Man, I talk about a night of firsts and unexpected finishes. Who thought George Sotiropoulos would run a clinic on Joe Stevenson like that? Who thought the Wanderlei Silva vs. Michael Bisping fight was going the distance? Who thought Cain Velasquez(formerly known as pillow hands) would destroy the ironed chin Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira like that? Who thought Chris Lytle would win his fight against Brian Foster via kneebar? Wow.
I don't know how I feel about this event quite yet. It was underwhelming a bit, but the Velasquez/Nogueira finish just left me in awe. We got to see seven fights which was pretty good. I even commented in the open thread that we got to see 3 fights in the first hour of the broadcast. Well...on to the fights.
-Mirko Cro Cop was handed a gimmie fight with Perosh fighting on short notice with a limited skillset. However, Mirko did look a bit bigger in this fight and the best part was that he showed some aggression finally. I think it would have been a better fight had he not have to defend like 400 take downs. He's definitely not a top heavyweight anymore, but he gets a little breathing room after taking the beating from dos Santos at UFC 103. Let's go for Mirko vs. Nogueira 2 for nostalgia purposes in their next match.
-Ryan Bader didn't really impress me to be honest. He did a good job of getting the win against a tough opponent though, although Jardine's chin is absolutely gone now. Jardine was able to defend the majority of Bader's take downs. However, he wasn't able to defend that chin and that was a wrap. I wonder if the UFC will cut Jardine, after all, he has lost 3 in a row getting knocked out twice. I'd like to see Bader vs. someone like Rich Franklin.
-George Sotiropoulos is the man. He absolutely dominated Joe Stevenson. His standup looked crisp and his transitions on the ground were smooth as butter. Sotiropoulos is in the mix after that performance. Give him Gray Maynard as someone suggested in the open thread.
-Wanderlei Silva won that fight. We had some in the open thread that disagreed, but I think he won the second round and definitely won the third round. I think Bisping landed like 4-5 meaningful strikes in the entire fight. The take downs he got, he did nothing with and Silva was back to his feet almost immediately every time. Not to mention Silva was close to finishing the fight in both the second and third rounds. I wouldn't say Silva is back. His striking is still balls to the wall and wild as hell. He'll get knocked out against anyone with decent hands/power and Anderson Silva would decapitate him. Good win for Wandy though as he really needed this win to rejuvenate his career. I'd like to see Silva vs. Marquardt next. If he beats Marquardt, give him Silva for the career ender.
-Cain Velasquez impressed tonight. He was the quicker guy on the feet and he absolutely destroyed Nogueria. My only gripe is that it ended too fast. We learned that Velasquez now has power in his hands, but that's about it. Oh, and we learned that Nogueira clearly can't take a punch like he used to. Admittedly, I'm a huge Noguiera fan, but I don't think he's done just yet. I want to see Velasquez take on Lesnar now.
-Chris Lytle winning via kneebar. Seriously? I know he has a good ground game but he hasn't brought it out in a LONG time.
-It's unfortunate that Bonnar lost the way he lost but what can you do? It was a good fight up until that point. Props to Soszynski and I'd like to see him face Keith Jardine next if he isn't cut from the promotion.
Give me your thoughts on the fights.