Now if only some of this was on FOX last week. What an amazing PPV tonight, just full of everything you could want out of the UFC and all culminating in what was IMO one of the greatest fights I have ever witnessed between Shogun Rua and Dan Henderson. My thoughts:
-Bonnar/Kingsbury was totally one-sided but a good match to start the PPV. Bonnar dominated on the ground and while the crowd was crapping on it, I thought he did a really good of keeping control. In fact, that's the only real negative I have with this PPV: that the San Jose crowd wasn't into the first couple of matches. They made it seemed not as great as I felt it was.
-Kampmann/Story was probably the only match that might be considered less than great, though I think it really was only the very end when Story was totally gassed that was a bit boring. It was a good fight overall and I thought Kampmann had a good strategy in getting the overactive Story to wear himself out after the first round.
-Faber/Bowles was a fun, one-sided affair. Faber dominated in typical fashion. People can say all they want about Faber getting a rematch too soon against Dominick Cruz. But why not? He's proven to be one of the best all around MMA fighters today and the previous match between the two was one of the better title matches of the year, IMO.
-Silva/Le was a short match but a good slug fest that gave us a hint of what was to come in the main event. Le had some hard, stiff kicks and back fists in the first round, but Wanderlei's finishing sequence was as sick as any I have seen in a while. Joe Rogan can argue about the fight stopping early but I disagree: did he see Le's bloody mess of a face? Le was done; at best, he would had only lasted 10-15 seconds more with Silva landing those powerful fists repeatedly. And those knees he landed, they hurt just remembering seeing them.
-But the best was saved for last with Henderson/Rua. What a fight! I thought for sure Shogun was done several times in the first three rounds. But he showed so much heart and I thought he turned the match around in the final 2 rounds when he out punched and out clinched a totally worn out Henderson. I really thought he had come back to win the fight and I hope they get the chance to battle again. Just a fantastic, bloody back and forth war between the two.
Overall, I felt this was one of the best PPVs from the UFC I have ever seen with maybe the greatest main event match I have ever witnessed in my MMA viewing history. Big thumbs up!
Henderson/Shogun may have very well been the best fight in MMA history. Two legends of the sport meeting for the first time, going the full 25 minutes, back-and-forth action the whole way, both men escaping about 3-4 nasty situations each when it looked like the fight was over, and in the end, the proper winner (imo, at least) got his hand raised. Awesome, instant classic of a bout.
"It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone." --- Bart Giamatti, on baseball
I actually thought it should've been a draw. First three rounds were clearly Henderson's but the last two were Shogun's and he did enough for a 10-8 in the fifth. Nobody really likes draws though so, yeah.
Le is precisely who we thought he was - a really crisp striker who doesn't like being struck. The stoppage was fine IMO. Loosely hugging your opponent's leg while you get punched repeatedly in the head != intelligently defending yourself.
Faber looked great against Bowles. He deserves another crack at Cruz although as it stands they're a bit short on viable challengers after that if Cruz wins.
I think if you give Shogun a 10-8 for a fifth round where he completely dominated positionally but didn't inflict much actual damage you've got to consider giving Hendo a 10-8 for a third round that saw Shogun a bloody pulp who came a hair's breadth away from being finished and was dominated outside of the last ten seconds.
Le earned $350,000 show + $70,000 bonus + sponsorships for that fight. The first category alone made him the highest-paid fighter on the card, and altogether he probably made half a million for his first UFC fight. I am not a big fan of the man, but that he's pretty goddamn shrewd.
Originally posted by CarlCXI think if you give Shogun a 10-8 for a fifth round where he completely dominated positionally but didn't inflict much actual damage you've got to consider giving Hendo a 10-8 for a third round that saw Shogun a bloody pulp who came a hair's breadth away from being finished and was dominated outside of the last ten seconds.
Hmm, I'd argue Rua offered something in the third prior to being floored and even after that still had an (admittedly ineffectual) attempt at a leglock, shot for a couple of takedowns and finished the round reasonably. Hendo's contribution to the fifth was pretty much "survived". I could be convinced by them both being 10-8s though, and I've banged the "damage >= positional control" drum more than once myself.
Originally posted by CarlCXLe earned $350,000 show + $70,000 bonus + sponsorships for that fight. The first category alone made him the highest-paid fighter on the card, and altogether he probably made half a million for his first UFC fight. I am not a big fan of the man, but that he's pretty goddamn shrewd.
I wasn't meaning to have a go at Le. I don't think it's any secret that all things being equal he'd rather make his money pretending to be hit by actors than *actually* being hit by mixed martial artists which is a perfectly rational attitude. His fights are usually entertaining as well but I think his UFC career will sadly be a short one. They've shown a willingness in the past to get rid of 'name' guys if they don't start picking up Ws quickly. Putting him in against Silva was excellent matchmaking but I'm not sure there's many fights he could go after now that he'd have a realistic chance of winning and make him relevant in the division.
I think this is Harvick's year, but I think it goes down to the wire this year, with Kyle a close second. Kurt is always a danger too. Jimmie Johnson just has to lose this year doesn't he? He must lose.