December 11, 2008
Describing the Fight for the Troops card as a mixed bag might be the nicest terminology someone in the mainstream media uses to recap the event. The Josh Koscheck and Mike Swick finishes were amazing. IFL-import Jim Miller was devastating in mauling a solid lightweight in Matt Wiman.
I've been covering MMA heavily since 2002 and there's only been one broken limb. Tim Sylvia's arm was snapped by Frank Mir at UFC 48. Most fighters know when to tap in a dangerous situation or the official protects the at-risk fighter from letting his own ego get in the way of safety. You had a lethal mix on live television last night with an inexperienced fighter and a tentative official.
I hate to dump on a guy who just had his arm broken but why was Razak Al Hassan given a fight in the UFC? By the looks of it, he didn't appear skilled enough to make the cut for a 32-man field to get on the The Ultimate Fighter. He shouldn't have been in there with someone like Steve Cantwell and he definitely shouldn't have been fighting on the televised portion of the card. If Al Hassan is not smart or experienced enough to tap then referee Mario Yamasaki had to err on the side of caution. He's way too experienced to allow that to happen to a fighter.
UPDATE: Al Hassan did NOT suffer a broken arm. His right elbow was dislocated but it was popped back into place last night. He may have suffered some ligament damage.
I will disagree with my Yahoo! Sports compadre Maggie Hendricks about Cantwell's role in this debacle. The kid was simply doing his job. His post-fight comments to Joe Rogan did lack some taste but I give him a pass. He's 22 and it's an emotional spot immediately following a fight.
How many knees did Brandon Wolff need to take before referee Al Coley, working his first UFC card, was going to stop the fight? Apparently, there was no limit. Wolff was overmatched and had his face mashed in by Ben Saunders. Was it necessary for him to take 51 unanswered knees?
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