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WFA – a nice "first" effort

The entire whaledog.com staff was on hand for the WFA’s comeback show last night, and here are a few quick thoughts:

  • The Quinton Rampage Jackson vs. Matt Lindland fight was very good. Normally, when two fighters spend so much time on the cage pummeling and wrestling there is a lot of stalling. But, Rampage and Lindland worked hard the entire fight, and proved that the quality of an MMA match is not measured solely by the amount of striking involved.
  • Lindland showed tenacity in wrestling his way back to his feet when Rampage slammed him and in nearly catching Rampage in two submissions. Rampage, who has seen people question his heart and desire, demonstrated a strong will to win by fighting out of two choke holds that might have submitted a lesser fighter. Rampage also gets props for repeatedly slamming a man who won a silver medal in Greco-Roman wrestling at the Sydney olympics.
  • I thought Rampage would win the fight easily, but Lindland surprised me. He largely neutralized Rampage’s striking by repeatedly clinching before Rampage could open up and attack him, which led to Rampage being a little tentative on his feet. Once Rampage was on the look out for the clinch, Lindland took advantage with a couple of a few good opportunities to strike. It was a great game plan for Lindland even though he came up just a bit short.
  • Something struck me about Rampage during the press conference after the fight. He came into the room full of energy and displaying the charisma that has made him one of the world’s most popular MMA fighters. But, as the press conference went on, Rampage turned down the shtick a bit and there were times when you sensed that he was almost sad. I certainly do not know the man, nor would I try to make a psychological evaluation of him (especially based on one press conference), but this melancholy side of his personality was something I had not seen before.
  • Bas Rutten easily received the biggest crowd reaction of any fighter. The fans still love him.
  • Rutten looked sharp, fast and powerful – like a real contender in the 205 pound division. Then again, he fought a journeyman opponent who took the fight on two days notice. So, the jury on Bas is definitely still out.
  • But, at 41 years old, the question is whether Bas will get back in the cage. Bas said that he needs to have surgery on his knee, and that he hurt his rib and groin before the fight. He also said at the press conference that he is under contract to have one more fight with the WFA and that he has the contractual right to fight in the IFL if he wants. Do not be surprised if Bas gives fighting at least one more shot.
  • “Lyoto” Ryoto Machida was easily the most disappointing fighter of the night. I was really looking forward to see Machida fight in person for the first time. But, he was tentative and unwilling to engage in his fight against Vernon “Tiger” White. Machida won a decision, but he also had one of the most boring fights I have seen in a long time. We can only hope he comes out and fights more aggressively next time.
  • A larger question surrounding this show was whether the WFA, which put together a very solid (and expensive) card, would be able to capture fans’ interest or wheter fans only associate MMA with the UFC. The WFA managed to get several thousand fans to the show (I’d guess based on a totally unscientific and unreliable scan of the audience that they had around 5,000 people in attendance) after engaging in heavy local promotion. Obviously, we do not know the PPV numbers yet, but my gut feeling is that the WFA will only get big numbers if it lands a good television deal. It seems to have the connections and resources to do that, but only time will tell.

That is it for now. You can check out Sherdog.com for a complete, traditional news article on the show.

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  1. Anonymous said

    Miller takes zoloft (sp) perscribed by doctors, no lie.