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The Aftermath – UFC 115

I was able to watch UFC 115 on the big screen in a movie theater. There were maybe 10 of us watching in one of the larger theaters, so I’m guessing it was a big failure for the UFC. But it was cool to watch the show this way and if you get the opportunity, go out of your way to check it out. Just hope that there’s more people than the 10 that were with me watching UFC 115.

For the most part, we at FGB were positive about the show. Here’s what we thought:

Thumbs Up
Best Fight: Carlos Condit vs. Rory MacDonald
Worst Fight: Ben Rothwell vs. Gilberty Yvel

OK, I tore this show the shreds before it even happened, and in retrospect I was wrong. This was a way better PPV than it had any right to be, and without doubt UFC’s best offering in some time.
Yvel vs. Rothwell was appallingly bad. It will be thrown into the worst fight of the year pool with Russow / Duffee from 114. Everything outside of that however was fantastic. When you put guys like Condit and Kampmann in fights where they aren’t going to get spoiled, you are guaranteed good fights. Both guys are true warriors. Crocop/Barry was far more entertaining than I had anticipated. It was Crocop’s best UFC performance. Although I’m not sure that this signifies that Mirko is back. I think it was more a case of him fighting smarter than any physical improvements. Perhaps He has been plagued by self doubt, and this win could go a long to alleviate that.

The main event was entertaining while it lasted. I have always maintained that once a fighter is gone, he’s not coming back, and Liddell is quite definitely gone. Franklin hasn’t exactly been knocking people cold lately, so that really wasn’t a good sign. I wasn’t particularly impressed with Rich’s performance either. He has looked really vulnerable any time he gets hit lately, and that may be a sign of things to come for him. Overall: a show worth your three hours.

Thumbs Up
Best Fight: Carlos Condit vs. Rory MacDonald
Worst Fight: None (he missed Yvel vs. Rothwell, so didn’t want to give any other fight worst fight)

Condit/MacDonald was great and I’m really excited about MacDonald as he’s the first of the new new new breed of fighters who were fairly young teens when UFC got big and just started training MMA. Not kickboxing, not BJJ, not wrestling – MMA, everything. It’ll be guys like him that are going to have to wage the war against the huge influx of amateur wrestlers that will continue to join the sport. All that said, he lost here but I think it was a fantastic learning experience and will make him a better fighter.

Main event was great and Cro Cop was a charisma machine in his fight!

Cactus Jim
Thumbs In The Middle
Best Fight: Rich Franklin vs. Chuck Liddell
Worst Fight: Ben Rothwell vs. Gilberty Yvel

Aside from the Rothwell versus Yvel fight, there wasn’t anything bad on the card. That fight made both men look like they should be fighting for a spot on a treadmill at the gym not on the televised portion of a PPV by the largest MMA org in the world. Franklin versus Liddell had good action while it lasted, but about 30 seconds into the fight the writing was on the wall. Chuck was moving slowly, getting hit a lot and throwing with reckless abandon. After the fight I actually felt a little sad for Chuck. Let’s hope he stays out of the ring and takes on an ambassador role for the UFC. No real complaints about the match quality, but again, no title fight and no real meaningful matches as they relate to the title picture. The biggest thing this card had to offer was the top two fights to determine whether or not Chuck and Cro Cop should continue their careers. If that’s the best your PPV has to offer you should rethink your PPV strategy.

Thumbs Up (slightly)
Best Fight: Mirko Cro Cop vs. Pat Barry
Worst Fight: Ben Rothwell vs. Gilberty Yvel

This show made me sad because Chuck lost. I’d rather him lost a three round decision and get out of there in one piece, but no, he has to get knocked out yet again, and get up wondering what just happened. Please retire Chuck. That fight was pretty good for the first round too, but I was so worried about seeing where he was actually going to get knocked out, because you knew it was coming. My favorite fight of the night, though not the technically best fight of the night, was Mirko Cro Cop outwitting Pat Barry and then taking it to him in round three. Pat respected him too much, probably like when Georges St. Pierre lost the first time to Matt Hughes. Condit and MacDonald was a fun fight to open the show, but jeez, Rothwell and Yvel killed the crowd dead. I wasn’t too keen on Paulo Thiago vs. Martin Kampmann because it was so technical that you just knew there was no way it was ending without a decision. Overall, a pretty decent offering, though it lacked a big fight feel and PPVs should never lack that.

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