Week in Review: The Good, The Bad, and the UglyPosted on July 10, 2010, 10:15 AM by Anton Gurevich
The Good: UFC 116 Lesnar vs Carwin. Well, not only the good, but The best. Ultimate Fighting Championship promised an entertaining Lesnar vs Carwin event, and it truly delivered. UFC 116 was maybe not the most star-packed card in the Ultimate Fighting Championship history, but it was definitely the best event I can remember since UFC 92.
The event was headlined by Brock Lesnar’s heroic survival against Shane Carwin, Chris Leben’s impressive performance against Yoshihiro Akiyama’s and George Sotiropoulos setting his name in stone of the UFC Lightweight rankings. With so much celebration at UFC 116, the night was a perfect example of what Mixed Martial Arts is all about.
Dana White did not "over-promote" UFC 116 like he did with the lackluster Rampage vs Evans, turning the event into a pleasant surprise. The only thing left now is to prevent from Anderson Silva, Chael Sonnen and other combatants to turn UFC 117 into another "Abu-Dhabi disaster". UFC 116 is definitely last week's "good".
The Bad: Dream Fighting Championship. Alistair Overeem’s absence from the Saitama Super Arena at Dream.15 and the way Dream FC handled this incident, left dust to the other contenders for the "bad" slot in this article. In his official statement, Overeem revealed that he declined to participate at Dream.15 several weeks ago; due to the lack of top-rated opponents Japanese promotion had to offer. Dream boss Keiichi Sasahara later failed to clarify the issue in his interview to MMAFighting.com, saying this:
"...I am not able to tell you, although the two fighters agreed to fight, it happened that these fighters could not fight. It's not because of money, but if the reasons are something that I cannot tell you then you might be able to guess what they would be. Because of that, we are not able to have these two fighters fight."
Whatever happened between the two parties, the only loser from this situation is Dream and Mixed Martial Arts. A successful Japanese Promotion would boost MMA outside UFC to the new heights, but Dream's inability to organize an effective relationship with fighters prevents this from happening (Jake O’brien case is another example).
Dream FC is the best MMA show entertainment-wise, but the lack of fights attractive to the US audience significantly slows its growth. Dream.15 was a terrific event, but there’s still a lot of work to do for Sasahara and his men. Merging with Strikeforce might be the best option for the both parties, and possibly a start of a new era in Mixed Martial Arts.
The Ugly: Dana White's harsh comments after Fedor Emelianenko's defeat reminded me of Tuco telling Blondie exactly how he feels while being dragged to the local Sherif. UFC President went as far as to ESPN to tell everyone “told you”, calling Fedor Emelianenko “fake, phony and a farce”, continuously telling everyone that he is no longer interested in adding Russian legend to the UFC roster.
Of course Dana White has right to speak up his mind, just like everyone else. But there is a thin line between expressing your thoughts to verbally attack a fighter and celebrate on his defeat. Only one month ago Dana White told everyone about Fedor Emelianenko turning into obsession, and how much he wants to sign him. Fedor’s defeat was a huge relief for White, who added insult to injury due to the feeling that he no longer needs “The Last Emperor’.
Yes, a victory over Fedor was a huge achievement for Fabricio Werdum, and an incredible turn of events on the MMA landscape. But I personally think that Fedor Emelianenko deserves at least another chance to defend his throne (especially after 10 years of dominance), before we all start dancing around his failure.
Pictures props: Maria Gatt