UFC 100 Thoughts
Coming into this past Saturday, UFC 100 was the sports highest profile and most anticipated event of the year. Featuring a stacked card with many of the sports biggest names, the event more than delivered.
Brock Lesnar showed us a couple of things about himself. The first is that he is clearly the most dominant heavyweight in the UFC. Between his powerful striking and premiere wrestling background he should be able to hold on to the belt for quite some time. Looking over the heavyweight roster, I don’t see anyone who can defeat him. Lesnar not only avenged the only loss of his career by defeating Frank Mir by TKO in the second round to retain the heavyweight championship, but he did so in dominating fashion. Mir looked like he had been to hell and back after just one round. The second thing that Lesnar showed us is that while he is clearly out of the WWE, the WWE isn’t completely out of him. Lesnar seems to relish in the role of playing the “bad guy” in the sport.
After the victory, he flipped off the crowd amidst a chorus of boos, took a jab at Bud Light, who was one of the main sponsors of the event, and followed all of that up by giving us a possible preview for what could be in store for him later that night saying, “Hell, I might even get on top of my wife tonight.”
With those words and actions, Lesnar gave those that already disliked him more reason to do so and likely helped those that were undecided make up their minds. While I will not dispute his talents inside the octagon, with each opening of his mouth, it gets a little tougher for me to root for him.
In the nights other title defense, Welterweight Champion Georges St. Pierre made his case for being the best pound for pound fighter that much stronger by completely dominating Thiago Alves. The judges scored it 50-45, 50-44, 50-45 in favor of St. Pierre, and it wasn’t even that close. Coming into this fight, Alves was thought by many to have a striking advantage. For five rounds it was St. Pierre that dominated that facet of the match.
St. Pierre controlled the pace on the mat, scoring take down after take down while successfully grounding and pounding Alves. The match was so one sided that Alves raised St. Pierre’s hand in victory as soon as it was over. It is truly amazing how St. Pierre has dominated such a talented welterweight division. Match after match, he continues to make some of the best fighters in the sport look like chumps.
In a match up of the the two coaches from the Ultimate Figher 9, Team USA coach Dan Henderson scored a victory over Team UK coach Michael Bisping with a thunderous right hook in the second round that knocked out Bisping before he hit the mat. For good measure, Henderson followed that up with a flying forearm to the jaw of the already prone Bisping before referee Mario Yamasaki was able to step in and put a stop to the fight.
Henderson was in control from the start while having Bisping on the run. The coach of Team UK seemed to be moving backwards throughout the whole match. At one point, Bisping tried to wrestle with Henderson but had no success. The former Pride Champion just shook off Bisping and gave him a look as if to let him know that he would not be able to have any success in that area of the fight.
Throughout the whole season, Bisping did a lot of trash talking on the show to both Team USA coaches and fighters alike. He was quick to gloat when welterweight James Wilks and lightweight Ross Pearson of Team UK each won the Ultimate Fighter Finales of their respective weight classes giving the Brits a clean sweep for the season. But in the end, it was Henderson that stood victorious in the battle of the coaches, letting his actions do the talking in the form of a powerful right hook and a vicious elbow.
In a welterweight battle, Jon Fitch scored a victory by decision over Paulo Thiago. Fitch was able to out wrestle Thiago in the second and third rounds to take control of the fight and get the win. Fitch continues to be at the top of his game having won 17 of his last 18 fights. His only loss in that stretch was to St. Pierre by unanimous decision at UFC 87. I felt bad for both of these guys because their fight was moved to after the main event because the UFC was worried that both title fights would go the full five rounds and cause a real late finish to the viewers in the east. Talk about a tough act to follow. The energy of the crowd had been completely exhausted and the fans had already seen the nights biggest attractions.
In the main cards first fight of the night, Yoshihiro Akiyama won his UFC debut by defeating Alan Belcher via split decision in a battle of middleweights. I thought that it was tough to pick a winner in the first two rounds but that Belcher won the third round. One of the judges scored it unanimously for Akiyama. Sometimes you have to wonder if the judges are really paying attention to whats happening inside the cage.
On a side note, I have no idea what the significance of Akiyama’s entrance music was but he’s obviously not trying to strike fear into the hearts of opponents with it.