Monday, March 22, 2010

UFC on Versus: How we fared

Last night's UFC show promised to be an evening of finishes, and though there were a few odd moments along the way, it basically delivered. Let's get right to the results and see how Kyle and I did. As usual, we begin with the undercard.

Jason Brilz vs. Eric Schafer

Only one prelim made it to Versus, and this was not it. From what I read, though, it was a long and not always pretty struggle. In the end, Brilz won the decision.

Unfortunately, Kyle and I had both chosen Schafer, so we kicked off the evening with a bad call.

Mike Pierce vs. Julio Paulino

I said Pierce would take down Paulino and dominate him. Kyle said Pierce would win by TKO. Though it went to the judges, from what I've read, Pierce definitely dominated Paulinho and earned the unanimous decision.

Brendan Schaub vs. Chase Gormley

For this one, I went vague and simply called the fight for Schaub. Kyle also chose Schaub, but he said it would be a KO. We were both right in picking Schaub, though Kyle was closer, as Schaub won with a quick TKO.

John Howard vs. Daniel Roberts

Versus filled in some dead time with this short fight, and it's easy to see why. Roberts came hard at Howard and was controlling Howard for a while, but then Howard dumped Roberts. Howard stood by Roberts' feet, launched a hard downward left punch, and knocked out Roberts. I picked Howard, so I was happy. Kyle had gone with Roberts, so I was now one ahead of Kyle.

Duane Ludwig vs. Darren Elkins

We didn't get to see this fight, but that's probably for the best, because from what I read Ludwig's leg broke in the middle of his shin after Elkins took him down. Kyle and I both chose Ludwig, so we notched another bad call. I sure hope the poor guy's leg heals okay.

Eliot Marshall vs. Vladimir Matyushenko

Kyle tied it up with this fight, as he called Vladdy and I did not. I wish I could have seen this one, even though it sounds like three rounds of slow action, because I love Vladdy's complete willingness to keep coming forward. Though called all three rounds for Matyushenko, the judges made it a split decision. Still, Vladdy won, and Kyle tied it up.

Clay Guida vs. Shannon Gugerty

From the bits I read, Guida did as he had promised and stuck to his wrestling roots. Partway into the second round, he grabbed an arm triangle choke and submitted Gugerty. We both got this one right.

So, as the last of the seven undercard bouts ended, we were tied on the fights we'd called differently, and we'd agreed on two wrong choices. At this point, we were both 4-3.

On to the main card.

James Irvin vs. Alessio Sakara

The televised matches began oddly, as three minutes into the first round the ref stopped the fight because Irvin complained that Sakara had poked him in the eye. As the replay clearly showed, Sakara had not poked Irvin's eye, but he had hit it squarely with a punch. Unfortunately for Irvin, that's a completely legal blow, so Sakara won via a TKO by injury stoppage.

I'd gone with Sakara, while Kyle had chosen Irvin, and this was the last fight on which we'd disagreed, so I won our disputed bouts 2-1.

Cheick Kongo vs. Paul Buentello

Paul Buentello is famous in MMA circles for being tough. In the third round, he tapped from Cheick Kongo hitting him repeatedly in the thigh with elbows. I can only imagine how hard those blows were. Of course, that finish is far from the whole story. What really happened is that Kongo so dominated and punished Buentello that eventually Buentello just didn't want to take any more. We both called Kongo, so notch another correct choice for us.

Junior Dos Santos vs. Gabriel Gonzaga

Damn but Dos Santos looks good. Gonzaga got him down once, but Dos Santos was up in no time. A couple more minutes passed, Gonzaga threw a kick, and Dos Santos perfectly timed an arcing left counter-punch that dropped Gonzaga. Dos Santos followed him to the mat and unloaded with a few more punches before the referee pulled him off and called the KO. We got this one right, also, and Dos Santos stepped up again on the heavyweight ladder.

Jon Jones vs. Brandon Vera

Jones controlled this fight for the short time it lasted. Before the first round was over, he rained elbows on Vera's face and ultimately won the TKO. I don't know how Jones will do against the elite at light heavyweight, and he made some mistakes, such as leaving his right arm too exposed, but he keeps looking better and better.

I ended the night 8-3, while Kyle went 7-4. It was a slim victory for me, but I'll take it.

Next week, we'll be back with our choices for UFC 111. As always, don't use us for betting advice.

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