Last weekend saw yet another new promotion emerge into the maelstrom that is the current mixed martial arts landscape. Outside of the already established promotions such as the UFC, many would be promoters tend to find out rather quickly that running a successful promotion isn’t as easy as it looks, especially those who sign big names right off the bat. Moosin MMA will attempt to buck the trend, and to their credit seem to have a lot more going for them than a lot of the other recent start up promotions.
Tim Sylvia made quick work of Mariusz Pudzianowski over the weekend at Moosin MMA, eventually causing the Polish man mountain to tap to strikes after landing at will from the start. No surprises to be had there what with the lack of experience and training from Pudzianowski and the record of Sylvia. Overshadowed by what should be a decent win for Sylvia though were his remarks after the fight, where he said that he considers himself to be an MMA legend was didn’t like the fact that there was booing in the arena.
Now Sylvia remains the most dominant heavyweight champion in UFC history, and he might even get close to another title in a major organization if he can string together a few more wins, but an MMA legend he is not. Legends in the sport are either pioneers who made a difference to how the sport is contested today or the elite who have ruled over the sport against the best competition in the world.
When most people think of a legend, they tend to think of names like Dan Severn, Randy Couture, Kazushi Sakuraba or Fedor Emelianenko. Tim Sylvia doesn’t usually get a look in, and statements like the one he made are one of the reasons why. Perhaps most importantly, the reason there was a lot of booing was because the partisan crowd contained a lot of Pudzianowski supporters, not because anyone was questioning Sylvia’s place in the sport.
Next for Sylvia will probably be another couple of fights in smaller shows while he tries to raise his stock enough for another run in the major leagues. The problem he might run into when trying to sell himself to the big promotions is that despite his talent and if nothing else, effective fighting style, he isn’t that popular. StrikeForce need to consistently pull in big viewing figures if they want to succeed in the long term with their ever growing roster while the UFC has probably had more than enough of Sylvia’s stink outs to last them a lifetime. He will need not only a string of wins, but impressive wins to get him back to where he wants to be.
Pudzianowski said after the fight that he will continue to improve and take on the best opponents he can find, although probably for the time being at a lower tier than the likes of former UFC champions. Whether he can realistically improve very much is anyone’s guess, being close to 300lbs of muscle is seemingly more of a hindrance in MMA than anyone might have thought. If he is serious about improving, the best thing he could do would probably be to drop quite a bit of his bulk and focus on improving his standup and cardio. The downside being that he will lose his super hero like physique, and perhaps some of his appeal with the casual fans.
One time UFC middleweight title contender Travis Lutter was defeated by Rafael Natal via TKO in the second. The American Jiu-Jitsu specialist seemed to gas towards the end of the fight, which has been a problem he has struggled with throughout his career. Veteran Travis Wiuff was also on the main card, making short work of late replacement Josh Barnes via strikes.
Yves Edwards was in an entertaining fight against local prospect Mike Campbell, which in the end resulted in another loss for the once promising Edwards. The fight was closely contested, and Yves arguably controlled the majority of it, but as they say if you let it go to the judges then you take the risk. Edwards will no doubt continue to plug away fighting where he can, treading water as he has been doing for the last few years. Campbell though might go on to bigger and better things if he continues to develop and put together the wins, watch this space.
Undoubtedly though, the fight of the night from Moosin was Roxanne Modafferi vs Tara LaRosa, which was a back and forth fight that had it all. Too many fights in women’s MMA tend to be one sided, which is often down to the fact that because of the lack of available competition, many female fighters tend to move around the weight classes freely. This fight was anything but one sided though, and could have gone either way. I scored the fight for LaRosa by one round, although when the judges called Modafferi as the winner it was easy to see how they could have arrived at that result.
Shortly after the fight, Strikeforce 130lbs women’s champion Sarah Kauffman called out Roxie Modafferi, so we might well be in for another good women’s fight in the near future. It isn’t clear what Moosin has planned for the future, but it’s unlikely given that this was their first event that any of the fighters were signed to multiple fight deals.
Next for LaRosa, a return to the 125lb division where she has fought for the majority of her career is probably the best option. The thing is though, with the lack of competition in women’s MMA at the moment almost all of the big fights are at higher weight classes. For LaRosa the conundrum is whether to risk being overpowered against the naturally bigger opponents or continue to fight for less money against the slim pickings of the 125lb division.
Overall Moosin was an excellent event, especially for a new promotion. Often new promoters tend to have a rather chaotic feel to them, but Moosin was surprisingly well put together. Eric Esch and co even managed to secure the services of Bas Rutten (another MMA legend) as an announcer, and had a fairly stacked card to boot. They also succeeded in targeting several different demographics at the same time, with draws from the local area, Europe and Asia on the card.
It will be interesting to see whether the viewing figures are released for the event, which aired live in Poland as well as being shown on pay per view in the United States. Representatives from Moosin were aiming for big numbers before the event, but on the other hand it was broadcast early in the morning in Europe, where the majority of the viewers were coming from.