Tonight CBS is airing Strikeforce Nashville (April 17, 2010)! UFC 112 featuring among other great fights was Silva vs Maia (although many will disagree with me) and on April 24 Aldo vs Faber will fight in Sacramento as well as another fighter I like to track, Michelle “The Karate Hottie” Waterson will fight Masako Yoshida at the Spring Brawl in Fargo, North Dakota!
In this post I’ll mostly talk about both Silva vs Griffen and Silva vs Maia as I was the most excited I have been in a long time to see a truly great fighter get in the ring (octagon) and own a couple of other fighters. As I said most people like to see the guys meet in the middle of the ring and duke it out like WCL matches!
Not me! I’ve always said fighting is fighting is fighting. The only thing that matters is if you win or not… making the other guy/gal look like a novice or knocking him or her out is gravy… I’ll save my view for later but first here is a trailer for tonight’s fights.
I like Henderson and Sheilds just fine so this should be a fun night. I also like the other guys on the card. Now getting back to Silva, when he fought Griffen at UFC 101 he seemed to be toying with Griffen. I would say that he used his timing and distance to make Griffen look foolish. Not many fighters could do that with Griffen as I’ve seen him win some tough fights.
Why did a fighter like Griffen seemingly fall so easy? I think Silva understands what it means to use distance an timing to his advantage. He (Silva) seemed to have great boxing skills beyond what one would expect of a Muay Thai fighter (more akin to a Muhammad Ali in my view) and he also really understands what timing and distance is in a fight! Watch this video (hopefully it stays up):
Now in UFC 112 Silva used the same timing and distance to keep Maia off for 5 rounds but he did not seem to go for the kill! Many would see that as a failing as they paid all that money to see the fight. But remember what a fight is – to win the bout within the frame work of the rules. If one is ahead in points – why risk it? I remember when Cung Le fought Scott Smith – Le was ahead easily and then risked everything by continuing to engage Smith. While I as a fan applaud his spirit – I question the strategy as the only thing that matters is if you walk away with the win! Here is that fight if you want to see it.
Ahh seeing the beginning of that fight is good to see Le kicks. As a former point fighter – I really love to see basic karate type skills working in MMA. But the point with this I am trying to make is why would one attack when he is clearly ahead? I would coast to a point and try not to muck up things too much.
One story comes to mind where I employed this strategy. We had a visiting Navy fighter from a Japanese school that was doing well against all comers in my school. That was a feat in it self but this guy was not modest. He was a light weight and had some mean foot sweeps that made him a worthy opponent.
I was matched up with him after I saw what he did to my peers. I opted to hang back and use distance and timing even though I had a 20 pound weight advantage on him (that did not help the heavy weights). We played around for a while and I hit him and he was not able to hit me. You see I was fighting defensively and using my reach to my advantage. He got mad and challenged me to a sudden death match!
For those of you do don’t know that just means the first point wins. We enlisted three judges and went to it. I danced around for a few minutes until I saw him getting frustrated (I had all of the time in the world). I waited until he overextended himself and threw a loose-fast inverted counter punch in and out and scored! He got mad again and wanted a rematch! I took off my gloves and walked away.
You see it is only important that one wins within the framework of the rules presented – whether it be MMA, kick boxing, boxing, wrestling, jiu jutsu, street fighting, or self-defense! Winning is everything although being a good sport is an honorable thing to do.
Here is a link to Silva vs Maia at UFC 112 for your perusal if you did not see it: Silva vs Maia. I think the first rounds Silva was clearly ahead and then seemed to get a bit tired in the later rounds. That did not keep Silva from using timing, movement and distance to his advantage. Even though Maia did well in the later rounds – he still got owned by Silva and lost. The fans did not like this fight but I thought it was masterful (as a former fighter)!
There you have my thoughts and there where many more great fights that I did not mention. I did like Penn vs Edgar and Hughes vs Gracie. I’ll close with a preview of the PPV Aldo vs Faber next week!