Monday, June 6, 2011

Miguel Torres believes he did enough to defeat Demetrious Johnson at UFC 130

By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief

One of the best examples of excellence in ground fighting in mixed martial arts came during the Spike TV Prelims Live broadcast for UFC 130 on Saturday night, as Miguel Torres and Demetrious Johnson fought to a decision in a fight that arguably should have earned the night's "Fight of the Night" bonus.

Torres was taken down numerous times in the bout, but was continuously active from his back, threatening with submissions and sweeping Johnson on multiple occasions. "Mighty Mouse" kept the pressure on from top position, and forced the fight to the ground with some well timed takedowns during the fight, but at no time did he come close to hurting Torres or threatening to finish the fight.

However, all three judges scored the fight 29-28 for Johnson, derailing Torres' likely title shot against the winner of the Dominick Cruz vs. Urijah Faber fight at UFC 132. He took to Twitter after the loss to lament allowing the fight to go to the judges.

"Sorry guys, I f***ed up and let the judges decide my fate," Torres wrote. "Johnson did a good job and had a great game plan."

After re-watching the fight, Torres still believed he did enough to win, which is how a large segment of MMA media covering the fight had it scored.

"Rewatched my fight, think I won based on effective attacks, sweeps & position control," he added.

Regardless, the loss goes on his record, and Torres - who suffered just his fourth career loss in 43 fights, drops back down the bantamweight ladder again. For Johnson, the win is his fourth straight since losing his WEC debut to Brad Pickett by decision last April, and he may have punched his ticket into the title fight later this year.

Penick's Analysis: I've re-watched the fight twice since Saturday night and the only thing I'd consider changing from my scorecard on Saturday night is the third round, and even then I'd only lean towards a 10-10. I'm not as hostile towards the decision as I was when it was handed down, as this was a really good, really close fight, and I don't want to take away from Johnson entirely and what he did in the fight. He had some very good grappling of his own in passing Torres' guard numerous times and pulling off a couple of sweeps himself, but the problem I have with the scoring is that he was constantly on the defensive. Despite bringing the fight to the ground, Torres was the one attacking with strikes and submission attempts, and was the only one who came near finishing that fight. I still think he deserved the first two rounds at the very least, and would still give him the third. It's unfortunate that being on top on the ground equates to being in the "dominant position" for so many of these judges when that's just not always the case. Had Johnson been the aggressor on top, attacking with strikes of his own and looking for submissions, this would be a different situation, but Torres was the one constantly working, sweeping and attempting to find submissions. It wasn't a highway robbery, but it was a bad decision nonetheless.


Rich Franklin Ian Freeman Don Frye Tony Fryklund Kazuyuki Fujita

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