It’s been a couple of days since UFC 125: Resolution and I have to say that I was surprised by the quality of the fights even though I was underwhelmed by the card initially. I was able to watch the event for free, so that was a plus, but if I did pay the $45 for it then I suspect I wouldn’t have been disappointed. I just want to talk about the two fights I wanted to see most, neither of which went the way I wanted them to go.
The first fight was Nate Diaz vs. Dong Hyun Kim. Kim won the fight, which disappointed me, but worse was how he won the fight. He took Diaz down in the first and second round and was heavy on top but he didn’t do any damage. In other words, he took him down and laid on top of him for two rounds. Diaz on the other hand was constantly working for submissions from off of his back. He was constantly attacking as he was defending. In my opinion that’s worth more than a mere takedown. If someone doesn’t do anything with the takedown then I don’t think they should get points with it. As much as I hate the way that John Fitch fights, he at least beats guys up on the ground while he’s holding them there, but not Kim. In the third round Diaz came out with a sense of urgency and really took it to Kim while they were on their feet. He looked like he had a chance or two to submit or knock Kim out but time ran out and Kim won a decision. I know how judges score fights so I wasn’t surprised that they scored it for Kim, but I’d like to see some changes in the way that fights are scored.
The second fight I want to talk about is the rematch between Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard. I’ve mentioned this umpteen times, but I’ll mention it again, Frankie is the hometown kid and we have mutual friends. Early on in his career I actually rooted for him to lose because I got sick of hearing how the people we knew in common would constantly talk about him like he was the best lightweight ever. When Maynard beat him the first time I smirked a little bit and said, “see, he’s not that special.” It was when he beat Sean Sherk that he really won me over. I told someone that there was no way that he could do it, but he did it, in fact my pastor said he’d do it more than a year before they were ever scheduled to fight, but I digress. In any event, I’ve been a fan since then.
So when he beat Penn (which I never thought he’d do once let alone twice!) I was excited. I was less excited to see him fight Maynard again. Why? Well, I thought that he’d win the fight easily this time. It’s cliché to say that they’re both “different fighters” now than they were in their first meeting but it’s true nonetheless. The major difference being that Edgar has improved significantly and Maynard only marginally. Edgar also fought (arguably) better opponents and beat them all rather handily. Maynard on the other hand eeked out decisions, one of which was absolutely wrong (his split decision victory over Nate Diaz) and never really looked impressive. Like Kim above, Maynard takes guys down and doesn’t do much with it.
So back to the point—when these two fought on Saturday night I expected Edgar to run circles around Maynard and pepper him with punches. He did, but not before almost getting annihilated in the first round. Maynard caught him with a hard left hook that made him do a back flip (literally). After that it was a round in which he’d beat Edgar to the point where the ref would have been justified stopping it at least 3 times. But Edgar came back in the second round and looked unscathed. He dominated that round and I think he won every round that followed (he dominated the fourth and did a little bit more in the fifth), certainly enough to win it. The only one you can possibly give to Maynard would be round 3 because he got a couple of takedowns, but again, he didn’t do anything with them. So it was disappointing to see this fight result in a draw. I understand it, but again, I didn’t like it. Now they’ll fight again but this time I’ll be more excited to see it.