I’m Baaaaccckkkk! Strikeforce Postmortem

Posted: August 1, 2011 in Journalism, MMA
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I’ve been a bit quiet lately, so I figured I’d do a Strikeforce postmortem. I did a stupid picks segment on Fight Fans Radio, going head to head with Erika Lewis. As it turns out, she won by one pick, but in all fairness, I picked Scott Smith only because I thought I’d look like a genius if he won. Of course, the fact that he lost probably reflects poorly on me, but nevertheless, I’ve been invited to appear on her show every week, or at least until my pick percentage goes down to typical MMAJ levels.

Let’s move onto the story lines from Saturday’s card.

A Battle of Legends

The Production

Once again, Mauro Ranallo shows his ignorance. He referred to a kimura as an armlock. Yes, a kimura is considered either a shoulder lock or an armlock, but so are ude-hishigi juji-gatame, ashi-garame, ude-hishigi ude-gatame, etc. They’re all arm/shoulder locks. What Mauro did was the equivalent of a boxing commentator continuously saying, “He’s punching him!” Anyone can do that. We expect our professionals to have a bit more knowledge. It’s “an uchimata move” all over again.

On the other hand, I made a blunder of my own. The ring announcer referred to Tim Kennedy as a Green Beret, to which I responded that Tim is a US Army Ranger. It turns out I was wrong, so I’m happy to return the money I was paid to tweet last night. (By the way, watch Tim on Deadliest Warrior on Spike TV this Wednesday night where the US Army Rangers are compared to the North Korean Special Operations Forces. This week’s show will be broadcast live, so you can ask questions via Twitter.)

Dan Henderson v. Fedor

This was a good stoppage. Fedor went limp, his arms collapsed, and his face planted on the ground. Herb Dean had no choice but to stop the fight. The fact that Fedor seemed to recover a split second before Herb stopped the fight doesn’t change the argument, especially considering how wobbly Fedor was when he stood up. Fedor’s claim that the fight was stopped too soon is similarly unpersuasive. Your short term memory is blanked when you’re knocked out. Your interpretation of events simply can’t be trusted.

Dan Henderson

Unlike every other fighter I can name off the top of my head, Dan Henderson didn’t leave the UFC because he was kicked out. He left by choice. Considering that fact and considering that Strikeforce is owned by Zuffa, transitioning back would be easy. I suggest Dana White make that really easy. Dan should be in the UFC again.

By the way, Dan gets the line of the night. I don’t have the exact quote, but here’s a mangled paraphrasing of what he said. The meaning is true to what Dan was saying.

Look, beating Fedor is the most important thing I’ve done. He’s a champ. He’s a bad ass. It’s not the same thing as beating a fake fighter like Michael Bisping.



Fedor was a great champion and perhaps the best MMA fighter ever. He isn’t anymore because he’s old and the game has changed. I wish the Fedor-lovers and Fedor-haters would both grow up and realize these facts. They’re easily reconcilable.

Does this look like a porn star to you?

Miesha Tate and MMAJ

Miesha Tate and Marloes Coenen put on a great fight, helping to advance the cause of women’s MMA. Then, while trying to position herself, Miesha placed her hand near Marloes’s crotch, and the crowd went crazy. I immediately tweeted my thoughts on this, to which Strikeforce responded. Within seconds, however, one of the gimmick-MMAJs (that is, a fake journalist covering MMA and holding the position simply because she’s a woman) made a low-class comment about it on Twitter and Google+. When I called her out for it in response to Strikeforce’s acknowledgement, she didn’t seem to see the problem, and instead reacted in such a way as to validate my position on her character. I’m sure if she reads this, she’ll miss the point again and maybe even respond similarly, making herself look even worse. (At least we’ll all get a laugh out of it.)

You see, the problem isn’t that her tweet would have an effect on the outcome of a fight. To suggest that I’m saying that is ludicrous, and thus a strawman argument (i.e., a trivial statement put forth just to provide the illusion of a victory). The problem is that, when the women’s division can’t get respect from even the female fans of MMA, it has no chance of staying power at all. Sure, it might be kept around for the occasional fan with a fetish, but don’t expect it to last very long. Don’t misunderstand me, though. I get that all wrestling looks erotic, and if, as is usually the case, the participants are of the same sex, the result is homoerotic in appearance. If you’re paying attention, though, this doesn’t diminish my point at all. Besides, if it’s always true, why point it out at all?

I also don’t believe for one second “Stephie D” is a legitimate fan of MMA. She’s just making money off of it, and unfortunately she’s attached to a popular brand (TapouT). However, that also doesn’t diminish my point at all. She’s obviously perceived as an MMA authority (here’s some evidence from one of her apologists), and for an issue like this, image is more important than reality.

Lastly, I’m into lesbian porn as much as the next heterosexual guy (which is to say a lot), but if that’s what I wanted to be watching Saturday night, that’s what I’d be watching. Instead, I was watching a fight card. I can tell the difference. If you can’t, you probably need to see a shrink.

Tim Kennedy

One quick additional note about Tim Kennedy: He’s about as classy an act as they come in MMA. He needs to improve either his cardio or his technique if he’s going to spend the whole fight trying to wrestle his opponent to the ground, but he beat a tough veteran opponent, and it’s impossible not to root for the guy.

Tyron Woodley

Tyron has no ‘e’ on the end. His name isn’t pronounced ty-RONE; it’s pronounced TY-ron. Well, TY-ron’s stock might have taken a slight hit. Paul Daley said before the fight that Tyron was undefeated only because his opponents were hand-picked to build him up as a star. That may or may not be true, but he proved that he’s good enough to fight for a title by beating Daley. However, unless he improves his cardio, he’s not good enough to win one. Of course, the Strikeforce welterweight division is fairly weak now, so maybe he’ll win their welterweight title, but he needs some serious work before even thinking about stepping into the UFC. They’d eat him alive.

Scott Smith

There comes a time when a non-competitive fighter, even one that “gives the crowd what they want,” is no longer entertaining to watch.  Send him to Bellator, BAMMA, or wherever. Even there, I bet he’s no more than a gatekeeper.

Follow me on Twitter @MMADork
Follow Strikeforce on Twitter @Strikeforce
Follow Mauro Ranallo on Twitter @MauroRanallo
Follow Tim Kennedy on Twitter @TimKennedyMMA
Follow Spike TV on Twitter @Spike_TV
Follow Dan Henderson on Twitter @DanHendo
Follow the Ultimate Fighting Championship on Twitter @ufc
Follow Miesha Tate on Twitter @MieshaTate
Follow Marloes Coenen on Twitter @MarloesCoenen
Follow Stephie D on Twitter @CrooklynMMA to learn the finer points of homoeroticism
Follow Tyron Woodley on Twitter @TWooodley
Follow Scott Smith on Twitter @HandsofSteel14 (unverified account)

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