Best match: Edwards vs. Richards
Worst match: Cabana vs. Ciampa
Very good show. The top matches were better than Final Battle but I still think that was the best iPPV they have done since all the matches had such great buildup. The undercard here was forgettable, but it was an undercard. The Steen return & turn was about the best possible thing they could have done and really popped the show. Top half of the show was very good with 2 ****+ matches. Not sure where they go from here but it will be interesting to follow as they build to the TV debut.
STRIKEFORCE CHALLENGERS 14
Would have been thumbs in the middle with no stoppages on the card and no really best or worst fight but I'm gonna go thumbs up because THE JUDGING WAS ACTUALLY GOOD. But jeeeeeez, who told Mauro it would be a good idea to shave his head?
GDR is still a better kickboxer than Budd but she needs more muscle to successfully fight MMA.
High and Mulhearn never really developed past the immediate pattern as neither guy adjusted to the other.
Larkin once again impressive once he got untracked but would be well served to drop to 185.
Major props to the judges for giving Ricehouse the deserved UD over Ryan Couture when Ryan was obviously the push guy AND in his home town. Why can Washington state manage to hire competent judges but no other state can?
The main maybe deserved to be called best fight. Fodor may not be artistic but he never stops working and Terry never gave in and finished strong but the constant pressure was too much.
Thumbs up. Interesting fights with mostly clean finishes and lots of high level JJ on display which is a rare pleasure.
Best fight: I'll go with Malegarie-Devree
Worst fight: none
Sub: Curran for irony (getting an actually Peruvian guy with a Peruvian Necktie)
Mann looked really good in disposing of the outgunned Schindler, who himself may have an upside with some better training.
Malegarie showed way improved standup and upper food chain JJ. Devree did very well to last as long as he did and keep it interesting.
de Silva was a very tough guy and very hard to look good against, but I don't understand how one judge gave him two rounds. Sandro didn't get the additions to his highlight reel he probably wanted, but he certainly won the fight.
Curran just looked great both striking and on the mat in making short work of a very tough guy in Palomino. This will be a great tourney no matter what the next round matchups are.
UFC VERSUS 4
Thumbs way up. The main put this card over the top.
Best fight: Kongo-Barry, with the curtain jerker Johnson-Faalaloto not far behind
Worst fight: Vasquez-Stevenson, Brown-Howard
I thought Johnson-Faalaloto was gonna be untoppable for best fight. Faalaloto was doing damage with everything but Johnson rode it out and took it away from him and didn't let him off the hook. Great fight, great performances by both guys.
Lamas looked outstanding in outclassing Grice in what was a very even fight on paper.
Lentz and Oliveira was a shame as Oliveria was turning in a brilliant performance that was so good it made the usually dull but effective Lentz fight on the same level just to stay in the fight, but Oliveira got carried away or didn't see the other knee down or whatever and landed the blatantly illegal knee which THE LOCAL YOKEL REF SOMEHOW MANAGED NOT TO SEE ALTHOUGH EVERYBODY ELSE INCLUDING THE LATE HELEN KELLER DID, which Lentz couldn't recover from and led to the sub. The decision will obviously be reversed to a NC, but fwiw Oliveria was on his way to winning the fight regardless
Daniel Roberts once more demonstrated his frontrunner status as Attonito took over the fight midway through the first and hammered him for the rest of it. The fight should have been stopped in the 3rd but another local yokel ref is too busy masturbating. Only one judge even gives Attonito a 10-8 for the round, which should have been a 10-7. Amazing as always.
Warburton had no business in the same arena with Lauzon, or possibly continent. It was an even worse mismatch than it looked like on paper. Lauzon looked great both with his boxing and as always with his subs, but he really didn't have much opposition out there.
Vasquez-Stevenson sucked due to the non-effort by Joe The Dud. Javi does his best and his JJ is till very good but he's an older guy who was inactive during what should have been his peak years, but Stevenson is an annoying head case who just keeps getting worse. Javi was exhausted in the 3rd but Stevenson was unwilling to try to take the fight away. He should have been fired several fights ago.
Griffin-Gamburyan was sort of a grind with Griffin's low kicks making the difference in the fight, but he looked tentative. Gamburyan is another guy who emotes instead of fighting too much of the time. So so fight. Mr. What Illegal Knee doesn't help with constant yapping at both fighters including telling them what techniques to use. Hey jackass, it's the corners job telling the guy when to punch, not yours. Maybe you should be, I dunno, shutting the fuck up and keeping an eye out for blatant fouls instead. Most of the undercard was great though.
On the main card, Mitrione continues to look more and more scary as he just plays with the bigger, younger Morecraft. 6 years in the NFL suggest that he is at least something of an answer to 'what if an elite athlete did MMA'. He may not look like one, but he is one.
Brown vs. Howard wasn't much fun to watch. Howard inexplicably drops a Muay Thai attack that was working in favor of a grappling attack which wasn't. I thought it could have been called a draw as neither guy really did anything to win it.
The Marquardt mishmash ends up teaching Rick Story that No Good Deed Goes Unpunished as he gets outhustled by last minute sub Charlie Brenneman. I thought the decison was a little hometown and Story won the fight, as I gave him the 2nd despite fighting it off his back, and thought Brenneman was doing too much L&P to win, but he did put Story on his back over and over which nobody else has been able to do and deserves a lot of credit for his performance. Now Story beating Alves becomes a waste. Too bad. Another of the local yokel refs calls a standup during a highly intersting JJ grapple in the 3rd round.
The main, what can you say. Like everybody else I thought Kongo was done, but a puncher is a puncher. Doesn't get much more entertaining than that.
Great weekend for MMA.
Feedback for UFC on Versus 4
Thumbs in the Middle.
Best Fight: Kongo vs. Barry
Worst Fight: Matt Brown vs. John Howard
I mainly tuned in to this show because of the novelty of what was going down with the Nate Marquardt situation. It turned out to be a decent waste of a couple of hours. I really like Matt Mitrione and think him versus Roy Nelson could be fun. The Matt Brown vs. John Howard match bored me to tears. LOL Rick Story LOL. That main event was awesome. It had me on the edge of my seat. I couldn't believe that the ref didn't stop the fight when Kongo went down. I was a fool. The comeback and knock out was great and made the show worth watching.
Best: Olivera vs Lentz
Worst: Brown vs Howard
Never thought I would slot Lentz in a best match slot.
If Brenneman was fighting anywhere other than his hometown he probably hears some boos for his inactivity on the ground.
Some really questionable calls with the Olivera knee, the Story standup, and not stopping the Kongo fight which was
obviously the right call.