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Warglory's Random Fight Opinion Thread   [View Full Version]
warglory » Posted 2/4/07 2:44:00AM

So I thought it might be kinda fun to chat about random fights from mma's past, that were perhaps hot topics, or flew under the radar. I feel like sometimes we all get swept up in the politics and news of upcoming events, that we don't really get a chance to reflect on past fights. Well this is my little corner of the PG, for me to reflect on my opinions on certain fights, both good and bad, and your feedback on my inflated ego!

First up is a fight I actually didn't watch until recently for no reason other than just not getting around to watching it.

Vitor Belfort vs. Chuck Liddell

Two things stand out about this fight for me. First is how utterly disappointed I was in Vitor. We like to link Vitor's poor performances on the tragedy of his sister's disappearance, and how devastated he must have been, but his sister didn't disappear until 2004, and this fight was in 2002. Chuck, not yet champion, was gaining prominence as the clear choice to take on Tito for his belt (in fact, Tito attended the event and looked like his pro wrestling self, all pumped up), and Chuck was in absolute perfect shape for this fight. I actually think that Chuck was in the best shape I have ever seen him in in this fight, and I'm sure it was because he knew if he beat Vitor in grand fashion, it would put him that much closer to getting a shot at Tito.

Vitor, like many of his performances during this middle era of his career, was riddled with poor stamina, and poor strategy. Vitor continuously backed away from Chuck, hoping to gain an advantage as the counter striker. Chuck, being the true fighter that he is, was more than happy to engage Vitor, but for some reason, Vitor couldn't pull the trigger. Vitor had WAY too much respect for Chuck's power, despite the fact that Vitor's speed and technique was quite a bit more than Chuck's. The only real offense that Vitor showed was his persistent take downs, which initially were effective, but Vitor couldn't keep Liddell down. Vitor, gassing out, looked for his shots, and landed some crisp ones, but in the meantime, Chuck had his way with him with kicks. Vitor looked terrible in this fight, and really, this should have been the fight that really put him back on the map with American audiences.

The second thing that really stood out for me in this fight was Joe Rogan's blatant bias towards Chuck Liddell. Rogan always gets fired up and passionate about certain fights, which irritates everyone at some point, but this was the worst I have ever seen him. He was to the point of downgrading Vitor's strengths, to the point that Pat Miletich and Goldie had to reel him in and offset his ridiculousness.

Truth be told, this was a disappointing fight, mainly because of Vitor's lack of motivation to engage. Chuck showed why he was a champion, and a beloved fighter by turning in a spectacular performance, but it takes two to tango, and Vitor wasn't there to truly challenge Chuck.

Rating: 5/10

My choice for winner: Chuck Liddell

shaneTpain » Posted 7/30/11 2:57:00PM

Chuck vs Vitor stands out in my mind because I watched it at a buddys house party. The party turned out to be fantastic which was very rare for me & my ragtag bunch of loser school chums. Dozens of people showed up to the party EVEN SOME GIRLS!
This fight took place before I was a true MMA fan, I was but a 15 year old casual KO enthusiast.
I dont remember the fight itself as it was well over a decade ago & I was probably 4 beer deep by the main event, which was a lot back then!! I remember not being interested in the other fights on the main card & not even watching most of them (remember girls were there!!!) which is funny because now I cant stand to even miss the Facebook fights haha
But when Chuck & Vitor walked out everyone gathered round. I recall people asking "Who is this Brazilian dude?" & dudes stating "Chucks gonna knock em out!" Afterwards the party guests were disappointed with the fight because Chuck didn't get the finish & back in the day all us kids wanted to see was a brutal KO.

Adrenaline » Posted 4/4/09 2:45:00AM

Love the idea Warglory, and great fight to start out on. In fact I'm gonna go watch it right now. Where have the years gone?

Wallass » Posted 10/7/08 5:39:00PM

Great idea man!

warglory » Posted 2/4/07 2:44:00AM

Posted by Wallass

Great idea man!


warglory » Posted 2/4/07 2:44:00AM

BJ Penn vs. Matt Serra

Event: UFC 39 - The Warriors Return

Date: Sept 27th, 2002

A lot of people talk about BJ Penn's rise to fame, noting his bouts with Caol Uno, or his first defeat of the legendary Matt Hughes, but one fight seems to fall through the cracks, and that fight was against former champion Matt Serra. This bout is noteworthy, because at the time, both men were at about the same point in their careers. They both had only one loss with comparable opponents and numbers of fights, and had been touted going into this fight, as two contenders in the lightweight tourney they were participating in. This was a fight that largely would decide the fate of their careers. One man would go on to glory, while the other would largely become an under-appreciated warrior, even as champion.

The fight was actually quite good, and very competitive, especially for the timeframe we are talking about. Yes, MMA was beginning to become more diverse around this period, but the diversity we take advantage of today, was not as apparent then. 10 years ago, we still had un-refined brawlers, and one dimensional fighters making the slow adaptation to true, mainstream athletes that would rival those of other sports. Serra and Penn though, showed what MMA was all about in this fight.

Round one was all BJ, stuffing Serra's many takedown attempts, and peppering him with shots for the entire 5 minutes. Round two though, was a different story. Serra, clearly annoyed by his lack of effectiveness in the first, took it up a notch with surprising ferocity, that saw him take on a more Randy Couture style of close quarters dirty boxing, which Penn was not expecting.

With two rounds in the bag, with the last being the deciding factor, both men left everything in the cage. Penn engaged with kickboxing, while Serra employed the same strategy of getting inside with clear cage control. At the end of the round, I had Serra winning the fight, and the Internet poll during the broadcast, also had the fight in Serra's favor.

The fight, however, by unanimous decision, went to BJ Penn. Penn would go on to fight Uno again to a draw, and a victory over Matt Hughes, which launched him into the superstar he is today in the sport. Serra on the other hand, while gaining the top spot briefly, took the route of washed up fighter through the Ultimate Fighter, and never really gained a true foothold for a lasting legacy.

In my opinion, had Serra been the true victor, he would have gone on to beat Caol Uno by out muscling him (which he did with Penn), and using his superior grappling to edge out a unanimous decision. Had Serra won, who knows how his future would have changed. Interesting to think about.

Rating: 7/10

Warglory's Winner: Matt Serra

warglory » Posted 2/4/07 2:44:00AM

Posted by Adrenaline

Love the idea Warglory, and great fight to start out on. In fact I'm gonna go watch it right now. Where have the years gone?

Glad you like the idea. I plan on updating it regularly, so check back!

Rabi » Posted 1/25/07 6:35:00PM

Great idea, the biggest thing I remember about the Liddell/Belfort fight was the knockdown, they both cam into trade and Liddell landed putting Belfort on his butt. As for the second fight UFC 39 was the first event I owned (along with UFC 40), Serra/Penn was a great fight, I think its a bit harsh to call Serra washed up as he did well after TUF 4 even with out beating GSP, he KO'd Trigg and he had a very close fight with Hughes.

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warglory » Posted 2/4/07 2:44:00AM

Posted by Rabi

Great idea, the biggest thing I remember about the Liddell/Belfort fight was the knockdown, they both cam into trade and Liddell landed putting Belfort on his butt. As for the second fight UFC 39 was the first event I owned (along with UFC 40), Serra/Penn was a great fight, I think its a bit harsh to call Serra washed up as he did well after TUF 4 even with out beating GSP, he KO'd Trigg and he had a very close fight with Hughes.

You're right, and I meant it that way in my write up, I guess it didn't come across the way I'd hoped. I don't really think he belonged on the show, because he didn't need a second chance, or redemption, whatever the tag line was for that season. All he needed was a couple more wins against game opponents to be back in the mix of the division. I felt like all the other fighters on the show were kinda washed up, and that was kind of the point of the season really.

While the show did lead to a title shot, I think that he lost a lot of credibility in the eyes of the fans, who felt his title shot was undeserving, and his eventual loss of the title was expected. He needed to prove to the world with regular fights, instead of going on a reality show (which he was more than capable of doing).

jjeans » Posted 9/2/09 6:06:00AM

Posted by warglory

Had Serra won, who knows how his future would have changed.

Being a big time Serra fan that was a great read, I think Serra was always destined for Gold and as a coach he is too, whether it be Wiedman or Phillipou one will bring it home for his camp

Had he have won the decision in that fight he probably wouldnt have ever gone on to win TUF 4 because he probably would have held the LW championship instead

Never pick against a Russian, currently 32-11 (74%) in the UFC since 2012. #DoItForWatson

Dirty Blue

kopower » Posted 7/3/07 12:31:00AM

Man, you talking about these makes me want to go back and watch.

Billy Madison-

What you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in the playground is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no props, and may the mods have mercy on your soul.

warglory » Posted 2/4/07 2:44:00AM

Mark Kerr vs. Paul Varelans

Event: World Vale Tudo Championship

Date: Jan 19th, 1997

I like to consider Mark Kerr as the Judas Priest of wrestling in MMA. Guys like Dan Severn and Mark Coleman, brought in the concept of wrestling into MMA as an effective tool, but Mark Kerr defined it. Out of any athlete to enter this sport, Kerr is definitely the most disappointing. The epic documentary, The Smashing Machine, chronicles Kerr's rise to fame and drastic decline which he never recovered from. However, while Kerr was on top, he was, without a doubt, the pound for pound best fighter in the world. I would even go as far as to say that there wasn't even a close second to Kerr when he was in his prime, before drugs and fame got to his head.

His first professional MMA bout ever, against UFC vet Paul Varelans, is a perfect example of the man's brutality and fearsome strength. Varelans represents the old guard of the UFC, back when tough dudes signed the dotted line because they wanted to fight for money. And Paul Varelans, being a brawler with little training, used his immense size and power to dictate the pace of many fights in the early UFC tournaments he participated in, and while he never actually won an event, he came very close on more than one occasion.

Varelans, despite not having an immaculate record, was still feared during this period, so no one really knew what to expect when he stepped into the ring against Kerr. That all changed very quickly though. This fight, in my mind, is a an example of what sheer athleticism can do in a combat sport, combined with a strong discipline in a fight science. Kerr's bread and butter is wrestling, and he used those tools he learned in school with great effectiveness, but what made Kerr so much more ferocious than Coleman and Severn, was his uncanny ability to turn off his humanity, and just treat his opponents like bags of flesh that he needed to soften up. Once Kerr took his opponents down, like Varelans, he was relentless with his attacks, and used any tool to dominate. In this fight, Kerr employed brutal knees, while holding Varelans' face down into the mat so he couldn't move. Wow.

Clearly Varelans was out matched on the ground, and the fight should have probably been stopped earlier, but Kerr didn't care. Until the ref jumped in front of his opponent, Kerr was banging on all cylinders, eventually rendering Varelans' face into a bloody mess.

Kerr could have been one of the all time greats, and even today, is still viewed with respect, despite most of his career being a failed attempt at recovery. Fights like these, where Mark was at his finest, are bittersweet reminders.

Rating: 7/10 (due to the ferocity of the fight)

Warglory's Winner: Mark Kerr

warglory » Posted 2/4/07 2:44:00AM

Randy Couture vs. Tim Sylvia

Event: UFC 68

Date: Mar 3rd, 2007

It's hard to remember a time when Randy was such a dramatic underdog, especially against the much maligned Tim Sylvia, but back in 2007, in the lead up to UFC 68, Randy Couture, the unlikely challenger to the heavyweight championship held by Tim Sylvia, was quite the underdog.

The reason for the doubt in Couture's abilities (though many a sheepish fan who chose Timmy will question it now), was the result and aftermath of his performance against Chuck Liddell in their meeting a year prior. That loss was a big deal for Randy, which was most evident in the immediate interview after the fight, when a bloodied Couture announced his retirement. So when it was announced less than a year later, that Couture would be challenging for not the light heavyweight title, but rather the heavyweight title again, against a tested champion, people not only doubted Couture's resolve, but also whether he realltt deserved the honor.

The bottom line is, as we have seen time and time again, the MMA community is a fickle bunch. People give in to the hype of up and comers who may not deserve it, and then equally throw shit at quality fighters who have hit a rough patch in their careers. Anyone who actually watched Couture's three fights against Liddell, knows that the two times he lost, he was simply caught by a power striker. He had an unusually bad game plan in both fights, and played into Liddell's strengths. However, unlike many a veteran getting demolished or outpointed later in their careers, Couture wasn't truly tested to see if he actually still had what it took to hang with the best. From the get go, Couture has been in a constant state of education in the fight game, and anyone who knew the fighter and the wars he had had leading up to his fight with Sylvia, should have known that Couture was FAR from being an underdog.

This isn't to say that Sylvia wasn't a threat. Tim is probably the most disrespected fighter in MMA history, mainly due to his lack of athleticism, and complete dependence on size to get the win. Leading up to this fight though, Tim was on a 6 fight winning streak, and a defending champion. Back then, the heavyweight scene was the weakest it probably had ever been, but realistically, even in PRIDE, there were only a handful of elite level fighters who had a chance at beating Tim Sylvia in the cage at the time.

Once these two finally entered the cage, and the first round started, it wasn't until Randy landed probably the most exciting punch ever thrown in MMA, that instantly revitalized a beleaguered Couture fan base, and began filling up his war wagon once again. The rest of the bout was complete dominance. While not a barn burner, or a technical grappling chess match, it was impressive to see Sylvia get picked apart by an "old" retiree who people had written off, and expected to go quietly into the night.

Couture became champion that night, and would carry on for 4 more years fighting in probably the best fights of his career, and to become the most respected fighter in MMA history. Perhaps most of all though, this win marked a dramatic transition in the heavyweight division, that would raise it to the level of all the other divisions.

Rating: 8/10 (not for the dramatic action, but for the sheer excitement of 90% of the crowd who wanted something new)

Warglory's Winner: Randy Couture

Adrenaline » Posted 4/4/09 2:45:00AM

So your last write up made me want to go back and watch Couture/Sylvia and I noticed something that I hadn't before. Maybe this has already been pointed out but when Randy is walking out, someone reaches out and tries to give him what looks like a condom. I don't know if he wanted Randy to use it on Tim or if he thought Randy was going to need it because he thought Timmy was going to give him a pounding. Then again, maybe its just a peice of candy.

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warglory » Posted 2/4/07 2:44:00AM

Anderson Silva vs Daiju Takase

Event: PRIDE 26

Date: June 8th, 2003

Anderson Silva is a superhero. He has his detractors, he has opponents lining up saying they are the next to finish him, but for most of his career (the entirety of his UFC tenure thus far), he has been a juggernaut with few flaws. Even in his rare moments of weakness against the likes of Chael Sonnen, or even Travis Lutter, Anderson has come out on top time and time again, showing that he is the GOAT as it currently stands. With all of this heraldry though, it's easy to forget that 10 years ago, Anderson Silva didn't just lose, he lost convincingly.

On this day, Anderson Silva met his match against Daiju Takase, a journeyman best known for his work in PRIDE. Yes, the greatest of all time was out-finessed by a man who had a relatively uneventful career, and can count this as his one, true, dance with greatness.

To me, this is one of those moments in sports history that stands out for it's absurdity, not absurd in the sense that it's ridiculous, but absurd in that it is so unexpected that it makes this sport in particular, much more beautiful.

The Professor and Bas, the best commentating team ever, were clearly ready and willing to call a fight in which Anderson walked through Takase, but to their surprise, Takase played Anderson into his game, and out-maneuvered him on the ground, leading to an eventual choke out. Everyone always references Ryo Chonan's dramatic submission, but I think Takase's win over Anderson is one of the best upsets in MMA history, because it wasn't a fluke; Takase earned his win in every way imaginable.

Rating: 6/10

Winner: Daiju Takase

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