Yes, the dragon has been…..knocked out. There is a new light heavyweight champion in the UFC, and it’s Mauricio “Shogun” Rua. After a controversial decision loss at UFC 104 against the (now former) champion Lyoto Machida, Shogun left no doubt that he won this time around, stopping the previously unbeaten Karate ace with a first round TKO in Montreal. After the jump, some thoughts on the event as a whole…presented in bullet-points!
- Temple shots are great. They may not be powerful but they mess with your brain to the point where you pretty much short-circuit. Shogun threw a perfect punch and everything afterwards was to seal the deal.
- As for Machida, even the best get caught. Although, I think he lost the first fight and he obviously lost the second. Shogun has his number and I am not sure he would win any potential rubber match. He’s far from done as a contender though, and I’m certain he’ll bounce back.
- Kimbo Slice has no gas tank and zero ground game. He’s not a martial artist and definitely has no place in the UFC. Matt Mitrione whipped him in the 2nd round. Good riddance. Watch him get signed by Strikeforce.
- Paul Daley absolutely deserved to be cut as well. If his sucker punch had knocked Josh Koscheck out cold then it would’ve been reasonable to press criminal charges because the fight had already ended. At that point, combat stops and that’s an assault. Amazing how one act of stupidity can take you from having a chance to face Georges St. Pierre for a title coming into last Saturday’s fight, to being permanently gone from the organization.
- Speaking of Koscheck, classy way to taunt the Montreal crowd and say you’ll beat GSP. Sorry Josh, I like you and all, but GSP is going to destroy you.
- Sam Stout….for someone who is nicknamed “Hands of Stone”, he has little punching power.
- Stout loss a very entertaining split decision to Jeremy Stephens, marking the 2nd time in 3 fights the Canadian has lost in Montreal.
- Patrick Cote showed his ring rust against Alan Belcher. He was not as quick or strong as he has been in the past before he blew out his knee against Anderson Silva. Fittingly he broke his hand in the Belcher fight and having been submitted in the 2nd round, it looks like he’ll be out for a long time once more.
- How bad were Canadian fighters on this card? Try 1-6 for the whole night. Joe Doerksen submitted Tom Lawlor of the US via rear naked choke to give his home country their only victory on the night.
- As for one of those Canadians that lost, does Jonathan Goulet have the worst chin in MMA? Another knockout loss and it was ugly. Behold the GIF. On the flip side, it was good to see Marcus Davis back in the win column.
- Jason MacDonald shattered his leg Joe Theismann-style in his return to the UFC against John Salter. This was the first bout of the evening and the injury was frightening.
Koscheck/Daley aside, this show was very entertaining and the crowd was electric. You can always bet on a wild sports scene in Montreal, and now the UFC’s next Canadian show will be in Vancouver at UFC 115: Liddell vs. Franklin in June.
We learned a lot from this event. Shogun has shaken off the rough start coming back from injuries that plagued him post-PRIDE and in his first fight in the UFC against Forrest Griffin. Josh Koscheck is a great wrestler, a bit of an annoyance, and will be GSP’s next victim. Lastly, the winner for the Quinton “Rampage” Jackson vs. Rashad Evans main event at UFC 114 will have his hands full against the new champion of the 205 lb division, Mauricio “Shogun” Rua.