Sunday, May 17, 2020

UFC Overeem vs Harris & F2W 139/140 Recap & Reflections

Lots to unpack here, F2Win returns to hosting events sans the crowd, the UFC rumbles on, and ESPN/UFC milk a man's family tragedy for marketing ploy.

I found it pretty cringe to watch the UFC and ESPN milk the Harris family tragedy for programming as a way to hype his fight with Overeem. I'll just leave it at that.

Moving on, at F2Win 139 Tama faced Crelinsten with Tama coming off of his NoGi world black belt title awhile back and Crelinsten the consensus "world's most dangerous brown belt" (in NoGi). Tama decided to play legs/feet with Crelinsten early on until he nearly got popped in 50/50 and after that was decidedly & visibly more gunshy in the leg entanglements. He spent 3-4 mins of the second half of the match to counter and foil Ethan's passing attempts from bottom. I guess Tama's foot attacks garnered him the win, but I saw it going to Ethan tbh after that near finish from the 50/50 heel hook attempt and doing most of the work trying to pass with Tama content to simply recompose guard for 3-4 minutes of the second half of the match. Other than that the Paiva match was solid to watch but I tuned out during some of the other boring HW Gi matches. I get it when you gotta sell tickets to put on the bottom line of events, but if there's no audience and no ticket sales, I'm confused as to why we had to suffer through boring aged black belt matches. Santos vs Gomes & Paiva vs Hammond both put on better big man Gi matches than I've seen at most F2Win events when the second half of the event really starts to lag with a lot of big man black belt Master 3+ match-ups slowing down the pace of the event.

F2W 140: Jimenez vs Almeida was the real one to watch as Agazarm hasn't competed in the Gi in ages. Jimenez had some nice backtake attempts throughout but was also shut down in 50/50 by Almeida who used a lapel to solidify the position and control the younger more action heavy Jimenez. I felt like Jimenez probably attacked more throughout the match and was semi surprised they gave it to Almeida given the action/transitions was/were pressed largely by Jimenez.

Agazarm vs Moizinho: no surprised here as Moizinho's much stronger Gi resume and focus on Gi training rather than AJ heading off to Bellator crystallized into what you'd expect: within about a minute Moizinho had passed and/or almost passed his guard, was threatening an ezekiel choke, but the 6 minute mark he was hunting for a lapel feed/cross collar choke from knee through position with AJ still largely just hanging onto half-guard, Moizinho shot a triangle from a sprawl, omoplata, to sweep, then armbar, then even foot on the shoulder breaking mechanics to try and finish the armbar, then to the omoplata again. All in total, getting as dominated as was possible without getting finished. But, he came to the mat with nunchuks guys, so he's like a great showman, right? Look over there!

UFC Overeem vs Harris:
Overeem survived an onslaught that Dominic Cruz's ref would've stopped probably 4 punches in, then stopped to have the cut checked, in every possible way to try and end the fight. Overeem appeared to wobbly Harris with a kick, then as he drove him across the cage, put him to the mat and him out from top position ride with punches until it was over in the 2nd round. Harris doesn't lose any stock by losing to Overeem as he nearly finished him, but his ground work in a division with guys like Stipe, and Blaydes is a TOTAL liability.

Barboza vs Ige: Ige came with the right gameplan which was to stay in Barboza's face and unleash sharp punching combinations for the better part of 3 rounds. It was a split decision and neither guy could've complained for getting the nod or the loss as close as it was.

Jotko showcased improved striking as he beat Anders in an entertaining fight that went all over the cage with both guys staying busy with punches, kicks, elbows, in the clinch et cetera.

Chikadze struggled to showcase his stopping power against Rivera who despite coming on short notice accounted himself well against a far superior stand-up technician with a true striking pedigree to his credit. Chikadze picked up a unanimous decision but his unwillingness to showcase other parts of his game to finish a guy who wasn't going to be put away via strikes suggests more gameplanning and MMA fight IQ needed before he'll threaten the upper echelon of the division.

Nascimento vs Mayes was a solid HW battle with the more polish Nascimento patiently walking down Mayes and pouncing once he got him down to get the RNC.

Elkins vs Landwehr: Landwehr is the stand n' bleed guy who will try to visually fool the judges by taking punches and then waiting for his opponent to come meet him in the center of the ring. It's not a gameplan that will work against more craft veterans. Elkins for his part didn't bite and I think the judgest largely got it wrong, because with the gushing caught, I thought the strikes that snapped back the head and stopped the other guy from moving in his tracks were when Elkins tagged Landwehr. It's a crafty play to act as though you're the one stalking forward and waving your hands, but really Landwehr is an innacurate counter puncher who can't hit a moving target, and largely missed Elkins even with his less than tactical striking. I wasn't fooled by the gamesmanship and hand waving but some the judges, but if you saw the event you saw some wildly suspect scoring, so y'know.....

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