
MikeDead: Matt Hughes may very well may be my favorite fighter of all time, he’s done everything a fighter can do, he’s going straight to the HOF when he hangs up the gloves, but in a match up with a guy like GSP, I just don’t think Hughes physically has what it takes. Mentally I think Hughes honestly believes he can take these guys, but on a pure physical level, I think his fighting career is coming to an end.
-C.B-: I like Matt Hughes, the guy has done it all and will go into the HOF for sur. I just don’t think that Hughes has what it takes to take out someone like GSP or Thiago Alves who are in their prime. I honestly think he should walk away now while he has that victory over Serra.
Lyoto Machida came into this fight as the underdog, does his fight at UFC98 change that?
MikeDead: Absolutely, undefeated, he’s yet to lose a round. As far as I’m concerned he needs to be regarded as the best fighter in his class.
-C.B-: I think without a doubt that this changes things for Lyoto Machida. The guy has a perfect record (15–0–0) and I don’t think he has lost a round thus far. I think that some fighters may underestimate this guy because hes not outspoken and very humble, but he has shown that he can knock you out if you let your guard down.
Both Lyoto Machida and Rashad Evans were sitting back waiting for the other to commit most of the first round. Should Evans been more aggressive and tried to dictate the pace of the fight? What approach do you think he should have taken?
MikeDead: Well looking back it’s easy to say that Evans should have been more aggressive, but at the same time Lyoto Machida brings a style and approach that not many fighters have seen. His stand up game, and karate background was really spotlighted in this fight. And he was just as content as Evans to sit back and wait to counter.
I’m still left wondering how this fight would have panned out had Evans tried to utilize the ground game a bit more, but from round one to the end of that fight, it never looked as though Evans had any control over Machida whatsoever.
-C.B-: Obviously hindsite is 20/20 for Rashad Evans. I think he went in to this fight with the “I’m the champ if he wants the belt he has to come take it from me” mentality and really just sat back and waited for Machida to commit on something. I think Machidas unusual style and a nice mix up of moves were something that Evans just couldn’t counter thus costing Evans the belt.
What was the Match of the Night?
MikeDead: I thought Machida/Evans was a terrific fight, Machida really brought a style of fighting into the octagon that hasn’t been seen an awful lot. As the headlining fight I felt that it met, if not surpassed all expectations.
-C.B-: Personally I though the match of the night was either the Hughes/Serra match or the Edgar/Sherk match. Both were very entertaining and left you wanting more.
If you have any questions for -C.B- or MikeDead feel free to ask and we will get them answered.