The Month in MMA: May Edition
With 3 major shows put on by the UFC, the Strikeforce Grand Prix Finale and a couple of solid cards put on by Bellator, May was a solid month for Mixed Martial Arts fans. If you happened to miss any of the action this month, we'll fill you in on the must see fights, events and performances from the month of May. MJ's "Dominant Performance of the Month"
Many casual fans out there may not have known this event was even going down. On May 4th at Bellator 67, Michael Chandler put on an outright clinic on how to overwhelm, pick apart and demolish your opponent in under a minute. Chandler sent Akihiro Gono into retirement with a blitz of striking that ended in a T.K.O. victory. If you missed his performance, it's a must see. Gono was at the tail end of his career and a serious underdog, but the way that Chandler dispatched him was a thing of beauty. It's a must see and my "Dominant Performance of the Month". Honorable mention goes to Daniel Cormier for his domination of Josh Barnett, but since he wasn't able to finish, I have to go with Chandler.
MJ's "Upset of the Month"
When Jamie Varner started making his way into the cage, the hater in me stated emphatically, "Varner has no chance!". Boy was I wrong. Everyone in that entire arena was wrong as well. The reaction and turn from hater to supporter was something to behold as the crowd sensed the imminent victory and couldn't help but be awed by the performance he put on. Varner finished the previously undefeated Edson Barboza in the very first round with a lopsided T.K.O. victory. Varner earned some new fans that night and made me want to be a believer. I hope he keeps it up. Be sure to check out Jamie's fight from UFC 146 if you didn't already catch it.
MJ's "Robbery of the Month"
Nothing pisses me off more than a victory that is taken from a fighter because of some sheisty judges. Megumi Fujii's loss to Jessica Aguilar at Bellator 69 was right up there with Gray Maynard's Draw to Frankie Edgar in their first Title Fight. It disgusted me to the point of turning the television off and pouting like someone pissed in my Cheerios. This was the second time Fujii's been screwed out of a title in the U.S. I guess she better get used to it or learn how to finish her fights.
MJ's "K.O. of the Month"
When it comes to Knock Outs and T.K.O.'s, this was a tough month to judge. There were a lot of great fights this month that ended in early stoppages by knees, elbows, punches and kicks. The top two that come to mind would have to be the thumping that Lavar Johnson put on Pat Barry at UFC on FOX 3 & the overhand right that Roy Nelson delivered to Dave Herman at UFC 146. The deciding factor for me is the immediate nature of Roy's right hand and the clean K.O. it produced. MJ's K.O. of the Month goes to Roy Nelson.
MJ's "Submission of the Month"
May had a number of excellent submissions from some of the top talent in MMA. Chan Sung Jung, also known as the "Korean Zombie", put on a great performance at UFC on Fuel 3 in a potential fight of the month and finished Dustin Poirier with a Brabo Choke in the 4th round. It was a serious exclamation mark on a tremendous outing. Edging out the Zombie though has to be Nate Diaz's Guillotine finish of Jim Miller at UFC on FOX 3. He was the first ever to finish Jim and did it in a dominant fashion. Nate Diaz gets the nod for MJ's "Submission of the Month".
MJ's "Fight of the Month"
The must see "Fight of the Month" was Gilbert Melendez VS. Josh Thomson at the Strikeforce Grand Prix Finale Show. It was a great fight on many levels and really showed that both of these guys belong in the top-tier of the Lightweight Division. Josh Thomson looked great and made a believer out of me and a lot of other fans. This was the type of fight that reminds fans everywhere why they love this sport. I gave a close decision to Melendez, but with this fight being so competitive and so back and forth, it's my must see "Fight of the Month".
MJ's "Honorable Mentions"
At the top of the list for other fights worth checking out for the month of May would definitely be Dan Hardy's knock out of Duane Ludwig and Junior Dos Santos's Title defense over Frank Mir. In fact, UFC 146 as a whole needs to be watched. Cain looked great against Bigfoot and Stefan Struve's armbar win over Lavar Johnson was a must see. It was a solid month of action and a great one to be a fan.
Be sure to check back with us in the upcoming weeks as Flip & I will be getting our Weekly Podcast, MMA Monthly Show and our post fight analysis show, Aftermath up and running.
Until Next Time . . .
MJ on MMA