Saturday, November 27, 2010



The round starts out slow, as both fighters patiently circle each other. This process is very typical of almost any mixed martial arts match, but what is not typical is the fact that this lasts for 3 whole minutes. The crowd boos as expected, but there is unfortunately no change in the fighters' demeanor.

Memories of Mir vs. Cro Cop flood back to me as I pray to God that this won't wind up the same. Thankfully, my prayers are answered past the 3 minute mark, as Falcao, seeing an opening, finally rushes into Harris with boxing combinations in quick succession and drops him with a knee to the body.

Falcao immediately jumps on Harris and rains down ground and pound, but you have to hand it to Harris' durability as he survives this onslaught, and even manages to slam Falcao to try and shake him off. Unfortunately, Falcao in unsaved and successfully takes Harris' back. He locks in a rear naked choke and sinks it in deep. But, just when you think Harris is about to tap, he's saved by the bell.
Maiquel Falcao administers some
ground and pound on Gerald Harris


There's apparently some controversy to this as there seemed to be a timekeeping error of sorts where the bell rang a full 6-7 seconds earlier than it was supposed to. In other words, Harris was saved by a literal miracle! If the bell rang at the expected time, then it was all but absolutely certain that Harris would have tapped from that choke. Instead, he gets a second chance at victory. Does he take it?


In a word: no. No disrespect to Gerald Harris, though, as he is a very talented mixed martial artist and a genuinely tough guy, but that first round just took everything completely out of him. In a post-fight interview, he admits that the Rear Naked Choke at the very end of the round really drained him, and he was really never the same after the fact.

Despite starting really slow (some would say "patient"), Falcao really took it to Harris. After finding the opening he wanted, he jumped on him and completely dominated him the rest of the round, and took away his strength for literally the rest of the fight. Joe Rogan says it best: "Doesn't mean you've never heard of them before, doesn't mean they aren't badass; Falcao is nasty!" You better believe it!

Maiquel Falcao throws a head kick

So round 2 starts and Falcao immediately drops Harris with a right straight. Harris scrambles and tries to get back up, but is dropped again with a knee to the body. Falcao jumps on him with more vicious ground and pound and takes his back again. Harris still defends very well, but he's clearly done. There's no way he's turning this fight around.


What Harris lacked in strength and energy for the rest of the fight, he made up with pure heart, though, which is very admirable, but usually not enough. Harris not only manages to get back up, but also reverses Falcao, pins him against the cage, and slams him once again! Woah. Unfortunately, that's all she wrote. Harris goes for the takedown but gets stuffed by Falcao. Harris refuses to get back up and exchange, though, so he just hangs on to Falcao's leg and rides out the rest of the round that way. Smart. Not the most exciting thing to see, but smart nonetheless.

This shows that, no matter how much energy you drain out of these guys, they'll still keep going to the bitter out of pure heart. Though they may not win, they'll still strive to their very best. Honestly, Harris was done after that first round, and he survives 5 minutes of getting beat up to go to a third round. If anyone's got heart, it's Gerald Harris.


The third round starts and I cannot believe that the fight has lasted this long. If Gerald Harris doesn't finish Falcao soon, and I highly doubt he will, he'll still gain a ton of respect for the heart he's shown.

After that extraordinarily exciting second round, though, what happened next just blew my mind. It went exactly the same way as the start of the first round. Both fighters were just extremely tentative the whole time and did almost nothing but circle each other. Sure, a few strikes were thrown here and there, but the action was kept to an absolute bare minimum.

Harris has to realize that he clearly lost those first two rounds, so he's got to step up to the plate and knock one out of the park. He's going to lose the fight anyway since he's down on the scorecards, so why not try to go all out? Answer: he's just that out of energy. He's probably thinking the exact same thing, but his body just isn't willing anymore.

Falcao, on the other hand, has probably just gotten complacent because he knows he's winning the fight decisively. He's just playing it safe and riding it out to make sure that nothing unexpected happens during his Octagon debut. It would have been better if he just went for it and tried for a finish bonus, especially since Harris is extremely weakened and is primed for it, but, oh, well. Shades of the Marquardt-Okami fight, I guess.


After four whole minutes of nothing happening, Harris has finally recovered enough energy to launch another takedown. Falcao stuffs it beautifully, but then goes back to doing purely nothing. I'm booing with the crowd at this point. I mean, I respect Gerlad Harris wholeheartedly at this point, but Falcao's just being lazy. And that definitely deserves boos. Laughably, Falcao taunts Harris badly to come at him with only 5 seconds left on the clock. What the hell is he thinking at this point? Does he think that taunting his opponent after doing practically nothing for an entire round is going to win him fans? I am definitely inclined to believe that it just does the opposite.

Joe Rogan just slays me, though, as he comments during the instant replay, "remember back in the old days when things used to be exciting?" Good stuff.

Falcao predictably wins via unanimous decision (29-27, 29-28, 29-28) but I hope he steps up his performance in the future. He clearly has the potential to be one of the most exciting fighters in the division, but he just has to show it. And if he taunts again in the future, make it count. Fans love that kind of stuff if done right, but it's just annoying to literally anybody if done inappropriately.

In just five minutes, Falcao turned what would have been an excellent image of him in his Octagon debut as the Unknown Badass into an extremely negative one by completely becoming the well-known spectator. Fans are going to look at him now and think "Oh, man, Falcao's fighting on the card. He's going to fight for, like 2-3 minutes then just stare at his opponent the rest of the time".

Falcao later reveals that he was just trying to win the fight as safe as possible, so when he was sure that he won the first two rounds, he decided to not take any chances, despite the fact that his opponent was completely done, and just ride out the last round, Anderson Silva style. He says that Dana White heavily criticized him about that and he took it to heart. Now that his debut is over, though, he swears that he will be more exciting in his next fight. I hope so, for everyone's sake.

Gerald Harris fights back with just pure heart 

Harris, unfortunately, has been cut from the UFC, following this loss. I was honestly pretty shocked when I found out because Harris not only showed some unbelievable heart in this fight, but was riding a three-fight win streak in the UFC. Those wins weren't won via boring decisions, either. All of them were knockouts of some sort and two of them were awarded knockout of the night, which all the more confused me.

He may have been outmatched, but he certainly showed that he had the will to fight and win. Unfortunately, though, having the heart of a champion doesn't necessarily mean that you get to be one, especially in the UFC.

Dana White says that it's to be expected, especially after the WEC / UFC merger. There will now be more fighters in the organization, and the UFC can only afford to keep the absolute cream of the crop, so White and the rest of the executives can't be as lenient about keeping fighters as before. It's a new dawn for the UFC, I suppose. One that will leave a lot of fighters cut from the world's best Mixed Martial Arts organization.

Check out more amazing photos of UFC 123 at the official UFC website!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...