A look back at weekend MMA action
In case you missed it, MMA has taken over the airwaves. Dynamite!! USA aired live on Showtime on Saturday and WEC 28 aired live on Versus on Sunday. I was able to catch some of the action from both cards. Here are my thoughts on the fighters I did see.
Nice MMA Debut
Brock Lesnar -- The former WWE superstar and collegiate wrestling champ handled Min Soo Kim fairly easily, winning via submission due to strikes early in the first round. Kim entered the fight with a 2-5 record and was a late replacement for Hong Man Choi, so I don't know that we can read too much into Lesnar's victory. Still, he got off to a better start than Johnnie Morton...
Terrifying MMA Debut
Johnnie Morton -- Morton -- the former NFL star -- found out very quickly that being a superb athlete is not enough to make it as a MMA fighter. Morton was completely outclassed by Bernard Ackah and knocked out by a right hand that was similar to Quinton Jackson's punch that knocked Chuck Liddell down in UFC 71.
Morton left the ring in a neck brace and on a stretcher, but his loss may be a good thing for MMA in the long run. Why? Because it showed everyone that MMA fighters are very skilled top-level athletes. Stars from other sports can't simply train a few months in MMA and expect to be competitive in the sport.
I will be very interested to see whether Morton returns to competitive MMA after losing in such a devastating fashion.
Old legends compete one more time
Royce Gracie and Kazushi Sakuraba gave the L.A. Coliseum fans more to boo than to cheer for in their rematch Saturday night. Gracie is 40 and Sakuraba is 38 and it showed. By the end of the fight, it looked like Sakuraba -- who has been through some wars in his day and his body has suffered for it -- was waiting for the final bell to sound. There were only a few brief flurries of activity in the fight and while fans were certainly hoping for one last flash of brilliance from both fighters, sadly none was in evidence in this fight.
Other notable performances
Jake Shields (EliteXC), Urijah Faber (WEC featherweight champion), and Brock Larson (WEC) all looked dominant in their victories this weekend. The grappling in Faber's fight against Chance Farrar was especially entertaining to watch, while Shields did nothing to dispel the notion that he is one of the top welterweights in the world.
And finally, I have to say that after watching the WEC card on Sunday and seeing more and more of the lightweights in action in UFC, the lighter fighters are undoubtedly some of the most exciting fighters to watch. The lighter weight classes provide fans with fast-paced and extremely technical bouts that never seem to let up in terms of action. I'm looking for some big stars to come out of these divisions in the very near future.