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The Tap Out Wrap Up: REVIEW of UFC 41
By Dave Dymond
Mar 2, 2003, 18:20

“The Tap Out Wrap Up”
REVIEW of UFC 41: “Onslaught”


Hey there, it’s your old pal Dave Dymond, and welcome to the latest edition of the Tap Out Wrap Up.

Well, UFC 41 is in the books, and I have to say that I was pretty disappointed. Not just with my predictions, but most of the fights were fairly lackluster as well.

Let’s take a look at the results, shall we?



Lightweight Fight:

Yves Edwards (Muay Thai: 12 - 6 – 1)
vs.
Rich Clementi (Freestyle: 10 - 4 – 0)


What I Said:

“…The bottom line here is that Edwards has been to the big dance before, and has tested himself a higher quality of opponent. Edwards is also balancing on that “do or die” level in MMA, where he either needs to break through with a few big wins, or he risks becoming a journeyman, and losing his marketability, and the chance to fight in big shows like UFC and KOTC. He has a lot more to lose, and a lot more to prove than Clementi…”

What I Predicted:

“…I’m picking Yves Edwards to defeat Rich Clementi…”

The Result:

Yves Edwards defeated Rich Clementi with a Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 4:07 of Round 3.

What I Thought:

This was an okay fight, that went pretty much as I thought it would. Nothing to write home about, but it didn’t bore me either.

I go 1 for 1 for my predictions.




Lightweight Fight:

Matt Serra (Gracie Jiu-Jitsu /Boxing: 10-2)
vs.
Din Thomas (Jiu-Jitsu: 12 – 3)


What I Said:

“…This should be a really good fight. Whoever wins this fight will be a logical contender for the winner of the new UFC Lightweight Champion, who will also be crowned on this show… this should be a good one, and it may likely go to a decision.”

What I Predicted:

“…I’m picking Matt Serra to beat Din Thomas…but I’d be happy to be wrong.…”

The Result:

Din Thomas defeated Matt Serra by Split Decision.

What I Thought:

You got me, they never televised this fight, due to time reasons, and probably to save themselves some embarrassment.

The leading online MMA resource, sherdog.com reported:

“…the officials took their sweet time to render the decision and when it did come the arena was in shock as Matt Serra got the controversial split-decision. During the intermission before the show went live, Bruce Buffer returned to the ring to announce the score cards had been re-tabulated. The split-decision had been mistakenly given to Matt Serra and was reversed, giving the nod to Din Thomas. It was the right decision but the circumstances, it made the officials look less than competent…” Credit: Greg Savage @ sherdog.com

I go 1 and 1 with my predictions so far.




Heavyweight Fight:

Gan McGee (Kickboxing: 10-1) vs. Alexandre Dantas (Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu: 0-1)


What I Said:

“…This could be an exciting fight, as heavyweight fights usually are, and I am betting that McGee is going to want to go for a knockout…”

What I Predicted:

“…I’m picking Gan McGee to defeat Alexandre Dantas.…”

The Result:

Gan McGee defeated Alexandre Dantas by TKO (Strikes) at 4:49 of the first round.

What I Thought:

You got me, they never televised this fight either, due to time reasons.

The leading online MMA resource, sherdog.com reported:

“…The match was a snoozer, as "Café" could not score the takedown and McGee had no desire to go to the ground. After pulling guard and missing, Dantas hooked the right leg of McGee and worked for the leg-lock. Mcgee ended the agony as he punished Dantas with heavy punches, scoring the KO at 4:51 of the first round. McGee made a statement that he was ready for at title shot in the weak UFC heavyweight division…” Credit: Greg Savage @ sherdog.com

I go 2 and 1 with my predictions so far.




Heavyweight Fight:

Pedro Rizzo (Muay Thai: 12 – 4)
vs.
Vladimir Matyushenko (Wrestling: 11 - 2)


What I Said:

“…this will be the classic Wrestler vs. Puncher matchup. The question is…who will win it? Tough question. My gut says that Matyushenko is a good bet, if he can take Rizzo down, he can work the ground and pound. Then again, Rizzo is not an easy man to take down. I really hope that he can stay alive here…”

What I Predicted:

“…I’m picking “The Rock” to defeat “The Janitor”…”

The Result:

Vladimir Matyushenko defeated Pedro Rizzo by Unanimous Decision.

What I Thought:

This was another okay fight. Not great, not terrible.

There was an interesting paradox here too. Pedro Rizzo came into this fight in the best physical condition that I have ever seen him in. You can tell he trained like a madman for this fight. His condition was NOTICEABLY better.

The problem is, his performance was TOTALLY uninspired. He looked WAY too laid back in there. He was rarely the aggressor, and he totally let Vladdy bring the fight to HIM. He fought from the defensive all night. That’s not how you win fights, and he didn’t.

Matyushenko worked takedowns, as I predicted, and he earned that win.

I go 2 and 2 with my predictions so far. Damn Janitor.




Middleweight Fight:

Phil Baroni (Boxing: 5-1)
vs.
Matt Lindland (Wrestling: 8 – 1)


What I Said:

“…Baroni has a REAL big mouth, and he LOVES to shoot it off, but lately he’s been able to back it up with no problems. His opponent, the man who calls himself “The Law” is a great wrestler, but quite honestly, he bores the hell out of me. I have never seen a Matt Lindland fight that I really enjoyed. He’s a wrestler, but he also likes to find stand up from the clinch position, which is boring to watch. I prefer Baroni’s style to Lindland, even though Lindland is a Silver Medallist in Wrestling, and Baroni is a Gold Medallist in putting his foot in his mouth…”

What I Predicted:

“…I’m picking Phil Baroni to beat Matt Lindland.…”

The Result:

Matt Lindland defeated Phil Baroni by Unanimous Decision.

What I Thought:

Fight of the night, hands down.

This fight had it all, striking, ground work, and some good old fashioned HATRED, inspired by the big mouth of Mr. Baroni, who laid some grade A trash talking on “The Law” in the pre-fight interviews.

It was a real war, and my hat is off to both men. Methinks we might be seeing this on my Top 10 List at the end of the year.

I was especially impressed with how Baroni fought Lindland during his takedowns.

In the end though, Baroni gassed out again, and Lindland earned himself this victory. He still looks like an accountant, but he won this fight, no doubt.

I go 2 and 3 with my predictions so far.




Finals of the UFC Lightweight Championship Tournament

B.J. Penn (Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu: 5 – 1)
vs.
Caol Uno (Wajutsu Submission Wrestling 15 - 5 - 2 )


What I Said:

“…Uno is a submission wrestler, (a style I LOVE) and Penn is a Jiu-Jitsu Stylist, with impressive stand up skills. I’m going to go out on a limb here, because I think fundamentally, despite his crushing defeat at Penn’s hands the first time they fought, Uno is a better fighter…”

What I Predicted:

“…I’m picking Caol Uno to beat B.J. Penn…”

The Result:

DRAW after 5 rounds.

What I Thought:

WTF?

A DRAW?

It’s odd, this WAS a very even fight, and I can sort of see the fact that it went to a draw, but to be honest, I think Uno won this fight with his kicks at the closing of the fifth round.

Either way, I really think the UFC needs to have some sort of contingency plan for this kind of situation, like a sudden death round, or something. Although, this does set up a great fight in Penn-Uno III.

One thing, I was totally right about, is that Uno leaned from their first fight, Penn doesn’t look the same, and he didn’t get any 10 second cakewalk win.

This was a very good, technically sound fight, and worth seeing, but overall, it left a bit of a bad taste in my mouth.

I go 2-3-1 with my predictions so far.




TANK is BACK:

Tank Abbott (Pitfighting: 8 – 7)
vs.
Frank Mir (Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu: 4 – 1)


What I Said:

“…people tend to forget, that despite the fact that Tank Abbott may have had the MOST crossover appeal of any of the UFC legends, he has a barely 500 Won Loss record. He has also been out of the MMA game for a LONG time, as his last appearance was at UFC Brazil in 1998…If Mir beats Abbott, people will forget ALL about the Ian Freeman incident, and remember Frank Mir as the guy who ruined Tank’s comeback….There is no reason Tank Abbott should win this fight. He probably WON’T win this fight. Frank Mir is younger, and probably a better fighter…I know it probably won’t happen, but I don’t care. Kick the pretty boy’s ass, Tank.”

What I Predicted:

“I’m picking Tank Abbott to beat Frank Mir.”

The Result:

Frank Mir defeated Tank Abbott by Submission in 46 seconds.

What I Thought:

Me and my big mouth.

I guess I should stop picking with my heart, and pick with my BRAIN if I want to keep my winning prediction record! Oh well, at least I didn’t bet any money on this fight.

Plain and simple, Tank Abbott got EMBARRASSED in this fight. Just like in the last UFC, when Ortiz beat Shamrock, Abbott found out the hard way that Mixed Martial Arts has officially passed him by. Tank is a tough man, but being tough just isn’t enough any more.

The new breed of Mixed Martial Artist can mix all styles, and work a submission, stand up, and do both. Frank Mir tapped Tank Abbott out so quickly it wasn’t even funny.

For the record, I STILL HATE FRANK MIR. His behavior before and after the fight reminded me WHY I wanted Tank to kick his ass. He’s a loud mouth obnoxious pretty boy who thinks because he beat a man with no technical skills, who hasn’t fought in years, that’s way older than him, he’s a big man now.

Frank Mir is still a punk, and I HOPE he was watching the Main Event.

I go 2-4-1 with my predictions so far.




For the UFC World Heavyweight Championship:

Ricco Rodriguez © (Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu: 11 – 1)
vs.
Tim Sylvia (Miletich Fighting Systems: 11-1)


What I Said:

“Ricco “Suave” Rodriguez is another pretty boy fighter who the UFC obviously saw as highly marketable, and has been since pushed down our throats mercilessly…right into the World Heavyweight Championships…It looks like the UFC handpicked a guy with little experience to “feed” to Ricco for his first defense. Tim Sylvia is a Miletich fighter, which is a style I love…this fight is pretty simple. Ricco is supposed to win. His opponent has far less experience than he does, and has only won once in the UFC.”

What I Predicted:

I’m picking Ricco Rodriguez to beat Tim Sylvia, but I hope I’m wrong, and that Sylvia shocks the hell out of everybody, keeps the fight standing up, and kicks Ricco’s ass.

The Result:

Tim Sylvia became the NEW UFC World Heavyweight Champion when he kicked Ricco Rodriguez’s ass at with a TKO at 3:09 into the first round.

What I Thought:

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

Excuse me.

HE DID IT! Never have I been HAPPIER to be WRONG.

I love it when things like this happen. It was just like Ian Freeman beating Frank Mir’s ass at UFC 38. Tim Sylvia won the fight and shocked the MMA world, when he SMOKED Ricco Suave, and it wasn’t even CLOSE!

What made it even better, were Ricco’s asinine pre fight interviews, in which he demanded respect, and claimed he was the best, blah blah blah.

I love the Militech Fighting Style, and let me tell you, this UFC Heavyweight Division is so weak right now, I can see this kid staying on top for a while. He’s HUGE, and he has great stand up skills. I didn’t think he had the experience or conditioning to do it, but I should have considered the “Militech Factor.”

Sylvia had Militech, Matt Hughes, Jens Pulver, Robbie Lawler, and Jeremy Horn in his corner.

Ricco had Tito Ortiz.

C’mon.

My personal favorite moment, was when the camera caught Ricco and his buddy Tito “I’m Scared Of The Iceman” Ortiz scurrying up the ramp in embarrassment. What a great visual.




I go 2-5-1 with my predictions for UFC 41.

This brings my 2003 prediction record to 14-7-1.





Closing Thoughts:

- Overall, this was a fair show. You had the Baroni-Lindland classic, the Lightweight draw, and the World Title shocker on one hand, but then you had the other fights which were fair to poor. I wouldn’t recommend this show.

- Ken Shamrock made his return to UFC in this show, as a color commentator, and in my humble opinion, he did an OUTSTANDING job. He was intelligent, insightful, and added the info that ONLY a fighter could give you into those fights. He was so good, he almost made me not want to kill Goldberg, the play by play guy.

- The girl they had doing interviews was HOT! She was wearing a GARTER BELT. I can’t remember ANYTHING she said, but I was VERY IMPRESSED with her, regardless.

- They had a GREAT sit down interview with Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell. He confirmed what every true MMA fan knows right now. Tito Ortiz is a chickenshit, and is ducking The Iceman. The Iceman called him out, plain and simple during this interview, and if Ortiz doesn't step up and take his beating like a man, I hope it haunts him for the rest of his career. Liddell EARNED that shot, and has been the number one contender for a YEAR. Give him the damn shot Tito.

- During this show, UFC announced that the amazing Robbie Lawler will be returning to the Octagon at UFC 42, to face “The Secret Weapon” Pete Spratt.

- Finally, PRIDE 25 looks good to go on PPV for later this month, March 16th 2003. There are some good fights booked for this show, namely Carlos Newton vs. Anderson Silva, Quinton "RAMPAGE" Jackson vs. Kevin “The Monster” Randleman and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Emelianenko Fedor. It might be a half-decent show, and hey it’s PRIDE, so I’ll be here with a preview regardless!

That’s it for now.

See you soon with my PRIDE 25 preview, and until next time: RUN TITO, RUN!

- Dave Dymond



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