Thursday, September 16, 2010

The UFC’s Hall of Shame

Do you remember what I said about Palhares before last night? Here, let me remind you:

“Every once in a while, a fight comes along where something just smells like it will be a star-making career night. I think this is one of those. But sorry, Nate, I see you being on the receiving end of this star-making night.  Palhares is 4-1 since starting with UFC, with wins over Jeremy Horn & Tomasz Drwal. I think the guy is on a roll and I think Nate is going to be the guy he rolls on.”

Yeah, that was smart. And by smart, I mean a humiliating mistake. So here is the fight as I remember it. Rousimar Palhares put Nate “The Great” Marquardt in his patented leg lock (which he has won 5 out of his 11 fights with). Marquardt slipped out of the leg lock. Palhares tells him to stop and tells the referee that Marquardt is greasing his leg. As Palhares is telling the referee this, Marquardt walks over, cold-cocks him and Palhares is out for the count.

Why this makes the UFC Hall of Shame:

1. Palhares, fighters do something called study their opponents. If I see that my opponent does a leg hook that is money, in my training I’m going to find every way I can to get out of that leg-lock. You remember when Tony Romo emerged and wreaked havoc on the NFL? It was because he was an unknown commodity. Nobody knew how to plan their game plans for him. Then something happened. More teams began to formulate their game plans for Tony Romo and, lo and behold, Romo could be handled. Palhares, you found somebody who was prepared for you.

2. Stuff happens. Fighters cheat. Groin kicks happen inadvertently. Eyes get gouged. Backs of the head get punched. Knees to fallen opponents get struck. If you believe this is happening, there is a right way and a wrong way to do this. In the middle of the fight is not okay. If you were a more-rounded fighter, you would tell yourself, “I’m not going to be able to defeat him by submission. I’m going to knock him out by striking.” You want an example of it done right, rent UFC 52. There, Matt Hughes takes an inadvertent groin shot from Frank Trigg. The referee misses Hughes telling him about the shot. Hughes comes back to defeat Trigg in a first round submission. Between Hughes & Palhares, guess which one I admire this afternoon.

3. What made this worse was that the Fight Commission had checked him, as had the referee. There was no evidence of any grease “before or immediately after the match.” ( So Palhares stands there with egg on his face and a claim that has no validity.

So congratulations, Rousimar Palhares. Welcome to UFC’s Hall of Shame.

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