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‘UFC Fight for the Troops 2′ Aftermath: Screw It, How About a 10-Man Battle Royale for the Lightweight Title?

(We don’t really have to crack a joke about this position, do we? PicProps: Yahoo Sports)

Credit where credit is due: Melvin Guillard absolutely steamrolled Evan Dunham last night. He came out and simply blitzed the former lightweight golden boy with his speed, clipping him with an early right hand that Dunham never appeared to recover from. By the time Guillard put a fork in him a couple minutes later with a trio of knees along the fence – the last, clearly illegal one “just a technicality” the broadcast team immediately assured us – he’d managed to further scramble the already muddy lightweight ranks. Now watch Anthony Pettis lose to Clay Guida at the “TUF 13” finale and George Sotiropoulos lose to Dennis Siver at UFC 127 and we’ll really be in trouble.

However — (*clears throat*) – let’s not get carried away here. Let’s not get too crazy. Let’s not do the thing we seem to always do when a guy wins a big fight and start to completely overvalue Guillard based on this one performance. What he proved with his beating of Dunham on Saturday night was either one of two things. One, it could be that Greg Jackson is helping him to finally harness the physical tools he’s possessed from the beginning and has Guillard on the verge of becoming something special in the lightweight division. Or two, he was just a terrible match-up of styles for Dunham.

Now, it’d be great if it was the former. Heck, we’d love it to be the former. Guillard certainly deserves it, with the dues he’s paid and all that. But with five years of evidence that makes him look like nothing more than a middling UFC talent, we’re kind of concerned that it might be the latter and we’re going to need a couple more repeat performances of last night before we start fully buying “The Young Assassin” as a legit threat to the title.  So let’s not go overboard with the talk about him suddenly becoming a “top contender” at 155-pounds.

It was a nice showing, the best of his career and it earned him an extra $30Gs for Knockout of the Night. In our view though, the only other thing it garnered him is a chance to now fight another mid-range contender in the weight class Joe Rogan aptly described last night as stacked “almost to the point of being unmanageable.” Somebody like Jim Miller or Kenny Florian or – damn it – maybe even Sean Sherk.

In the co-main event, Matt Mitrione underscored the fact that he’s on his way to being the UFC’s most intriguing heavyweight prospect, but maybe only because (short of Brendan Schaub) the UFC doesn’t really have any other true heavyweight prospects. Certainly guys like Roy Nelson and Stefan Struve are too advanced in their careers to be considered “prospects,” while guys like Junior dos Santos are obviously well beyond that point and guys like John Madsen aren’t fully on our radar yet. That pretty much leaves Mitrione.

And once again, in the interest of giving out duly-earned credit, “Meathead’s” progression through four professional fights is pretty amazing. Granted, he’s eventually going to have to fight somebody with a ground game before we get really impressed, but we can’t argue with the results so far. Up next we’d suggest somebody like Sean McCorkle or Pat Barry, if that’s not too much of a bummer for them, being such tight bros and all.

Barry escaped with a unanimous decision last night, but didn’t exactly blow anybody’s minds against an opponent we all thought he would flatten. In fact, short of the grippin’-and-grinnin’ and a couple broken bones, his performance against Joey Beltran looked a lot like the last 10-or-so minutes of the CroCop fight. It’s starting to feel like Barry’s style might be more about hanging back and picking his spots than handing out quick, Anderson Silva-style ass-whippings. That’s fine, but it’s going to lose you some fights somewhere down the road.

In other news, Yves Edwards nabbed two bonuses – Sub of the Night and Fight of the Night – for showing why he’s the veteran and Cody McKenzie is the rookie. Good on him, but in retrospect it seems a little weird that the UFC doesn’t award a bonus to the guy who turns in the evening’s best all-around performance, because that one would have to go to either Matt Wiman or Mark Hominick. You know, just saying.

Cagepotato Comments

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ccman- January 25, 2011 at 11:15 am
Most martial arts include the groin as an acceptable target. Not in competition but in practical use. Still not a fan of the idea a fights decided by the first person to catch a sack shot.

Still asked bout stomps and soccer kicks to downed fighters.
WalksInTheDarkness- January 25, 2011 at 10:13 am
All I remember is Cage Rage used to have an awesome open guard rule which was controlled by the referee. If a downed fighter was at least a metre away from the cage, on his back and able to avoid or defend against attacks, the referee would raise his arm and call "open guard". Once an open guard was called, the standing fighter could use the following attacks on their opponent. Basically, it was designed to stop people stalling by pulling guard or butt scooting and the referee being the one to call open guard stopped things like the end of Phil Baroni vs Minowaman 1 happening. It was used successfully for a number of years whilst Cage Rage was a feeder organisation for PRIDE. A number of fighters took advantage of it whilst it was in use such as Zelg Galesic, Jorge Rivera and Anderson Silva just to name a few.

As for stomps being used in the UFC, GSP's axe kick of Jason Miller was almost a stomp. I know, technically his foot went up and then down in the usual kicking technique but it's very close to a stomp. I feel that they give the standing fighter an ability to pass guard as well as attack the downed opponent. When Shogun missed stomping Ricardo Arona he was able to take advantage of the position that the stomp had left him in to pound out Arona.

As for the martial arts aspect of it, a number of martial arts such as splashing hands kung fu include the use of groin shots. I'm not saying legalise them as that would be awkward television viewing especially when viewed in the light of Hackney versus Joe Son, that was just nasty.
ccman- January 25, 2011 at 8:03 am
@ darkness.

Offended? No. Offend? Apparently.

And no noone advocated weapons or eye gouging though as shown by barnetts latest idiocy their are some who still look to push the limits. What most forget as they see a hand touch a mat and knees become illegal the rule came into existance since a north south or side control position the knee is deadly. If you wanted to look at the definition of 'downed' I might listen. Carte blanc? No. Fighter safety becomes a huge question. These tools have never considered what or why not what they ask for, they want carnage.

As for kicks, what martial art exactly centers around or teaches soccer kicks to a downed opponent? Heel stomps? And aside from not being vulnerable what is the exact defense for either? I get movies show this being caught but I dare anyone to 'catch' a soccer kick to their head without injury.

As for the political arguement, this is common sense, politicians have always blocked the new and always will. Reilly is an idiot, mccain owned a distributor, which is different than anheiser bucsh, but yes definitely was a tie to them, though he reversed himself when unified rules became the norm and were shown as safe. And that was well before bud started sponsoring events.
WalksInTheDarkness- January 24, 2011 at 2:39 pm
Offended much?

Did anyone on this thread mention weapons or eye gouging? If so, please feel free to point them out. I for one don't want to see serious injuries in any sport. The professional sportsmen, and women, involved perform their sport to entertain me and I'd hate to see a potentially great athlete have his life ruined by a late stoppage or an illegal blow. Every time Fedor breaks his hands hitting someone I'm always worried about whether or not he'll be able to come back fully fit again, so don't box me in with someone who wants to see blood and guts.

As for blocking the sport, ask whichever Canadian province it was that wanted to ban foot stomps. They wanted to show that they're still in control. Sports are controlled by beureacrats like Bob Reilly, who quite frankly seems to have no idea about MMA yet has the ability to vote on whether or not the sport is legal in New York. One of the main reasons why John McCain was against MMA is because he used to have a vested interest in boxing and Budweiser (a then major sponsor of boxing) and MMA was, and still is, a threat to boxing's popularity. Politics is corrupt but politicians and lobbiest love money. As soon as one of those two groups works out how much money is potentially in MMA, it'll become legal world wide. If there is money, it can be taxed and governments love taxes.

An awful lot of it still has to do with education. For example, my girl friend doesn't like watching the sport but she understands what is happening when I'm watching it. American footballers go through a lot of nasty injuries, concussions etc every year yet 90 million people tuned in to watch the Super Bowl last year even though there is the distinct possibility of seeing some really nasty injuries. The public and general media need to be educated about what can and cannot take place in the various arenas. They need to understand about the amount of respect and training involved to get to an elite level in the sport.
ccman- January 24, 2011 at 11:24 am
The word retard is apparently the new "real fan".

And again, no I don't want soccer kicks or knees on downed opponent which was the major difference between pride and unified rules.... guess only a retard knows this. I also don't want groin hits and eye gouging or weapons in the cage. I leave that to the keyboard warrior types who think their twinkie and cheetos diet prepares them for the apocolypse, so refresh your mountain dew if ma went shopping.

Now less your a dumbass arguement:It will block regulation in to many places and was a large part of the early blocks to legalization in many states. As a fan I want the sport to grow, I want it legal everywhere, I never want a death or serious injury in the cage, and never again want to hear the phrase "human cockfighting". Now run along, I'm sure beyond thunderdome is on somewhere.
WalksInTheDarkness- January 24, 2011 at 7:55 am

I'm a touch confused about how knees to a downed opponent would make MMA less of a "legitimate sport" than including elbows. I've seen less fights finished through elbows than I have knees to a downed opponent. I've never seen a fighter properly knocked out by an elbow whilst I've seen it a number of times with knees.

As Bas Rutten enjoys pointing out, elbows are mostly designed to cut an opponent (ask Kenny Florian and all of the illegal elbows he's thrown whilst in the UFC against Sherk and Lauzon for example). Watching Sherk and Guida bleed all over the place hardly "legitimises" a sport, if anything it helps support the "just bleed" mentality.

I don't need to have stomps but knees are missed. It would mean people like Cody McKenzie who shoot awful take downs would be sprawled against and knee'd unconscious. They'd actually have to work their stand-up in order to make take downs a viable option. Knees stop fighters from turtling and holding on to a single leg for dear life.
JaredB- January 23, 2011 at 8:18 pm

Turd Furgeson Says:
Sun, 01/23/2011 - 21:38


You don't think legalizing knees and kicks to a downed opponent would be better? You must be some sort of grown retard. I didn't say anything about bringing back Pride rules.. I just wanna see dudes get their heads stomped.

* reply


I think the knee rule as it's written needs tweaking. You should not be able to draw the foul by touching the ground and the foul needs to be intentional for a point to be taken away. Most decisions are decided by a single point, it's too much for an accident.
cecils_pupils- January 23, 2011 at 7:02 pm
@Ballkick - true, true... can't deny those facts. :) I like Meathead though and I think he will do well.
Turd Furgeson- January 23, 2011 at 6:38 pm

You don't think legalizing knees and kicks to a downed opponent would be better? You must be some sort of grown retard. I didn't say anything about bringing back Pride rules.. I just wanna see dudes get their heads stomped.
gogosplata- January 23, 2011 at 5:40 pm
What the UFC needs at this point is a 162lb division.
imabigfan- January 23, 2011 at 4:46 pm
barry seemed disinterested in fighting nearly the entire time despite stink-facing, understandably, after the full contact cup checks. Suppose he was scared that his new gorilla muscles were too much for his still-human bones?

also, light weight division tournament style. All of it. Top five-ten fighers get first round byes. do it. it would be effing sweet.
DARKHORSE06- January 23, 2011 at 4:40 pm
Pat Barry's a great guy and all but his fights are fucking annoying. He comes in all happy go lucky, chucks in a couple kicks, drops his hands, and waits for the round to end.

He was (maybe) barely ahead in rounds 1 and 2, and only switched on after he drove his finger four inches into the Mexicutioner's eye. Only then did Barry turn it up, and even then, barely. It was another fucking dissappointment and he probably broke his good foot and hand.

Mitrione v Schaub would be a good matchup. I would love to see Mitrione stomp the fuck out of Schaub.

Danky4twanky- January 23, 2011 at 4:24 pm
Guillard has always had speed tho. What he showed last night was controlled aggression. Well, controlled up till that final knee. Never really been a fan of his but maybe jacksons camp can teach him how to be a professional. And consistent.
ccman- January 23, 2011 at 4:16 pm
And the knees and kicks to downed opponent rule exists so the sport can be regulated. Period. All the "we should have pride rules" shit is so fucking stupid, you want a bunch of guys pushing fighters back into the ring too? How about mafia fixes?

I loved pride also but seriously, it was a failed corrupt league that was not what your nostalgic memories hold dear too. If you want mauling watch felony fights... I want a sport. A legitamate fucking sport.
ccman- January 23, 2011 at 4:06 pm
As I said last night when my friends babbled about gulliard speed

A moped sure looks fast when racing a skateboard, how's it look against a ducati?

Not convinced he has become a ducati yet.
Ballkick- January 23, 2011 at 3:19 pm

I am hesitant to wax poetic about Mittrione just yet, JaredB stated Hague was brought in for Matt to smash,...and smash he did.
I will wait till he meets someone with better than a 0-3-0 record in the UFC (now 0-4),..... Pretty sure Hague is back to local shows in Edmonton now.
Mittrione still hasn't earned your respect, and certainly hasn't earned mine.
Props to Matt he did what was expected of him,...and smiled through it all the way.
Turd Furgeson- January 23, 2011 at 3:17 pm
They should do away with the stupid rule about kneeing and kickinga downed opponents, so there won't be controversy, so we won't have to worry about dudes slowin down the fight by puttin one hand on the mat and crap, and so my boy Shogun can startin stompin fools brains in again like back in Pride.

Until then, rules is rules, and enforce em.
dranokills- January 23, 2011 at 3:15 pm
It's amazing the amount of double standard that exists with some of you guys.
You are down on melvin but you swing from the nuts of Jones.
they are both alike, unorthodox spaz's.
They have no control, they only know one speed, full on attack mode insanity. It is a fucked up style, and it always ends with something illegal.
They are both jackoffs and I can't stand to watch them fight.
Melvin should have been DQ's like Jones was with Hammil, and like Jones SHOULD have been when he fought Bonner.
Melvin was doing cocaine at one point.....yeah just what a SPEED head needs, maybe he has changed, but you can't tell it from watching him freak like daffy duck on crack in the ring. Fuck Melvin, and fuck Johnny boy.
DangadaDang- January 23, 2011 at 3:08 pm
There is no way that anyone can convince me that Dunham was getting overhyped. He won a couple big fights in a row against bigger names than him and he got screwed in the Sherk fight. People were hopping on Duffee's nuts after the Hague fight before he even got out of the ring. Dunham will continue to improve and I see him being like the Martin Kampmann of the lightweight division. Of course it's a little early in his career to tell.

Isn't it weird that almost everyone who beat Tyson Griffen lost their next fight? Hopefully Lentz will follow in line, so we never have to be treated to him on a PPV.
Goog- January 23, 2011 at 2:41 pm
Dunham's got a lot of potential, for sure. But has anyone considered that maybe it wasn't Guillard beating a juggernaut in surprising fashion, but rather Dunham being hyped like, oh... I don't know... Todd Duffee... long before that kind of credit it due? Make no mistake, Guillard had a great night, but at the end of it, all he did was beat Evan Dunham, not BJ Penn.

Good for Guillard... onward and upward. Dunham should get a re-tuning fight.
NinjaVanish- January 23, 2011 at 2:26 pm
Guillard's last 2 out of 4 opponents we're making their promotional debut, why the fuck should this clown get a title shot?
NinjaVanish- January 23, 2011 at 2:14 pm
hell yeah war pulver!
JaredB- January 23, 2011 at 2:01 pm
Guillard has beaten in the last 12 months Ronnys Torres, Waylon Lowe, Jeremy Stephens and Evan Dunham. He actually has one more win than Clay Guida there. I think Kenny Florian is a perfect next fight for him. Dunham maybe Mac Danzig?
irish brawler- January 23, 2011 at 1:59 pm
Its kinda the same deal as noons last fight before he fought diaz. The knees were illegal, but the outcome of the fight was already obvious
Danky4twanky- January 23, 2011 at 1:58 pm
Haters want guillard dq'ed. He totally destroyed Dunham before that knee but that doesn't matter right. Cuz the ref did a poor job he should be punished. Watch kh noons and Jorge gurgel. That knee was way more blatant and there was no dq. Stop being a cry baby. That knee had no impact on the outcome of the match. I'm sure Dunham would agree cuz he is a man.