Is this sport fun to watch or what? This card delivered big time and showed why mixed martial artists are some of the best athletes in the world and why the sport itself is so fun to watch. The UFC couldn’t have asked for a more entertaining card on basic cable. The only thing that could have been better for them was if Mac Danzig and Tommy Speer would have fought a bit longer but I think that fight went as expected. The fight between Jon Koppenhaver and Jared Rollins and the main event involving Clay Guida and Roger Huerta were among some of the most entertaining fights this year. We even got to see six fights in their entirety. You’re lucky to get 5 on a pay per view sometimes. Props to the UFC for solid matchmaking and a very entertaining card.
The verdict is still out on Roger Huerta. I’m still not sold on him as the real deal or even a future champion at this point. He was able to finish Clay Guida, which is pretty impressive, but showed a lot of weaknesses in his game as well. Guida was able to take him down at will and keep him down and landed some great ground and pound throughout the first two rounds. Huerta looked pretty good on his feet but Guida held his own until the third round of the fight. I don’t think Huerta is ready for Sean Sherk, BJ Penn, Joe Stevenson, or even Frankie Edgar. His next fight, hopefully against Kenny Florian, should be another good gauge of Huerta’s ability. Did he finish Clay Guida? Yes, and in impressive fashion. Did he also get dominated for two rounds? Yes, he certainly did. Huerta is good, but let’s not start touting him as the best thing since Kimbo Slice’s bread.
Clay Guida needs a haircut. I couldn’t be more serious, either. How does his hair not impair his vision? It honestly looked like sometimes he didn’t even see Huerta’s punches coming because of his hair. Not only that, but he seems distracted by it at times, flipping it out of his face or brushing it out of his eyes. I wanted his corner to tie it up in between rounds so he could see where the damn punches were coming from. Clay, for the love of god, tie that hair back ala Evan Tanner or cut it. It’s doing more bad than it is good.
Mac Danzig is who we thought he was. Danzig took care of business on the biggest night of his professional mixed martial arts career. Tommy was the much bigger fighter, but as is the story of this sport, technique usually wins over strength and size and that’s exactly what happened. Danzig dropping to lightweight adds depth to an already stacked division.
Jared Rollins and Jon Koppenhaver put on a display of gameness. What a fight. Bloodied, battered, and exhausted, these guys continued to give everything that they had. Just a back and forth battle between both fighters and a fight that I recommend everyone see as soon as possible if you didn’t catch it. Koppenhaver’s arms were so tired at the end of the third round that they just hung at his sides Rollins punched him, kneed him, and took him down, yet he still came up with the energy to sweep Rollins and unleash a flurry of hard punches that ended the fight. Both guys’ gameness was battle tested and they passed with flying colors.
George Sotiropoulos did what he was supposed to do. George, the second best guy in the house this season, was upset by Speer on the final episode. So they threw him Billy Miles whom he defeated with relative ease. George has a bright career in the sport and he had Ray Longo and Pete Sell in his corner, so it’s now evident that he is training full time with Team Serra in Long Island, NY.
Ben Saunders is tall. Man, this guy is tall and lanky for a welterweight. While Barrea was able to take him down, Saunders made it damn near impossible for Barrera to land any kind of effective ground and pound. Barrera spent more time just trying to get into Ben’s full guard than landing any effective punches, mostly due to Ben’s lankiness and awkward size. His long legs make for crazy flexibility and jiu jitsu. He’s training with some of the best fighters in the world at American Top Team so he has nowhere to go but up.
Dana White’s big announcement was that Forrest Griffin is one of the coaches on the next seaseon of The Ultimate Fighter 7. Shocker. To see who the other coach is (Rampage), you have to tune into the VGA awards tomorrow. Another shocker. Yet another season of TUF involving a championship belt on the line. Just great.
Overall Thought: Great show for the UFC, especially for a card on Spike TV. Lots of exciting fights and a good show for Average Joe UFC fan to see. Might make them want to buy the UFC 79 pay per view. I will be interested to see what the ratings were, as the end of the Guida/Huerta fight was coinciding with the beginning of the big Hatton/Mayweather boxing attraction. I would give the show a B+.