Normally I write these right after the event, but I had to let this one digest a little bit. Mainly because this event was kind of weird to me from the James Irvin knuckle in the eye TKO, to the ending of the Jon Jones/Brandon Vera fight. Overall, I enjoyed the event and we got some questions answered and got to see 5 fights in a 2 hour time slot without going over. On to the fights:
-James Irvin looked really uncomfortable during the entire fight and it probably didn't help that Alessio Sakara was lighting him up on the feet. I guess that's what being gone for almost two years and having a tough weight cut will do to you. At the rate the fight was going, the only thing that Irvin had was a punchers chance. However, the ending of the fight is what got me. I guess it is possible that Irvin really thought he got poked in the eye, or maybe he was looking for a way out? Either way, Alessio Sakara buys himself a couple more fights in the UFC as this makes 3 in a row for the Italian. Where does James Irvin go from here?
-Cheick Kongo simply worked a perfect game plan to take out Paul Buentello. The crazy thing is that Buentello should have used the exact same gameplan on Kongo. That's what fighting and not realizing what's at stake does for you. Buentello basically was fighting with his back to the wall and this loss probably means he's out of the UFC. Kongo saves himself from taking his third loss in a row and now breathes new life into his career. Joe Rogan hit it on the head during the broadcast though, in that Kongo will not be able to survive against the best wrestlers in the UFC. Kongo should get the winner of Roy Nelson vs. Stefan Struve. or someone along those lines
-Junior dos Santos has arrived and did exactly what I said he would do. As I was blogging the fights I typed that JDS was getting more comfortable and seemed to be finding his range and BAM! The guy just has incredible power and once Gonzaga went down I knew it was all over. JDS has great killer instinct and has definitley earned his way into the title picture talk. The most impressive thing was how fast he got up once Gonzaga took him down to the ground. I dunno what's next for Gonzaga, but he's clearly on the downslide in his UFC career. He beats the guys he's supposed to beat, but can't beat elite competition it seems.
-Jon Jones vs. Brandon Vera was exciting while it lasted. I'm disappointed in the way the fight ended, although I understand it was the Jones elbow that put an end to the fight. It was almost like watching a fight and the fight gets stopped because of a cut or something. Jones has arrived and should take on someone that's top ten but he's still got some questions about him IMO(I'll get into this later today or so). Thiago Silva, Luiz Cane or someone of that quality would be lovely. In regards to Brandon Vera, that's a lot of hype up in smoke so to speak. I wonder how he'll come back from this, or if he will be able to come back at all? Is there anyway he can put himself back in the mix after losing to Couture and now Jones?
-The Daniel Roberts/John Howard fight was exciting while it lasted. I picked Roberts for the upset, and thought I was smart until that left from Howard landed...lol. Good Lawd! Although, I think Howard could have done without landing those last two punches. I do understand a fighter training to keep going until the referee pulls you off as well. That was scary as Robert's eyes were just wide open. That's 4-0 for Doomsday and it's time for him to fight a legitimate welterweight. The winner of Ellenberger/Saunders at UFC 111 would be a good one.
I'm very interested in seeing the ratings for this event. I'm sure it did over a million viewers, and could possibly have hit the 2 million viewer mark. The UFC brand name is incredibly strong and if this show did as good as I think it could have, it'll go a long way in proving the drawing power of the UFC.
I'd like to hear your thoughts on the event.