Everyone loves a Scott Smith fight because no matter how badly he’s getting his ass kicked you know he’s one punch away from a crazy comeback for the ages. But at some point on Saturday night it started to get a little disturbing watching as Tarec Saffiedine backed him into a corner to unleash endless kicks and elbows upon his brainbasket. There was no comeback for Smith last night, and no comeback for the brain cells he lost either.
Tyron Woodley vs Paul Daley is a fight that shows you the difference between New Strikeforce and Old Strikeforce. Old Strikeforce never would have put one of their exciting strikers up against a blanket like Woodley. New Strikeforce is all about that. Even though it was a matchup that almost guaranteed non-stop positional jockeying, it was legit in terms of rankings and skills test so it was made.
And it sucked. Oh did it suck. The two most frustrating parts:
1. Tyron Woodley spending 10 minutes trying to get Paul Daley down, only to do absolutely nothing once he got there. BOO THIS MAN!
2. Paul Daley miraculously getting into an advantageous position in the final minute of the fight, only to forgo striking for AN OMOPLATA. ‘Paul Daley omoplata’ is up there in silliness next to ‘Royce Gracie matrix kick’ and ‘Chuck Liddell gogo.’ Ridiculous.
Almost as ridiculous as Tyron Woodley outstriking Paul Daley. While I gotta give big ups to Paul for improving his takedown defense, it still only takes one successful takedown per round and Woodley was willing to work til he got it. Meanwhile, Daley was so busy preparing for the shoot that he didn’t manage to get anything off while on his feet.
The rest of the fights after the jump!
Unlike Paul Daley, Robbie Lawler had the ability to stay on his feet and the time to get something done with his fists, but never managed to let his fists go against Tim Kennedy. Kennedy did a good job of staying aggro and attacking with a hodgepodge of strikes, shoots, and scramble grappling. Meanwhile, Lawler looked listless at times and did so little in the third I wondered if this was a video game and whoever was playing Lawler had left the controller to take a dump.
Down two rounds, he just stood in front of Kennedy shucking and jiving his arms but never actually attacking. It was one of those WTF performances that has me waiting to see if he comes out afterwards saying both his hands or several ribs were broken or something. It’d be better than finding out his body was fine but his head just wasn’t in the right place.
Miesha Tate versus Marloes Coenen wasn’t the Forrest Griffin vs Stephan Bonnar moment that WMMA desperately needs. It’s not really fair to put that much pressure on every female fight in Strikeforce, but we all know the score. The clock is ticking and without a series of amazing fights that shut up the ignorant fucktards who constantly diss it, all signs point towards WMMA being buried alongside the Strikeforce brand when it inevitably gets folded into the mother promotion. Remember the constant talk about bantamweights and featherweights proving the stereotypes about lighter weightclasses wrong during the WEC’s run? We need that kind of buzz
Unfortunately, it wasn’t created by this fight. And that’s not to say the fight wasn’t good. The girls actually finished their fight, which is something three of the other main card fights couldn’t manage. And things were close, with Marloes and Miesha trading rounds up to the fourth when Miesha finally caught Coenen in a slick arm triangle. But like many of the other fights on the card, there was too much jockeying up against the cage and a lot of positional control on the ground.
Now it sounds like Sarah Kaufman is getting another shot at the belt and I sigh because she’s basically back in that slot by default. There’s a lot of better 135ers out there, they’re just not in Strikeforce. How things are supposed to change when you’ve got the same women and very little new blood coming through is beyond me. Things are not looking great for WMMA in Strikeforce. But I take heart in knowing that it’s alive and well in smaller promotions, and it won’t be kept down just because Zuffa decides it’s not ready.
What’s there to be said about Fedor vs Hendo that hasn’t been said 5000 times by the 27 various SB Nation blogs and their dozens of rando opinion writers? Fedor got into a sloppy, brawling shootout with Dan Henderson and it cost him the fight. If he was smart he would have barreled Dan into the mat and played patty cake with his face for a round or two. Instead he played with fire and got burned.
Then there’s the questionable referee stoppage. Yes, when Herb stepped in Fedor seemed like he was rolling and going for wrist control. Yes, in hindsight Fedor seemed like he could have continued. But Dean doesn’t have magical time travel vision, which is really too bad because that would be awesome. Fedor took a brutal uppercut and went limp face down on the canvas. He didn’t recover fast enough and the fight got stopped. Shitty? Yes. But that’s the sport. It wasn’t a bad call by the ref. It was just … unfortunate.
Last but not least I wanna say something about all this Fedor retirement talk. I swear, every time Fedor was brought up during Showtime’s broadcast, retirement was as well. I’d expect that kinda shit from stupid websites and dopey fanboys. But not from the people broadcasting Fedor’s fight. Personally, I think calling for a fighter’s retirement is one of the lamest things people in MMA can do.
Unless a fighter obviously can’t hack it at any level of the game or it’s clearly a danger to their health, you should shut the fuck up. So Fedor has lost three in a row. So fucking what? His record is 31-4, still way fucking better than most in MMA. He can still win against anyone he’s put in the cage against, and he’s not taking KOs that send him into another dimension where he’s seeing God. So shut the fuck up with this retirement talk, already!