Last week's Pride card was better on a match for match basis, but nothing compared to the emotional high of seeing Randy Couture win back the belt. He didn't just win, he pwned Tim Sylvia -- Randy was bobbing and weaving like a welterweight boxer in there. I honestly thought Sylvia was done after that first big punch 20 seconds in.
Couture vs. Cro Cop will set a new PPV record for UFC, bank on it. I would've picked Cro Cop to demolish whomever the champ was but...man, I dunno if anyone could pick against Couture at this point. Who knows what the man could do.
As for the rest of the card, it was a decent night of action, if somewhat predictable. Lambert pulled off the other upset of the evening, as I thought Babalu would take him down. Lambert probably brought himself a match with Tito or maybe even Chuck later in the year after that performance. Franklin looked good against Macdonald, and I think maybe with one more fight (perhaps against Mike Swick), Rich can get his rematch. Classy move to praise Silva in the ring to counteract the boos from the Columbus crowd. Hughes won and dominated, but it was rather troubling that he couldn't finish off a clearly overmatched fighter like Lytle.
I don't know what is more disquieting -- the fact that the rest of the statue is missing, or that it has four toes.
I won't take up a lot of space on here with my write-up. It's on my blog here if anyone wants to see my scathing review of a ho-hum event. Just look underneath the area where I have videos, and you'll see a listing of blogs.
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Jason Lambert beat Renato Sobral (KO, round 2)
Matt Hughes beat Chris Lytle (Unanimous decision, 3 rounds)
Rich Franklin beat Jason MacDonald (Submission, round 2)
Martin Kampmann beat Drew McFedries (KO, round 1)
Randy Couture beat Tim Sylvia (Unanimous decision, 5 rounds) - - - - - - -
Perhaps I'm alone in thinking the card didn't deliver. Not a problem. If anything, I thought it exposed how oversaturated the UFC is right now. The main event was a great moment. I felt truly anxious during all five rounds, hoping Randy wouldn't get caught with a submission or get knocked down with a lucky shot. Tim Sylvia is the MMA equivalent of Jeff Jarrett in a lot of ways. Nobody wanted him as the champ anymore. The crowd seemed almost as happy to see Couture (or anyone) take the belt away from Sylvia as I'm sure Dana White and the Fertittas were.
And please. FIVE fights in a three-hour show?? Brutal.
I wouldn't advise anyone to order a replay of the show, not unless you want to fork over a lot of money for just the main event and the first match (Lambert/Sobral). Lambert will more likely be fed to Jardine or Rashad before Tito or Forest gets him, but that's just my opinion. He's too low on the lonnnnnnnng totem pole that makes up the light heavyweight division. Having said that, I think he and Forest would be the best and most interesting match-up out of all those mentioned.
I enjoyed it. It was the first UFC Event I've ordered probably since UFC 8. I've kept up (off and on) on Spike TV and the like, but never felt compelled to order.
Scott Ferrell was live prefight on one of the Howard Stern Channels on Sirius yesterday during a long car ride. The hype was good, and it got me up to date. I had no idea Couture was fighting Sylvia.
I'm a huge Couture fan (back to his amateur wrestling days), and that was pretty much the selling point for me, so it was well worth the money. I kept expecting Sylvia to hit him with something devastating, but Randy fought an extremely smart fight, and he kept Sylvia guessing.
I like how the crowd immediately started to boo when Sylvia brought up the fact he came into the fight injured post-fight.
Dunno if I'll order next month, but I'll definitely order Couture vs. Cro Cop, whenever that is.
I'm surprised you would say it didn't deliver, chill -- considering a lot of pundits were saying it would be the worst UFC card in recent memory, I thought it was a good show. Not great, certainly nowhere near Pride 33, but good. And the last fight, well I've expressed my opinion: worth the price of admission.
There were plenty of memorable moments -- Lytle's nifty reversal on Hughes and subsequent survival, Franklin's domination of MacDonald and post-fight lovefest with Anderson Silva, Lambert's brutal knockout of one of my favourite (and admittedly overrated) fighters in Babalu, that slick, slick arm triangle (kata gatame if I recall correctly, or something very similar) that Kampmann pulled, and of course Couture's impossible win.
Every televised fight had something to recommend it, with only Hughes's relative sleeper coming up short in the excitement category. You're right in that 5 fights is PISS POOR, but that's to be expected from the UFC at this point.
Hopefully they'll start showing more fights, but I wouldn't hold my breath. If the sparse number of fights bugs you, don't order the card, because the UFC is known for it.
Lastly, after reading your blog on it, I do have to say I think you're being unfair to "the announcers".
Goldberg is a tool. I big, floppy, useless tool that might have once been, I don't know, a toaster oven, but long ago degraded into something akin to a rubber saw.
Rogan, however, I don't mind at all -- and he was blatantly aware of Goldberg's idiocy numerous times last night. Best moment: Goldberg with the "Hughes wasn't really beaten down like Franklin was in his loss to Anderson Silva"...
Footage is shown of Hughes getting his ass absolutely handed to him by GSP, with Rogan rolling his eyes and saying "uh, actually, he kinda was".
So yes -- hate on Goldberg all you want, but leave Rogan out of it.
Haha, I hear you with the Rogan stuff. I'm still a fan, although most MMA fans I know can't stand his commentary. To each their own. My beef with him is only 10% of the beef I have with Goldy. In fact, I really like them as a team, thanks to the chemistry they've got. But it's in the last two or three PPVs that Goldberg has reaaaaaaaaaally been selling out and losing integrity. I'm just surprised that Rogan goes along with it at times. And yes, I appreciated the time Rogan called Goldy on the overhype BS. It's clear WHY they're doing this, and I don't blame them really. But having watched UFC PPVs consistently for almost three years now, it's very annoying to see them move away from something that helped make them great. Plus, it's insulting at times.
I fully submit to the fact that I might be alone in my opinions on the PPV. That's perfectly fine. To be more specific, I was in disbelief myself that I disliked so much about it. It just lacked a lot of the little things. Perhaps the quality of Pride 33 also affected my standards for this card... but for any newcomer to MMA or UFC, I think UFC 68 would have been quite enjoyable.
This is looking like the best Saturday for Boxing in a while. You've got two fights - James Toney vs. Sam Peter on Showtime, and then Clinton Woods vs. Glen Johnson for the IBF Light Heavyweight belt in England. I'd watch Johnson/Woods III if I could....