This month’s big night is here, it has come and gone, as always, did not dissapoint. The Memphis crowd was pumped up for the big fights, but it seemed like they really did not appreciate a few of the fights lower on the card. In reality, all of the fights were good, and it was a strong end to the year for the UFC. Big MMA news this week is that former WWE Champion, following in the footsteps of Brock Lesnar, Bobby Lashley signed with StrikeForce. If he does well there, the UFC could be his next stop. Watch out Brock, just sayin. As for Brock, he is getting better. On to the UFC 107 results…
– Our fighter we put the spotlight on this week, Alan “The Talent” Belcher, lived up to his moniker with a big win for his UFC career. While Gouveia did not seem at all prepared for the fight, could not make weight and a catch weight was set at weight ins of 195 rather then 180. Belcher dominated from the get-go as Gouveia tried to slug it out with him. Not a wise choice for the Brazilian. Belcher showed his skill and changed boxing stances in mid-round switching to lefty and caught Gouveia with a nasty body shot, and an uppercut that knocked him down. Belcher got the TKO at 3:03 of the first. Belcher, from Arkansas, was pretty much at a homecoming fight, all his friends and family were in Memphis tonite and he put on a show for them. Good to see one of my favorite fighters get a big win. If you missed it, you can read the fighter spotlight on Belcher here.
– The Giant Dutchman, Struve, had a good game plan against the punch-heavy veteran. Get it down to the ground and use the size advantage. Struve dominated the 1st round with impressive ground game, but Buentello came back hard in the 2nd. He hit Struve hard and got him down, but lost gaurd and the fight stood back up. They slugged it out for the rest of the round, suprisingly no one got KO’d. Struve changed up game plans again in the 3rd, using his kickboxing background and lenght to tear up Buentello with leg kicks that he couldn’t stop. Majority decision win for Struve, I picked him to get TKO in the 2nd, but he did look pretty impressive.
– Kenny Florian had a tough fight on his hands tonite, but he once again proved that he can dominate the division, against anyone that is not BJ Penn. Guida is one of those fighters that goes a million miles an hour for the whole fight, but he has shown in the past that he can burn himself out this way. This non-stop action was difficult for Florian early on, but he eventually landed a huge shot with about 1:30 left in the 1st. That shot, a vicious elbow, opened up a gigantic cut on Guida’s face which caused problems the remainder of the fight, as Guida was bleeding profusely. The blood effected Guida’s vision and he had no chance in the 2nd round, Florian came after him with huge combos and flattened him, knocked him down with a huge right hand and pounced on the downed Guida and slapped him in a rear naked choke. Kenflo won by submission at 2:19 of the 2nd. My first wrong pick of the night, I was picking Guida for the upset. Looks like Florian might be lining himself up for anothre title shot.
– This was a really good fight, that did not get the reception it deserved from the Memphis crowd. Fitch really had it going in the first 2 rounds with his superior wrestling skills. However, he let his guard down a bit in the 3rd and Pierce made a run athim. He looked like he was going to land a knockout late in the last round and Fitch looked like he was pretty much out on his feet. It was Fitch’s instincts that won him this fight, as he latched on to Pierce to keep himself from getting knocked out by the heavy hands of Fitch. A very solid welterweight fight. I predicted Fitch to win in a split-decision based off of his superior wrestling skills and great conditioning. He proved me right with those two things tonite, and he took the unanimous decision victory.
– Frank Mir means business. Looking in much better shape then ever before, the jacked up Frank Mir had been training with a competitor in World’s Strongest Man contests and put on 2o pounds of muscle since his loss to Brock Lesnar. Not only did Mir get himself even more buffed up, he talked shit to Kongo for the last few weeks and he came out backing it up. His ever improving striking is the story of the night, he showed really good quickness with his fists with a fake right jab that set Kongo up for a huge blow with the left. While Kongo was scrambling around the floor of the octogon Mir jumped on him and slapped on a guillotine choke. Good night Cheick Kongo, didn’t tap out but rather fell asleep. Submissino victory for Mir at 1:12 of the 1st round. Mir delivered the submission victory in the 1st rather then the 2nd as I predicted. but this leaves us with a big question, is Mir ready for Lesnar? probably not.
– THE MAIN EVENT!!
Just start off with, what a fight! Damn! Definitly lived up to the main event expectations. While it was not the outcome I was predicting and hoping for, BJ Penn proved once again why no one can beat him in the light weight class. He truly is a MMA legend. Diego Sanchez looked pretty overmatched against Penn, which has been the case for the past 8 years for anyone not named GSP. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen Penn so dominant, getting the Doctor’s Stoppage in the 5th round for opening up Diego Sanchez’s face. Sanchez barely escaped a first round knockout when he managed to protect himself after BJ came out swinging like a bat out of hell, much like Sanchez typically does. Penn has never looked quite so good in the octogon, always impressive, but this time he didn’t even rest in between rounds, he paced around like he was itching to get back to work. Winning isn’t easy unless your name is BJ Penn.
So that’s it. UFC 107 is in the books and the year is over for the UFC. Check back in January for news about UFC 108.