Sunday, February 05, 2006

UFC 57 - The Results

What a great night of fights the day before the Superbowl. I went 4-5 on my predictions for one of my worst nights in a while. I did choose 2 fights that I considered underdogs just because I like the fighter but hey, you gotta go for your boys sometimes.

Keith Jardine over Mike Whitehead by unanimous decision. (L)

Jeff Monson over Brandon Lee Hinkle by TKO (choke) in round 1. (W)

Paul Buentello over Gilbert Aldana by TKO (strikes) in round 2. (L)

Alessio Sakara over Elvis Sinosic by unanimous decision. (W)

Joe Riggs over Nick Diaz by unanimous decision. (L)

Renato Sobral "babalu" over Mike Van Arsdale by submission (RNC) in round 1. (W)

Marcio Cruz over Frank Mir by TKO (ref stoppage due to strikes) in round 1. (L)

Brandon Vera over Justin Eilers by KO in round 1. (W)

Chuck Liddell over Randy Couture by KO in round 1. (L)

They did end up showing 7 of the 9 fights with so many 1st round KO's and TKO's.

The showed opened up with Diaz and Riggs. Diaz dominated the 1st round and Riggs just looked to tired to continue. They reported before the fight that after weighing in at 169 Riggs stepped into the ring just over 200 pounds. He put back on 30 pounds of water weight over night. Any former wrestlers out there know that this in unbelieveable. Most guys will dry out before the fight and come in 10-12 pound heavier. 30 is ridiculous. Although Diaz seemed to be the one with the energy the entire time Riggs was landing shots and countering well while moving backward. Riggs controlled the 2nd round and had an edge in the 3rd to get the unanimous decision.

Babalu then stepped into the ring with Mike Van Arsdale. Babalu controlled this fight easily. They traded a couple punches and thenwent to the ground. It didn't take Babalu much time to take Van Arsdale's back and start working for the choke. As soon as it was sunk the tap came from Van Arsdale and Babalu immediately climbed the cage and asked the crowd where his belt was. He is calling out Chuck Liddell, he wants his title shot. Which he will get probably in August of later of this year.

Frank Mir's return was a dissapointing one no doubt. He looked to be in better shape than we've seen him physically. Mentally he might still have some work to do. He started out strong and controlled the action. After a takedown Mir found himself on to but was quickly reversed. Cruz landed a big punch which cut Mir over the eye, followed that up with some elbows that opened the cut more. The fight was allowed to continue but Mir just couldn't see and ultimately could not defend himself with all the blood in his eyes. He assured his fans that he would go back to the drawing board and return.

Brandon Vera easily defeated Justin Eilers with a nasty kick to the head in the 1st round. Eilers came out swinging for the fences as usual, Vera moved well and let that first flurry die down and then began to work. The left high kick sent Eilers staggering inthe center of the ring. Vera then charged in which turned out the lights on Eilers and sent him face 1st into the canvas. Eilers was able to leave the ring on his own a few minutes after the fight. Vera will definately be someone to watch out for in the heavyweight division. He may have just aligned him self for a number 1 contenders match with Cruz after Mir's loss. Arlovsky will take on Sylvia in April and then it may be time for one of these 2 (Cruz and Vera) to get their chance against the winner.

Chuck Liddel and Randy Couture, what can you say, the best of the best. Both came out in tremendous shape, Randy was supposed to have new game plan for Chuck. I was a little dissapointed that he didn't attempt the takedowns and try to frustrate Chuck. He actually looked a little old and slow out there. Chuck's confidence was high and he just countered away at Randy. He landed a big punch that backed Randy off in the 1st, Randy was then able to take him down and basically hold on to make it to the end of the round. Coming out into the 2nd round Randy kept throwing his left jab and everyone could see that chuck was waiting to land the counter right hand. When Chuck did, Randy went down and the fight was over.

After the fight Chuck announced where he was going to party and Randy announced that he would not fight again. At 43 years old I think that is a good decision for him. He's done just about everything that a fighter can do in the UFC. He has nothing to prove to anyone and will be inducted into the hall of fame as soon as he is eligible.

Since so many of the fights were short they had time to go back and show Paul Buentello and Gilbert Aldana duke it out for just over a round. I like this Aldana kid, he gassed early and wasn't in the kind of shape he needed to be inbut he can definately throw and take a punch. I'd like to see him drop about 25-30 pounds and fight at 235. They also showed Jeff Monson control Brandon Lee Hinkle for a round and ultimately put him to sleep with a choke at the end of the 1st round. After Hinkle woke up he didn't realize what happened and wanted to continue to fight.


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