(The t-shirt with short shorts hidden underneath is not a good look for anyone, I don’t care who you are. Photo courtesy of NBC Sports.)
There was a lot to love and hate about Affliction’s second effort, from the free undercard on HDNet to the painfully moronic antics of Scott Ferrall and Chuck Zito. We’ve been crunching the numbers on every aspect of the event since it ended on Saturday night, and here’s what we came up with.
Fedor Emelianenko +312
The tough part about being Fedor is that it’s hard to do anything too impressive at this point. Just winning isn’t enough. As if sensing this, he went ahead and finished a top five heavyweight with a one-punch KO in the first round. Now that’s sufficiently impressive.
Andrei Arlovski -43
Let’s be honest: right up until he began feeling too good about himself and leapt into unconsciousness, Arlovski looked good. His striking was sharp and accurate and fast, and he was using his reach well. For about three minutes, he seemed like the better fighter. And then…
Josh Barnett +30
Great, he pounded on a guy with no ground game for three rounds until said guy decided to quit. Big deal. This is exactly why this was a bad fight for Barnett. There’s nothing for him to gain at this point by beating a guy like Yvel. At least it clears the way for a fight with Fedor. Assuming Affliction can hang around that long.
Gilbert Yvel -11
We didn’t expect much, and he didn’t give us much. It’s been a while since we’ve seen anyone try to punch their way out of the mount. Too bad it only works in the Pride video game. At least he didn’t do anything illegal.
Affliction announcers -225
Articulate and insightful aren’t adjectives we’d use to describe Tito Ortiz, and yet there he is on the broadcasting team, stammering through commentary and post-fight interviews. Add in the Moron Twins: Chuck Zito and Scott Ferall, and you have all the professionalism we’d expect of a show on Queens Public Access. Give me Bas and Kenny Rice, give me Frank Trigg, but please, no more Ferrall and Zito. Ever.
Renato “Babalu” Sobral +81
A quality win to prove he’s still a top competitor at light heavyweight. A fight with Tito would be legitimately interesting, if Affliction can afford it, but even if they can’t Sobral has effectively used this platform to up his status after his excommunication from the UFC. Whatever happens after this, he should land on his feet.
We both said it in our pre-fight predictions: Sokoudjou starts fast and then quits when things aren’t going his way. Sobral’s submissions skills are genuine, but that wasn’t the tightest choke in MMA history and yet Sokoudjou tapped in a hurry after kindly lying still long enough for Sobral to cinch it up. Athleticism and raw ability aren’t a question for “The African Assassin,” but when is he going to show us some heart?
Vitor Belfort +90
Could it be that the old Vitor, “The Phenom” with ferocious hand speed and devastating punching power, is really back? He wasn’t in the ring long enough for us to really find out, but that little flash of his former brilliance was encouraging.
Matt Lindland -72
Is “The Law” getting too old for this shit? Did he just get caught, as they say? It’s debatable, but stretched out and twitching isn’t where we thought we’d see him in the first round. At least it didn’t result in any serious damage. For a moment or two there he sure had us worried.
Paul Buentello +63
When did Buentello develop this killer jab? Maybe he was helped by the inexperience of his opponent, but Paul looked like a gritty, technically-sound heavyweight on Saturday night. Our financial advice to him: put that big payday in a CD or something. You aren’t likely to get many more like that.
Kiril “Baby Fedor” Sidellnikov -39
He’s still just a kid, but the only real Fedor-like qualities we saw were his physique. With a little more seasoning and maybe a drop to light heavyweight, perhaps he could do something. Chalk this one up as a learning experience.
“The Janitor” apparently thinks of himself as a striker these days, which is a huge mistake. It’s good to see his skill-set filling out, but did learning something new push all the old wrestling knowledge out of his brain forever?
Antonio Rogerio Nogueira +83
He’s definitely the sharper of the Nogueira brothers of late, and who ever thought we’d see that day? He’s a solid contender in Affliction’s 205-pound division, which may be their most interesting class when Fedor finally cleans out all the heavyweights.
Dan Lauzon +40
It’s easy to call someone a faker when your own testicles are far from the action. He hung in there and earned the submission win, all in the longest first round ever. He deserves some respect.
Affliction production value -75
The cheesy graphics, the halting flow of the broadcast, the in-ring photo op after the main event, complete with M-1’s Jerry Millen carrying on in the background like he’d just won the Super Bowl, it all serves to remind you that they haven’t done this for very long. Someone please explain to me how “Arlovski 360” has higher production values than a pay-per-view event.