Monday, May 31, 2010

UFC 114: Night of the Underdogs

UFC 114:Rashad beats RampageAfter the long epic thrash talking, two former UFC light heavyweight champs finally let their fists do the talking.

It started at UFC 96, continued at The Ultimate Fighter and became one of UFC's most anticipated grudge matches. Sugar Rashad Evans and Quinton Rampage Jackson put thrash talk into a different level as they made MMA fans anxious of what will happen if these two beasts are put inside the octagon cage.
Rashad Evans vs Rampage Jackson
I was surprised when Rashad stunned Rampage with a quick jab but Rashad wasn't able to finish the fight giving a chance for Rampage to recover. As expected, Rashad utilized his wrestling skills taking down Rampage and controlling him on the canvass for the first 10 minutes of the grudge match.

Rashad Evans vs Rampage Jackson
Rampage was able to send Rashad on the canvass with a sharp straight, got on top and relentlessly threw vicious punches that almost stopped the fight but Rashad managed to regain his composure and turned the table by a take down and stayed on top dropping punches until the last horn.
Rashad Evans vs Rampage Jackson
Rashad won the fight via unanimous decision granting him a chance for a title shot against Mauricio Shogun Rua while Rampage is asking for a rematch during interview. Well, he have won most of their thrash talks anyway.

The co-main event made a mark before the fight when Michael The Count Bisping crossed the border by leaning his forehead against Dan Miller during the "referee's call" forcing Miller to push Bisping back.
Michael Bisping vs Dan Miller
I don't know what was with Bisping when he done that, he's been cocky ever since and yet he wasn't able to finish Miller by knock out or submission.

Miller landed vicious right hands and kicks but those were not enough on the judges eyes resulting to Bisping winning the fight via unanimous decision.

Todd Duffe holds the UFC record for the fastest knockout when he send Tim Hague to the canvass in just seven seconds and with a perfect record of 6-0 everyone was expecting a knockout victory over Pride veteran Mike Russow.

And as the bell rings, everyone was just waiting for that single knockout shot but Russow was as tough as nails and his granite chin enabled him to survive every sharp punch from Duffe and as the fight goes on frustration sets on Duffe as Russow hangs tough with every strike he throws.

Then, another story of a come-from-behind knockout unfolds. Russow unleashed a couple of straights of his own in the third round giving Duffe a dose of his own medicine sending him unconscious to the canvass and the audience surprised of what the supposed to be one-sided match has turned out.
Mike Russow vs Todd Duffee

And for a little controversy, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira won a controversial split decision over Jason Brilz. After Little Nog's hand was raised, the crowd was shouting "BULLSHIT" and I can't blame them.
Antonio Rogerio Nogueira vs Jason Brilz
Brilz had several successful take downs, set-up guillotine attempt but and tagged Nogueiria with a hard straight that almost send him on the canvass. Nogueira managed to score points with a couple of sweeps and a backside crucifix, Brilz managed to escape the tight trap but Noguerii's late efforts to make the two judges nod.

While everyone was surprised with the decision and booing the victor, Brilz still showed respect for Nogueria while saying "Don't boo this guy...." And from that, I became an instant fan of Brilz.
john hathaway vs diego sanchez
And speaking of being a fan, I'm a huge fan of Diego The Nightmare Sanchez, he has few setbacks and a lost from a former UFC lightweight Champion BJ Penn. When he went back to welterweight, I thought, along with thousands of MMA fans, it was a good idea. Maybe it was, if he didn't faced one of the youngest and promising UFC prodigy John Hathaway.

Hathaway unleashed his fury early in the first round with a knee to the head of Sanchez as he attempts a quick take down. And from that, The Nightmare's nightmare began, Hathaway relentless of his ground and pound and utilizing his superb striking earned him the decision and his perfect record unharmed.

I'm still a fan of Diego though, and also of Hathaway now :D

Ufc 114 was a great night. Evans, Russow, Hathaway and also Brilz, many thought that they will be crushed by their opponents because of their size, skills, experience and so on and so forth... But guess what, these underdogs proved them wrong.

Lesson? When you're in the octagon you don't have to think of what the opponent has around his belt, think and wait for that moment, that split-second moment then, unleash everything you got with no hesitations in mind.

Photos courtesy of