Quijano: It’s a tie for Fight of the Year in 2013-A A +A
Saturday, December 28, 2013
THERE were several outstanding fights this year, but there were two that stood out and I have to call it a tie for our Fight of the Year honors.
Timothy Bradley W12 Ruslan Provodnikov, March 16. Coming into this fight, Bradley was riding high on the crest of that split decision victory over Manny Pacquiao in 2012.
Little was known about the unheralded Provodnikov other than the fact that he was a relentless pressure fighter with power in both hands.
That power Bradley felt early in the fight as the feral Russian battered him from pillar to post. A more prudent referee could have very well stopped it controversially at that point, but luckily, Pat Russel let it go, otherwise we would have been cheated out of a fight of the year winner.
Though his corner implored him not to engage in a slugfest, nonetheless Bradley got goaded into one. Consequently, we were treated to a scintillating toe- to- toe battle for the next several rounds.
Provodnikov seemed to slow down in the final quarter but came alive again in the 12th and scored a knockdown. Bradley was in spaghetti legs again but hung on to survive the fight.
Though pilloried for getting an undeserved decision win over the Pacman, Bradley earned the approbation from the fight world that he so craved with this fight, and he showed character, poise and championship heart.
RuslanProvodnikov vs. Mike Alvarado, Oct. 19. Alvarado is more popularly associated with rival banger Brandon Rios for their two highlight reel fights. This time around, he was matched against Provodnikov and pundits expected this to be one hell of a donnybrook.
They were right, as Provodnikov has no reverse gear in his arsenal and immediately brought the fight to Alvarado. The latter was game for it, but was surprisingly overwhelmed by the sheer viciousness of Provodnikov’s assault.
The gallant Alvarado went down twice in the eighth round and finally succumbed in the 10th round.
UFC 168. Today, Anderson Silva will step up to the plate and try to avenge his loss to Chris Weidman in UFC 162 . This is one of the most anticipated rematches in MMA history and it’s quite fitting to end 2013 with this intriguing fight.
In their first encounter, Silva disrespected his young challenger and showboated with Roy Jones Jr. seated at ringside. Weidman made him pay for strutting around like a popinjay and knocked him out in the 2nd round.
Now with his legacy on the line, can Silva regain his lofty perch at the apex of the sport?
If you consider how much Silva has accomplished in the sport, you would be tempted to write off that loss to Weidman as an aberration. After all, this is the very same “Spider” who defeated the likes of Forrest Griffin, Vitor Belfort, ChaelSonnen , Dan Henderson, and Rich Franklin.
But Weidman who only had nine MMA fights to his name did the unthinkable.
For this rematch, it is painfully obvious that Silva has to take Weidman seriously and demonstrate to all that this young rookie doesn’t even deserve to be in the same cage with him.
But at 38 years of age it’s probably easier said than done, especially because Silva already gave away that precious mental edge to Weidman.
“All American” Weidman’s strong suit is his wrestling proficiency, and you can recall how Sonnen’s tough wrestling skills gave Silva fits in their two fights. Plus, the 29- year old Weidman has youth on his side and really has nothing to lose on this fight.
He’ll be the more relaxed fighter and I believe this will be the deciding factor.
The prevailing mood it seems is that the real Anderson Silva will roll over Weidman on this one, but I’ve never been one afraid to swim upstream.
I’m picking underdog Weidman to win this one via decision.
VERBATIM. “I think that Dana could let me tryout in taekwondo for the 2016 Olympic Games and let me fight Roy”— Anderson Silva (MMAFighting.com)
LAST ROUND. It’s on Niña M. Tero who celebrates her birthday this week.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on December 29, 2013.