Holy bajeezus! Did anyone see that staph infection that was on Matt Hamill’s lower back? That was nasty. How on Earth did he ever get cleared to fight? Keith Kizer, NSAC director, made the right call and asked a doctor to look at it, but the doctor whiffed on allowing him to take the fight. Now Jardine, McGee, and McCray could all be infected. Staph is very serious. Soft-tissue debridement (surgical removal), organ damage, amputation and death are very possible outcomes. So, yeah, that doctor should probably have his licensed suspended if anyone catches it. No excuse.
Now, as for the fight card, I thought it was highly entertaing, as I expected. Five fights were finished, and the other five decisions were all close contests. I didn’t do that well, but I didn’t do bad, going 5-5 this card. That brings my overall record to a healthy 65-45. However, I do have a gripe. No way that Simpson/Leben fight should have been called. Simpson was rocked but he wasn’t out. Bad stoppage. More on that later. But on the plus side, I did call three fights absolutely perfect. Yes, I know, I’m a MMA Guru. You can see it on my face. Literally. Let’s see what I did right and what the fighters did wrong…
Heavyweight bout: James McSweeney vs. Travis Browne
My Pick: Browne, Round 1, KO
What Happened: Browne, Round 1, TKO
This is the first of 3 perfect fights called. McSweeney isn’t that good. He landed a few shots but all he did was delay the inevitable. Browne had to figure McSweeney out and when he did, he destroyed him. I had no doubt Browne would knock him out. Now it’s time for Browne to actually get a fighter that will test him. He kind of reminds me of a young Tim Sylvia.
Middleweight bout: James Hammortree vs. Chris Camozzi
My Pick: Hammortree, Round 3, Decision
What Happened: Camozzi, Round 3, Unanimous Decision
Well, I guess I had that backwards. Hammortree came out every round like I thought he would, but Camozzi had an answer for him every time. The fight was closer than what the judges scored it. I thought the second round could’ve gone either way, and I leaned towards Hammortree in the third. Had there been a few more seconds, Hammortree could’ve finished the fight with that guillotine he had locked in as the bell sounded. It was a good fight though.
Middleweight bout: Kyle Noke vs. Josh Bryant
My Pick: Noke, Round 2, TKO
What Happened: Noke, Round 2, TKO
Second perfect fight called. If this fight was going to be standing, Noke was winning easily, and that’s what happened. I don’t know what Bryant was doing. He never even tried to take Noke down. A huge mistake. I still stand by that he’s fighting in the wrong weight class. He needs to move down to welterweight. As for Noke, he looked better than ever, but we still don’t know if he improved his takedown defense all that much. Maybe he’ll draw a wrestler next.
Middleweight bout: Brad Tavares vs. Seth Baczynski
My Pick: Tavares, Round 3, TKO
What Happened: Tavares, Round 3, Unanimous Decision
This was a pretty exciting fight. No one landed that KO punch like I thought, but they did go back and forth. The first round could’ve gone either way, but I think Tavares had control. He definitely won the second. In the third is was pretty even until the very end, where Baczynski had Tavaras on the ground at the bell. Nice fight, nice win. I expect both to get a fight soon.
Lightweight bout: John Gunderson vs. Mark Holst
My Pick: Holst, Round 2, KO
What Happened: Gunderson, Round 3, Unanimous Decision
Gunderson just worked over Holst. Always in the dominate position and shrugging off all th submission attempts. Holst probably won that last round, but he lost the first two convincingly. No way the judges, not even MMA judges, could get this call wrong. For some reason I thought Holst had better defense than that.
Middleweight bout: Jamie Yager vs. Rich Attonito
My Pick: Attonito, Round 3, Submission
What Happened: Attonito, Round 2, TKO
I’m so glad that the “Tin Man” got smashed. I wish it would’ve been more violent but it is what it is. In the second round Yager tired and Attonito was just waiting for an opportunity to finish the fight. Attonito nearly locked in a Rear Naked Choke but somehow Yager fought off the attempt. After a second attempt at the same choke, Attonito flattened out Yager and started raining down punches and forced the referee stoppage. Nice win. Sadly, I think Dana will give Yager another shot. I wish he wouldn’t, but people want to see him fight, win or lose.
Lightweight bout: Spencer Fisher vs. Dennis Siver
My Pick: Fisher, Round 3, Decision
What Happened: Siver, Round 3, Unanimous Decision
I disagree with the judges on this. Not that Siver won, as it was really close. But 30-27 for Siver? Ummm, no.
It was easily 29-28, and probably a split decision. Fisher won the first round, Siver the second, and the third could easily have been either way. Depending on how you judge fights, Siver was the aggressor but it looked to me that Fisher landed more power shots. I would’ve said Fisher, but what do I know?
Middleweight bout: Chris Leben vs. Aaron Simpson
My Pick: Simpson, Round 3, Decision
What Happened: Leben, Round 2, TKO
No way this fight should have been called by the ref. Simpson was rocked, but he was no where near out. He was off balance and Leben sort of pushed him, which caused him to fall. Would Leben have won anyway? Maybe. No guarantees. Simpson won the first round for sure, and he was on his way to lose the second. That would’ve left the third to decide it. Bad stoppage.
Light Heavyweight bout: Matt Hamill vs. Keith Jardine
My Pick: Jardine, Round 3, Decision
What Happened: Hamill, Round 3, Majority Decision
And Jardine has lost four straight fights. It will be interesting to see if Dana White decides to let him stay employed. I don’t see how, after cutting Kimbo Slice, ALLEGEDLY, after one loss. I can solve this problem. Have Jardine take on Kimbo Slice. Winner stays, loser goes to Strikeforce. I think it’s a win-win. As for this fight, it was close. I think Herb Dean taking a point away from Jardine was unnecessary. That eye poke was accidental. Not that the point deduction mattered. Hamil won the last two rounds. Maybe Jardine was worried about catching staff and was distracted.
Middleweight bout: Court McGee vs. Kris McCray
My Pick: McGee, Round 2, Submission
What Happened: McGee, Round 2, Submission
And the third perfectly called fight. This was a really good fight. Both fighters looked vastly improved since their time in the TUF house. McCray seemed to have cut the excess weight and put on a little more muscle. Glad to see both really wanted the win. The fight was pretty close. However, in the second round, McGee finally wore McCray down with the takedowns and the top position. McCray had to take a chance to get out of the bad position. McGee took advantage and locked in a Rear Naked Choke for the win. McGee is your Ultimate Fighter for season 11. An emotional McGee dedicated his win to everyone who is struggling, to his parents, and to Chuck Liddell. He had a hard road, but he came through. I look forward to his next fight.