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UFC 128: Brendan Schaub Brutally KO's Cro Cop

Mirko Cro Cop didn't come out to Duran Duran, instead he came out to Ennio Morricone's classic L'estasi Dell'Oro [The Ecstasy of Gold] from The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. To many this shows signs of change and for a night of PRIDE NEVER DIE, an ominous sign.

Brendan Schaub is a large, scary dude who looks to have a bright future ahead of him. He clinched Cro Cop against the cage and was broken by Herb Dean for a possible rabbit punch. This just led to a takedown by Schaub. Cro Cop was actually able to sweep him and get back to his feet, but more clinch work from Schaub just exposes what we already know; Cro Cop hates getting clinched.

The second round sees a lot of the same, Cro Cop seems to be afraid of throwing meaningful strikes and his inability to clinch has haunted his UFC career. He throws a left high kick that Schaub was able to avoid and use to take Cro Cop down. The remainder of the round was Goldberg discussing Jon Jones and lots of clinching. Cro Cop actually uses a few close elbows to get some blood out of Schaub before Schaub once again rabbit punches Mirko and loses a point. That might actually even up the fight or put Cro Cop in the lead as he landed the best shots in that round.

The third round starts off with a left inside leg kick from Cro Cop that like a heat seeking missle connects with Schaub's cup. Left leg ball breaker, right leg vasectomy. Schaub after he recovers takes Cro Cop down, Cro Cop pushes him off and gets immediately taken down again with a diving tackle. For some odd reason Shaub lets him get back up and Cro Cop is able to stuff a takedown. It looked good for Cro Cop and then Brendan Schaub lands a crazy right hook behind the ear of Cro Cop sending him flying, head bouncing off the mat.

We love Cro Cop, but it is that time.

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UFC: Sanchez vs. Kampmann Proves That MMA Judges Need to Learn How to Score Striking

(C) HeavyMMATonight at UFC: Sanchez vs. Kampmann we saw Diego Sanchez once again at Welterweight against Martin Kampmann. Kampmann, a Danish Muay Thai fighter-turned-MMA fighter who has rounded out his game considerably in MMA. Diego Sanchez saw mixed results at Lightweight, making his way to a fight with BJ Penn and being decimated, so badly that he refused to fight at Lightweight again. His return to Welterweight did him no favors, but he came into this fight with a win over Paulo Thiago and an uncertain future.

Kampmann came into the fight calm, collected and with a game plan. He was able to drop Diego Sanchez in the first round and in the second round was able to continually stuff Diego's takedown attempts and keep him at a distance with his jabs. Everything from his composure to stance were exactly what he needed to do in this fight.

Diego came into the fight looking soft, as UFC President Dana White so aptly pointed out on Twitter (how'd you like your boss with a million plus followers calling you fat?) and slow. He had next to no defense for Kampmann's striking and due to Kampmann's stance of keeping his front leg heavy, was nearly impossible to get a takedown, which he needed.

In the third round Kampmann broke his hand and was unable to piece together combinations, which meant Diego was able to swarm Kampmann with wild, looping hooks, connecting once in a while. The problem was, whenever he backed off, after maybe connecting a wild shot or two, Kampmann was able to score at will against Diego. This was the story of the night. Kampmann won all of the exchanges with crisp striking while Diego simply threw like Leonard Garcia.

Amazingly enough, the judges all scored the fight 29-28 for Diego Sanchez. The question is; why? Ariel Helwani on the post-fight show makes the point that many of us were making on Twitter, that judges see the aggression and think that means they are winning the fight. We've seen Leonard Garcia get a few "gifted" decisions, and now this fight falls right in line.

As an avid kickboxing fan, this fight was very cut and dry; a knockdown as well as clear connections against wild shots that were being deflected. As a MMA fan, it was even more cut and dry; a knockdown as well as clear connections and stuffing every takedown. It doesn't help that Dana White on Twitter after the fight says that Diego "clearly" won the fight. This was the second decision against Kampmann in a row that was disputed by fans and analysts. To me, that speaks volumes about the mythical bad MMA judging that we all often speak about.

The argument used to define poor MMA judging has usually been that judges do not understand grappling and come from a boxing background. At this point, I argue that they also do not understand striking. The criteria for the judging is fine, it is the lack of knowledge that holds the sport back and gives us piss poor decisions. The amount of times I hear Joe Rogan quote poor judging on UFC shows is just astounding.

I'll toss this out here; if you are a professional judge and want to learn more about striking, contact me, and I'll help you as well as point you in the direction of those that can help you. I'm being serious.

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Upsets at Battle in the Desert by Lion Fight Promotions

Lion FightsTonight was a night of upsets, in a way, as Andrei Arlovski and Fedor Emelianenko, two men who met a few years ago in Affliction to see who was the best Heavyweight outside of the UFC, both fell in dramatic fashion and we might see both of their careers come to a halt. The insanity really doesn't stop there, as Battle in the Desert, promoted by Lion Fights in Primm, Nevada went down tonight, where highly-regarded Muay Thai practitioner, Kevin Ross was going into his bout with Sittisak Por Sirichai as the favorite.

The bout was an even one that saw Sittisak come out on top in a Split decision that it sounds like could have gone either way.

The other big upset was Malaipet met Michael Mananquil in a rematch where he was seen as the early and big favorite for the WMC Welterweight Championship. Mananquil pushed the paced early on in the fight, but in the second round was met with a hook to the jaw that sent him crashing to the mat for an 8-count. Mananquil came back gracefully from the knockdown and proceeded to win the next three rounds, giving him the first, third, fourth and fifth rounds to Malaipet's one round, the second.

Mananquil walked away from the bout as the new WMC International Welterweight Champion and Malaipet walks away a little bit more humble in defeat.

The night also saw Coke Chunhawat stop Scotty Leffler after Leffler couldn't answer the bell after the second round, Remy Bonnel score a TKO in the third over Singsiri Por Sirichai and more. For the full results head to Muay Thai Authority who were live for the event.

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The Last Emperor Fedor Emelianenko Falls to Antonio Silva in Strikeforce Heavyweight GP; Hints at Retirement

Fedor/Silva (C) USATFedor is a name that is spoken amongst MMA fans as if he were royalty, his dominance in the sport has not been emulated, even slightly. So to say that him fighting in the US again is a big deal is an understatement, to say that him in the Strikeforce Heavyweight GP, well, it is even bigger. Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva has sharpened his skill in Japan and EliteXC and two wins in Strikeforce.

In a way, the popularity of this tournament depends on Fedor Emelianenko moving forward in the tournament, but Antonio Silva is a tough opponent for any heavyweight in 2011.

The first round saw your standard Fedor action, where Fedor worked his quick hands and Silva's gameplan was to hold Fedor against the cage, using his size and strength to his advantage. The second round saw what many thought was the impossible happen, as Silva completely dominated Fedor on the ground. Ground and pound and a few near-choke attempts against Fedor. Fedor was able to persevere through most of the brutalizing and show us exactly what Fedor has done dozens of times before; tire out a bigger opponent before he makes his comeback.

Then one of th drawbacks to fighting in the United States hit us in between rounds; Fedor's right eye was swollen shut and the ringside doctors and ref, Dan Murgliotta decided that the eye was too bad for Fedor to continue, and called off the bout right after the third round. Bigfoot Silva has become the third man to hold a win over Fedor, and the second man to hold a win that fans will dispute for years.

Antonio Silva goes on to meet the winner of Alistair Overeem vs. Fabricio Werdum, and the future for Fedor Emelianenko and Andrei Arlovski are unknown after tonight. Fedor discusses retirement post-fight, and fans' hearts everywhere are breaking, while Dana White is smiling and saying, "that guy was never that good."

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