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UFC 70 Review – Superman’s Dead

UFC 70: Nations Collide Wild Boys Superman’s Dead
Results & Review

* Paul Taylor def. Edilberto Crocota via TKO in Round 3 Said to be an amazing KO.
* Jesse Liaudin def. Dennis Siver via Submission (short arm scissors) in Round 1 Went about a minute and a half.
* Alessio Sakara def. Victor Valimaki via TKO in Round 1 Another short affair, lasting almost the same exact length of time as the previous bout.
* Junior Assuncao def. David Lee via Submission (rear naked choke) in Round 2 Said to be all Assuncao.
* Lyoto Machida def. David Heath via Unanimous Decision This fight was actually the third to last on the live card, but was bumped off North American television. Live reports say the fight was terrible, with almost nothing being done until twenty seconds were left in Round 2. Instead of kicking it up a notch, both did the same in Round 3 until Machida started working with 30 seconds remaining in the round. Said to be “one of the most hideously boring fights in UFC history.” UFC’s official stance will be that it was bumped due to time constraints, since two other fights on the live feed went the distance. But considering how bad the opener on television was, this fight had to be historically awful to get bumped.

* Cheick Kongo def. Assuerio Silva via Split Decision Round 1 saw some exchanges that Kongo, a trained kickboxer, got the better of. Silva was able to take him down with ease, but didn’t do anything on the ground. Round 2 opened with Kongo going on the offensive, throwing wildly and landing with about 40% accuracy. Silva was able to take him down twice, although again, didn’t do a goddamn thing once he had him on the ground. Yamasaki did make them stand at one point, but it was too little, too late. It’s official – Assuerio Silva is the Brazilian Josh Koscheck, except without the heel charisma to assure at least another booking in the UFC. Early in Round 3 was a repeat of what happened in Round 2. Silva took him down and they were stood up again. Silva tried another takedown but had tired himself out so much by doing jack and shit on the ground that he just collapsed and Kongo landed on top for some ground and pound. Two judges scored it 29-28, with the third scoring it an even 28-28 draw. I would’ve had it 30-27. I can see why they would be motivated to give Silva Round 2, since he took down Kongo twice, but he didn’t do a goddamn thing once he had him. Assuerio Silva is one of those fighters who fights not to lose rather than to win, and Kongo has done absolutely no ground training. I’m not asking so much that he trains on the ground, just learn some freaking takedown defense. Awful, awful fight.
* Terry Etin def. Matt Grice via Submission (Guillotine Choke) in Round 1 This was originally a prelim bout, but it got bumped up to the North American feed due to Heath/Machida being so awful. Etin is 6’1″ and fighting as a lightweight, which means he looks sickly. Grice was laying a beating on Etin for most of the fight. About four minutes in, while Grice was pounding Etin on the ground, Etin was able to bring it back to standing and locked in a guillotine choke. Grice was able to barely slip out and looked dazed, at which point Etin locked in the choke again with a full guard and made him tap. Grice is a great pure wrestler, but was completely suckered by basic Jiu-Jitsu. Decent fight if only for the reaction Etin (a Liverpool boy) got from the live crowd.
* Michael Bisping def. Elvis Sinosic via Ref Stoppage in Round 2 Bisping got one of the biggest reactions from the Manchester crowd that I’ve ever see any UFC fighter receive, ever. Elvis is a super nice guy who made a name for himself by upsetting Jeremy Horn and then proceeded to lose his next five fights in the UFC. Bisping started Round 1 by punching early, took Elvis to the ground, and then did some ground and pound. He mauled him for the entire five minutes, with Elvis not getting a single offensive move in. Elvis looked terrible during the round and even worse afterwards. Bisping came out swinging again, but he punched himself out in Round 1 and got caught with a knee that momentarily rocked him and sent him to the ground. Elvis’s reaction seemed to indicate that even he wasn’t expecting that knee to connect the way that it did. Elvis jumped on him and tried to work in a kimura, but Bisping held on and broke free. He reversed positioning and pounded him for the next thirty seconds until referee Steve Mazzagatti finally stopped it. Bisping looked good at parts, but being caught with that knee out of nowhere shows a very serious flaw – he’s succeptible to becoming over-excited, losing his focus, and punching himself out early. Probably the fight of the night.
* Andrei Arlovski def. Fabricio Werdum via Unanimous Decision. Round 1 was fantastic, with both just going into a complete slugfest and alternately rocking each other. Werdum’s a great BJJ guy, but didn’t have enough confidence in it overcoming Arlovski’s ground game to grapple with him. As a result, the rest of this fight was stalling, dancing, and…well, nothing happening. After an exciting Round 1, Round 2 saw neither man engage the other, with Werdum dancing around the perimeter of the Octagon while Arlovski waited for him to do something. Arlovski finally went on a flurry with literally five or ten seconds left in the round. Way to go, Pitbull. Round 3 started with a warning from referee Herb Dean to both men that the first one who didn’t actively engage and retreated from his opponent was going to be deducted a point. It was an empty promise, as this was a repeat of Round 2 with the exception of two or three very brief flurries. Andrei won it 30-27 across the board and apologized to the crowd after the fight was over. To give you an idea of how bad this was, Arlovski got a reaction nearly as big as Bisping’s when he came out, but by the time the fight was over the crowd was booing him unmercifully. He did some damage control by apologizing to the live crowd. As much as Arlovski deserves criticism for coasting through that fight, Werdum deserves that much more. His corners had to have told him that he was losing the fight going into Round 3, and he did nothing. When you’re in that position, you have to go for something. If you get knocked out or tapped, who the Hell cares? It’ll at least give you a chance to come out of the fight with a win rather than just dancing around for a loss. Bad, bad fight on a show that was wrought with them.
* Gabriel Gonzaga def. Mirko Cro Cop via KO in Round 1 You read that right. Myself, Ed, and all those who called and IMed me were in complete shock and disbelief as to how this went down. The fight started with both men feeling each other out until Gonzaga took Cro Cop to the ground. He was working over Cro Cop on the ground when Herb Dean just stood them up for no reason. OH, HERB. I was about to comment how unnecessary that stand-up was when Gonzaga waylaid Cro Cop with a right kick that literally knocked him unconscious. Yes, he stole his special, No Mercy 64 style. It took the replay for me to accept what I had just seen, with Cro Cop just crumbling to the mat and twisting his ankle in one of the most unnatural ways possible. Gonzaga got all of that kick, and the streak of huge UFC upsets continues with this possibly being the biggest of them all. Cro Cop was interviewed after the fight and was in complete shock and disbelief. It appeared to me that the cage is just completely foreign to Cro Cop, and brushing off the difference and treating it as if it were no big deal worked against him. Well, that explains what was happening on the ground, but that kick just came out of nowhere and was going to knock anyone out. Gonzaga gets the next shot at Randy Couture’s UFC Heavyweight Title.

The show as a whole was memorable for Bisping and the shocking KO of Cro Cop, but the rest of the fights ranged from bad to terrible. It doesn’t help that UFC’s pacing for their live shows is bad enough, but with commercial interruptions it’s made that much worse. I think the first hour and a half saw eighteen minutes of fighting, which is inexcusable. They had plenty of short prelim knockouts and submissions they could’ve shown, so there’s no reason why we need to waste time on talking at ringside that doesn’t tell us anything that pre-fight video packages don’t already tell us.

Speaking of which, am I the only one sick to death of guys shadow boxing in a dark room while being sprayed with the “Mist” setting on a garden hose?

One of the things that Dana White criticizes boxing for, which is the pacing of the live feeds and endless talking by guys like Larry Merchant, is still being done by the UFC in spades. The abundance of commercials and “returns” from a commercial break to show sneak previews of “Next” and “28 Months Later” (followed by MORE commercials) assured that there would be no momentum on the show. I understand that this was a big fight card and there was a ton of advertising revenue to be made, but any casual fan who watched this fight and saw that presentation isn’t going to be as apt to watch the next time they put a live card on Spike.

I wouldn’t suggest trying to catch the replay on television, but the Bisping fight and Gonzaga’s knockout are worth going out of your way to search out on YouTube or through bitTorrent.

More later…

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