MMA

Sunday Swayze Awards – UFC Fight Night 36 Edition

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The Sunday Swayze Awards where I take a look at Saturday night’s UFC action using one of the most versatile actors of his generation, Patrick Swayze. Now the three main roles of his that will be utilized for this will be; Johnny Castle from Dirty Dancing, Dalton from Roadhouse, and Bodhi from Point Break. Now, do not be surprised if Jim Cunningham from Donnie Darko or Derek Sutton from Youngblood find their way into one or two of these. Let’s take a look a UFC Fight Night 36 and all of the action or inaction of the night.

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The Dalton Award goes to Lyoto Machida

He might be the poster fighter for this award as he fits the classic definition of my interpretation of a Dalton style of fighter. Dalton is the ultimate “cooler” in Roadhouse and his goal is to just get you out of the bar in the easiest and least violent way. This mentality is balanced by his lethal fighting ability. He has the skills to end you, but does not like using them. He is the philosopher fighter, who always finds a way to win.

In many ways that is Machida and his career. Much of his excitement in his fights is the anticipation of potential violence. He is one of the most intelligent fighters who does what is necessary to get the win. He does have the ability to knock people out and he would have KO’d a lot of middleweights tonight with his head kicks. Somehow Gegard Mousasi was able to eat them.

Despite not getting the finish it was still a very Dalton like performance. He battled through a possible broken foot epitomizing the famous “pain don’t hurt” line from the movie. One of the other favorite lines from Dalton is the, “I want you to be nice until it’s time to not be nice.” It is also a philosophy that Machida embodies, he is one of the nicest people outside of the octagon but one of the most dangerous inside of it.

In many ways he is the perfect fit for this category. There is his intelligent and calm fighting style, doing what he needs to get the win and the possibility of fight ending violence that make him the clear winner of this one on this night. He displayed all of those tonight and against lesser opponents he would have ended a lot of fights with one of those head kicks.

Honorable mention- Jacare Souza who fought intelligently and even up to the last seconds of the fight was trying to get the finish.

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The Johnny Castle Award goes to Zubaira Tukhugov

There are many sides to the complex Johnny Castle. There were two that Tukhugov displayed in his win over Douglas Silva de Andrade were his sweet spinning moves and getting the win as the outsider. In Dirty Dancing Castle is a dancer and a fighter.

Against Douglas Silva de Andrade the Chechen Tukhugov was able to come into Brazil and get the win against the Brazilian. That is something that is never easy and even tougher when it is your UFC debut. Just like the street kid Castle, who navigates the world of the rich to get Baby and the respect of her father, Tukhugov got the win in a hostile environment. He out struck Silva de Andrade, more than doubling him in strikes.

One of the reasons he was able to win the standup was his footwork. It was something he used to keep the fight at his distance and himself out of the range of the shorter but dangerous counter puncher. He also utilized some sweet spinning techniques to land both fists and kicks to score throughout the fight.

When it came to the grappling he also controlled that area. Like Castle, Tukhugov showed that he knows how to work on the inside and got the only four takedowns of the fight. For that, the smooth spinning techniques, and his ability to fight threw a hostile environment he gets the Johnny Castle award.

Honorable mention – Nico Musoke he came in, weathered the early storm and got the come back victory against a tough Brazilian.

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The Bodhi Award goes to Erick Silva

In Point Break Bodhi is all about adrenaline, excitement, the rush and the thrill of it all. Those were all things that Silva brought to this event. Sure there was the Charles Oliveira submission win over Andy Ogle but that did not electrify the fans like Silva’s KO of Takenori Sato. It was quick, exciting and contained more adrenaline than the rest of the card.

This was the expected outcome of this fight and this card needed this finish just like Point Break needed Swayze to save it. Sure the movie has Gary Busey and all of his craziness, Lori Petty with her unique brand to it and the brilliant direction of Kathryn Bigelow, but that movie is almost unwatchable without the brilliance that Swayze brings to the Bodhi role. This is exactly what Silva did for this card, sure Machida did his thing, and Jacare was going for the finish, but it was Silva that got the fans out of their seats. Even if it was part relief and part excitement.

It was quick, over in less than a minute. It started with a body kick that hurt Sato who tried for a takedown. Silva responded with something we had not seen in the octagon, a combo of soccer/hacky sack kicks that forced Sato to his knees. From there it was just a few hammer fists from Silva and it was all over.

Honorable mention – Charles Oliveira he got the only other finish on the card and got the fans excited.

Patrick Swayze may not be the greatest actor but he is one of the best. He had many exciting and unique roles during his career that have provided us with many great moments onscreen. There is also something about him that he brought to every role a certain Swayzeness that elevated the role to another level. This week these three fighters brought their own Swayzeness and gave us some of the best moments of the night.

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