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UFC 79 Thoughts & Commentary


Georges St. Pierre is the best welterweight in the world.
Interim champion or not, GSP is the best in the world right now at 170. He dominated Matt Hughes tonight in different fashion than their last fight. He outwrestled Hughes, overpowered him, and showed everyone why he is one of the best mixed martial artists in the world today. He beat Hughes at his own game, just like he did to Josh Koscheck. Did you ever think you’d see Hughes screaming “TAP! TAP! TAP!” to the referee to end the fight? St. Pierre will most likely fight Serra in April in Canada to unify the titles. I expect GSP to do the same thing to Serra that he did tonight against Matt Hughes. Don’t expect to see a repeat of their last fight.

Matt Hughes’ days are numbered.
The man said it himself that he’s close to being done in the Octagon. This game has passed him by. Long gone are the days where you could get by on strictly submission wrestling and ground and pound. He was completely overwhelmed tonight. If Serra does lose to GSP in April, I’d love to see Hughes vs. Serra as Hughes’ last fight. If he’s got one more fight left in him he should do his best to make it against Serra.

Chuck Liddell is…back?
Man, did he look focused tonight. I thought the decision being 30-27 on two cards was a bit ridiculous because I thought Wanderlei clearly won the second round, but it didn’t matter either way. Chuck looked very composed, picked his shots, and used his reach and his counterstriking to pepper Silva with hard shots. Shots that would crumple any other opponent. He even went for two takedowns to seal the fight. Silva landed some nice shots on Liddell but it looks like Liddell’s granite chin is back in full form. Liddell getting the victory was huge for Dana White, ZUFFA, and the UFC. Don’t be surprised if Chuck gets an immediate shot at the winner of Forrest vs. Rampage.

Wanderlei Silva survived on guts alone.
What a gutsy performance by the former PRIDE 205 lb. champion. Some of the shots that he took from Chuck Liddell would have knocked out any other fighter. It ended up being the style matchup that killed Wanderlei Silva in this fight. He threw wild looping punches from the outside and Chuck peppered him with counter punches right down the pipe, just like some predicted. Where does Wanderlei go from here? Many are saying he should move to middleweight. He did look like the much smaller fighter tonight and he looked much smaller than he did in his days in PRIDE. Three consecutive losses are tough for a fighter to swallow, but Wanderlei is only 31 and still has plenty of years left in him. He’ll rebound from this loss, but a shot at the title is now a ways off.

Soa Palelei looked awful.
Just awful. Eddie Sanchez tossed him around the cage and beat him up for two and a half rounds. So much for the hype surrounding this guy coming into the UFC. When Eddie Sanchez is manhandling you, it’s time to go back to the drawing board.

Lyoto Machida is really good.
The guy is just a master of his craft, boring or not. He waits until you make a mistake, avoids the power punches, and capitalizes on every opportunity that you give him. And this time he even finished the fight! Machida still has not lost a round in the UFC and put on a dominating performance against Sokoudjou, who many feel is the “next big thing” at 205. Machida is making a run for the title. One or two more victories and he has to be fighting for the title.

Sokoudjou looked clueless on the ground.
He looked like he had no clue how to get out of bad positions when Machida was on top of him. It was reminiscent of Houston Alexander against Thiago Silva a little over a month ago, only not as devastating. Sokoudjou is still very young and has a lot of potential. This loss will be good for him as far as rounding out his game goes, but tonight he got dominated.

Melvin Guillard will never live up to his potential.
The guy has natural, raw athletic ability with nothing to show for it. He has proved time and time again that he crumples on the big stage. When the fight came to grappling, it was all Clementi, all day. Another standard performance from Guillard: all bark, no bite. Weak.