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UFC Fight Night, Affliction, Dream 5, The Great American Bash – The Aftermath

We had coverage for every show last weekend. Here’s what we thought about all those shows after thinking about them for a few days.

UFC Fight Night

GG

Show overall rating: Thumbs in the middle

Best Fight: Anthony Johnson vs. Kevin Burns
Worst Fight: Brandon Vera vs. Reese Andy

There wasn’t really a top notch fight, but I thought Johnson and Burns was the best until the lame stoppage. There were some fun knockouts with Rory Markham and Anderson Silva coming to mind, and a great submission by CB Dollaway, but the show was really just there. If Silva had a better opponent, I think the fight could’ve felt bigger. But James Irvin wasn’t going to cut it, and he showed why, taking a beating. Brandon Vera’s terrible performance took a lot out of the show as well.

Duan

Show overall rating: Thumbs in the middle

Best Fight: Rory Markham vs. Brodie Farber
Worst Fight: Brandon Vera vs. Reese Andy

This was a show put together solely as counter programming to the Affliction PPV. Most of the fights were of average quality, but their outcomes are of very little relevance to UFC in the broader sense. I thought Brandon Vera was very disappointing in his debut at 205. Silva dismantled Irvin, but wasn’t really tested at the new weight. There was some awesome finishes on this card, particularly Markham’s high kick KO and Dollaway’s Peruvian neck tie submission. They made the show worth watching.

Alan

Show overall rating: Thumbs in the middle

Best Fight: Rory Markham vs. Brodie Farber
Worst Fight: Brandon Vera vs. Reese Andy

The last two fights and the emergence of Cain Velasquez were really the only things this had going for it.

Affliction: Banned

Duan

Show overall rating: Thumbs up

Best Fight: Andrei Arlovski vs. Ben Rothwell
Worst Fight: Mike Whitehead vs. Renato “Babalu” Sobral

I hated this show up to the half way point. Both the Sobral and Lindland matches were especially boring. What saved this card was that the three big heavyweight fights really delivered. Barnett’s knockout was devastating, Arlovski gave one of the best performances of his career, and most importantly, Fedor ran through his first real opponent since 2005. Lots of potential future match ups there. I think the strong finish to the show should be enough to encourage most people to order
their next PPV.

From a presentation standpoint, I wasn’t impressed with the product at all. The dimly lit arena made it look like a very minor league production. The camera work was patchy at times, and I didn’t think
the pre fight video packages were well made. They also probably had the most bland commentary team ever assembled for a major MMA show. These may seem like somewhat harsh criticisms for a debut show, but they are trying to present themselves as a major promotion and they only get one chance to make that all important first impression.

Alan

Show overall rating: Thumbs leaning upwards but not all the way

Best Fight: Andrei Arlovski vs. Ben Rothwell
Worst Fight: Mike Whitehead vs. Renato “Babalu” Sobral

Great second half, AWFUL first half. The production left a lot to be desired. Thank God me and Duan spent the whole show talking over the commentators because from what I did hear of them they were awful. No excuse for blood not being wiped off a camera lens for a minute spell either. It doesn’t bother me personally but it reeks of amateurish.

The Great American Bash

GG

Show overall rating: Thumbs up (slightly)

Best Match: Chris Jericho vs. Shawn Michaels
Worst Match: Mark Henry vs. Tommy Dreamer

I was fine with the Bash. There wasn’t anything spectacular wrestling wise, but I really loved the Jericho/Michaels angle. Chris Jericho is the best thing on TV right now. I love what he’s doing. The HHH and Edge match was good, but played secondary to the Edge/Vickie/Wedding Planner angle, and even though that angle is strong, it kind of made the title match secondary. I liked the opener even if the wrong tag team won and Shelton Benjamin vs. Matt Hardy was also good. I’m sick of Kane. I’m sick of JBL. I especially disliked the Cena/JBL match because after something we were supposed to take seriously (Jericho/HBK), they gave us something cartoonish and goofy and expected us to take it the same way.

Alan

Show overall rating: Thumbs in the middle

Best Match: Matt Hardy vs. Shelton Benjamin
Worst Match: Mark Henry vs. Tommy Dreamer

First two matches got the show off to a hot start. After that though things were hit and miss. I liked Punk vs. Batista and HBK vs. Jericho but both matches ended flat. Main event bored me.

Dream 5

Duan

Show overall rating: Thumbs way up

Best Fight: Eddie Alvarez vs. Tatsuya Kawajiri
Worst Fight: Hideo Tokoro vs. Takeshi Yamazaki

This ended up being my favourite card of the weekend. It wasn’t perfect by any means, but I really enjoyed all the lightweight grand prix stuff. It just told a really great story. Alvarez earned a place in the final, but couldn’t compete because of an eye injury, which he sustained in a mesmerizing semi final brawl with Kawajiri. How fitting it was that Joachim Hansen would take his place in the final and win. Alvarez had narrowly defeated Hansen earlier in the tournament, in what was a guaranteed fight of the year candidate. This sets up perfectly for a big rematch between the two, which should be awesome.

Alan

Show overall rating: Thumbs up

Best Fight: Eddie Alvarez vs. Tatsuya Kawajiri
Worst Fight: Hideo Tokoro vs. Takeshi Yamazaki

AWWWWWESOME show. Loved this. It told a great story in addition to having awesome fights. Alvarez is a big time star in my book now. What a year he’s had. The match with Kawajiri was a definite FOTY candidate. Only disappointment was Hunt vs. Overeem. I wanted a knock down drag out between them. Production was awesome, it seemed like a real big time deal.

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