Sunday, October 24, 2010

UFC 121: How we fared

Kyle took back the championship from me tonight as he won two of the three fights in which we disagreed. Overall, we didn't do anywhere near as well as we usually do, with Kyle barely above fifty percent and me just below it.

My review starts, as usual, with the undercard.

Jon Madsen vs. Gilbert Yvel

We both chose Madsen, and we were right to do so, as he emerged the victor. That said, we both expected him to win through a long, ugly grind, and instead he took down Yvel early, then beat on him until the referee stopped the fight and awarded Madsen the TKO.

Dong Yi Yang vs. Chris Camozzi

We didn't get to see this fight, but we were wrong to choose Yang, because Camozzi beat him by split decision. From what I read online, it shouldn't even have been that close, though I have no way to be sure. More and more, I'm coming to believe that picking an unbeaten fighter in his UFC debut is a very risky proposition.

Sam Stout vs. Paul Taylor

Stout won, as we both predicted, but it was another split decision. The descriptions I read make the fight sound good; I hope to get to see it one day.

At least we were back to positive: 2-1.

Mike Guymon vs. Daniel Roberts

So much for that. In a short but exciting fight, Roberts pulled a beautiful submission and proved that we were both wrong to pick Guymon. Roberts was very impressive--and we slid to even at 2-2 heading into the preliminary fights on Spike TV.

Patrick Cote vs. Tom Lawlor

Then the pain continued, as Lawlor completely dominated Cote for all three rounds. The Canadian simply had no answer for Lawlor's take-downs, so he spent most of the fight being manhandled by Lawlor. Lawlor didn't do much damage, but he clearly earned the unanimous decision and left us 2-3.

Ryan Jensen vs. Court McGee

We both expected McGee to win this one easily, and he most certainly did not do that. Instead, he and Jensen went back and forth for about two and a half rounds, and for a while I feared we would slide further behind. Fortunately, with about a minute and a half left in the fight, McGee slapped on a choke. We were back to an even 3-3 heading into the first fight of the main card.

Gabriel Gonzaga vs. Brendan Schaub

I finally broke ahead of Kyle as Schaub dominated Gonzaga in the young fighter's toughest bout yet. I expected Schaub to earn a KO, but instead he ground out a decision by striking Gonzaga over and over. Gonzaga looked confused for much of the fight and never did what his corner suggested, which was to try to take down Schaub.

I was at 4-3, and Kyle was at 3-4.

Matt Hamill vs. Tito Ortiz

Ah, so quickly do things change. I went back and forth on it, but I finally opted for Tito. Kyle chose Hamill. Kyle was right: Hamill won, as I said was possible and Kyle said was likely, in a slow, grinding, ugly decision.

This development left us both at 4-4.

Diego Sanchez vs. Paulo Thiago

We both expected Thiago to wear down and out-work Sanchez in route to a victory. Instead, the opposite occurred, and Sanchez dominated the last two rounds and earned a unanimous decision from the judges.

Being 4-5 this late in the card sucks.

Martin Kampmann vs. Jake Shields

Jake Shields won this fight, but he managed to look pretty bad doing it. Kampmann left him exhausted and never appeared in danger of losing to one of Shields' submission attempts. I don't know if the weight cut hurt Shields a great deal or if the competition in the UFC is just that much better than in Strikeforce, but he sure didn't look like the next great contender.

On the other hand, because we both chose him, we were tied at 5-5 going into the big fight.

Brock Lesnar vs. Cain Velasquez

Wow. Cain Velasquez convinced a lot of doubters, including me, by completely and totally dominating Brock Lesnar. He got up when Lesnar took him down. He took down Lesnar. He stayed calm and controlled at every moment, never moving hastily. Every punch seemed to hurt Lesnar, and he opened a huge gash in Lesnar's cheek. Before four minutes were gone from the fight, Lesnar was on his back, a bloody mess, with Velasquez beating on him. At 4:12, referee Herb Dean called the TKO for Velasquez.

I don't know who is going to beat that guy, but he sure looks set to rule the heavyweight roost for a while. I am dead impressed--and I end up going 5-6 and losing to Kyle's 6-5.

My normal fight-pick admonition has never been more clearly true: don't rely on us for betting advice!


montsamu said...

We watched the Lesnar fight at Crabtree Tavern -- disappointed that it didn't go longer, and I was also taken a bit by surprise how much he was able to handle the much bigger Lesnar. That huge gash on the cheek, we couldn't figure out what punch had done it but man, an ugly one.

Mark said...

Yeah, I was also surprised by how powerful Velasquez was and by how easily he handled Lesnar.


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