Saturday, January 9, 2010

UFC Ultimate 100 Greatest Fights Review - Disc 6

We're in the home stretch of the UFC's Ultimate 100 Greatest Fights. This is an interesting disc, as it features a lot of the same fighters, some fights that are good but that have no business being ranked so high, and some tremendous fights that probably should be ranked higher. Here we go with Disc 6:

33. UFC 63: Matt Hughes vs. B.J. Penn: This is the second match between these two, and it's for Hughes welterweight title. (The first match will show up after the jump). BJ is shockingly competitive in the first round, and nearly submits Hughes to end the second round. So far, it's BJ up two rounds to zero. And, then ... yeah, the lazy BJ we all know and love returns: BJ is completely gassed starting the third round and Matt just toys with him, hitting shots at will as BJ stands there and does nothing. Matt takes him down at will and little brothers him for the victory. The hint in this match is the announcers talking about how BJ didn't train like a professional fighter for this fight because he was burned out on training like a professional fighter. And that's why he only had the cardio for 2 rounds.

32. UFC 74: Randy Couture vs. Gabriel Gonzaga: This is for Randy's heavyweight title that he won from Tim Sylvia. Gonzaga is the guy who separated Mirko Cro Cop's head from his shoulders and took his "MMA legend" status down a few notches. And defying medical science and the laws of physics, Old Man Randy just schools the bigger, younger, and stronger opponent, utterly dominating him, breaking his nose, breaking his will and eventually TKO'ing him. Gabriel was almost never in this fight. This is why a lot of people (me included for a while) thought that Randy could defeat Brock Lesnar in their title fight. An amazing performance by Couture.

31. UFC 75: Dan Henderson vs. Quinton Jackson:  This is to "unite" the Pride and UFC 205 lbs. titles, but given that Pride was a dead organization and Pride champion Henderson was at this point a UFC-contracted fighter, the unification aspect was more symbolic than anything else. I was interested in watching this fight again on DVD to see if my opinion of it had changed from its original airing on Spike TV. And as it turns out, no, my opinion did not change. It's an OK fight. Good but not great. Fine but not memorable. And, frankly, I could go without ever seeing it again. The fact the fight goes all five rounds isn't it, either - I love Jackson's five-round slugfest with Forrest Griffin and can (and do) watch that over and over again. So having this fight ranked #31 is ridiculous in my books, but whatever. Jackson wins the decision - I had it 3 rounds to 2, but the 2 judges scored it 4 rounds to 1.

30. UFC 46: Matt Hughes vs. B.J. Penn: UFC includes the trash-talking promos building up the match that years later actually made me even more interested in watching this fight than I was already, as I'm a giant Matt Hughes mark and (in case you haven't noticed from the commentary on the previous five discs) not a big fan of BJ Penn, particularly when he fights at welterweight. BJ moved up to 170 lbs to challenge Hughes for the welterweight title, and Hughes utterly dismisses BJ in the promos. It's hilarious. And then BJ turns around and chokes out Hughes for the belt in 4 minutes. Ooops. Well, in retrospect, Hughes took BJ way too lightly. Penn weeps as Dana White straps the belt around his waist.

29. UFC 98: Rashad Evans vs. Lyoto Machida: Stay with this fight because literally nothing happens for the first two minutes. Seriously. They circle and paw for 1:57 before Machida lands a kick. Round 1 isn't terribly memorable, but Machida lays a beating on Evans in the second round that results in one of the most body-contorting KOs in UFC history. Machida wins the light-heavyweight belt and cuts one of the greatest promos you'll ever see from a guy who doesn't speak English. I totally turned the page on Machida with this fight. Another good fight that's ranked way too high.

28. UFC 66: Chuck Liddell vs. Tito Ortiz: I suppose this is as good a time as any to mention that one of the bits of Dana White political manipulation that went into this 100 Greatest Fights set was that none of the matches eligible to be voted on by fans were any fights where Tito Ortiz won. So, um, spoiler alert. Nonetheless, this is a very fun, energetic slugfest. Chuck wins. Duh. I'd argue this fight isn't ranked high enough in the 100 Greatest Fights.

27. UFC 44: Randy Couture vs. Tito Ortiz: It's been a long time since I've seen this match, and it's so much fun. Short backstory: Tito was light-heavyweight champion, refused to defend against Chuck for various reasons, so the UFC created an interim title match between Chuck and Randy that the UFC expected Chuck to win, except Randy did. So this is for the undisputed UFC title. It goes five rounds, but it's five rounds of Randy out-classing Ortiz down at every level. And, near the end of the fifth round, Randy literally spanks Ortiz. Randy unifies the titles, and Tito bawls in the Octagon when the fight is over. Randy is amazing. Another fight that could be ranked higher.

26. UFC 87: Jon Fitch vs. Georges St. Pierre: Yet another five-round total domination by GSP. Ranking it #26 is way too high, but, again, whatever. GSP comes out of the five-round fight looking fresh as a daisy, while the previously undefeated Fitch looks like he was hit repeatedly in the face with a crowbar. The longer I watch this 100 Greatest Fights set, the more I'm convinced that GSP is the best fighter the UFC has ever had in any weight category.

25. UFC 57: Randy Couture vs. Chuck Liddell: This is their third fight. The excellent pre-fight video shows Randy's road to winning the interm light-heavyweight belt against Chuck, then Chuck's road to winning the unified belt from Randy, and Randy putting himself back into the #1 contender spot. Tremendous work. So, basically, if you're watching this fight for the first time, you know exactly what is going on. Randy takes Chuck down in the opening round, leaving Liddell frustrated. Randy slips early in the second round and gets hit with a punch while off balance, and Chuck KOs him.

On the whole, a pretty great disc! Onward we go to Disc 7 at some point in the next week or two.
Post a Comment