Sunday, November 18, 2012

UFC 154: How we fared

UFC Welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre claimed he felt ring rust in his first fight in nineteen months. It's been nowhere near that long since Kyle and I picked fight winners, but we were most certainly rusty as we called many fights wrong.  Let's start with the Facebook fights and see how we did.   

Steven Siler vs. Darren Elkins

We began the night with a thud as we both chose Siler in a fight that, from all I've read (I did not get to see it), Eiler dominated.  The judges certainly agreed, as all three scored the fight 30-27 for Elkins.

Ivan Menjivar vs. Azamat Gashimov

At least we nailed this one: Gashimov looked good for a couple of minutes, even being on top of Menjivar.  At that point, though, Menjivar quickly locked on an arm bar, and Gashimov tapped. Another rude welcome to the UFC.

Kyle and I were 1-1 at this point.

Matt Riddle vs. John Maguire

Maguire was game, but Riddle kept doing just a little bit better as he notched all three rounds on the cards of two judges and two rounds with the remaining judge. We move to 2-1 as Riddle wins and are beginning to feel we're back in form. 

Antonio Carvalho vs. Rodrigo Damm

This fight stayed close the entire time. For most of the three rounds, both men stayed very conservative, with Carvalho turning Damm's left leg into hamburger with kick after kick after kick and Damm frequently swinging for the fences.  Near the end of the third round, Damm turned very aggressive, but it proved to be too little, too late.  The judges also saw a close fight, but two of them gave it to Carvalho--as we had predicted.

We were 3-1 and feeling pretty good heading into the fights on FX.

Sam Stout vs. John Makdessi

After Stout's strong victory over Spencer Fisher, both Kyle and I thought he had stepped up his game and would beat Makdessi. Instead, the fight looked the complete opposite, as Makdessi was the smoother, more controlled fighter, his jab a weapon for which Stout had no answer. Makdessi scored the unanimous-decision victory, and we dropped to 3-2 heading into the only fight on which we disagreed.

Mark Bocek vs. Rafael dos Anjos

I figured dos Anjos would win a decision victory in a fight that would go the ground regularly. Kyle chose Bocek due to Bocek's grappling abilities. We were both wrong about how the fight would go, as these two fine BJJ fighters chose to put on what was almost entirely a kickboxing match. When Bocek did try to take down dos Anjos, he almost never succeeded.

dos Anjos fought the best we've ever seen him, looking as fresh at the start of round three as he had at the fight's beginning. He dominated Bocek for all three rounds and earned the unanimous-decision nod from the judges.

I moved to 4-2, while Kyle fell to 3-3.

Cyrille Diabate vs. Chad Griggs

Chad Griggs, whom we both chose to win, spent about two minutes of this fight looking like he didn't belong in the cage with Diabate, and then in the last half minute Diabate beat on him, took his back, and choked him out. I'll be surprised if Griggs has a job with the UFC for another week.

I dropped to 4-3, and Kyle to 3-4.

Patrick Cote vs. Alessio Sakara

We both expected this one to be a slugfest, and it was. We both also called it for Cote, and he won...but in an odd way.  He rocked Sakara, but then Sakara turned the tables and dropped Cote with elbows. At that point, Cote tried for a single-leg take-down, and Sakara rained down hammer fists--most of which were illegal strikes to the back of Cote's head. The ref correctly disqualified Sakara, and Cote won.

Kyle evened his score to 4-4, and I bumped up to 5-3. I was feeling pretty good moving into the main card.

Mark Hominick vs. Pablo Garza

Hominick started pretty strong, and late in the first round he even dropped Garza. That was as close as he got, however, because Garza then hurt Hominick, cut him, and poured on the pressure from there. Garza won by unanimous decision over our pick, Hominick, and we both dropped another one: Kyle 4-5, Mark 5-4.

Francis Carmont vs. Tom Lawlor

Kyle and I saw this one going down a clear path:  Carmont out-muscling Lawlor on the way to a submission victory. Instead, the fight was tight the whole time, Lawlor looked stronger, and no one was sure what the judges would say. In the end, Carmont got the home-boy split-decision nod in a fight I think Lawlor won. Still, it helped my record move to 6-4 and evened up Kyle at 5-5.

Johny Hendricks vs. Martin Kampmann

We expected a war as two superb welterweights faced off. We both figured Hendricks to win via superior wrestling. Instead, Hendricks won by knocking out Kampmann with a short left had a whole 46 seconds into the fight. Wow, can Hendricks hit hard. 
I moved to 7-4 and knew I'd have a winning record, while Kyle climbed over .500 to 6-5.

Georges St-Pierre vs. Carlos Condit

This fight was everything any fan could ask for. GSP won most of the rounds and dominated most of the fight, but Condit was always in it and in the third round dropped GSP and had the champ in trouble. Both men gave it their all, and neither was able to finish the other. After 25 minutes as bloody and full of determination as any Rocky movie, Georges St. Pierre emerged the champion once again and proved that he was indeed back and at top form.

I finished the night 8-4, not great but respectable, and Kyle lagged me only a little at 7-5.

As always, don't rely on us for betting advice!

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