Now that Big Nog is interim HW UFC champ and Rampage and Anderson Silva are champs in other divisions, the old stupid debate about whether Pride had better fighters is pretty much over and it should now be obvious to even the most casual fan who said something stupid like Pride was worse because of Cro Cop’s poor showing in UFC. Never mind that I don’t really like when someone wins by pulling guard or that poor Big Nog is going to suffer later for taking so much punishment (Ali comes to mind) in his career to get these wins, his bjj worked. Speaking of which, it worked quite easily for Frank Mir as well. Even after he took punishment from a gigantic Lesnar. Apparently it worked for Almeida but I haven’t watched that match. Update: just watched it after a friend who has rolled with him mentioned it. Beautiful clean submission. A bit surprising really. UFC 81, at least from the few matches I was most interested in, was kind of renewed proof of jiu jitsu and “soft” (take the “energy” and flow with it into a lock, or set up one lock and flow from the response to the next lock) in my mind, just when I was starting to think strikers have been doing better (never mind that GSP and Lyoto Machida also won by sub recently, or that they are so well rounded, they are hyped as strikers or preferring strikes and for some reason I like to believe this hype). Also, never mind that Rampage has a wrestling background and said something funny like “see, people don’t know I got some JIU-JITSU! But I don’t like to submit people. I like to pound ’em til Big John pulls me off. That’s the way I like rolling. See?” That also makes me think striking has been doing well. Sure, sure, it’s the individual, not the style, but as an armchair quarterback, it’s more fun to try to spot little mini-waves or trends like gogoplata attempts, spinning back kicks or whatever it might be. I like to imagine little things will keep taking off in a sort of classic kungfu movie fashion. Having become well-rounded, someone somewhere is sharpening and perfecting some other specialized niche tool that everyone else considers low percentage. “Ah, this style will really get beat by my new spider-crane-snake-omoplata-spinning-back-kick-flying-arm-bar-scissor-takedown-heelhook kungfu style.” Spectating would be more fun.