After a month in writing exile I decided that it was time to jump back into the clubhouse. Lots of things have happened since I last posted so I’ll be touching on a few things.
Lots has happened in the world of mixed martial arts. November has been the busiest month that I can remember. Strikeforce & M-1 Global got things kicked off with Fedor Emelianenko making his network TV debut against Brett Rogers and in my opinion the fight lived up to the hype.
I thought all parties got the best of both worlds in the sense that Fedor’s legend continued to grow with his impressive second round knockout of Rogers. As for Rogers, I thought he looked as good in defeat as anyone can. The fight was only a few seconds old before Rogers was able to break Fedor’s nose, he was also able to display some skill on the ground and keep from getting submitted. Rogers proved that he is a legitimate fighter that will only continue to get better from here on out.
The night was a win all around for Strikeforce and M-1 Global who are continuing to grow their respective brands and try and get a little slice of the pie from the Ultimate Fighting Championship who is far and away still the top dog in the industry. I’m not saying that every fight was one for the ages but fans were exposed to some very good talent in Gegard Mousasi, Jake Shields, Jason Miller, Fabricio Verdum and Antonio Silva.
At UFC 105 Randy Couture proved that he still has plenty left in the tank with his decision defeat over Brandon Vera. For Couture, it was his first fight after moving back down to the light heavyweight division and I think the move will serve him well. Couture was fighting on the lower end of the heavyweight scale and was having to fight at a weight disadvantage.
Dan Hardy looked impressive in his win over Mike Swick. I thought he showed a great ability to strike and take Swick out of his game plan. The next fight for Hardy is likely to be a title shot against Welterweight Champion Georges St. Pierre. I thought that UFC’s color commentator Joe Rogan had the light of the night when he said, “I think it might be better to lose” when referring to his partner Mike Goldberg’s comment that the winner of the Hardy vs. Swick fight would likely get a shot at GSP.
I’m not the hugest Michael Bisping fan but I have to give the man his credit. I thought he looked good in his defeat of Dennis Kang. I had Kang winning the first round but Bisping was able to bounce back and get a TKO victory.
Sunday night’s decision for Patriots head coach Bill Belichek to go for it on fourth and two from his own 28 with 2:08 to go in the game and leading by six is proof that “geniuses” are capable of having moments of stupidity just like the rest of us regular football people.
There is no shame in losing to a Peyton Manning led offense but if I’m on the head set I’m putting my faith in my punter who had a net average of over 44 yards per punt on the night and my defense. If Manning and company is going to beat me, I am making them go as many yards as possible to do it. If nothing else, Belichek gave us all a reminder that the ego of a person is the greatest enemy to their intelligence.
On the ice it’s nice for me to see the LA Kings off to such a good start after struggling for the majority of this decade. The Ryan Smyth deal that sent Tom Pressing and Kyle Quincey to Colorado along with a draft pick has paid huge dividends. Immediately you could see Smyth’s worth ethic rub off on the team as players were crashing the net and playing a much more physical brand of hockey. Although I liked Quincey a lot and hated to see him go, this team would not be where they are without Smyth’s leadership.
The Smyth effect has trickled down to the rest of the team and the biggest evidence of that is the play of Kopitar. Don’t get me wrong, Kopitar has been nothing but good since being the Kings top pick in the 2005 draft. Immediately we saw flashes of brilliance in his first years in the league and knew that he was going to reach an all-star level, but the reason that Kopitar is second in goals, fourth in assists and leading the league in points at age 22 is because Smyth is doing the dirty work in the corners and in front of the net to open up ice for him.
I thought the biggest question mark coming in was goaltending and Quick has for the most part silenced the doubters. I say most part, because he has been inconsistent at times. Allowing three goals on 14 shots in just over 34 minutes in a 7-0 loss to Atlanta one night and then following up with a 2-1 shootout victory at Tampa Bay the next night is an example of that. Once Quick shows consistency on a regular basis, then he will silence the doubters altogether.
That’s all for now from the clubhouse. Thanks for stopping by and I promise it won’t be another month before I check in myself.