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UFC 59: Reality Check review
by Scott Newman (MMA)
Posted on August 9, 2006, 5:11 AM



UFC 59: Reality Check

04/15/06
Anaheim, California


-Your hosts are Mike Goldberg and Joe Rogan, and they immediately talk about how historic it is to finally have a UFC show in California, after suffering through years of booking places like Dothan, Alabama. Crowd look PUMPED, and rightly so – this was arguably the best card all year on paper.

Welterweight Fight: Thiago Alves vs Derrick Noble

Drew Fickett was originally scheduled to be Alves’s opponent, but he picked up an injury in training so Derrick ‘The Eraser’ Noble stepped in, meaning that Alves would have a chance to redeem one of his two career losses in this fight.

They get underway and Alves opens with two hard leg kicks, so Noble closes the distance and muscles him to the fence, where they exchange some knees in close quarters, then back off. Noble lands a leg kick of his own and then follows with a combination into the clinch, but they break quickly again. Alves lands a combination, but Noble answers with a high kick that Thiago partially blocks. They exchange punches swiftly, before Noble catches him with a hard left kick to the body, hurting Alves and causing him to step back. Noble follows in with a high kick, and then opens up with a flurry, pounding away at Alves’s body and causing him to cover up. Alves looks in trouble, but then suddenly catches Noble with a counter right hand to the chin, and Noble CRUMPLES!~! Alves wastes no time and follows up for the stoppage.

Really quick and exciting opener there. Both guys brought the action and the ending was a crazy turnaround, as it looked like Thiago was on the verge of being stopped before Noble just left his chin out and got caught with one big shot. I’ve probably said it before, but Alves reminds me of a miniature Vitor Belfort for some reason, and seeing more of him, I’m definitely a fan.

Light-Heavyweight Fight: Jason Lambert vs Terry Martin

This was a very quick return to the Octagon for Lambert, who had only made his debut a month prior at UFC 58. Martin on the other hand hadn’t been in the UFC for about nine months, after suffering the infamous flying knee knockout at the hands of James Irvin. Both guys look around the same size here, which is probably the only time you’ll see that at LHW, as both men are two of the shortest 205lbers that you’ll see.

Round 1 begins, and they circle into a clinch and muscle for position along the fence, exchanging punches to the body. Martin suddenly opens up with a flurry, rocking Lambert momentarily, but Lambert manages to tie him up and recovers pretty quickly. They exchange knees on the inside, and then continue to work methodically in the clinch, before the official breaks them up. Lambert tries a superman punch off the restart, but Martin avoids and then trips him down to half-guard. Lambert gets full guard back and then pulls his leg up like he’s going for an oma plata, but then lets it go, as Martin knees the tailbone, but doesn’t really do much more than that. Round ends in Lambert’s guard, but Martin hasn’t done any damage there.

Into the 2nd, and Lambert shoots in immediately, but Martin blocks well and muscles him into the fence. Lambert works the body with some chopping punches and then looks for a slam, but Martin does well to avoid. The ref breaks them again, and Martin lands a combo and shoots in for the takedown, but this time Lambert blocks and underhooks the body as he does so. Martin manages to get him to the ground, but Lambert uses the underhooks to reverse, and spins around onto Martin’s back, using a crucifix hold on his arms. Martin tries desperately to get out, but Lambert overpowers him and lands some bombs from the top, before passing to full back mount and getting his hooks in. From there he flattens Martin out, and that’s all she wrote, as Lambert rains down some huge shots before the ref stops things.

Another impressive performance from ‘The Punisher’, that was, as he managed to weather somewhat of an early storm from Martin before taking over with superior grappling skill en route to the TKO. Lambert has since gone over Branden Lee Hinkle, too, so hopefully his next fight will be televised and against someone slightly higher on the ladder, as I think he could be a contender at LHW soon.

Middleweight Fight: David Terrell vs Scott Smith

‘Hands of Steel’ Smith was coming off a knockout win over Justin Levens in one of the most exciting two-minute fights you’ll ever see, and he relinquished his WEC LHW title to drop to 185lbs and take on the returning David Terrell here. For Terrell, this was his return after over a year of non-action, stemming from various injuries. With Smith representing the Capital City Fighting Alliance, and Terrell their rivals Nor-Cal Fighting Alliance, this was somewhat of a grudge match, too.

Terrell shoots in immediately as they begin, but Smith stuffs the takedown nicely and ends up on top inside Terrell’s guard. He immediately tries to move Terrell towards the fence, but Terrell rotates from the bottom and goes for an armbar. It looks like he’s got it locked in, but Smith manages to slam his way out and then ends up back in Terrell’s guard. Terrell gets a butterfly guard and looks for a sweep, but Smith manages to avoid and stays on top. Smith tries to pound away, but Terrell avoids any shots, so Smith stands up and waves Terrell to follow him. Smith lands a couple of leg kicks standing, before Terrell lands a lunging left hand and looks for a takedown. Smith tries to block, but Terrell ends up catching him in a rear waistlock. Smith uses wrist control to block the rear takedown, but Terrell knees the legs, before dragging Smith to the mat. Smith looks at the referee and starts to yell as Terrell gets his hooks in and pounds the head, before securing a tight rear naked choke for the tapout. Smith looks PISSED as the fight comes to an end.

Announcers are confused as to what happened, and think Smith might not have tapped, but the replays confirm the tap. Finally we see a replay where it looks as if the official was about to call the break, but as he leaned in to do so, Terrell managed to get Smith down, so he changed his mind, confusing Smith as to whether to stop the action, while Terrell continued. Rumor post-fight was that Smith was going to appeal for a no-contest, but he chose to just forget about it and move on. Right decision in my opinion, as from what it looked like, it was more of a mistake on his end, as you’re supposed to defend unless the referee physically tells you to stop. Weird ending, but as a Terrell fan it’s nice to see him pick up a win, and hopefully he’ll continue on the path back to the upper echelon at Middleweight.

Welterweight Fight: Karo Parisyan vs Nick Thompson

So Karo goes from a title fight in the co-main event, to a preliminary match against an up-and-comer making his second UFC appearance. Such is the effect of injuries I guess. Just an observation now, but MAN, is Thompson a pale guy.

They begin and Parisyan ties him up quickly and gets a throw down onto Thompson’s head. Thompson gets guard, so Karo stands and drops a leaping right hand onto him, passing into half-guard in the process. Thompson tries a reversal, but Parisyan stays on top. Thompson goes for a heel hook, but Karo avoids it easily and goes back into Thompson’s half-guard, where he lands some short forearms. Thompson manages to get guard back, so Karo stands and drops the diving right once more, right into half-guard. He lands some heavy shots this time, but stands, and this allows Thompson to reverse and get on top in Karo’s guard. Karo quickly reverses to standing though, and then trips Thompson down once more. He stands and drops the big right again, before passing to mount this time. Thompson looks panicked and starts bucking, but Karo drops some BOMBS, including a VICIOUS ELBOW that splits Thompson’s head open like a melon. Parisyan continues to pound away, showing NO MERCY, and finally Thompson rolls to his stomach and taps out to the strikes.

Vicious, vicious performance from Karo that really makes me recognize how badly I’ve underrated him in the past. Seriously – Thompson, who is a damn good fighter, got absolutely zero offense in on Karo and once Karo got the mount, he dropped some of the most brutal ground and pound I’ve seen in a long time. Just a merciless showing from the guy, and it makes you wonder how pissed he was about losing that title shot. After seeing their last few fights, I think Parisyan vs. Sanchez might be my most anticipated fight of the year thus far.

Heavyweight Fight: Jeff Monson vs Marcio ‘Pe De Pano’ Cruz

The first fight of the full PPV card was a real grudge match, as Monson and Cruz had a rivalry stemming from a controversial grappling match that saw Cruz tap to a neck crank in order to get Monson disqualified. This was seen as almost a #1 Contender’s match at Heavyweight, too, after Cruz had pretty much destroyed the former champion Frank Mir in his last UFC appearance. Cruz has a five-inch reach advantage, which is pretty huge, too.

Round 1 begins, and Cruz comes out looking like a much improved striker, using his reach to land some left hooks, jabs, and hard leg kicks as Monson looks to be struggling with the reach disadvantage, as Cruz avoids his punches by simply leaning backwards. More leg kicks and lefts follow from Cruz as Monson definitely appears to be struggling with the disadvantage. They go into the clinch, but Monson breaks off quickly. Cruz lands another leg kick, but Monson counters with a left jab that finally lands, and then follows with another that sends Cruz reeling backwards into the fence. Cruz manages to tie him up, and Monson tries a takedown, but they come back to their feet and Cruz lands a couple of knees in the clinch. Pe De Pano pulls guard, but can’t do anything from his back. Monson can’t seem to do anything from the top though, only landing a few short body shots, so the official stands them again. Cruz continues to land from the outside, but Monson gets a body shot, and then ties him up to end the round. Monson’s nose is bloody by this point.

Into the 2nd, and Monson is still struggling with the reach, and he takes another low kick as they begin. Monson gets the takedown, but Cruz tries a triangle. Monson avoids it easily and stands, so Cruz joins him standing and lands a leg kick and a left hook. Monson answers with a left jab and a good right hook, but Cruz comes back with another leg kick, leaning back to avoid Monson’s punches. He shoots in for a takedown, but Monson blocks and gets a front facelock, landing some knees to the shoulders. He tries to spin over to the back, but Cruz rolls into guard, so Monson stands instead. Back up and Cruz lands some more leg kicks into a clinch, but they break off quickly, and Cruz lands another leg kick. Monson lands a jab and gets a clinch, but the official breaks them for inactivity and Cruz lands another leg kick as Monson still seems to be struggling to deal with the reach. Monson swings his way into a clinch, but it ends up being broken again, and from the restart Pe De Pano lands another leg kick, and then follows with a nice straight kick to the face and a good one-two! Monson’s face is looking bad at this point, but he manages to get a waistlock and a takedown, where he drops a couple of hard shots to end the round.

Third and final round, and Cruz shoots in to open, but Monson sprawls and tries to take his back, only for Cruz to roll to guard again. They come back up in the clinch and grapple for position, but nothing happens so the ref breaks them. Monson lands a left hook, and then avoids a takedown into a front facelock again, landing some more knees to the shoulders. He takes the back again, but Cruz quickly rolls to guard once more, and Monson is unable to do anything so they end up being stood. Pe De Pano lands another leg kick, but he looks tired now and his hands are beginning to drop, with his punches becoming wild swings. Into the clinch, and Monson gets a takedown, but Cruz reverses, so Monson gets a front facelock. Cruz rolls to guard, but they just cancel each other out there, and the crowd get frustrated, booing as Monson chops away at the body to end the round.

We’re going to the judges and it’s a split decision, 30-27 Monson, 29-28 Cruz, 29-28 Monson.

Wow, that was a bad, bad decision in my book, especially from the judge who gave all three rounds to Monson. I just can’t see how he won this fight at all. The first round saw him get in maybe two offensive shots (one of which, admittedly, stunned Cruz), but Cruz landed numerous leg kicks and bloodied Monson’s nose with punches. The 2nd was more of the same, with even more leg kicks, and Cruz arguably landed the most damaging sequence of the fight in this round, with the straight kick to the face. I would’ve given the third to Monson I think, but there’s no way he won that fight, and as it is, this has to be one of the least damaging “wins” in UFC history.

That’s not to say Cruz fought an awesome fight either though – it was a pretty lacklustre bout (albeit not as bad as I remembered on first watch) that really exposed both guys’ weaknesses in terms of being legitimate challengers for the belt. They cancelled each other out on the mat, and while Cruz landed much better on the feet, he didn’t have the power or the technique to really stun, let alone finish Monson. Likewise, Monson just couldn’t deal with the reach of Cruz at all, and if he can be outstruck that easily by a guy like Pe De Pano, I shudder to think what Tim Sylvia will be able to do to him standing with an added three inches of reach! Great grapplers; not so great fighters, although I do have hope for Cruz if he continues to improve his striking at the rate that he appears to have done.

Middleweight Fight: Evan Tanner vs Justin Levens

This was originally slated to see Jeremy Horn fighting Tanner in one of the most intriguing fights on the card, but Horn injured his back in training, and so Ruas prodigy Levens got the call and took the fight on two weeks notice. With a series of exciting bouts on the smaller shows, especially his three in WEC, and a record of 7-1 with all his wins first round finishes, Levens had become one of the hottest guys outside of the UFC, and one of my picks for UFC stardom in 2006, so it was nice to see him get his chance, even on such short notice. His debut was one of the things that excited me the most on this card.

They begin, and even though this is Levens’ debut at 185lbs coming down from LHW, Tanner still looks quite a bit larger than him. Tanner muscles him into the fence immediately, and lands some knees, but Levens blocks a takedown by using a headlock. They break off, but come back into the clinch, where Levens manages to avoid Tanner’s trademark knee series by pulling away. Tanner shoves him into the fence again, and lands a good knee to the body before getting the takedown to Levens’ half-guard. Tanner drops some elbows from the top, and looks to be prepping an arm triangle, but Levens rolls for a heel hook from the bottom. It looks for a second like he’s got it, but Tanner manages to slip out and escape, and then as Levens is on all fours, Tanner jumps right into a triangle choke! Levens tries to slam his way out with a leaping powerbomb ala his fight with Jorge Oliveira, but Tanner manages to keep it on, and then tightens it up, forcing Levens to tap out.

Very, very impressive showing from Tanner that was reminiscent of his wins building up to his capture of the Middleweight title. With only two weeks of preparation Levens acquitted himself decently enough, but he appeared to be outmatched, which isn’t surprising given that when Tanner comes in on form and properly prepared, there’s maybe two or three guys in the world that I’d pick against him at MW. He hasn’t been back since this though, and after some seriously weird posts on his blog (he apparently went AWOL after this fight for a while) you do wonder where his head’s at. Levens has since returned to UFC, but he suffered another setback with a knockout loss to Jorge Santiago, so I’m hoping he manages to rebuild himself over the rest of the year and make another run at things in 2007.

Light-Heavyweight Fight: Tito Ortiz vs Forrest Griffin

Despite its placement on the card, there’s no doubt that this was the true main event of the show, as Ortiz finally returned from a year in the wilderness to take on the guy who’d become one of the biggest stars in his absence, the first TUF winner, Griffin. Say what you will about Tito, but nobody can sell a fight quite like he can. My feelings going into this one were that Griffin was slightly outmatched by Tito, but his sheer heart and underrated ground skills would allow him to hang in there, I believe I picked Ortiz by doctor stoppage in the 3rd.

Stephan Bonnar joins us on commentary for this one. As you can imagine, the heat on the entrances is off the charts, with both guys getting a monstrous pop, Ortiz slightly moreso.

They both press the action to begin, before Tito lands a good left to put Forrest on his back foot. Ortiz works the left jab, and then gets a takedown to guard, and it’s TIME TO GO TO SCHOOL as Tito opens up with his trademark elbows and punches as Forrest desperately tries to avoid being pinned into the fence. Ortiz keeps a sick pace with the elbows, cutting Griffin early, as Forrest tries to find some way out. He manages to keep Tito in his guard, but Ortiz continues to land punishing shots, and it looks for a moment like Griffin is in trouble, until he somehow manages to push off and scramble to his feet! Big pop for that. Forrest throws a combo, but Tito shoots back in, and gets another takedown to guard, landing elbows and bloodying Forrest up some more to end the round. Dominant round for Tito there.

Into the 2nd, and Tito opens with a left hand that connects, before they briefly exchange. Ortiz shoots in, but Forrest manages to sprawl and avoid the takedown, much to the delight of Bonnar. Forrest starts to open up with some combinations and blocks a high kick, before Tito lands a nice right. Griffin begins to throw more shots though, becoming the busier fighter as Tito tries a half-shot that Griffin blocks easily. Forrest begins to land more often now, avoiding another takedown and utilizing a nice left hook. Another takedown attempt follows, but Forrest blocks again, and lands a combo as Tito covers up! Suddenly the tide looks like it’s turning, as Forrest lands another left hook and avoids another takedown. Crowd are going MENTAL by this point as Forrest continues to land punches to end the round, and suddenly Rogan begins to question Tito’s cardio, as he looks somewhat tired. And between rounds, Forrest gets FIRED UP!~!, yelling FUCK YEAH!~! and popping the crowd huge again!

They come out for the third and the momentum is clearly with Forrest at this point, as he presses with a left jab, right hook, left straight combo, before stuffing another takedown attempt. He blocks another takedown, but this time Tito comes back with a good right hand, and both men land some punches in an exchange, before Forrest sprawls to avoid another takedown. They continue to exchange, and then Forrest buckles his leg with a kick to Tito’s wrapped knee, and suddenly it dawns on everyone, Tito might have a knee injury. Forrest follows up with a couple of combos, but then Tito shoots and finally manages to get the takedown to guard! They exchange in the guard, but it doesn’t stay there for long, and Forrest manages to escape to his feet, and lands a combo to end the fight.

Post-fight the crowd and the commentators are completely for Forrest, and the crowd go insane as Eddie Bravo reveals he’s scored it 29-28 for Griffin, thinking that it’s the official result. But we’re going to the judges proper, and they have it 30-27 Ortiz, 29-28 Griffin, and finally 29-27 Ortiz, for the split decision for Tito! Forrest looks GUTTED and to say the crowd are disappointed would be an understatement. Post-fight Tito tries to cut a humble promo explaining about his knee injury (a partially torn ACL) and apologizing to Dana White and co, but he still gets booed out of the building.

Well....on a rewatch, ignoring things like the crowd and the clearly biased commentating, I think it was very easy to see that this was Tito’s fight. Ortiz clearly took the 1st with his dominant ground and pound, and although I wouldn’t personally, you could definitely make an argument for that being a 10-8 round, I’d go 10-9 though. Forrest clearly took the 2nd as Tito didn’t really do much outside of have his takedown attempts blocked, but Griffin never had Ortiz hurt or on the ropes, so that’s a 10-9 round. The third, despite the crowd reaction, I thought Tito actually did better in the stand-up, and he landed the takedown, so 10-9 Ortiz in a close round, making it either 29-28 or 29-27 for Tito. I think this was probably the biggest example of how the commentating and crowd reaction can affect how people see a fight, as there’s just no way Forrest won this fight, and yet there was quite the uproar afterwards about how he’d been robbed. If St-Pierre-Penn was the perfect example of fans judging a fight based on cosmetics, then this is the perfect example of fans judging a fight on crowd reaction and announcing.

With that said – Abe Belardo, the judge who scored it 30-27 for Ortiz, is officially insane, especially when you consider that he was the same guy who scored Monson’s fight 30-27 for him, too. I just don’t see how he can have scored the 2nd for Tito here at all. Regardless, I guess it doesn’t matter in the long run. As for Griffin, you’ve got to give him his due – Ortiz was quite the step up in competition for him, and he performed really well, arguably increasing his star in a losing performance as he never really looked outclassed outside of the really early period where he was taking serious abuse on the ground. I doubt he’ll ever be a real title contender, but he’s a guy I wouldn’t totally count out against anyone at this point. As for Ortiz, in the knowledge that he was carrying injuries here and with the dodgy stoppage in the Shamrock fight, I don’t think we can make a fair judgement on what level he’s at right now, so hopefully he’ll get at least one more fight in 2006. From an actual fight standpoint this wasn’t a FOTYC or anything, but I’ll be damned if it’s not the most dramatic fight you’ll see in 2006.

Welterweight Fight: Sean Sherk vs Nick Diaz

This was somewhat of a surprising addition to the card, as Sherk was rumoured to be dropping to Lightweight for his next fight, but it turned out that UFC couldn’t find a LW who was willing to take on the ‘Muscle Shark’, so Diaz stepped up to the plate instead, risking a potential three-fight losing streak in UFC after dropping close decisions to Diego Sanchez and Joe Riggs. HUGE reach advantage for Diaz here, who’s 6’0” to Sherk’s 5’6”.

They get underway and Diaz comes out leaning right forward, a weird stance somewhat considering his reach, but Sherk shoots in early and Diaz sprawls to avoid. Sherk grabs a front facelock, and then they come up where Sherk lands a knee and a quick combination to break. Sherk bulls him into the fence and lands a nice inside elbow, before they come back out. Diaz presses with a jab, but Sherk lands a good counter combo, and then follows with a takedown attempt. Diaz blocks, but Sherk gets a head-and-leg cradle, only for Diaz to escape and stand in the clinch. Sherk lands a knee and shoots for a leg again, but Diaz blocks well and the official ends up breaking them. They exchange in close quarters, and Sherk lands a very quick combination, and follows with another one into a clinch, but Diaz sprawls to avoid a takedown again, into a front facelock and then they exchange as they stand. Diaz comes forward, but Sherk lands a nice counter-left into a clinch where he lands a hard knee and then a combo, before Diaz blocks a takedown attempt to close the round out.

Diaz opens the 2nd with a left, but Sherk quickly closes the distance and grabs a front facelock. He lands some knees, but Diaz avoids his takedown attempt and they stay clinched. Diaz tries to bait him in ala his fight with Robbie Lawler, but Sherk lands a counter right hand to knock his mouthpiece out as Nick comes forward. Sherk lands a couple more nice combos, then a good left as Diaz continues to press. Diaz works his jab into a clinch, but they break quickly and Sherk lands another combo, then shoots in, but Diaz sprawls to avoid. They exchange uppercuts in the clinch, and continue to go in and out of the clinch, exchanging punches. Sherk shoots in, and eats a knee on the way, but manages to get it to the mat for the first time, in Diaz’s guard. Diaz throws his leg up for a gogo plata attempt before Sherk can even get on the offensive, and from there he gets a nice sweep into Sherk’s guard! Diaz lands from the top, but then Sherk spins free and takes top position again, before Diaz rolls for a kneebar. Sherk avoids, and manages to sprawl back, but Diaz gets the takedown and ends the round on top.

Third and final round, and Sherk opens with a knee and a crisp combo, then shoots in for the takedown. Diaz blocks, but Sherk breaks off the clinch with a combination. They exchange combos, with Sherk landing more punches and more accurately, too. Sherk lands a spinning backfist (!) and then shoots in, but as he gets the takedown, Diaz hooks the arm into a kimura position and uses it to roll all the way through back to standing. He rolls for the kimura again, but Sherk avoids and stands, and they continue to exchange. Sherk tries another takedown, but this time Diaz uses a guillotine to block as the round comes to an end.

Judges score it 30-27 across the board for Sherk. I won’t disagree with that, however annoyed Diaz looks, as Sherk clearly landed a lot more punches in the standing exchanges, and also landed the better shots, too. The fight was generally surprising, actually, as I (and a lot of people, I think) assumed that unless Sherk could get it to the ground, he might be in trouble with a lanky striker like Diaz, but that just wasn’t the case as Sherk’s combinations were seemingly too fast for Diaz. On the plus side for Diaz, Sherk has a hell of a shot, and comparing Diaz’s takedown defence here to his fight with Sanchez is like night and day. Roll on Sherk at 155lbs then, and hopefully this isn’t the last we’ll see of Diaz in UFC.

UFC Heavyweight Title: Andrei Arlovski vs Tim Sylvia

After Arlovski had submitted Sylvia in February 2005, he’d been on a tear in the UFC HW division, dispatching of Justin Eilers and Paul Buentello with vicious precision, and despite Sylvia’s striking looking much better against Tra Telligman (we’ll ignore the Assuerio Silva fight, which Sylvia was sick during), the general consensus was that this was another simple defense for Arlovski as UFC didn’t have anyone else built up enough to challenge. To put it lightly, very few people gave Big Tim a chance here, despite him coming in at just over 250lbs, his lowest weight ever. Arlovski gets a BIG pop here upon arrival, not as big as Tito or Griffin, but still pretty good.

They get underway, and Arlovski immediately presses forward, seemingly looking to work the body as Sylvia keeps his hands up tightly, waiting for the counter. Arlovski continues to move well, narrowly missing a big right hand. Right hook lands from Arlovski and he follows with a nasty body shot, and then some leg kicks. They continue to press, and suddenly Arlovski lands a HUGE OVERHAND RIGHT that sends Sylvia crashing to the canvas! Arlovski smells blood and closes in, but somehow TIM GETS UP!~! Sylvia looks wobbly, and Arlovski closes in, but gets overeager and walks into a short right uppercut, and HITS THE MAT FACE FIRST and Sylvia drops down and pounds away for the stoppage!! NEW CHAMPION!~! Crowd and announcers quite rightly go APESHIT.



Yeah, that’s pretty much the whole fight. HUGE upset, but I guess it was never as unlikely as everyone made out, as Arlovski has shown in the past that he can be knocked out, and if a guy like Tim Sylvia lands a big shot, 90% of fighters are going to go down anyway. Credit where credit’s due, though – Sylvia had clearly trained harder than ever before for this fight, and even when he got badly hurt, he showed tremendous heart to pull himself back up, and in the end it paid off. Absolutely crazy way to end the night.

-We finish off with a look at Evan Tanner’s ‘Submission of the Night’, and then close with a highlight reel of the action.

Final Thoughts....

This was a really great card on paper, and for the most part it delivered, as I’d say it’s between this and UFC 58 for the best UFC PPV of the year thus far. In terms of really top notch fights, I’d probably lean to 58, but this had more exciting finishes, (especially in the main event which was perhaps the biggest upset win of the year) and Ortiz-Griffin is equal or maybe better than St-Pierre-Penn in terms of a huge, emotional fight that the crowd really got into. The undercard is full of fun, relatively short fights like Tanner-Levens, Terrell-Smith and Alves-Noble, and really the only one that didn’t exactly fire on all cylinders was Monson-Cruz. A fitting show to open the UFC’s tenure in California, and definitely one of the best of the year. Highly recommended.

Coming Soon....

Pride: 9, 10, 11, and 18.
UFC: 18, 20, 21, 60 and 61.
Cage Rage: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 and 16.
WFA: 1, 2 and 3.
King of the Cage: 15, 18, 21, 23, 29, 30, 32, 33, 36, 42 and 48.
Best of Shooto 2003 vols. 1 & 2.

Until next time,

Scott Newman:
OratoryNewman@gmail.com




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