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Post-Fight Rundown: UFC 111

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Photo by Gregory Payan, AP

  • An inside left and a battery of uppercuts was the beginning of the end for Frank Mir 2.0 in his fight last night with Shane Carwin. Mir dropped looking for a desperate kimura (whilst sitting beneath his opponent) or a leg to grab on to, but Carwin rained down anvils and left Mir kissing the mat. This was possibly the best Mir we’ve ever seen and Carwin wrecked him. Sure, Mir’s boxing defense leaves something to be desired, but the clinch was where this fight was decided and "The Engineer" let Mir know that was his domain. Carwin tossed even this bulky version of the former champ against the cage and had his way with him, so we know the new number one contender can move weight around the cage. Carwin might not have the pedigree or polish of other contenders in his division, but he certainly poses the most legitimate threat Brock Lesnar has yet seen to his heavyweight title. One punch from Carwin and the lights go out in Georgia.
  • Ben Saunders, who I erroneously picked to win against Jon Fitch because "it felt right", showed guts but also that he’s just not equipped—at least yet—to break into the upper tier of welterweights. The logjam of wrestlers at the top end of the division might be to be a wall for him to climb over but he’s young and has time to develop, so we’ll see. Fitch did exactly what most expected him to do, what I even expected him to do despite picking Saunders. He drags you down and stays on top of you; I don’t like to watch it but it wins fights.
  • On that same note, Georges St. Pierre overwhelmed Dan Hardy in a far more lackluster way than anyone predicted. Yes, GSP dominated the Brit who had nothing for him. Yes, it was the smart way to fight: minimize your danger and maximize your chance of winning. But it was just hard to accept that we were watching anything more than a St. Pierre training session on the mats. As much as I hate being characterized as "bloodthirsty" because of my MMA fandom, I must admit I would have preferred GSP ripped Hardy’s arm off with the kimura in the fourth round than let it go and keep on keepin’ on. People will say that St. Pierre can’t finish fights. That’s not the problem. The frustrating thing about the king of 170 pounds is that he doesn’t mind not finishing fights. Maybe in the aftermath of the fight the very intelligent and alert Canadian’s stance on the matter will change.
  • Dan Hardy had no business being in a title fight, but he acquitted himself as best he could against St. Pierre. Lesser fighters—lesser men—would have tapped with their arm contorted like that, but this was Hardy’s biggest moment and he wasn’t giving in that easy, even when people would have accepted him doing so. He won’t ever have the title with GSP on top and may not even contend again, but there are a slew of interesting fights for Hardy. Personally, I’d love to see him against Anthony Johnson after "Rumble" knocks John Howard back to the unaired portion of the card.
  • I like the welterweight version of Nate Diaz. Get him a little more muscle definition, if even for aesthetic purposes, and I’ll really enjoy watching him fight at this weight.
  • Dan Miragliotta is just terrible. And terribly orange.