I gave the card a solid 2 thumbs up.
This is the card that UFC really needed to produce on FOX. The hope is that enough people were watching on a Saturday night to turn this into PPV buys. I myself taped it and watched it this morning without checking out spoilers. Brandon Vera in the main event didn't look promising to me but he put on a hell of a performance and really upped his stock in my eyes with the loss. He hasn't looked this good since his early fights.
Thought Rogan and Goldie were great on commentary here as well explaining the techniques to potential new viewers and creating their usual excitement in the fights. I liked post fight how Dana & Rogan were hyping the Hendo vs Jones fight as that was the focus of whoever had the most exciting fight here however I thought they also should have plugged again next week's Henderson vs Edgar rematch. I know there was enough clips throughout the broadcast but on network TV you should be plugging your next event.
The crowd seemed like it had a ton of energy in the main event.
The undercard delivered as well. The De Fries vs Thompson fight was slow but all the others were very entertaining.
Best Fight: Shogun vs Vera
Worst Fight: De Fries vs Thompson
Best KO: Lyoto Machida in a tossup with Mike Swick
Best Sub: Joe Lauzon
Phil De Fries vs. Oli Thompson - Not a great 1st round at all as they just bulled on the fence but could have been De Fries game plan of blowing Thompson up as it definitely seemed to pay dividends in the 2nd round. as soon as De Fries got him down, Thompson just turtled and you knew it was over before he even had his hooks in.
Josh Grispi vs. Rani Yahya - A great performance by Yahya. Once he got Grispi down he was smooth and efficient on the ground with no wasted movements at all. Grispi has certainly fallen quickly after he was in line to face Aldo and lost that decision to Dustin Poirier.
Phil Davis vs. Wagner Prado - It was it was...Prado looked devastated when it was stopped and even when they announced the decision.
Cole Miller vs. Nam Phan - Thought this was a very entertaining fight. A great stand up technical battle that kept up an excellent pace the whole way thru. Phan looked really solid here especially considering the 6" reach disadvantage. Not really sure how Phan will do when he steps up a level in competition though. Time will tell as he continues to develop.
Mike Swick vs. DaMarques Johnson - It was great to see Swick come back from illness and win his fight in great fashion. It was a great comeback and story. He was in danger of losing in the 1st with that D'arce and that KO in the 2nd was awesome. This fight and seeing Swick win brought a smile to my face and a soft "yes!"
Joe Lauzon vs. Jamie Varner - I thought this was another excellent fight. Lauzon continues to look great but just cant get around the corner to win that important fight to put him in title contention. Varner looked tremendous here again as well considering he was fighting a 2nd fight on short notice which traditionally has not boded well for anyone that has done so. The lightweight division is so stacked I am still not convinced he can compete with that upper echelon. I like Lauzon but there is something missing in his game.
Lyoto Machida vs. Ryan Bader - The usual start to a Machida fight, being elusive and hard to hit. A devastating knockout to stop Bader. Nice sportsmanship as he stopped punching and held his hands up before the fight was stopped as he knew he was out.
Shogun Rua vs Brandon Vera - I haven't been a fan of Vera for years but this fight really upped his stock and Joe Silva even gave him the props after the fight. Shogun looked really gassed in the 2nd but got his second wind back in the 3rd. Both guys took a lot of hard shots and kept on coming, especially Vera taking a lot of those knees from Shogun. A great main event and an excellent card.
Have a great day all.
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I'm not really a fan, but turned it on in between the Olympics - right before Varner-Lauzon. Wow. My wife hates this stuff, but we both liked how they were sportsmen - even though they were beating the hell out of each other. That hooked me for the final hour.
As a wrestling guy who looks for a reason to watch things, the set up of last two fights reeled me in. Two fights, and whomever looks the best, gets the title shot. So I immediately was invested. Then Dana gave me the payoff with the decision. I can see myself trying to see Machida-Jones if it happens, and I haven't watched one since Brock. I think that was the show Jones got screwed and lost.
So "Thumbs Up" for a great, great final hour of television.
Keep up the good work,
Just wanted to give some feedback on tonight's UFC card on Fox. I would have to say "Wow!", what a great night of fights and a huge thumbs up for all the fights tonight. The fight card tonight was better then the last few pay per views. I'm sure the suits at Fox were very happy with this fight card and UFC being on their network, since the last 2 fight cards on Fox failed to really deliver anything special. The energy and the fans in the arena were off the charts amazing, it added to the "Big Fight" feel. I don't think I agree however with Machida getting the title shot, but that's just my opinion. Anyway, before I get to that viewpoint, just wanted to say how amazing both Mike Swick and Joe Lauzon looked in getting the victory tonight, especially Mike Swick with his long absence and health issues, he looked very impressive and showed no ring rust at all. Jaimi Varner looked great too, and I hope he get's another shot at getting some fights. Anyway, here's my recap of the two title contender fights.
Machida - Bader - Although this was an excellent fight, both men are fighting in their prime, and Machida looked impressive by dropping a few pounds, I really don't think he earned the title shot for the Hendo-Jones fight. Every fighter has a "Puncher's chance" to win a fight by knocking out an opponent at the right time. I think this is what happened here, it really could have went either way in my opinion, although it looked impressive, it was more luck then skill.
Vera - Shogun - This was a great 4 round war in a 5 round fight. This is where I have my issue with Machida getting the title shot over Shogun. The Machida-Bader fight was for 3 rounds, and the main event was for a scheduled 5 round fight. I thought both Shogun and Vera fought the harder match by going 4 rounds and both men earned the title shot more then a knock out win by Machida. Although Machida's win was impressive, does he really deserve a title shot over 2 guys who had to fight longer in a 5 round fight over a 3 round fight? And I also believe that a title fight with Shogun in the main event with either Jones or Hendo would be the better money fight in my opinion since both fights already have a backstory they can build on. A fight between Jones and Shogun would be a great rematch of the title that Shogun lost and get a win back over Jones. A fight between Shogun and Dan Henderson would also have a great story given their epic battle in San Jose last year with the 5 round war that they had. I would actually like to see Hendo defeat Jones and become champion since Hendo is a great fighter and I would like to see an "old" veteran get a win over Jones. I think Jon Jones is a great fighter, but I just want to see Henderson win since we are the same age (42) and I think Jones need's to be humbled a little bit, again just my opinion of course. I'm not taking anything away with Machida in the main event since that could be very good too, but I really think that Shogun earned the title shot with a hard fought 4 round victory over a lucky knock out shot by Machida. Regardless, it's going to be a great fight that I'm looking forward too, but if I could play matchmaker for a second, I would go with Henderson-Shogun, or Shogun - Jones. I think those would be the better money fights and a better main event.