Thursday, April 06, 2006

Ultimate Fighter 3 Rules

I watched Ultimate Fight Night tonight it was such a letdown. I mean, it wasn't like Victory in Vegas where you've got bad fights and a hostile crowd, but it's no fun to watch a 2 hour show and get no finishes. More importantly for UFC, every fighter they were trying to showcase came out of the show worse off than they came in. Leben was coming off some quick and decisive wins, and had to settle for a decision against a lower caliber of opponent. Stevenson rightfully lost a decision. Bonnar and Evans received judge decisions that they probably shouldn't have gotten (Bonnar/Jardine was really close, while Evans I thought lost rather clearly 29-28). So things weren't looking good for UFC on the evening.

Hopefully viewers didn't turn out at that point, because things turned around in a hurry with Ultimate Fighter Season 3. This show immediately reached a level of dramatic tension higher than at any point last season. The relationship between Tito and Shamrock added a dimension that just wasn't there for the first two seasons. The reactions of the fighters to each of the coaches was also much more pronounced. It seems as if they are planting the seeds of a mutiny within the Shamrock camp. Michael Bisping immediately comes across as a star, and he's also the standout of his weight class athletically.

The tweaks of the format of the show are for the better, with the tournament setup getting fans to think about matchups much more than in the past where fights just kind of came to be. The strategy is also more complex. Ken Shamrock's strategy of picking off the weak fighters isn't necessarily the best idea. The more mismatched your first fights are, the less likely you are to win later fights. The analogy that immediately pops to mind is political gerrymandering. The natural reaction is to get really easy districts for the members of your party to win handily (just like matching up your best fighter with their worse), but the smartest strategy is to draw up the districts so you win each district 51-49 percent. Likewise, it's best to pick strong fighters from the opposition and match them up with someone on your team that presents a bad style matchup.

I'm really looking forward to more of this season of Ultimate Fighter.


Blogger Dave Ling & Franchise said...

ToMar... sorry Shapiro used that name in his review, made me laugh.

I'm going to disagree with you.. Hogar did nothing to win that fight last night other then a weak kimura at the end of the second round. Evans took him to the mat time and time again and although he hasn't developed the ability to close yet, he's got a good foundation and he certainly was the more active and dominating fighter last night.

The guy who did get the short end of the stick was Jardine. He bloodied and beat up Bonnar. Bonnar was limping around and was hesitant to mix it up with Jardine because everytime Bonnar did step up he got punished by Jardine. Bonnar got the type of decision a belt holder gets but in this case there was no title at stake just Bonnar's reputation and momentum.

TUF3.. when Shamrock and Ortiz were sitting around that empty gym for 30 minutes, that was classic. Hopefully the fighters cand deliver some good action because if they do, this season is a can't miss.

8:33 AM  
Anonymous Phil said...

I was thinking the same thing about Shamrock's strategy; styles make fights (as Dana said and we hear ad nauseaum from Jim Lampley) is a proven tenet of combat sports. I also thought of it from a fighter's standpoint and I then would love the Shamrock startegy as I would campaign to fight the easiest guy (though not in those words, obviously).
The problem with this season and future seasons is the finite number of qualified fighters. They had a tough time getting capable heavyweights last season and struggled with both weight classes this year. The departed Mike Stine had only one fight before last night and Ross from England has a losing record. So, I'm not that optimistic about this season. I see a lot of blowouts like last night's which will bring the show down a lot.

1:06 PM  
Blogger Swain said...

I'm just happy they got rid of the challenges. They added very little to the show, and posed a greater risk (such as Joe's showing off on the scarecrow). Challenges belong on shows like Survivor which have nothing else going for them.

1:23 PM  
Anonymous Phil said...

I'd have preferred a challenge of some sort rather than a coin flip to determine who picked the first match. That's just too important to be determined randomly. Aside from that, I agree with Swain.

5:00 PM  
Blogger Chuck Williams said...

They have done an excellent job and have implemented some very good changes.

By the way, I have an interview with Rory Singer and you are FREE to use it if you like (Creative Commons).

11:20 AM  
Blogger Chuck Williams said...

oops... im retarded... its here

11:21 AM  

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