Sunday, August 8, 2010

UFC 117: How we did

Last night's show featured several surprises and an amazing title fight. Beginning with the undercard, let's see how we fared. I must note that I haven't yet seen the fights; due to the con, I'll be watching my DVR'd copy of the broadcast a day late courtesy. For these comments, I'm relying on the fine MMAWeekly site.

Ben Saunders vs. Dennis Hallman

Kyle and I started the night in fine style by picking Saunders; too bad Hallman won a unanimous decision and, from the sounds of it, dominated Saunders. Color us wrong.

Stefan Struve vs. Christian Morecraft

For the entire first round, it looked like Kyle and I were going to start 0-2, because Morecraft dominated and hurt Struve. In the second, though, Struve chopped Morecraft's leg, ate a few punches, and then dropped and finished Morecraft for the TKO victory. Whew! We're now 1-1, though both of us expected a submission from Struve.

Tim Boetsch vs. Todd Brown

We both expected Boetsch to have an easy time with Brown and to finish him, but we were wrong: the fight went three rounds, and though Boetsch did dominate Brown, he didn't finish his opponent. Still, Boetsch won, so we were 2-1.

Johny Hendricks vs. Charlie Brenneman

For one round, Brenneman gave Hendricks all he could take and more, with Hendricks losing the round.

In the second, however, Hendricks came out punching and dropped Brenneman five times in less than thirty seconds. The referee then stopped the bout and declared Hendricks the winner by TKO.

We called Hendricks, so we were right, but neither of us saw the fight ending in this fashion.

Rodney Wallace vs. Phil Davis

Davis indeed took down Wallace at will, and Davis dominated the whole fight, but he couldn't finish Wallace and so had to settle for the unanimous decision victory. We'd both predicted Davis would take the fight, but we'd also both thought he would finish easily. So, I count it as a correct call, but Davis clearly needs to improve his finishing game.

Dustin Hazelett vs. Rick Story

Boy, were we both wrong. We both expected Hazelett to win easily. Instead, Story took him down repeatedly and battered him for the first round, then beat him more soundly in the second until the ref stopped the fight and gave the TKO to Story.

So, at the end of the undercard, we were 4-2, not great, but not bad either. On to the main card.

Junior Dos Santos vs. Roy Nelson

We both expected Dos Santos to win, and win he did. What was amazing, however, was that it went a full three rounds before he notched a unanimous-decision victory from the judges. From the descriptions I've read, Dos Santos hit Nelson with everything he had, beat the snot out of the man, and still Nelson kept coming and would not fall. You have to credit Nelson for sheer grit.

At this point, we were tied at 5-2, and I was feeling pretty good about our choices.

Matt Hughes vs. Ricardo Almeida

This fight changed that feeling. Kyle and I were completely confident that Almeida would triump over Hughes. Both of us even went so far as to comment on Hughes' need to consider retiring.

We couldn't have been more wrong. At about three minutes into the first round, Hughes tagged Almeida, dropped him, followed him down, and ultimately choked him out. I would never have guessed Hughes would submit a Renzo Gracie bjj black belt. Wow.

I think it's safe to say that we'll see Hughes in the UFC again.

And now we're 5-3.

Clay Guida vs. Rafael dos Anjos

In the first of our two disagreements, Kyle chose Guida to win by superior top control, and I picked dos Anjos to submit Guida.

Kyle won this one, as Guida carried the day. What was most amazing, though, was the way Guida did it: He submitted dos Anjos, who tapped in the third.

I'm now behind Kyle by one. Drat!

Jon Fitch vs. Thiago Alves

In our only other disagreement, I figured Alves would triump, while Kyle went with Fitch grinding out a decision. Kyle was spot on, as Fitch won every single round on all three judges' cards.

At this point, Kyle has won both of our conflicts and beaten me: He's 7-3, and I'm 5-5. Drat.

Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen

From the description I just read on MMAMania, where I went when the MMAWeekly site wouldn't respond, I cannot wait to see this fight. Their reporting had Chael Sonnen dominating Anderson Silva for the first three rounds, nearly getting knocked out in the fourth but then winning it, and then being on top of Silva and winning again in the fifth--until Silva pulled off a triangle, and Sonnen tapped. So, we were right to choose Silva to win, and we both thought it would by by submission--Kyle even mentioned the triangle choke--but neither of us expected anything like this level of competition from Sonnen.

Kyle dominated me in this one, but I'll be back next time!

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