Sunday, August 29, 2010

UFC 118: How we did

Even though quite a few of its fights went to a decision, UFC 118 proved to be a great card. Before I briefly recap the matches, however, let me get to the bottom line: Kyle and I disagreed on three picks, and he won two of them. Kyle wins for the second time in a row. I clearly need to improve my game.

Now, the undercard.

Mike Pierce vs. Amilcar Alves

This fight never made it to TV, so I have to rely on published reports. From them, it appears that Pierce dominated with for over two rounds before submitting Alves. We'd both chosen Pierce, so we began the night with a correct call.

Nick Osipczak vs. Greg Soto

Just as quickly, we blew it, as Soto defied our predictions and beat Osipczak by unanimous decision in another untelevised bout. gave all three rounds to Soto, but the judges gave one to Osipczak. Any way you slice it, we were wrong.

John Salter vs. Dan Miller

This fight, our first disagreement, made it to TV, so I got to watch as Miller shook off whatever was bothering him and, after a lackluster first round, submitted Salter with a beautiful choke. I was now 1-2, while Kyle was 2-1.

Andre Winner vs. Nik Lentz

Spike showed this match, and it was, as I'd said, a classic striker vs. grappler struggle. The problem is, both Kyle and I chose the striker, Winner, to dominate, and instead the grappler, Lentz, controlled pretty much every minute of the fight en route to a decision victory.

This one left me 1-3 and Kyle 2-2.

Joe Lauzon vs. Gabe Reudiger

We both chose Lauzon, and I said it would be by submission. The end indeed came with an armbar, but the preceding few minutes were a tornado of domination by Lauzon. Ruediger wasn't in this fight after its third or fourth minute.

Ah, the sweet sound of a correct call, leaving me 2-3 and Kyle 3-2.

Nate Diaz vs. Marcus Davis

The main, pay-per-view card began almost exactly as I expected it would, as Nate Diaz beat Marcus Davis for most of three rounds before submitting Davis. Davis sure looked like a fighter who needs to consider retiring.

Fortunately for me, Kyle chose Davis, so he and I were now tied in our choices and both 3-3 for the night.

Kenny Florian vs. Gray Maynard

Alas, our third and final disagreement would not go my way. I began my discussion of this fight by saying that my mind said Maynard would win by lay and pray, but my heart wanted Florian. I should have listened to my head, as Kyle clearly listened to his. Maynard dominated Florian in predictable and mostly boring style, so now he gets a shot at the lightweight title.

Kyle was 4-3, and I was 3-4. Not a good night for me.

Demian Maia vs. Mario Miranda

We both chose Maia, and he indeed won in dominant fashion, but to Miranda's credit, Maia could never finish him and instead had to settle for a decision. It's a good thing we didn't have to pick the style of the victory.

At least I was up to even: 4-4; too bad Kyle was now 5-3.

Randy Couture vs. James Toney

It took Couture a few seconds to take down Toney, then a few more to gain the mount. Couture beat on Toney until he seemed bored of doing so, then choked out the boxer. There wasn't a single moment that Toney was in this fight. Couture's victory put me on the positive side at 5-4, and Kyle 6-3.

Frankie Edgar vs. B.J. Penn

Wow, were we--and pretty much everyone else--wrong to pick B.J. Penn to regain his title. Frankie Edgar dominated him for five rounds. Edgar out-struck him, took him down more than anyone at 155 ever has, and managed to get out quickly on the few occasions when Penn had him down. Penn looked befuddled and beaten after the first few minutes.

My head now tells me that Maynard will beat Edgar for the title, but my heart wants Edgar to avenge his only loss. When that fight comes, I'm going with my heart.

Kyle ended at a respectable 6-4, while I was a coin-flip 5-5. I have to hope for a better showing next time!

As always, don't use us for betting advice!

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