Sunday, April 19, 2015

Big Bad Blog Video Theater-Paige VanZant vs Felice Herrig

Here's the match video of Paige VanZant vs Felice Herrig from last night's UFC show in Newark, NJ. The hype over Paige since her first UFC win has been ridiculous. I thought Felice would be a pretty good measuring stick to see where Paige is in her MMA career. For this fight, Paige returned to Team Alpha Male in Sacramento and UFC fighters Martin Kampmann and Andre Fili were in her corner. Paige starts out slowly and Felice has ground control for the first half of the round. This was set up by Paige's headlock takedown which gave up her back. That's a habit that needs to be broken. After a couple of submission attempts, Paige turns things around and scores a few punches from the top. The round was close and I scored it 10-9 for Felice because she controlled most of the round. Felice's trainer Jeff Curran tells her to use her kickboxing more. But I think the worm had turned already and that's what Paige was told between rounds. By the middle of round two, Felice looked like she was out of gas and Paige was firmly in control. I scored round two 10-9 for Paige. Coming out for round three, Felice looked beat and Paige was much fresher. Paige threw a lot of punches from top position but was unable to get a finish. I scored round three 10-8 for Paige and I scored the fight 29-27 for Paige. One of the judges scored it the same as me and the other two scored it 30-26 for Paige. It was a big win for Paige VanZant but people need to cool it with the overhype. Look, she has potential but she also has a lot of work to do. Geez, she's only 21 years old. Give her some time. Though Paige won decisively, a couple of things concern me. In both of her fights, Paige got off to a slow start. She won't get away with that against better competition. And by the number of punches she threw in round three, she doesn't throw hard enough to break an egg. She needs to work on her striking technique. Sometimes less is more. After the fight, Felice's BFF Carla Esparza Made excuses for Felice's performance. I'm sure Carla would love to fight Paige. I don't know why she made excuses. I've covered Felice's entire career and though she has improved under Curran's coaching, she's a mediocre fighter who used shrewd self promotion to become famous. The only thing that surprised me about Felice in this fight was how poor her cardio was. That's why she lost. There's no excuse for that. Enjoy the video!

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