It was disappointing to see another fellow Brit lose at the weekend. Michael Bisping took on Vitor Belfort and ended up on the wrong end of a head kick. It’s always a danger with southpaws and Vitor landed it with great timing. I thought Bisping might have pushed the pace a bit earlier. He has great cardio and Vitor looked to be carrying a lot of muscle so I’m not sure how he would’ve faired if the pace was quicker.
Not great to have two UK guys pushing for a title lose but and I think both Mike and I will have things to think about after our defeats.
I’m not the sort of person to dwell on a defeat but it was good to watch my fight with Eddie Wineland back and see where things might’ve gone wrong. It was a very strange fight for me. Particularly as my last few fights have been good back and forth battles.
I expected Eddie to stand off a little bit as his style is definitely a counter strikers but I was still waiting for him to eventually come in and engage. It’s a hard situation to be in when you’re chasing a fight and I found it very frustrating. For that reason I must take my hat off to Eddie for a well-executed game plan. He did what he needed to do.
Someone asked me why I went chasing and didn’t just stand off myself. I’m simply not that kind of fighter. This sport is all about entertainment and two guys in the centre of an Octagon staring at each other is not entertaining. I also knew I’d lost that first round so I needed to make things happen.
Eddie also knew this, which is why his game plan worked so well. I did push for the take down but it’s very difficult to get one when you’re opponent is always moving backwards or to the side instead of at you. His movement was great but he never came forward, making a takedown almost impossible.
I still felt at the end of the fight that I’d done just enough but just enough is usually never enough in this sport and it wasn’t my kind of fight. My kind of fight is… a fight. It’s where two guys go toe to toe and try to finish each other. It’s what the fans want to see, it’s what Dana White wants to see. It’s the reason this sport is so entertaining.
That isn’t a swipe at counter strikers like Eddie Wineland. I think his style can be just as entertaining when it’s part of a fight and not the strategy for the whole fight. Like all styles of fighting they have their place in the UFC. The danger, however, is if the counter strikers won’t engage, and the guy they’re fighting sees the plan and doesn’t engage either, where does that leave everyone?
The answer I think lies in the judging. The system rewards a variety of things, amongst them, aggression. The guy who goes forward and pushes the fight. It seems, however, that judging instead focuses on strikes and takedowns. My worry is if we move to a situation like amateur boxing, where guys are outscoring instead of fighting and going for the finish.
This is the Ultimate Fighting Championship. The judging has to reflect this. I’ve watched a fight on many occasions that’s appeared to be close on screen, but the stats on the striking will show one guy pushing the lead. By relying on strikes alone I don’t think you always get a true reflection of how the fight has gone down. That’s why the other elements are there to be scored.
Hats off to Eddie once again for a well executed game plan. He’s a very talented fighter and I don’t for one-minute want to tarnish his win. A win is a win and he implemented a game plan perfectly. It was a close fight and hopefully we’ll meet in the Octagon again one day.
No doubt I will bounce back and get things back on track. I’m already looking forward to my next match up. I’m back in the gym now after a relaxing holiday in South Africa. A great country and it was just what I needed after a busy year.
Thanks again to all those who support me.
Have a great 2013 everyone!