Monday, December 28, 2009

UFC Ultimate 100 Greatest Fights Review - Disc 4

The marathon review of the UFC's Ultimate 100 Greatest Fights DVD set continues wtih Disc 4. It's worth nothing that somewhere in the Disc 3-4 range, they stopped making sure to announce who the refs were in every match. Also notable is that Affliction shirts get blurred out. What is this, WWE?

60. UFC 46: Georges St. Pierre vs. Karo Parisyan: GSP's UFC debut sees him lose the first round to Karo, but then come back in rounds 2 and 3 to win the decision. Good match. 

59. UFC 91: Brock Lesnar vs. Randy Couture: I watched this fight on PPV when it happened and have seen it several times since. It never really dawned on me until watching it again here just how competitive it was - which is to say, Brock was never really in trouble at any point during the fight, but Randy held is own better than, say, Frank Mir did in their UFC 100 rematch. Brock wins the UFC heavyweight title from Randy, cementing himself as one of the biggest UFC draws of all time and the first "heel" UFC champion in a long, long time. Pretty good fight, and a historic moment in the sport.

58. UFC 38: Matt Hughes vs. Carlos Newton: Warning. This is not the fight you think it is. It's the rematch. It turns out earlier in his career, Matt Hughes fought just like Georges St. Pierre. Whodathunkit? At any rate, this is a long wrestling match that Hughes wins, and I can't remember how. I suspect this fight got confused with the other more famous Hughes-Newton fight and that's why it finished so high.

57. UFC 69: Roger Huerta vs. Leonard Garcia: Another installment in the fine 155 lbs. slugfests, and this one is a barnburner, with Huerta and Garcia standing and trading for most of round 2. Lots of fun. Garcia mostly comes out on the losing end of it, though, and turns into a punching bag by the end.

56. UFC 42: Rich Franklin vs. Evan Tanner: Tanner almost has Franklin beat in the first round, but never gets close again during the fight and Rich beats up Tanner to take the middleweight title on a blood stoppage. A total anti-climax finish to a world championship match, and the crowd goes mild.

55. UFC 92: Rashad Evans vs. Forrest Griffin: I watched this fight on PPV and remembered it being closer than it actually was - Griffin was really dominating the fight until Evans caught him and pounded him out. Poor Forrest. Evans won the light heavyweight title here during a time when the belt was bouncing around like a ping-pong ball between fighters. A good fight, but ranked way too high on this list.

54. UFN: Anderson Silva vs. Chris Leben: Welcome to the UFC, Anderson Silva. Please dispose of this dude in, like, 50 seconds and then dominate the middleweight title. Thanks.

53. UFC 64: Sean Sherk vs. Kenny Florian: This is for the vacant 155 lbs. title that was reinstated by UFC. And boy did it suck to be Kenny Florian this night - he cuts Sherk open early in round 2 (I think), and Sherk's forehead is gushing like a broken faucet. The guy is bleeding all over the place, but because the cut is up in the corner of the forehead, the doctors don't stop it. But he's bleeding so badly that they can't even close the cut between rounds. Despite that, Florian gets owned by the ultra-bloody Sherk, who grinds out a five round decision to claim the belt.

52. UFC 40: Chuck Liddell vs. Renato Sobral: The Chuck Liddell knockout parade continues. At least it was short.

51: UFC 88: Rashad Evans vs. Chuck Liddell: I'm baffled by the announcing in this fight as Goldberg says that Chuck loves to stalk his opponents and land that big right hand, and Rogan quickly adds that Chuck is a great counter-puncher and loves to have his opponents bring the fight to him. In other words, the exact opposite. Then, Rogan goes on to talk about Chuck's strategy, which is "circle, circle, right-hand-bomb." Yeah, what a great counter-puncher he is, huh? Sometimes I think both Goldberg and Rogan just make stuff up and don't actually listen to what they're saying. And they're the best announcing tandem in all of MMA or pro-wrestling by light-years.

Anyway, back to the fight ... they circle a lot in Round 1, and the crowd begins to boo. See my rule about crowd's booing the "greatest" fights in UFC history. In Round 2, Rashad knocks Chuck out. Cold. And the announcers, who, we'll remember, we're reluctant to admit that Keith Jardine had out-pointed Liddell in their fight, call this a big upset, despite Rashad being unbeaten at this point in his career and Chuck being, well, old and one-dimensional. The announcers sure do play favorites. Kind of ironic, too, considering the participants, that Liddell lost via one-punch knockout.

50. UFC 92: Quinton Jackson vs. Wanderlei Silva: This is the third meeting between these two, the first 2 being in Pride, and the first two resulting in Silva destroying Jackson. But, Silva's old (see: Liddell, Chuck) and he's taken a lot of punishment in his career, and Jackson quickly dispatches him with a spectacular knockout. As a fight, it was pretty meh. As a storyline, it was tremendous.

Eh ... in a lot of ways, this was the weakest of the four discs I've watched so far, which is weird because in theory we should be getting into the cream of the crop fights. Oh well, onward we go to Disc 5!
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