The Five Count: Top Storylines from UFC 184 Fallout

Mark MunozJay Primetown takes a look at the five biggest storylines to develop from UFC 184 from the entertainment capital of the world; Los Angeles, California. #1 Fast and Furious– After Ronda Rousey’s first round victory over Cat Zingano, no one was questioning whether she was the best fighter in the world in her weight class. What they were doing was comparing her recent run to that of Mike Tyson. While everybody knows a female MMA fighter and a heavyweight boxer are apples and oranges, what is similar is their ease of victory during their prime. Rousey’s latest three fight run has seen her defeat three of the top 5 ranked fighters in the division in a combined 96 seconds. To put that into perspective, Tyson’s fastest win as champion was a 91 second knockout win over Michael Spinks in 1989. Sure, Tyson fought much more polished competition in a sport that had competitive competition prior to Tyson’s reign of over a 100 years. The fact of the matter is that the style and dominating fashion that Rousey is winning in deserves all of the accolades that have been ushered on to it. #2 Just Not the Same –Nearly after every UFC card, we seem to have this same conversation. The shelf life of a MMA fighter simply isn’t very long. Less than three years ago, Mark Munoz had won three straight bouts in the UFC including victories over current top 15 fighters CB Dollaway and Demian Maia. He was dominant in those string of wins using his All-American wrestling credentials to get his hand raised. In July 2012, he had a number one contender fight with Chris Weidman. It was the younger Weidman who ragdolled Munoz into a second round finish that was very difficult to watch as Munoz took a ton of damage in that fight. Since that fight, Munoz has regressed exponentially. In his last three fights, Munoz has been defeated in all of them within the first round. Physically, he’s been unable to match the speed and ability of his opponents. At 37 years old, there’s little belief that he will be able to compete with top 15 level talent ever again. For a fighter like Munoz who owns a gym and has a career after fighting, it’s time that he focuses on training fighters as opposed to stepping into the octagon himself. #3 Lukewarm Debut – Much was made of Holly Holm’s signing to a UFC contract. Holm as the highest striking credentials of anyone in the history of women’s MMA. She’s an 18 time world champion in boxing beating the likes of Christy Martin and Mia St. John during her time in the ring. It’s the sort of resume that made people that she had the athleticism and technique to one day be able to give Ronda Rousey her most difficult title fight. Prior to her UFC debut, Holm finished five of her six opponents on the regional scene against less than noteworthy competition. At UFC 184, she faced her best opponent yet in MMA in former TUF competitor Raquel Pennington. While Holm’s size and volume was difficult for Pennington to figure out at first, she was able to give Holm a competitive fight. She easily did more damage to Holm in the third round and even won the fight on one judge’s scorecard as 5 to 1 underdog. While Pennington was unable to do so, Holm certainly looks vulnerable in the grappling game. A far more experienced opponent would be able to take her to the mat. Furthermore, Holm’s striking defense certainly has some holes that opponents can find if they are willing to pressure Holm. Perhaps most concerning is her lack of punching power. Many believed that a fighter with such boxing prowess would be able to wipe the floor with Pennington. That simply wasn’t the case as Holm wasn’t even able to stagger “Rocky” at any point during the fight. If Holm is going to win in the UFC, it will be with technique and volume; not with knockouts. With that said, she simply hasn’t shown she has the tools to beat the top fighters in the division. #4 All the Ingredients for Success – Become a successful fighter and a marketable fighter on two totally different things. While one may have a great record inside the octagon, it doesn’t necessarily translate to being able to sell tickets, merchandise sales, or an enhanced audience. Louisiana born Alan “Brahma” Jouban is still a relative novice in the octagon, but has certainly all the makings to be a marketable fighter. Jouban has won two of his three fights in the UFC. His two wins have come via first round knockout. Brahma’s aggressive style on the feet makes him a really fun fighter to watch. Combined with his aggressive, attacking style he has the power and technique to put solid fighters away. Just as importantly, Jouban is a professional model. Based on physique and appearance, he does resemble one of the world’s best soccer players, Cristiano Ronaldo. The soccer player is idolized by men, but adored by women due to his looks. Combining an exciting style with a marketable look, makes Jouban one to watch over the next 12 months as his stock continues to rise. #5 How to Handle Eye Pokes – Kid Yamamoto returned to the octagon for the first time in three years ago to take on UFC novice Roman Salazar. The fight was rather lackluster, but the drama that saw it called to a stop was certainly not. In the midst of the action, Yamamoto had his hands open grazing Salazar In both eyes with his fingers. John McCarthy gave Salazar time to recover, but pressured Salazar into making a decision without giving him an understanding of the ramifications of the result. Most fighters would continue to fight if they thought the referee was going to award the fight to the other fighter. If the referee decides to award a no contest, it also sets a precedent where a fighter could overreact to an eye poke forcing a draw in a fight that they were on the way to losing. Ultimately, two things need to change. First, the UFC needs to change the gloves that are used in fights. Other promotions use gloves which are designed to limit the ability of eye pokes. Second, there just needs to be a better system in use in regards to continuing fights and calling them to a stop. A fighter never should have the ability to stop a fight and have it declared a no contest. That should be entirely up to the referee and doctor. Let the fighters fight, let the referees officiate. It’s as simple as that.

Written by Jay Primetown

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