Sunday, October 11, 2009

Instant legend

Cerrone-Henderson should go down in the books as one of the classic MMA battles of all time. It showed pretty much every aspect of MMA as a discipline, and some absolutely dynamic and frankly jaw-dropping scrambles, submission attempts, submission defenses, and cardio. This was my fight of the year, and there's going to have to be two guys who want it real bad to beat out this fight.
One thing to note: the surface for this fight was stupid. It offered a poor grip for the fighters. Several times guys looked like they were stunned or in trouble but they were simply fighting for footing. That's basically the only bad thing that happened. Shame on SA for not putting down a decent floor.
That said, Donald Cerrone is a fucking man. He gets stronger as the fight goes on, and never stops walking forward. He constantly tries to finish, and he has a great submission game that flows naturally from position to position. Henderson is a cardio maniac, who makes guys like Clay Guida and Randy Couture look like slouchers. His scrambling was astounding at times, mainly because Cerrone is such a phenomenal scrambler himself. "Smooth" didn't get to show off, or chose not to show off, his own heavy hands, but he has 'em.
I watched the only round in contention and still think Henderson won round 1. The problem is that there is not straightforward weight of any given MMA action vs. another action. For instance a sub attempt (from the guard? From a dominant position? from a bad position? standing?) isn't worth "1.1 points" or whatever, and a sub escape isn't worth ".9 points" etc. Maybe it should be! But it isn't. So we end up with guys watching and feeding their own viewpoint as to the value of a given act in the cage. I think position and postural control is extremely important, and a good sub escape nullifies much of a good sub attempt. I also think a good standup nullifies much of a good takedown.
But that's a discussion for another day. In the meantime, we're lucky to have seen a fight like Cerrone-Henderson, that displayed everything great about MMA: talent, heart, skill, and determination. Congratulations to Henderson...train hard! You're going to face Cerrone again if you hold onto that belt!

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