Thursday, April 22, 2010
Tres Leches of the Martial World
"Tres Leches (Triboro Trilogy)" is a medley of lyrical martial expertise. Over an ominous-sounding RZA track, Prodigy, Inspectah Deck and Big Pun take turns blasting, slicing and crushing the mic, resulting in a joint that is the equivalent of a kung fu masterpiece.
Last weekend's Shields-Henderson (Strikeforce : Nashville) and Pavlik-Martinez, and the upcoming Aldo-Faber (WEC 48 - April 24, 10 PM ET on PPV), has given me inspiration to serve a metaphorical plate of lyrical and sanctioned violence.
1. Prodigy of Mobb Deep, the first batter up in "Tres Leches", is the no-nonsense street emcee whose rhymes carry a violent edge. His menacing attitude on the mic belie his small frame and muted voice, and his cinematic tales good enough to "get Ruger endorsements."
In spite of his one-dimensional game, Jake Shields showed Dan Henderson how deep his skill level is in the art and science of groundfighting. In spite of getting blasted to the floor and pounded with a barrage of strikes in the first half of Round 1, he survived.
After that, it was all Jake Shields, as he repeatedly took down the naturally stronger Dan Henderson, passed guard, mounted and pounded. Shields may not have received any endorsements from Ruger, but I, for one, know better than to underestimate his ability to impose his fighting method on more powerful rivals.
2. Although Inspectah Deck isn't the Wu-Tang member with the catchiest voice, only GZA surpasses him when it comes to pure mic technique. Deck's run in 1997-98 blessing albums and songs from Wu-Tang Forever ("Triumph" video below) to "Above the Clouds" to "Tres Leches" with sharp verses is the stuff of legends.
Sergio Martinez isn't the boxer with the hardest punch, but he has some of the fastest hands and feet this side of a prime Roy Jones, Jr. And going by what I saw him do to Kelly Pavlik, I'm pretty sure Martinez carries swords in his two hands.
If you saw the fight, you know how "Maravilla" Martinez handed "The Ghost" death by a thousand cuts. You know how he danced around, how he hit Pavlik at will. You know how he took control of the fight early, how he opened a cut over Pavlik's left eye in the first round.
You know how he got knocked down in the seventh, and lost the lead by the end of the eighth. And you damn well know how he finished the fight by giving Pavlik a bloody four-round lesson in pugilistic swordsmanship.
That, amigo, is pretty Maravilla.
3. I have a feeling that Urijah Faber will survive a war with Jose Aldo with his Big Pun style of fighting. Mike Brown's methodical counterattacking style was a bad matchup for him, but I think Faber's wrestling-based freewheeling style gives him some useful weapons to fire against the Muay Thai MMA specimen from Brazil.
The muscular Urijah Faber may be a brawler who fights closer to the ground, but he's skilled in all aspects of the sport. He's a striker with decent technique and power to be respected. He fights well enough on the ground to end fights with submissions. We all know about his takedowns and strength.
Faber's improvisational skills allow him to, more often that not, apply the right technique at the right time. Faber's combination of brains and brawn remind me of Big Pun's witty punchlines and heavy-handed flow.
With the emotional support of his hometown Sacramento behind him, I think Urijah Faber will be able to eke out a split decision over Jose Aldo - if everything goes right. Aldo has a higher center of gravity and his close-quarter combat skills are unproven against an explosive, creative wrestler like The California Kid. These are some things Faber could exploit.
That, amigo, concludes the tale of three lyrical weapons specialists reincarnated in the world of combat sports, "Tres Leches of the Martial World".