UFC 164 feedback
The final ep starts with 2 surprises---Cole Williams replaces Riggs as #1 seed, and then chooses to call out Riggs for his semifinal fight, making the other fight Bradley vs. Bronzoulis by default. Williams is able to take Riggs down despite the size disadvatage but can't do much once he gets there, and Riggs able to muscle him the rest of the time enough to cop the SD. Bradley is all over Bronzoulis in the 1st, but gradually loses effectiveness in the 2nd, and Bronzoulis stuffs a TD with the aid of a handful of trunks and rains down elbows to the body that curl Bradley into a ball for the TKO. Greg Jackson protests the elbows were illegal and may have had a point but the result stands, so it's Riggs vs. Bronzoulis on the finale which I think is on the Mystery MMA Or Rasslin PPV Card. SHow was interesting and too bad nobody watched it because by the time bellator finishes committing suicide with the TNA tie in there probably won't be another season. I liked the emphasis on the fights but maybe they needed to do just a LITTLE more on the creating sympathy for the characters side.
Thumbs all the way up. Possibly the best card of the year to date.
Best fight: Condit-Kampmann, HM to McGee-Whitakker and Mizugaki-Perez
Worst fight: none. Andrews-Adebi dragged some but Andrews saved it with the explosion for the TKO.
KO: tie Condit & Thatch
Sub: tie Alloway, Head & Gastellum
Two good web fights as Abel Trujillo stops Roger Bolling at the end of the 2nd with an illegal knee after a close fight and it's declared a NC. Not sure why they didn't go to the cards with the fight 2/3 over. After dominating, Zak Cummings taps Benny Alloway with a D'Arce late in the 1st. Excellent work.
Jason High blows away James Head with a Rolling To Mounted Guillotine to open the midcard. High level grappling. Darren Elkins comes on to take the last 2 and the 29-28 UD over Hatsu Hioki. Stunning UFC debut From Brandon Thatch, blowing away Justin Edwards with very Anderson Silva-esque Muay Thai. After a possible broken shoulder in the 1st and slightly shaky 2nd Dylan Andrews explodes in the 3rd and drops Papy Abedi with uppercuts and finishes with G&P.
Brad Tavares takes the first two and lasts a domnant 3rd from Bubba McDaniel to take then 29-28 UD to open the top card.
Takeya Mizugaki appears to have derailed the Eric Perez Hype Train, experience and slightly better technical striking giving him the edge in an active, bruising battle of similar aggressive stylists. Judges agree 29-28 split, very good fight.
Another really good fight and also very close with Court McGee the busier and Robert Whitakker sharper. McGee might have stolen it in the final minute. 30-27 split, 29-28 McGee.
Kelvin Gastelum drops to 170 and proves the TUF upset win was no fluke, quickly dropping powerpuncher Bryan Melancon with strikes and finishing with RNC. This cat is BAD and isn't giving up size at WW.
Big 1st for Rafael Dos Anjos in the semi main, more than holding his own standing then dropping Donald Cerrone with a right hook, getting a TD and then schooling him on the ground for the rest of the round. Not an 8, but almost. In the 2nd 2m of outstriking by RDA then Cerrone gets the TD. RDA scrambles up shortly. Striking is all RDA which is a surprise, and he ices the round with another late TD and maintains control. Cerrone finally starts getting off first, stuffs several shots and takes the 3rd clear, but too little too late, 29-28 RDA. So clear the judges get it right. Another good fight. RDA close to putting it all together, needs to up his cardio still. Card has been solid as a rock and still got the main to go.
Kampmann successful in making the 1st a wrestling match and scores 4 TDs to take it clearly. Kampmann still accurate early in the 2nd but Condit now stuffing the shots and finding more and more range as the round progresses and even starts winning the wrestling exchanges. Doesn't look real solid on his feet though, but wins the round big. Kampmann gets one TD in the 3rd but Condit destroys him the rest of the round, busting him up bad and coming close to RNC. 10-8 round. Kampmann shoots a quick TD but can't keep Condit down and Condit just turns it on and finishes it with a barrage of strikes of all varieties. Outstanding performance by Condit and puts himself right back in title contention.
Thumbs up. Very good card, not quite up to the free card, but pretty major stuff for two cards less than a week apart.
Best fight: Camus vs. Kang, HM to Poirier-Koch for R1
Worst fight: Palelei vs. Krylov
KO: Mendes, HM to Barnett & Lim
On the webfights, Marcus Cedenblad catches Jared Hamman shooting in and rolls back straight to a mounted Guillotine in under 1m. Very impressive. Very good postfight promo too. Al Iaquinta looking way improved off the layoff just hits too hard for Ryan Couture, who can take a shot or he would have been stopped. I'd give a 10-8 for the 3rd. None of the judges do of course. Soa Palelei vs. Nikita Krylov is sort of entertaining in the 1st, then both guys gas completely and it quickly turns pathetic. Krylov falls down first, in the 3rd.
Homeboy Chico Camus and the much bigger Kyung Ho Kang open the midcard with a 3 round, back and forth, technical war that Camus wins in the last 30 seconds with an upkick and reversal. Great fight. One card is an asinine 30-27. Transplant homeboy Pascal Krauss fares less well, getting dropped with a right hand and finished with a high knee early by Hyung Goo Lim in a rock em sock em robots brawl. Lim looks as big as Jon Jones and these are 170s. Tim Elliot just all over Louis Gaudinot, drubbing him in all positions. Doesn't hit hard enough to finish it and the crowd gets antsy. More or less a Sonnen performance. Call the 3rd 10-8, total dominance. Two judges even get it right. Gleison Tibau dominates Jaime Varner for 2, then Varner turns the tables in the 3rd but can't finish it. I had the 2nd and the 3rd 10-8/8-10, 28-27. Judges go 29-28X2, 27-29 (making no sense).
ROUND OF THE YEAR opens the PPV. Dustin Poirier drops Erik Koch early and has him in deep trouble but Koch counters with a tri and Poirier is in it a long time and very hard pressed to escape. Then Poirier drops Koch with a right and probably would have been stopped outside Koch's hometown, and then almost finishes him with a D'Arce choke but Koch escapes at the last second, Poirier 10-9. Koch still a little rocky in the 2nd and Poirier gets a midround TD to back, to mount. Arm tri, Koch escapes but still mounted and getting pounded. Koch wallwalks up. Poirier bangs the body in clinch, up to the head, knees the body. Lands a combo on the break. Round ends in clinch. Poirier wide 10-9. Poirier pressing Koch into the cage working the body early in the 3rd. Seems to trip or try to pull guard and Koch comes down on top and landing some punches. Koch takes back, almost has a choke for a flash, almost gets shaken off but regains position but can't sink the choke. 10-9 Koch, 29-28 Poirier but the hometown thing. But actually two of them give Poirier a 10-8 and 29-27s. Great fight.
Ben Rothwell lumbers around after a very fat Brandon Vera for two rounds then wakes up in the 3rd and starts throwing and Vera quickly goes down and out. Why do these guys have a job?
Clay Guida is the bigger guy at FW and uncharacteristically aggressive but Chad Mendes does most of the effective work, threatens with Guillotine when Guida unwisely shoots, and lands a late TD but Guida's style is bothering him. Mendes 10-9. Another unwise shot by Guida gets reversed and Mendes begins to dominate the wrestling and ground. 10-9. Mendes drops Guida with a right and is all over him. Another big right drops him again and that's it. First one to KO Guida. Good fight.
Their graphic for the next card says 'John' Jones.
And the tale of the tape graphic lists Josh Barnett weighing 155. Frank Mir out righty. Barnett mugging Mir in the clinch right away. Drops him with a knee to the head and it's over quick. Mir and the crowd very upset. Replay shows Mir did go limp momentarily.
Ben Henderson finally got his hair greased back. Grew some chin padding too. Good plans, and so is his fight plan as he right away clinches Anthony Pettis and makes it a standing grind on the cage, kneeing the thighs, chopping at the calves with front kicks, unusual. Break LK right back in, 2x. Pettis lands a series of devastating body kicks from long range and tries a cartwheel kick and Ben takes him down. Pettis tries an arm bar and it's over. Had to be a verbal tap. Wow. Off the chart impressive as Bendo is maybe the best in the business at getting out of subs. Pettis just has his number.
I gave the card a thumbs up. Matches were solid the whole way thru except for the Rothwell fight
Best Fight: Poirier vs Koch
Worst Fight: Rothwell vs Vera
Best Sub: Pettis
Kyung Ho Kang vs. Chico Camus - This was a pretty entertaining opener. Nice back and forth action with a hometown boy getting the crowd hot. Besides Camus getting that fight winning upkick with a dozen seconds left, I think his aggression from the bottom really helped with this decision.
Hyun Gu Lim vs. Pascal Krauss -Lim looked in a totally different weight class here. Krauss showed a lot of heart after being rocked and doing the Flair face drop but from that point on he never recovered. That is 2 impressive finishes in a row for Lim. If when continues this up, could be a big star when UFC decides to enter Korea.
Tim Elliott vs. Louis Guadinot - I though Daniel Bryanito was going to break into a Yes! Yes! Yes! chant after that dominating display. What a cardio machine he was in this fight. He ate a couple good head kicks as well that never slowed him down in the slightest.
Gleison Tibau vs. Jamie Varner - Was pulling for Varner here but too little too late. I think he should have kept it standing instead of going to the ground as he may have had a better chance finishing a gassed Thibau.
Dustin Poirier vs. Erik Koch - This was an excellent back and forth fight. Koch's triangle looked pretty tight and Poirer showed a lot of composure to escape. Koch saved by the bell from the D'arce in the 2nd.
Brandon Vera vs. Ben Rothwell - I think Vera got a one way ticket to Bellator here. Not an impressive performance by either guy. Rothwell calling out Travis Browne may be a pink slip for Rothwell after that fight is over if it happens. Nice to see that right after Rothwell kicked Vera in the groin that they mention that fight sponsor is Corn Nuts
Clay Guida vs. Chad Mendes - a lot of action with not a lot of contact which is a typical Guida fight. Thought Mendes was going to pull hat guillotine off in the 1st. Impressive stoppage for Mendes but not sure if anyone wants to see him fight Ado again right now. Mendes' 360 pushups in the countdown show were pretty incredible.
Josh Barnett vs. Frank Mir - These two had great heat leading up to the fight and the fight started with great intensity. At first thought the stoppage was a bit quick by the rookie ref but Mir did look to go limp and would have got filled in with a lot of punches if it wasn't stopped. Good for the division as Mir winning doesn't do the division any good, Barnett winning adds another heavyweight to the mix. Maybe a Barnett vs Overeem match is next to provide another title contender.I would keep Browne matched with someone else, Rothwell if he is calling him out to create two potential challengers.
Benson Henderson vs. Anthony Pettis - Another shocker. I picked Pettis in my fantasy pool but was no way thinking that Bendo was going to get submitted in the 1st after so many fights we have seen his gumby-like escapes.
Quick flashback to the Alistair Overeem vs Travis Browne FoxSports 1 debut show...I was kind of surprised at how few, if any, kicks Overeem threw for being one of the best heavyweight K-1 kickboxing stars in history.
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