Posts Tagged ‘guillotine’

The Ultimate Fighter Season 12 TUF12 – Ep. 2

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

The Ultimate Fighter Season 12 TUF12 is really based on opposite attitudes toward training. GSP has brought great coaches with him and wants to act as a training partner toward the guys on this team. He said it was a “time for the guys to shine” and that they would be better MMA fighters when they leave the house. He wants them to learn to be better fighters. Koscheck‘s attitude is that of “mindless training”, for the fighters to do what he says in order to learn and “to win”. Very different approaches.

The first fight of the preliminaries was between Alex Caceres and Jeffrey Lentz, Alex’s pick. Dana White said he would not have had the fighter pick the opponent.

Koscheck’s strategy for the fight was to go for the knock out and, if that did not happen, the ground and pound. Lentz wanted to break Caceres, hurt him so badly that he would have to go home the next day.

Caceres (Bruce Leroy) was ready for anything, was planning on being calm, relaxed and letting things flow.

Round 1 had both men kicking.  Lentz got the clinch and held Caceres against the fence many times. He applied knees and twisted his hips several times in anticipation of an harai goshi, which didn’t quite happen. Caceres climbed on Lentz and tried a guillotine, unsuccessfully. Lentz managed a take down and then tried a guillotine of his own. Just before the buzzer Lentz threw Caceres with a very strong harai goshi.

Round 2 had both men throwing high kicks. Lentz had Caceres against the fence again. Caceres tried the guillotine and had a take down of his own. While on the ground, Caceres manoeuvred Lentz into a triangle choke. Tap out.

Although Lentz was the stronger, Caceres used his long limbs to great effect and won the match.

The Ultimate Fighter Season 12 TUF12 is on Spike on Wednesdays at 10:00 p.m. EST.


September 29, 2010

The Ultimate Fighter Season 12 – TUF12 – Episode 1

Tuesday, September 21st, 2010

The Ultimate Fighter Season 12 TUF12 – Episode 1 aired last week. Georges St-Pierre and Josh Koscheck are the coaches of these light weight fighters. As with last season, there will be seven preliminaries and the eighth fight will be between two losers to get the last slot.

The episode consisted of elimination fights, some shown in detail, others given the outcome only.

We had several rear naked chokes (hadaka jime), including one standing version:  Jeffrey Lentz, Alex Caceres (calling himself Bruce Leroy), Kyle Watson and Dane Sayers (the standing version)  all won by this technique. Alex Caceres came out in a yellow one-piece jumpsuit, looking like Bruce Lee in one of his movies. Koscheck said that Caceres looked like a banana, but he most likely didn’t get the point. Dane Sayers fought against a Gracie student who had a 76 1/2″ reach. Sayers over-extended himself  early on, but managed to complete the standing hadaka jime to win.

Cody McKenzie won his match with a guillotine.

Mike Budnik, a former pro-skater, threw his opponent, Nam Phan, with a kneeling seoi nage, not something we see often and one of my favourite throws. Phan won the match, though, with a painful-looking body shot.

Jeffrey Lentz, who won by rear naked choke, also threw his opponent with an harai goshi. We love those judo throws.

Andy Main won his match with a juji gatame.

In addition to these matches, we had a knock out, wins by ground and pound, and by decision for the remainder of the competitors.

The Ultimate Fighter Season 12 TUF12 is on Spike at 10 p.m. Wednesday.


September 21, 2010

The Ultimate Fighter Season 11 TUF11 – Ep. 7

Thursday, May 20th, 2010

Episode 7 of The Ultimate Fighter Season 11 TUF11 covered lots of ground. Right off, we had the Wild Card fight between Kyacey Uscola and Kris McCray, both fighters having lost in their previous matches.

Since both men were from Ortiz‘s team, Ortiz said he would sit on the sidelines and “let the better man win”. McCray felt he was the underdog and Uscola talked about taking his opponent’s head off.

Round 1 had the men trading kicks and strikes. One of Uscola’s kicks was to McCray’s knee and looked painful. McCray took Uscola down twice  and Uscola achieved one take down. Very little time was spent on the ground although near the end of the round McCray controlled Uscola’s back and applied some elbows.

Round 2 began with McCray taking Uscola down and while in side control he applied a Kimura (ude garami) for tap out.

Ortiz looked a bit surprised at the outcome.

The quarterfinal fight announcements were made by Dana White. In addition, Nick Ring told White that he could not continue due to his torn ACL, which required surgery. White told the men in the house that he would be picking a replacement. Hammortree immediately went to White and told him that he wanted to fight. Joe Henle, unfortunately, was too slow to say anything and missed out.

The next fight, a quarterfinal, was between Hammortree and Court McGee. Hammortree said that McGee was one of the most well-rounded and tough guys in the house. He also said that he would let his hands go a bit more than the previous fight.

Round one began with McGee catching Hammortree’s leg and, while on his back, took Hammortree down. Hammortree eventually rushed McGee, but got taken down again. While standing, they traded strikes and kicks. McGee attempted a variety of techniques, including a rear kick. He took Hammortree to the floor and was in side control at the buzzer.

Round two began and ended quickly by Hammortree’s rushing McGee and exposing his neck. McGee put him in a standing front naked choke (guillotine) for tap out.

White said that McGee looks better every time he goes out there. He certainly controlled Hammortree and deserved the win.

The Ultimate Fighter Season 11 TUF11 is on Spike on Wednesdays at 10:00 p.m. EST.


May 20, 2010

The Ultimate Fighter Season 11 TUF11 – Ep. 6

Sunday, May 16th, 2010

The Ultimate Fighter Season 11 TUF11 had its last preliminary fight. Joe Henle fought against Seth Baczynski. Henle is relatively new to MMA, having only been professional for six months, with not much experience striking . Liddell said that he had the right attitude and that Henle wanted to show people what he could do. Henle has trained in MMA for seven years and won all his previous fights by submission.

Baczynski has been given a second chance in this season having been brought back due to McKinley‘s shoulder injury. Court McGee said that Baczynski has good hands.

Although Henle was the shorter of the two, he had a four inch reach advantage over Baczynski.

Round one began with Henle rushing Baczynski to take him down, ending in Baczynski’s open guard. He accomplished a second take down after which Seth attempted a front guillotine (hadaka jime). Henle stayed in the submission attempt for a long time, fighting it, and then passed to north/south. Henle then tried the anaconda on Seth and was very close to achieving it, causing Seth to turn purple for  a while. Henle then grapevined Baczynski and rolled, losing the grapevine and ending on the bottom with Seth in his guard. Baczynski then applied ground and pound.

Round two began with Baczynski trying a flying knee, but Henle connected with his own knee. Baczynski got his own take down. After some manoeuvring, Henle grapevined Baczynski, but he was too high up on the body and Seth rolled  out of it. Later on in the round, Baczynski tried a rear naked choke (hadaka jime), but it was far too loose to be effective.

Round three was the deciding round. Henle was exhausted and completely dominated by Baczynski. He spent most of the round on the bottom and could not accomplish anything from there. When he was on top, he was competent and had more skills than Baczynski.

The decision went to Baczynski. Dana White said that he was surprised at Henle’s abilities and thought that Baczynski was a far better fighter in his previous match. Liddell stated that for Henle’s limited professional experience, he did very well.

The Wild Card Announcement followed the fight. Kyacey Uscola is to fight Kris McCray. The winner of their fight gets back in to the mix. In addition, since Rich Attonito is unable to fight with his broken hand, Court McGee can continue to the next round.

This season of The Ultimate Fighter has far more injuries than previous seasons: we have a broken jaw, resulting in the fighter’s elimination, a broken hand, a shoulder injury requiring surgery and, in this episode, a knee with ligaments requiring surgery – Nick Ring‘s. During training, Ring’s knee gave out, a not uncommon occurrence for him. Ortiz manoeuvred Ring’s knee and the whole thing wiggled. The next episode promised someone else’s injury would cause another elimination. Is Ring out as well?

The Ultimate Fighter Season 11 TUF11 is on Wednesdays at 10:00 p.m. EST on Spike.


May 16, 2010

UFC 107

Tuesday, December 15th, 2009

UFC 107 contained some very strong submissions, stunning knock-outs and so-so fighting:

Frank Mir versus Cheick Kongo – Mir struck Kongo, partially putting Kongo out and then, from his back, applied a front guillotine. Mir had to tell Herb Dean that Kongo was unconscious. Dean lifted one of Kongo’s arms and watched it fall.Hadaka Jime – Front Naked Choke

When Kenny Florian fought Clay Guida, Florian struck a left and right and Guida went down. Florian grapevined him and applied a rear naked choke. Hadaka Jime – Rear Naked Choke

Damarques Johnson almost lost his match against Edgar Garcia when Garcia applied what is commonly called a Peruvian Necktie, a variation of a front guillotine. In this case, Garcia had his head to the floor, face down, and his legs at Johnson’s upper chest. Johnson fought the choke amazingly and managed to escape it. Later in the round, Johnson applied his own choke, Sankaku Jime – Triangle Choke, from the guard. He first up-kicked Garcia’s head, rocking him, and grabbing an arm, did a figure-of-four with the legs and Garcia tapped out. Submission of the Night.

The Knock Out of the Night went to T. J. Grant in his bout against Kevin Burns. Burns came close to knocking Grant out early in the round, but just before the buzzer for the end of round 1, Grant kneed Burns several times and then struck him on the jaw to knock him to the ground. Grant jumped on Burns and struck him four more times.

The B. J. Penn match against Diego Sanchez had the potential for fantastic ground game. Penn almost ended the match seconds on as he rocked Sanchez with a heavy strike, just as Joe Rogan talked about Penn’s striking abilities. He rocked Sanchez again near the end of the round. Sanchez was determined to take Penn to the ground, but Penn stuffed every attempt, and there were many – so many that the audience booed eventually. The single-leg take down attempts were consistently unsuccessful, but Sanchez continued to try them.

By the fifth round, Sanchez had many facial wounds, one of which was a vertical cut on the bottom lip. As with all the other rounds, Sanchez tried the single leg take down. He also dropped, but Penn sprawled his way out of the take down. When standing, Penn threw a kick to Sanchez’s face, striking him on the left forehead. This opened a huge gash, causing blood to gush down his body. TKO referee stoppage.

The Fight of the Night was a slugfest between Alan Belcher and Wilson Gouveia who stood toe-to-toe trading heavy strikes until a right upper cut by Belcher knocked Gouveia out.

My Opinion: If I were awarding the Fight of the Night, I would have given it to Johnson and Garcia. The men showed a variety of skills, standing and ground, were evenly matched and had an exciting bout. After Garcia struck Johnson successfully several times, Johnson actually gave kudos to his opponent during the match. It was fun to watch.


December 15, 2009

The Ultimate Fighter Season 10 TUF10 Finale

Monday, December 7th, 2009

The Ultimate Fighter Season 10 TUF10 Finale proved to be a lot of fun – people with differing skill sets and nearly everyone at the top of their game.

If you remember Marcus Jones‘ tirade in the previous episode (click here to go to the details), it came as no surprise that Jones was to fight against Matt Mitrione. This bout was Mitrione’s debut in the UFC; Jones had a record of 4 and 2 coming in. Even though Jones was three inches taller, Mitrione had a two inch reach advantage.

Jones was on the attack from the start, grabbing Mitrione for take down after take down. At one point he attempted a guillotine, but Mitrione escaped. Mitrione, in response to the take downs, used the cage to stand up. In a clinch, Mitrione dealt shoulder shots, a high knee and a knee to the gut. The men traded jabs and the occasional knee, but Jones was the aggressor throughout the round with his many take downs.

Joe Rogan talked a bit about Jones’ stand up style, or lack thereof, and how elementary it was. Jones has been doing MMA for under three years, so everything is new. This limited experience with stand up fighting was a crucial aspect as round two began.  Jones rushed Mitrione and Mitrione did a straight right to Jones’ face. As Jones was falling, he followed up that shot with another. KO.

Frankie Edgar had the next fight against Matt Veach. Edgar is a freestyler and Veach, a brawler, with comparable records (Edgar 10-1, Veach 11-0). Although they were within a pound of each other, Veach looked much bigger, very muscular.

The bout was indicative of Veach’s strength: he picked Edgar up multiple times and slammed him to the floor. All that brute strength had its toll as Veach would take huge breaths when they were separated. Edgar tried his own take downs, but they were stuffed. Edgar went in for strikes, here and there, but Veach’s were far harder.

Round 2 had Veach trying for a single leg take down which Edgar stuffed. Both men used combination strikes until Edgar clipped Veach, causing Veach to drop to the floor. Edgar jumped on him, did some ground and pound and arear naked. Tap out. Fight of the Night.

The weirdest fight of the night was between Kimbo Slice and Houston Alexander. Alexander is known to be an extremely tough opponent, having decimated Keith Jardine in 48 seconds of round 1. Rogan said that Alexander’s tactic was to attack Slice’s lead leg, the one without the cartilage. In order to do this, Alexander circled the octagon, with Slice in the center, for basically the first round. Nothing happened for almost three minutes, save booing and boredom. Slice eventually moved in closer; Alexander did the occasional leg kick to Slice’s lead leg.

At the 2:10 mark, Slice managed a clinch and both men were striking. Slice connected, but Alexander went back to the leg kicks and circling.

Round 2 had Slice getting in closer and accomplishing a take down and full mount. Alexander stood up, but slipped, enabling Slice to grab him and do a huge, frightening body slam. Slice tried for a choke as well. He had another take down and did some ground and pound. When Alexander turned, Slice had his back and grapevined him, trying another choke. Kimbo Slice has some ground techniques. Nice.

All the while that Slice was trying new techniques (new to him), Alexander did the circling and leg kicks. Almost all the kicks were inside, but an outside leg kick in the third round took Slice’s leg out from under him. When on the ground, Slice was in control. Standing, Alexander did his kicks and Slice would come in to strike. Both men were slow to do anything in this round. Slice won by unanimous decision.

Alexander’s tactics to destroy Slice’s leg worked, but made for a boring fight; however, it was fun to see Slice with his new skill sets.

Mark Bocek fought against Joe Brammer in a lightweight match up. Bocek is a BJJ black belt with a record of 7-2 in the octagon. Most of his wins are by submission. Brammer was 7-0-1 coming in to this fight. He is a jeet kune do guy who favours chokes and unorthodox strikes.

Brammer started the match with two big kicks from the southpaw stance. Bocek almost immediately attempted a take down. When he succeeded, he grapevined Brammer in a body triangle. Brammer got to his feet, but Bocek remained on his back, getting his hooks in. Bocek (while on Brammer’s back, hooks still in, back to the cage) then began a rear naked choke. It didn’t look as though the arm was under the chin, but that Brammer’s head was cranked to the side, the jaw was trapped and the Bocek’s arm tightly around. Tap out.  Submission of the Night.

Matt Hammill‘s fight against Jon Jones promised good things: both were collegiate wrestlers (with Hammill on the Olympic team, I believe). Jones came in undefeated with an astounding 8 1/2 inch reach advantage. He also has fantastic spinning back fists and kicks.

Jones began with high head kicks; Hammill answered with low kicks and jabs. Hammill tried a take down, but Jones threw Hammill with an o soto gari, I think. He then had full mount and did some vicious ground and pound, striking from about 18 inches to Hammill’s face. Hammill did not attempt to lift his hips or shrimp out. His nose had a huge gash and blood was flowing into his eyes. As Jones continued the G and P, the referee jumped in to stop him – he had done a downward elbow strike to the face, which in UFC rules is illegal. One point was deducted and then the fight was deemed over as Hammill could not continue. Due to the illegal strike, Jones lost the match due to disqualification. To top it off, Hammill dislocated a shoulder during an exchange.

McSweeney and Schoonover, from The Ultimate Fighter Season 10 TUF10, had the next match. McSweeney showed far more abilities than in his fights during The Ultimate Fighter. He tried a rear naked choke when in the grapevine position, ground and pound during one of their sessions on the floor, a huge slam for a take down and strong kicks and knees from standing.  Schoonover is talented, but this was not to be his night. Although Schoonover countered with strikes, knees and kicks, rolled McSweeney, moved constantly when on the ground, McSweeney ended the match by a flying knee, head kick, right hand and knee to the face. Schoonover dropped.  TKO referee stoppage.

The semifinalists of The Ultimate Fighter Season 10 TUF10, Brendan Schaub and Roy Nelson, had their final bout. Schaub was the taller, by four inches. He had won all his previous matches by knock out. His background is tae kwon do, jiu jitsu and boxing, having been a Golder Gloves champion. Nelson is a black belt in jiu jitsu and the IFL heavyweight champion. His specialty is ground and pound.

The first round began with Nelson attempting a take down. Schaub answered with combos. Nelson did a little ankle throw when in the clinch and ended in Schaub’s half guard. He then tried an ude garami without success.

After Schaub got up, he throw a number of combinations, most connecting. Nelson countered and then threw an overhand right to Schaub’s left temple. Knock out. Knock out of the Night.

Nelson went into The Ultimate Fighter boasting of his abilities, although most of these guys do that. He bragged to White but White was “not impressed” until the semi final bout. Considering that Nelson is so experienced a fighter, despite his girth and his looking out of shape, it isn’t a surprise that he won overall.


December 7, 2009

UFC 101- Declaration

Monday, August 10th, 2009

UFC 101 Declaration offered a variety of fights and fighters, some fights with surprising results, others not so much. 

Amir Sadollah, winner of an Ultimate Fighter season, but whom we never saw fight afterward, fought Johny Hendricks. Sadollah was seen doing interviews during the last The Ultimate Fighter season quite successfully: he’s personable and camera-friendly, but speaks way too quickly.

Perhaps not having fought for such a long time (for whatever reason) was the problem: his head kick was blocked by Hendricks, although he landed other leg kicks and punches. Hendricks connected with an upper cut at the fence and Sadollah went down at 32 seconds of round 1.

Hendricks may have broken his hand when he blocked the head kick; he cradled his left hand after the match and looked to be in agony. 

Josh Neer fought Kurt Pellegrino for the full three rounds. Their match started with a strong take down by Pellegrino to his being in half guard and applying elbows and punches to Neer. Neer fought from the bottom controlling Pellegrino’s wrist and arm, moving from butterfly guard to full guard. Round 2 had Pellegrino taking Neer down again and Neer’s elbowing from the bottom and trying juji gatame. Neer’s butterfly guards and full and half guards are so good that Pellegrino could not pass.

Round 3 had both men kicking and Pellegrino again taking Neer down. Neer held on to Pellegrino’s wrists, elbowed from the bottom, and tried numerous triangles, all of which were suppressed by Pellegrino.

Unanimous decision in Pellegrino’s favour, however he passed Neer’s guard only once.

The fight between the Georges (Sotiropoulos and Roop) was fast and showed BJJ techniques from start to finish. Roop is a very tall fighter and Sotiropoulos is a more solid, compact man. Sotiropoulos took Roop down several times, moving from guard to side mount to north/south to the other side, whatever he wanted to do. He moved very quickly, perhaps too fast – he didn’t give himself any time to do a submission. Roop did manage to escape from a grapevine, even with the hooks in.

Round 2 had both fighters punching after a take down by Sotiropoulos. Sotiropoulos was sitting in full mount and then side control. He submitted Roop with a Kimura very quickly.

The Shane Nelson match against Aaron Riley went the distance. It was an example of the problems with having fighters who are basically different weights fighting each other. Nelson is perhaps a natural 155 whereas Riley is far heavier, having fought at 170 in the past. Riley dominated Nelson standing and on the ground. He was very aggressive, rushing Nelson and putting him in the clinch, then applying knees and elbows. On the ground, Riley used his weight difference to hold Nelson down and then ground and pound him.

In the third round, Nelson had Riley in his guard, with ankles crossed, but he should have tried to sidle out. Although overwhelmed by Riley, Nelson fought hard throughout the fifteen minutes. Unanimous decision in Riley’s favour.

Kendall Grove‘s match against Roberto Almeida went the distance as well. Grove is six inches taller and has a five inch reach advantage over Almeida. In this match, though, the smaller man was the aggressor: Almeida took Grove down at least six times. Grove attempted a guillotine, a juji gatame and had a body triangle on Almeida but Almeida controlled the fight. When standing, Grove applied some knees, but Almeida’s take downs kept on coming. Unanimous decision in Almeida’s favour.

Anderson Silva‘s fight against Forrest Griffin had lots of media coverage beforehand. Silva’s last two fights were weird and boring, with his showboating and not actually fighting very much. I thought that Griffin would put himself on the line and actually fight as he had against Bonnar and others: he seemed to love the fight. This match was almost on par with Silva’s other recent matches: his opponent was hesitant, feeling Silva out, and Silva started showboating, trying to goad his opponent. His hands were down, he stalked Griffin, who walked backward. Silva switched stances caught Griffin’s kick, punched Griffin a couple of times. Silva connected solidly a couple of times and Griffin went down, but got up immediately.

Silva had his hands down, bobbing and weaving; Griffin could not connect with anything, but continued to walk forward and Silva backward. Silva then threw a little right shot to Griffin’s jaw and the fight was over. Knock out in the first round. Knockout of the Night.

There has to be someone out there who can fight this guy. I understand this fight was awarded Fight of the Night. Not in my book. It was a good fight, but the fight was too one-sided.

The main event of the night was fairly boring: B. J. Penn versus Kenny Florian. Florian was the aggressor in this match rushing Penn and squashing him against the fence while attempting a take down. This happened many times. Florian ground his shoulder into Penn’s side or his stomach, pushed him into the fence and did body shots to Penn’s side. As they broke the clinch Florian would finish with an elbow just before the break.

Penn moved forward following Florian throughout the match and would have a flurry of activity just before the buzzer. At other times, Penn connected with shots when Florian made a mistake or missed his attempt. Penn did not attempt take downs nor was he the aggressor during the first three rounds.

Round 4 had Florian attempting a take down again, but Penn went after him this time, succeeding with his own take down. After some ground and pound, Florian rolled and Penn ended up with Florian’s back, putting the hooks in and had a rear naked choke (hadaka jime) from the grapevine. Penn by submission. Submission of the Night (although Sotiropoulos’s Kimura was on par).

As for Fight of the Night, I think I’ll go with Shane Nelson versus Aaron Riley. Although Riley dominated, Nelson never gave up and fought his way through the entire match.


August 10 2009 

UFC 98 Evans vs Machida

Sunday, May 24th, 2009

UFC 98 Evans vs Machida had knockouts and tap outs galore.

Sean Sherk fought Frank Edgar for Fight of the Night. Edgar had excellent stamina, moved constantly, attacked with combinations, threw high kicks, feinted punches, and avoided most of Sherk’s punches. Round 1 went to Edgar. Sherk was flat-footed and just followed Edgar around the octagon. Edgar had a five inch reach advantage on Sherk and it was very obvious: Sherk had a hard time connecting. Edgar moved in to attack and then sidled out of the way.

Round 2 had Sherk connecting more, but mostly one-off punches. Edgar had more combos and, again, moved constantly. It was very much a boxing match with few kicks and few takedowns.

Round 3 began by a take down from Sherk in response to punches from Edgar. Edgar got to his feet and had Sherk frustrated again as he missed lots of his strikes. Sherk attempted a take down and ended up with Edgar pulling guard and applying a guillotine right at the bell.

Unanimous decision in Edgar’s favour. Fight of the Night. 

The match between Chael Sonnen and Dan Miller covered loads of ground techniques as Miller spent every opportunity trying submissions. I assume this was because Sonnen loses by submission; however, since Miller was on the bottom when on the ground and the submissions weren’t working, Miller was pummelled for three rounds. Sonnen got out of a very tight guillotine at the beginning of the first round, took Miller down heavily in round 2, applied big punches and elbows, took Miller down again in round 3, and just controlled the match. Miller tried guillotine chokes and other submissions, but Sonnen was victorious. Unanimous decision in Sonnen’s favour.

Drew McFedries came out against Xavier Foupa-Pokam with a knockout at 37 seconds of round 1. Both these men are known for their knockout power and McFedries proved it here. Xavier was out on his feet from the third punch and then another ten or eleven connected before the referee stopped the match. Xavier followed McFedries around the octagon, literally hanging on to his leg, but he was out of it. TKO referee stoppage.

Kryzsztof Soszynski fought against Andre Gusmao in a preliminary bout. Gusmao used some inside leg kicks, one of which caused Soszynski to drop to one knee. Soszynski, in turn, used combos and, for a guy who loves arm bars, threw a straight punch and flattened Gusmao. Knockout.

The co-main event between the Matts – Hughes versus Serra  – came up next. There was non-stop mention of their hate for each other, et cetera, ad nauseum. Hughes wanted to shut Serra up and Serra wanted to do the same. I guess this makes for good television. They didn’t touch gloves and came out aggressively, such that Serra inadvertently headbutted Hughes (or Hughes munched his chin into Serra’s head) and had Hughes on the run for several minutes. Even at the break, Hughes asked his corner if he’d been knocked down. Despite the headbutt, Hughes controlled the round with a strong takedown and choke attempt from grapevine.

Round 2 had Serra connecting with strong punches, but a takedown by Hughes, with his ending in Serra’s guard, had Hughes pounding Serra and controlling him for most of the round. Serra was on the bottom waiting for the right moment or technique and was dominated.

Round 3 had submission attempts by Serra after another take down by Hughes. Serra trapped Hughes’s arm for an oma plata which didn’t quite work and then tried it on the other arm. He then tried a triangle. Standing again, Serra did a take down. Ground and pound followed as well as an attempt at a kimura. Ridiculously, after all the trash talking, they hugged after the match. Unanimous decision in Hughes’s favour.

The other co-main event was next with Rashad Evans against Lyoto Machida. In our boathold we had four people, three of whom picked Machida to win. I’m for the underdog, so I went for Evans. I find Machida’s fighting style, although extremely technical and effective, to be mostly boring. He moves in for the quick attack and then out again, standing with his upper body leaning away from his opponent. It makes him a far more elusive target, but doesn’t make for a fun fight. (To be fair, I do prefer ground techniques, none of which we saw here; I’m also not technically inclined, so the art of finding the right instant to go in is beyond me.) Evans and Machida spent a good deal of the match tapping gloves; in fact, the first two minutes of the first round was just that. This was so boring that, despite writing notes during the match, I had a difficult time keeping the eyes open. Machida was first to connect with a head kick causing Evans to wobble. Later in the round, Machida’s strike took Evans to the ground and Machida jumped on him.

Round 2 had the men at the fence with Machida using combos and Evans countering. Machida then punched Evans multiple times, such that Evans crumpled with his head flopping to the side. Machida is now the UFC light heavyweight champion. The guys on the boat called this the Knockout of the Night, although Soszynski’s was pretty good. The tapping of the gloves and non-connecting for long stretches makes this NOT the fight of the night.

Another preliminary match was between Brock Larson and Mike Pyle. This match contained the Technique of the Night with Larson doing a lovely kata gatame (arm triangle choke) on Pyle, not something one often sees in the UFC.

Canadian Tim Hague, a heavyweight at 265, but spry on his feet, won his match with Pat Barry. He got Barry in a guillotine and rolled over, staying attached, and ending with Barry on the bottom, legs trapped, neck in guillotine. Tap out. Spry indeed.

UFC 98 Evans vs Machida had a good range of techniques and knockouts, a variety of styles and other than the tapping of the gloves in the Evans/Machida fight (reminiscent of Wladimir  Klischko, I think), a good night.


May 24, 2009

P.S. Right now, Machida is considered the most effective fighter in the UFC, not having lost any round and not having been taken down by anyone. My gut feeling is that, as with learning how to counter the Gracies, people will learn how to fight Machida’s style. We’ll see people taking karate or some other kicking martial art and having their coaches work out ways to counter Machida’s karate. ayjay, May 25, 2009