On paper it looked pretty poor, but I enjoyed the event. The only remotely dull match on the card was Maia vs Miller, and that was still a decent fight. The big story of the night had to be Chael Sonnen's performance against Nate Marquardt, I don't think anyone was really expecting that. For Sonnen to comprehensively dominate Marquardt for 14 minutes was mega impressive. He was taking Marquardt down with ease and just beating him down on the ground. He has the perfect style to take on Anderson Silva too. Silva's lost rounds in the UFC to wrestlers before (Henderson and Lutter), and Sonnen's a better wrestler than both of them. What will also help Sonnen is the fact he won't try and stand with Silva like Henderson did, he knows he'd get tooled on the feet, and would spend the fight taking Silva down. Silva's only hope would be catching Sonnen on the way in, or doing something off his back, or hoping Sonnen runs out of gas, like Lutter did. Be a real good fight.
Nice to see Matt Serra pick up the victory too. I thought he had Hughes beat in their fight, so it was nice to see him put Tramp-stamp Trigg away via KO. Be interesting to see who the UFC puts him in against next, maybe Paulo Thiago? Thiago looked OK against Swick, was probably losing the fight until the knockdown and the d'arce choke, but he picked up the win, and now has is building an impressive record in the UFC. He's had a serious ride in the UFC so far. In 4 fights he's taken on Koscheck, Fitch, Volkmann and Swick, that's one heck of a baptism of fire right there. Makes it all the more impressive that he's 3-1 in the UFC.
Randy looked really good against Coleman. Coleman looked to be on another planet though, he looked slow, couldn't pull the trigger, was moving straight back and leaving his chin exposed, wasn't pretty. He looked so good against Bonnar too, so it's really disappointing for him. Would like to see him get 1 more fight in the UFC though, hopefully a double retirement fight against Tito Ortiz (given the bad blood now between them) once Tito's been KTFO by Chuck again. As for Randy, he's legitimately got himself into title contention now. 2 good wins against Brandon Vera and Mark Coleman have certainly put him in the mix. Another win, maybe against someone like Rich Franklin could earn him a shot.
Enjoyed the fact that Rogan sounded baked all night, especially during the Prelim between Guillard and Torres (who looked good on UFC debut). His reactions to the ice incident were hilarious. Talking of the prelims, Phil Davis did exactly what I expected of him. Had read a little about him before he joined the UFC, and was excited to see how he'd get on. He's got a lot of potential, he's a serious wrestler and looks like a natural athlete. If he can develop his stand-up in the same way Rashad Evans has, then he could be a real handful at 205. Looking forward to seeing how he goes.
at Rolles Gracie too. What an abysmal performance. Zero stand-up, terrible takedown attempts, no conditioning and no heart. Terrible, hopefully we won't have to endure another Rolles Gracie fight in the UFC. Roger Gracie would have been a FAR better signing if they wanted a Gracie HW. Roger's a legit BJJ competitor and isn't just relying on his name. 2-0 in his MMA career too, with wins over Yuki Kondo and Ron Waterman, have heard he's joined Strikeforce. Good luck to him, has legit BJJ credentials, and given the records I've seen, the only guy to beat him in a grappling competition since 2003 has been Xande Ribeiro (brother of Diego Sanchez's BJJ coach Saulo Ribeiro and another guy to watch out for in MMA.) Looking forward to seeing how he goes in Strikeforce.
UFC 110 looks good too I think. Velasquez vs Nogueira will be a great fight and one that will show the world whether the Velasquez hype train is justified or not. I expect the winner of this fight to go on to fight Junior Dos Santos, with the winner of that getting a shot at the winner of Lesnar vs Mir/Carwin. Some real solid contenders in the HW division!
Bisping vs Wanderlei's going to be a war as well. I'm hoping Bisping goes in with a good gameplan, uses good footwork and looks to outpoint Wanderlei. If he tries to brawl with him he's going to get KTFO. Be interesting to see whether Wandy loses any power or conditioning at 185 too.
Then we've got 2 legit LW's in Stevenson and Sotiropoulos going at it. Sotiropoulos has looked really good on the ground in his last couple of fights, but he's going to have a real fight on his hands with Joe Daddy, I'm backing Stevenson to pick up the win. Before that it's going to be a war between Jardine and Bader, sure to be an entertaining fight and one that I hope Bader wins. The night's kicked off with Cro Cop too, which is always an event in itself. He may be over the hill, but I couldn't care less, Cro Cop's still mega exciting to watch, as you just never know what's going to happen. He could be back to his best now that he's restructured his training, started working with Muay Thai expert Ivan Hippolyte in Holland and then made a few other changes to his team. Be interesting to see if it works or not. I hope it does, I'd love to see the Mirko left head kick make a triumphant return and knock Rothwell out cold. I'm excited for the event.
Good few months ahead for the UFC too. Looking forward to 110 alot, and then we've got the Vera vs Jones UFN event, which is a fight I cannot wait to see and with JDS, Kongo and Rumble also featured on that card it's sure to be entertaining. There's going to be at least 1 KO finish that night. After that it's UFC 111 with the double title fights with GSP taking on Hardy and then Mir vs Carwin. Cannot wait for that event, to see how Dan Hardy'll cope with GSP. Alves vs Fitch is on that card too, going to be a cracker. Then we get UFN: Florian vs Gomi, which is another fight I'm really looking forward to and main events a card featuring Ross Pearson vs Dennis Siver and Roy Nelson vs Stefan Struve too, which are both fights I'm excited to see. Doesn't end there either, as after that UFN card the UFC go to Dubai for Silva vs Belfort, Penn vs Edgar and Hughes vs Gracie. Another sick card with 2 title fights. After that it's rumoured to be Machida vs Shogun II, with Daley vs Koscheck also on the card. Should be a good few months to be a UFC fan coming up, so many great fights planned, just hope we don't get unlucky with injuries like we did in 2009.