After another prolonged absence from blogging, I’m back to normal (almost) once again. Been on an awesome holiday with my wife, celebrated our first anniversary, had mine and my baby girls birthdays and also had to go away on a course with work so things have been more than a little hectic. So hectic in fact that I didn’t even get to blog my UFC 114 picks (although to be fair I’d have much rather have been where I was – on a beach with my gorgeous Mrs!!)
Anyhow, now that regular service is resumed I thought I would give the site a f-f-fresh new look >>> Nice isn’t it!! For my first post back I figured I should start with a look back over UFC 114.
- The good:
- The bad:
John “the Hitman” Hathaway extended his undefeated record to 14 fights after dominating Diego “Nightmare” Sanchez. Hathaway was a massive underdog in this fight and in his first UFC fight on US soil he showed the fans across the pond that he is a BIG prospect at 170lbs. Sanchez was coming back up to Welterweight after being dismantled by BJ Penn in his lightweight title shot. Against Hathaway he was confident he could get the “W” and get some momentum going again. Instead he was completely shut out of the fight by Hatahways great striking and his superb wrestling. As wrestling ability is often singled out as being the typical British fighters weakest area, it is refreshing to see someone like Hathaway come in and show that actually there are some Brits who can wrestle pretty well!
After rattling Sanchez with a knee as the TUF Winner shot in and blasting him with Ground and Pound the Englishman emphatically won the first round with a mean statement of intent. Sanchez was clearly not expecting such a level of resistance and throughout the fight, the Hitman used his size and reach advantage to win the standup exchanges and stuff pretty much all the takedown attempts from Diego. Throughout the fight (scored as a 30-27-, 30-27, 30-26 shut-out in favour of the Brit) Hathaway looked unfazed and showed little emotionm even when he was hit with a decent power shot from Sanchez. The london Shootfighters trained Hathaway is steadily making a case for being a contender in the division and even bigger fights beckon.Elsewhere on the card Mike Russow faced off against the intimidating Todd Duffee and basically took a pasting for 2 and a half rounds before landing a right hook from nowhere that put Duffee OUT! This was probably one of the greatest comebacks in a UFC fight ever and Joe Rogan is probably still peeing himself about it now, such was his level of excitement as the fight unfolded. The win is even more impressive when you consider that he actually broke his arm during the fight blocking Duffees powerful onslaught. Russow was little more than a moving punchbag for Duffee in the first two rounds. He landed just 14 significant strikes in the whole fight, compared to 51 from Duffee (according to fightmetric) and as a result he gets ANOTHER UFC record. Two records in two fights is good right??
Once again we saw a “what fight were they watching” moment with the UFC judges in the Brilz vs Nogueira fight. L’il Nog edged a split decision suggesting the judges saw it close but pretty much EVERYONE else saw it 2 rounds to one in favour of Brilz. Brilz was a massive underdog coming into this fight but he very nearly finished Nog with a guillotine in the second, with Yves Lavigne looking as though he was stepping in to stop it at one point, even tapping Brilz on the back (yup AGAIN, remember the Matt Brown vs Pete Sell fight??). Brilz is very much one of those fighters that some fans see on UFC cards and go “who the hell is that guy?”, a pretty under-the-radar sort of UFC fighter. Right now, even though he has a loss on his record that should have been a win, he is going to be remembered and fans will want to see him be successful after watching such a great performance against one of the top guys in the sport at 205lbs. Brilz is also a real nice guy, proven in what he had to say on sherdog after the fight.
Not bitter in defeat even though he probably has every right to be, he’s just another victim of the 10 point must system and surely soon SOMEONE has to look at how to score MMA matches more effectively.
It wasn’t exciting, it wasn’t pretty but it was effective: Rashad used his superior speed and athleticism to win a snoozer against Rampage. Much of the action took place up against the fence with Rashad trying to sap Rampages strength a-la GSP vs Penn. I was screaming at the TV in the 3rd round when Rampage rocked Rashad and had him worried, but for some in explicable reason he decided not to go after the win and backed off him a little. Maybe he was just knackered, he didnt look to have much left in the gas tank at that point. He really had to go for broke in that round having lost the first two and so its shame he didn’t just go for it and “leave it all the in cage”. In the end, an uninspiring fight that did not live up to all the hype and build up leading into it.
Elsewhere on the card Melvin Guillard had a shout for KO of the night with a first round KO of Waylon Lowe via knee to the body. Mike Bisping got back to winning ways with a nice show of his standup skills against Dan Miller. It was surprising that Miller was so willing to trade and perhaps a little worrying that Bisping wasnt able to put him away. Bisping landed some big shots so it is testament to Millers toughness that he made it to the final bell. A comfortable win for “The Count” who has since called for a title shot and a re-match with Wanderlei Silva!