JR's UFC 100 Thoughts...JBL Runs With The Bulls

My wife Jan and I watched UFC 100 with one of the Oklahoma Sooner football coaches and his family in our home here in Norman Saturday night. Here are my observations and not from a MMA "expert" or even a  fanatic but simply from a sports fan who enjoys the UFC and respects the athletes who compete in the octagon.

The coach had never seen a UFC PPV but enjoyed the presentation and appreciated the conditioning and toughness displayed by the fighters.  Henderson's sick knockout of Bisping seemed to be the highlight of the night for him. 

Henderson's knockout punch to Bisping's jaw was all "business" while the second shot when Bisping was finished on the canvas seemed "personal." Nasty? Unsportsmanlike? You be the judge but if you watched the fight I doubt if any one left the room during the replays. No one did in my home.

It also reminded me that if promoted properly that the USA vs. a non American competitor still works in today's world.  

The obviously talented Akiyama got a "welcome to America" decision, or so it seemed to me, but without question the excellent start to the PPV against Belcher was a close fight. This is a great example of why all PPV's need to have a great start as it sets the mood for the evening and quickly gets the crowd emotionally invested. Same goes for a pro wrestling PPV.

GSP is the best all around fighter in the world. You don't have to agree but this is my website and that's my story and I'm sticking to it. The striking, takedown's, strategy, defense, poise, and class displayed by the French Canadian are exemplary. GSP should be the new "face" of UFC if he isn't already. UFC officials will likely never have to worry about GSP making negative headlines for unprofessional conduct. This man has the kind of character that every organization needs more of in their locker room and especially among their "rookies." Many had thought that Alves would be GSP's toughest opponent to date and that St. Pierre might even lose. I said earlier in the week that I had to see GSP lose to believe it.

The Brock Lesnar- Frank Mir fight ended as I predicted and that was if Lesnar did not make any careless mistakes early because he was too emotionally charged that Brock would dominate Mir. That's exactly what happened. 

Lesnar is a beast and when fighting at a well conditioned 280ish is too much man for most in MMA to physically match up. Mir put on a positive, competitive face in hope perhaps of PO'ing Lesnar between the first and second round but one has to wonder if it was a case of Mir trying to convince himself that he still  had a legit shot at winning. Mir's a tough hombre and a great talker who lost no respect in the MMA world with his performance on Saturday night.  

Lesnar's size, strength, take down ability, and punching power are challenging attributes to defend. The ability to take an opponent down seemingly at will, ala GSP, will always be a card Lesnar can play against any one I've seen on the MMA horizon. 

I thought Mir hurt Lesnar with a punch and a couple of knees in the 2nd round but Lesnar's take down ability kicked in and Mir's, brief, offensive fire was quickly extinguished. 

Lesnar seems to perhaps be vulnerable as it relates to his striking defense but that observation  is arguable. If that argument does have credence,  then that matter will become a major topic of discussion if the much talked Lesnar-Fedor bout ever takes place. 

One thing is for sure, the more bouts Lesnar gets under his belt over the next several months, the better he's going to get which is something the Fedor camp needs to consider. In other words, perhaps Fedor's entourage should take the multiple fight, massive money deal now from UFC when Fedor's chances of knocking out Lesnar are better than they might be a year or so from now.

Lesnar's post match, unscripted remarks did not completely surpirse me. Those that do not personally know Lesnar as do I need to understand that his level of intensity and fury is scary. Brock has said many things in private conversations that I have been a part of that would make one do a double take. He is an intimidating, emotional jock who has been known for speaking first and thinking later. I don't think Brock is an inherently evil person whatsoever but his level of competitiveness can be dangerous. It's like Brock "moonsaulting" at Wrestlemania 19 in Seattle against Kurt Angle when being advised not to prior to the bout. Lesnar was told that men his size don't do top rope Moonsaults which was the wrong thing to say to the former NCAA All American and National Champion. Lesnar came close to tragically ending his athletic career that night while defying logic and doing what others told him that he could not do.

Lesnar, as I pointed out a couple of days ago, loves to be jeered...the louder the better. Brock takes his game to another level when he knows that it's him against the world. Former OU and Dallas Cowboys Coach Barry Switzer went into the College Football Hall of Fame and won three National Titles and a Super Bowl with that coaching style, "it's us against the world and the world wants to see us lose."

When Lesnar, who detested the travel and emotional demands of  WWE's schedule, was the most "hated villain" on the roster he was at his happiest in sports entertainment. 

Plus, let's not forget that some people genuinely enjoy being a badass bully. Lesnar, in a ring, mat, or octagon, embraces that persona. Brock may say that he did not like school but the South Dakota farm boy is far from being a dumb jock. Lesnar has plenty of common sense and knows, as Eric Bischoff wrote, that controversy does in deed create cash. 

The UFC knows that as well. All great promoters get that basic element of selling tickets and pay per views.

UFC told a compelling story that had a 17 month arc beginning with Lesnar's first match, the tap out loss to Mir, culminating strategically with the main event at UFC 100 that was built on the time tested story of retribution and revenge, two basic human instincts.  Long, story telling arcs are gold whether it be in MMA, boxing, or in pro wrestling.

Lesnar is seemingly so detested right now by MMA purists and fanatics that they will continue to pay big money to see someone humble Lesnar and "kick his ass." Even the Russian, Fedor,  will likely be the crowd favorite against Lesnar if that fight ever happens. 

Bottom line is the next man to beat Lesnar is "made." 

I probably watch as much ESPN as the next guy but Saturday night late one, wise arse SportsCenter, talking head made light of UFC 100 by saying something with a sarcastic delivery to the respect of "what a nice, entertaining way to spend your weekend." This was the same "news" show that showed clips of the Annual Wife Carrying Contest in Sweden earlier this week. Just keep counting your on camera minutes, pal, and reading off your prompter. Let the rest of us enjoy what we choose.

My feedback to UFC 100 is normally not taken well within the MMA community, because I'm a "Pro Wrestling Guy" you know but I am a sports fan and am simply offering one paying customer's point of view. 

On a side note, I received an email today from JBL who ran with the bulls earlier today in Pamplona, Spain and survived unscathed as I understand it. John send me a link to a website of a fellow who wasn't so lucky and can be viewed if you're not too squeamish at www.SanFermin.com. JBL said running with the bulls was akin to wrestling the Big Show. There is no question that John Layfield is living his life to the fullest which is damn admirable. 

Check out our "deals" on all our new merchandise and sauces now in stock including the long awaited HOT BBQ Sauce and our awesome Chipolte Ketchup all available in various forms of case prices that includes FREE SHIPPING to many areas. You can obviously purchase our products in single bottles if you choose, as well.  

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Enjoyed your comments about UFC100 - agreed with all of them that I had any knowledge about - I haven't seen Fedor, so I can't comment on that.

This was the first MMA PPV that I've ever paid money for, so Brock L is paying off for them with one fan of combat sports.  I thought it was a very entertaining PPV - very engaging from the first televised fight through the Lesnar match.  Anybody that was surprised by Lesnar's actions before or after the fight hasn't been paying attention to the emotional quality of the rivalry between these two guys.

Perhaps Dana White asking Brock to apologize had to do with his fears of upsetting their sponsor.  Whatever.  Brock's going to be gold for the UFC.  He's a monstrously talented athlete.  It's going to be difficult for anybody to get the better of him, but it sure will be fun to see someone try.

And GSP - wow!  You're right - tremendous athlete, thoroughly classy guy - and to go 2 1/2 rounds with an athlete like Alves with injured groin muscles and not show it - wow!

One more thing - RIP Arturo Gatti - ever see the series of fights that he had with Irish Mickey Ward - one of the most awesome series of fights in any kind of sports rivalry.

Gatti-Ward helped keep boxing alive and fighters like them seem to have vanished.

 I enjoy your comments about the UFC as well. Your analysis of the Lesnar-Mir fight was spot on as well, Brock's only (seeming) weakness was his striking defense, due mostly to Mir's head movement while being aggressive. You're also arguably right about GSP being the pound-for-pound best in the UFC, and he may indeed be the face of the brand soon. He's signed with a managing agency that deals with LeBron James and other top athletes if memory serves me right, and he has a Gatorade commercial on national TV.

Thanks also for the insight into Brock's personality. It's very cool to get that different perspective on why he'd say the things he did.

-Lesnar is seemingly so detested right now by MMA purists and fanatics that they will continue to pay big money to see someone humble Lesnar and "kick his ass."-

Not all hardcore MMA fans see things this way.  Many support him, and pay to watch him as a legitimate competitor.  We know of his collegiate wrestling pedigree, see his athleticism, and subscribe to his dedication to the sport of MMA.  We see him as part of the evolution of the sport, and as a new style to watch and enjoy.  He's the big, powerful, (amateur) wrestler, winning on athleticism, physical domination, and power.

There are still the detractors, fans who cringe whenever anything about professional wrestling is mentioned, but they need to look beyond that and see that Lesnar is a real fighter, and deserves to be here.

I think some of them are just a little ticked off at those amongst the WWE crowd who point to Lesnar as a way of legitimizing the abilities of pro wrestlers.  Professional wrestling is a tough business, and it takes its toll on the body, but the skills that are allowing Brock to transition into MMA are those from his collegiate wrestling days, and nothing to do with any sort of performance skill attained from professional wresting.  Most professional wrestlers would just get crushed stepping into MMA.  They're two different worlds, and it can be a bit annoying to hear it suggested otherwise.  I think it's those suggestions that MMA fans really detest, not the athlete in Lesnar.

I'm not a pro wrestling fan and I would probably describe myself as an MMA fanatic but I still enjoy your analysis JR.  I don't root against Lesnar because of his pro wrestling roots.  In fact, I find it incredibly compelling to watch an athlete of his size and caliber compete in MMA.

To be honest, I enjoy watching the phenom Brock Lesnar. I mean he is a straight up freak. He is a 280+lb animal that has speed, size, strength, and technique. I was very impressed by the way he dispatched of the bjj black belt specialist in Frank Mir. I have never seen anyone own Mir on the ground like that.

With that being said, Lesnar's after the match comments were a disgrace. Anyone who steps in the cage deserves to have some form of respect. I'm cool with promoting a PPV with some back and forth smack talk, but after you win a battle a person needs to act like they have been there before. And yes I've played on a competitive level in amateur wrestling and bjj. This is the reason Brock gets jeered. He gets jeered because he creates it for himself. Everything else is an excuse.

He is in charge of his poor behavior, and needs to realize who is creating the avenue for him to make a living in the UFC, the fans and the promotion.Until then Brock is another opportunist who takes advantage of what's being placed in front of him. Hopefully, he will learn from Dana's chastizing of him and quit acting like this is some scripted event after it takes place. Just my opinion.

Point of clarification - Wasn't it a shooting star press, not a moonsault, at Wrestlemania 19?

I think that it is too bad that many MMA fans look down on Lesnar for his professional wrestling roots. Lesnar has taken the steps and trained to make the transition. He didn't go from one show to the other in a matter of weeks. I would never think that a WWE wrestler could become an accomplished MMA fighter overnight, nor would I think that an MMA fighter could put on a good wrestling match overnight. Sure it's possible for people to make transitions - but it takes a lot of training and respect for the differences between the two.

With regards to his post-match comments - I saw plenty of Mir trash talking before the match, and I'm sure we would have seen plenty post-match if he had won. The MMA purists would be singing a much different tune about post-match trash talking if Mir had won!

Hi JR, I enjoy reading your comments on our UFC #100, you have so many insights into the business, that I always turn to your blog to see what you think.  Hope all is well. Regards, Marc Ratner

Big Steve Philly


As others have mentioned I Iiked your commentary on MMA/UFC fights.Exellent insights and commentary and based on what I see on your blog here I think your more of a MMA true blue than you think.

Lesnar definitly had the size advantage and made some major corrections in his fighting disciplines.However if Mir were his size the outcome would have been different.I believe the UFC must search hard both nationally and internationally to bring in a animal/fighter Lesnar's size to put him in his place as us MMA true blues would like to see.Nobody likes to see a bully get away with it no matter how good of a fighter he is.

In closing I would like to leave you with this.I say this for you and not against you.I have liked your work for years but have often thought "What is this man doing in the "wrestling business " with such a solid true sports background? "

I realize wrestling is your thing but if it weren't for your "wrestling entertainment" thing getting in the way I believe there could be a spot for your skills in MMA  .Again I say this for you and not against you.Let Vince do the circus work , Come on over to the real side of things.

I enjoyed you blog here and will check in when the next UFC pay for view takes place.Good stuff, however us MMA true blues could care less if your boy Layfield is milking the bulls over in Spain. However I realize its your blog and you can do and say on it as you want.

Thanks for the insights.

Hey, JR!  Don't wish to start a flame war, but it's interesting how many MMA "true blues" show up here after a card and can't get away without leaving a left-handed "poke the troll" comment about pro wrestling.  Oh, well, as long as they buy your products while they're here.

>> Marko50

I think most of the MMA guys who come here appreciate JR's analysis actually, and the insight he has on several aspects of the business.  His depth of knowledge and his points of view are quite unique, and makes for thoughtful reading.

It's a mixed bunch though.  You get the intellectual type and the goons showing up, just like any other part of the internet :p

And if that's really Marc Ratner commenting, it sounds like JR's posts are attracting the eyes of UFC brass too!

Big Steve Philly


Thanks again for the MMA insights.I highly enjoy your MMA /UFC insights and truly meant it that based on your MMA insights and your sports commentary background  that there may be a position waiting for you and your skills/abilities in MMA .If that was really Marc Ratner commenting on your behalf, maybe the UFC is watching you more closley than you think and they have thoughts about a future for you in MMA.

I've been around your "business "  here in the Philadelphia/Eastern Pennsylvania area and quite frankly with the exception of a few most just shoot their mouth off in the ring but outside of it they just run and hide when it comes to a real deal and are not at all  good role models for the kids.Now I do not include Afa Anoai Sr's WXW in this" run and hide group "because he and his boys are for real and can take care of business both in and outside of the ring very well.They bring respect  to your business and it was a pleasure being around them . Afa's charity  work with kids in the community is excellent and it's for real.

However I will keep my comments about your "business" off your site and stick to the MMA subject. Again I see people for who they really are and appreciate real people and not fakes .

I must say it is a pleasure watching Jonathon Coachman doing real sports commentating .Again my comments were for you and not against you and I have thought for years "What's a guy of your caliber doing in the "wrestling business" ? If the "stigma" about and around pro wrestling ever gets broken I believe we may see you the MMA business .Again JR many of these MMA guys are class acts both in and outside of the ring.You and I both know many of your boys(with the exception of a few) discredit your "business" by their outside actions instead of enhancing it. Again I believe you are a major cut above all that mess so I leave at this "It would be great to see you in a real sports  position."

Thank You For Your MMA Commentary And Hopefully We See You There Soon.

Dear JR - thank you for printing that last comment from Big Philly Steve.  I know now that I will purposely pass on any and all of your future MMA/UFC blogs so I can miss comments from "exceptional" people such as he.  I don't need to read someone who concurrently kisses your behind while pooping on the people you work for and with, not to mention their fans - eg, the majority of readers on your site.  And customers, one would think.  I really shudder to think what passes for a good kid's role model in his eyes.

And no, I'm not Marc Ratner.

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I realize wrestling is your thing but if it weren't for your "wrestling entertainment" thing getting in the way I believe there could be a spot for your skills in MMA .Again I say this for you and not against you.Let Vince do the circus work , Come on over to the real side of things.

I enjoyed you blog here and will check in when the next UFC pay for view takes place.Good stuff, however us MMA true blues could care less if your boy Layfield is milking the bulls over in Spain. However I realize its your blog and you can do and say on it as you want.

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