Saturday, March 7, 2009

UFC 96

Well the event started off with Jim Miller and Gray Maynard. Maynard is a tough fighter. No one else seemed impressed with his performance, but I thought he did a solid job over a game and talented opponent. Maynard has a foothold in the top tier of the lightweight division.
Pete Sell needs to get out of the UFC. A 9-7 Matt Brown, who never showed me much, pounded the shit out of Sell. Referee Yves Lavigne did an absolute crap job in this fight, seemingly stopped it, backing Brown off, then re-started it when Drago seemed unhurt. What the fuck was that? Brown continued on to kick the everlivin' hell out of Sell, at one point turning to the ref like "What else can I do, kill him? Asshole!"
Matt Hammill tried to get his ass back on a winning track against an inexplicably talked-up Mark Munoz. Frankly, neither guy looked like much in this fight. Both flailed wildly with punches, til Munoz walked into a "Knockout of the night" kick. Even with the highlight reel kick I was pretty bored with this fight.
Brandon Vera beat the crap out of an overmatched Mike Patt primarily with leg kicks. I don't understand how the fuck Vera can knock Patt down with a leg kick and not pounce on him and finish the fight. Whatever. Vera is still wildly overrated, but he can win squash matches.
Kendall Grove vs. Jason Day was disappointing. I thought Day was doing well til he walked into a big punch from Grove. Either Grove is getting better, or Day is not as good as I thought.
Barncat McCrory put a bad whipping on Ryan Madigan, who looked like he didn't belong anywhere near the octagon. The third time McCrory moved to mount I was surprised Madigan didn't tap.
In one of the few competitive fights of the night, Brilz and Boetsch put on a decent show. Brilz looked like a dead man in the first, but Boetsch showed his tank is questionable at closer to sea level. Both looked small for 205ers.
Rampage seemed utterly unconcerned by Jardine and delivered a solid unanimous decision win. Jardine was battered at the end of their fight, and Page looked like he'd just walked in. Rashad Evans showed some seriously questionable judgment, or at least bias for a teammate, saying the last punch or two pulled it out for Page. They engaged in some shit talking in the ring, but honestly I didn't need much buildup.
Carwin threw down an impressive KO of Gonzaga, but he got rocked twice and staggered by a guy not known for his hands. Tagging a guy on the button is impressive, but we'll see how he advances up the heavyweight foodchain. One thing that made me pause was the fact that Carwin weighed in 5 pounds under the heavyweight limit...big dude.
The only fight not shown was the opening bout, a TKO win by Shane Nelson over Aaron Riley. Apparently it was controversial. I dunno. I didn't see it.
One last note, UFC is flipflopping the Mir-Lesnar fight and the Rashad-Rampage fights so Mir can rehab his knee, uh, more? Page doesn't have a big turnaround for a title fight, but he must have okayed the change, so we'll see. Should be a fun fight between him and Rashad.

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