UFC 75 ANALYSIS, WHAT’S NEXT?

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QUINTON JACKSON by DECISION (49-46, 49-46, 48-47) over DAN HENDERSON

Jackson’s size and vicious elbows turned this fight around. Henderson did a great job of closing space and using his Greco background to score bigtime in the first. I thought he won the second as well. It was close. Jackson definitely set the tone for the rest of the match with a take down at 1:49.

Jackson did a great job of landing the harder shots during some awesome stand-up exchanges in Rounds 3-5. Those big shots allowed him to continually work top control on the ground. And that’s where he consistently buried elbows to the body to wear down Henderson.

Sky’s the limit for Jackson. But this weight class is the deepest in the world. There won’t be another Chuck Liddell re-match until Chuck finishes Keith Jardine and Wanderlei Silva. During that time expect Jackson to be pitted against the guy who last pinned a loss on his record, Mauricio Rua. Rua needs to beat Forrest Griffin at UFC 76 in Anaheim.

I thought the UFC debut of Henderson at 205 was a bad move. I stand corrected. It was a great way for massive exposure on free TV and now he can go down to bolster a thin 185-pound division. Whether it’s Anderson Silva or Rich Franklin, Henderson should get the first shot.

MICHAEL BISPING by DECISION (29-28, 29-28 & 27-30) over MATT HAMILL

This was not impressive for Bisping. He is the much more advanced MMA fighter and that fact should make the loss for Hamill even more frustrating. Even with very rudimentary MMA skills, Hamill had this match.

I said before the fight that Hamill, a tremendous wrestler, is easily sucked into stand-up battles. He did it again winning the first with the harder shots but eventually he dropped his hands as the bout went along and took too many shots (same pattern when he got injured on Ultimate Fighter 3).

It was clear Hamill could’ve take down Bisping at will and won the match. What was his corner thinking? He really needs to get a lesson on strategy. If Hamill does so, he can be a high-riser at 205.

From the moment I saw Bisping standing in street clothes next to Chuck Liddell last year, I’ve said the Brit belongs at 185. Hopefully the fact that he got thrown around like a rag doll by a legit 205-pounder will convince him to drop down and become a contender at 185.

CHEICK KONGO by DECISION (29-28 on all 3 cards) over MIRKO “CRO COP” FILIPOVIC

This was a shocker.

Cro Cop really got beat up surprisingly at times on the ground by Kongo. Kongo also dominated the stand-up. I couldn’t find more than six high kick attempts by Cro Cop in rounds two and three.

If Kongo can shore up his ground game, he’s an intriguing prospect. He must hit like a bull to sap all the aggressiveness out of Cro Cop. If UFC can keep Kongo away from lay and pray fighters, they’ve got something.

The real story is with Cro Cop. He doesn’t look as explosive as he did in Pride. It’s starting to look like his drive to fight is waning. I wonder if Dana White feels like UFC wasted its money bringing in Cro Cop?

HOUSTON ALEXANDER TKOs ALESSIO SAKARA, 1st round

The “Mystery Man” Alexander did it again. Sakara isn’t great but he’s not a slouch either. Alexander overwhelmed him with a sustained attack punctuated by two huge knees. We’ll see what the next step is. He’s not the easiest guy to find fights for. You don’t want him overmatched against a top 7 fighter at 205 but the UFC can’t afford for Alexander to derail one of their 205 up and comers

MARCUS DAVIS SUBMITS (Armbar) PAUL TAYLOR, 1st round

Davis has to be the most improved fighter in the UFC. He was totally one dimensional on the Ultimate Fighter 2. And then spoke of retiring after being destroyed by Melvin Guillard back on 11/5/05. Since then, he’s reeled off 10 straight wins, including 5-0 in the UFC. A former pro boxer, he has now submitted three of the five opponents in those wins. If I were a top 10 fighter at 170, I wouldn’t want to be matched up against Davis. He’s dangerous. 

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