The Aftermath – UFC 127

When I started going back through the UFC video catalog after I became a hardcore dedicated fan, there were some shows that seemed left of center. Patrick Cote was a contender for Tito Ortiz’s belt? How did that happen? Vitor Belfort beat Randy Couture? How did that happen. There have been some flukey shows in UFC history. That’s how I feel about UFC 127. It was quite the flukey show.

When new MMA fans go through the catalog, they’ll probably wonder, “Who in the blue hell is Brian Ebersole?” And, “Why did Michael Bisping knee Jorge Rivera right between the eyes when he was down?” Or, “How did George Sotiropoulos screw up his title shot?” The show was just odd, but I enjoyed it for its odd charm. The rest of my FGB crew didn’t like it was much as I did.

Here’s what we thought of the UFC 127:

Duan
Thumbs Leaning Down
Best Fight: Dennis Siver vs. George Sotiropoulos
Worst Fight: Chris Camozzi vs. Kyle Noke

There was nothing particularly wrong with this show per se. It just lacked any sense of finality. There wasn’t a clear-cut winner or stand out performance in any of the three major fights on the card. Sotiroploulos/Siver could have been decided on a coin flip. It was a stupid match to make in the first place as I alluded to in the preview. A future main event was lost with nothing gained. I believe the Bisping fight would have finished in much the same way regardless, but the result was tainted by the illegal knee in round one. And then the main event ending as a stalemate really just capped the whole thing off. I thought Penn clearly won the first two rounds before losing the last one big. My card was 29-28 Penn, but a draw was probably a fair reflection of the fight overall.

Alan
Thumbs In The Middle
Best Fight: Jorge Rivera vs. Michael Bisping
Worst Fight: None that I watched were any worse than the others

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UFC 127 Play By Play – BJ Penn Vs. Jon Fitch

We live blogged the Ion prelims earlier if you missed it.

In my opinion, the story of the night will be if BJ Penn has greatness left in him, or if a wrestler can now just overpower him. GSP and Frankie Edgar are both really good wrestlers, but they didn’t overpower Penn to the ground. GSP used his standup to set up his great shots, while Edgar used his quickness to out-strike Penn, and eventually get him down a couple of times. But Fitch’s game isn’t necessarily to use his strikes to set anything up. He uses his strength and will to stick to his game plan and wear guys out. It’s a good match-up. He’s also probably going to be at least 15 pounds heavier than Penn come fight time.

1. Chris Camozzi vs. Kyle Noke

Camozzi had a nice little combination, but got caught, went in for a clinch, was immediately taken down and submitted in a rear naked choke. It was fast and it wasn’t really competitive.

Winner: Kyle Noke by way of 1st round submission

2. Brian Ebersole vs. Chris Lytle

Ebersole immediately tried a cartwheel kick to start out the fight. Lytle is just loading up his right hand. Ebersole shot in and was immediately stuck in a guillotine. Ebersole flipped over and turned his body to get out of it. Ebersole tried to get out and was put right back in the guillotine. Ebersole fought out of it and ended up on top of Lytle throwing shoulder thrusts into his face. He must’ve cut him with one of them.

Lytle is loading up on that right hand again and not even really setting it up. It’s predictable, but it looks harsh every time he throws it. Ebersole has countered off it a couple times, but not with much on it. He landed a knee on Lytle and Lytle’s legs went out from underneath him. Ebersole went for a D’Arce choke to try and finish him. He had him up against the cage, stuck his head underneath Lytle’s arm and picked him up and slammed him. What a crazy round this is.
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UFC 127 Preview – BJ Penn Vs. Jon Fitch

I know most fans are lamenting that the undercard is lacking. I pretty much agree. There aren’t too many big names before the main event, and that will probably hurt the buy rate. But whenever I get a chance to watch BJ Penn fight, it’s a positive thing.

Jorge Rivera has also done a yeoman’s job to hype his fight with Michael Bisping. If you haven’t seen the UFC 127 Countdown show, see it. Their piece on Rivera was riveting.

The FGB crew, along with Stevie J from Angry Marks, and friend of the site JP, have predictions ready for what we consider the top three fights on the show.

George Sotiropoulos vs. Dennis Siver

Duan: Sotiropoulos by 2nd round submission
Alan: Sotiropoulos by 2nd round submission
Stevie J: Sotiropoulos by 1st round submission
JP: Sotiropoulos by 2nd round submission
Cactus Jim: Sotiropoulos by 3rd round submission
GG: Sotiropoulos by 2nd round submission

Duan says:

I hate keep busy fights. There’s far too much room for error at this level, especially when there is one eye on a bigger match-up further on up the road. That’s exactly the position George finds himself in now. A title shot can’t be too far off, but first he must get through Siver, who is a decent fighter at 155. George’s class should ultimately tell though. Look for a submission finish towards the end of the second.

Alan says:

As much as they got Siver’s spinning back kick (aka Rolling Sole Butt) over in the Countdown to the point where I really wanna see him win with it, I’m still rooting on Georgie as he’s one of my favourites, and a very entertaining fighter. He’ll need to weather a storm here, but I think he’ll be able to do so. He’ll drag Siver into his world on the ground and finish him with relative ease (by arm triangle).

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Predictions – UFC Champions 2011

Alan created a fun predictions game that I’ll post here so we can check back at the beginning of 2012 and see who did best.

The goal is to predict who would be UFC champions in every weight class on December 31, 2011.

Alan
UFC Heavyweight Champion: Cain Velasquez
UFC Light Heavyweight Champion: Rashad Evans
UFC Middleweight Champion: Yushin Okami
UFC Welterweight Champion: GSP
UFC Lightweight Champion: Anthony Pettis
UFC Featherweight Champion: Jose Aldo
UFC Bantamweight Champion: Urijah Faber

Duan
UFC Heavyweight Champion: JDS
UFC Light Heavyweight Champion: Jon Jones
UFC Middleweight Champion: Belfort
UFC Welterweight Champion: GSP
UFC Lightweight Champion: George Sotiropoulos
UFC Featherweight Champion: Jose Aldo
UFC Bantamweight Champion: Miguel Torres

Ryan Frederick
UFC Heavyweight Champion: Cain Velasquez
UFC Light Heavyweight Champion: Jon Jones
UFC Middleweight Champion: Vitor Belfort
UFC Welterweight Champion: Georges St.Pierre
UFC Lightweight Champion: Anthony Pettis
UFC Featherweight Champion: Chad Mendes
UFC Bantamweight Champion: Urijah Faber
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The Aftermath – UFC 123

UFC 123 was the show before the show. With all their eggs in the Georges St. Pierre vs. Josh Koscheck basket, UFC 123 was bound to be an overlooked show. Sometimes, when that happens, the show can overdeliver as well. This wasn’t really that case.

If you are wondering if you should go out of your way to watch it, it wasn’t one of the UFC’s better offerings.

Here’s what we thought of UFC 123:

Duan
Thumbs Down
Best Fight: Joe Lauzon vs. George Sotiropoulos
Worst Fight: Gerald Harris vs. Maiquel Falcao

The show got off to a brilliant start with Lauzon/Sotiropoulos. George is a real star in that division, and the sooner he’s elevated into the title mix the better. Unfortunately it became a case of the age old problem of setting the bar too high, too early. Nothing on this card was ever going to follow the opener.

Davis vs. Boetsch was nothing to write home about, Harris and Falcao died in front of that crowd, and the Penn/Hughes fight was over before it ever even got started.

Jackson and Machida’s styles just didn’t mesh well together which made for a pretty flat main event. Personally I felt Machida should have won based on the strength of his third round, but the first two sessions were essentially a stalemate so you couldn’t really complain too much either way. It’s definitely not one I want to see rematched. And to be honest, I’m not particularly enthusiastic about seeing either guy again at all right now. People didn’t get their money’s worth on this one.

Alan
Thumbs In The Middle
Best Fight: Joe Lauzon vs. George Sotiropoulos
Worst Fight: Gerald Harris vs. Maiquel Falcao

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UFC 123 – Lyoto Machida Vs. Rampage Jackson

We previewed the top three fights in our preview earlier this week. To me, this is one of those cards that might be forgotten because of how big December’s card is going to be, but could surprise some people. The intrigue is in two main events that might not be all that great, but there could be some good stuff underneath, especially George Sotiropoulos and Joe Lauzon.

That fight will start out the card.

1. Joe Lauzon vs. George Sotiropoulos

Lauzon’s boxing looks excellent right out of the gate. It looks like he’s already touched Sotiropoulos’ left eye. Sotiropoulos pulled guard and Lauzon fell right into it, but got out, rolled over and was on top and then rolled over again and nearly was on bottom. Sotiropoulos maneuvered on top and then got into north/south position before getting into side control and then full mount, but whiffed on the arm bar and ate some elbows from Lauzon at the bell.

Wow. Lauzon looked tired. Sotiropoulos got on top of him and just wrenched his arm behind him for a kimura. Lauzon tapped quickly. That was nasty.

Winner: George Sotiropoulos by way of 2nd round submission

2. Phil Davs vs. Tim Boetsch

Davis was testing his stand-up early on with lots of kicks. He threw a couple of head kicks, but Boetsch caught his leg on a couple of the body kicks. At the 2:30 mark, Davis went all wrestling and dominated from that point. Easy round for Davis.

Boetsch was just overmatched. He had a guillotine on after getting taken down, but Davis slipped out. Davis was trying to kimura him, but was too close to the cage to sink it in fully. Instead, he pulled Boetsch’s arm underneath him and had Boetsch lay back on his own arm. Then, with his other hand, Davis grabbed the wrist behind him. It looked like Sting’s old Scorpion Death Drop, except executing a wrist lock from that position.

Winner: Phi Davis by 2nd round submission

3. TJ O’Brien vs. Paul Kelly
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