UFC 100, A Step Back for MMA?
If you were like many of the millions of people watching UFC 100 on pay per view, it started off with a great 3 round battle between Yoshihiro Akiyama &. Alan Belcher. These guys went toe to toe for three rounds before Akiyama pulled out a very…I mean very controversial split decision. I have to say, in a sport that is very hard to judge, there haven’t been many bad decisions in the UFC, but this one definitely ranks up there. I’d have to put it right under the Michael Bisping vs. Matt Hammill fight in which Hammill was robbed of a victory after beating Bisping in his home country. Nevertheless, UFC 100 kicked off to a good start with this first televised fight.
The UFC didn’t waste any time getting into the main events with the Dan Henderson vs. Michael Bisping fight following. This fight like the one before it, was off to a really good start with Dan Henderson stalking a retreating Bisping. Throughout the first round, Henderson had that big right hand cocked and ready to unload, and it seemed like it was only a matter of time before he caught his opponent with it. And then, with 1:45 left in the second round, it happened! Henderson unloaded that big right hand and it connected. Bisping was out cold before he hit the mat. But before the referee had a chance to stop the fight, Henderson cocked back and threw down a vicious punch to the head of an unconscious Bisping. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge Dan Henderson fan, and I wanted to see him shut Bisping up more than the next guy, but that was just nasty. It was totally out of character for a good sportsman and stand up guy like Dan Henderson. But it happened, and Bisping stayed asleep for at least a good minute after the punch. Dana White with good reason, was not happy with Henderson, and it didn’t help that in the post fight interview with Joe Rogan, Henderson admitted to intentionally punching Bisping knowing he was out cold. At a time when the sport of MMA is on its biggest stage and still trying to prove itself as a legitimate sport, that probably wasn’t the type of thing Dana White wanted the world to see.
But the show went on…and next up, was in my opinion the best matchup of the night. It was the UFC welterweight championship between George St. Pierre vs. Thiago Alves. Although this fight would go the distance, GSP proved why he was one of the best pound for pound fighters in the world. He took the much, much bigger Alves down to the mat with ease and imposed his will and his fists on him. Alves took a beating losing each of the five rounds decisively. It was a great fight for GSP, but it opens up a good question for Dana White and UFC match-maker Joe Silva. Is there anyone that can really challenge GSP in the welterweight division? It’s great for MMA to have super fighters like GSP, but it’s also a double-edged sword. Its similar to the situation of Anderson Silva who has dismantled every fighter in his division, forcing him to move up in weight just to find some decent competition. Can you say Silva vs. St. Pierre???
But back to UFC 100…The main event of the night is now here. A rematch between Brock Lesnar and Frank Mir for the UFC heavyweight crown. It’s no secret that these two guys hate each other, and it was made even more evident when Lesnar refused to touch gloves with Mir. After the first minute of the fight, Mir proved to be no match for Lesnar’s size and strength. All Lesnar had to do was pin Mir down and punish him with those huge XXXXL fists. Mir’s face was battered and bloody after the first round, and the second round was no different. Lesnar pinned Mir up against the cage and battered him with punches to the face before the referee put a stop to the fight… But just when you think everything is over, Lesnar has a WWE flashback and goes out of control. First he gets into Mir’s face after the fight is stopped and talks some more trash. The corner men have to step in and pull Lesnar away before a melee breaks out. The fans recognize this bad show of sportsmanship and start to boo, so what does he do? Brock Lesnar decides to take both XXXXL hands of his and flip the entire crowd the bird! After he settles down enough to talk to Joe Rogan, he then goes off on a rant about UFC sponsor Bud Light and how they wont pay him, so he will go drink a Coors Light! (Dana White has to be jumping out of his chair at this point) Then to close the interview with Joe Rogan, Lesnar says that he might even go jump on his wife tonight!
With all that Dana White and the Zuffa’s have put into the UFC and the sport of MMA, the promoting, the campaigning, just everything that goes into creating a successful business and a legitimate sport, it had to be hard to sit there and watch a guy like Brock Lesnar make a mockery of it. I know Lesnar is a cash cow for the UFC because of his notoriety, but he has to realize he isn’t in the WWE anymore. I can’t speak for anybody else, but for me, antics like that only takes MMA take a step back. It only reinforces the arguments of those critics that say MMA is not a real sport and that it’s just a sideshow.
Overall, I think UFC 100 was a success. It marked a huge milestone for the UFC and for MMA as a sport. There are still a lot of questions to be answered as to the future of MMA, I just hope all those questions get answered by the time UFC 200 comes around.