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Poor-formances of the Night: UFC Monterrey

Perez

The eighth edition of Poor-formances of the Night returns after a near two-month hiatus. That’s a positive sign as it means recent MMA events have all been going relatively ridicule-free.

The UFC continued its expansion into Mexico as it landed for the first time in Monterrey, the country’s third largest city in terms of metropolitan area. Mexican-American fighters Kelvin Gastelum, Efrain Escudero, Diego Sanchez, Ricardo Lamas and Henry Cejudo were all in feature bouts as more local fighters graduating from The Ultimate Fighter: Latin America 2 also figured into the overall event.

We recap some of the night’s least flattering moments. In this edition, there’s a collection of controversial, infuriating and downright embarrassing screw ups all the way to putting the viewer to sleep. Here are the Poor-formances of the Night for UFC Monterrey:

TO FIGHT OR NOT TO FIGHT?
Referee Gary Copeland and Scott Jorgensen’s coach, Kit Cope, continue to let Jorgensen fight despite an injured leg, resulting in a social media backlash

twitter

via twitter

Fighters fight. Coaches coach. Referees ref. Reporters report. Fans opine. Everyone has his or her own title and they stand by it. But in the case of the Jorgensen fight against Alejandro Perez, all those roles blurred into one grey area very briefly on Twitter.

Jorgensen was losing the fight to Perez. His leg had taken a beating from Perez’s leg kicks. At one point, Jorgensen was hobbling around. He essentially had one leg left. Twitter went haywire with several media members calling for the fight to be stopped throwing referee and Jorgensen’s cornerman under the bus for letting him continue on.

Eventually, Jorgensen dropped to the canvas and tapped out. The pain had been unbearable and his heroic effort ended in defeat. He and his corner then took to twitter to fire back at a few MMA reporters who had criticized his corner for not stopping the fight. Jorgensen apparently had not suffered any serious injuries.

Jorgensen and Cope had fair points. MMA media are not fighters and most likely have not been in the same situation as them, meaning they may lack that first-person understanding of someone like a Josh Samman or Firas Zahabi. However, it’s a moot point as the media will continue to report as authentically as possible, and the feeling of seeing a fighter suffer more than what they perceive is acceptable draws out strong opinions.

It is a violent sport but the consumers are still human and at some point the viewer tolerance will go at odds with the fighters.

ONE PEREZ FITS ALL
UFC uses Alejandro Perez graphic for Erik Perez in tale of the tape segment

Perez

Perez

Erik Perez. Alejandro Perez. Perez Hilton. One Perez fits all. Not to be too hard on the UFC graphics team, but the surname Perez is in fact one of the most common surnames not just among Hispanics, but in the world. So he gets some slack.

With that said, you’d think one of the UFC’s most renowned prospects who has been around for three years, wears a luchador mask and is the feature bout of the prelims would at least get enough distinction to get his damned correct photo up.

SNOOZE BUTTON AT MIDNIGHT
UFC main card broadcast drags on beyond 1:00 am with all six fights going to decision

Saturday night’s main card was a long drawn out non-eventful card that lasted over 3 hours in a somewhat anticlimactic fashion. The main event between Neil Magny and Kelvin Gastelum was a very exciting back-and-forth affair and the split decision was suspenseful. But if the viewership declined at this rate it’s not at all surprising as the five earlier fights were so somber the green, white and red seemed to represent Christmas as much as it did Mexico.

Several MMA journalists, such as Ariel Helwani, have lamented that the broadcast is a bit too long. MMA fans have lives (or not) and in the east coast the fight’s ending means bedtime for most. On a Saturday, no less. There’s a few solutions that may not be too popular among the UFC or some hardcores but cutting out the TUF fights, as Ben Fowlkes suggests, is another.

It’s one thing to have six fights go to a decision if they were the most high-level back-and-forth affair but hardly UFC-caliber fighters struggling for over 80 minutes is hardly quality TV.

IF THERE’S A ROBBERY AND NOBODY SEES IT…
Michel Prazeres wins decision over Valmir Lazaro despite being outstruck and missing over 90% of his takedown attempts

The first fights of any UFC event are usually low key especially in the arena where the majority of the audience still haven’t arrived so during Prazares and Lazaro’s opening bout, there was hardly anyone around to witness Lazaro become the nth fighter to be robbed by the decisions.

Lazaro outstruck Prazares for all three rounds landing 41 significant strikes against Prazares’s 20 including 29 head strikes to Prazares’s 12. The Nova Uniao fighter also stuffed 13 of Prazares’s 14 takedown attempts and was the more active fighter for most of the fight. Yet two judges scored the first two rounds for Prazeres. All 10 media outlets and 21 fan votes scored the fight for Lazaro. Unfortunately for him, none of those votes matter and he gets an “L” on his record.

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