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UFC 72 Recap

By Adam Morgan | June 16, 2007

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By Adam Morgan

Going from UFC 71, which was the most-hyped event in mixed martial arts history, to UFC 72 is like going from eating a nice steak dinner to eating some scraps out of the garbage can. It sucks. The fight card itself was very lackluster on paper. And lackluster is exactly what it was. The only real excitement of the evening came from the two light-weights, Tyson Griffin and Clay Guida. We’ll get to that in a bit. Right now, let’s check the pay-per-view.

Read on…

Scott Smith v. Ed Herman

I have never really liked Herman as a personality but he seems to be a very driven fighter who is coming on strong in the middleweight division. This fight was no exception. Scott Smith was dangerous because he can lay anyone out with one punch, but Herman dominated Smith, taking him to the ground at will, and working ground and pound from Smith’s guard. At one point in the first round, Herman hit Smith with an elbow across the bridge of his nose that opened up a huge gash and immediately started bleeding into Smith’s eyes. Going into the second round, Herman did the same thing, took Smith down, pounded him, and reopened the cut. Smith tried to sweep Herman from the bottom but ended up giving up his back and his neck and Herman locked in a tight rear naked choke, forcing Scott Smith to tap at 2:25 of the second round.

Winner: Ed Herman via tapout (rear naked choke) at 2:25 of the second round.

Clay Guida v. Tyson Griffin

By far my personal most anticipated fight on the card and it did not disappoint. For those out there that think the ground game is boring, you need to watch two fights that have taken place in the past three weeks. One being Urijah Faber v. Chance Farrar at WEC 28, the other being the fight that took place today between Griffin and Guida. Griffin had the better standup all fight and hit Guida with some great shots. Guida continually locked up one of Griffin’s legs to try and setup a single leg takedown on Griffin, but Griffin had an incredible base and fended off almost every single leg attempt.

To try to describe this fight would not do it justice. Basically, the entire fight was back and forth, a complete scramble on the ground between the two fighters, continually working for better position. At one point Guida had a kneebar locked up tight on Griffin and it looked like the fight could be over. Instead, Griffin started pounding body shots on Clay’s ribs and eventually rolled out of the submission attempt. Truly great stuff. In the end, though, they left it to the judges to decide, something that had happened to each fighter in their last fights and had not gone their way.

Unfortunately, there had to be a loser in this fight. Tyson Griffin wins by split decision, 29-28, 29-28, 28-29. I personally had it scored 29-28 for Guida and think he got robbed, but oh well. Somebody’s gotta lose.

Winner: Tyson Griffin by split decision

Rory Singer v. Jason McDonald

Rory had a good first round, got the best of the standup exchanges between the two fighters. McDonald did get Rory to the ground and was able to neutralize Rory’s arm underneath his body but was never really able to do anything with it. Rory almost locked up a triangle choke at the end of the round, but time ran out.

There’s not much to be said for the second round, other than Jason McDonald used a nasty can opener technique in order to break open Rory’s closed guard in the second round. From there he was able to pass Rory’s guard to half-guard, and then eventually the full mount. From this position he rained down punches and Rory was unable to defend himself. McDonald wins in the second round by TKO.

Winner: Jason McDonald via TKO at 3:18 of the second round

Forrest Griffin v. Hector Ramirez

Basically, when you see this fight on paper, you think Hector and Forrest could potentially have a war. In reality, Forrest dominated the fight, dipping in with potent combinations of punches and leg kicks, and then backing out of the pocket, picking and choosing when to land combos on Ramirez. At times, it looked like Ramirez could overpower Forrest with his wrestling, but instead he decided to wait for the opportunity to land the big punch, but it never came. Forrest peppered Ramirez’s lead leg with leg kicks and between rounds Ramirez mentioned to his corner that he couldn’t feel his leg anymore, that it had gone numb. Overall, this was the story of the fight. At points it looked like Forrest could have ended the fight but did not want to take the risk. I can’t count how many times Rogan said Forrest was fighting “an intelligent fight.”

Winner: Forrest Griffin via unanimous decison

Main Event: Rich Franklin v. Yushin Okami

This fight went, in some ways, how I thought it would go. Yushin is a very meticulous fighter. He takes his time, waits for opportunities, waits for opponents to make mistakes, and then counters. Rich, however, did not make many mistakes, save for one at the end of the third round. For the first two rounds, the fighters stood more or less in the center of the cage and Rich landed combinations while Okami looked to counter. When the fighters got into a clinch, Rich usually ended up with double underhooks and Okami against the cage, but never tried to take Okami down. Both times this happened, John McCarthy had to separate them. Rich ended the second round with an exclamation point as he landed a big left hook on Okami’s jaw that rocked him. Rich wins the first two rounds basically by pushing the action and landing some solid combos. Okami did next to nothing.

The third round, however, was a different story. As Rich comes out to touch gloves, Okami flies at him with a kick that Rich avoids. Okami knew he had to do something drastic to win. He eventually got Rich into a clinch and scored a takedown, almost ending the fight with two submission attempts, a guillotine and a kimura. The kimura was pretty nasty looking, but the whole time Franklin rolled with Okami to relieve the pressure on his shoulder and never let Okami get into a position to put more pressure on it. He eventually rolled out of the submission attempt and into Okami’s guard just before the round ended, letting it go into the judge’s hands. All three judges score it 29-28 in favor of Rich Franklin.

Winner: Rich Franklin via unanimous decision

Undercard Results:

Dustin Hazelett def. Stevie Lynch via submission (D’Arce Choke)
Eddie Sanchez def. Colin Robinson via TKO (Strikes)
Marcus Davis def. Jason Tan via KO

This card was so-so and not really worth $40. The Fight Night event on Tuesday was better, but I guess I wasn’t expecting much out of this card anyways. Guida v. Griffin was exciting and deserving of a rematch. Otherwise, the rest of the fights were blah.

Overall UFC 72 Grade: C+

Topics: Adam Morgan, All Topics, MMA, UFC | 24 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

24 Responses to “UFC 72 Recap”

  1. hbdale309 says:

    2 words. Waa Waa.

  2. Jonathan says:

    It was like night and day when compared to the UFC 71 show.

  3. TG says:

    I enjoyed the fights I understand the anti-UFC sentiment. But what is wrong with Live MMA @12:00pm. European crowds are the best, singing and chanting during the event.

    Singer Vs. Macdonald: Why did singer try to take him down, it looked like he was in control on the feet. Not a good idea.

    Franklin Vs. Okami: Super boring fight. Nobody took a risk, until okami in the 3rd. Franklin has skills but seems to afraid to lose.

    Guida Vs Griffin: Fight of the night, I love Guida energy in th cage, very fun to watch. Griffin had better strikes and amazing takedown defense, but spent most of the fight on his back in peril. Guida won this fight.

    Forrest Vs Hector: Forrest claiming to have an injury is pathetic. He had chances to finsh the fight but he was AFRAID to gas and LOSE. This is going to be the modern MMA PROFessional fighter, afraid to LOSE.

    This sport is mixed Martial Arts. Its about Respect, Honor and Courage. ohh and money

    If according to Rogan an intelligent fight constists of martial artists lacking courage, by fearing defeat. Disrespecting your opponent by, in Forrest’s words,” Its hard to fight a guy when he’s running away”. Forrest is no more. But he got the W.

  4. Kev says:

    TG, being overcautious is nothing new to MMA, and if you want proof, check out the PRIDE 1-5 legacy box set.

  5. The Citizen says:

    What the hell does Pride have to do with a way below average product and card? I can tell you to go watch some boring sumo matches too, but there is no relevance here. Other shows being bad have nothing to do UFC 72 being boring. I think the general consensus is that this card was average or below average. That burden is the promoter’s alone, not the Pride 1-5 Legacy box set, or K1 Dynamite for that matter.

  6. Kev says:

    Citizen, that was a direct response to TG. TG was talking about how fighters today are becoming overcautious and what I’m saying is that this is nothing new, there are plenty of examples overcautiousness in PRIDE before they implemented their stand-up rule.

  7. […] UFC 72 Recap – Fight Opinion […]

  8. groda says:

    What is up with Okami basically giving away two rounds without even trying any offense at all? It’s so incredibly stupid. Then, in the 3rd when he, at long last, actually attempted some offense he had great success. He could have won the fight if he had only tried in round one and two, infuriating.

    And what about Griffin? He comes in landing punches, gets the upper hand and has the opportunity to finish and for no good reason he backs off. You could tell how Ramirez, being in desperately bad positions, was praying for Griffin to back off, and he did. Thats not intelligent. When you have a great advantage, having your opponent leaning over turning away you should capitalize, not grant his wish and back off. It’s one thing to back off when your opponent presents a credible threat to you, don’t do it when he’s in a position you really want him to be in, infuriating.

    And then Goldberg says this puts Griffin back in title contention. Really? three rounds of running from a B- level opponent puts you in contention?

    Oh, and the Griffin/Guida fight was awesome, better than all the other fights put together.

  9. CapnHulk says:

    I was pretty disappointed with Okami’s performance. His chances were much better than people were giving him credit for and he truly did shine in the third round. I hope he gets another chance soon. Franklin wasn’t at all as aggressive or as sharp as he’s been in the past although I was impressed with his escape of that sick 3rd round Kimura. At this point, I don’t see his chances of winning against Silva in their imminent rematch improving over the last time they met.

    This was Guida’s second loss out of three UFC appearances, and I pray that doesn’t mean his contract is up. He’s a real scrapper and it’d be a shame if this one EXTREMELY close fight sealed his end in the UFC. That was such a great match and one of the reasons I get so excited about MMA.

    Griffin’s tentativeness after his knockout loss to Jardine was to be expected, I think. Ramirez would be better off in the WEC.

  10. 45 Huddle says:

    Guidajust got a $30,000 bonus for best fight of the night. No way the UFC is going to let him go.

  11. Body_Shots says:

    Guida went home with the FON bonus his last two fights, two very close decisions.

    I’m sure he’ll be back.

  12. SergioTX says:

    45 Huddle: Hadn’t heard about the bonus but you’re right… if you come to fight, Dana and Co. will usually keep you around.

    Unless your name is Nick Diaz… =(

  13. Liger05 says:

    This was PPV in the UK and like the event in Manchester I didnt pay to watch a card like this.

  14. Body_Shots says:

    The card in Manchester was pretty damn good on paper, I don’t know what you’re expecting, maybe Buddha vs. Mohamed in a main event.

    It’s not like there’s a MMA promotion puting on better cards than the UFC in the UK.

  15. chairibofjustice says:

    Guida’s contract could be up after this fight, assuming he signed the standard 3 fight deal with Zuffa.

    Even though he’s got one win to his name, I’m sure they’ll re-sign him to another deal. The guy comes to fight, Zuffa would be retarded for a great 155’er like him to go anywhere else.

    I’ve been a fan of his since I saw him and Gilbert Melendez throw down at Strikeforce.

  16. Schlegel says:

    TG, I think you are mistaken in saying that Franklin or Forrest were doing anything wrong by not taking unnecessary risks during their respective fights. MMA is a sport now, and with that comes strategy and planning for the future. Both of these fighters were in positions where a win was a must for their career. These aren’t bar room brawlers who can risk the entire of their career by going wildly into a brawl, especially not when they were both fighting extremely dangerous opponents. The third round of the Franklin fight demonstrated the need for his caution blatantly. Forest was coming off of a tough KO loss and needed this victory to have any real chance at being considered a contender; not that he is there yet, but two losses in a row at the hands of lesser opponents would have ended any real chance he has with all of the new talent coming into the division.
    I enjoyed Forest’s fight more than most it would seem, because I thought he threw some interesting combos, illustrated a whole new list of kicks in his aresenal, and followed through on a strategy that won him the fight. If any blame for a somewhat lackluster fight can be placed it would have to be on Ramirez for not pushing the action more. He was the underdog and had the most to gain.

  17. TG says:

    Its a martial art first, then a sport, to me. Trying to end a fight is not brawling its combat art. Winning a decision against an inferior fighter makes your art suspect. Its funny when fighters and fans buy into winning at all costs just because it pays better. Sorry I pay to watch a fight not a business decision. Who gained more fans yesterday? Forrest or Guida? FANS=LONGTERM MONEY WINS=SHORTERM CASH ie fitch, machida

  18. Schlegel says:

    I agree that fans are more important than wins in the long run, but these fights were different in my opinion. Franklin is being careful in his fight in order to have a title shot, so long or short run the win is more important in my opinion. Forrest I think was on the brink of dropping down to the levels where UFC fighters don’t make much money, instead he kept himself on the main card level where he will make money. I don’t think Forrest needs to worry about a fan base either, he has that. Comparing Guida to him is way off, because Guida doesnt have a quarter of the fans that Forrest has, so the comparison is pointless. Give Guida a few more UFC fights, including a few victories and he may have a fan base like Griffin becaus ehe is a very exciting fighter, but until then…You are talking about Griffin here, a dude that has laid it on the line several times in the past for his fans in wars. This was just a point in his career that he needed a win. As to this being a martial art, I have to disagree in so much that it is a meeting of all the martial arts, by which it becomes a sport in my opinion.

  19. Zurich says:

    Doesn’t it make you kind of miss PRIDE’s “we don’t care if you win or lose, just show spirit” approach? Instead in the UFC, fighters come out to do whatever it takes to win.. even if it means a boring squeaked-out decision.

  20. liger05 says:

    Body shots your right there isnt any other promotion putting on better cards in the UK. However the difference is they aint PPV. When UFC was in manchester on ppv, Cage Rage was on sky sports for free. I chose the free option.

  21. Tim Lee says:

    I thought that going into watching UFC 72 that it was going to be a boring lay n’ pray fest. But it wasn’t. Only fight that was boring to me was Franklin Vs. Okami. Geez…I wonder what Franklin Vs. Marquardt would look like…

    It was better than I thought

  22. Tim Lee says:

    I thought that going into watching UFC 72 that it was going to be a boring lay n’ pray fest. But it wasn’t. Only fight that was boring to me was Franklin Vs. Okami. Geez…I wonder what Franklin Vs. Marquardt would look like…

    It was better than I thought

  23. Adam Morgan says:


    Why do you lump Fitch into that group of fighters who are grinding out wins to collect a paycheck? He finishes almost every fight by submission and only has 4 decisions on his record. He is completely under-appreciated by the UFC.

  24. Jeremy (not that Jeremy) says:

    I dunno, I’ve watched the fights now, and I have to say that, IMHO, it was a good event. UFC’s been a bit slow to bring a title fight back to the UK, but UFC75 should remedy that with what’s likely to be a very good slate of fights lead off by Rampage defending his title, plus you’ve got Cro Cop vs Kongo and Bisping is back in the ring again, so that should be fun to watch.

    The point on Prides 1-5 should be well taken. Those are some of the most incredibly boring fights I’ve seen in my life. It took me a good while to warm back up to Pride after that crap. About the only reason I even gave it another shot is that everyone spent so much time talking it up.

    Fighters really should bring it when they step in. If Forest still wasn’t ready, then he should have dropped off the card like he did for Manchester. Good aggressive fights are better for both the art and the sport.

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