I must say I was looking forward to the event, most notably the main event and co-main event for the most part. I thought those two fights delivered, although my boy Kenny Florian let me down on my prediction but showed mad heart. However, the other fights didn't really tickle my fancy if you will, in that there was nothing really memorable that happened I suppose. Let's take a look at what we learned:
- Pellegrino/Neer-Why did Neer continue to try to catch Pellegrino with submissions instead of trying to get back up to his feet? Pellegrino is a very accomplished grappler and the odds of him actually being caught in a submission are relatively low, excluding the fight with Nate Diaz. Neer was very active from the bottom, but it takes more than that to win a fight on the judges score cards. Kudos to Pellegrino for getting his first main card win in the UFC. I thought Neer's size would make a difference but it was a non factor.
- Almeida/Grove-I was going to pick Grove in this fight until I found out about his rib injury. I'm not sure if it played a part, but he couldn't do much about Almeida's relentless pursuit of take downs. Grove did manage to land some decent strikes, and a very close armbar but that was about it. This is a crushing loss to Grove, especially since Almeida will be moving down to the welterweight division. If he can up his cardio, Almeida may be able to make some noise in the welterweight division. I'd like to see him matched up against Sadollah.
- Hendricks/Sadollah-I picked Hendricks for the upset and he delivered, well delivered until the ref stopped the fight, but that's no fault of Hendricks. I thought Hendrick's wrestling would be too much for Sadollah, but it never even got that far as Hendricks rocked Sadollah with dirty boxing upper cuts. The pedigree of Hendrick's wrestling is enough for him to win fights at 170 alone, but he still needs to work on his stand up and tucking that chin. I think he got clipped by Sadollah as he swung wildly right before they clinched and he started throwing those uppercuts. Sadollah will be back and they may do a instant re-match just like they did for Riley/Nelson. I guess we'll see.
- Riley/Nelson-This fight went just how I thought it would, because Nelson was just too small against Riley. I picked Riley to win a decision because I knew Nelson was tough, but Riley should have been able to finish an exhausted Nelson in my opinion. That was probably Nelson's last fight in the UFC, and Riley will continue to be a guy they use as a measuring stick for up and comer's more than likely. A pretty one sided fight.
- Silva/Griffin-After Silva's performance against Griffin, I have absolutely NO interest in watching Henderson/Silva 2...but that's just me. He absolutely worked Griffin who is the #4 LHW in the world. Griffin sustained a dislocated jaw early in the fight and I think that's why that final punch did him in. I think it was more so of Griffin knowing he was injured instead of the punch putting him down. Which is why he immediately left the cage to go get evaluated by a doctor in the back. He was also absent from the post fight conference. Silva needs to stay at light heavyweight. He has 3 fights left on his UFC contract. Randy Couture, Rampage, and maybe Shogun would all be suitable opponents(since he has said he will not fight current LHW champ Lyoto Machida). Are you interested in Hendo/Silva 2, and who do you want to see him fight next?
- Penn/Florian-I thought Florian was going to pull off the upset, but turns out he just wasn't able to perform as good as I thought he would. He gave a valiant effort, but Penn was just too much and proved why he is the #1 lightweight in the world. I guess Diego Sanchez is next, and while he has an interesting skillset, I wonder if he has a shot at dethroning the UFC lightweight champion? That was Florian 2nd and likely last shot at winning a championship in the UFC, at least as long as BJ Penn is the champion. I guess he'll be reduced to gatekeeper status even though he's one of the best lightweights in the world. I'd like to see him face Frankie Edgar next with Edgar getting a title shot if he's able to pull out a win.
Give me your thoughts on the event overall, and who you would like to see matched up next?