UFC: Fight Night 13 review
by Scott Newman(MMA)
Posted on March 1, 2009, 2:19 PM
UFC: Fight Night 13
-This was the first UFC show from Colorado since the Ultimate Ultimate 95, which is a HUGE gap. Surprising they didn’t go there in the Dark Ages although I guess Colorado might’ve been one of the states that banned MMA. Original plans were just for a regular Fight Night broadcast to lead into the premiere of TUF VII, but Spike ended up extending it to a three hour show and Zuffa ended up putting twelve fights on the card.
-Your hosts are Mike Goldberg and Joe Rogan. They discuss the premiere of TUF VII and then discuss the stacked card, with the main event of Florian-Lauzon becoming a grudge match due to some trash talk beforehand.
After Houston was exposed on the ground by Thiago Silva I guess UFC wanted to go right back to basics with the guy, and so he was thrown in with fellow brawler James Irvin, pretty much guaranteeing a knockout from one of them. Funny stuff in the pre-fight package as they don’t even mention Houston’s loss to Silva, just showing his brutal knockouts of Jardine and Sakara. Fair enough I guess if they were trying to rebuild him as a star.
Touch of gloves to begin and Irvin DROPS HIM WITH A SUPERMAN PUNCH AND FINISHES HIM ON THE GROUND!~!
WOW. Whole fight took eight seconds which I believe ties Don Frye’s record for the fastest finish in UFC history. Unbelievable shot from Irvin.
Post-fight Houston tries to claim an early stoppage but there’s no way – the superman punch dropped him and then the follow-up had him stiffened up. Irvin tells Rogan he’ll fight Houston in the parking lot if he wants and Rogan’s like, nah dude, that’s not needed. Irvin might not be the most complete fighter out there but man, when he lands a shot it’s usually one for the highlight reels. Insane beginning to the show.
Another step up the ladder for young Nate then, this time facing his first BJJ black belt in Pellegrino, who had come back from a disappointing loss to Joe Stevenson by defeating Alberto Crane at the previous Fight Night. Huge test for Diaz, this was, as Pellegrino is a really good wrestler to go with his BJJ game and isn’t a slouch standing either. Big reach advantage for Diaz though.
Diaz presses with punches to open but a quick takedown by Pellegrino follows and he takes Nate’s back. Diaz stands momentarily but Kurt gets him back down and gets an over/under but can’t get hooks in. He spins over to a front facelock and then back to the back position, putting one hook in, where he lands a couple of punches. Diaz reverses out and tries to pop free, but Kurt stays on top and ends up in Diaz’s half-guard. Full guard from Nate, but Kurt stands and drops a brutal right hand to the head and then begins to land some more solid shots. Kurt works into side mount and looks for the Hughes crucifix to pound away at the head, but Diaz does a very good job to get back to half-guard. Diaz is bloodied up now though. Full guard from Diaz but Pellegrino continues to work him over with elbows inside the guard. Diaz rolls and gives his back, managing to stand, but Kurt pulls him down with an over/under and gets both hooks in. Diaz pops free and stands, but Kurt grabs a front facelock and pulls him down, looking for a D’Arce momentarily, but Diaz avoids and goes for a double leg. He switches to a single, but Pellegrino stands and they end up clinched along the fence. They exchange some knees to the legs, and break the clinch as the round ends. Very high-level grappling in that round but all the damage was done by Pellegrino.
Diaz looks fired up to enter the 2nd. He presses forward with punches but Kurt drops and catches him with a takedown to half-guard. Pellegrino strangely moves into Diaz’s full guard, not sure why he’d do that, as he right away works to get back to half-guard. Diaz gets the hook back in though and then looks to lock up a kimura, but Kurt pops free. Diaz kicks him off, but Pellegrino keeps him on the ground and sits up in the guard to deliver some hammer fists. Nate squirms and gives his back, using it to stand, but Diaz surprises him with a nice judo throw! Kurt still manages to have Diaz’s back though and looks to get his hooks in. Diaz stands, and then lands some punches as Pellegrino holds onto a leg. Big slam by Pellegrino, but he lands right in a triangle choke and Diaz tightens it up and then FLEXES AND FLIPS PELLEGRINO OFF before Kurt taps!
Ha, tremendous ending by Diaz and a huge feather in his cap to tap out a BJJ black belt like Pellegrino, particularly as he was pretty much dominated prior to the ending. It looked to me like the punches might’ve hurt Pellegrino and he got desperate with the slam and just screwed up on the way down. Big victory for Diaz though, and the flexing with the triangle locked in was a thing of beauty. One of the best finishes all year in fact thanks to the showboating. Gotta love Diaz. And in typical Diaz fashion he gives props to his brother Nick, Jake Shields, and Gilbert Melendez – all guys who don’t fight under the UFC banner!
-Classic pointless plug as Joe Rogan is joined by the stars of Spike’s new show DEA, which follows the Drug Enforcement Agency. Actually looks like a cool show if I’m honest.
Hamill’s original opponent was set to be Stephan Bonnar, but he suffered a knee injury that ended up sidelining him for the whole year, and so Tim ‘The Barbarian’ Boetsch, coming off his impressive debut win over David Heath, stepped in on short notice again to take the fight. Two really good wrestlers facing off then. Big crowd pop for Hamill who’s clearly popular with the Colorado crowd.
Nice left hand from Hamill early, and then Boetsch looks to clinch but Hamill tackles him into the cage and gets him down. Boetsch tries to use the fence to escape as Hamill looks to lock up some sort of smother choke variant from the half-guard. Hamill tries to get his leg free to pass the guard, avoiding a scramble from Boetsch, but the Barbarian keeps his half-guard in. Not much damage being done here though really. Referee stands them not long after. They exchange some strikes standing and Boetsch gets the better of it for the most part, landing some solid knees inside a clinch. Good leg kick by Boetsch but Hamill comes back with a nice combo. Knee lands for Boetsch but he looks somewhat tired now. Hamill looks to be bleeding from his mouth, as both men swing uppercuts and miss. BIG KNEE lands from Boetsch but Hamill shows a tremendous chin to walk through it and keep swinging. Hamill begins to take over with some good combinations, but Boetsch lands another knee and a leg kick to finish the round. Lot of blood from Hamill’s mouth now. Between rounds they show a big gash in his lip, nasty stuff.
Round Two and Boetsch lands another leg kick after a brief exchange. Hamill slips on a kick but scrambles back up quickly, and Boetsch swings a combination but he looks a lot slower now. Sloppy single leg attempt from the Barbarian is stuffed by Hamill and he pounds the head as Boetsch holds onto the leg. Hamill spins and takes the back, continuing to slug away, and then Boetsch ends up on his back taking some serious punishment. Hamill ends up grabbing him around the throat with one hand – Rogan hilariously calls this “the rape choke” – and pounding away to the face with the other and the referee steps in to call the TKO.
Impressive win for Hamill but the difference really appeared to be cardio, as Boetsch looked badly gassed in the second round and just couldn’t get out of a bad position. Announcers quite rightly point out that Colorado’s at a high altitude and the thinner air probably contributed to Boetsch gassing out, as he took the fight on short notice while a lot of the other fighters trained either in Colorado or at high altitude to acclimatise themselves. Decent fight but it got sloppy on the feet in places due to Boetsch gassing and Hamill still not being the sharpest striker, even if he’s improved a ton since his early days.
-Joe Rogan finds Rampage in the crowd to ask him some questions about TUF, and the champ says he enjoyed the coaching role even though he hates training himself. They talk about the show and then the forthcoming Jackson-Griffin clash in July.
Alves had looked dynamite in his last few Octagon appearances, but this was his first test against a proven elite-level competitor at Welterweight in Karo, who was still looking to gain himself the title shot he lost due to injury back in 2005. Personally after seeing Karo’s awful performance against Ryo Chonan in comparison to Alves’ butchering of the likes of Kuniyoshi Hironaka, I was picking the Brazilian to upset the Armenian and throw his name into the hat of title contenders for the first time.
Round 1 and Karo looks to close the distance right away, managing to get to a clinch where he gets a bodylock takedown to side mount. Thiago tries to scramble free as Karo looks to take full mount, but Alves works back to half-guard. Thiago does a good job of standing up, and then manages to muscle Karo off in the clinch and breaks free. They exchange some jabs, and then Karo lands a combo finishing with a left kick. More jabbing follows but neither man really lands anything heavy. Karo looks for the takedown again, but Thiago stuffs it and they end up clinched by the fence. Alves breaks free, and then pops Parisyan with a left hook, but Karo backs up and recovers right away. Body kick and right hand from Thiago. They clinch again with a few seconds remaining and Karo lands some punches from there before the round ends. Pretty tentative round, surprisingly.
Round 2 gets underway and Thiago narrowly blocks a left high kick. Thiago lands a left jab, and then they exchange and Karo goes for a clinch, but gets CRUMPLED BY A BIG KNEE!~! Thiago follows up with some punches and that’s all she wrote.
Post-fight Karo throws a hissy fit claiming an early stoppage, but on the replay there’s no way, his legs went completely from under him as soon as the knee landed and he didn’t defend the follow-up barrage in any way. Really impressive win for Alves to announce his arrival as a top contender at 170lbs – Parisyan had only lost twice in his UFC career up to this point and had never been finished, but Thiago iced him despite getting off to a slow-ish start. Fight wasn’t as explosive as I’d hoped but the ending was certainly pretty awesome.
-Rogan now catches up with Forrest Griffin, and they naturally talk about the big victory over Shogun and how it means Forrest can’t really be the underdog following that. To which Forrest is like, no way, I’m definitely the underdog against Quinton. Forrest claims he was a “horrible coach” on TUF and then cracks a couple of jokes, typical Forrest interview really.
Prelim from earlier in the night now, with TUF VI runner-up Speer taking on the always-explosive ‘Rumble’ Johnson. I was taking Johnson due to him being a pretty much equal wrestler to Speer, but having far better (and harder) striking skills on the feet. Massive reach advantage for Rumble too, seven inches.
They circle to begin and Johnson lands a good inside leg kick. Right hand lands for Rumble and Speer tries to shoot, but Johnson stuffs it and hurts him with a left hook. Speer looks in DEEP trouble and shoots right into a big left head kick that folds him up! Knee and a series of punches ROCKS HIM LIKE A HURRICANE and Speer is stumbling all over the place now. Johnson backs him up with more shots and Tommy tries a weak shot out of desperation, but it gets him nowhere and finally a BIG RIGHT CROSS kills the Farmboy DEAD.
Brutal, brutal knockout. Speer was never given a chance to get out of the gate and looked wildly out of his depth in the striking department, and the whole fight swiftly turned into target practice for Rumble. Final shot was absolutely sickening. Total highlight reel stuff as seems to be the norm when Johnson wins a fight. Scarily explosive, that dude.
Battle of wrestlers here with TUF V’s Maynard taking on the only man at this point to beat his training partner Tyson Griffin, in Frankie Edgar. I actually picked Edgar based on his boxing ability which seemed on paper to be the only thing to differentiate between the two, but man the size difference becomes apparent when you see them together – Maynard is much larger.
Touch of gloves gets us started and they throw out some feeler strikes before Maynard avoids an early takedown attempt. Both men throw out some largely ineffective combos, landing the odd one, but neither man looks hurt at all. Maynard goes for a takedown and gets it, and as they go down Edgar immediately looks for a switch. Edgar scrambles to his feet, but gets caught in a rear waistlock and Gray bulls him to the fence and lands knees to the legs as Edgar throws some reverse elbows. Takedown from Maynard and this time Frankie ends up in full guard. Gray stands to deliver some punches, but as he avoids an upkick Edgar rolls. Maynard quickly grabs a front facelock, but Edgar escapes and they come back to their feet. Few more punches are exchanged to end the round.
Into the 2nd, and Gray opens with a clipping uppercut. Edgar pushes forward but misses a combo but then shoots in, but Maynard sprawls and stuffs it, before going for a double leg of his own. Maynard gets him down by the fence, and then lands some knees as Edgar stands. They break off and Edgar lands a good elbow and then a one-two. This is a surprisingly slow pace considering who’s involved. They circle off and continue to exchange strikes, before Maynard shoots, only for Edgar to get a beautiful reversal using Gray’s momentum to take him down. Maynard pops right back up though and avoids a shot from Edgar on the way out. Good left hook from Maynard in an exchange as both men keep throwing out combos. Maynard gets a nice takedown and then works to hold Edgar down as Frankie looks to lock up a kimura. Gray gets into side control though and looks to work his arm free. Time runs out with Edgar still trying for the kimura.
Third and final round then, and Gray lands a heavy right, countered by a right from Edgar. Maynard shoots in on a really deep double leg and gets him down, but Edgar hits a reversal and tries to get Gray down. They muscle off with both men looking for the takedown, and the Bully trips Edgar down but he pops right back up into a clinch. They break off and Edgar lands a combo. Edgar goes for a single leg, but Gray stuffs it and they end up clinched, where he drops levels and gets Edgar down again. Edgar ends up seated against the cage and works to his feet, but Gray picks him right up and gets a nice slamming takedown. Again Edgar looks to post up the fence to stand, but another slam follows and this time Gray almost gets the back, but can’t quite get the hooks in. He gets one in, but Edgar manages to shake him off, and then they end up back in the clinch. Elbow and nice combination breaks for Edgar, and they exchange again before Maynard shoots and gets another takedown. Gray gets into half-guard and hits a short elbow as Edgar looks for a way out from the bottom. Maynard keeps him down this time though, and ends up in side mount where he lands a couple of knees to the body. He goes into north/south position and continues to control Frankie, keeping position as the fight ends.
Edgar looks very disappointed post-fight and sure enough the judges score it 30-27 all round for Maynard, making him the first man to defeat ‘The Answer’. These guys seemed pretty much equal standing but it was Maynard’s superior wrestling skill – not to mention his size advantage - that won him the fight, as he was able to take Edgar down and keep him down on a few occasions while Edgar couldn’t do the same to him. Basically Maynard lived up to his nickname of ‘The Bully’, as he bullied Edgar around the cage and never let him settle into a rhythm. Amazing wrestling skill from Maynard when you consider Edgar’s wrestling against Tyson Griffin. Not the most entertaining fight but a big win for Gray all the same.
Interesting main event, as both men had looked wildly improved since their stints on TUF, and both were also on strong winning streaks, with Florian having beaten Mishima, Robinson and Thomas, while Lauzon had beaten Pulver, Melendez and Reinhardt. Both men had shown strong skills in all areas, with Lauzon’s grappling looking very tight after training with Lightweight champ BJ Penn, but I was leaning to Florian based on his greater experience and striking skill, but on paper it seemed to be a pretty close fight.
Pre-fight we get a pretty tense staredown considering, well, it’s Kenny Florian and Joe Lauzon. No offense meant of course.
They get underway and Lauzon plays the aggressor, pushing forward early as Florian holds back and looks to gauge the distance. Big leg kick from Kenny, but Lauzon shoots for the takedown and despite Florian attempting to stuff it, Lauzon muscles him down. Kenny lands some elbows from the bottom, cutting Lauzon right away, but the ref calls time and claims Kenny hit him in the back of the head. Replays show it’s a bit of a difficult call, I’d say they were to the top of the head, but whatever. They restart standing and Florian lands a big body kick that seems to hurt Lauzon as he leans in for a takedown. Even takes him off his feet momentarily. Now Kenny gets a single leg and lands some punches before Lauzon gives his back. Florian tries to take advantage but Joe rolls and Florian takes side mount instead. Short elbows from Kenny, but Lauzon hits a nice sweep and comes back to his feet with a bodylock on Florian. Nice takedown from Lauzon to guard, showing some real strength. Florian goes for an oma plata but Lauzon uses it to pass to side mount, only for Kenny to scramble his way back to half-guard. Lauzon slips his leg over and appears to be setting up for a kneebar, and sure enough he goes for it, then transitions to a heel hook, but Florian slips free and then gets to his feet, pushing Lauzon away. Kenny shoots in now, and goes from a double leg to take a rear waistlock. Florian tries to drag him down, but Lauzon reverses on the way down and ends up on top in guard. He goes for a leglock again, this time it looks tighter, but again Kenny slips free and gets on top, ending the round by pounding away. Well, that was certainly a back-and-forth round.
2nd round, and Florian fires off a pair of kicks, going low and then high. Nice body kick from Florian. Both guys look a little slower now, particularly Lauzon. Takedown from Florian and he passes to half-guard right away. Mount from Florian and Lauzon is in trouble. Kenny starts to pound away as Lauzon tries to buck, but can’t get Kenny off him for love or money. Big elbows drop down before Lauzon wriggles and attempts to go for a leglock from under the mount! Kenny avoids and lands some punches from side mount, and then takes the full mount again. Lauzon tries to escape, but Florian keeps a tight mount and works him over with punches. Lauzon does a good job of slipping to half-guard, but it’s only momentary and Florian mounts once more. Lauzon covers up, but eats some punches through his guard and despite not looking hurt, referee Herb Dean decides he’s not really defending and steps in to stop it.
Really good fight actually – the first round was pretty damn awesome with all the reversals, takedowns and sub attempts and what-not but by the second round Lauzon had visibly slowed down and once he was mounted he just didn’t have enough left in the tank to escape. Another impressive showing from Florian who just continues to improve his overall game, hard to believe he’s the same chubby Middleweight from the first season of TUF now.
Post-fight Kenny tells Rogan that he was expecting a tough fight from Lauzon, and explains he probably shouldn’t be fighting right now as he pushed through “some things physically”, but doesn’t really mention what those things were. He credits his brother Keith with his strength on the ground, I think he’s a BJJ black belt too.
-And we roll the highlights with Mike Goldberg in full hyperbole mode saying this was the “greatest card ever shown on Spike TV”. I wouldn’t go that far Mike.
For a free show, this was absolutely terrific. There were no bad fights (although Maynard-Edgar wasn’t great), the show went at a tremendously fast pace, and we got genuine highlight reel finishes from Irvin, Diaz, Johnson and Alves. When you throw in two really good-great fights in Diaz-Pellegrino and Lauzon-Florian too, you’ve got one of the best cards UFC put on in the Fight Night series, certainly the best one up to this point anyway. Zuffa should really start putting these cards out on DVD or something because if it were available this would definitely be worth buying. Two thumbs up for this one.
Best Fight: Diaz-Pellegrino
Worst Fight: Maynard-Edgar
Overall Rating: ***3/4
UFC: 83-95, Fight Nights 14-17, and TUF VII and VIII Finales.
Pride: Shockwave 2005, Shockwave 2006, and 33.
King of the Cage: 23, 29, 30, 32, 33, 36, 42, 48, 52, and 58.