10 Things We Learned: UFC Fight for the Troops 2

Melvin Guillard

Depth Needed ASAP

Hominick’s dominant performance over Roop not only highlighted his impressive striking arsenal, but also the glaring lack of depth within the newest UFC divisions.

While it’s understandable that the featherweight and bantamweight ranks are a little light, and the UFC deserves credit for their efforts to date to fill the gaps, it was clear early on that Hominick and Roop were at two different levels, and that is a problem the organization needs to address quickly.

Roop is a tough kid who still has some potential in the 145-pound division, but he’s not at a stage where he should be taking on the top contenders. His win over “The Korean Zombie” forced the UFC’s hand, but the lack of depth within the featherweight ranks only added to the situation.

With no real middle tier available, promising fighters like Roop are forced to bite off more than they can chew. Adding depth to the ranks will help prevent similar situations from happening throughout the year, and serve the UFC well in the long-term.

Pat Barry Must Get Mean

Leading up to his bout with Joey Beltran, Barry admitted that the idea of fighting wasn’t as appealing to him after breaking his hand and foot against Mirko Cro Cop last June. Some of that hesitancy he expressed to Ben Fowlkes seemed to carry over into the cage Saturday night, and that doesn’t bode well for Barry’s long-term future.

Barry is the antithesis of many of his contemporaries; he’s got charisma to spare and a winning personality when it comes to dealing with the media, but when the cage door closes, he seems incapable of channeling the killer instinct necessary to put opponents away and earn bigger opportunities inside the Octagon.

While he boasts some of the most devastating kicks in the sport, Barry is often too hesitant in unleashing his shin bones on his opponents. Though he managed to chop Beltran down by the end of their three-round affair, had he started his attack earlier, chances are Beltran would not have been standing by the final frame, giving Barry a more convincing victory in the process.

After his bromantic week in Vancouver with Cro Cop, critics questions Barry’s killer instinct, and his performance against Beltran won’t do anything to silence the questions. If Barry has designs on climbing any further up the heavyweight rankings, he’s going to need to get mean.

Meet Matt Wiman

Well, the days of flying under the radar are done for Wiman following his drubbing of Cole Miller in the opening bout of the Spike TV broadcast Saturday night.

The former TUF 5 cast member came after his one-time housemate right away and didn’t let up until the final horn sounded, battering Miller with a ground-and-pound attack that feature a number of Sakuraba-esque double sledgehammer shots from inside his opponent’s guard. Though one judge was clearly watching a different fight and awarded Miller one of the three five-minute frames, this was a complete whitewash for Wiman, the best performance of his career and one that positions him for greater opportunities moving forward.

His timing couldn’t be better either. With the top of the division already mapped out in terms of upcoming bouts, Wiman will get to continue his progression up the food chain more slowly than most. Instead of being thrown in with a Top 10 contender next, he’ll likely be offered a chance to resolve his differences with Mac Danzig or face someone else in the middle-third of the lightweight roster, both of which make more sense for Wiman at this stage of his development.

Waylon Lowe Shows Why People Hate Wrestling in MMA

Not to dump on Lowe after earning his second-straight win inside the Octagon, but all the people who argue that wrestling is ruining MMA now have a perfect fight to point to when making their objections.

The muscular lightweight was able to take Williamy Freire down and keep him there for the majority of their bout, but there was nothing entertaining about their fifteen-minute affair. The most discussion-worthy moment of the bout was Dan Miragliotta’s decision to stand the two up in the first round while the former Shooto champion was working for a kimura. This was “lay-and-pray” at it’s finest, and it needs to be avoided at all costs.

I have no problem with wrestlers using their best weapon inside the cage; what is challenging is watching wrestler fail to even attempt to advance positions and attack their opponents, and that is what we saw out of Lowe on Saturday night. He was exhausted by the middle of the second round, and while Freire was still unable to mount much offence, Lowe did little other than offer an occasional hammerfist, and that shouldn’t be enough to earn additional time on the ground or a victory.

The timing and determination of stand-ups is a delicate art, but something that needs to be addressed moving forward. Fighters need to stay active once they go to the ground, and for the most part they do, but in those cases where laying in your opponent’s guard is all you’re looking for, referees shouldn’t be afraid to restart the action in the standing position.

Facebook Broadcast a Winner

Not only did the four preliminary bouts broadcast over the UFC Facebook page come through crystal-clear on my new computer, but the entire idea to utilize the social networking site as an outlet for this event was a tremendous success.

Though some people have expressed issues with connections and a jumpy feed for fights, I experienced no such problems. In fact, watching the bouts over the Internet came through just as well as the Spike TV feed that followed, and is a medium I would gladly utilize again in the future. The decision to make use of Facebook should not be undersold either; we live in a technological age where just about everyone has access to the site 24/7, and putting the preliminary action on their Facebook page not only increased the number of “Likes” the company can now claim, but opened up the event to an even larger audience than normal.

The success of the event will undoubtedly lead to further use of the social networking medium in the future, and could also open the door for other organizations to start to follow suit.