It was another busy weekend in the world of MMA with two big shows on tap with the Strikeforce event on Friday and the Ultimate Fighter Finale on Saturday Night. Both were excellent cards, with the TUF finale being one of the best of the year. Here is how we saw it.
1. Jorge Gurgel is a tough guy to figure out.
Gurgel is a difficult fighter to understand. Not from a technical aspect, but more about his strategy entering fights. Over the years Gurgel has built a reputation as a tough durable combatant and one that loves to stand and bang it out with his opponents – even though he is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belt. On the weekend he fought in Strikeforce for the first time against Conor Heun, another fighter with impressive ground skills. But instead of taking him down and working his BJJ, Gurgel decided to bang it out with him for 3 very exciting rounds to win a decision. On the one hand, no one can figure out why Gurgel doesn’t apply some of his ground skills in his fights, where he would likely have a distinct advantage. On the other hand, Gurgel seems so enthused about putting on good stand up wars for the fans that win or lose, he doesn’t care as long as he gets to slug it out. We don’t always understand or agree his strategy, but we have to admit Gurgel is becoming one of the most exciting fighters in the sport.
2. Clay Guida should consider cutting his hair.
The MMATraining.com team is a huge fan of Clay Guida. How could you not? He comes to fight every time he steps in the cage. He is respectful to the fans and to his opponents post fight and he is an absolute warrior. But I can’t help but wonder if he needs a haircut. When Diego Sanchez rocked him with punches early and was coming in with some vicious knees, Clay’s hair was covering his face, there is no way he could see what was coming next. I know that Clay loves his hair and it gives him something that separates him from the rest, but it is starting to have a significant impact on his fights. Maybe he would consider a trim?
3. Clay Guida has a chin and incredible heart.
No explaination needed. Please watch his fight Saturday night.
4. Diego Sanchez is ready for a title shot.
In his first fight at 155 lbs, the “Yes” man looked very average vs. an above average Joe Stevenson. But Saturday night Diego looked like a much improved fighter against Guida. Post fight he said he didn’t like the weight cut, but he looked more comfortable in the cage than at UFC 95 vs. Joe Daddy. He was aggressive and almost had Guida out cold in round 1 with a head kick. Whoever wins in August at UFC 101 will have a worthy opponent waiting for him in Diego Sanchez.
5. We have to Give Credit to Chris Lytle and Kevin Burns
Burns showed Saturday that he isn’t a fluke and he has a huge heart and some big punching power, as he almost had Lytle finished from strikes for the first time in his career. Once again Lytle came to brawl it out and we love him for it.