Sunday, November 13, 2011

There is no substitute for power

According to 'Scarface' Tony Montana, "In this country, first you get the money. Once you get the money, then you get the power." When it comes to Mixed Martial Arts however, it's just the opposite. First you exhibit the power; then when you show that power you get the money. Either way, there is no substitute for power, which is exactly what Junior Dos Santos showed everybody on Saturday night.

If there is any doubt at the power that new UFC heavyweight champion Dos Santos (14-1, 9 KO's 3 subs) must pack in a punch, just look at the size of his massive fist compared to mine in the photo above. Now I am not insinuating in any way that I have a large fist compared to the champ's, but his is abnormally huge. It is reminiscent of the 'Seinfeld' episode when they showed that the girl Jerry was dating at the time had "Man Hands."

It was that fist that made all the difference for Dos Santos Saturday night as with one looping right hand to the back of the ear, ala Chuck Liddell, he dropped former champion Cain Velasquez (9-1, 8 KO's) to the canvas and finished him; it took all of 64 seconds. Mike Tyson's 88 second demolition of Michael Spinks in boxing back in the day seems like an eternity. Yet, as exciting a finish as it was the question now remains, how good was it for the UFC and its first ever telecast on mainstream television? I say, it was perfect.

Sure, a five round classic may have been better and not all fights usually end this fast. However, on a night when the main event needed to make a splash and a strong first impression, it did pretty good. You see, while hardcore MMA fans are knowledgeable and appreciative of technical fights, it was the casual fans the UFC needed to appeal to on this night; the ones that are usually blood thirsty for quick action. Well, they got that and more on Saturday.

I said on Friday this was a difficult fight to call as it was the former champ's wrestling versus the new champ's boxing. On this night, the boxer won out, mainly because the wrestler made the mistake of thinking he could box with the heavy puncher. The result was Velasquez losing his belt in his first title defense. He was coming off a year long lay-off due to injury and it showed. However, there is no excuse; Dos Santos was simply the better man on this night.

As for 2012 and the network television deal between the UFC and Fox, the possibilities are exciting; when you look at the roster, see the current champions and the potential for intriguing match-ups. Note, I said possibilities; because if there is one thing we've come to learn with the UFC, it is that nothing is guaranteed. However, one thing we can always count on is, there is no substitute for power.

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