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Only saw the main card on this show.
I gave the show a thumbs up, definitely saved by the last two fights. A few too many fights going to decision to my liking but for those that like high level grappling and ground control this was the card for them. Don't mind seeing those type of fights if there are at least some finishes mixed in with the grappling and seeing some nice submissions but four in a row going to decision to start the show was a bit much.
Best Fight: Wanderlei vs Stann
Worst Fight: Gomi vs Sanchez
Best KO: Mark Hunt
Best Sub: n/a
Siyar Bahadurzada vs. Dong Hyun Kim - Kim's grappling and smothering technique was just too much too handle and Bahadurzada could never get off his back. Kim's confidence was huge as there were many times in the mount where he was taunting him to hit him and he could do nothing from the bottom or even attempt to buck him off. Crowd loved the Mongolian chops with flash backs to Sakuraba. A easy decision win here. I'd like to see him get a rematch with Demian Maia and really see the test in ground skills.
Mizuto Hirota vs. Rani Yahya - Fast paced fight but really it was the first fight all over with too different opponents. Styles make fights and it was Yahya who imposed his will of where this fight was taking place. Hirota had no answer for Yahya's speed and take down offence but did well to defend the head and arm choke that may have ended the fight if they were not so close to the cage.
Hector Lombard vs. Yushin Okami - Lombard gets exposed again and is really making his gigantic salary and signing bonus a big mistake in hindsight. Stepping up from Bellator to UFC competition may be too much for him. I really expected him to come out blazing and finish Okami in the 2nd round but he wasn't even close. The size difference here made them look like they were in different weight classes. If Lombard isn't impressive in his next fight (if he makes it), his giant salary may be one to dump like they did Jon Fitch's. Okami's grappling was too much for him
Takanori Gomi vs. Diego Sanchez - Really expected the Fireball Kid of old to resurface here at home, especially since Diego had trouble making weight and could not have been in peak physical condition. Diego really looked tired but Gomi couldn't capitalize and get his hands going. Wouldn't surprise me if Gomi gets his pink slip here although he may be needed as a name to continue to expand in the Asian market, but his name wont mean much if he cant get a win soon with only 2 wins in his last 5 fights.
Mark Hunt vs. Stefan Struve - A big upset in my mind. Hunt didn't look uncomfortable at al being on the ground and has really improved his game here. Struve didn't use his gigantic reach advantage to try to cut Hunt down with leg kicks and Hunt didn't really seem to have any trouble getting inside his reach to keep connecting. A gigantic left crushes Struve against the cage and Hunt walks away knowing the fight is over. Hunt continues his winning streak and almost deserves to be put in a fight with one of the top 5 ranked fighters to see where he really stands and how much his ground game has really improved. Struve has plenty of time to rebuild his career but this was a big set back. FINALLY A FINISH!!
Wanderlei Silva vs. Brian Stann - this was a great war and should win fight of the night hands down. Stann could have tried to use his grappling to take Wanderlei down and repeat the first three fights game plans but chose instead to stand up with Wanderlei to put on a stand up war that the fans wanted. Almost reminiscent of a mini Frye vs Takayama fight. Hats off to Stann for this game plan. Both guys were rocked many times and the fight really could have ended at any time for either guy. Great to see Wanderlei get a KO win back in Japan. With all the cuts coming, there is no way that Stann should get cut after this loss.
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Little better show than last week. Jones Zit Face Guy KOs Sonnen Swedish Guy, decent while it lasted. The angle now seems to be Uriah vs. Everybody. My money's on Uriah.
Mixed bag this week, Thumbs still up but plodding title fight main didn't help.
Best fight: nothing stood out
Worst fight: Appelt-Lanier
KO: Ed West
Brandon Ward quickly taps Moguel in the MW opener, showing both wrestling and grappling skill. Guy to watch. Short fat slob Appelt stops scarecrow Lanier, who usually fights at MW, early in the 2nd in a HW fight. Ridiculous fight. Cruz, a step ahead all the way, taps Gonzalez in the 2nd with the rarely seen Scarf Hold Armlock (more or less a side headlock/bent arm scissors, almost a Crippler Crossface) in a matchup of New Mexican locals. West knocks Montoya cold with a 2nd R HK after dominating the less experienced opponent for his first KO win. Quintana busts Wilson's nose with an early 3rd R knee, causing a stop after a rather boring 2 rounds. Dubious stop but Wilson was cowering. Avena blows away local schmuck Lovato, who comes in with an alleged 8-1 record but looks like he's never been in a gym in his life, let alone a ring. Female boxing champ Holly Holm stops the very much smaller (and not at ALL visibly female) wrestler Katie Merrill in the 2nd with a body shot.
Top card, Rickels repeats his previous UD over the much smaller Fischer, less competitive than the first time, to advance in the LW tourney. No explanation of what Fischer is doing in the fight as it was Saranavskiy who won the other quarterfinal, what's up with that? Not the first time. They have to stop this coverup shit. Rickels yet again dominates a smaller guy but fails to finish. One judge somehow gives Fischer a round.
In the other LW semi, Saad Awad just blows Will Brooks away in an upset. That's two in a row. What is this guy, a secret weapon? He'll murder Rickels. Brooks needs to go back to ATT but I'm not sure anything would have stopped Awad.
In the main, tourney winner Atilla Vegh dominates the entire desultory fight to take a UD and the LHW title from lame duck champion M'Pumbu, who doesn't start fighting till the 5th round. Stinker.
UFC fuel 8
Thumbs way up. Wandy Wandy Wandy. It was a mostly up till then. Note to Buffer: the 'W' is pronounced 'V'. Have you ever watched MMA? Note to Jonny Pipik: 'fastly' is still not a word. Note to judges: what the fuck?
Best fight: Wandy vs. Stann, HM to Hunt-Struve, Mizugaki-Caraway and Bruce Leroy-Kang
Worst fight: looking back there wasn't a bad fight all night so Sanchez-Gomi for the decision which was a FUCKING JOKE.
KO: Wandy, HM to Lim and Hunt
No subs? Nope. No subs. Huh.
On the fb card, Lim, with a huge size advantage, looks to be blowing it but KOs the more skilled Guimares with a knee late in the 2nd. Bruce Leroy finishes strong but I thought had dropped the first two rounds to Kang in a very fast, technical fight, nevertheless wins the 29-28 SD. Tokudome walks through Marcello's best shots early and overpowers him to sweep the cards. Caraway-Mizugaki VERY competitive. Close 1st, Caraway drops Mizugaki and dominates the 2nd, Mizugaki drops Caraway and dominates the 3rd. I'd call it a draw. Miesha tells Brian he's up 2-0 after the 2nd and he can coast. No he can't. Mizugaki takes the 29-28 SD. Why do corners do that? Always tell your guy the worst case truth, lie the other way if anything. Mizugaki blubbers like Aoki, his first win at home. Very good fight. Tavares a little sharper and takes the UD over Fukuda with one 30-27.
On the top card, Kim squashes Siyar for the entire fight, even getting entertaining by the last round with Mongolian Chops and whatnot. Another dubious fight plan from the Blackzilians. Could call every round 10-8 for dominance but of course nobody does. Jonny Pipik seem to be channeling Yogi Berra or Casey Stengel with 'when Kim beats you by unanimous decision, more often than not, it is unanimous'.
BJJ ace Yahya wipes the mat with Hirota for two rounds but cannot finish him and Hirota takes the 3rd as Yahya gasses but cannot finish either, although comes closest to a sub in the fight. It's amazing what a complete and utter idiot Jonny Pipik is and Florian seems to be dumbing down to his level. Rani's flopping all over the mat and they're talking like he's still dominating the fight. Very impressive two rounds fwiw, only possible score 29-28. Even the judges get it right.
Fight ain't in New Orleans so why are they playing House of the Rising Sun for the GSP-Diaz promos?
Very much like the last fight. Okami humps Lombard for two rounds then gasses and Hector comes out winging and dominates the 3rd making the fight at least a little dramatic but can't finish him. Probably should have kept the fight standing instead of settling for top position most of the round. Again only possible score is 29-28. One of the judges somehow gets it backwards, and things are about to get worse.
First 'distilled water' my ass. Diego is FAT. Close first with Diego getting TDs and going for a leglock which a few years ago Gomi would have tapped to, and Gomi outstriking him, Gomi CLEARLY dominates the 2nd and 3rd with aggression, 100% TD defense, superior boxing and harder punches. The judges are watching some other fight on Mars and give it to Sanchez 29-28 split. Horrible, horrible decision and fucked up a PRIDE sweep of the mains. I really wonder if Buffer read the cards wrong.
Hunt and Struve first off both show tremendous improvement in some ways. Hunt's ground game is 1000% better than it used to be. He even reverses Struve several times. Struve takes a much better punch with the added weight, but with both on shaky legs in the 3rd after a surprisingly active fight for big HWs, takes one too many from the wrong guy. Hunt walks away and Dean is about to call him back when Struve verbally taps with a broken jaw and a tooth in his cheek. Hunt is suddenly a factor in the division. Needs to lose some weight, duh, if he wants to be a more serious one. Wouldn't mind he got rid of the other fat guy.
Stann and Wandy just tear it up as expected. Rock em sock em 1st with 3 flash KDs for Stann and 1 for Wandy. Stann finishes on top but his head looks like he stuck it under a falling safe. Pace slows in the 2nd with Stann establishing the LK and Wandy establishing the jab, then toward the end, Wandy explodes with a right hook/overhand left for a serious KD and 3 or 4 followup ground shots and PRIDE Lives and Stann is out. The fight is at LHW and Stann is ranked at MW so with UFC logic Wandy is probably now a contender for Ronda's title but he's back in contention for SOMETHING. You gotta love Wandy but it's impossible to dislike Stann.
Best match: Hunt vs Struve
Worst match: none
If every match was like Hunt vs Struve and Silva vs Stann, then UFC would be the top sport in the world. Two killer main events. What now for Hunt? Do they give him Mir? Dos Santos? Overeem? The guy deserves some main event money, I think.
As for Stann, is he history? Maybe. Why keep a guy around who can’t win the big fights?
All in all, this show was awesome thanks to the final two matches.
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