Post UFC 163 Thoughts

| August 4, 2013 | 8:32 pm | Reply

UFC 163 LongLast night’s UFC 163 was a surprisingly decent night of fights considering the lack of names, and one which produced both shock and awe at times. A lot happened in the cage last night, so take a peek and what was rolling around in my head after the event:

Viscardi Andrade: An elite grappler breaking into the big stage, Andrade looked incredibly sharp against Marunde, landing crippling punches with a high percentage of accuracy. While Marunde didn’t make it that difficult with his lack of head movement and foot work, Andrade is clearly putting the effort in to earn his keep in the UFC, and is one to look out for.

Ian McCall: A fighter with a poor track record, despite enormous talent, this fight was much closer on my card than the judges had it. His movement is absolutely stellar, but his lack of fight smarts seems to catch up to him frequently, as his defense drops and the idea of working in clinch or ground work disappears. He also clearly suffers from a lack of striking power, likely from the fact he’s so light on his feet. Planting would lower his evasiveness, but putting real oomph on a few punches here and there could have ended this fight early, and would put a bit of fear into future opponents.

Sergio Moraes: A bit of a surprise for me, I figured Magny would have the range and wrestling to keep Moraes at bay for most of the fight, but how wrong I was. Moraes is really turning his BJJ chops into something functional for MMA, using tight positioning and giving up nothing in his passes and submission attempts. Considering how strong and athletic he is, I could see him being a mid-card contender before too long.

John Lineker: Four fights and two misses on weight say a lot about this guy, as he’s equally hot and cold on the scale as in the cage. No denying his power, but his timing tends to be on the predictable side and his chin is there for the smashing. Lucky for him, he can take a hellacious punch, but that’s never a formula for long-term success. While I enjoy his fights, unless he makes some changes, we’ll never see him near the top of the pack.

Thales Leities: Much as fellow BJJ ace Sergio Moraes, Leites has clearly been working on making his mat game a bit more MMA functional. The real story here was his striking though, as Leites was rarely down to throw with fighters, but came in packing a considerable pop on his shots tonight. His gas tank remains a problem, though this fight was high-paced enough that you could give him a pass on it for now.  Good eye on Joe Silva to pluck him back up.

Phil Davis vs. Lyoto Machida: This one has been getting some buzz online, and while the media had this overwhelmingly for Machida, I can’t see it that way. The striking was about dead even in terms of what landed, with Davis having nearly tripled the output and constantly using footwork to maneuver Machida around the cage. While his two takedowns were both late in the first two rounds, they were both completed and certainly count in terms of scoring, as he attacked from top position. I’d venture to argue his assault at the end of the second round was actually the best offense of the entire fight, as his body knees to a prone Machida were punishing. The third round I’d give to Machida as he went on the offensive and edged it, but I can’t see the outrage here if you understand how fights are scored.

This situation is also one Machida finds himself in frequently, and it’s due to his fighting style being completely contrary to MMA scoring. When Machida came onto the scene, he won with two dozen power shots per round to his opponent’s zero, showing a clear technical advantage. As time has gone on, opponents have figured out that he has very few weapons, and those weapons come off predictable sides depending on stance. As of late, he’s been taking more and more punishment and maintained his low-output high-impact style.

Much like leglock wizard Masakazu Imanari and wrestling blanket Antonio McKee, Machida’s style means he must either end the fight within the distance, or be so totally dominant in terms of striking and defense that no one can question his effectiveness. In essence, Davis did a Machida impression, mixed in some takedowns, and stole Machida’s thunder. Accuracy and takedown defense, while part of Machida’s game, are NOT part of scoring criteria and this is what caused him to lose the decision.

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Category: MMA, Opinion, UFC

Mike Hammersmith (Featured Staff Writer)

About the Author ()

I'm a 20+ year veteran of martial arts and a fan of MMA since UFC 1, when my world was thrown on its head by the budding sport. I'm obsessive in the pursuit of martial abilities and have competed across the country in everything from Vale Tudo to archery to Scottish broadsword. Once my body broke down, I picked up a pen and went in the direction of writing. I specialize in betting advice, predictions, and I'm a walking encyclopedia of MMA trivia. I own a cafe in Exeter, NH called Hammersmith Sandwich Company and write out of my office between customers.

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