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Sunday, Jul 28, 2013

The Daily Takedown: UFC on Fox 8: Great Finishes, Great Fighting

"Ruthless" Robbie Lawler

By Joshua Molina

UFC on FOX 8 delivered with some thrilling finishes and high-quality fighting.

If only the Seattle fans knew a good fight when they saw it.

Rory MacDonald vs. Jake Ellenberger stunk up the Key Arena in Seattle with a tactical battle, but MMA has been around long enough that fans should know the difference between a bad fight and a strategic matchup between quality athletes.

It doesn’t help that MacDonald has a spooky serial-killer vibe to him and fans badly want to see him beat. Ellenberger was a step behind in everything, from his jabs and his kicks to even his post-fight celebration, when he put up his hands after the bell after MacDonald did.

MacDonald easily won, making Ellenberger look like a second-rate fighter. Not easy to do.

Robbie Lawler continued his impressive comeback. Showing good footwork along with strikes from multiple angles, Lawler looked like he could have hung with George St-Pierre on Saturday night. Joe Rogan and Mike Goldberg did their best to describe Lawler as the next big thing in the UFC, calling him a man who is “entering his prime at 31 years old.” Lawler has been around the block; he started fighting at 20 years old. He has put together two impressive KO victories over Josh Koscheck and now Bobby Voelker.

A Lawler vs. MacDonald fight would be the ultimate test of whether Lawler is “entering his prime,” or just knocked out two guys well past theirs.

Liz Carmouche rallied from a near choke-out to beat a game Jessica Andrade. Carmouche came across technically skilled and in control. With a body and muscle-to-fat ratio that most male MMA fighters would die for, Carmouche looks like a high-level female athlete out there. She will be around for some time, and if Miesha Tate upsets Ronday Rousey, could be a title contender again.

In the main event, Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson defeated John Moraga by submission. Moraga did well do avoid submissions the rest of the fight, but just got caught toward the end. Johnson was too fast and Moraga wasn’t prepared for the quickness. Moraga, however, clearly learned a lot more Saturday night than would ever do in a training camp. He should come back stronger than ever and might be a champion one day.

The other highlight of Saturday’s show were the flurry of commercials featuring The Ultimate Fighter. In a dramatic scene, Tate walks into the gym and Rousey asks “what are you doing here,” and Tate responds, “I’m couching,” sending Rousey storming off into room slamming the door. Tate just smirked at her as Rousey looked shocked.

Rousey, of course, was not told beforehand that Tate was replacing Cat Zingano as coach. Like an episode of “Cheaters,” camera crews caught the crushing moment on camera. Already, Rousey is being portrayed as the innocent victim and Tate as the dishonest bad girl. Should be an outstanding season of reality theatre.

posted by JoshuaM @ 1:03 pm
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