10 Things We Learned at UFC 132

SIVER-WIMAN DECISION HIGHLIGHTS NEED FOR MORE LIBERAL SCORING

Welcome to the unavoidable judging section. It seems we can’t go a single event without there being an issue to discuss regarding the officials.

First and foremost: Matt Wiman was not robbed. Chase Beebe was robbed against Mike Easton in the UWC a couple years back. This was nothing like that fight. People toss around the term “robbery” way too liberally in the analysis of this sport.

Secondly, I can understand both the final result and the frustrations. This was a very close fight, with the first and third rounds being difficult to judge. Wiman clearly won the second, and I could see people making a case for the middle frame being scored 10-8.

My scorecard had it a draw with Dennis Siver winning the first and last, Wiman earning a 10-8 in between for 28-up at the end of the bout.

Arguing the scores does nothing at this stage; they’re in the books, they’re not getting changed, so all we can do is move forward. To that end, I think this bout is another great example of the need for more liberal scoring in this sport.

With the way the scores came out, Siver’s two close round were scored the exact same as the round that Wiman won going away, and that isn’t right to me. This is far from the first time we’ve seen this happen, but with judges reluctant to hand out anything other than a 10-9 round in most cases, we end up with fights like this.

Because the judges seldom stray from offering a series of 10-9 scores, Siver earns the same for taking the first frame 60-40 as Wiman did for his shutout in the second. That doesn’t make sense, and it won’t improve unless judges are given the chance to be a little more forthcoming with even rounds and something other than the old standby score.

I’m sure each judge would say that the first and third rounds were “tight 10-9’s for Siver” while describing the second as “a clear 10-9 for Wiman.” We shouldn’t be putting adjectives on the action because when the final bell sounds, those adjectives don’t carry any value. Degrees of 10-9 don’t help Wiman, but a 10-8 in the second would have.

UFC132 Ortiz Bader-6DID I FALL ASLEEP AND WAKE UP IN 2004?

Correct me if I’m wrong, but did I see Tito Ortiz celebrating a win in the Octagon on Saturday night? I could have sworn I saw the former light heavyweight champion doing his customary “Gravedigger” celebration in the center of the cage.

For the first time in more than five years, Ortiz earned a win in the UFC. “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” caught Ryan Bader with a tight right hand, followed him to the ground, and sunk in a guillotine choke to secure the win. Not only id the victory earn Ortiz Submission of the Night honors, it helped him stave off retirement for at least one more fight.

Very few people expected to see Ortiz having his hand raised on Saturday night, myself included. After a five year drought, this victory puts Ortiz back into the discussion in the division he once ruled.

Knocking off the top 10 ranked Bader – and his massive drawing power — puts Ortiz in line for another marquee opportunity moving forward. I smell a rematch with Lyoto Machida.

Check out our exclusive Tito Ortiz interview

CARLOS CONDIT: #1 CONTENDER

Heading into Saturday night’s event, nobody was sure whether the welterweight showdown between Carlos Condit and Dong Hyun Kim would in fact produce the next challenger for the 170 pound title. Both had been doing well, but were either really ready to step into a title shot?

Condit answered that question in emphatic fashion, flattening Kim with a flying knee before pounding out a speedy victory to secure Knockout of the Night honors. The win should move the former WEC champion into the number-one contender position, poised to face the winner of October’s battle between Georges St. Pierre and Nick Diaz.

“The Natural Born Killer” is now 4-1 in the UFC and riding a four fight winning streak, with finishes in each of his last three bouts. While he came into the UFC and even this fight slightly under the radar, his dominant performance against the previously unbeaten Kim should have solidified him the top spot on the list of contenders.

UFC132 Guillard Roller-7GUILLARD EMERGES FROM LIGHTWEIGHT LOG JAM

While Dennis Siver earned a spot on the main card and came away with a victory, Melvin Guillard was the breakthrough lightweight of the night. With his second consecutive first round finish, “The Young Assassin” asserted himself as one of the top contenders in the division.

Guillard made quick work of Shane Roller, knocking out the Oklahoma State wrestling product before the halfway point of the opening round. It was the 28-year-old’s fifth win in a row, and one that should cement him in the upper echelon of the lightweight division.

He’s 4-0 since moving his training to Greg Jackson’s gym in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and unbeaten since a Fight Night loss to Nate Diaz in September 2009. He also holds a quick knockout victory over Siver from earlier in their careers as well.

Though there is a glut of talent in the top end of the division, Guillard is right there in the thick of it. He’s going to have to remain patient and probably put away another top contender before earning a title shot. With the way he’s looked as of late, I doubt that will be much of a problem for Guillard.

BEST CARD OF THE YEAR

There is something about these Fourth of July events. Without fail, they always end up delivering a great deal of excitement and ranking amongst the top events of the year. This year’s installment was no different.

Three dramatic first round finishes, a neck-and-neck decision, and a five round epic for the bantamweight title on the main card, with two more finishes on Spike and a couple of entertaining decisions on the Facebook free stream to boot; not a bad night of fights at all.

Right now, I’d have to give UFC 132 the nod as the top event to date in 2011, though I have a feeling UFC 134 in Rio will claim the throne at the end of August. Either way, this marks back-to-back very entertaining events, with three of the last four being stellar.

One last point of interest, at least for me: my top two fights in the UFC this year have come from the lightweights (Edgar-Maynard 2) and the bantamweights (Cruz-Faber 2). I just thought I’d share that with all the people who still seem to think the lighter weight classes aren’t worth watching.

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