Tuesday, July 10, 2007

2007 Kodiak Half-Ass Awards

Since we’re halfway through what has been an excellent year for mixed martial arts, it is my pleasure to present to you the first ever Kodiak MMA 2007 Half-Ass Awards. The captain has asked that you bring your seats to the upright position and turn off all cell phones, pagers, and electronic devices.

Best Fighter: Dan Henderson

Not only did Hendo move up from 185 to take the 205-lb. belt, but he became the first non-heavyweight to knock out Wanderlei in 9 years. That goes a long way in my book.

Like he did in their first fight, Henderson stood in Wanderlei's face and threw bombs against the stronger, larger opponent. Adding to the glory of this fight was not only the dramatic KO win, but the overall pageantry that only a Pride title fight can deliver. Makes me sad a little, actually...

Soon enough, Henderson will hold the UFC light-heavyweight strap after he beats Rampage Jackson at UFC 75, but let's not get off topic.

Randy Couture also receives special recognition, but I'm giving this one to Henderson for holding two of the sport's most coveted belts at once, and for being a better pound-for-pound fighter.

Best Fight: Nick Diaz - Takanori Gomi

After 3 straight UFC losses to Diego Sanchez, Karo Parisyan, and Joe Riggs, Nick Diaz made his Pride debut against explosive lightweight champ Takanori Gomi at Pride 33 on February 24, 2007. Long story short, Diaz took some serious punishment from Gomi but ultimately outlasted Gomi, picking him apart with stinging jabs and hooks and finishing him in stunning fashion.

Unfortunately, Diaz tested positive for Delta-9-THC, and the fight was ruled a No Contest, but it remains one of the greatest fights that I have ever seen.

Best Submission: Nick Diaz Gogoplata

Please tell me the last time you saw a decorated champion be submitted by his opponent's shin. The best part of this submission was that my man Diaz held onto it - and possibly tightened it - for a little bit after Gomi tapped.

Biggest Upset: Matt Serra over Georges St. Pierre

Long Island's own Serra not only beat the younger, faster, stronger, heavily favored welterweight champ in his first title defense, but it's how he beat him that earns him this distinction. Serra is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu wiz who truly did shock the MMA world when he overwhelmed St. Pierre with punches and stopped him in the very first round without ever employing any of his BJJ skills.

Rampage/Liddell - Not an upset at all. Gonzaga/Cro Cop - At least some people were giving Gonzaga a chance, considering his strong ground game in the cage.

Best KO: Gabriel Gonzaga

The relatively unknown Brazilian heavyweight scored a shocking KO win over Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic with the Croatian’s own trademark move, the head kick, and left the former Pride star lying virtually lifeless in the center of the octagon.

Best Newcomer: Frankie Edgar

The Team Rhino fighter opened eyes with an awesome win over the heavily favored Tyson Griffin at UFC 67 and then showed us that he’s for real at UFC 73 when he handed Mark Bocek his first MMA loss with a with a Round 1 TKO.

I fully understand that this honor belongs to Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou, who's beaten much better competition in more convincing fashion and has better hair, but something about Edgar gets me fired up.

Best Fight Camp: Team Quest

Dan Henderson now holds two Pride championship titles, Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou scored stunning KO wins over Ricardo Arona and Antonio Rigiero Nogueira, Matt Lindland stepped up and fought Fedor Emelianenko like a bastard, and Ed Herman - yes, Ed Herman - displayed very slick submission skills over Chris Price and Scott Smith in the UFC's talent-starved middleweight division. And Chris Leben has pink hair.

Best Champion: Urijah Faber

Faber, the WEC featherweight champion, has not only made 3 title defenses so far this year, but he submitted all 3 challengers in the very first round with both chokes and strikes. In addition, he's scheduled to fight again as part of WEC's September 30th card. The "California Kid" is for real.

Best Fight Card: Pride 33 (2/24/07)

This was a no-brainer. Pride 33, the penultimate Pride event as we knew it, gave us 9 fights in 2 hours and15 minutes, and only one went to a decision.

- Dan Henderson KO Wanderlei Silva
- Nick Diaz sub Takanori Gomi
- Shogun Rua KO Alistair Overeem
- Hayato Sakurai TKO Mac Danzig
- Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou KO Antonio Rogiero Nogueira
- Joachim Hansen sub. Jason Ireland
- Frank Trigg def. Kazuo Misaki via decision (and then did color commentary)
- Sergei Kharitonov sub. Mike Russow
- James Lee sub. Travis Wuiff

Best Post-Fight Interview: Din Thomas

After tapping out Jeremy Stephens at UFC 71 (May 26) with an oh-so-lovely armbar, "DinYero" addressed members of the boxing community who had been knocking MMA. Thomas clearly felt slighted by their remarks about the UFC and MMA and issued a challenge to Kermit Cintron and Floyd Mayweather: “You wanna fight? I’m the mothaf***a to fight!”

Best Mike Goldberg Quote:

“That’s the best looking BJ we’ve seen in a long time!”

He also referred to the UFC 73 card as "the greatest card top to bottom in the history of combat sports." Nope.

Biggest Moron: Phil Baroni

Baroni called out Frank Shamrock, talked plenty of gahbage, got his ass whooped, and then tested positive for two types of anabolic steroids. Shortly thereafter, Baroni posted homophobic slurs about Georges St. Pierre and offended all of Canada on MySpace.

Worst Overall Beating: Houston Alexander vs. Keith Jardine

Jardine wasn't too thrilled with having to face newcomer Alexander UFC 71 and felt that he deserved tougher competition. Early on, Jardine landed a solid right hook that staggered Alexander. Jardine pursued but Alexander recovered, muscled Jardine against the fence, and landed 19 unanswered hooks, uppercuts, and knees that ultimately left Jardine face down on the mat with his mouthpiece a few feet away.

I watch this fight at least once a week, not only because of Alexander's awesome display of punching power, but because I absolutely cannot stand Keith Jardine. His jerkoff nickname bothers me, and he throws the ugliest punch I think I've ever seen.

Biggest Disappointment:

Diego Sanchez’ girlfriend is UFC ring girl Ali Sonoma. In case you were curious, Ali is a modelactressstudent who likes seafood and OutKast and is turned on by "confidence, optimism, and great sense of humor." Damn you, Diego.

Let’s do this again in six months, shall we?


Anonymous said...

Best interview: "If you want to know what BJ Penn is thinking, go to BJPenn.com right now."
Guida-Griffin could be best fight.
Forrest Griffin was disappointing.

Anonymous said...

best fighter: couture...biggest disappointment: cro cop in ufc...best fight: couture vs. sylvia...best newcomer: KIMBO!!!