Sunday, April 14, 2013

Zingano Has "Cupcake" For Dessert At The Ultimate Fighter Finale!

I was absolutely positive that Tate would grind out a decision against Zingano to earn a rematch with Ronda Rousey.  Granted, I had a small moment of doubt when Zingano glared at Tate like an assassin while the former Strikeforce champ sang along to her own entrance song, but I quickly pushed it aside and stuck with my prediction.  In the first two rounds, it looked like I was going to be right as Tate constantly took Zingano down and nearly sunk in two submissions.  However, at the end of Round 2, Zingano started to reverse the moment and in the third round, she weakened Tate with some ground-and-pound before smashing her face in with her knee!  One elbow against the cage and it was all over.  Once the shock wore off, I went completely crazy!  The funny thing was that, after the match, Zingano admitted that she looked up to Tate and was scared to death of her.  This just goes to show that you should fight with all of your heart, no matter how gifted, ruthless, and experienced your opponent is. 

To be honest, that was the one fight that I was really looking forward to, and, as I expected, it completely outshined the other matches on the card.  Gastelum vs. Hall was good, but let's face it: Hall beat himself more than anything.  Gastelum fought his heart out and took the match seriously, whereas Hall had an identity crisis, thought he was Anderson Silva, and acted like a showboating clown.  Silva can get away with that nonsense due to years of experience, a crazy work ethic, an insane passion for the sport, and his ability to read his opponents to see if he can pull it off without getting killed.  Hall...not so much.  He clearly has better overall skill and technique than Gastelum, but the latter had the stronger mindset.  That's why Gastelum upset his opponent: he was willing to work for it!

Speaking of working for it, I hope that Faber has to work for a title shot this time.  He looked great against Jorgensen (who put up a better fight than I thought he would).  At the same time, Faber has been given four title shots and come up short in all of them.  Most guys are lucky if they earn two.  Would I love to see UFC gold around Faber's waist?  Absolutely.  Does he deserve a shot on a silver platter (again)?  No.  I personally feel that he should have to win at least one match for every title opportunity he's blown before he gets another crack at the belt, in order to be fair to the other fighters.  With a winning streak of four or more, he would have a better case for getting another chance. 

McDaniel vs. Smith was decent.  It didn't blow me away, but the triangle choke/armbar combo that McDaniel finished the fight with looked pretty neat.  I'm glad that Travis Browne beat Gonzaga.  At the same time, he needs to watch those elbows.  Technically, Gonzaga was out before Browne caught him on the back of his head.  Nonetheless, Browne left himself unnecessarily vulnerable to having the stoppage contested. 

The interview with Jones and Sonnen was hilarious.  Sonnen cut an amazing promo with classic lines such as "I'm the bigger name on the marquee!  I'm a bigger draw than Rocky!"  I definitely see him getting a job in UFC's marketing department once he hangs up the gloves.  Jones was a good foil for him, remaining stoic and wisely choosing not to get in a war with words with the "American Gangster."  When he was asked what he was going to do to beat Sonnen, Jones simply replied "The work has been done."  I'm definitely on Team Sonnen for UFC 159, due to the UFC 151 debacle.  However, I know that Jones is probably going to thrash Sonnen as brutally physically as Sonnen would thrash Jones verbally. 

At any rate, I am now totally stoked for Zingano vs. Rousey.  Do I think that Zingano can beat Rousey?  No way!  However, after seeing Zingano's performance last night, I do concede that I can be wrong again. 

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