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Cecil Peoples: Leg Kicks “Certainly Don’t” Finish Fights


(Pat Barry vs. Dan Evensen @ UFC 92. Somehow Barry skates by on those useless leg kicks.)

Everyone’s favorite maverick judge, Cecil Peoples, supposedly explained the rationale behind his scoring of the Machida/Rua fight at UFC 104 in a talk with CageReport.net.  He begins with the usual defense, pointing out that he has a different perspective on the fight than the fans do, and then launches into an explanation of why Machida’s strikes counted for more than Rua’s:

Mauricio Rua was being aggressive but it wasn’t effective aggressiveness which is what we as the judges look for when scoring a fight. The way I saw it, Lyoto was landing the more cleaner and damaging strikes throughout the fight – if you take a look at the judging criteria clean strikes are valued more-so than the quantity of strikes landed. Although Rua threw a lot of low kicks they were not as damaging as Lyotos diverse attack in the earlier rounds which is why I scored the first three rounds for Machida. You have to keep in mind we always the favour the fighter who is trying to finish the fight, and leg kicks certainly don’t do that."

Of course, sometimes leg kicks do end fights.  It just doesn’t happen all that often.  And even when leg kicks don’t serve as the knockout blow, they still damn well hurt and frequently end up making the difference in a fight.

But that doesn’t matter to Peoples.  If you aren’t hitting someone in the face, you aren’t trying to end a fight.  This is the same man who, later in the interview, says that he gave Machida the edge on Octagon control because he “made Shogun come after him, he determined where the fight took place which in my opinion constitutes as effective Octagon control.” 

Let me get this straight:

- Strikes to any part of the body other than the face = useless in ending a fight. 

- Forcing your opponent to bring the fight to you as you avoid engaging = Octagon control.

This decision is starting to make a lot more sense.

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Zescape- October 29, 2009 at 4:54 pm
Hey, Cecil Peoples! Go fuck yourself.
Da Spied Her- October 27, 2009 at 2:42 pm
I agree with "right hand crazy". I was more upset with the commentary by Rogaine and Goldie. Too many no-brained idiots don't watch the fight for themselves and just listen to the commentary. If you paid attention to the fight and ignored R&G, chances are you would've seen Machida as the winner - even though it was a slim margin.
right hand crazy- October 27, 2009 at 1:42 pm
this was a really close fight, plain and simple. a lot of people believe shogun won the fight, but in my opinion many viewers were swayed by rogan and goldberg's commentary, which heavily favored shogun in a fight that wasn't nearly as one-sided as they made it seem.

the way i see it, with a fight that close where neither fighter decisively won the match you have to judge based on who was the most active, who was trying to finish the fight, who was more aggressive and i believe lyoto won based on those factors. shogun's leg kicks were brutal, but they were all single counter-strikes to lyoto's combinations. so for every kick shogun threw, machida was throwing 2 or 3 punches to the face or body kick/punch combos at the same time. unfortunately, the commentary couldn't focus on both fighter's strikes at the same time and lyoto's got overlooked.

shogun's strikes, though certainly painful looking, were not going to end that fight, nor was he using them as setups for other striking combinations. machida strikes me as the kind of dude whose father made him hang 100lbs weights from his nutsack for hours at a time for as long as he's had pubic hair...something tells me a little bit of pain and bruising on his leg isn't going to finish him, nor even phase him all that much in the moment. rounds 4 and 5 were shogun's opportunity to turn up the action and start reaping the benefits of those leg kicks, but he never did. just because you bought all the wood and nails doesn't mean you've successfully built a house. shogun failed to implement an essential step of his gameplan and ended up losing as a result.

meanwhile, machida never faltered from his gameplan - punch and kick that mofo wherever and whenever possible and try to either knock him out or wobble him and go in for the TKO. ultimately, he wasn't successful, but he kept trying and i think that made the difference. shogun = 5 rounds of prep, machida = 5 rounds of trying to put shogun down.
raven585- October 27, 2009 at 9:03 am
Lyoto Machida clearly won that fight.
What is completely astonishing is that Joe Rogan’s commentary, which I used to enjoy, was the key bias that swayed the crowd away from the judges decision. Rogan is a commentator of what happens, NOT the judge of who won. Rogan overstepped his bounds, and did a huge disservice to Lyoto’s camp and all the fans listening.
For those on the internet, Joe Rogan on TV, and so many others that said “EVERYONE” thought Rua won, all of us who are reasonable men, quiet in our convictions, and not bully-ego-boys who believe that our opinions are more important than those judging these very technical fights, we reasonable men are in the majority and we respect the sport and the moment to accept the judges UNANIMOUS decision: Lyoto was clearly the winner of that fight.
Real martial artists bow upon entering and leaving the octagon, bowing to those deciding, affording respect where respect is due.
It would be nice that all the Rua won! fans, would enter the discussion respectfully and know that the next bout neither fighter will leave any doubt as to who won.
My congratulations to Rua, who fought a great fight. Plus Rua’s handling of the matter deserves a bow of respect. However, it was his own corner that gave him false confidence that he was winning, that caused Rua’s own demise. I heard them doing it during the fight and knew that was the wrong message for Rua, at that point, as it might and probably would lead him to a sure defeat.
For all the unheard masses who believe what they saw and respect the judges’ UNANIMOUS decision, I speak for you here that even though we are not disrespectfully vocal, we know in our hearts that Lyoto Machida won the fight, and he and his family are a very pleasant surprise for their composure during this trial.
In thanks for taking this lesson, Lyoto and family, and completing the task of beating Rua, in the very near future.
This followed by Dana White’s judgement of who won the fight, totally undermining both Lyoto’s camp and the judges’ clearly accurate decision.
Then we have Fightmetrics exposed for it’s own inaccurate system as most of us saw so many strikes that biased Fightmetrics did not see, for some odd reason.
I think Judge Cecil People said it best in his analysis:
The main-event of UFC 104 saw Lyoto Machida defend his Light heavyweight title by winning a unanimous decision over Shogun Rua but not without controversy as many spectators felt the scorecards reflected poorly upon the fight. Long time MMA judge and referee, Cecil Peoples provided us with his reasoning behind his issued score of 48-47 in favour of the champion, Lyoto Machida.
“First of all what you need to understand is that from where the judges are sitting, we get to see things that the fans at home may miss. Mauricio Rua was being aggressive but it wasn’t effective aggressiveness which is what we as the judges look for when scoring a fight. The way I saw it, Lyoto was landing the more cleaner and damaging strikes throughout the fight – if you take a look at the judging criteria clean strikes are valued more-so than the quantity of strikes landed. Although Rua threw a lot of low kicks they were not as damaging as Lyoto’s diverse attack in the earlier rounds which is why I scored the first three rounds for Machida. You have to keep in mind we always the favour the fighter who is trying to finish the fight, and leg kicks certainly don’t do that.”
“When both fighters are engaged in a striking match what I always look for is the fighter who is being judicious, picking his spots, being accurate and landing the cleaner strikes which ultimately is what Lyoto did more effectively than Rua. Lyoto made Shogun come after him, he determined where the fight took place which in my opinion constitutes as effective Octagon control. I recognize the fact that Rua did have a few takedown attempts during the course of the fight however Lyoto defended them all successfully which counts as effective grappling in his favour, where as ununsuccessful takedown attempts are not scored at all. Therefore going by that criteria, I believe Lyoto won the fight clearly. I’m just glad the other judges on the panel saw it the same way and I’m sure the fans who understand the technicalities of the sport agree with the decision too.”

TheGreenBlurr- October 26, 2009 at 9:11 pm
Who honestly does like Peoples anyway?
Craigger12- October 26, 2009 at 9:05 pm
@ Goog

My thoughts exactly.

Thanks everyone else for saying the same thing in 100 different posts.
bbbcswr- October 26, 2009 at 8:28 pm
i agree with all the cecil bashing, but don't forget there was two other judges who scored the fight for machida. I guess they at least had the smarts not to try and explain their retarded scoring. bash on
worldblowmetour- October 26, 2009 at 8:02 pm
I was shocked from the decision at first , but watching the fight again Shogun just threw leg kicks and took a couple shots to his face in the process. If you watch the fight again shogun didnt land much.I feel in a close fight like that the champ should keep the belt.You should be able to beat the champ decisivly.
Dmonicideals- October 26, 2009 at 6:29 pm
@Gman:

No, you are exactly right with your example. Forrest KNOCKED DOWN Rampage with his kicks, and even completed takedowns after that.

When in the fight did Machida get knocked down by those kicks? How mant TDs did Shogun have after he brutalized Lyotos legs? When did Lyoto give up because he couldn't stand?

Had ANY of those things happened this fight could have definitely gone Shoguns way. But they didn't. And now we have people crying in droves about how Shogun got screwed.

Shogun screwed himself by hanging back and thinking that his kicks were going to get him by, even though every kick he threw was countered by punches. Neither fighter went after it, neither fighter put a stamp on the fight to make it his, and when you leave the decision to the judges, you are asking to get fucked, especially when you clearly didn't do everything you could to win.
Dmonicideals- October 26, 2009 at 6:19 pm
I will admit that Cecil is spewing shit about leg kicks not being an effective tool, but he almost has a point.

Almost.

Leg kicks CAN end a fight, but you actually have to knock someone down with them and take their legs away to have it happen. It is clear by the number of knockdown/takedowns that Shogun had, that he DID NOT accomplish that. Had he landed an single TD, or even once knocked Machida to the ground because his legs hurt so bad, then yes, the kicks would have been compelling. He didn't, so all they did was slow Machida down a bit. Both fighters had poor strategies comng into the fight, and neither pressed for the win.

Yes, leg kicks CAN end fights, but Shogun wasn't anywhere near ending this fight with them. In the Forrest/Rampage fight, it took, what, 1 round of kicks to put Jackson on the ground? Shogun couldn't even land a takedown in the 5th round, his kicks weren't doing the job fast enough. Maybe if it was a 10 round fight, he could have knocked Lyoto down once, or even wobbled him.
kezza-aus- October 26, 2009 at 6:11 pm
I'm sure Paul "Polar Bear" Varlens from about UFC 9 or 10 would also disagree with Cecil Peoples about leg kicks not ending fightsi
Than- October 26, 2009 at 6:10 pm
Cecil Peoples needs to get leg kicked a few times. I have only ever really been hit hard with leg kicks padded with shin guards, and I'll tell you those suck total balls. Getting hit even just two times in the same spot with solid kicks and you are for sure feeling it the rest of the night and the next day.
Bovice- October 26, 2009 at 4:57 pm
@therail

Not gonna lie, that was incredibly fucking funny.

Shogun got robbed. Like I said before, I'm not going to be on the Machida bandwagon ever.
NipGrip- October 26, 2009 at 4:39 pm
FIRE CECIL "CICI'S PIZZA" PEOPLES!!!
philippekchrun- October 26, 2009 at 4:18 pm
Cecil should check out fightmetric.com... there's the truth!
therail- October 26, 2009 at 3:28 pm
Cecil Peoples scored World War II 49-46 in favor of the Germans. He determined their early bombing of London and France did more damage and their late strategy of allowing the Allies to invade Germany showed that they were dictating where the war was taking place.
byebyestrikeforce- October 26, 2009 at 3:22 pm
You guys do know there is some question as to the validity of these quotes right?
Strife- October 26, 2009 at 3:06 pm
Im with Viper29 on this one. If making someone chase you is "effective aggression" Then I think we need to reevaluate the Kalib Starnes fight.

Im gonna give that fucker the Rockhammer
Dubbayoo- October 26, 2009 at 3:03 pm
I suppose "Sensei" Cecil Peoples never saw Rizzo vs. Severn.

How odd, cuz he never misses ANYTHING!
danomite- October 26, 2009 at 2:57 pm
shogun should be allowed to demonstrate his leg kicks to cecil peoples so that he may experience their effectiveness first hand. we should be allowed to bet on how many leg kicks cecil takes before he goes down too, and peoples should have to pay the winner out of his own pocket.
ijustcreatedanaccounttocrackwise- October 26, 2009 at 2:43 pm
@BCC
nah - top fights ended by leg kick, obv.
Viper29- October 26, 2009 at 2:36 pm
By People's logic, Kalib Starnes is the best MMA fight to ever grace the Octagon.
artigale- October 26, 2009 at 2:36 pm
Goog. Is this your first time to a forum? lol You seam genuinely surprised by this.
BigCountrysCholesterol- October 26, 2009 at 2:33 pm
In lieu of my suggestion for a "Top 10 Kevin Iole Shill Moments", I now am begging Cagepotato to PLEASE write an article entitled "Cecil Peoples' Top 10 Judging Blunders"
mytie- October 26, 2009 at 2:19 pm
Legs kicks help win fights but they don’t win belts. In my option you need to go for the kill to take a belt, Machida can take leg and body shots all day. It should have been a draw if anything.
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