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UFC 73

By Zach Arnold | July 7, 2007

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Results & Reviews: Sherdog | UFC Junkie | UFC Mania | MMA on Tap | The Houston Chronicle | Observer | AOL Fanhouse | F4W Online | Prophet Fighting

Audio: Any Given Saturday w/ Luke Thomas

All comments and thoughts on the event go here.

Topics: Media, MMA, UFC, Zach Arnold | 40 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

40 Responses to “UFC 73”

  1. CapnHulk says:

    The booing is unbelievable during the Herring/Nogueira bout.

  2. 45 Huddle says:

    Dana White had to be crapping his pants when he saw Nogueira go down like that. I have it one round each going into the third round. Herring completely stole the 1st round with the high kick. A much better fight then I thought it would be.

  3. 45 Huddle says:

    And the booing is unwarranted too. It is an exciting fight, and the fans are all over them. I typically don’t complain about the crowds, but already they are bad.

  4. 45 Huddle says:

    I love Zuffa’s commitment to the Featherweight Division. They really are promoting Urijah Faber as if he is on the level with a UFC Champion. He has an appearance on a UFC PPV. They feature articles of him on UFC.com before his last title defense. Notice how their is basically zero talk about the Bantamweight Title. I really think they are taking it slow, and once the Featherweight Division is established, then they will introduce the Bantamweights to the world. Who knows. By 2010, perhaps they will even be promoting Flyweights.

  5. Zach Arnold says:

    That is one angry Sacramento crowd.

  6. CapnHulk says:

    Seriously, they boo constantly.

  7. Zach Arnold says:

    Sherk has won all three rounds so far with little trouble.

  8. Zach Arnold says:

    “You ain’t doing s&%&^ every time you move.” — Cornerman for Franca

  9. 45 Huddle says:

    He is even dominating in the Jiu Jitsu. He is passing his guard like butter….

    At the beginning of the 4th, there was another knee…. Sherk has a good chin.

    The UFC has to watch the clock. If they aren’t careful, they will run out of time. I was shocked that they didn’t start this title fight until an hour into the PPV.

  10. Zach Arnold says:

    It may be an unfair question to ask, but is Sherk so good right now at 155 in UFC that, outside of perhaps BJ Penn, no one is going to give him enough of a competitive challenge? Thus creating what we are seeing tonight, which is a one-sided performance…

  11. 45 Huddle says:

    Could very much happen. His only weakness is those knees while he takes the shot. His stand-up isn’t bad enough to capitalize on. I don’t think Stevenson, Fisher, or Huerta can beat him. Neither could guys like JZ or Ribeiro. Perhaps Gomi if he is in shape? Or Melendez? But that is a big question mark, and neither are confirmed as being signed at this point.

  12. 45 Huddle says:

    One thing I just noticed was the BJM has not stoof the fighters up once in the fight. Proof that if you stay active on the bottom, that they will let you fight.

  13. CapnHulk says:

    You’d think with such dominate positioning throughout the ENTIRE fight that Sean Sherk could actually seal the deal.

    He was way too cautious.

  14. 45 Huddle says:

    I don’t think he was cautious. Franca just gave him zero openings to finish it. He had the crucifix, and kept on getting rolled, so he stopped that. He had the back, but Franca never gave him the ability to put the hooks in, so he couldn’t finish like that. He tried multiple submissions. Like Sherk said, Franca is almost never finished in a fight.

    I can’t believe the UFC announcers are going on and on about Ortiz/Evans. They are running out of time, or we aren’t going to get Florian/Robinson. So the stacked card will either be cut short, or we will get 4 fights, which is exactly like boxing. Really not good by the UFC. They have way too much down time during their PPV’s.

  15. 45 Huddle says:

    Honestly, what the heck are they teaching at Greg Jackson’s?

    Diego Sanchez doesn’t go for one shot against josh Koscheck.

    Rashad Evans doesn’t go for one shot against Tito Ortiz in the first round. Depsite the fact that they know Tito is going to try and shoot at first attempt.

    Absolutely horrible strategy.

  16. Zach Arnold says:

    The bad streak looks to be continuing for Greg Jackson…

  17. Adam Morgan says:

    A draw. So we get to see this fight and the hype all over again. Great.

    And Zach, you are correct about Sherk. He will have a Matt Hughes-style run through the LW division. Outside of Penn there is no one that can go 5 rounds with that guy.

  18. 45 Huddle says:

    I have to watch the third round again. I wasn’t paying attention enough to give a legit score on it. However, I will say the BJM has done a fantastic job today. He was correct in taking a point away from Ortiz for the fence grabbing. I wish more refs did this, as even one grab can completely change the course of a round or a fight.

    Either way, Rashad Evans looked bad for this fight. Combine this with:

    1. Keith Jardine looking completely unfocused for his fight with Houston.
    2. Garcia’s win, but bad performance against The Lobster at TUF5 Finale.
    3. Joey Villasenor looking bad time and time again on the big stage.

    Marquardt can save his camp. If he loses, that camp went from the “next big thing”, to really a gate keeper camp. The complete opposite of AKA, which has shown to produce complete studs like Koscheck and especially Fitch.

    On a side note, it was nice to see Hayato Sakurai there. I hope he fights Parisyan. That fight would be unbelievable.

  19. Zach Arnold says:

    Will they cancel the Florian fight if the main goes to the end of the PPV time?

  20. CapnHulk says:

    Man, Sacramento is rough.

  21. Zach Arnold says:

    Clearly Erin Bucknell has been a negative influence on the MMA fans and community in Sacramento. Such arrogance and high expectations!

  22. 45 Huddle says:

    The UFC should be thanking Silva for not creating the first 4 fight UFC PPV.

    Anderson Silva has really progressed as a fighter. He isn’t just a striker anymore. I use to think that Lindland would run through him, I’m not so sure about that anymore.

    Right now, Anderson Silva has to be ranked #1 in the world at Middleweight. He isn’t undisputed like Fedor, but he has the biggest wins in that weight class against top talent compared to anybody else over the last 2 years. I was very impressed.

  23. PizzaChef says:

    One guy on a chat mentioned that Dana didn’t give any respect or thanked Silva for his win like he did to others. Called it a sign of disrespect. I wasn’t paying attention much but if that’s true…Dana should go back to the dressing room and kiss his ass.

    Florian also punk’d the entire UFC.

    Finally: Herring is a pussy.

  24. 45 Huddle says:

    Perhaps he didn’t think he would understand it?

    Trust me, Dana White is VERY HAPPY that Silva beat Marquardt. Nate has no personality, and this sets up a rematch one year in the making.

  25. Adam Morgan says:

    Franklin v. Silva in Cincinnati, OH on October 20th? Could it be?

    We promise to be better MMA fans than Sac-town.

  26. Ben says:

    I honestly never want to see Sherk fight again. Even a fight against BJ Penn is only marginally interesting to me (I don’t think I’d want to have my hopes shattered a la Hughes-Penn II). The guy’s a tank. Great. Whoopee. Honestly, Kenny touched a real nerve in his post fight interview. I want to see guys finishing fights. Or at least really trying. Sherk’s ground and pound does more damage to my patience than it does to his opponents.

    I think that here and on UFCJunkie, this card is taking a lot of heat. If it hadn’t been for the lightweight title fight, however, I think most attitudes would be different. Rashad and Tito weren’t THAT boring, and all the other televised fights were pretty good. The over promotion of the fights during the show was a big problem (we already bought the PPV, you sold us, now show the fights). Two title fights in one show, and the potential for that being half the allotted PPV time, is just too much.

    We need a UFC: Pretty Well Built. Stacked is just a little more than an event can live up to.

  27. HudsonMMA says:

    totally agree with 45 huddle about the fence grabbing. it irks the crap out of me every time i see it done by a fighter.

    maybe i’m alone in this, but i think three decisions on a “stacked” main card is pretty disappointing. overall, i was less than thrilled with the event. and the fact that it came so close to being a 4 fight card is just ridiculous.

    what the heck is going on with tito? he did not look good tonight.

  28. chairibofjustice says:

    “It may be an unfair question to ask, but is Sherk so good right now at 155 in UFC that, outside of perhaps BJ Penn, no one is going to give him enough of a competitive challenge? Thus creating what we are seeing tonight, which is a one-sided performance…”

    It’s a one-sided performance because Sherk’s a better fighter than Franca. Besides punching power, Sherk had the advantage across the board against Franca. I love Hermes but outside of miracle KO like Matt Serra, there was no way he could win this fight. Franca’s never been very good against wrestlers and his conditioning has always been suspect.

    I would not sleep on Guida, Evans, Tyson Griffin, or Din Thomas at 155. This is a deep division and BJ Penn isn’t the only challenger to Sherk’s title.

  29. chairibofjustice says:

    Penn vs Sherk in November! That’s going to be fun.

  30. Adam Morgan says:

    I would not sleep on Guida, Evans, Tyson Griffin, or Din Thomas at 155. This is a deep division and BJ Penn isn’t the only challenger to Sherk’s title.

    In my personal opinion, Sherk overpowers everyone mentioned above, including Penn. Franca is a supposed beast on the ground and he had no answer for Sherk’s guard passes for 5 rounds.

    For as much as everyone hates on Sherk, you have to credit him for actively trying to seek a better position. Lately in the UFC, there has been a lack of passing guard, and Sherk showed tonight just how effective a guard pass can be.

  31. Jonathan says:

    A few thoughts on this card:

    1. Nogueira proved, to me at least, that there are some first time jitters about fighting in the UFC in a cage. However, I knew that he wasn’t going to get KOed by that high kick…the referee might have stopped the fight, but Nog was not going to be out. This is the guy who took a clean left high kick from Mirko and the most devastating punch that I have ever seen anyone throw — Fedor’s four punches from guard — and he still survived those. But with ALL of that said, I have no freaking idea why he chose to strike with Herring and not just take him down. It looked like Herring had no takedown defense, and Nog is simply like 1000 levels above him in that arena. I am glad he won however…just wish it had been with an anaconda choke.

    2. Sean Sherk is a dominant champion and all of that jazz. He does one thing very well…he beats his opponents. He doesn’t finish them. I think that when a fighter dominates a fight like that…and breaks down the will of a man…especially one who is usually upbeat and cheerful as Franca, he has truly beaten the man. Sherk is really good at that…so is Hughes. And I found it surprising that they were hyping up Franca’s BJJ…and the closest he comes to tapping is to an Americana….which, btw, is something that Sherk needs to work on. Not in the sense that he doesn’t know how to apply it, but he needs to work into his arsenal and make it something that he goes for…like he does his takedowns. Just imagine if Sherk, the great workout king that he is, makes that his game plan. All in all, I think he may even beat Penn, but Penn will do better than Franca did.

    3. Tito and Rashad seemed to go by like lightning. All in all, none to impressive performance by either of them. It looked like a wrestling match…and I loved how Randy was calling out all of the transitions. I bet that he felt like he was back in Stillwater….I kept hoping for Bob Golic (or whatever his name was) to come out of the stands for a one time call. I dun really give a fuck about a rematch between these two.

    4. Anderson Silva really took it to the other level tonight…and if he did more then anything, he demonstrated his ability to cement himself as the Number 1 fighter in the world at or around 185. People know that they can probably take him…but that does not easily equal beating him…like so many people like to think that it does. Do you think that the UFC will bring Nate back? I don’t think so…I think that they think he is to boring.

    5. What the fuck was with the crowd? I felt like I was watching UFC old school and dumb crowds. I guess California isn’t ready for real MMA…give them Toughman and “ultimate boxing.” Also, Armando Garcia deserves absolutely no airtime at all. Show how the chicks or the Marines instead.

    And why is BJ Penn being brought up in like every title fight at either 170 or 155?

  32. cyphron says:

    I was there…. worst fight crowd ever. And the arena was not sold out. Last time I will go to a Sacramento UFC.

  33. The Gaijin says:

    Uugggh….that card was as I had earlier predicted…a big letdown from all the hype of “greatest mma card ever”.

    And now what do they do with their TUF Star Evans??? He just drew with Ortiz who’s shown that he can’t hang against anyone not named Shamrock in the last 4 years….Evans is pretty much a gatekeeper level guy from the looks of that fight. He got a draw off a fence grab point deduction – and he’s really not going to make much of a splash against higher level guys.

    Now don’t get me wrong, I realize he’s new to the mma game – but he’s not going to be a worthy challenger in the near future.

  34. Tomer Chen says:

    All in all, I think he may even beat Penn, but Penn will do better than Franca did.

    I don’t think so. Penn took on GSP and Hughes and he was able to neutralize both men throughout his three fights with them. Sherk’s success from his brute strength (hence ‘Muscle Shark’ nickname) is what allows him to control opponents, but Penn’s flexibility will give Sherk fits. Whereas Franca was screwed when Sherk tried gaining position or powering on a submission (his striking was almost non-existant, which is another negative point for him), Penn will be able to contort his body and re-setup a dangerous position.

    Does Sherk have a chance to win? Sure. Just not as good as some people are giving him after dominating Franca (which is a good win).

  35. chairibofjustice says:

    “Sherk’s success from his brute strength (hence ‘Muscle Shark’ nickname) is what allows him to control opponents, but Penn’s flexibility will give Sherk fits. Whereas Franca was screwed when Sherk tried gaining position or powering on a submission (his striking was almost non-existant, which is another negative point for him), Penn will be able to contort his body and re-setup a dangerous position.”

    First off, this notion that Sherk just muscled his way to a win last night couldn’t be father from the truth. While Franca is a legit black belt, I don’t know what more you’re supposed to take from that. In MMA as well as actual competition of any kind, rank and belts will take a backseat to ability and training. Now obviously, Hermes has shown to have a certain level of skill fitting someone who is a black belt in Jiu-Jitsu. But that doesn’t mean Sherk can’t be equally or even more skilled on the ground.

    His ability to pass Franca’s guard last night and keep position wasn’t due to brute strength. Sherk took the BJJ black belt to school by out grappling him. I mean he put on a clinic last night, repeatedly passing guard and then going to side control as well as full mount. That was skill, technique, and obviously a lot of hustle. His ability to control his opponents is is evidence that he an understanding of the importance of position, specifically side-control and how you can use it to keep your opponent on the defensive. Sherk’s trained in Jiu-Jitsu for over ten years.

    Moreover, Sean’s ability to keep side-control on Franca was really about proper technique and timing, he was always one or two moves ahead of Hermes on the ground. Sean was timing and anticipating where Hermes was going, especially whenever Hermes tried to turtle and roll. And the few times Hermes was able to sweep or put Sean in a bad position, he wasn’t able to capitalize on it.

    As Sean always keeping the pressure on, by his constant motion on the ground trying to better his position, throwing the occasional elbow or submission attempt and Hermes could not keep up. Towards the fourth and fifth rounds, he pretty much gave up even trying to keep Sean from passing. Hermes is a fun fighter to watch but he simply isn’t at the level where he can compete against someone like Sean Sherk.

    That was position hog Jiu-Jitsu at it’s finest.

    Which brings me to my second point: how he did against Franca isn’t really going to tell you how he’s going to do against those other fighters. Franca’s never been particularly good against wrestlers, stopping takedowns and his conditioning has always been suspect. So unless he was able to somehow have his heavy hands bail him out, that fight was pretty much in the bag for Sherk.

    Which brings us to guys like Evans, Guida, and Griffin. Three fighters who bring a totally different game to the table. They’re wrestlers like Sherk who have great takedowns as well as sprawls. Moreover, they’re guys who know how to scramble for position if they’re stuck on the bottom. They’re not guys who are going to lay around in the guard a whole lot, they’re going to get back on their feet and at the very least they’ll try to improve their position. Sherk won’t have the luxury of just shooting in on these guys. And while Sherk may out hustle those guys, he isn’t going to simply over power them. All three of those guys possess way too much speed and wrestling ability for Sherk to just muscle and bully around, in the early rounds at least.

    Now with someone like BJ Penn who’s guard and takedown defense is far more dynamic than Franca’s, well that’s just an entirely different kind of Jiu-Jitsu animal. Penn has a crazy sense of balance, so it’s very hard to take this guy down with a takedown. And even if you do take him down, he’s got those crazy hips and flexible legs. Sherk will have a hard time getting one of his elbows through that defense. As for passing BJ’s guard? I guess we’ll see in November. My guess is that BJ will probably time one of Sean’s elbows and then escape out the backside.

    Luckly for Sean this is going to be a five rounder, and the one problem with BJ is that he starts to fade around the third round. BJ may neutralize an intial attack but he hasn’t shown the ability to be able to grind it out. Just look at his fights against GSP, Hughes II, or his first fight with Pulver. Let us not forget his poor showing in his fight against Serra or re-match with Uno. Sean’s biggest asset against BJ will be his ability to go the distance with the same intensity he started with.

    Regardless who wins, Sherk and Penn will be a lot of fun to watch. Sorry about the long post.

  36. Tomer Chen says:

    We must have seen two different fights, because all I remember is Sherk using his insane strength to change positions at will (and yes, you can dominate a fight and change positions if you are seriosuly powerful even if you aren’t a great grappler, technique wise; power sometimes can compensate for technique) and holding down Franca for 85% of the bout. He didn’t try to blast Franca with shots from the mount, preferring to hold him down with brute strength. He showed his amazing Wrestling ability and being able to blanket Franca using it, but he certainly didn’t show great BJJ skill.

    Certainly he has fundamental technique in BJJ technique, but he never showed a higher level of technique in being able to try to seriously finish Franca beyond the Americana that Franca was able to roll out of even while being pressed down on. If Sherk had a higher level of technique, he could have pinned Franca down while trying the Americana, preventing him from alleviating the pressure. Instead, Sherk continued to control Franca on the ground with his strength and basic BJJ/advanced Wrestling skill.

    We’ll have to agree to disagree, because Sherk didn’t show to me that he was a better overall grappler, just a better maintainer in position (in no small part due to his insane strength and very good Wrestling base).

  37. Jonathan says:

    While I think that alot of what Sherk in that fight had to do with technique and position and amazing amounts of skill, his strength counted to. I remember when they were in north/south position and Franca went to roll. Sherk, you had an underhook in simply stopped his movement and pushed/pulled him back down to the mat. If Sherk had not been as strong as he was, then he probably would not have had such an easy time last night,

  38. Tomer Chen says:

    As an addendum, don’t think I’m saying that Sherk only was relying on strength. He showed tremendous technique, primarily with regards to Wrestling and general positional control. I just don’t think Sherk was “out BJJing the BJJ master” on the ground as the most of the serious submission grappling seemed to be “Well, I’ll try to power apply the hold and if he escapes, I’ll just reassert my positional control using my strength and Wrestling base”. While I think Sherk did show solid BJJ technique, I don’t think he’ll be tapping out Rickson Gracie tomorrow relying purely on technique and that he seemed to be trying to power submit Franca with that Americana since he didn’t really try to pin him to prevent an escape like his roll.

    But, nonetheless, Sherk deserves all the credit in the world for his win. He beat a tough fighter and he appears to have an even tougher test come November.

  39. Jonathan says:

    Tomer Chen,

    I think that Sherk would have a pretty good chance of tapping out Rickson Gracie.

    Sherk is at the top of his game, and Rickson is like 50…

  40. Tomer Chen says:

    Tomer Chen,

    I think that Sherk would have a pretty good chance of tapping out Rickson Gracie.

    Sherk is at the top of his game, and Rickson is like 50…

    Hyperbole is fun… 😉

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