Sunday, July 12, 2009

UFC 100 thoughts

Last night, the UFC held what it was calling UFC 100, their monumental event. And while it actually wasn't their 100th event, they treated it as a showcase show, trying to pack the fight card with as many crowd pleasing fights as they could. What the crowd got was two dominant performances from Champions and one of those Champions trying to be a heel to the crowd, much like he portrayed in his previous occupation. More on that in a second.

If you ask MMA fans across the world, most would say that either Fedor Emelianenko or Anderson Silva is the best pound for pound fighter in the world. But after last night's shutout, dominant victory over Thiago Alves, one has to wonder if Georges St. Pierre is going to start getting his name in the conversation.

And it wasn't just because he beat the toughest opponent he's faced yet since becoming Champ, it's the way GSP did it, neutralizing Alves striking ability and taking him down with ease and just absolutely dominating him while preventing Alves from doing anything. Alves would stand up, try to strike with GSP and GSP we would be game for a little while until he decided to take him down, again. And this all happened every round, repeatedly, including the 4th and 5th round, when GSP told his corner that he hurt his groin, possibly tearing a ligament or muscle. Fighting on one leg for the last 2 rounds, GSP showed no signs of the injury until after the final horn sounded. Up next is possibly the winner of Mike Swick vs Martin Kampmann, but I don't know if anyone can give him a challenge unless the UFC and Anderson Silva decide that they want that fight at 185.

A nice grudge match between Dan Henderson and Michael Bisping, coaches on The Ultimate Fighter season 9 coaches, helped electrify the crowd on the second fight of the PPV. Henderson grew a hatred on the show for the cocky Bisping, who felt that everyone was underestimating him. Problem for Bisping is that if you feel that people are underestimating you, you have to do something to show them why the shouldn't. And circling to your left towards a right hand that can smash a brick wall isn't going to end well. But Bisping was game for the first round, counter punching and trying to engage a little bit here and there while trying to not get his head sent into the first row. Second round he wasn't so lucky. After his corner reminded him to circle right, Bisping decided to continue to circle left, towards Henderson's right hand and after throwing a punch received a counter punch on the chin that knocked him out before his head hit the canvas, hard. Henderson, admitting that he knew Bisping was out, decided to throw an elbow to embed Bisping's skull on the canvas, to 'shut him up' as he put it in the post fight interview. Next up for Henderson is a possible rematch against Anderson Silva, a fight he lost in the 2nd round on a choke, but easily won the 1st round. And with the way he looked the past 2 fights, he may just be able to do it.

The last fight on the card wasn't the main event of Brock Lesnar and Frank Mir, but instead a match between former welter weight contender Jon Fitch and Pualo Thiago, a fighter that knocked out Fitch's training partner Josh Koscheck with a vicious uppercut last time out. Sadly for the fighters, they went from being the 3rd fight on the PPV to a swing bout, having to wait till after the Main Event to fight and after much of the crowd went home. And they missed an exciting ground war, as Fitch was in a choke for about 2 or 3 minutes of the first round, easily losing the round to Thiago. But Fitch came out strong in the 2nd and 3rd round, dominating the ground exchange for those 2 rounds and getting the unanimous decision.

The fight that most people came to see was the Mir vs Lesnar fight, as the trash talk between these two started after Mir beat Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira in Dec, telling Lesnar that 'you have my belt.' After the fight was postponed from a May date to the UFC 100, Lesnar was telling people that Mir had a horseshoe up his ass that fight. After last night, Lesnar made sure that there would be zero doubt as to who was the UFC champ.

While Lesnar has been content with standing and striking during his UFC career, he took down Mir in the first round with ease and then proceeded to pound Mir with the pickup trucks he calls fist for 3 minutes, even while the best referee in MMA telling Lesnar that he had to work. And with the crowd chanting 'Stand Them Up', Lesnar continued to punch Mir repeatedly with his fists, doing enough damage to Mir's face that made it look like raw meat after the first round.

The second round started much the same, though the first time Mir was on the ground, Lesnar wanted Mir to get back up. But the next time, Mir wasn't as lucky and Lesnar took him down near the fence. This time, Lesnar wasn't getting up until Dean pulled him off when he thought Mir had enough. Lesnar was just hammering Mir's face, from under his own arm, whipping his head backwards as if someone was pulling his hair every time Lesnar was punching him. When Mir had enough of the plastic surgery that was being administered by Lesnar, he decided to give Lesnar the side of his head to hit for a while instead. And Lesnar obliged, pounding it until Dean said no more. While Lesnar was celebrating around the octagon, Mir finally stumbled back to his feet. That's when Lesnar decided to bring out the WWE heel in him, going up to Mir and saying something like 'keep talking all that shit now' and then flipping off the crowd as he was being pushed away from Mir and booed. With the win, Lesnar now has complete control of the heavyweight division and awaits his next opponent. Whom that may be is unknown right now. If Cheick Kongo hadn't lost to Cain Velasquez in June, it might have been him. But its all up in the air right now.

Up next for the UFC is Aug 8th, UFC 101. BJ Penn defends his belt against Kenny Florian as the main event, and in a no-win situation, the UFC has decided to throw Anderson Silva in there against poster-boy Forrest Griffin in the light-heavyweight division. I say it's no-win because if Silva beats Griffin, their poster boy just lost two fights in a row and moves further away from a title fight. If Silva loses, the UFC can't possibly call him the best pound for pound fighter in the world, all because they wanted to give him a fighter that would cause Silva to actually engage and put on an exciting fight after his last two clunkers.

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