by Nick Ring
McCray Versus Noke
I felt a little bit bad for both of them having to fight each other being friends and all. Watching them weigh in was interesting because you just know that they were just coming around to the realization that they actually had to fight each other.
I found out about Tito’s neck when he told me after a training session that he would have to get surgery on his neck. Obviously, I can sympathize with Tito. A neck injury is serious and it should be addressed, and the sooner the better. If you need surgery, you need surgery.
It was awkward watching the two friends square-off moments before fighting, but after the first punch was thrown, all the awkward feelings were gone.
Round 1: McCray obviously had the better takedowns in this round but I’m not sure it was necessarily out scoring Noke’s skillful stand-ups after the takedowns or his strong submission attacks which included a strong guillotine attempt and good jiu-jitsu control and attacks from the bottom. I would have probably given this round a draw based on UFC’s strong scoring for takedowns, but if we were looking at who came closer to finishing the fight, I would have to go with Noke.
Round 2: Noke had another very close submission attempt in the rear-naked choke on McCray, but McCray was able to positionally control the match otherwise. I would have given that round a draw as well. Both fighters were showing dominance using totally different skills.
Round 3: At this point it didn’t look like Noke had any more energy to fight and Kris was showing more desire to win at this point. Noke just kind of laid there and took punishment for the majority of round 3. Being the good submission fighter he is, I did see Noke make a nice kimura attempt but it was definitely not enough to balance out the scoring for this round. Kris was able to impose his will and Noke looked mentally defeated.
Both fighters were very classy over the whole situation and it was good to see that they were back to being friends after the fight. I think they both showed a lot of strong character by being able to separate the fight from the friendship.