Five Conclusions from UFC 122: Marquardt vs OkamiPosted on November 14, 2010, 05:29 AM by Anton Gurevich
Ultimate Fighting Championship returned to Germany for the first time since UFC 99, promoting a SpikeTV-aired UFC 122: Okami vs Marquardt fight card. UFC suffered from a somewhat unfortunate turn of events, having their TV deal officially cancelled few weeks before the fight, and the co-main eventer Alessio Sakara pulling out three hours before his bout against Jorge Rivera, due to a mysterious illness.
But UFC 122 was not all negative, as German fighters entertained the local crowd with good performances, headlined by Dennis Siver's first round Submission victory over Andre Winner. Okami grinded out a decision victory against Marquardt, leaving myself with the following thoughts about what went inside and outside the König Pilsener Arena in Oberhausen, Germany.
Also, please don't forget to update your rankings after this event.
As a viewer, it's hard for me to understand why UFC 122 was not aired live. Even if it's 14:00 E.T, UFC is one of your main products, so why torture the fans and air it in a 5-hour tape delay? It's bad for the UFC, MMA fans and even Spike TV. It's hard not to be tempted into checking the results live, especially when title shot is on the line. Spike TV should review their "tape delay policy".
Deutschland is a key for the UFC's success in the EU, but it looks like the local crowd finds it hard to accept Dana White's product. I've been talking about this hypocrisy before, and I'll mention it again: Boxing is one of the top sports in Germany. Just for example, most of Klitschko brothers' fights were held in Germany. So you don't have to be a Rocket Scientist to understand that there's a collision of interests between Zuffa and the local Boxing promoters. Without legit TV coverage and a back-up from the mainstream media, it's hard to find a reason for the UFC to visit Germany ever again. I just hope Dana White and Fertitta's see in this trip something others don't. Bringing UFC to Holland could be a perfect solution.
"Thunder" proved yesterday why he's considered as one of the best Middleweights in the World. In fact, Yushin Okami has one of the best records in the UFC, going 10-2 inside the Octagon. Yushin Okami did a perfect job against Nate Marquardt, playing it safe; concentrating on what he's good at and going home with a title shot as a result. He may be not the most marketable fighter in the UFC, be he's definitely well-worth his shot at the title. Okami is a complete Mixed Martial Artist, and I won't be surprised if he walks away with a title around his waist against either Anderson Silva or Vitor Belfort.
I won't hide that I'm a big fan of Marquardt. But last night's performance left me quite disappointed, and to tell you the truth, I wonder if he can bounce back mentally to run for another title shot. Despite saying he's going to pressure Okami and control the pace, it was the "Thunder" who set the tone in the fight, forcing Marquardt to counter-strike during most parts of the fight. Marquardt is one of the most well-rounded fighters in the game, but he definitely re-consider his training methods from top to bottom, and try to understand why he's not the current #1 Contender for the UFC Middleweight gold.
The Russian-German kickboxer surprised me last night. Dana White stated at the press conference that "Siver behaved like a local superstar", and I totally agree with this statement. Siver is one of the most technical strikers in the UFC, and really deserves to be promoted alongside Michael Bisping and George Sotiropoulus. His decisive victory over Andre Winner proved it, and I would surely love to see him squaring off in a potential Fight of the Year against Charles Oliveira. It's a good match-up that and definitely a tough test for both fighters.