by Al Yu – MMAWeekly.com
Lack of power or capacity to produce the desired effect.
On paper, UFC 73 had the potential to be a blockbuster card. The UFC put together a line-up that was the cause for much excitement and anticipation. Unfortunately, “Stacked” was plagued by inefficacy. Not that it was the worst UFC in history (*cough* UFC 55 *cough*) but it certainly didn’t live up to the hype and expectations. The Sacramento, Calif. crowd was brutal as they were quick to voice their displeasure with a sea of boos. It just goes to show that star power doesn’t necessarily equate to an outstanding show.
One of the exciting aspects of MMA is its unpredictability. Notwithstanding a lack of big names, Ultimate Fight Night 10 was one of the best shows of the year. UFC 72 also turned out to be a solid event in my opinion, despite the pessimism expressed by fans and critics. Conversely, reactions to “Stacked” ranged from disappointment to boredom to somewhat satisfied.
Featuring the title defenses from UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva and UFC Lightweight Champion Sean Sherk, UFC 73 also benefited from the drawing power of one of the organization’s most popular fighters, Tito Ortiz. Love or hate him, Tito knows how to sell tickets. After watching his anticipated fight with Rashad Evans culminate in an anti-climactic draw, I think a refund might have been in order. The overly hyped grudge match was a disappointment to fans and viewers. Hopefully a potential rematch will yield much better results.
Former Pride Heavyweight Champion Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira made his Octagon debut against Heath Herring. Having previously defeated Herring twice, many people expected Nogueira to have an easy entrance into the UFC. A left kick from Herring to the head of “Minotauro” said otherwise. The kick put Nogueira on the mat and the Brazilian was seriously hurt. Inexplicably, the fight wasn’t stopped and Herring even backed off with his strikes, motioning Nogueira to stand back up.
After letting a prime opportunity to finish the fight pass him by, Herring would go on to lose a decision. Not too many people expected to see Nogueira in trouble, especially Nogueira himself.
Overall, UFC 73 “Stacked” was a solid, yet slow-paced event that didn’t quite turn out like the UFC wanted it to. For future reference, the best way to live up to the hype is to not hype at all.
A light heavyweight in 155-pound clothing? Well, maybe not quite. Sean Sherk’s physical prowess at lightweight can be very disheartening for potential contenders. The man is a beast and his training regiment is unbelievable. The UFC Lightweight Champion’s cardio, control, transitions and strength has been unmatched thus far.
Sherk’s dominance, although impressive, has become rather predictable. I actually found myself hoping for a major upset just so that the fight could be somewhat exciting and I’m pretty sure there were many people who shared my sentiments. With such a physical size advantage and skill set, many fans groused as to why Sherk has been unable to finish an opponent at 155.
Sean Sherk could very well turn into the UFC’s most uncelebrated belt holder if his 25-minute trend continues. In an attempt to satiate future viewers, I offer a pithy suggestion to the UFC:
Stop matching Sherk up against BJJ fighters.
Styles make fights. Although they are unable to overcome Sherk’s powerful wrestling, seasoned grapplers are skilled enough to nullify most of his offense and prevent from sustaining too much damage. The result is a five round wrestling clinic leaving some fans restless.
It’s unfortunate that Sherk’s methodical command of his previous two opponents is viewed as a negative aspect of his game. It may be too soon, however, to assume or predict his ascendancy of the lightweight division until he is matched against fighters with similar strengths. The UFC’s deep 155-pound weight class isn’t lacking in competition and guys like Tyson Griffin, Joe Stevenson and Clay Guida could very well give him a fun for his money in the near future.