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Can't comment on the whole card as there were broadcast issues but looked like a thumbs down. Seemed like one of their poorer cards, designed to push house fighters, and it backfired twice as MT-debuting MMA fighter Pedro Gonzalez crushed 'Golden Boy' Nick Chasteen, stopping him in the 2nd after a 10-8 1st. They gave Chasteen a gift decision in his last fight. Mohammed Lemjardine took a UD over house fighter Jason Andrada in their rematch which saw Lemjardine score 2 KDs in the 1st for what should have been a 10-7, before the feed went out. Andrada won the first fight, which was a burner with lemjardine in as a late sub, with a late KO. Very sketchy info from this fight available on the net. Some odd reason none of it is on the recap vid. Hmm. House fighter Tiffany Van Soest after losing the fight for the vacant title was fed someone she had already stopped in the 1st, who this time went the distance, and Kevin Ross and Cosmo Alexandre were also fed inexperienced opponents.The promotion after a promising start is starting to smell a little.

UFC 173

Thumbs up, although the night was about outstanding individual performances rather than competitive fights. The thing was in the main it was the wrong guy.
Best fight: actually the opener, Jingliang vs. Michaud
Worst fight: nothing really bad
Best performances: TJ, with HM to Cormier, Robbie, Chiesa, Ferguson, Clarke, Holdsworth and Pichel
Worst performances: Njokuani, Rivera, Hendo, Barao
KO: Ferguson, Robbie, TJ
Sub: Clarke

Really good opener. Very similar attributes although totally different physical types, grapplers who don't mind striking. Li Jingliang comes on at the end and probably edges the 3rd and the fight over David Michaud. He wins split with one 30-27 which is understandable as the 1st and 2nd were very close.
Sam Sicilia gradually imposes his will on Aaron Phillips for what should be a 29-28. Phillips showed really good leg strikes but made costly mistakes on the ground. One 30-27.
Vinc Pichel hits Anthony Njokuani with everything short of a chair for what should be a 30-26, dominating the entire 2nd and nearly finishing. Poke to the eye a few seconds in didn't help either. Amazingly (I shouldn't be amazed anymore) not only does nobody give him the 10-8, one judge somehow has it 29-28. *smh*

Al Iaquinta seems to be matched soft again and doing what he wants until Mitch Clarke catches him passing guard and puts him to sleep with a D'Arce in the 2nd. Good. Shut Serra and Longo up for two seconds at least, anyway.
Chris Holdsworth ties Chico Camus in knots for three. No possible score other than 30-27 even for the judges.
Katsunori Kikuno and Tony Ferguson live up to expectations. Kikuno gets Ferguson walking into shots early but Ferguson quickly demonstrates the advantages of boxing over ultra-traditional karate, scores a suplex, threatens with a D'Arce, then finishes the fight with a clean KO. Buffer still can't pronounce 'Cucui'. Even Rogan mentions it.
Dominant performance from Michael Chiesa taking a UD with two 30-26s over Francisco Trinaldo. Not sure how he got the 10-8s when Pichel didn't earlier for a similar but more damaging round.

Top card:

1: James Krause landing well early. Jamie Varner suddenly stumbles in midring for no apparent reason and there's something wrong with his leg and he shoots a desperation TD, gets reversed, reverses again. They're up and Varner throwing but stumbles again and Krause all over him. He makes it through the round but verbally taps after the bell, saying he broke his ankle but it's called a 'TKO'. Replay shows it was off a low kick by Krause a little before the first stumble so square biz.

1: Takeya Mizugaki drops Cisco Rivera hard early but lets him off the hook, which may be a mistake with Rivera. Rivera comes back with 3 TDs and makes it a close round but 10-9 Mizugaki. 2: Rivera getting the best of the striking and jumps Guillotine but doesn't have position and gives up top position and is puffing. Again Mizugaki not taking advantage but finally takes back. Can't sink the choke but it's enough to steal the round. But either round could have gone either way. 3: Mizugaki scores another KD with a left kick right straight. Rogan comments that Cisco seems lethargic. Mizugaki content to grind out the round. Ref standup. Mizugaki getting the best of it now. Both throwing wild. Big sloppy finish from both but sorta boring fight despite the KDs. Rivera saying something about his hands. 30-27 seems obvious. One judge goes 29-28. Poor performance from Rivera and disappointing fight.

1: Robbie Lawler letting it flow and pretty much shuts Jake Ellenberger down in the 1st. Wide 10-9. 2: Robbie just not letting Jake into the fight. Jake gets a couple TDs but Robbie actually laughs and quickly reverses one and escapes from the other and does a lot of damage. 3: Jake lands the big right but may have broken his hand and Robbie recovers quickly. Jake finally getting loose but his big weapon is offline. Robbie stuns Jake with a jab. Jake breaks and looks to the ref and Robbie drops him with a knee and a left hook and Jake crumbles. It's over. Robbie maintains #1 contender WW status. Very impressive performance.

1: Dan Henderson only weighs in at 199 and nobody mentions the T word once. Daniel Cormier gets a big throw early and stays on top almost all round. Incredibly as both put together couldn't spell submission if you spotted them the s's, each guy tries one. Cormier stuffs a Hendo TD late. Cormier 10-9. 2: Hendo puffing but what else is new. Again early TD and Cormier being more aggressive with G&P this round. Keeps position all round. Have to call that 10-8, it was 100%-0%. Hendo busted up and sounding like Mountain Rivera in the corner. 3: Lather rinse. High kicks. Full body slam. Side leg trip. Cormier who actually gets the RNC and Hendo goes to sleep. Cormier cuts a rasslin promo on Jones. Hendo promises to keep fighting. What's he gonna do? Go to middleweight which is way more full of stone killers than LHW? I think he could actually make welter but what's the point? The young guys will kill him.

Not gonna go round by round as it was pretty much the same round 5 times but Renan Barao who had a reportedly bad 50+ pound weight cut looked unusually sluggish from the jump and TJ Dillashaw fighting an absolutely perfect fight dominated every moment, dropping Barao with a huge right late in the 1st and winning every exchange easily and finishing in the 5th with G&P after another splattering KD to take the BW title and end the longest unbeaten streak in the sport in a major upset. Whatever Barao's issues were, incredible performance from TJ.

Crimson Mask

Loves the show. Was hoping the main event would be close but never expected that - TJ looked like a star. Can't remember the last time a challenger dominated 4 or 5 rounds and the result wasn't in doubt.
The only disappointment was that I thought Faber should have brought a steel chair into the cage afterwards and taken out TJ and Bang to set up a new program. Can't have it all I guess!
Andrew Warnica

Thumbs way up
Best Match: Ishii vs. Ibushi
Worst Match: Nakamura vs. Gracie

New Japan had a real shaky card on paper for this show but in many ways delivered what I thought was their best show this year. Ishii vs. Ibushi is a MOTYC if not the overall MOTY at this point. Styles vs. Okada lacked the annoyances from the original match and the crowd wasn't as flat for AJ. The Tanahashi vs. Shibata tag was excellent and hopefully is going to set up a singles match with those two down the line. Sakuraba/Rolles Gracie delivered a good match, that is to say around the ** range. Wasn't anything spectacular but given my expectations, it turned out well.

I have no idea why Daniel Gracie is so goddamn terrible. I was waiting for him to stop being awkward and looking so lost and I thought Nakamura would be able to lead him to a really good shoot style match but I thought wrong. By far the worst match on the show.

Overall, I think this has a good case for show of the year. The crowd was good, the in-ring action was (mostly) solid and they delivered a hell of a second half.
Ricky Schmidt

First NJPW I ever ordered. I only ordered this show after I watched The ROH shows and really enjoyed what I saw. This show tonight was 4 hours and it flew by. Nothing all that bad and two really great matches. I'm very happy with my $25 spent and would most certainly order more NJPW shows in the future.

Best Match: AJ Styles vs Kazuchika Okada
This was one of the best matches I've seen all year. The thing I enjoyed most about this match was the simple stuff they did and got maximum crowd reaction. Just awesome, solid wrestling at it's finest.

Worst Match: Hiroyoshi Tenzan and Satoshi Kojima vs Davey Boy Smith, Jr. and Lance Archer vs Rob Conway and Wes Brisco
This match was bad and Wes Brisco is really not good and had a bad night. He did possibley the worst rollup I have ever seen.

- Bradley Buckley

Who is the strongest of these Hall of Fame candidates?


What do you believe is the second most popular promotion right now in the U.S?