Monday, September 8, 2008

Liddell Follow Up

Steve Cofield at the Yahoo MMA Blog identifies the following as some of the biggest upsets ever in the the UFC. Now let's look at the aftermath of these fights....I am not sure I really agree and think the history may be a little short sighted. We will throw out Forrest and Evans because they haven't fought since their upset.

1. Randy Couture over Tim Sylvia at UFC 66
- Prior to the fight: Sylvia was an overwhelming favorite on a six fight win street with two defeats of Andrei Arlovski under his belt. Couture had not fought in over a year since going into retirement and had looked bad in his loss to Chuck Liddell
- Randy goes on to defeat Gonzaga in Smashing Fashion, retire and then unretire to fight Brock Lsnar
- Syliva beats an undersized heavyweight Brandon Vera(Decision), has some strong moments against Nogueira, but is submitted in the 3rd round of the interim title fight and then is slaughtered by Fedor in 13 seconds
- Overall: Experience defeats Overconfidence, Couture had a great gameplan and executed. He then proved it wasn't a fluke by destroying Gonzaga. Given how poorly Sylvia has looked since this fight it is my opinion that this wasn't that big an upset.

2. Gabriel Gonzaga over Cro Cop at UFC 70
- Prior to the fight: Gonzaga, while not an unknown, was certainly an unknown when compared the Cro Cop who was 2006 PRIDE Grand Prix Champion and had been expected to roll through everyone in the heavyweight division. Every expert had this fight setting up a fight between Couture and Cro Cop for the fight of the year.
- Gonzaga fought hard but was overwhelmed by Couture in his title challenge. Following Cro Cop victory he is 1-2.
- Cro Cop lost to Chiek Kongo in one of the dirtiest affairs I have seen and then bolted for Japan to get his head straight. Following the Gonzaga fight he is 1-1.
Overall: Regardless of how the fighters have performed since the bout I still put this in the top five upsets.

3. Rashad Evans over Chuck Liddell at UFC 88

4. Matt Serra over Georges St. Pierre at UFC 69
- Prior to the fight: Serra did a phenomenal job on the show, but following GSP's smashing of Matt Hughes everyone who follows the UFC felt like it might be years before he gave up his belt.
- Following the fight Serra was injured and the rematch needed to wait a few months, but once he returned he was promptly destroyed by GSP.
- Overall: Clearly this is a case of a fighter not being prepared for the fight and therefore it remains in the top five.

5. Forrest Griffin over Quinton Jackson at UFC 86

Honorable mention: Randy Couture over Chuck Liddell at UFC 43
I am not sure one HOF fighter beating another HOF fighter can ever consitute an upset given the fact that Couture was moving down in weight and had already been the UFC heavyweight champ. So out of the Top Five

Please give us your top five and reaction to Cofield's picks

No comments: