Home > Uncategorized > UFC 68 Results; Preview for UFC 69 & UFC 70

UFC 68 Results; Preview for UFC 69 & UFC 70

As promised (to Harm), a full write-up.

UFC 68: “The Uprising”
Live from the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio.

Jamie Varner def. Jason Gilliam via Submission (rear choke) in the 1st
Gleison Tibau def. Jason Dent via Unanimous Decision (30-27)
Jon Fitch def. Luigi Fiorvanti via Submission (rear choke) in the 2nd
Matt Hammil def. Rex Holman via Ref Stoppage in the 1st

LIGHT-HEAVYWEIGHT BOUT: Jason Lambert def. Renato “Babalu” Sobra via TKO in the 2nd
Babalu wisely took it to the ground in the first and dominated for the vast majority. With about 30 seconds left, however, it got back up to standing and Lambert rocked Babalu, who was saved by the round ending. The second round started and it was like the first round never even happened. Lambert took Babalu down to the ground and did a little ground and pound (or as fighter and uber-dork Josh Barnett calls it “Bunches of Punches”). John McCarthy ordered a stand-up, Babalu went in to go on the offensive, and Lambert rocked him with a left that ended it. Huge upset.

WELTERWEIGHT BOUT: Matt Hughes def. Chris Lytle via Unanimous Decision (30-27)
The first round went to the ground pretty quickly. Lytle was impressive and went for a guillotine which had Hughes on the hypothetical ropes for quite some time. Hughes then got a side mount and did a little damage, and nearly had an armbar when time expired for the round. It was an exciting round that realistically could be judged either way, though I’d give it to Hughes. Hughes took Lytle down in the second, getting a side and full mount. In doing damage, Hughes put a nasty cut above Lytle’s right eye. Lytle pushed off the cage towards the end of the round to gain control on the ground, but lost it when going for an armbar. Despite Lytle finishing strong, the second round was all Hughes. Third round came and both guys were pretty tired. Hughes took Lytle down to the ground, but not much was happening. It was a really dull round, which ended with Hughes going for an armbar late. 30-27 Hughes. As I said yesterday, it would’ve been good for Hughes to win decisively via ref stoppage or submission, but given his style of fighting this doesn’t hurt him.

MIDDLEWEIGHT BOUT: Rich Franklin def. Jason MacDonald via Ref Stoppage in the 2nd
At the start of the first round, Franklin connected with some punches that looked good but didn’t do all that much damage (Nick Diaz style!). MacDonald tried to take him down by grabbing Franklin’s right leg, but Franklin was great in defending and showed incredible balance. Franklin took MacDonald down and did some damage, but brought it back to standing when MacDonald started grapping from the bottom. Smart man, that Rich Franklin. MacDonald finally took Franklin down, but time expired before he could get anything done. The round went to Franklin. He didn’t look nearly as impressive as he did during his championship run, but he’s in there with MacDonald who’s pretty underrated as a fighter. What did concern me was when they showed both guys in the corner – for all that Franklin did, MacDonald barely even look tired. Franklin, on the other hand, looked exhausted. The second round showed the Rich Franklin of old, completely dominating MacDonald the entire round with punches. MacDonald was saved with the round ending, but his corner threw in the proverbial towel when they saw that MacDonald was on the corner of Dream Street and Flash Knockout Avenue. The first round had me questioning Franklin quite a bit (especially in landing all those punches but doing little damage and seeming like he was gassed in-between rounds), but the second round was the Franklin of old and was exactly the type of win he needed.

In the post-fight interview, Franklin called out Anderson Silva in a very light-hearted fashion which brought Silva to the Octagon (he was in the crowd for the event). Crowd was all over Silva because he doesn’t speak English. Welcome to Ohio. Both showed a lot of respect here, though, and Franklin gave the crowd shit for booing Silva. At one point while Silva was talking, Franklin spoke to Dana White. When Silva’s interpreter was done, Franklin informed everyone that Dana White said there would be a Franklin/Silva rematch for the title in Cincinatti.

MIDDLEWEIGHT BOUT: Martin “The Hitman” Kampmann def. Drew McFedries via Submission (triangle choke) in the 1st
Good fight, but you wouldn’t know it from hearing the crowd. In the official fight order this was supposed to go on second, followed by Franklin/MacDonald and Hughes/Lytle, but it got shuffled around. I imagine that was to keep the crowd from burning out, since having Hughes, Franklin, and Couture fight back to back to back would leave them exhausted. McFedries dominated while standing early in the first, even knocking down Kampmann with a punch that had me thinking “flash knockout.” At first it appeared he didn’t catch enough, however, and had to keep going with punches. Later, during the replay, it was shown that it was one Hell of a punch and that Kampmann can just take a Hell of a punch. It got back up and Kampmann took McFedries down, which is when the trouble started for everyone’s favorite prematurely balding fighter with an odd-shaped cranium. Seriously, the guy looks like a giant infant. Anyway, Kampmann got a side mount, then flipped it into a triangle, and that was all she wrote. A really good fight, even if the crowd wasn’t into it.

I want to note that with how most of the fights went, the live feed could’ve easily been over by midnight, however UFC completely padded the show with video packages in-between the fights. God I hate that. I realize why they do it – the casual fans might get pissed if they paid for the PPV and saw it ending before midnight even though it goes until 1 with all the prelims – but it still bothers me.

I also want to note that the crowd for this event is HUGE – over 19,000 which is a legit sellout in the Nationwide Arena. That sets a new North American record for MMA and the live gate broke the all-time record for the arena at over $3 million. More importantly than that was the visual. When they panned out to show the entire arena with the Octagon in the center of this mass of people, it reminded me of Pride when it was at its peak. Perhaps even more importantly was the crowd reaction to the last fight. 2006 was an incredible rise with PPV buyrates and general interest going through the roof, but this show is the real proof that they’ve made it.

UFC HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP BOUT: Randy Couture def. Tim Sylvia (c) via Unanimous Decision (50-45) to win the UFC Heavyweight Championship
WOW. WOW WOW WOW. First round started and Randy FLOORED Sylvia with an overhand right, then went for the kill. I was literally screaming “GET ‘IM RANDY!”, and it was awesome. Unfortunately Couture couldn’t finish him off because Sylvia has those chimpanzee arms. The remaining 4:30 of the round was Randy having Sylvia’s back with Randy’s back on the mat (Sylvia was on top of him). He laid in shots and kept going for the choke, which Sylvia blocked each time with his Eddy Guerrero Arms. The second round started off with Couture taking Sylvia down AGAIN, this time doing a Hell of a lot more damage with punches to Sylvia’s body and head. He threw some elbows which bloodied up Sylvia and might have broken his nose. It got back up standing, but not for long as Couture took him down a second time to end the round. Both guys looked tired, but Randy was looking far better off than Sylvia for obvious reasons. Sylvia also has no idea what to do with someone who is halfway decent on the ground. The third round was almost entirely standing, which Couture won. THAT was amazing, and as I stated in the previous post last night, his strategy was simultaneously so brilliant and simple that you’re shocked not one person fight Sylvia had thought of it before. All Randy had to do from this point was lay and pray, as he easily won all three rounds and could have won one of them 10-8 (though that didn’t happen). In round four, Randy took Sylvia down AGAIN. There was nothing happening on the ground, though, so John Mccarthy stood them up. Randy once again got the better of the exchange standing, landing several overhand rights. Sylvia was lost and looked like he was about to cry in frustration and was too tired to hit anything remotely effective. Couture took him down again, this time with such ease it was almost laughable, and did some damage on the ground to end the round. Round five started, and I thought the crowd was going to literally explode in their seats. Randy once again got the better of Sylvia standing, took him down, and scored a side mount. He alternated between knees to Sylvia’s side and elbows to his head, which was awesome. He got a full mount, but nothing was happening so McCarthy had to once again stand it up. Couture easiy took it back to the ground, and the camera showed Sylvia’s left eye swollen shut. This probably would’ve warranted a premature stoppage if McCarthy had a good enough look at Sylvia’s eye, but they were against the fence so I don’t think Big John had a clear view of it. Round ended and I nearly cried, I was that happy. 50-45 for your NEW UFC Heavyweight Champion, Randy Couture.

I didn’t hear much of the post-fight interviews, since Dan and I were getting ready to leave. We did catch Sylvia putting over Randy, which he damn well better because Randy was the only guy who put over Sylvia during his entire title reign.

Not sure which prelim fights aired since we left, but who cares? RANDY WINS.

Overall: What a great, great show. For the most part everything fell into the right place in terms of who went over and how, with the main event being a memorable fight and a heroic effort from Couture that people will be talking about for years. Pride had one of the best shows I’ve ever seen last weekend, but this had everyone so much more emotionally invested, and that speaks volumes to the promotional machine behind UFC as opposed to Pride. I don’t know if I’d recommend the replay – I very rarely do, and knowing Couture won might take a LOT away from that last fight. Still, what an incredible night.

Post-Show Shenanigans: Sylvia is now claiming a back injury. I don’t know whether to call the WAHmbulance on that one or not, because a guy his size who never gets into really good fighting shape is fairly prone to something like that. Though I will say that it didn’t appear Sylvia was in pain during that fight, just that he was severely outclassed for the first time against a fighter who improved leaps and bounds in another division. Sylvia had no idea what to do, and now the depression will most likely set in when he realizes that it’s his size and lack of good opponents, and not his skill, that kept him a champion. Matt Hughes revealed that he was so banged up in training the weeks before the fight that he considered calling it off.

Coming Up: UFC has TWO shows in the month of April. It seems like overkill, but 4/21 is the UK show, so that’s why.
UFC 69: Shootout
4/7/07 From Houston, Texas
Full card as of writing:
* FOR THE UFC WELTERWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP: Georges St. Pierre (Champion; 12-1) vs. Matt Serra (13-4) Serra was the winner of the last Ultimate Fighter. This match was supposed to take place at UFC 67 with Silva/Lutter (where Lutter had three months to train and came in overweight) as the semi, but was postponed when St. Pierre injured his knee during training.
* LIGHTWEIGHT BOUT: Roger Huerta (18-1) vs. Leonard Garcia (9-1)
* WELTERWEIGHT BOUT: Diego Sanchez (18-0) vs. Josh Koscheck (9-1)
* MIDDLEWEIGHT BOUT: Yushin Okami (19-3) vs. Mike Swick (11-1)
* MIDDLEWEIGHT BOUT: Alan Belcher (9-2) vs. Kendall Grove (8-3)
* HEAVYWEIGHT BOUT: Brad Imes (5-2) vs. Heath Herring (26-12-1) God help us. Please, Dana, make that a prelim. I beg of you.
* MIDDLEWEIGHT BOUT: Thales Leites (9-1) vs. Pete Sell (6-1)
* WELTERWEIGHT BOUT: Marcus Davis (14-4) vs. Pete Spratt (14-7)
* MIDDLEWEIGHT BOUT: Josh Haynes (9-5) vs. Luke Cummo (7-2)
Very good card sans the Heath Herring fight. If cooler heads prevail, which they probably will after his last performance, that’ll be a prelim. You can bet good money that Sanchez/Koscheck and Belcher/Grove will end up on the live feed. I would imagine Okami/Swick goes on the live feed as well, seeing as how both are undefeated in the UFC (3-0 and 6-0 respectively). The last fight on the live feed is sort of a toss-up, though I’d hope Huerta would get onto the live show with that incredible performance he put on last month.

UFC 70: Nations Collide
4/27/07 from Manchester, UK
* HEAVYWEIGHT BOUT: Mirko Cro Cop (22-4-2) vs. Gabriel Gonzaga (7-1)
* LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT BOUT: Michael Bisping (12-0) vs. Elvis Sinosic (6-9-2)
* HEAVYWEIGHT BOUT: Andrei Arlovski (12-5) vs. Fabricio Werdum (9-2-1)
* LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT BOUT: Forrest Griffin (13-4) vs. Lyoto Machida (8-0)
I hope England likes the Heavyweight Division. Gonzaga is absolutely being fed to Cro Cop. Same deal with Sinosic being fed to Bisping, who UFC is trying to position as their big star in England. Smart move. I have to question the wisdom of putting Arlovski up against Werdum. Werdum is coming off a win over Aleksander Emelianenko (he’s not his brother Fedor but he’s pretty damn good) in November and has gone the distance with Kharitonov and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, which are his only two losses. It’s not very likely he’s going to be knocked out and Arlovski better get real good on the ground real quick. Apparently, UFC is done trying to protect Forrest Griffin. He’s going in against a guy who has faced top-flight competition, beating BJ Penn via Decision in December of ’05 and knocking out Rich Franklin in December ’03. I’ll grant you that Franklin got better after that fight, but not THAT much better. Of course a few more fights will be added to the card. April is a busy fucking month for PPVs, it’ll be coming off the heels of UFC 69, the only drawing power to the casual fan is Cro Cop and Griffin, and there’s no Championship bout. If UFC does air this on PPV in the States, they better drop the price considerably.

I got the new Arcade Fire album “Neon Bible.” I’m going to try to give it a listen tonight or tomorrow and post a review. As always,

More later…

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  1. March 5, 2007 at 1:39 pm

    If you count Fight Night 9, there are three UFC events in April.

    Hell, TUF season 5 starts after FN9, too. Add Pride 34 and Bodogfight, and it’s going to be one hell of a month for MMA.

    Oh, and I have to geek you out: Bisping vs. Sinosic is light-heavyweight, and Thales Leites isn’t undefeated anymore, Kampmann UDed him.

    No, I really have nothing better to do with my free time than crush your feeble dreams of livejournal supremacy with my nitpicking.

    • March 5, 2007 at 6:49 pm

      D’oh! Fixed.

      And yeah, I knew about the Fight Night and new season of Ultimate Fighter, but I was focused more on the fact that there’s two PPVs (possibly) in April. I say possibly because – Hell, have they even decided whether or not that’s going on HBO yet?

  2. March 5, 2007 at 2:32 pm

    Some thoughts on a card I missed:

    – I’m glad I didn’t go with my instinct to lay a bet down on Sylvia.

    -I think you underestimate his ability to hang around the division. Right now there are exactly 2 heavyweights in UFC who are seemingly another level above Sylvia. One of them is in his 40’s and likely doesn’t have that many more fights in him. As for Sylvia’s shape, I didn’t see him this fight, but I have always had the sense he’s just a soft sort of guy, not prone to getting cut or lean. Kind of a UFC version of Samoa Joe. So I don’t know that I would pin that against him. I don’t know, maybe I just have a soft spot for the big oaf because I saw the fight at UFC 48 where Frank Mir broke his freaking arm and Sylvia wanted to continue and couldn’t understand why the fight was stopped. I like that kind of psychosis in my MMA guys.

    – If UFC crowds were somehow merged with ECW crowds Randy Couture would be hearing “Mirko’s gonna kill you!” in his sleep. That said, if he can somehow beat Mirko, he becomes the most awesome man in the history of the whole world, even more awesome than William Shatner.

    • March 5, 2007 at 6:51 pm

      Randy’s already my hero. If he beats Cro Cop, he becomes my new Dad. Seriously.

      I remember that fight against Mir. Though I don’t think that had so much to do with character as it did with whatever the fuck he was on that night.

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