Part 2 of 2 from the July 19th MMA Doubleheader of Affliction and UFC.
Featuring the Main Cards of each event.
July 19th Anaheim, California
Fedor re-establishes his dominance
Photo from Sherdog.com
Fedor is the man. It's that simple, he is THE #1 fighter in the world proving it in PRIDE after beating all comers. The only knock is that he hasn't fought a top 10 heavyweight since beating Cro Cop in 2005. He is 28-1 (the loss being to a cut suffered within the first minute of a tournament, otherwise it would be a no contest) and is coming off of a win vs the freakishly big Hong Man Choi of Korea. Sylvia is the former UFC Heavyweight champion coming off of a loss to Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira back in February, now chasing his dream and possible nightmare.
Round 1. Fedor came out strong, throwing hard punches in succession. During the melee he drops Sylvia with a right hook. Sylvia turtled up face down, and Fedor grasped his waste with his right arm and threw more punches with his left. Tim could not escape and Fedor took his back and locked in a fight ending rear naked choke just 36 seconds into the fight. What a one sided beatdown......
Fedor made his intentions known that he would like to fight Randy Couture, who obviously wants the fight just as bad and is in the middle of some legal squabble with the UFC about his contract terms. Once that gets sorted out, this may actually happen by new year's. Oh, this fight was also for the WAMMA Heavyweight Title which supposedly is a true world title, but thats another story (rant).
Arlovski came in after winning his last two UFC fights, now finding himself in a new home and in a ring for the first time in his career looking to get his old aggressive kill or be killed charisma that Sylvia seemingly stole from him last year. Rothwell destroyed all of his foes in the IFL and is making a big step up in cometition opening himself up to true top 10 opponents.
Round 1. Both fighters exchanged some low kicks. Rothwell secured a thai clinch in the corner. Seperates. AA moves forward and secures a bodylock which led to a takedown. From here he tried for a heel hook, but was unsuccessful and Rothwell escapes. Back on the feet, Arlovski opens up some more and wobbels Rothwell with a punch and moves forward smelling blood, but Rothwell recovers and answers with a punch of his own before the bell. Round 2. Rothwell looks for a clinch, but Arlovski hits him again and unloads another flurry of heavy punches against the ropes. Rothwell recovers but is taken down again by Arlovski. He starts landing some good ground and pound and goes for the heel hook again but it fails and Rothwell winds up on top. Some good elbows by Rothwell but nothing serious and after a brief lull they are stood up. Arlovski again comes in with a massive barage of punches, and some knees for good measure. Rothwell is saved by the bell it appears. Round 3. Body clinch in the corner. Seperates. Big knee from Arlovski sends Rothwell towards the corner. Arlovski closes the distance and unloads with punches. Rothwell is hurt and is stagering during the barrage, finally he is knocked down and out with a right uppercut.
Arlovski is back! Nobody more than him needed an impressive knock out to get back to the form of old which made him one of the more popular fighters in MMA. Could he be the next challenger for Fedor while Couture works out his legal dilema with the UFC? If anything, a fight between the two in Chicago would sell out the United Center for sure! Make it happen!
Barnett is the best American heavyweight at this point in time. He is a former UFC champion with his win over Couture back in the day and his career in Japan. He is coming off of a win in Sengoku earlier this year vs Japanese judoka Hidehiko Yoshida. Rizzo already holds a win over Barnett from their earlier careers in the UFC where Rizzo was also a UFC champion. He is coming off of two wins last year in the States, most recently over Jeff Monson.
Round 1. Feeling out process begins. Slow pace is interuppted with a random spinning back kick from Barnett who prefers his fights on the ground. Pedro is more of a counter puncher type fighter. Barnett uses some nice T kicks to keep Pedro off balance. Spinning back kick again by Barnett. Lots of jabs and misses by each fighter. Round 2. More of the same until nearly two minutes into the round. Barnett moves forward with a right hook that misses but follows up with a left hook that knocks Rizzo out cold.
The way this fight ended was eerily similar to their first fight, but completely reversed. Rizzo is not the same as he was when he was a top 10 heavyweight, his 2 comeback fights in PRIDE in 05-06 were highlight reel type knock out losses just like this one. Barnett prefers to fight on the ground, yet it never went there till the knock out. Surreal, and out of nowhere KO. Josh is the no-brainer #1 contender for Fedor, strictly looking at the rankings, but PPV appeal will favor Arlovski or Couture based on recent notoriaty in the UFC for the two of them.
Hominick has had mixed results as of late, losing 3 in a row including two in the WEC to ground fighters Josh Grispi and Rani Yahya. Young is a strong aggressive fighter, and IFL veteran, where hes lost his last two to Ryan Schultz and Deividas Taurovicious. Both fighters needing a win.
Round 1. Feeling out process begins. Lots of punches thrown from both fighters, but not too many are landing. Body punch backs Hominick up. Young misses with a low kick and eats a counter right hook. Those were pretty much the more damaging blows of the round. Round 2. More flurries. Hominick misses with a low kick and is taken down by Young. Hominick bucks out, Young maintains position but Hominick locked in a loose triangle choke. Young leveled up, picked him up and slammed out of the choke. Hominick slaps on an armbar attempt and uses it to transition into a triangle, which is not tight. He locks it in, but transitions immediately to an armbar when Young went to defend. The arm was there for the taking, and the fight is over.
Babalu is coming off of a win in a smaller show after being released from the UFC after holding onto a choke vs David Heath well after the tap. (Stupid to cut him, in my opinion) Whitehead is riding a long win streak in smaller shows as well as the IFL, and the 205lb class looks just right for him.
Round 1. Feeling out process, slow pace. Stuffed takedown by Babalu. Seperate. Stuffed takedown by Whitehead. Seperates. Later in the round, Babalu gets a takedown looking for a head and arm choke, Whitehead escapes. Round 2. Clinch in the corner, knees by both. Seperate. Takedown by Whitehead. Good defense by Babalu led to a ref stand up. Bablu wiffs with a spinning back fist. Clinch to the ropes, knees by Babalu. Round 3. Takedown by Whitehead but is caught in a choke, which he escapes. Babalu than goes for an omoplata but Whitehead escapes that as well. Pace slows down again....or did it ever pick up?
UFC Fight Night: Silva vs Irvin
July 19th Las Vegas, Nevada
Irvin no match for Silva
Photo from UFC.com
Silva is making his 205lb debut. He is going back down to defend his belt later this year vs Patrick Cote or Yushin Okami depending on injuries. Silva is coming off of his latest title defense over Dan Henderson back in March. Irvin is coming off of an 8 second knock out of Houston Alexander back in April.
Round 1. Feeling out process. Irvin throws a couple low kicks to start it out. Silva staying loose moving around quickly avoiding any strikes. Irvin throws another low kick but it is caught by Silva who greets the off balance Irvin with a stright right hand to the chin which knocks him down. Irvin turtles up and Silva pounces with punches, one of which went right through his guard and hit the knock out button on Irvin's chin, causing his body to go limp and the ref to step in and stop the fight.
Well that was fun. If anything Silva got used to the extra weight on his frame for a possible future at 205lb once he decimates the remaining challengers at 185. His future is in this division whether he will fight his friend Machida, or not there are still plenty of marquee fights for him. Not much to say about Irvin except that not going for a takedown was an immediate clue to a flawed gameplan.
Vera is making his 205lb debut, the opposite of Silva as he is moving down from heavyweight. He is coming off of back to back losses to Tim Sylvia and Fabricio Werdum. Andy is making his UFC debut, much like alot of the rest of the card and is an IFL veteran and is riding a 4 fight win streak.
Round 1. Vera is taken down after missing with a head kick but escapes into a clinch against the fence. Big knee causes a seperation. Antoher missed head kick, Andy tries to answer with a low kick but misses and is knocked down in turn with a low kick from Vera who chooses to let Andy up. Clinch against the fence and Vera gets a hip toss takedown. Ref stand up after no action. Round 2. Body lock takedown by Vera against the fence. Vera gets his back but Andy escapes to the feet. Good uppercuts by Vera. The pace slows a bit. Thai clinch against the fence, Andy breaks free and eats a head kick. Pace slows again to end the round. Round 3. Low kick, right hook combination by Vera. Andy closes the distance with a jab into a clinch against the fence. Restarted in the middle of the octagon. Not much happend the last few minutes.......
Edgar is coming off of a loss to Gray Maynard earlier this year. Franca is returning after a year long suspension for steroids following his loss to Sean Sherk last year. Both fighters need a win to get in line of a title hunt.
Round 1. Franca falls down, Edgar switches from his feet to Franca's guard with elbows. Franca uses an omoplata to escape and rolls into an armbar. Edgar defends perfectly and escapes the hold back into Franca's guard. Some nice short elbows before the end of the round. Round 2. Trip takedown by Edgar. More good elbow strikes from Franca's guard. Edgar again goes back and forth between standing up and coming back down with punches and short elbows throughout the round. Round 3. Edgar opening up more on the feet with some kicks, than gets a trip takedown and landing a couple knees to the body. Franca gets to his feet and eats a knee in the clinch, and again dragged back down to the mat. Last ditch effort by Franca after getting back to the feet. Landing a knee but is taken down again.
Part 1 featuring the Prelim Results is now posted.
Overall it was a great night of MMA. Of the 17 fights that were broadcast on tv between the two events, there were just 5 decisions. The action was highlighted with 4 Submissions, 3 TKOs, and 5 highlight reel Knock Outs.
My choice for fights of the night...
Affliction: Andrei Arlovski vs Ben Rothwell
UFC: Kevin Burns vs Anthony Johnson
KO of the night...
Affliction: Vitor Belfort's 1-2 Punch Combo
UFC: Rory Markham's Head Kick
SUB of the night...
Affliction: Fedor Emelianenko's RNC
UFC: CB Dollaway's Peruvian Neck Tie
The next event happens way early Monday morning with the semifinal and finals of the Lightweight Grand Prix as DREAM 5 comes at ya from Japan. Shinya Aoki vs Caol Uno and Tatsuya Kawajiri vs Eddie Alvarez. Also featuring a heavyweight fight between Alistair Overeem and Mark Hunt. Next Saturday, EliteXC presents "Unfinished Business" featuring Antonio Silva vs Justin Eilers on Showtime and Robbie Lawler vs Scott Smith 2 on CBS. Recaps of both next week.