Thursday, September 2, 2010

MMA vs Boxing

by Kevin Blatt | Tue. Aug. 31, 2010

Rabbit Punches – 20 Chokes While The Ref Is Checking My Pulse!

1 – First off, a big thanks goes out to none other than UFC President Dana White who provided the means to make this special version of your favorite countdown happen! I bet when he tweeted out those fantastic tickets (props to OtG family member Snappa BTW), he didn’t think one of the winners would end up covering the night on a Boxing website? I was like a wolf in TapOut clothing (no, I really wasn’t though)!!!

2 – One thing I have to say, boxing to me is the greatest sport in the word, but when it comes to putting on an “event,” UFC dwarfs anything I have seen on a boxing card. Gigantic TVs all around the sold-out TD Banknorth Garden showing the fight live, montages of the fighters on the screens in-between fights, highlights of great moments in the sport during intermissions…it makes a live crowd even livelier! Kudos to everyone involved!

3 – The best way to describe the feeling inside the arena Saturday? Let’s put it this way…if douchebaggery were a drug, I may have just caught a contact high!

4 – Seriously though, the sellout crowd at Boston’s first foray into the UFC was phenomenal. They cheered at every big shot, every landed kick, every time there was even chance of a tapout. It was a fantastic thing to be a part of…even if I am pasty white and don’t own a thing with the name Affliction on it.

5 – And speaking of the crowd going insane, big props to up-and-coming local prospect Joe Lauzon, who dazzled hometown fans by stopping veteran Gabbe Ruediger by way of an armbar within the first few minutes of their fight.

6 – I wonder if the “Sorry for the loss” cake that Ruediger gave J Lau at their weigh-in tasted sweeter than the vicious elbows and punches Ol’ Gabbe ended up eating once the bell rang!

7 – I don’t know which surprised me more, how insanely tall Shaq is or how insanely short Joe Rogan is.

8 – I have to say, those on-screen montages they show in-between bouts featuring highlights and interviews of the two fighters got me BEYOND hyped! Even if one of them was for the Lentz – Winner fight. Is this what coming down off of a high feels like though, because that Ginger almost put me to sleep…?

9 – Speaking of asleep, I’m not sure who was more out of it - Markus Davis from an anaconda choke courtesy of Nate Diaz, or referee Yves Lavigne who allowed the choke to go on for far too long. With Davis laying on the mat unconscious, the entire crowd was screaming for him to put a stop to the bout. Thank goodness Markus was able to leave the ring with his own strength.

10 – I have to say, I’m not a fan of Diaz. He reminds me of that kid everyone knew growing up who started fights everywhere he went and let his friends bail him out. Only with Diaz, he can fight…damn can he fight!

11 – Bruce Buffer sure does get excited…

12 – Justin Beiber sighting!!! Oh wait, that’s Tom Brady sitting next to the toughest man in the arena, Wes Welker! The Golden Boy really needs a haircut…I almost threw my water bottle! Go Pats!!!

13 – Another local product, Kenny Florian was booed halfway into his loss to the bullishly strong Gray Maynard, for the lack of…well, anything. It was like 3 “feel out rounds”, to all the boxing fans reading this. Maynard moves on to a title shot at the BJ Penn – Frankie Edgar victor later in the night.

14 – BTW, who names their kid Gray anymore? Oh well…

15 – As for the co-main event…Penn who rightfully was billed as the greatest Lightweight in the history of the UFC got beaten in every possible way by the Jonathan Tucker lookalike (Google it). Edgar beat him to the punch, to the kick, and to the slam round after round after round. A truly dominating performance in every sense of the word.

16 – You gotta love the chants of BJ - BJ - BJ from all the ladies in the crowd…I'll leave that one alone actually!

17 – James Toney, you know we at OtG love ya…but 237? Really James?

18 – 11 seconds into the first round Randy Couture dropped Toney with a single leg takedown (which is almost impossible to counter with a punch), and at that moment every boxing fan watching knew it was over. An arm triangle soon followed, and roughly 3 minutes later the boxing icon waved for the ref to put a halt to the action. First round tapout or first round KO was what everyone expected - as a boxing fan, I was disappointed but not surprised by the outcome.

19 – Props to Couture for not only coming up with a game plan to take away Toney’s greatest asset, but for the way he conducted himself post-fight. Couture showed respect to not only the sport of boxing but Toney as well (resulting in a standing ovation from thousands for the first-time mixed martial artist). The classy way he “respectfully declined” promoter Dan Goosen’s offer to stage a boxing contest between Couture and Toney further demonstrated the kind of character Couture has. Like the multi-time UFC Champion said, if he were to box Toney he would be stopped in the first round.

20 – To sum this night up, I want to point out the most important thing. James “Lights Out” Toney deserves all of the credit and admiration in the world for having the fortitude to enter a sport he has never even tried at the most elite level. With only 9 months of preparation, Toney attempted to take on a legend with decades of training under his belt. Toney is the first truly great fighter in either boxing or MMA to attempt the transition - and for that...

Respect Champ - truly the utmost Respect!