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UFC 65 – Bad Intentions

UFC 65 REPORT & REVIEW

Lightweight Bout – JOE STEVENSON def. DOKONJONOSUKE MISHIMA (submission in Round 1) – Mishima, the Japanese pro-wrestler (or “showman” as the commentators described it) came to the ring wearing a devil half-mask and carrying a giant Snoopy doll. His entrance music was accurately described by dreg4life as an evil Japanese version of the Willy Wonka song. The fight went to the ground pretty quickly, and Mishima was good at avoiding submissions for all of thirty seconds. Stevenson had what looked like a guillotine locked in very early and it appeared he had the fight wrapped up, but his hook was just a tad too high. He tried again with even less luck than the first attempt. They rolled for a bit and Stevenson got the hook in for a third time, and this time Mishima tapped. Stevenson looked really good in this fight.

* In between fights, they announced that Ortiz/Liddell II will be the main event at UFC 66. It’s about damn time.

Heavyweight Bout: BRANDON VERA def. FRANK MIR (ref stoppage in Round 1) Mir was in much better shape than his previous two fights, but still got dominated and looked really bad. A minute into the first round he went in for a takedown and was caught in a clinch, three knees and a barrage of punches bloodied him and that’s all she wrote. Not to take anything away from Vera, who’s a great fighter, but this fight proved more than anything that Mir’s done.

Light Heavyweight Bout – DREW McFEDRIES def. ALESSIO SAKARA (ref stoppage in Round 1) – Both were swinging for the fences from the get-go. Sakara looked very good in his striking, but man can McFedries ever take a punch. He took shots to the chin that would knock out more or less anybody else and just shook them off like they were light jabs. Towards the end of the 1st round he leveled Sakara with a punch that at first looked to just knock him back a little, but just as you realized he was out on his feet he fell to the canvas. McFedries jumped on the opportunity and got some shots in on the ground before the ref stopped it. McFedries has the potential to become really popular in that he swings wild but can take a Hell of a beating. It’s also worth noting that he looks like Cuba Gooding, Jr…just because we had a good laugh at it. Very entertaining fight, even if it wasn’t technically sound.

Light Heavyweight Bout – JAMES IRVIN def. HECTOR RAMIREZ (ref stoppage in Round 2) – With none of the first three fights of the night going past the first round they had to go with one of the preliminary fights that took place before they went on the air. And boy, am I ever glad they did. Round 1 had to go to Ramirez, as it was even while standing but he was more aggressive in taking Irvin to the ground and almost ended it on two occassions. Round 2 was a stalemate until Irvin stunned Ramirez with a punch. In a moment that made all of us watching laugh, he celebrated afterwards until he realized Mario Yamasaki hadn’t stopped the fight. The look on Irvin’s face when he realized the fight was still on was classic, as was him suddenly turning around, running towards Ramirez who was on his hands and knees, then hitting him with a hard kick to the side followed by punches that finally ended it. Another really entertaining bout.

Heavyweight Championship Bout TIM SYLVIA def. JEFF MONSON (Unanimous Decision; Sylvia retains) – Monson came out to “Imagine” by John Lennon, which had those of us watching in tears (laughing). The commentators referred to him as being of a “Socio-Economic” mindset, which was confusing until we saw the red anarchy tattoo on his back and the hammer & sickle on his left calf. I figured this fight would be boring, and MAN was it ever. Sylvia still looks awful, but still managed to win the fight despite not knocking Monson out in the first round. Part of that is Sylvia improving his cardio slightly, but it was also due to Monson tiring himself out by not being able to get anything done with Sylvia on the ground. Monson went for a couple takedowns in the 1st round, but every time he did Sylvia would simply sprawl out stomach-first on top of Monson. It was an effective strategy that made for an awful fight in terms of entertainment and as a result the crowd HATED Sylvia even more than they already did. Monson was the aggressor on takedowns and standing, so I’d give it to him. I’d be a little facetious in saying that absolutely nothing happened in the 2nd round, but not by much. I’d give the round to Sylvia for some shots landed. The 3rd round saw Monson finally able to get Sylvia in a compromised position on the ground, and a couple times almost had him in a submission. Unfortunately he was gassing at this point, and by the end of the round Sylvia was using his reach advantage to do damage from the bottom, particularly in the last 30 seconds where he might have stole the round with the CSAC judges. Monson at that point had a really nasty cut under his right eye and was gassed, but so was Sylvia. I’d give the round to Monson, but it was close (but not in the sense that it was a good round for either). In the 4th round Monson shot in early but Sylvia ended up on top and did a little damage. Monson was able to reverse to get on top, but couldn’t get anything done. In a hilarious moment, Sylvia went for the absolute worst triangle choke in the history of the UFC, but since he’s so awful the commentators acted as if he’d all of a sudden become the best Jiu-Jitsu guy on the planet. This round was all Sylvia. Nothing happened in the 5th Round, and this time I’m NOT being facetious. About a minute and a half into the round, referee John McCarthy agreed with me and stopped the clock to give them both a verbal beating. Monson tried to take Sylvia to the ground and failed (again), so he went all Royce Gracie at his worst and laid on his back and just let Sylvia kick him in the legs. It was AWFUL, and the crowd finally (and rightfully) turned on Monson. Both guys were so awful that I couldn’t even pick a winner for the round, though out of spite I might go with Monson just because he at least attempted a takedown (though it might be negated by his “lie down and let the round end” tactic). The judges gave all but the third round to Monson, which surprised me a bit but not that much. After the match they inferred that Vera would get the next shot at Sylvia’s title, and for the sake of all that have to watch Heavyweight Title matches on a UFC pay-per-view, I pray that he wins the title from Sylvia. Don’t get me wrong – Sylvia’s a dedicated guy. He’s very proud of that title, to the point where he literally sleeps with it in his arms at night. The problem is, the UFC Heavyweight Division is a joke and Sylvia doesn’t realize it. In his heart he truly does believe he’s the best Heavyweight in the world, and that the UFC is shelling out big bucks for world-class contenders. Thirty seconds in the Octagon with Pride’s Fedor Emelianenko would be a rude awakening for poor deluded Tim, but that’s even less likely to happen than the twice-promised Liddell/Wandy fight simply because (as I’ve stated before) there’s just not that much money to be made with a Heavyweight division in North America. Regardless, Sylvia dodged a bullet by fighting a guy who is realistically out of his element as a Heavyweight, but he won’t be so lucky the next time around if Vera’s performance earlier in the evening was any indication.

Welterweight Championship – GEORGES St. PIERRE def. MATT HUGHES (ref stoppage in Round 2; Georges St. Pierre wins the Welterweight Championship) – It seemed like a really exciting bout, but in hindsight that could be due to the previous fight being so atrociously bad. The atmosphere for the fight was electric, which also helped. The 1st round started off with a little controversy, as GSP inadvertently grazed Hughes in the groin with his toes while going for a left kick to the thigh. The fight was paused to allow Hughes to recover, GSP went for the same kick and again grazed Hughes’ groin, though I felt Hughes was overselling it a bit. I think McCarthy was wise to it though, as he didn’t give Hughes as much time to recover. He did warn St. Pierre though that while unintentional, if it happened again he’d stop the fight. GSP opted not to try his luck and avoided the low kicks altogether. The two fighters stayed on their feet and GSP dominated. About 3 minutes into the round Hughes attempted to take GSP to the ground, but he just shrugged it off like it was nothing. GSP had never looked better and at that exact moment I knew Hughes was in a LOT of trouble. In the closing seconds of the round GSP unleashed a flurry on Hughes that would’ve stopped the match if the round had gone just two more seconds. The 2nd round saw GSP continue to dominate with striking. A little over a minute in he hit Hughes with a high right kick to the temple that knocked Hughes to the ground. He pounced on Hughes and caught him with a punch that landed square on his chin. A short flurry from GSP followed by elbows to Hughes, and that was all she wrote. The crowd went nuts for the finish. St. Pierre was at a loss for words and looked like the happiest man on the planet. He and Hughes embraced after the fight, and the cameras caught him telling Hughes that he’d do everything he could to make sure he got a rematch. Randy Couture interviewed GSP in the ring, who was so excited that he completely forgot that he had to do a post-fight interview. Couture then interviewed Hughes, who was in complete shock but conceded that it was GSP’s fight. He said GSP caught him so good with that kick that he thought it was a punch that knocked him down until his corner told him otherwise. Dana White came in to congratulate GSP, and the cameras caught White informing GSP that his first title defense would be in Montreal. GSP reacted like an excited little kid, which was great to see.

Heavyweight Bout – ANTONY HARDONK def. SHERMAN PENDERGARST (ref stoppage in Round 1) – Another prelim fight that took place before they went live. McLocks noted that Antony would have a terrific career in porn if he changed his last name to Hardon. In one of the worst displays of unsportsmanlike conduct I’ve ever seen in the UFC, Pendergarst put his arm up for a fist-pound when the bell rung and then shot in on Hardonk when he tried to return the gesture. That’s an incredibly classless and shitty thing to do. Thankfully, Pendergarst wasn’t able to get anything done and tired himself out. They got back on their feet and Hardonk laid in some shots, rocking Pendergarst with a solid punch. He then kicked Pendergarst HARD on the hip, which resulted in his leg giving out. The ref stopped the fight when Pendergarst, who might have been already out on his feet, fell to the mat and sprawled out on the campus. Not much of a fight, and I hope that Pendergarst is never invited back to the UFC after the stunt he pulled at the beginning of the fight.

What appeared to be a less than enticing card as a whole on paper (other than the main event) turned out to be a pretty exciting show. I was pleased. Yes. Pleased.

More later…

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