A side rant, if i may:
We here at your local blogspot, the faithful and fervolent reviewers from Never Hand Over, like the rest of the world are enthralled with the emeregence of MMA as a major force in sports and entertainment in the last 4 to 5 years, so little by little, we've been introducing MMA reviews into our lexicon of material and I'm all for it. So, to continue that tradition, I will give you my thoughts on the recent WEC show, the UFC minor league weight divisions. The basic premise of how we give our scores out, the 1-10 scale, isn't just based on the "greatest match of all time" or "the one most pimped by all your forums or other blogs out there", it's a basic recommendation of how much we want someone to see that particular fight or match. I just wanted to point out the differences from wrestling and MMA in this way.
In wrestling, a 1 min. squash from a Power Hour episode in 1990 featuring Mark Callous might garner a 1, 2, or maybe even a 3, depending on the effectiveness of the moves he did, how good he looked and how the jobbers performed. It's highly unlikely it could go any higher because in the world of wrestling, it's all about the performance and there's not a lot to be said for a 1 minute performance. In MMA, you could have a 1 min. fight or even a 30 seconds or less fight that could have a spectacular finish, be it knockout or quick submission and could garner a much higher score than it's wrestling counter part. In MMA, these guys are actually trying to win, they're not working from a script, so the quicker these guys get the job done, the better for them. So, if you have 2 big names that bang it out for 45 seconds and someone goes down hard, that has the potential to be a highly recommended fight. Just wanted to make the scoring differences clear. Onto the show!
1) Josh Grispi v. Jens Pulver- 2
2) James Krause v. Donald Cerrone- 5
3) Scott Jorgenson v. Antonio Banuleos- 7
4) Jose Aldo v. Cub Swanson- 5
5) Rolando Perez v. Seth Dikun- 3
6) Mike Campbell v. Anthony Pettis- 4
7) Mike Brown v. Urijah Faber (WEC Featherweight Title Fight)- 7
It was kind of sad to watch long time battle tested shortie Little Evil jump right into Grispi's guillotine within the first 20 seconds. He's trying to compete in a division that is way younger than him and way more diverse in training. Seems like a cool dude though; came to tears announcing his retirement as the announcer told him "you're just emotional, go home and reflect first!" That was a funny moment. Next fight was really fun on the ground as much hyped Cerrone battled first timer in WEC, Krause. I liked how Krause attacked constantly, keeping pressure on Cerrone and even landed a few good kicks but after a really great display on the ground, Cerrone gets the tap out. Fun fight while it lasted. Our next fight was a 3 round war between Jorgenson, a relentless in your face fighter against Banuelos, who looked like a daddy of 5 from the Barrio. Jorgenson is, unfortunately, easy to recognize, he has that loss of pigmentation on his skin, but nobody's laughing because dude is tough. Banuelos, even though he looked 56 and oddly like Ugly Betty's father, was quick, nimble and had great hand speed. He clocked Scotty early in 1st round and dazzled him for much of the fight. Easily won the 1st, then started gassing during the 2nd, while Jorgenson came back with some nice combos near the end, but Banuelos just kept it coming, always throwing 3 to 4 punches to Scott's 1. Final round saw the papi tire out and Jorgenson punished him, standing and on the ground, never backing up, just kept coming straight at him. Even though Jorgenson looked better at the end, I had Banuelos 29-28, as did 2 other judges for split decision in a hell of a fight.
Aldo and Cub were being pimped heavily by the announce team and Aldo did not disappoint- this fight lasted all of 3 seconds after a crazy flying knee you're more likely to see at a wild house party with a trampoline than in a MMA fight. It looked like he just flung his body at him, but the knee was right on target, instantly slicing right under Cub's eye. Time to hibernate for him as Aldo moves up in the ranks. Dikun looked like a young Conan O'Brien, tufts of red hair, tall, pale as an Irish ghost. Fight didn't go long into the first either, as he hooked a crazy triangle by jumping in the air to catch it. He held it on for a minute or so until finally cinching it in for the tap out in a cool fight. Next up had two guys who were looking for the quick finish, but strangely they kept it all ground grappling and submission holds. I was really enjoying the frenetic pace they were keeping but again, didn't make it out of the first round before an armbar got, I believe, Campbell the win.
Our main was everything you could want in a title fight. It did go the distance, all 5 championship rounds and is well worth watching. Faber cut Brown early in the 1st and kept him on defense the whole round with sick punches, crazy kicks and furious back elbows. Brown did score a takedown but didn't do anything so I gave the round to Faber. 2nd Brown kept the energetic stoner grounded and did some nice punching from the top, but Faber wiggled as much as he could. It was a fun round, but Brown controlled the majority of it, so 10-9 for him there. 3rd round was kept mostly standing, but Faber couldn't use his hands, obviously hurt them in the 1st, as Ken Flo brilliantly pointed out in commentary. That being said, guy was doing great things with his elbows and avoiding the takedowns, even getting on top of Brown, who had never been taken down in his career. Faber got the better of a close round in my eyes. 4th was the gutcheck round, not a lot happened, fatigue was majorly setting in for both fighters. Faber's hands were really useless and wasn't doing much standing, Brown was finding his rhythm though with punches and landed some doozies. Had to go with Brown there. And 5th and final round the action picked back up as Faber and Brown had several really crazy exchanges on the feet, Faber got the better position at one point on the ground, trying a half-ass choke, but I believe Brown cinched the victory with a solid Matt Huges style bodyslam near the end of the round then riding Faber like a Penny Pony at your local IGA. All in all, had it 48-47 Brown to retain the belt in a stellar main event.