UFC Brazil Marked By Woeful Matchmaking


Thank God for Nedkov, who broke thru with a victory at UFC Brazil.

If there is one guy who is hard to knock in the business of MMA at the UFC, it’s matchmaker Joe Silva.  He has been around a LONG time and knows the game.  A long time observer of the Japanese scene, Joe showed up at an early UFC and literally stalked then owner Bob Meyrowitz into giving him a job consulting.

That’s why the matchmaking at this last UFC Brazil event was so befuddling.  Every time I looked up it seemed like the Brazilian was winning.  Thanks to undefeated Bulgarian powerhouse Stanislav Nedkov, it wasn’t a total romp for the Brazilians, as he managed to stop Luis Cane in the first round.

Bad matchmaking was especially the case with young Brendan Schaub.  This was the guy’s 10th pro fight, and he got stuck in their with a guy in Minotauro Noguiera who has 40 fights.  And it isn’t like those 40 were against nobody’s.

OK.  So it was gonna be hard to know that Forrest Griffin wasn’t going to show up, but he didn’t.  It is going to be hard to bring Griffin back, as he really seems washed up.  I don’t consider Tito Ortiz a top guy anymore, and Rich Franklin is a 185 lber who cant make that weight anymore.  Griffin has not beaten a top guy in a while

And Dan Miller and Spencer Fisher?  These guys are good little fighters, but to bring them to Brazil, the first UFC show in 12 years in that country, Silva really had to go with a A game, and they simply did not do that.  Yes eleven of the 12 matches featured Brazilians, but these guys needed to work, they needed hard fights and the UFC didn’t deliver.

Which brings us to Okami.  Yes, he deserved the title shot, but this was always going to be a romp.  I attended his 2003 loss to Amar Suluev in Russia (I was judging, though I didn’t judge that fight) and he fought a smart fight.

Since then Okami has not changed much.  He is tall and rangy, but he is not strong, certainly not strong enough to take down Suluev, or this past weekend, Anderson Silva.  That first fight in Rumble on the Rock, yes he got Silva down, but this was probably the best opponent for Silva to look good in Brazil.

Let’s just say the UFC, after 12 years, gets a C for their UFC Brazil show, and that the main thing is they didn’t test the Brazilians, that they gave them bye’s.  And supposedly that isn’t the UFC way, this isn’t boxing.




About Miguel

MMA matchmaker since 1997. No one besides Joe Silva has made more fights than me.
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