HYDEN BLOG: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly from UFC Fight Night 81

By Frank Hyden, MMATorch Contributor

UFC Fight Night 81 was this past weekend and it featured some huge fights. Let’s get right to it. MMAcolumnist-HydenFrank_300x250

UFC Fight Night 81

BAD: Ross Pearson vs. Francisco Trinaldo

Just not a whole lot going on in this fight. It was very dull and devoid of action. It was not at all the fight I expected. I’m surprised the fight was this bad. Trinaldo won the decision.

BAD: Travis Browne stops Matt Mitrione

The fight itself was okay, except for a few major things. Browne purposefully poked Mitrione in the eyes twice, which was just ridiculous. The first poke should have led to at least a point deduction and the second in an automatic disqualification for Browne.

How this continues to be allowed to stand is beyond me. Other sports are generally more strict with fouls like this and MMA needs to take a stand. The refs need to start disqualifying guys who pull this junk and fines need to be handed out. It seems as though someone is going to have to lose vision permanently for the UFC to want to do something. It’s an embarrassment to the sport. Mitrione’s eye was so horribly swollen that it looked like makeup. It didn’t look real. Granted, Browne did hit it with numerous punches, but it’s hard to believe that the eyepokes didn’t play a major role in it as well.

To be honest, Browne should be suspended for at least six months, and probably more like eight to ten months, if not longer. He did this on purpose. He extended his fingers, knowing that Mitrione would either get his eye poked or have to not dip in to try to land a shot. He endangered Mitrione, and he did it on purpose. For him to say otherwise is absurd, and an insult to our intelligence. This kind of behavior needs to be eliminated from the sport.

BAD: Anthony Pettis vs. Eddie Alvarez

Alvarez got Pettis on the cage a lot, but did nothing with it. He got Pettis on the ground, but did nothing with it. Pettis got the better of almost all the exchanges. So, of course the logical conclusion is that…Alvarez wins the split decision?

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like Pettis fought all that great himself, but how can you give Alvarez the decision when he didn’t do much of anything to earn it? Takedowns that don’t result in any offense need to be largely discounted. They don’t mean much in the grand scheme. This was a bad fight that was scored badly. This card was very disappointing to this point.

GOOD: Dominick Cruz vs. T.J. Dillashaw (the fight)

This was a hard-fought fight with a lot of tense moments. Both guys looked really good throughout and fought well. I’ll get to Cruz in a minute, but Dillashaw’s game was on point and he landed more shots than he missed. He won the fight, there’s no doubt in my mind about that. He had more offense, it’s really just that simple.

BAD: Dominick Cruz vs. T.J. Dillashaw (the decision)

Cruz won by split decision, and I don’t agree with that at all. Which three rounds do you give to Cruz? Hell, one judge gave four rounds to Cruz while another gave four rounds to Dillashaw? Say what? These guys were watching the same fight, right? How are things seen so differently? Oh, that’s right, its because there’s no standardized system for scoring a fight. The fact that this leads to bad decisions and wonky scores doesn’t seem to matter all that much in the world of MMA.

GREAT: Dominick Cruz

I didn’t think he could do it. I didn’t think he would be able to come back from everything and still be as good as he was. Cruz had fought one time in four years. That by itself is amazing enough, to come back from such long layoffs and still be as good. Even more than the layoffs themselves were the injuries he had to recover from. Numerous knee injuries are something that you’re not supposed to be able to overcome physically, much less mentally. How do you push yourself to the limit without that doubt entering your mind, that question of if your body can handle it? I’m completely stunned that Cruz looked as good as he did. He just fought one of the best fighters in the world for 25 minutes. I don’t agree with the decision, as I thought Dillashaw won, but for it to even be a discussion is absolutely amazing. I don’t think it’s possible to overstate how incredible his return was.

Comments and suggestions can be emailed to me at hydenfrank@gmail.com and you can follow me on Twitter at @hydenfrank

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4 Comments on HYDEN BLOG: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly from UFC Fight Night 81

  1. “Dillashaw’s game was on point and he landed more shots than he missed”

    Completely untrue… he only landed at a rate of 30% and missed an astounding 300 strikes.

    • You know what, you’re right. I put up the wrong paragraph. I had originally written “Dillashaw’s body game was on point and he landed more shots than he missed, though he did miss a lot more to the head. I thought he landed the more significant shots of the fight, even he missed more overall.” But then I read that back and it sounded clunky so I was going to change it.
      I got distracted while I was editing, though (football and a yelling kid) and I completely messed it up. That’s my mistake and I’ll try to not do that again.

  2. Your analysis of Cruz v Dillashaw is so wrong. Cruz clearly won at least three round. 1-3 and he might have even won round 5. Dillashaw also didn’t land more than he missed. If TJ was on point he would have won. For the most part that fight was all Cruz.

    • I disagree. I have no problem with people saying Cruz won, but “clearly” ignores the facts of the situation. Judging this fight was extremely difficult, and both fans and the media are almost split down the middle. If you take a look on MMA Decisions, 12 media members scored it for Cruz, 10 for Dillashaw, and one a tie. This may be the most debatable fight I’ve ever seen, and it’s subjective enough that you can’t really call anyone’s analysis “wrong.”

      As far as Dillashaw landing more than he missed, I’m fairly certain that was an accidental misstatement by Mr. Hyden.

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