UFC 100: Making History review
by Scott Newman(MMA)
Posted on November 24, 2009, 3:25 PM
UFC 100: Making History
Las Vegas, Nevada
-Fun fact: in the early Zuffa-led days of the UFC, president Dana White wanted to quit numbering the shows and just go with a subtitle for each one (so ‘UFC: Couture vs. Liddell’ and so on). Someone managed to convince him to keep the numbers and I’m thinking that he’d probably like to thank them today, as fan anticipation for the 100th show (despite it being way more than the 100th thanks to Fight Night shows and what-not) ended up turning UFC 100 into the biggest MMA event in the sport’s history. Zuffa amped up the interest with a massive open weekend for fans, featuring a grappling tournament amongst other things, and packed the card with two title fights – featuring the company’s two biggest draws in Brock Lesnar and Georges St-Pierre – as well as a fight between the latest TUF coaches. All in all the show pretty much broke all the company’s previous records, including the buyrate, which ended up being well over a million buys, making it the best-selling non-boxing PPV in history. Not bad for a company who just five years ago were in the doldrums!
Bit of a bleh opener if I’m honest, but hey, I guess it’s good for these types of fighters to get this sort of exposure. Submission fighter Gugerty was looking to bounce back from a loss to Spencer Fisher at UFC 90, while Grice had lost to Matt Veach at February’s Fight Night card and was also looking to get back into the winner’s column.
Round One gets underway and they circle with Gugerty throwing some kicks. Shannon clinches and manages to get Grice onto his back, landing in half-guard. Grice squirms from the bottom to try to escape to his feet, but Gugerty does a good job of controlling him and almost works free to side mount. Hip escape from Grice gets him into full guard and then he looks to reverse, but Gugerty catches him in a guillotine and goes to full guard. He tries to flip him over to a mounted guillotine, but Grice reverses and stands. Shannon keeps hold of the guillotine though and then switches to a regular guillotine and pulls guard before sweeping to mount. Grice looks in trouble and sure enough referee Herb Dean spots his arm going limp and steps in. Grice is out cold.
Really nice submission win for Gugerty who’s a solid, well-rounded guy actually. I don’t think he’s up there with the best 155lbers in the world but he’s a tough match for most of them. Great work for the guillotine here and I’m sort of ashamed to say I always get a kick out of seeing a guy pass out rather than tap. Hey, I grew up watching Steve Austin, it’s not my fault.
Battle of TUF veterans here, with Season 7 runner-up Dollaway taking on Season 8’s Lawlor in a battle of wrestling-based fighters. Despite Lawlor showing charisma in the weigh-in (he came out dressed as the odd ‘just bleed!’ guy) I was taking Dollaway to win this one as in terms of wrestling credentials he’s stronger, and normally in fights like this the better wrestler comes out on top.
It’s cut on the DVD of course, but big props to Lawlor for making one of the best entrances in UFC history for this one. See, Dollaway’s nickname is ‘The Doberman’, so Lawlor came out to the Baha Men’s Who Let The Dogs Out, complete with teammate Seth Petruzelli on a dog lead. Fountain of charisma, this guy. Well, he was a pro-wrestler before he started fighting.
We begin and Dollaway circles on the outside and throws a big right hand that Lawlor avoids. CB drops for a takedown, but Lawlor catches him in a guillotine and pulls guard, and as he turns it slightly to the side Dollaway passes out and Lawlor has to tell the ref that he’s gone in order to stop it. Wow.
Shocking result there. I never expected Dollaway to get caught like that, particularly by a guy who isn’t really known for his submission game like Lawlor, but there you go. I guess he just got a bit overconfident and just left his head hanging out there. Massive win for Lawlor as I had CB pegged as one of the top prospects in the world at 185lbs. Post-fight Lawlor cuts a massively charismatic promo, saying he’s planning to go to Heavyweight and call out Lesnar or Mir next, then drop to 170lbs and call out GSP, then drop more weight and head to the WEC. Ha! Rogan then asks him if he’s been practicing the guillotine and he’s just like, “nope”. Apparently UFC brass wanted to put this on the PPV broadcast and were annoyed when they ran out of time. Lawlor could end up being a star I think if he keeps on winning, but whether he can or not, only time will tell.
The Korean standout Dong had actually taken his first career loss in January, a controversial decision to Karo Parisyan, but that fight had since been changed to a No Decision due to Karo’s positive test for painkillers, so I guess technically he was coming into this undefeated again. Grant meanwhile had won his UFC debut in April and stepped in here on short notice to replace fellow Canadian Jonathan Goulet.
First round begins and they circle before Grant shoots on a double leg. He almost gets Kim off his feet, but the Korean works a kimura and then posts up to his feet, reversing and putting Grant on his back. Grant ends up in full guard, and Kim controls him from the top, landing some short strikes. Kim passes into half-guard for a moment, but TJ quickly gets back to full guard and takes a couple of elbows, one of which cuts the Canadian on the forehead. He tries an arm triangle from the bottom, but has to give it up. Elevator sweep allows Grant to escape to his feet, but he takes a big knee on the way up. Grant answers with a pair of knees of his own, but Kim trips him back down into guard. Grant takes a couple of elbows and then reverses up to his feet, going for a single leg, but Kim shows some sick defense and avoids it, before reversing to put Grant on his back again. Nice elbow from Kim from the top. Grant keeps him in the guard, but takes some more short strikes to close the round out. Round 1 goes to Dong Hyun Kim, 10-9.
Second round begins and Kim opens with a head kick and a good straight left. Grant bulls into a clinch swinging, but he still can’t get Kim down and the Korean reverses, trips him over and gets a guillotine. Grant looks in danger, but manages to free himself and works into half-guard. Full guard now from TJ but he can’t seem to stay off his back and he takes another elbow. Couple of really good elbows land for Kim, this dude has a seriously strong base on the ground. Grant tries to turn for an oma plata but can’t get it in and Kim continues to work him over from the guard. Grant tries a sweep as Kim attempts to pass, but it fails and he’s still stuck on his back. Kim stands over him to drop some more shots and then as he postures up again, Grant kicks him in the face. Ref steps in to call time for the illegal blow, and surprisingly Mario Yamasaki takes a point from the Canadian. They restart standing and Grant throws some strikes, but can’t hurt Kim and the round ends there. That’s a 10-8 round for Kim with the point deduction, so Grant needs a finish to win this fight.
Into the third round and they exchange strikes before Grant makes the mistake of clinching again. He takes a knee to the body and then tries a single leg, but Kim’s takedown defense is still too good and he elbows to the side of the head while stuffing the attempt. Referee breaks the clinch and Grant pushes forward with punches, connecting with a couple of them, but when he clinches Kim quickly hits a judo toss and puts him down in half-guard. Good job from TJ to get back to full guard, but Kim remains on top landing short elbows to the face. Kim stands over him and lands an ax stomp, but Grant pops back up to his feet and forces the Korean into the fence. Couple of good elbows inside land for TJ, but Kim trips him down with scary ease and ends up inside the guard again, where he feeds him some more elbows and hammer fists. Less than a minute to go and Kim’s still working him over with punches from the top. Round ends with Kim landing from the top. 10-9 Kim which makes it 30-26 overall I think.
Judges all score it 30-26 for Dong Hyun Kim. This was a whitewash as Grant just looked out of his depth on the ground with a superior grappler, and he was unable to keep the fight standing where he might’ve had a chance. Excellent showing from Dong Hyun Kim who might be the dark horse at 170lbs I think.
Another battle of wrestlers, although this time it was Greco-Roman (Jones) against freestyle (O’Brien). Coming into this there was a lot of hype around the young Jones, as he’d taken out Stephan Bonnar with a lopsided decision in just the eighth fight of a ten month career, which is absolutely incredible really. O’Brien had picked up a win on the same card as that fight – over Christian Wellisch – but very few people expected him to give Jones much difficulty here as he hadn’t really lived up to the early potential he’d shown.
We begin and Jones bounces around on the outside and misses an early head kick attempt. They clinch up and O’Brien looks for a takedown, but Jones blocks and breaks off. They exchange some strikes from distance but O’Brien still can’t get inside to get Jones down. Good left hook from Jake coming forward. Jones begins to mix up his kicks, landing a couple of low kicks and then a glancing high kick, but O’Brien comes back with a right hand. Striking exchange continues as O’Brien pushes forward, and I actually think he’s getting the better of this exchange. Nice body kick from Jones. Seconds to go and it’s more of the same, before Jones misses a jumping kick on the buzzer. Round was largely even, but I think O’Brien takes it for his aggression, 10-9.
Second round and Jones begins with a jumping kick and a high kick that glance off. O’Brien keeps pushing forward but Jones looks a little more settled in this round. Good inside leg kick from Jones as O’Brien is purely looking to box here. Spinning backfist to the top of the head hurts O’Brien and causes him to drop for a takedown, but Jones blocks and Jake comes back up. He tries for another takedown but this time Jones gets some sort of front choke variant and forces O’Brien down, causing him to pass out as he taps.
Really surprising finish – it looked like Jake got hurt by the spinning backfist, but I’m not sure what the choke Jones used to put him away was – it looked like the ‘power guillotine’ that Miguel Torres and Donald Cerrone have used actually, but you couldn’t really tell from the angle the cameras had. Well, Jones passed that test with flying colours after a bit of a tough first round, but hopefully Zuffa continue to bring him along slowly rather than throwing him to the wolves.
On any other card this would probably have made the televised portion, as TUF winner Danzig was attempting to stop a horrible slide that’d seen him lose his previous two fights (to Clay Guida and Josh Neer), while Miller was looking to get back onto the winning track after dropping a decision to Gray Maynard. This was a close fight on paper but I was taking Miller as I thought his stifling wrestling and submission game could shut down Danzig in a similar fashion to how Guida had done.
First round begins and they circle and exchange some strikes before Miller shoots and gets a takedown to half-guard. Danzig quickly gets to full guard but he eats a couple of elbows before Jim passes to half-guard. Danzig does a good job of regaining full guard as Miller continues to work for position on the top, landing another short elbow. Danzig’s cut on the forehead now and it looks like a bad cut, a lot of blood right away. Mac tries to answer with some elbows from the bottom, but there’s blood leaking everywhere now. Danzig tries to push off and he manages it, escaping to his feet, but Miller stays on him and forces him into the fence, where they exchange some knees. Nice takedown from Miller puts Danzig on his back again, but the TUF winner works his way to full guard. Miller works some more elbows from the top and this is looking like one of the bloodier UFC fights. Danzig looks like he’s going for an oma plata, but Miller seems too slippy and lands some more elbows. Round ends with Miller on top and it goes to the New Jersey fighter, 10-9.
Into the 2nd and Miller opens with a nice body kick and a left hand to follow. High kick from Miller and he shoots and easily gets Mac down again. Danzig looks like he’s going for an oma plata, but he’s not really close to it and Jim lands with another nasty elbow. Danzig looks to turn for a kimura but he lets it go, and Miller opens up with punches that cause the cut to bleed like crazy again. Miller’s base just looks too good for Danzig to deal with here and he’s continuing to land with elbows from the top. Referee steps in and calls a stand-up, but Mac can’t land anything meaningful standing and he eats another right hand. Takedown from Miller but he ends up in a guillotine, and it looks tight but the buzzer sounds before Danzig can finish it off. Unlucky finish for Danzig as that guillotine looked deep, but it’s another round in the books for Jim Miller and I have him up 20-18 now.
Round Three and Danzig comes forward throwing punches, but Miller gets the best of the exchange, landing with a crisp combo before taking Danzig down once again. Danzig looks to work his way up to his feet using the cage, but Miller’s still on him and they exchange knees before breaking. Good right hook and inside leg kick from Miller. Danzig is looking exhausted now too, probably due to the blood loss. He lands a right hand and a knee, but Miller gets another takedown to guard and lands with an elbow. Danzig looks like he’s going for a gogoplata, but Miller slides his arm free and continues with the ground-and-pound. Kimura attempt from Mac again but Jim uses the opportunity to take Danzig’s back, and puts both hooks in. Danzig attempts to turn into him, but can’t manage it and it looks like Miller’s got the choke sunk in, but Danzig works his chin free and so Miller turns to full mount. Great reversal by Danzig though and he gets on top, landing with some hammer fists! Side mount for Danzig but Miller scrambles from underneath him, and then ends up being put into guard by the TUF winner on the buzzer. Too little, too late for Danzig as I have this 30-27 for Jim Miller.
All three judges score it 30-27 for Miller, giving Danzig his third defeat on the bounce. Danzig’s a pretty solid fighter, but the problem is that at Lightweight there’s so many guys with a great wrestling base that unless you’re really, really good with your takedown defense, or have a killer guard, you’re always going to run into trouble sooner or later – see Spencer Fisher or Josh Neer for examples of other guys at 155lbs with the same problem – and Danzig’s just had the bad fortune of facing two of those wrestler types in Miller and Clay Guida. As for Miller, this was another impressive win for him over a solid veteran and I’m wondering now how far up the ranks he can go. Pretty fun fight too although the blood added some of the entertainment aspect.
Like the fight above, on any other card this probably makes televised status, but hey, this is UFC 100! After his loss to Shogun Rua in January I honestly thought Coleman ought to retire, but I guess the Hall of Famer still thinks he’s got something left in the tank, so more power to him as long as he doesn’t get badly hurt. Bonnar meanwhile had suffered a disappointing loss to newcomer Jon Jones and wanted redemption, and what better way to get some than beating a legend like Coleman? This was a difficult fight to call, too, as Bonnar’s got far better striking, cardio and submissions, but his Achilles heel is his crappy wrestling game and obviously that’s Coleman’s big strength.
We begin and Bonnar pushes forward with a wide stance, but it’s to no avail as Coleman shoots on a single leg and brings him down! Bonnar immediately looks to post up the fence, but Coleman keeps him down and Stephan turns into an oma plata instead. Coleman looks pretty calm actually as Bonnar looks to transition into a toehold ala Frank Mir on Tank Abbott. Coleman avoids though and pounds the ribs, before spinning over into north/south control. Bonnar manages to work into half-guard, and the crowd are chanting wildly for Coleman now. Good job from Bonnar to get back to his feet, but Coleman drops for another single leg. Bonnar defends and tries to trap the arm, landing some elbows to the side of the legend’s head, and it looks like Coleman might be cut. The Hammer works to pull his arm free and put Bonnar on his back, but the TUF star does a nice job of keeping the position and elbowing at the head, triangling his legs around the arm. Bonnar transitions into a kimura, but it’s too late in the round and the buzzer goes. Got to be 10-9 for Stephan Bonnar as despite being taken down he did more damage with the elbows and gave Coleman a lot of problems on the ground.
Into the 2nd and Bonnar pushes forward, looking to strike again, and he rocks the legend with a left hand. Coleman is looking tired already and he comes lumbering forward a bit looking to close the distance. Bonnar makes the mistake of trying a spinning back kick though, and this allows Coleman to grab a rear waistlock and drag him down. Coleman goes for a choke, but he doesn’t have the hooks in and Stephan spins out, but he winds up on the bottom, where Coleman busts him wide open with elbows! Crowd are going INSANE like this is the main event, not a prelim. Good job from Bonnar at getting to half-guard, but he takes some HEAVY hammer fists that bash Stephan’s head all over the shop. Bonnar comes back with some good elbows from the bottom but he’s a bloody mess now. Stephan looks for the oma plata again but Coleman avoids, only to eat some elbows from the bottom. Coleman’s got him pinned into the fence though and he’s sucking in wind too. Oma plata attempt again from Bonnar but Coleman works free and keeps pounding at the head. Bonnar turns into him and goes for a takedown of his own, but Coleman easily avoids and goes to a rear waistlock. Bonnar drops down and takes some more elbows, but gets to guard. Beautiful elbow from Coleman but Bonnar rolls for an armbar, but Coleman avoids it and drops some more punches. Coleman is actually doing a great job here. Colour me shocked, this is a hell of a fight and I have it one round apiece going into the third.
Third and final round and Bonnar pushes forward but takes an uppercut from Coleman. They exchange some punches and Coleman dives for a takedown, but Bonnar sprawls. Coleman gets hold of him anyway and elevates him, but Bonnar does a good job of defending it. Coleman’s still got a leg though and he drives Stephan into the cage. Good knee from Bonnar and he looks like he’s going for a guillotine, but he lets it go to defend the takedown. Good takedown from Coleman though and he lands in half-guard, trapping Bonnar against the fence. Elbows and hammer fists land for Coleman from the position and Bonnar’s actually looking more tired than Coleman, which is incredible. Bonnar manages to push him off with his legs but Coleman remains on top and goes back into the guard. Bonnar throws his legs up for a triangle, but ends up back in full guard and Coleman continues to work his ground-and-pound. Bonnar tries to wall-walk up to his feet but gives his back, and Coleman takes the position, but doesn’t have any hooks in and Bonnar manages to turn into him on top! Coleman keeps hold of him though and the buzzer sounds to a thunderous pop. I think this is Mark Coleman’s fight!
Post-fight Phil Baroni is in tears in Coleman’s corner as they announce the decision, 29-28, 29-28 and 29-28 for Mark ‘The Hammer’ Coleman! I honestly never expected that in a million years, but somehow Coleman turned back the clock and put in his best performance since, well, probably like 2001! Bonnar certainly didn’t put in a bad performance or anything and he had Coleman in difficulty a few times, but in the end the Hall of Famer was able to gut it out, and bravo to him for it. Crowd reaction and the fact that this was such a big fight for Coleman, on UFC 100, being really the lone ‘legend’ on the card made the fight come off as better than it was, but this is, in a way, the sort of thing we watch the sport for. Amazing fight.
Belcher had shot up the ranks following his big win over a major debutant in Denis Kang in January, and here he was faced with another big-name making their Octagon debut in Japanese sensation Akiyama, who you could probably argue is the biggest Japanese name to ever compete in the UFC – seriously, this guy is like Tito Ortiz over there in terms of how everyone either loves him or hates him. My pick here though was Belcher, mainly based on a size advantage and the fact that this was his eighth UFC fight while Akiyama was stepping into a cage for the first time in his career. On a bad note, the DVD cuts out Akiyama’s awesome Con Te Partiro entrance, which was something I didn’t think he’d bring into the UFC!
Opening round begins and this crowd are PUMPED now as this is the first fight on the PPV. Pair of leg kicks land for Belcher early and he follows with a right hand. Head kick from Akiyama but it glances off Belcher’s arm. Good body kick from Belcher as he pushes forward. Akiyama throws another head kick that glances off again, but Belcher answers with a low kick that hits the groin instead and causes Akiyama to drop like he’s been shot. That looked really nasty actually. Referee Mario Yamasaki calls time and tells Akiyama he has five minutes to recover. He takes a couple and then decides he’s okay to continue. Straight left from Belcher and it looks like he’s trying to set up an uppercut. Good counter right from Belcher and then they exchange freely with both men landing. Another good leg kick lands for Belcher. Leg kick again but this time Akiyama catches it to block. Akiyama with a good body kick and a follow-up right hand. Good jab from Akiyama but a straight left from Belcher drops him! Akiyama pops back up quickly as Belcher looks to capitalize, and they clinch against the fence before Akiyama breaks off with a right hand. Good right from Akiyama as Belcher comes forward. Akiyama looks to work the jab, then opens up with a nice left high kick-right hand combination. Good leg kick again from Belcher. Beautiful superman punch and a follow-up one-two lands for Akiyama and looks to have Belcher stunned. BIG UPPERCUT lands for the Japanese star but Belcher stays in the pocket and FIGHTS FIRE WITH FIRE as they throw down with punches! This is an awesome round. Belcher clinches and forces Akiyama into the cage, and then he blocks a takedown and breaks off. Leg kick from Belcher but Akiyama counters with a right and forces him to his back. Oma plata attempt from Belcher but Akiyama escapes and lands a shot as the round ends. Extremely close round to call as both men landed a ton of great shots, but I’m giving the edge to Alan Belcher based on the knockdown. Belcher 10-9.
2nd round and Belcher opens with a body kick, but Akiyama catches it on the way out and trips him to guard. Sweep from Belcher and he gets Akiyama on his back, but the Japanese fighter stands quickly. Belcher goes for a leglock and drops down, but Akiyama slides free and winds up on top in side mount. Belcher manages to shift his hips and work back to full guard, but Akiyama postures up and then drops a pair of heavy right hands that land flush. Action slows up a bit as Belcher defends from his back nicely, and then Akiyama passes into half-guard. Belcher looks to escape out the back door, and manages to get to his feet. Nice uppercut lands for Akiyama, answered by a leg kick from Belcher. Belcher’s leg kicks are looking good here and he catches Akiyama with a couple more. Action slows somewhat before Belcher misses a wild right but lands with a leg kick. Good right hand from Akiyama but he takes another heavy leg kick that looks to have him hurt as the round ends. Hard round to call again; I think Belcher did more damage standing but about half of the round saw Akiyama on top and he landed some good punches down there. I’m going 10-10 actually.
Third round and I’ve got Belcher up 20-19. Leg kick to open from Belcher and the kicks are taking their toll now and slowing Akiyama down. He’s still landing some good counters as Belcher steps in though. Good combination from Akiyama but Belcher fires one back and catches him with a couple of good body shots. Beautiful left hook from Akiyama to counter a low kick. Belcher begins to pump out a left jab as Akiyama swings counters back, and then a hard leg kick lands for the Talent. Spinning back kick to the gut for Akiyama. Couple more leg kicks from Belcher and then he switches and throws a vicious head kick, but Akiyama just manages to duck. Great counter right from Akiyama as Belcher tries a combo. Exchange continues and Akiyama rocks Belcher with a right hand to counter a front kick. Big shots land again for both men and Belcher throws another leg kick, but this time Akiyama counters with a big right that drops him! He recovers quickly though and backflips up to his feet. They circle and throw some more jabs and then Belcher SPRINGS OFF THE CAGE WITH A SUPERMAN PUNCH!~! That was insane. Alan Belcher: Innovator of Offense. They trade some more jabs and Belcher hits him with another leg kick. Spinning backfist misses for Belcher and Akiyama clinches and trips him down. Nice escape from Belcher though and he gets up quickly, and it’s an open trade on the buzzer. Great fight. You’ve got to score that round 10-9 for Akiyama I would say for the knockdown, so personally I have it 29-29 for a draw, but the judges don’t normally go for draws so who knows.
To the scorecards and we have a split decision, 30-27 for Akiyama, 29-28 for Belcher, and 29-28 for Akiyama, giving him the victory. Knew it was a close fight. At the time watching live I thought Belcher had been robbed, and post-fight Joe Rogan says the same thing, but on a rewatch, it is hard to call. I scored it a draw, but I can definitely see Akiyama 29-28 if you give him the second round for the ground work. How anyone could score it 30-27 for Akiyama I’m not sure, however. Still, this was a great fight – not quite a FOTYC but close – and neither man came away looking bad as they threw down from start to finish and landed some absolute bombs. Really good PPV opener for the biggest show of the year.
Jesus, talk about a baptism of fire. So Thiago debuts by getting a shocking KO of Josh Koscheck, and rather than give him even a mid-level guy for his next fight he’s immediately put against Jon Fitch who’s top three in the world, point blank. I guess the story was that Fitch wanted revenge for his AKA teammate Koscheck, but I would’ve rather found out a little more about Thiago before throwing him off the deep end again myself. Oh well! Side note – live this actually went on after the main event of Lesnar-Mir, as the PPV was running short on time and they didn’t want to risk missing any of the potential five-round fight.
First round and Fitch throws out some kicks as Thiago looks to counter. Takedown from Fitch but Thiago catches an arm-in guillotine and looks to squeeze. Fitch seems alright to me though and he punches at the body and tries to keep Thiago in butterfly guard to prevent him closing the legs around his body. Thiago lets it go and tries an elevator sweep, and then switches to an anaconda choke. His legs are stuck underneath Fitch though and he’s also seated against the cage, so this is going to be difficult to finish. This is clearly an educated crowd too as to someone who doesn’t know the ground game this would look like they’re doing nothing, but I don’t hear any boos yet. Good job from Fitch at staying calm, and he manages to work his head free and gets into half-guard. Thiago turns to try a kimura and gives his back standing, but the Brazilian works to turn into Fitch and get a takedown of his own. They end up sort of crouched down by the fence with Fitch landing some elbows to the side of the head. Thiago keeps working to try to get him down, but he runs out of time and the round ends. That was a really good round in terms of technical grappling actually. Fitch was on top but he did no damage and Thiago was the one on offense with the submission attempts, so it’s 10-9 for Paulo Thiago in my book.
2nd round and Fitch pushes forward, lands a right hand and forces Thiago into the fence. Paulo tries to block the takedown but it’s to no avail as Fitch brings him down into side mount. Thiago hooks the inside of Fitch’s left leg to prevent any real offense though, and then works to half-guard and back to a full butterfly guard. Thiago goes for the arm-in guillotine again, but this time he lets it go quickly and Fitch takes his back as Thiago rolls for a kimura. They come up to their feet and Fitch has an over/under, but Thiago steps back to look for a leg and then turns into Fitch to attempt a single leg. They end up clinched against the cage where Fitch lands a knee, and then delivers a nice slam down to half-guard. Fitch goes to take the back again and gets one hook in, looking for the second as Thiago defends. Thiago turns and looks to avoid being flattened out as Fitch now has both hooks in. Thiago turns and ends up almost standing with Fitch on his back, and the round ends there. Similar to the first round, but Fitch had more control that time and didn’t really need to defend any submissions, so it’s his round 10-9 and we’re even going into the third.
Round Three and Fitch lands a nice right hand coming forward before closing the distance and getting a nice takedown to guard. Thiago tries to use his butterfly guard to push Fitch off him, but Fitch’s base looks too good and he remains on top. He tries to mount and then takes the back as Thiago looks for the kimura, and as Thiago defends the choke Fitch takes full mount. Thiago squirms and gives his back again, and this time he stands with Fitch on his back and rather than try to shake him off, he jumps back and drives Fitch into the mat! Fitch keeps hold of Thiago though, but the Brazilian manages to turn into him and ends up in Fitch’s guard. He goes for an anaconda choke, but Fitch manages to work into Thiago’s guard and pops his head free. Fitch postures up and looks to pass the guard, avoiding some upkicks, and then Thiago rolls for a leg but gives his back in the process and Fitch gets an over/under. Hooks in from Fitch and he pulls Thiago down and we have one minute to go. Fitch locks up a body triangle now and he looks to work for the rear naked choke, but Thiago defends it well, taking some punches though, and the fight ends with Fitch in firm control. 29-28 for Jon Fitch I think.
Judges have it a unanimous decision for Jon Fitch, 30-27, 29-28 and 29-28. Well, I do not like that 30-27 score as it means a judge gave Fitch the first round purely for being on top when he had to defend submissions for the entire round, but hey, at least the right man won in the end. This got slow in parts but for the majority it was a very high-level technical grappling fight, which personally I prefer to a sloppy brawl unless said brawl is something really epic like say, War Machine-J-Roc from the TUF VI Finale. Good win for Fitch but I think Thiago proved here that he’s for real as he never really looked in deep trouble against a guy who most consider the second or third best 170lber in the world, and I look forward to seeing him against well, any of the top Welterweights in the UFC.
It’s almost weird to see the TUF coaches not main eventing a PPV, but hey, this is UFC 100. These pair had coached the teams on TUF 9, with Bisping coming out on top in that war with two of his Team UK guys winning the contracts while only one of Henderson’s made the finals. On paper the big favourite here was of course Henderson, as not only had Bisping never really faced anyone of Hendo’s calibre before, but he also held a massive advantage in the wrestling department and appeared to pack more one-shot power into his punches too. As a patriotic Brit though, I was actually taking the upset, based mainly on the fact that Bisping had seemingly perfected a hit-and-run gameplan against Chris Leben and that same gameplan had worked wonders for Kazuo Misaki against Henderson in PRIDE a year or two back. Plus with Henderson getting no younger at 39 years old, I just saw Bisping as the young lion ready to take his spot at the top end of the division.
Crowd are firmly behind Henderson here, a far cry from when Bisping is the biggest babyface in the building when he fights in the UK. Bisping looks surprisingly calm considering the magnitude of this fight.
We begin and Henderson takes the center of the cage, right hand cocked as always, as Bisping looks to circle around on the outside. Jab from Bisping but Henderson closes him down and lands the right hand a couple of times, forcing Bisping onto his back foot. Good left from Bisping but a flurry from Hendo appears to stun him and he has to retreat swiftly again. One-two and an uppercut from the Brit, but again Henderson catches him with the right hand. They clinch for a moment before Hendo breaks off with an elbow. Good right hand from Bisping but the announcers point out that he’s making the mistake of circling towards Henderson’s powerful right hand rather than away. He is beginning to land more punches from the outside now though. High kick and good right hand snaps Hendo’s head back but he looks unaffected and keeps stalking forward. Henderson gets to the clinch and muscles the Brit into the fence with some good knees to the body. Bisping breaks off and then surprisingly shoots on a double leg, but Henderson easily stuffs it and smiles at the Count. Round ends with a combo from Bisping but Hendo countering with a good right. Round goes to Dan Henderson for scoring the harder shots, 10-9.
Between rounds Bisping’s cornerman is FURIOUS with him for circling into the power of Henderson; one of the other trainers even has to tell him to calm down.
Round Two and Bisping is keeping his distance a little more now. Inside leg kick from Bisping and he avoids a powerful right hand. Henderson tries to close the distance but Bisping does a good job of avoiding the clinch. Pair of HEAVY rights stun Bisping but he gets outta dodge again and lands with a couple of jabs from the outside. Henderson continues to stalk but this time he walks into a pretty crisp combination from Bisping. It doesn’t look like Bisping has the one-shot power to hurt Hendo though, so if he’s going to win it’s going to be by pecking at him from the outside ala Misaki. Nice one-two from Bisping and he lands a combo as Henderson steps in looking for the right hand. Hendo looks to charge into the clinch but Bisping backs out. Bisping is doing much better in this round but again he makes the mistake of circling into Henderson’s power hand, and this time it costs him dearly as Henderson KNOCKS HIM DEAD WITH A SICK RIGHT AND ADDS A FLYING FOREARM FOR GOOD MEASURE!~! Holy shit.
Post-fight Bisping is down for what feels like an age; the second Brit following Ricky Hatton to be knocked stiff like that in 2009. I actually thought Bisping was beginning to take over the fight in the second round, but the mistake of circling towards the right hand was all it took as Henderson just needs one shot to end things, and the problem for Bisping was that Henderson’s chin and his own lack of one-shot KO power meant that this was always a risky game for the Brit. Naturally I was gutted with this result, but hey, Henderson is one of the best fighters in the world pound-for-pound and there’s no shame in losing to him.
The other point to make is the controversy caused by the ending of this one; namely over the flying forearm smash that Henderson landed as Bisping hit the ground. Personally I have no problem with it – just as I never had a problem with Rashad Evans or Matt Hamill or countless others doing the same – the rules of MMA state that you keep attacking until the referee stops you. Henderson did cause more controversy though by stating post-fight that he added the shot in to “shut Bisping up for good”. A lot of fans were in uproar over this and evidently the Zuffa brass weren’t too happy either as the line is edited out on the DVD (as is the forearm smash in the replays), but I saw it as tongue-in-cheek, and Henderson didn’t say it while Bisping was still out cold or being stretchered out or anything – by that point he’d come round and was sitting up and stuff looking fine if a little groggy – and so I don’t think it’s nearly as big a deal as a lot of people did. But maybe I’m a barbarian, who knows?
Back to the fight for a second – the knockout was amongst the most vicious in UFC history and Henderson’s star power pretty much seemed to double post-fight after this, and honestly to me it’s unthinkable that he could be leaving the UFC fold now over money issues. I mean, come on Dan, where else can you be a big star like this? If he does leave I think he’s making a tremendous mistake.
Man, talk about a mouth-watering clash. I’d literally been salivating over this fight for MONTHS beforehand, and I was actually fuming that Thiago got passed over to give BJ Penn a title shot earlier in the year. GSP had been running roughshod over, well, everyone put in front of him after the shock loss to Matt Serra in April ’07, counting Koscheck, Hughes, Serra, Fitch and Penn as his victims, while Alves was on a massive streak of his own – seven victories in the Octagon including becoming the first guy in UFC to finish Karo Parisyan, as well as beating Hughes and Koscheck too. Stylistically, as GSP had been dealing mainly with grapplers for a long time, Alves was probably his toughest test on paper as not only is he HUGE for a WW, he had the one-strike power to put St-Pierre away and had shown tremendous takedown defense against Koscheck. Of course though, being a devoted fanboy, I couldn’t see Rush losing his belt here and took him to win by submission after using his wrestling skill to grind the Pitbull down.
We begin and GSP lands with a pair of inside leg kicks as they circle around feeling one another out. Head kick from Alves is blocked but a leg kick lands before GSP shoots on a single leg...and drives him to the ground. Thiago quickly gets back to his feet, but GSP picks him up and dumps him right back down. This guy is something else. St-Pierre is in half-guard now and he lands some short punches while working to pass. Alves tries to escape, but GSP is all over him and as he stands, GSP takes his back. GSP muscles him down using sheer strength and gets the hooks in, and suddenly Thiago is in trouble early. Alves tries to turn into him to wind up in GSP’s guard, but Rush is having none of that and pulls him down. Great job by Alves to explode out though, and he escapes to his feet. Leg kick and jab land for the champion and he follows with a combo stepping into a leg kick. Left hand counter by Thiago and he follows with a leg kick. Beautiful superman punch into leg kick combination from St-Pierre. Jabs from GSP and he lands the inside leg kick again too. Exchange and St-Pierre shoots again, but this time Alves does a good job of stuffing it. Spinning back kick glances off the Brazilian’s midsection. Alves pushes forward with a flurry and lands a pair of kicks, but GSP catches one to the body and tackles him down to guard. Couple of short strikes land for GSP and Alves is cut now over his left eye. Alves manages to push GSP off and get to his feet, and the round ends there. Easy round to score, 10-9 for Georges St-Pierre.
Into the 2nd and Rush opens with the leg kick/superman punch combo again. Alves is pushing forward, but he looks a little gun-shy to me, probably due to the threat of the takedown. Good jab from the champ and then the superman punch-leg kick combo again. Takedown follows and Alves is grounded once more. St-Pierre immediately moves into half-guard and then prevents Alves from scrambling to his feet. He’s working him over now, largely conservative ground-and-pound, but it’s wearing the Brazilian out. Full mount for a second but Alves bucks out and gets to full guard. Elbows from GSP bloody up Thiago’s nose and Alves’s face is now looking pretty messy. Big “GSP!” chant from the crowd as he continues to work his opponent over with elbows from the guard. Big left hand lands for Rush from the top. To his credit Alves is doing a tremendous job of keeping GSP in his guard. St-Pierre manages to work into half-guard but Alves has a lock on the leg and stops him from getting into a more dominant position. With about 45 seconds to go Thiago manages to explode to his feet, but GSP forces him right into the fence, and with seconds to go Thiago manages to break free. Another round in the books for the champion. 10-9 GSP.
Third round and at least Alves isn’t looking gassed. The challenger comes out swinging, but he can’t really land anything cleanly and St-Pierre clinches and forces him into the cage. Alves shrugs the takedown off this time though and continues to stalk forward throwing punches. GSP is sticking and moving though and he’s proving to be an elusive target for the Brazilian. Couple of good leg kicks from Alves but GSP lands a combo and then tackles him to the ground again, into half-guard. More short punches to the head and body land for the champ but Thiago manages to muscle his way to his feet again. Good leg kick from GSP as Alves lunges forward with a punch. Couple of jabs land for St-Pierre but Alves fires back with some punches of his own. Nice leg kick from Thiago. 40 seconds to go and GSP lands with a kick to the body and then decks him with a right hand! Alves is in trouble as GSP pounces and looks to finish, landing some nasty elbows, but Thiago manages to hang on and weather the storm, and the round ends with Rush on top in the guard. This has been a rout so far. 10-9 GSP and that puts him 30-27 up going into the championship rounds.
4th round and GSP jabs, leg kicks, then hits a HUGE double leg and plants Alves on the mat in half-guard. This time he manages to pass into full mount, and it looks like he might be setting up for an arm triangle. Alves manages a hip escape into half-guard though to prevent it. Alves tries to scramble up, but GSP keeps him down and looks for an armbar from the back, but this time he slips off and Alves ends up on top in St-Pierre’s guard! First time he’s been on his back in ages, too. He uses a butterfly guard to control Thiago and prevent him doing any damage, but Alves does manage to land some shots to the body and hammer fists. Flurry from the challenger but this allows GSP to push off and explode to his feet. 1:30 remaining and St-Pierre lands a short left hook as Thiago stalks forward. Into the clinch momentarily but Alves shakes GSP off. Good leg kick from the challenger but GSP times it perfectly and tackles him to the ground from it. Into half-guard for St-Pierre and he works to pass as Alves looks to scramble up, but the challenger gives his back and GSP puts both hooks in and looks like he’s got the choke sunk! Alves manages to defend well though, and the round ends there. Better round in some ways for Alves in that he got on top, but it was from a mistake from GSP anyway and other than that St-Pierre was all over him. 10-9 GSP and 40-36 going into the final round.
Between rounds GSP tells Greg Jackson he’s pulled his groin, to which Jackson replies that he doesn’t care, hit him with your groin. Ha, sage advice.
Fifth and final round. Good leg kick and combo from Alves to open but GSP fires back with some jabs and leg kicks of his own. Alves really pushes the action, clearly knowing that he needs a finish, but GSP gets a single leg and drives him down again. He ends up in half-guard, but Thiago quickly works to his feet. GSP stays on him and keeps him against the fence, but Alves manages to break off. Good right hand from Thiago and to his credit he’s still pushing forward. Leg kick from Alves but GSP shoots in and gets hold of him, dumping him on his back once again. This time Alves has full guard, but GSP passes to half-guard. Alves gives his back and manages to stand again, and there’s less than two minutes remaining now. Alves comes forward but St-Pierre ducks a shot and gets him down yet again. He’s in half-guard and he looks to pass that, before setting up the arm triangle again. Rush decides to give that up and settles for controlling the challenger, landing some short punches to the head, and the round ends with GSP in dominant position.
Easy decision for Georges St-Pierre, and sure enough it’s a one-sided shutout on the scorecards, 50-45, 50-44, 50-45 for the champion to retain his title. Yet another virtuoso performance from the Canadian who, for me, is pound-for-pound the best fighter on the planet. This fight took another step to proving that as Alves had been destroying everyone who was put in front of him, and yet GSP just dominated him, taking him down at will, arguably outstriking him in the standing parts of the fight (he had the only knockdown, at least) and never allowed him to get off the starting blocks really. This one wasn’t quite as one-sided as GSP’s fights with Jon Fitch and BJ Penn, as Alves never looked on the verge of being stopped, and really that’s a tremendous accomplishment for the Brazilian, particularly on the amount of times he was able to escape from underneath GSP, but he was still unable to even win a single round. At this stage St-Pierre is looking as unbeatable as anyone else has done in MMA history I think and I have to wonder if there’s anyone on the horizon at 170lbs who’s capable of doing it, outside of a lucky punch. The guy is just incredible.
Well, if you’d told me after their first fight at UFC 81 that these two would be main eventing UFC 100 to unify the World Heavyweight Title, I probably would’ve laughed in your face. But after Lesnar’s shocking victories over Heath Herring and Randy Couture, and Mir’s upset-of-the-year stunner over Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, this was what we got. Probably the biggest Heavyweight fight in UFC history in terms of fan interest and certainly the biggest rematch. If the first one was built like a pro-wrestling fan’s dream, then this was even better, with Mir vowing to do what he’d done in the first fight and tap Lesnar out again, and Brock claiming Mir was saved by bad refereeing in the first match and promising to smash Mir for good this time. Interestingly the roles seemed to be reversed this time, with Lesnar the good guy out for revenge and Mir the arrogant heel, making fun of Lesnar’s caveman-like style and questioning his overall skill. Still, the fans seemed to be completely pro-Mir, mainly due to their dislike of Lesnar from his pro-wrestling days I think. As far as a pick went, I simply thought that if Lesnar fought the smart fight – basically the same gameplan as Ryan Bader against Vinny Magalhaes, ie, avoid the ground at all costs – then he could win. If he fought the caveman fight then Mir would probably catch him again.
Crowd are deafening for this and they’re firmly behind Mir. First round begins and both men look pretty tentative compared to their first fight. Couple of low kicks from Lesnar land but don’t have much affect. Right hand from Lesnar and he gets a takedown and then avoids Mir grabbing a leg and winds up in half-guard. Lesnar looks really patient from the top and doesn’t open up with strikes, and then he lands with some really short elbows that mark Mir’s face up even from the close range. Lesnar controls Mir’s head with one arm and punches the face with the other, pretty damaging stuff which is incredible given he’s not even winding up on them or anything. This is basic schoolyard bully stuff. Mir still looks relaxed, but he’s trying to cover his face now and he’s definitely a little bloody. I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone do this much damage from such short range. He’s working the body over now too and these are heavy, heavy punches. Mir finally works his head free with less than a minute to go, but eats some hard hammer fists for his troubles. Crowd are less than enamoured with this and I think it’s purely due to a dislike of Lesnar. Round ends and it has to go to Brock, 10-9.
Second round and Lesnar gets a quick takedown, but then chooses to let Mir back up. Mir comes forward with some punches and tags Lesnar, causing him to back up looking a little hurt! Good left hook and a big knee land for Mir and then Lesnar grabs a single leg and Mir lands the Urijah Faber jumping knee! Lesnar takes it though and winds up on top in Mir’s half-guard again, and the crowd immediately begin to boo. Mir still looks calm as he tries to use the fence to manoeuvre out, but as the crowd begin a chant of “Stand them up!”, Brock begins to open up with some JACKHAMMER PUNCHES to the face! Mir looks to be in big trouble and his face is a MESS, and Herb Dean decides he’s seen enough and steps in there.
Post-fight Lesnar flips off the booing fans, and then as Mir staggers up to approach him – no idea whether it was to shake his hand or what – Lesnar yells “Talk all the shit you want now” and shoves him away, before snarling at the camera like a genuine caveman, spitting his mouthpiece out in the process. This guy is the absolute definition of meathead.
Joe Rogan then interviews Lesnar, who gives one of the most controversial post-fight promos in UFC history, as he tells the crowd to keep on booing as he loves it, then goes on to say Mir had a “horseshoe up his ass, and he pulled it out and beat him over the head with it”, and that he’s planning to “drink a Coors Light – Coors, because Bud won’t pay me enough, and hell, I might even get on top of my wife tonight”. Well, aside from the idiotic Bud comment (why the hell would you want to riff on the UFC’s main sponsor?!) I thought this was a hilarious promo and it only solidifies the whole Mike Tyson villainous aura the guy has around him, and it’ll only sell more tickets as someone, anyone tries to dethrone him.
As for the fight? Basically Mir got beaten up, badly. He tried – he came into the fight in the best shape of his life and did land some decent shots standing, but on the mat Lesnar’s strength was too much for him and he’s far more difficult to catch in a submission now his aggression is more controlled. I don’t see Lesnar as the most skilled fighter in the world and he probably never will be, but his basic athletic gifts, natural power and sheer size and strength make him almost unstoppable. Am I a fan? Honestly no, as I get the feeling his meathead persona isn’t him playing a “heel”, it’s probably how he is in real life, but you have to admire his fighting talent and I’m really hoping he manages to shake off this illness that’s keeping him out at the minute as he could easily prove to be perhaps the best Heavyweight to ever fight in the Octagon.
-Highlight reel closes out the biggest show in the company’s history.
Honestly, unless the show *really* sucked (like UFC 33 or 61 or something) then UFC 100 would be worth a recommendation purely on the historical significance, but thankfully it’s a pretty damn good card too and oddly enough I enjoyed it more on a rewatch than I did the first time around. I’ve given Kim-Grant the Worst Fight award, but it’s not horrible really – just very one-sided – and although people who don’t like the ground game probably wouldn’t appreciate Fitch-Thiago, I don’t think there’s a truly bad fight on this card. Overall the closest show I can think of comparing this to would be UFC 40, in that there’s something here for everyone – a really good stand-up fight in Belcher-Akiyama and a really vicious knockout in Henderson-Bisping, a number of cool submissions on the undercard and some great groundwork in Fitch-Thiago and St-Pierre-Alves, and the main event has the most polarizing figure in the sport smashing up his top rival, just like UFC 40 had Ortiz doing the same to Shamrock. Throw in a vampire’s wet dream in Miller-Danzig and a surprisingly fun fight between Coleman and Bonnar where I was expecting nothing, and you’ve got a great, great show. Highest recommendation.
Best Fight: Belcher-Akiyama
Worst Fight: Kim-Grant
Overall Rating: ****3/4
UFC: 101-106, Fight Night 19
Affliction: Banned and Day Of Reckoning
Strike Force: Diaz vs. Shamrock, Shields vs. Lawler, Carano vs. Cyborg and Fedor vs. Rogers
King of the Cage: Various shows