Last night’s UFC Ultimate Fight Night Live UFN18 proved to be lots of fun with all but one of the main card fights going the distance.
First up were Cole Miller and Junie Browning with no love lost between these guys. Miller is a brown belt in BJJ and Browning a freestyle fighter who is training full-time.
From the start bell and onward, Miller was in control, showing complete domination of Browning. He took Browning down, attempted an arm bar, which didn’t work landing him with his back to Browning. He managed to get up and punched Browning in the face and took him down again. On the ground again, Miller applied a guillotine choke to Browning and we had tap out. Note: Miller kissed his brown belt a couple of times. Weird. I have a brown belt and would never think of kissing it. A belt is just a belt; it’s what you learned along the way that’s important, including being gracious when you’ve clobbered someone.
The second match was between Tyson Griffin, who loves to punch and ground and pound, and Rafael Dos Anjos, a black belt in jiu jitsu, who is great at submissions. They came into the fight with almost even records, but Dos Anjos is three inches taller and has a three inch reach advantage.
The first round had Griffin applying deadly inside leg kicks (his legs are like tree trunks), solid punches and a head kick to Dos Anjos. Dos Anjos couldn’t get in close enough or find his rhythm for a long while. When on the ground, though, Dos Anjos had Griffin in the most painful-looking leg lock, holding Griffin’s leg bent backward at the knee and sideways, while his own legs were in a figure of four. That held for some time and I expected an end to the match. Griffin managed to survive and stand up, but his leg was odd-looking afterward and he had no oomph to his punches for the rest of the round.
Round two had Griffin still looking somewhat off. Dos Anjos seemed to get stronger, using good punches and kicks which connected. Griffin attempted a takedown and Dos Anjos tried an arm bar. At the fence, Griffin applied some nice elbows and knees.
Round three had Griffin bouncing on the leg that had been reefed on, so both guys were punching and connecting. Griffin looked frustrated a few times, with arms down, perhaps tired of chasing Dos Anjos around the ring? His inside leg kicks were brutal and he had a huge overhand right, as well as some punches to the jaw that worked. Dos Anjos did a flying knee. At the fence again, Griffin used knees and punches to the ribs and face of Dos Anjos until the bell. Unanimous decision in favour of Griffin.
The third fight was between light heavyweights Ryan Bader and Carmelo Marrero. Bader is The Ultimate Fighter winner, an all-American wrestler. Marrero is a wrestler, known for his take downs, ground and pound and conditioning.
This fight once again went the distance, with some interesting differences from the previous: Bader took Marrero down a LOT, very quickly and efficiently. Marrero must not be used to being on the bottom because, although he was defensive, he couldn’t get out readily during the first two rounds. Bader tried a juji gatame, but Marrero did get out of it. They switched positions with Marrero applying elbows.
When standing, Bader would apply a couple of kicks, Marrero would throw some punches and again Bader very quickly took Marrero to the ground. Marrero’s wrestling and conditioning stopped Bader’s attempts on the ground, but he had difficulty getting out from under the heavier-looking Bader.
Round three had Marrero stuffing the takedowns better, but still not well enough. Bader attempted a choke, but was not successful. When standing they traded punches and kicks, but Bader took Marrero down again. Unanimous decision in Bader’s favour.
The final fight was between headliners Carlos Condit, with a 23-4-0 record, and Martin Kampmann, 14-2-0. Condit is two inches taller and has a four inch reach advantage over Kampmann. I had no information on Condit’s marital arts background and lots on Kampmann so I just did a quick search. I now know why they are so similar: both are kickboxers (Kampmann is the Danish Muay Thai champion) and both are jiu jitsu guys. Their match was great! They were so evenly matched and their skillsets so closely aligned that what one tossed into the octagon, the other dealt with succinctly.
They traded take downs, guard positions and, when standing, punches and kicks. They each tried submissions, arm bars and chokes, and the other successfully fought each attempt. The only serious injury was a cut under Kampmann’s left eye which came courtesy of an elbow and got bigger thanks to a knee (Oh, and an inadvertent eye poke to Kampmann as well).
The third round was controlled by Kampmann, but really they did more of the same as in the first two rounds. It was a match between equals at the top of their game. Kampmann won by split decision. Fight of the night.
The UFC Ultimate Fight Night Live is becoming an event all on its own: talented MMA people showing their wares to the masses for free. Pretty nice.
April 2, 2009