Sunday, September 26, 2010

UFC 119: How we did

The undercard fights we saw were generally stronger than those on the main card, but we all had a good time watching the shows. To get right to the bottom line first, Kyle and I tied. So, I reversed my slide, but just barely.

Now, on to the fights.

Steve Lopez vs. Waylon Lowe

We didn't get to see this one, but Lowe indeed won, as we expected.

T.J. Grant vs. Julio Paulino

Another fight we didn't see, but another one we called correctly, as Grant carried the day with a unanimous decision. Go, us!

Mark Hunt vs. Sean McCorkle

So much for our momentum. I'd said I'd be surprised if the fight lasted two rounds, and I was right on timing: it finished in the first. The problem is, we both chose Hunt, and instead McCorkle finished Hunt with a wicked armbar that almost certainly will put out Hunt for six months.

Thiago Tavares vs. Pat Audinwood

This fight, on the other hand, went exactly as we predicted: Tavares dominated Audinwood for a few minutes, then choked him out.

We were tied at 3-1 heading into our first disagreement.

C.B. Dollaway vs. Joe Doerksen

Doerksen looked good for a short time and had me worried, but then Dollaway turned it around and submitted him in the first for the victory. Go, me! I was 4-1 to Kyle's 3-2.

Matt Mitrione vs. Joey Beltran

Though Beltran did manage to rock Mitrione a couple of times, the man of stone kept coming forward and dominated the fight en route to a unanimous decision victory. These guys really tore into each other. The UFC liked the match enought that they earned one of two Fight of the Night awards.

We'd both chosen Mitrione, so we were 5-1 (me) / 4-2 (Kyle) heading into the main card.

Melvin Guillard vs. Jeremy Stephens

This fight was one of those matches that had the outcome we expected--with Guillard's hand raised in victory--but did not end the way we'd called it, which was Guillard with a finish. Instead, the two fighters went at it for fifteen minutes, after which the judges delivered a split decision.

At 6-1 to Kyle's 5-2 and with the undefeated Evan Dunham coming up next, I was feeling pretty good.

Evan Dunham vs. Sean Sherk

So much for that. As Kyle said, Sherk put Dunham on his back, though nowhere near as much as Kyle had predicted. At the end, Kyle even agreed with me that the fight should probably go to Dunham, though by a razor-thin margin. The judges, however, disagreed and awarded the split-decision victory to Sherk. This bout was so good that it earned the other Fight of the Night award.

Their verdict left us in a tie at 6-2 heading into the last three fights, on whose outcomes we had agreed. The only question was whether our selections were correct.

Chris Lytle vs. Matt Serra

These guys tore up the octagon for three rounds. During that time, Serra seemed determined not to try to take down Lytle. So, Lytle, the superior boxer, just hit him over and over and over, a tactic that led to all three judges awarding all rounds to him. Unfortunately for us, we'd chosen Serra, so we dropped to 6-3.

Antonio Rogerio Nogueira vs. Ryan Bader

We called for Bader by decision, and Bader by decision it was. The fight wasn't pretty, and Bader had far more trouble taking down Nogueira than we had expected, but he did it enough and held his own in striking just enough to carry the day--and to push us to 7-3.

Frank Mir vs. Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic

At one point in this lackluster contest, color commentator Joe Rogan actually said that it looked like the two fighters had made a secret pact not to be too aggressive with each other. Then, in the last minute, Mir caught Cro Cop with a knee and knocked out the Croatian.

So, we called the right victor, but, boy, was it a sorry showing by both fighters. I expect Cro Cop to be done in the UFC, and I hope that after Velasquez loses to Lesnar they give him Mir as a thank-you for taking on the monster. I want to see Mir fight someone who's actually trying.

At least we ended the night a respectable 8-3.

Of course, despite our success tonight, as always, don't use us for betting advice!

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