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Sunday, Sep 23, 2012

Full Contact Fighter’s “The Daily Takedown:” Jones vs. Belfort – So Glad It’s Over

Joseph Benavidez (top)

By Joshua Molina

With UFC 152 thankfully over, here are some thoughts on the night:

Crazy to think that UFC was actually going to headline a Pay Per View with Demetrious Johnson vs. Joseph Benavidez. Those guys are great athletes, but that fight was boring. Fans like quick fighters, but fans also want to see fighters take chances. Canada was right to boo.

Are Joe Rogan and Mike Goldberg broadcast journalists or actors playing a role on UFC television shows? Their calling of show was tough to listen to. Their obvious cheerleading for Johnson and defense of the fight’s lack of action was insulting. Rogan said he didn’t get why the crowd was booing. They were booing because they wanted action, not two guys trying not to make a mistake. Clearly Joe Rogan is the president of the “Mighty Mouse” fan club.

Michael Bisping deserves a title shot. Bisping looked good and versatile against Brian Stann. He showed he can punch and take his opponent down. He even survived a few hard shots to the face. Bisping likely wouldn’t pose much of a threat to Anderson Silva, but he deserves a shot to make something happen.

Can Strikeforce middleweight champ Luke Rockhold try to look a little meaner when he’s on television? When the UFC cut to him and his buddy Daniel Cormier to show the Strikeforce fighters at the show, Rockhold did his typical “I’m cute and I know it” mugging for the camera. It’s hard to fear a face like. Rockhold needs to smile if he wants to get acting roles. He needs to growl when he’s trying to get big fights.

Jon Jones is not unbeatable. An old, less-skilled Vitor Belfort nearly broke Jones’ arm in the first round. That was remarkable. It may have been the only highlight for Belfort, but it was a big one. A stronger fighter would have cracked Jones’ arm. Little by little fighters will chip away at Jones’ mystique of invincibility until one day . . .

Some people believe Jones looked good against Belfort. Think about this way. Of course he should have defeated Belfort. Belfort made his UFC debut in 1996. He has lost to everbody from Tito Ortiz and Randy Couture to Alistair Overeem (twice) and Chuck Liddell. Anderson Silva destroyed Belfort in the first round. Jones took way too long to beat Belfort. His performance should encourage a lot of fighters to want to step in the cage against him.

It is too bad that Jon Jones, largely thanks to Dana White, is the most hated fighter in MMA. Canada was cheering for Vitor before, during and after the fight. That’s a bad sign. Will people pay to see Jon Jones lose? Or will they simply tune out because Jones is unlikeable and comes across as arrogant.

Like most MMA fighters, he also lacks any presence on the microphone. UFC’s best bet at this point is to book Chael Sonnen vs. Jones. Let Sonnen hype the fight big and book the match for the Saturday night before the Super Bowl. He might be able to talk the fight into 1 million Pay Per View buys.

UFC needs to book its biggest matches quick, while the mainstream still cares about Jones, if they still do now.

posted by JoshuaM @ 6:12 pm
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