I hope you enjoyed the holiday weekend and the fireworks show. There was plenty of sports to watch, including the incredible night that was UFC 116. Follow me after the jump!
– Brock Lesnar and Shane Carwin put on one of the most dramatic title fights in recent UFC history. Carwin had the champion Lesnar in serious trouble and could’ve been opponent #13 out of 13 Shane’s list of men he’s defeated in the first round. A brutal left uppercut staggered Lesnar and after a few more shots Carwin dropped him. Miraculously Brock survived the remainder of the round and got his first submission victory in the 2nd over a clearly gassed Carwin. Lesnar locked in an arm triangle and Carwin tapped. So while Brock showed he is a man who can be hit, he absorbed incredible punishment and showed a lot of heart. Cain Velasquez is his next opponent, and that should be another great fight. With Fedor losing to Fabricio Werdum I think it’s justifiable to say Brock is the #1 fighter in the world today.
– Chris Leben is an absolute animal. I don’t know how he manages to take so much punishment and find ways to win. After knocking out Aaron Simpson on June 19th he took a bout against Japanese star Yoshihiro Akiyama on short notice. It was a great battle but it looked like Leben was on his way to a gritty but tough decision loss until he put up a triangle choke out of nowhere, forcing Akiyama to tap with 20 seconds left in the final round. Nothing like earning your first submission win in 5 years on short notice, stepping up to the plate for the injured Wanderlei Silva. Considering how close he was to being cut after a couple of losses, I think the last 2 weeks cemented him as a “UFC for life” man in Dana White’s eyes.
– Speaking of Akiyama (or Sexyama as he’s nicknamed), time to drop to 170 lbs. You look small for middleweight and I think welterweight is much more suitable.
– If Chris Lytle had not spent several parts of his UFC career trying to earn “Fight of the Night” bonuses and engaging in 3 round wars instead of being a grappling master like he was against Matt Brown, then we’d be talking about “Lights Out” as someone who is more than a welterweight gatekeeper.
– George Sotiropoulos should be in title contention. Kurt Pellegrino and Joe Stevenson are two quality victories and he’s a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu ace. I’d like to see him fight Rafael Dos Anjos or Tyson Griffin.
– Stephan Bonnar is not that great a martial artist. He will however leave everything in the cage and will give you a crowd-pleasing, but very sloppy brawl. Bonnar finally got a win in the UFC (his first since 2007), knocking out Krysztof Soszynski in a rematch of their controversial fight at UFC 110, when K-Sos won via TKO (cut) even though the cut was caused by an accidental headbutt.
– I’m pretty sure Gerald Harris’ KO via slam against Dave Branch was the first one of its kind since Matt Hughes vs. Carlos Newton at UFC 38. Kudos to Harris for recognizing Branch was out and another punch was unnecessary at that point.
– Please cut Chris Tuchscherer. After watching him get smashed by Brendan Schaub on the prelims show it’s easy to conclude Brock Lesnar’s training partner is not even remotely close to UFC material. Unlike Roy Nelson, Tuchscherer can’t get away with looking out-of-shape because Nelson actually has skills.
– Ricardo Romero did some nasty things to Seth Petruzelli’s arm. It looked like the UFC newcomer was on his way to la-la-land after multiple knockdowns, but Seth’s gas tank let him down and Romero pulled off a slick submission. Judging by the replays I think Seth had his arm broken.
– Joe Rogan when discussing Seth: “The man who single-handedly killed EliteXC!”. You gotta love Joe, because that’s not only funny but hilariously true. The moment Petruzelli knocked out Kimbo Slice that organization was done for.
– In summary, that was the best show the UFC has put on this year. The real credit goes to Joe Silva, the organization’s matchmaker. What the card lacked in “name value” besides the main event made up for in entertaining, quality fights. If you bought this PPV it was worth every penny….if you watched it on a stream like I did, it was worth the eye-strain and computer bandwidth!
– UFC 117 is the next major show, where Anderson Silva will look to blow Chael Sonnen to smitherines with his fists.