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Is there a “Werdum effect” happening in MMA right now?

By Zach Arnold | July 6, 2010

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Ever since Fabricio Werdum submitted Fedor on June 26th, everyone in the BJJ and grappling community has treated Werdum as if he’s the Heavyweight version of Royce Gracie. Ironically, Eddie Goldman recently did a column for Fight! Magazine where he talked about Royce submitting Dan Severn at UFC 4 on December 16, 1994 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, with a triangle choke. At the time, a lot of people in MMA didn’t know what that hold was and had no clue about it. Nearly 16 years later, Werdum’s choke of Fedor has everyone still buzzing.

There’s your set-up for this passage from Eddie’s radio show on Monday, discussing whether there is a “Werdum effect” happening in MMA in terms of a re-focus on submission grappling and its importance in the game.

“Obviously the jiu-jitsu community was ecstatic at this result and we are already starting to see how important this fight was, how this fight between Werdum and Fedor was not only the most significant fight this year in Mixed Martial Arts, but is one of the most important and defining fights for Mixed Martial Arts in terms of the role of grappling since Royce Gracie tapped Dan Severn almost 16 years ago at UFC 4. Because if we look at the results of UFC 116 that took place on Saturday, July 3rd, in Las Vegas, Nevada, a place where they’re not really known to like things that are artful but prefer the vulgar and the crass, the narcissistic, and the greedy. We see, and I don’t know how long this has been, the top three fights of the five main televised fights on that card all ended in submissions that are used in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, in catch wrestling, and other forms of submission wrestling. This is really unprecedented. Chris Lytle defeating Matt Brown by an armbar in the second round. Chris Leben, a guy more with a wrestling background, defeating Yoshihiro Akiyama with a triangle choke towards the end of the third round. And in the main event with what they billed as a Heavyweight championship between two former college wrestling champions, Brock Lesnar defeating Shane Carwin with an arm-triangle choke in the second round. Three submissions, including in the main event involvings heavyweights. If you also listened to the Kid Peligro interview and we’re trying to establish a narrative here, a connection, you heard that Brock Lesnar was training with Comprido, Rodrigo Medeiros, a former Mundial Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu world champion, an expert in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and it was important that Lesnar was catching up because of course he was an NCAA Division I champion at Minnesota in 2000, as a runner-up in ’99, then he went into [pro-wrestling] for several years, and he has not been known exactly as a submission machine. So, he’s catching up in this regard but he was able to do this against Shane Carwin, a former Division II NCAA wrestling champion at Heavyweight. Very interesting developments in an organization that likes to promote brawls with little technique like Forrest Griffin and Stephan Bonnar as their top fight.”

That passage sets up a larger discussion that Eddie had about the Brock Lesnar/Shane Carwin UFC 116 fight. Eddie ties in the “Werdum effect” in regards to that fight and how a simple submission attempt got the job done for Lesnar. At the same time, it also gave future Lesnar opponents a blueprint on how to beat him, even at the submission game. The icing on the cake is Eddie discussing what would happen if Fedor, who arrogantly made a beginner’s error against Werdum, got Lesnar rocked and on the ground.

This is sure to make some people very worked-up.

“However, even with this fight between Lesnar and Carwin, it’s kind of one step forward, two steps backwards because this fight is being described by many of the so-called MMA media types as the fight that established the #1 Mixed Martial Arts heavyweight in the world. First of all, this fight took place on the same weekend with the 100th anniversary of the Jack Johnson/Jim Jeffries boxing match was taking place. In this fight, we had two wrestlers with very limited skills in a fight that was billed as being for the Heavyweight championship of not only the UFC but of the world of MMA. And if you look at this fight carefully and you really understand what goes in an MMA fight, you will know that this fight was a disaster. This fight has been marketed and promoted by the shills of the UFC, by the large contingent from the fake professional wrestling that showed up there and there are other skills in the MMA and they’re marks, mainly they’re marks actually, as being something really great. Let’s analyze what happened in this short fight between Carwin and Lesnar.

“Lesnar was built up as this guy that was invincible. What happens? Carwin drops him early, showing that Lesnar can’t box with a 35-year old wrestler. Lesnar showed no head movement, no footwork, he didn’t circle, he didn’t even grab him, he just stood there like a big heavy bag and soon went down. Carwin followed him to the ground and threw a whole lot of punches, many of which were blocked by Lesnar. But he couldn’t finish him, he didn’t really know what to do when he was on top on the ground. He didn’t know how to effectively punch in order to get Lesnar either to tap out or for the referee to stop the fight. And I’m not criticizing the referee for letting the fight continue at this point, although I’m open to debate on that but I’m not making that criticism at this point.

“In addition while Carwin is on top and Lesnar is laying there covering up, Carwin does not even try a submission. If you remember when Fedor Emelianenko swarming Tim Sylvia, knocked him down and hurt him, he then switched off to choke him out. Carwin did not even try a submission, did not even go for one, assuming he knows any. Then, after about three minutes, Carwin completely gassed out. Three minutes. This is your interim heavyweight champion of the world, gasses out after about three minutes and then Lesnar gets up and survives the round. I scored it 10-8 for Carwin but it was very, very clear that the momentum had clearly shifted for Brock Lesnar in this bar-room brawl.

“Then we go to round two. Lesnar has a terribly sloppy shot because he’s been hurt. Carwin basically falls down without any resistance, kind of looked like when a wrestler tries to take down someone who is a non-wrestler who can’t wrestle and they just go to their back knowing that it’s pointless to fight about it. Then, Carwin is just laying there, his mouth was wide open between the first and second rounds, I don’t know how many people really noticed that but he was done after that first round. And then he gets choked out, showing he also knows nothing about defending submissions. As Lesnar basically had a grappling dummy to work with, jumping around from one position to another to finally he got in that arm-triangle choke. If you look at the performances of these two guys, there’s a site called Fightmetric that gives statistics on strikes, takedowns, and all of that in Mixed Martial Arts fights and again, you have to take these statistics with a grain of salt because number of strikes is different from actual effectiveness. But what’s very interesting, if you look at the statistics in this fight, in this first round Carwin landed a total of 61 strikes, including according to Fightmetric 39 significant strikes which included the knockdown. Now, if you watch boxing matches, landing 61 strikes is a lot in one round but we’ve seen it happen and remember these are five-minute rounds as opposed to three-minute rounds that they use in boxing. But in many major boxing matches, the winning fighter will land not only well over 100, often 200 or more punches in a 12-round fight and they will be able to go the distance. Carwin landed 61 strikes and he was done! That was it! He was finished! What’s that about? And as far as Lesnar goes, Rob Joyner on his blog has one of these GIFs that are up about it, Lesnar was completely owned for the first three minutes of that fight. The supposedly invincible UFC Heavyweight champion. His weaknesses were so easily exposed and somebody who wouldn’t gas out over three minutes and knew some rudimentary submissions would have taken care of him and captured that UFC belt.

“I also think that, had Lesnar fought Fedor, that same night Fedor would have dropped him and when they went to the ground Fedor would have submitted him one way or another, much like he submitted Tim Sylvia. Or he could have just punched him out and that’s the same Fedor who comes with a flat tire around his middle a lot and there is a question also about his cardio. And if I bothered to examine it more closely, I could come up with a list of a bunch of other people who could have defeated Brock Lesnar this past Saturday night. You think of Alistair Overeem would have done the same thing and he would have been able to submit Lesnar on the ground and I think that Fabricio Werdum would have been able to have submitted Lesnar from the bottom, just like he did with Fedor Emelianenko.”

Topics: Media, MMA, StrikeForce, UFC, Zach Arnold | 35 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

35 Responses to “Is there a “Werdum effect” happening in MMA right now?”

  1. Fluyid says:

    Eddie’s show sucks. He’s about on par with the other radio shows, though he surely sees himself as somehow above them.

    “This is sure to make some people very worked-up.”

    No one should get worked up over anything Eddie Goldman says.

    • Kelvin Hunt says:

      He obviously has some type of hate for Lesnar and I found that passage to be quite ridiculous for the most part. Had Lesnar fought Fedor on Saturday night, Fedor very well could have dropped Lesnar. However, I think the higher percentages are that Fedor would have never stopped Lesnar’s first takedown that drove a 280lb Carwin all the way across the cage. From there is would have been all over as Lesnar would have stayed in Fedor’s half-guard and dropped meat hooks on him.

      • Isaiah says:

        This “everyone who disagrees with me is driven by hate” meme is just killing MMA discussions and setting our collective understanding of the sport back to the dark ages. It’s like political debates. People have chosen a side, dug their heels in and just refused to listen to any position that they don’t agree with. It’s sad, and it’s scary.

        • The Gaijin says:

          Thank you for saying what needed to be said.

          Look no further than resident “all who disagrees with me is either (a) a hater or (b) a delusional fan boy” moron EJ. Perfect example of how retarded online fans have become – apparently someone’s opinion is now 100% scientifically proven and anything that deviates is herecy.

        • edub says:

          Stop trying to be the martyr dude. You yourself have acted like people are idiots many times on here when something you disagree with gets said…

        • Isaiah says:

          I don’t know what you’re talking about specifically, but thinking that someone who disagrees is wrong (and is either making an error in judgment or relying on incorrect facts) is not a problem. The problem is this idea that anyone who disagrees doesn’t really believe what he’s saying and is purely motivated by “hate” or “fanboyism.”

    • Jason Harris says:

      I only know of this guy by name and this is the first I’ve read of him. Hopefully it’s the last. “These UFC guys are barbarians, not real martial artists like these other guys!”

      Give it a break

  2. Dave says:

    It is actually nice to see a differnt point of view outside of ‘THIS WAS AWESOME THE BESSSSSSSSSSSSSST BROCK LESNAR~~!@!!!’

    While it is critical, a lot of it is true. Brock had no head movement, foot movement, etc. That choke wouldn’t of choked out most of the top heavyweights. Carwin did gas after 3 minutes.

    • The Gaijin says:

      Unfortunately for any good point(s) Goldman makes he drowns them in three retarded or clearly biased and spiteful potshots. Thus any good points he may make ultimately hold little credibility to anyone that’s listening (or reading) his rants.

      • Dave says:

        Oh, I agree with you.

        That is the bigger problem here; people are afraid of being critical. Snowden posted something critical on BE and the whole crew there ripped him to shreds without reading or digesting his points.

        • The Gaijin says:

          Of course…they just ran at him with UFC hater and bitter fanboy or you’re just trying to up the hits…

          Like it was said above, this new meme is on the Fox News level of idiocy and it’s ruining online conversation.

          I can’t believe the number of people jizzing off about Carwin-Lesnar “the GREATEST HW FIGHT OF ALLLLLL TIMMMEEEEEEEE ARRRRRRRGGGHHH BROCKLESNAR!!!!!111”.

          Seriously…it was exciting, I was entertained and to each their own, but these people are hard up to crown something as “the best thing EVAR”…

        • Steve4192 says:

          To be fair, Snowden’s piece went up moments after what was pretty much universally considered one of the most entertaining UFC cards in recent memory. People were still riding the wave of a great show and then Debbie Downer showed up to tell them it sucked. Snowden knew exactly what he was doing and exactly the kind of response he was going to get. He was trolling, and he got the reaction he was looking for.

        • edub says:

          I completely agree with what Steve said.

        • edub says:

          Edit: I agree with what Steve said, except Jonathon acting as a troll knowingly.

  3. A. Taveras says:

    I love UFC. I think UFC 116 was the best show they have put on in a long time. I enjoyed this main event and Brock Lesnar continues to deliver as an exciting, entertaining fighter to follow. I also agree that Eddie Goldman has fallen out of touch with MMA and his show has become often difficult to stomach. I even agree that Lesnar would probably steamroll the Fedor we saw last weekend.

    BUT I do agree with Eddie as regards the caliber of this HW championship. In terms of deciding which of these guys is the world’s premier HW mixed martial artist what we saw indicated that for all their undeniable athletic prowess both these men fall short of the words that make up the acronym M.M.A.

  4. EJ says:

    There are so many things wrong with that piece it’s hard to know where to start but i’ll do my best…

    1. Saying that Carwin and Lesnar have limited shows just how full of crap this guy is with his comments right off the bat. Not to mention he sounds extremely butthurt because most people aren’t sucking off Fedor or Werdum like he does. And recognize that if you’re not fighting in the premier HW division in mma you’re irrelevant like he is.

    2. Lesnar was built up as invincible really?, I seem to remember him losing his first ever fight or did I just imagine that?. Then he goes on to call Carwin a 35 year old wrestler again showing how full of crap he is let’s just ignore that he has the heaviest hands in the division why don’t we. Let’s also ignore that when Carwin hits you guys go to sleep, how dare Brock take shots no other HW would and how dare Carwin go for the kill when no one has been able to survive his power in all his fights. What a moron.

    3. Then if those comments weren’t stupid enough he tries to make a comparison to Sylvia/Fedor, when there was nothing similar about either fight. Brock was up against the fence taking punches, the idea that he was in a position for a magical sub once again shows just how much reaching this guy is doing here. Finally he puts a cherry on top of his idiocy, by saying that after barely surviving the round the momentum was in Lesnar’s side coming out to round really did miss cleo tell you that?.

    4. But things don’t just stop there he continues to shovel more crap calling Brock’s shot sloppy and says that Carwin didn’t know how to stop subs. Because you know, Brock didn’t show any skill in his sub attempt and isn’t progressing as an mma fighter nope it was all luck and no skill. Seriously this would be funny if the guy actually believe this crap, but what else would you expect from another guy who worshipped Fedor only to see him lose. It’s like all of his fans are having mental breakdowns after seeing the guy they claimed was invincible tap in over a minute. Yet now they want to claim that Brock was exposed after coming back from danger and finishing a guy with a sub in his 6’th fight gtfoh.

    5. Finally, he can’t help himself and his real agenda is exposed with his last comments here. When he trots out that Fedor, Overeem or Werdum would all have submitted Lesnar because you know they are all 265 pound wrestlers with dynamite in their hands. This goes to show just how delusional the Zuffa haters are they are so full of hate and insanity at the success and how big the company has gotten that they can’t even think straight. But it’s ok, luckily we all know that if either guy fought Lesnar they’d be on their back eating punches and looking worse than Mir did in at UFC 100 that’s of course if you’re not a delusional and clearly insane Fedor/Pride fanboy.

    • Isaiah says:

      No offense, but you should read the piece you’re responding to and then your own comments back to back. I think even you’ll be forced to admit that your own language is far more loaded. Really, try responding to the points he’s made as if he really believes them (he obviously does).

      • EJ says:

        Actually I thought my comments were pretty measured considering the sheer ignorance and stupidity that Goldman displayed in his comments. And btw, I know he actually believes everything he said, I just accidentaly ended up skipping over the word didn’t in this sentence.

        “Seriously this would be funny if the guy actually DIDN’T believe this crap”.

        Clearly he does believe everything he says, which is why it’s not funny but just disturbing the sheer lengths people like him will reach to bash Brock or the ME of UFC 116.

        • Isaiah says:

          If you really thought your comments were in any way “measured” you have some issues.

          And when you say stuff like this: “Finally, he can’t help himself and his real agenda is exposed with his last comments here. … This goes to show just how delusional the Zuffa haters are they are so full of hate and insanity at the success and how big the company has gotten that they can’t even think straight.” it kind of suggests that you think he has an agenda and is not giving his honest opinion. Really, be honest, which is more likely?:

          1. He’s going insane with hate because of the success of the UFC; or
          2. He actually thought it was a bad fight and that Brock and Carwin did not look as good as other HWs.

          Even if you disagree with the opinions expressed in 2, if you’re being honest, you have to admit that it is possible that someone could hold them, right?

        • The Gaijin says:

          “Actually I thought my comments were pretty measured”


          The biggest UFC/Lesnar mark in the world…that will be the day. 100% of your comments are so full of your own bias and agenda I wouldn’t even know where to start.

          The fact that you can’t even recognize how terrible that takedown and the non-defense of said takedown was is a doozy for starters.

        • Steve4192 says:

          Your comments were in no way ‘measured’.

          You can’t counter nonsensical bile with even more nonsensical bile.

    • Chuck says:

      Jesus, where do I start with you? Okay, I’ll start with this; many have accused 45 huddle of being the resident Zuffa lover and everyone else hater. Nope, you take the cake. Differences? 45 huddle has shown tolerance to others’ opinions. You don’t. As I have said to you before, you are WAY worse than any “Fedor nuthuggers” or “Lesnar haters”.

      Oh, and you are imaging the fact the Lesnar “lost his first ever fight”. It was his SECOND fight. If you want to sound like an elitist snob, at least be correct with what you say and preach. And yes, Carwin is a limited fighter. That is hardly opinion, but mostly FACT. Every fight of his he won basically the same way; with his fists. He has won by submission, but it was always with punches. That’s fine. It works for him. But don’t pretend he is something he really isn’t.

      And yes, Carwin could have attempted a submission or two. He could have went for a Kimura or some other type of armbar. Maybe not any chokes, and leglocks probably would have been hard because Brock was kind of turtling up, but armbars would have been a fine alternative. Not easy to come by, but still. And yes, that arm triangle Brock gave Carwin could have been avoided. All Carwin did was push his elbow against Brock’s head to prevent it (not a bad idea, but that’s ALL he did. Didn’t try to shrimp, bridge, or nothing). To Brock’s credit, he worked towards Shane’s head to tighten it up, but that was only after having just holding onto the head and arm for so long. I think it was more Carwin gassing than he not being able to deflect submission, but who really knows?

      And yes, I have every reason to believe Alistair Overeem could beat Lesnar. I think he can beat Fedor, and possible Werdum these days (Werdum beat Overeem years ago in PRIDE). Styles make fights. Carwin might be able to hit harder than Overeem, but Overeem has better striking technique than Carwin, and can hit plenty hard. I think Fedor beats Lesnar unless Lesnar can end it in the first round. Oh noes, I’m a Fedor nuthugger! I think that fight would probably play out similar to Fedor/Rogers, with Fedor landing one huge shot to end Lesnar. Werdum/Lesnar? I think Lesnar take it. I think Lesnar learned his lesson from the first Mir fight, and won’t get subbed so easily.

      See what I did there? I put logic and reasoning in my post. Your post? Very little of it has reasoning. Mostly delusional hate of people that disagree with you. Like this gem of knowledge from you;

      “This goes to show just how delusional the Zuffa haters are they are so full of hate and insanity at the success and how big the company has gotten that they can’t even think straight.”

      Can’t argue with that……just change “zuffa haters” to “EJ” and “the success and how big the company has gotten” to “anyone with a differing opinion or logic” and that post of yours is correct.

      • The Gaijin says:

        No point in bothering, he’s so delusionally up his own ass about how logical and analytical all of his positions are it’s hilarious. Total fanboy who tries to paint himself on some lofty position of fact, when it’s clear he’s the most thinly veiled mark around.

      • EJ says:

        Funny this is the first time anyone has ever called me an elitist when it comes to mma also I clearly meant to Brock lost his first ever fight in the UFC but whatever.

        As far as calling Carwin limited that’s about as dumb as calling Brock limited but what else would I expect from someone that actually thinks Fedor would beat Brock.

        It has nothing to do with me being a Brock fan hell I was picking Mir to submit him again all before UFC 100 and was shocked as anyone by his progression. Just like I was at him surviving an onslaught that no other HW could against Carwin.

        We all have opinions but the sheer bullshit coming from people like Eddie needs to be called out sometimes. Seriously if you can read those comments and think that it’s not a bunch of crap. Then you’re clearly as deluded as he is and it’s no wonder why people like you and Gaijin get so emotional over my response.

  5. HLAMNENADA says:


    All CARWIN Has is his weight and his punch that’s it.

    • Steve4192 says:

      All Shaquille O’Neal has is his monstrous size.

      All Barry Sanders had was his preternatural quickness and agility.

      All Randy Johnson had was freakish height and arm strength.

      The greatest athletes in other sports are admired for their physical gifts. Why do MMA fans feel the need to run guys down for having natural advantages?

  6. Bix says:

    WRT the triangle at UFC 4: It convinced a lot of the people commenting on the card to the Torch at least that UFC was a work, including a judo student who said that it had to be a work because “there’s room around your head” when a triangle is put on you.

  7. […] Yahoo! Sports, This entry was written by Joe Rocha, posted on July 6, 2010 at 6:52 pm, filed under Other […]

  8. Safari_Punch says:

    Lesnar will win the ADCC.

  9. MikeJJ says:

    What a wall of text….

    Not reading that. Make it shorter next time or sum it up.

  10. Mr.Mike says:

    Actually, EJ, you come off extremely goofy in your accusations of idiocy on the part of EG. You address some of his points, but the rest was invective. Little substance.

    You weren’t convincing.

    What we saw was that Lesnar was thrown off his game plan by Carwins punches, suggesting his striking defense is poor, unless he’s on the ground covering up. Did he show good head movement? Is head movement even improtant in an MMA fight? Address that, not just insult.

    Fedor has come out fat and, looking out of shape and, I think his skills have atrophied, at least his awarness in the guard of a top BJJ guy, but his flurries would also throw Brock off and, may even knock him out. The Fedor of the first fight with Nog would have beaten Lesnar. The Fedor of today would have to train hard, since Lesnar’s athleticism and, strength, plus wreslting background could stop the Fedor of the Werdum fight.

    I’ve heard two BJJ instructors (a black belt and, 4th degree blackbelt) both say that what Carwin did was actually give his arm to Lesnar. He had it right out there and, made no attempt on bringing it back. One instructor said that “getting the arm triangle wouldn’t be as easy to get on a BJJ guy as it was on Carwin”, while the other comment was “He don’t know Jiu-Jits”

  11. Tradition Rules says:

    “Fedor has come out fat and, looking out of shape and, I think his skills have atrophied, at least his awareness in the guard of a top BJJ guy, but his flurries would also throw Brock off and, may even knock him out. The Fedor of the first fight with Nog would have beaten Lesnar. The Fedor of today would have to train hard, since Lesnar’s athleticism and, strength, plus wrestling background could stop the Fedor of the Werdum fight.”


    We have a winner!

    This pretty much sums it all up.


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