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Sunday Morning Coming Down: Notes on UFC 84

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Well, that was fun, no? A night full of surprises, a few knockouts, and the dreaded Ipecac bet ends in a tie, thus making it possible for Ben Goldstein’s mother to rest easy, at least for now. Now that we’ve all had a chance to digest the evening’s events and process the alcohol through our systems, let’s see if we can’t pull it together for a painfully sober look at what really happened last night.

- B.J. Penn dominates; Sean Sherk relies on worst game plan ever. I have to give it to Penn. He looked like a champion from start to finish, picking Sherk apart without getting too frantic and then showing his class after the fight was over. But at the same time, what was Sherk thinking? Standing and trading punches with Penn clearly wasn’t working, as evidenced by Sherk’s face after two rounds. He never seemed committed to getting the fight on the ground, and as a result only allowed Penn to grow more confident of his striking game as the minutes wore on. Maybe he hoped Penn would gas out after punching him in the face for fifteen minutes?

- Tito Ortiz‘s exit surprisingly graceful…until the press conference. It seemed strange that the UFC would even give Ortiz any time on the mic after his decision loss to Machida, but even more bizarre that he was mostly cordial about it. Then came the press conference, which Ortiz showed up at uninvited and caused a minor scene. Dave Meltzer describes an odd scene where Ortiz is asked to leave the press conference by UFC officials, but then told to stay put by Jenna Jameson. Guess who he listened to? What followed was a minor flare-up as Ortiz and Dana White accused one another of trying to be “superstars”, an accusation neither is in a position to refute. Oh, Tito. You will be missed.

- Wanderlei Silva gets KO of the night, and a little breathing room. It might be too soon to say that “The Axe Murderer” is back, but he sure looked more like the Wanderlei of old as he put a quick end to Keith Jardine‘s night. Jardine just couldn’t stand up to the power and pressure from Silva, who needed the victory more than anyone else on the fight card. If this is a sign that Silva is finally comfortable in the UFC and back on track, there are several interesting match-ups left for him in the 205-pound division.

- Reljic-Gouveia earn Fight of the Night honors, Palhares gets Submission of the Night. It was looking bad for Rousimar Palhares‘s performance, on the other hand, was impressive from start to finish. As for Salaverry, it might be time to find a new line of work.

- Shane Carwin is a monster. Seriously, lock your doors. Then go hide in the basement. Then, and only then, you can demand to see Carwin tested against a top heavyweight. But don’t make that demand too loudly. He might hear you. If that happens just freeze. Like a T-Rex, his vision is movement-based.


Cagepotato Comments

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Michael M- May 27, 2008 at 2:09 pm
To everyone pointing out the "flaws" of Lyoto: You're a bitch.

He wasn't backpeddling, or trying to get away from Tito. He was playing mind games with him. And it worked greatly. The looks on Tito's face was priceless because of all the frustration. Thats what it's all about.

Congrats Lyoto!
sol- May 26, 2008 at 12:06 pm
the look on sherk's face after the ref stopped it at the bell was like "fuck all that work and i just got fucked up". Sherk thought the bell stoppage was actually the fight stoppage.

With regards to Machida, its not overly exciting to watch for the "zomg what a KO" fans, but if you like technicality, its a dream. Alot of people jumped on the Machida bandwagon after he dismantled Sokoudjou, he did so because Sokoudjou has lots of openings and Ortiz doesn't.

Stick Machida in with Rampage or Forrest and watch the sparks fly.
Rich F- May 26, 2008 at 10:55 am
CWR - no you didn't make it up. Sherk clearly said that he wasn't aware that the bell had rung, presumably because his ears were ringing louder than the bell. Also, it looked to me like Mario Yamasaki was waving an end to the contest as the bell rang. I don't think Penn's bit of game play at the end really influenced anything. We hardly saw Sherk jumping around, shouting "I wasn't out, I wasn't out!".
MMANewbExpert- May 26, 2008 at 6:47 am
I think Penn was licking the blood off of Sherk trying to get himself a bit of steroids.
Aaron- May 26, 2008 at 4:46 am
Was there ever any doubt BJ would dominate? Sherk may have at least had a chance if he enrolled in game plan 101 instead of watching Rocky before the fight.
Warcraft- May 25, 2008 at 10:59 pm
Nnnnn Says:

May 25th, 2008 at 9:52 pm
1. how the fuck is machida slow?

2. chasing someone down implies he’s running away from you AKA backpedaling

3. why would you question his chin if he never has been rocked? nonsense

machida rules anyway,
and you’re a moron"

1. Machida style is slow if you can't see that you are slow yourself. Compared to an axe-murderer like Wandi, Machida fights at a very slow pace.

2. Machida does backpedal/retreat. Its more for countering but he does it.

3. Why wouldn't I question his chin. I've never seen him have to recover in a fight or even if he can after taking a good shot to his head. Unless you think Machida is immune to being knocked out then please STFU.

4. Who was dissing Machida? Sorry you can tell a postive Machida post from a negative one.

The only thing I agree with you on is Machida rules.
MMA Ratings- May 25, 2008 at 9:09 pm
I agree that BJ has top notch take down defense, but it won't matter against GSP. GSP will dump BJ on his ass and beat him from side control.
the fan- May 25, 2008 at 8:00 pm
I believe Sherk attempted a take down at lease twice maybe three times and he didn't even come close to taking down BJ. BJ's take down defense is top notch and Sherk knew he couldn't take the risk of being punished while attempting a take down.
Tyrm1983- May 25, 2008 at 6:47 pm
Granted Machida is a great fighter, One of the quickest counter punchers i have ever seen period in boxing or mma. BUT he is boring to watch. He does everything but turn his back and run from the guy he is fighting. It wins him fights which is good for him and if most people were in his position i am sure they wouldn't care if drunk ufc fans called him boring. but to make my point would i pay 40 - 50 bucks for a ufc headlined by a machida fight? probably not, it better have a sweet undercard.

I wasn't even that excited to see this ppv because sherk is horribly boring and does steroids, I am not a fan of Tito and Machida is boring to watch as well. Jardine has 2 impressive wins over Forrest and Chuck but also got KTFO by Houston Alexandar, Wandy hasn't looked like himself in about 4 fights. (was so happy to see him murder jardine though)

But i was sure glad i did watch this ufc, The undercards were all good fights, Watching Wandy win like that actually made everyone in the room with me jump up and yell. The Tito - Machida fight was boring as expected. But watching BJ take Sherk apart really made the night for me. i was really worried about sherk just laying on top of penn for 25 minutes like he did Florian but for some reason sherk tried to stand up with him and that didn't work out to good for him plus that flying knee was brutal.

I think sherk broke his right hand in the 2nd or 3rd round though.
Jotorious- May 25, 2008 at 6:27 pm
Machida is bad-ass. Yeah, this fight was kinda slow paced, but so what? He was fighting Tito. Did you see the end of the first round when Machida was about to KO Tito?
Kablamo- May 25, 2008 at 5:39 pm
Machida is boring. His style of fighting belongs on the undercard.
Mondooh 3:17- May 25, 2008 at 3:37 pm
And didcha catch tha liver kick that dropped Tito... DIDCHA???!??!?!! beautiful!!!!
Mondooh 3:17- May 25, 2008 at 3:35 pm
For you non MMA practicing or actual knowledgeable fans of the sport (like a “real” NFL fan analyzes a game) go back to watching the WWF or WFF or what ever the fuck its called if you want every card to be a knockout. Machida is a fuckin awesome and great technical fighter, he is fast (that double kick first right then left he threw at Tito shows his speed over the fright most other fighters would have in having Tito get the takedown), elusive YES indeed the man is smart as fuck he isn’t no retarded Houston Alexander he will not be soo easily knocked out or caught in a ankle lock in the style Cock chest lesnar did. And very fuckin strong DID EVERYONE NOT SEE HIM MAN HANDLING TITOS BIG HEADED TAKEDOWN ATTEMPTS??
I don’t have a man crush (BJ has already taken that spot) or am I a huge fan of Machidas but I respect the sport and give credit where its due, and for you TWAT WAFFLES that can hardly spell less give any insightful or intelligent perspective on the sport or any particular fight do two things
1) Get a word processor idiots
2) Get some fucking schooling in the sport before you let your fucking dick sucker run loose
and go watch the your wrastlin matches

then I guess companies need you dumbasses to buy the PPV, just keep your mouths shut
MOD- May 25, 2008 at 1:54 pm


MMA Ratings- May 25, 2008 at 1:52 pm
I think this was the best fight card I've seen so far this year. Plenty of very relevant fights, one title fight, lots of action in every fight, lots of hype and drama, and good knockouts and submissions. Showing 4 undercard fights (9 fights in all), awesome! Interestingly, I think the runner up for best card this year is UFC 80, which was also headlined by BJ Penn.

I would definitely like to see BJ Penn clean out the lightweight division before he considers moving up, just like I would like to see GSP clean out the welterweights before considering moving up.

I’m pro Machida and I agree with all the pro Machida sentiments out there. There’s nothing wrong with avoiding getting hit as long as you are doing damage yourself, which he obviously always does. I think guys like Machida, are the new breed of MMA fighters, specifically guys that are well rounded AND have such excellent timing that they can inflict damage without taking much. Fighters that can engage wisely, timing their shots, never needing to be reckless, and still capitalizing when an opportunity arises. I think this is what we see with Anderson Silva, Cung Le, and sometimes GSP. We may have seen this with BJ Penn this time as well, but he also had his reach to rely on. I think if you can’t appreciate Machida’s style and skill, maybe you should try pro wrestling.
Juner671- May 25, 2008 at 1:11 pm
Welcome back Wandy! Excellent fight for him and he showed that Jardine doesn't belong in the cage with that level of fighter. There are at least 10-12 guys better than him.

Tito was the reason why some of you thought the fight was "boring". I thought that Machida had a perfect gameplan & executed it well. Tito should have been more aggresive in his takedown attempts especially after losing the 1st round. I'm a Tito fan but what has he done for me lately? Decision over Forrest, Draw with Rashad, & 3 wins over the "World's Most Dangerous, 2 wins in his last 14 fights, Man"? Get some new skills Tito.

BJ Penn is the effing man! Complete destruction of Sherk. The only thing that slighly bothers me is the GSP talk. I don't know if we can handle another loss to GSP. I would like to see BJ defend the LW title many times against the whole gang of guys who are 1, 2, or 3 wins away from a title shot.

PS......... WTF's up with the Carwin dick-riding??? Nice KO for sure but it's a little too soon to be calling out Fedor.
Jemaleddin- May 25, 2008 at 12:47 pm
Was Carwin piss-tested? Because that guy is HUGE.
Anonymous- May 25, 2008 at 10:34 am
machida's a counter fighter if you want better fights grab a more aggresive fight.
more punch's thrown more punches countered
Joe Rogan- May 25, 2008 at 7:47 am
I wanna machida's dick, if u disagree then your a bitch!
.- May 25, 2008 at 6:37 am
sherk was done for sure, watch the all the after fight interviews. sherk talks about he has no idea what happened
unodakine808- May 25, 2008 at 5:05 am
i don't understand why machida is getting all of the blame for the "boring" fight. Tito was clearly losing after the first round but didn't do anything to try and take it to machida. When Tito was on the offensive (which only happened a few times in the fight) he was on the losing side of those exchanges, but most of the time he was just trying to avoid machida's kicks. Those double kicks were awesome! I blame Tito for all of those moments of inactivity.

You know the saying "impose his will on his opponent"? That is exactly what machida did the whole fight. A fighter who do that to every opponent he faces should be considered one of the top guys in the LHW division and not boring and especially not starnes-esque...

And for those to knock machida for not finishing fights, the fight could have been called twice, once in the first but Tito was saved by the bell, and after the knee to the body. A very aggressive fighter would get owned by the quicker smarter machida.
Nnnnn- May 25, 2008 at 3:52 am
1. how the fuck is machida slow?

2. chasing someone down implies he's running away from you AKA backpedaling

3. why would you question his chin if he never has been rocked? nonsense

machida rules anyway,
and you're a moron
Anonymous- May 25, 2008 at 2:19 am
oh god the bj band wagon continues
Dota- May 25, 2008 at 2:04 am
IMO his willingness to engage is near nothing. 75% of the strikes he throws are jabs and low kicks. He needs to start finishing people more decisively. He needs to stop dictating the pace and start pushing it.
Warcraft- May 25, 2008 at 12:57 am
Machida is far from boring. Slow yes, but boring or backpeddling hardly.
He just resets alot and throws a ton of fakes it hard for oppoents to read and makes them switch up there game.
Machida controls the tempo of most fights and no one has yet had the skills/balls to chase him down. The only weakness in Machida might be his chin I have yet to see him get rocked in a fight.