UFC 121 Contribution

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					Enjoy the moment

UFC 121 was a great card that lived up to the hype. Unlike UFC’s 119 and 120 it was a night of
incredible action topped by a main event that epitomised the skill versus size debate. Taking nothing
away from Velasquez, we know in MMA title reigns can be fleeting. Lets enjoy the AKA heavyweights
phenomenal victory before creating a bubble around his belt and see how the 1st defence goes.
People believed Joe Rogan when he welcomed in the Machida era but it didn’t last as long as we
thought it would.

Marketing strategy askew

Dana White took some flak in the UFC 121 post fight presser for the marketing of Cain Valasquez and
his Mexican heritage to capitalise on the US Hispanic market. This was unfair as White correctly said
“the guy's Mexican. His parents came here from Mexico (and) came over the border. … Do you think
we had him tattoo 'Brown Pride' on his chest? What the [expletive]?"

More noise should have been made about the questionable logic of Brocktober. The energy put into
marketing Lesnar did a disservice to Velasquez’s skills. Lesnar sells pay-per-views and always has
since his WWE days. We won’t see a “Velasqbruary” as Cain is more about the fight than the fight
game. The UFC gets most things right but it can lose sight by marketing personality over talent. Dana
White has openly admitted he regrets the amount of energy he put into marketing Tito Ortiz when he
was light heavyweight champ as the talent fell short of the personality.

Is it safe behind Shields?

Jake Shields has now clocked 13 forgettable rounds as the promoter’s favoured fighter (in Strikeforce
versus Jason Miller and Dan Henderson prior to Kampmann fight). His suffocating top game from the
ground is effective but not flawless and will generate boo’s from the crowd even when he’s on his way
to a victory. The UFC shamelessly favoured Shields stating he was one win from a title shot. Joe
Rogan spent the entire fight celebrating Shield’s grappling credentials. Nothing was said about what
Kampmann could expect should he win. He nearly did. Shields was exhausted by the end of the first
round and his much vaunted grappling game was neutralised by Kampann’s ability to regain guard or
simply stand up. Kampann will regret the respect he showed Shields as he was 1 round on 1 judges
scorecard away from a win. A bad weight cut was sited for the poor performance and his questionable
chin was never at risk But does Shields really offer a credible challenge for GSP. The razor thin
victory for Shields merely proves the best fighters are in the UFC.

TUF to beat

A good showing on the Ultimate Fighter reality show does not usually mean a successful run in the
UFC is guaranteed (stand up Efrain Escudero, Mac Danzig, Jesse Taylor and Travis Lutter). However,
most of the TUF cast on UFC 121 clocked victories – Jon Madsen (season 10), Chris Camozzie (11),
Tom Lawlor (8), Court McGee (winner 11), Brendan Schaub (finalist 10), Matt Hamill (3), Diego
Sanchez (the other winner in season 1)

Fergus Ryan, (Br)October 2010

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