Originally Posted by Haggis McJackass
I feel that many fights at the top level are like this. Especially in the heavier divisions, where one strike can significantly alter the course of a fight even if it doesn't lead directly to a stoppage.
If Cigano lands a sweet hook on the button in the first round and Cormier eats it and doesn't get staggered/stopped right there, it can still have a massive effect on him. It can affect his balance and reflexes. It can make him slightly hesitant to pull the trigger or close distance. It can make him disengage from future takedown attempts when Junior punches back at him, instead of powering through anyway.
If Cigano never lands that initial hook and Cormier doesn't feel the power early on, then Cormier may well be a lot more confident and aggressive, may commit more to his attacks, and may then be a lot more successful.
This is something that I think many fans don't really acknowlege. Many fights, you can run them 5 times and not only get different outcomes, but entirely different paths to the different outcomes.
An obvious example is JDS-Cain. Junior landed that punch, scrambled his balance and then immediately laid him out. First round KO in a walkover. Does that mean that Cain was always outclassed and was never going to be competitive? Of course not. All we know is that Cain got tooled - on THAT night. That's not taking anything away from Cigano's win, but it's foolish to assume that Junior can dismantle Cain with ease any time they fight.
Yep Haggis, when i used to box in the am's and moved up in class a bit, lol, well i remember getting tagged early by a dude that could really throw compared to my level and skill. The thing is , nobody KNEW that i got tagged so badly EXCEPT me. The punch didnt land fully flush but even not landing fullly flush the first thing that went through my mind is, "DO NOT LET THIS GUY LAND FLUSH" and thus i CHANGED my entire MIND SET from those first few punches. This is the HUGE "X" factor with a guy like JDS's power and hand speed. His takedown defense ends up becoming as great as it is because whoever is trying to take him down becomes aware they will most likely have to eat one or more good shots before they can even attempt to ground him. If those shots are of NO CONCERN then attempting to ground him by closing space becomes no concern, if not then whole new ball game. And yes on the different match ups having the REALITY to turn out very very differently depending upon the NITE in question and a infinite amount of other factors all the way down to when a guy blinks and chooses to take a few deep breaths at the wrong time or does so at the right time. I remember Fedor's fight with Arlovski, this was when Fedor was still the king so to speak if i recall, Arlovski was in my opinion very much competitive with Fedor from the get go of that short fight. I thought he was getting the better of Fedor for sure. Arlovski hammers Fedor with a shot and Fedor goes back into the ropes looking submissive and off balance only to use that RUSE to bounce back off the ropes and lay Arlovski right out. Yep he didnt have the best chin, lol, my point is that a entire fight can turn on one good clean shot and if Fedor misses that punch Arlovski could have ended up taking him out in the next minute for all we really know.