UFC 92 fallout
* The show lived up to the hype. The UFC always does a good job with the end-of-the-year card and this one was stacked. Dana White likes to say every card is stacked, and the UFC does put together some good shows, but it's easy to tell when they have a truly great card and this one qualified.
And I could barely find anywhere to watch it. With my power out, and my plans to watch it at the in-laws squashed by some holiday illness, I had to go to the sports bar route. It's not a bad way to watch an event -- with 70 or so like-minded individuals -- but the downside is that the first three places I went to were completely full. As in, the fire marshal wouldn't let anyone else in the building. Midway through the first fight I finally found a place to watch it, but I've never seen that type of reaction from fans for any other sporting event, save for maybe the Super Bowl.
* The light heavyweight champ in the UFC is a tough position to have these days as everyone is coming after you. I thought Forrest Griffin could take Rashad Evans but it was a terrific fight for two rounds. Evans just looked too fast, which should help him against a number of light heavyweights. The problem for Evans, I think, is that there are several great strikers at light heavyweight. Evans has some wicked ground and pound, and has good wrestling skills (he’s a former NCAA wrestler), but he’s not going to submit you. One guy I think could actually give him fits is Rich Franklin.
Anderson Silva always calls Franklin his toughest opponent thanks to his terrific striking, and someone like that could really cause problems for Evans. Of course, I don’t think Franklin is set up well to defend the title for a long time. That weight class is too deep to have a dominant champ like B.J. Penn or Anderson Silva.
* 'Rampage' looks fine -- there were a lot of questions about 'Rampage' Jackson and where his head was. He looks like he’s got things on the right track now as he dismantled Wanderlei Silva, who is no longer relevant at light heavyweight. The guy has won one of his last five fights, and that’s not going to cut it.
* Yushin Okami is getting a title shot at Anderson Silva. Yawn. He deserves it, but if Silva’s retirement talk is for real, this is just one more fight that will replace something groundbreaking and will give us more Silva highlights.
* Frank Mir can strike -- biggest shocker of the night was the way Antonio "Minotauro" Nogueira was abused and dismantled. Like many, I had written off Mir because it seemed like he was overmatched. Quite the opposite. Mir has a match with champ Brock Lesnar next. Sure, Mir beat him once but Lesnar is not the same fighter now, and I think he’s going to destroy Mir. Still, Mir poses the biggest threat in the UFC to Lesnar with his ground game and much-improved striking game. If he beats Mir, he may have that belt for awhile. Unless Dana White signs Fedor Emelianenko.