Aftermath – UFC 101: Declaration
UFC 101: Declaration is in the books and the show will be remembered historically for the redemption of two champions; coming out looking stronger than they have in a year. Besides that, a relatively lackluster undercard featuring lower card talent which quite honestly didn’t impress like I’m sure UFC woud’ve hoped. Still, there were moments in the top fights that a lot of us won’t forget for a long time. Let’s take a look at what the experts here at FightGameBlog had to say…
Thumbs in the middle
Best fight: Anderson Silva vs. Forrest Griffin
Worst fight: Any one of the three decisions since they were all the same fight
I don’t think this is the card UFC needed to showcase their brand to all those new casual fans they gained. However, to those new fans, I think Anderson Silva and B.J. Penn probably looked like superstars.
For an hour and a half, this show sucked. I don’t mind ground fighting, but if a guy is just trying to last and not trying to win, I get bored. I enjoyed some of the jui-jitsu from the bottom, but hated a lot of the lay and pray. The Johny Hendricks fight should’ve brought the card back, but because it looked like an early stoppage, I don’t think he got nearly enough of the credit he deserved.
I called the Anderson Silva knockout, but in no way did I think it would happen so early. I figured Forrest would go off his game plan, but not a minute into the fight. Silva looked great and needs to stop fighting at 185. He’s a 205er. And what can you say about Baby Jay? I said this was a fight in which he needed to prove he was still one of the best ever, and he did. To paraphrase James Ingram, “Kenny Florian did his best, but his best just wasn’t good enough.” Pure talent plus hard work overcame gained skill plus hard work.
Thumbs in the Middle – leaning down
Best Fight: Silva vs. Griffin
Worst Fight: Almeida vs. Grove
This was essentially a two-fight show. The undercard was anything from lackluster to boring, although I sort of expected that. Still, both main events delivered in showcasing two of the greatest of all time to what could be a new audience. Other than that I really can’t recommend this show. Just wait for the two main events to pop up on Unleashed in a few months or until this card is showed on Spike.
Silva took a guy like Forrest who is known for being well-rounded and for having balls the size of blimps and manhandled him as if he were a guy who’s never looked at a cage. Somebody forgot to hand Anderson the memo about it being dangerous to move up in weight. I later found out Silva broke Griffin’s jaw and cause him to lose hearing in one ear. Ouch. Can ANYBODY stop this man?
Penn vs. Florian went the way I expected. I’m a fan of both men but it was clear Ken-Flo had no chance until a very good second round and a close third round. In terms of ability, BJ is the cream. BJ Penn in his weight class WITH his natural skill WITH cardio is pretty much unbeatable across the board. My prediction did indeed come true in the fourth round (one round later than I predicted); I’ve watched almost every single Penn fight, so once he took the mount I knew what was coming.
What’s next for BJ Penn? Diego Sanchez.
What’s next for Anderson Silva? Umm… I’ll get back to you on that one.
Thumbs in the middle
Best fight – Silva/Griffin
Worst fight – Almeida/Grove
I found large portions of this show really boring, but I still came out of it feeling satisfied overall. This was entirely due to the performances of two of the greatest mixed martial artists in the world today: Anderson Silva and BJ Penn.
The Silva fight played out exactly as I expected. This was in no way a surprise. Griffin has been easy to hit throughout his career. It was inevitable that a precision striker of Silva’s talent would just dismantle him. He was a tailor made opponent.
After two failed title challenges, it’s now clear that Florian just isn’t a championship level fighter. He did better than I expected by making it into the championship rounds, but at the same time he never really threatened either. He was just trying to spoil and neutralize BJ’s offense. It made it tedious to watch. The good news though is that the proposed Penn vs. Sanchez match is guaranteed to deliver fireworks.
Thumbs in middle leaning up
Best fight Silva vs. Griffin
Worst fight Almeida vs. Grove
I got what I wanted out of this show. Like Duan said, I was satisfied after watching it. Didn’t think the undercard would be any use, and it wasn’t.
Best fight – Griffin vs. Silva
Worst fight – Grove vs. Almeida
Overall, a disappointing show. Coming off UFC 100 I think they really needed something that was going to keep the momentum for the newfound fans that tuned into that show. I don’t believe this show did it and I don’t think UFC 102 will do it either. Most likely those fans that tuned in due to the hype of UFC 100 will tune right back out again after these 2 shows. The only fight on the next card that really gets me excited is Marquardt vs. Maia. But, I digress. Silva looked great and his fight had me on the edge of my seat. The Penn fight was a borefest until BJ finally took it to the ground. For a guy that “finishes fights”, it seemed all Florian wanted to do was stall. Kenny is now relegated to gatekeeper at 155. Killing the momentum, yes. Killing the master, not so much.
We’ll see you at UFC 102: Couture vs. Noguiera – but before that, Strikeforce THIS WEEKEND!
2 thoughts on “Aftermath – UFC 101: Declaration”
G.G. hit the nail on the head. This card was crap for three fights and I was starting to get nervous about my decision to buy it.
Luckily Anderson Silva turned it completely around with some of the greatest fighting I’ve ever witnessed.
B.J. Penn vs. Florian was actually exciting. We are all getting pretty pumped every time they would come off the cage swinging like mad men. Then Penn’s untouchable ground game sealed the deal.
I thought the Neer fight was the worse. He spent 15 minutes on his back complaining then got bitch-slapped.