Today’s UFC was probably the best MMA event of the year. A lot happened and we saw a lot of good things. Here are the highlights of today’s event:
- Rogan calls Mandy Moore a groupie. Goldberg agrees. Locker Room Groupie!
- Machida takes referee Yves Lavigne down — without even touching him.
- Mario Yamasaki does a Mazagatti. He was about to stop the fight but got frozen in his tracks by BJ’s killing intent. Just like Steve did last UFC with Jason MacDonald and Joe Doerksen.
Here again is an image of Lyoto taking Yves down without even touching him:
Well, that’s the essence of UFC 84. Now, let’s get on with the lesser things, the fights:
Goran Reljik does a number on Gouveia! In what was one of the more exciting fights in a night packed with exciting fights, Goran Reljic stands more or less evenly with Gouveia, but gets rocked, taken down and pounded against the fence. He then escapes, takes Gouveia down with a punch, and then finishes him from the top. What an amazing reversal! He also shows that he is indeed the protege of Mirko Crocop, he destroyed Wilson’s right arm with those unbelievable left leg roundhouses. His only problem is that he mentioned Randy Couture in front of millions, meaning Dana White will want to ship him out as soon as possible.
Soukoudjou vs. Nakamura – well I am happy Kaz lost, I hope Dana White fires him beacuse I really don’t want to see him again. With the long history of layoffs the UFC is having today, I would not be surprised to hear him let go within the week. Sokoudjou uses extreme athleticism again to pepper Nakamura with kicks, Nakamura shows a habit of catching the leg later on with his hand, so Sokoudjou takes advantage and kicks, as Nakamura catches the leg Sokou uses the same extreme balance he showed against Arona to launch a super man punch AFTER the kick, and rocks Nakamura flush until he falls down on his right knee, injuring it ala Crocop vs. Gonzaga, and gets counted out for the TKO.
Yoshida puts up a great performance. His unwitting oppponent clinches him unexpectedly (though Yoshida says it was “just as planned” with his best Yagami Light impression) and ends up doing a perfect judo hip toss and right into an anaconda choke. The poor guy passes out without tapping and Herb Dean calls the fight.
Toquinho vs. Salaverry – this was probably the most lopsided fight of the evening and there should really have been no question that Salaverry would get his ass handed to him. Toquinho shows absolutely perfect jiujitsu. He slips a leg kick from Ivan and ducks into a beautiful takedown. Once down he lands in sidecontrol, perfectly and easily passes to mount, transitions to the rear, plays with a rear naked choke attempt for a minute and as Ivan tries to escape he transitions perfectly into the most beautiful rear armbar I have ever seen in my life. Salaverry, totally outclassed.
Carwin vs. Wellisch – well Wellisch is a decent fighter but this had to be KO of the night, a scant 40 seconds in after trading in a boxing match Carwin steps in with a one two and catches Carwin solidly with the right cross, sending Wellisch’s mouthpiece flying straight out of his mouth and stopping the fight there and then. Wellisch only got flash KO’d and he was alright seconds after dropping but the referee wants no more of that because Carwin could have brutalized him with ground and pound after he dropped. Good KO for Carwin.
Thiago Silva and Mendes — Mendes showed a good showing but Thiago truly has the heart of a champion. Mendes’ standup was better and he totally rocked Thiago with a guarded high kick that blasted through Thiago’s guard and into the back of his head, sending Thiago down to the canvas. Mendes tries to finish but Thiago keeps his cool and hangs on, managing to get out of the situation. After another standup Thiago again gets rocked and falls down, Mendes is a bit hesitant but tries to finish again, but fails to do so and they stand up again. Unfortunately for Mendes he gets in too close after being too eager, Thiago clinches and takes him down, Thiago then gets mount and pounds Mendes out. Excellent reversal and shows a bit of a lack of heart in Mendes who taps to the strikes. Thiago continues his wrecking ball act through the LHW division, is Machida next for him?
Wanderlei and Jardine — well I called it before, Wandy may have had trouble with Chuck but Jardine should be a cakewalk. Styles make fights — Wandy’s brawling fed right into Chuck’s countering style and longer reach advantage, but against Jardine’s unorthodox stance and style me and a lot of other fans saw Wandy just walking in and doing damage to Jardine on the inside. And guess what? He did and screwed Jardine even faster than Carwin did Wellisch. Wandy is battle-worn but he always brings it and Jardine thought way too highly of himself. It’s great to see him get knocked a peg down he is someone who thought too highly of himself after beating Forrest and Chuck, but truth is he isn’t good enough to be someone in this crowded LHW division just yet.
Wanderlei demolishes Keith Jardine
Machida vs. Tito — perhaps my most anticipated fight of the night, I wanted to see Machida totally embarass Tito. And he almost did, except for a slip at the end of the fight. This was a great fight, and Machida showed us a lot: in Round 1 he frustrates a takedown attempt by Tito, which did not even come close. He then punishes Tito in typical Machida fashion with his trademark strikes: right low kick, left cross, right jab, and totally shuts down all of Tito’s offense. He then goes for a punctuation mark at the end of the round and clinches Tito for an upperbody judo takedown! Tito got his ass handed to him.
Machida then comes into the 2nd round doing much of the same, stops Tito’s 2nd takedown attempt and shows a few new moves like a fake left kick which he turns into a scissor kick with his right. He also uses the same Brazilian Kick that Glaube Feitosa has on Tito, and while avoiding Tito with a left sidestep around the ring he forces referee Yves Lavigne down to the Matt with the force of his evasion!!!! That was freaking great.
Machida uses a flying scissor kick on Tito
In the third however Tito manages to clinch well and does some Randy Couture dirty boxing on Lyoto, which seems to take some stamina out of Lyoto. After more of the same, Lyoto catches Tito with a powerful knee to the midsection that drops Tito. Lyoto jumps in seeing the finish and gives it all into a pounding in Tito’s guard, but Tito survives and slips his legs up in an arm triangle over Machida! Seems Machida blew his wad a bit and let his guard down. As Machida rolls he manages to pull his arm out so that the elbow is at Tito’s groin, keeping him safe from the triangle attempt. He rolls out and Tito transitions to an armbar, but Machida’s arm is too low to be in any danger. Machida gets out easily but it puts a smudge no his otherwise perfect performance. Machida went for more chances than he usually does in R3 and it was not surprising that he would get caught in an attempt, despite being in little danger.
Liver shot with a knee drops Tito
End result is still a 30-27 decision for Machida and Tito is thoroughly embarassed, being completely unable to use his style at all. Machida knows though that it was a tough match and he did not walk all over Tito, the two show big respect for each other after the fight. War Machida!
Finally Sherk vs. BJ, I was expecting a totally different fight, but for some reason Sherk came in with arguably the worst gameplan he could have had. He apparently wanted to stand with BJ a bit and outstrike him before going for the takedowns. Presumably to soften up BJ’s legendary takedown defense.
Sherk attempts one takedown at the start of R1, which he wasn’t anywhere close to getting, BJ punishes him with a few punches and a knee and they get to what most of the 15 minutes of the fight will be: a kick boxing match. Sherk lands a few good leg kicks and his hands look good as they typically do, with fast punches and hooks. He lands a few however they seem to have no effect whatsoever on BJ, as Sherk’s standup is again suspect of being devoid of any power. BJ on the other hand tags Sherk over and over with his left jab and one two combos, and the round ends with Sherk’s face cut under the eye.
Round 2 is more of the same, with BJ consistently outpunching Sherk. Sherk gets in some good hooks and swings but once again BJ totally ignores them as if they were fly swatter slaps, and continues to do a number on Sherk’s face. This continues on to the third round, and Sherk does get one good flurry where BJ almost seems like he is rocked a bit, but BJ comes right back with punches and knees and proves that Sherk’s standup, while good-looking, is totally ineffective.
Round 3 ends with BJ pressuring Sherk back with his punch combos, BJ uses the same punch he used on Kaoru Uno almost a decade ago and forces Sherk back against the fence. As he does BJ senses an opportunity and runs in with a high knee which Sherk ducks right into after reeling from the fence. Sherk is blasted down and BJ follows up with two quick uppercuts to Sherk’s jaw, knocking him out. Mario Yamasaki moves in to stop the fight but as he does BJ continues to pound out Sherk’s face, and Yamasaki is seemingly stopped by BJ’s killing intensity. The bell rings and Yamasaki breaks them up. BJ thinks he’s won but Yamasaki hesitates again, BJ callst he fight “I win!” and Sherk looks on from the ground, unable to get up. BJ licks his gloves *again* and runs to Sherk’s corner, gets some blood from Sherk’s gloves and licks his hand again. BJ now officially has assimilated Sean Sherk’s strength, making him a double stronger fighter. If only he had managed to bloody Machida up he would have had Samurai Blood in him, too, but he missed his opportunity.
Yamasaki is won over by BJ’s bravado and calls the fight over. Sherk confesses he didn’t even hear the bell, he was clearly out and the fight should have ended sooner had Mario made the proper call earlier. BJ becomes undisputed UFC LW champion and shows that he is a few levels above Sherk in ability. Back to the drawing board for Sherk, and Rogan calls out GSP for BJ. Expect to see BJ move up to Welterweight soon.
In retrospect Sherk probably wishes he went for more takedowns, theoretically that would have tired BJ out sooner and that was Sherk’s plan coming into this fight. Even if BJ stuffed all of Sherk’s takedowns, he would have expended more energy than just standing up and boxing. It’s still highly unlikely that Sherk would have won with that gameplan, but I think it was a far better idea than standing with BJ. BJ has the best hands in the UFC LW division, the only people in the world who can compare are Takanori Gomi and possibly Nick Diaz. Sherk signed his death warrant by choosing to strike with BJ. It goes to show: if your only gameplan to win a fight is by out-cardio-ing your opponent, you don’t have much of a chance. BJ is way above Sherk and this fight proved it.
I did not get to see Clementi or Kim fight but I will check their fights later on.
Even without those fights though that was easily the best event of the year so far. We had some great events from Dream and Sengoku and a good few UFCs too but this easily tops all of them. This has been a great year for MMA and we still have the Affliction Banned card to look forward to in two months time. It’s a great time to be a fan and I hope we get to see many more great fights to come!