12-15-14, By JP Scarano, Exclusively for TheFightWorld.Com
This past weekend was a great weekend for fight fans and fighters alike because we got a chance to see some amazing fights, the crowning of some new champions, the long awaited return of some fighters who have been missed and others not so much. So lets get this party started.
Friday December 12, 2014 - I had a busy Friday night at the Old Dog Boxing Tournament at South Coast Martial Arts in Costa Mesa California. I also viewed the TUF Finals after I got home and MAN, there was no disappointment there at all!
Old Dog Boxing, along with USA Boxing, is a great amateur promotion where you get to see participants from many different age groups come together. They got to show off what they have learned over the years and prove that Old Dogs can still have fun doing it. All the fights were 01:30 minutes long with 3 rounds. This event was very well planned and came off smoothly. The California State Athletic Commission was present to make sure all the fighters were safe and received good care .
The fight that got me the most excited was the 10-year-old fighters on the card who were making their first appearance. WOW! These kids were great and looked like future champion material. I will attend more Old Dog Boxing events and other SC Martial Arts events and report back to you guys on them.
TUF Finals were in Las Vegas, Nevada and this was the most important night for every lady fighting on the card. The pressure was on them to demonstrate to us that the women’s Strawweight division should be a part of the UFC. Once again, none of them disappointed us at all! As a fan, I am very glad to see more women’s MMA in the UFC as well as the addition of a lighter weight class. If you didn’t see the fights and want to see them later on then I suggest you stop reading this now and watch them to avoid the spoilers contained here.
I am going to talk about one fight before we get into the championship fight and that was KJ Noons taking on Daren Cruickshank in the Lightweight division. This fight started out looking like it would be a a classic fight and maybe even the fight of the year. But, two eye pokes into Cruickshank’s left eye caused him to lose his vision and was unable to continue fighting. That turned the fight into a no-contest and Noons was upset. All he was trying to do was push Cruickshank back. The eye-poking was unintentional. I would love all the way to see a rematch with these two fighters and hope they can continue on from there.
Now onto the fight everyone has been talking about; the UFC Women’s World Strawweight Championship match where we saw Carla “Cookie Monster” Esparza vs. Rose “Thug” Namajunas. These ladies came there to fight and demonstrate why they are the two toughest women on this season of TUF. It quickly became evident why Namajunas is so hard to train. We saw different combos, switching stances, moving her feet and that her ground game should be looked at as one of the best in the sport.
We clearly saw why Esparza is the number 1 woman fighter today. With her wrestling and striking ability there was no stopping her. When round 3 came, Esparza submitted Namajunas with a rear naked choke to become the first women’s UFC World Strawweight Champion. All of us at TheFightWorld.Com would like to send out congratulations to Carla Esparza!
Saturday December 13, 2014 the UFC came to Phoenix, AZ where two returning fan favorites came back to fight in both the main and co-main events of the evening. but lets talk a bit about the earlier fights on the card.
This was another stacked card for the UFC and everyone was ready to fight except that Ed Herman vs. Derrick Brunson was scrapped. Herman had a nasty stomach flu and couldn’t fight. His intended opponent, Brunson, took to Twitter and started making Herman look like he was afraid to fight and more. I know Brunson was upset and was venting his frustration but come on! Stuff like this happens and you can’t control it, so chill out and just stay ready for the next fight. Yes, Brunson, you trained hard, were on weight and ready to fight. However, when something like this happens you shouldn’t complain and shouldn’t try to make Herman look bad for no good reason. Brunson made himself look like a disappointed child, in my opinion.. With that being said lets get into the co-main event; Lightweights.
Rafael dos Anjos was taking on returning Nate Diaz who has been out of fighting for a while to take time off to heal up and try to work out a new deal with the UFC. At the weights on Friday, Diaz missed weight by 5 pounds and gave up 20% of his purse because he didn’t make the 155lbs weigh-in. For me, if you are coming back and wanting to win you should have been ready and found a way to make the weight right. Dos Anjos has been on a tear lately and wants to get a title shot more now then ever. He has shown that he is ready to take on all fighters in this stacked Lightweight division. He continued Saturday night with his dominant leg kicks, combos, and ground game and, sadly, Diaz couldn’t answer them back at all. Now with this win dos Anjos is going to get his shot for the UFC World Lightweight Championship by taking on the champion, Anthony “Showtime” Pettis. I can’t wait to see that happen sometime next year. Now onto the main event of the evening.
UFC World Heavyweight Champion Junior Dos Santos made his long-awaited return back to the cage by taking on up and coming Stipe Miocic in a five-round war. These men had something to prove and have wanted to fight each other for quite a while. They started off slow but picked it up with great combos and power shots. When it was all said and done I judged Miocic winning with 3 rounds to JDS’ 2 rounds. But,in the eyes of the judge, JDS had won 3 rounds and Miocic had won 2 rounds. All I can say about these fighters is that JDS needs one, maybe two, more fights before he can get another shot at the title and I can see Miocic becoming a top contender after maybe 2 more fights.
WSOF was in Sacramento, California for it’s final show of the year with a really good card and two title fights in the main and co-main event. For the WSOF World Featherweight Championship we had defending champion Rick Glenn taking on Lance Palmer. It was a back-and-forth fight with these two featherweights but it was Palmer with his ground game that got the win with a first round submission to take the title away from Glenn. I see these two men fighting again but only after Palmer has defended his title and Glenn earns a win for a chance to make a comeback.
In the main event of the evening we saw WSOF World Welterweight Champion Rousimar Palhares taking on Jon Fitch. Both fighters are former UFC vets and ground specialists who both had something to prove in taking the title home with them. But it was Palhares with the submission (kneebar) to Fitch that made the night. Palhares has had problems in the past with letting go when someone tapped or when a referee was trying to pull him off, but not Saturday night. Palhares knew that Fitch was tapping out and he let go right away. He showed that his past mistakes aren’t haunting him anymore and that he has learned from them. Fitch will have to make a comeback and win a few fights before he can get another title shot. I can see him doing it because he is a tough fighter.
What did you fans think of the fights this weekend ?
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