If one would’ve said on November 12, 1993, that the newly christened Ultimate Fighting Championship would be on the cusp of being the next big sport in America by 2011 you’d have shaken your head. What started out as the seeming culmination of playground banter (i.e., who’d win in a fight between a boxer and a karate expert) has grown into a sport that’s spreading like wildfire. And if there ever was a watershed year for the UFC, 2010 was it. Breaking all sorts of pay-per-view records and creating an entire group of new stars from the ashes of the older ones, 2010 was a landmark year when the UFC seems to be poised to break out into the next great sport in the wake of labor problems in the NFL, potential ones sprouting up in the NBA and the general decline of boxing. And as always UFC has compiled their highlights of 2010 onto a nice three hour summary.
UFC: Best of 2010 follows the year that was in fighting, going through every weight class (including the introduction of bantamweight and featherweight classes with the merge of the WEC) with a summation of the big stories that happened. Presented in a glance over style, complete with narration, we get summations of what happened and why it mattered as opposed to all the great fights that happened. With nearly three hours of time to cover 12 months of fighting, it would be hard to take all the great fights of 2010 (and there were a large volume of them) and condense them into talking points. Something has to be taken out and it’s understandable if you’re covering in this matter. It’s a nice overview and gives an introduction to what happened, with some of the major fights being covered in some depth, but there’s one inherent problem with this method.
Most of the best fights aren’t shown, or referenced. In fact the fight choices seem a bit odd.
It’s one thing to cover both B.J Penn-Frankie Edgar fights in some depth but neither is shown in its entirety or included as an extra. The Chael Sonnen-Anderson Silva fight is given its due and shown in its entirety, but other great fights from that division from 2010 aren’t included. While one can’t expect to cover any one division with any depth in a short amount of time it gets to be a bit annoying when two great fights like Penn-Edgar are given the lion’s share of time for their division in the documentary portion and yet the two fights included for said division are fighters who aren’t mentioned in the gloss-over. The fights (Sean Sherk vs. Evan Dunham and Joe Stevenson vs. George Sotiropoulos) are great fights but they don’t have as much meaning because none of the four fighters is given any in-depth treatment.
Dunham-Sherk was a great fight that had repercussions stemming from its questionable decision by the judges and was considered by some proof that Dunham had arrived into being one of the best lightweights in the world. And Sotiropoulos defeating Stevenson was a big moment in his career but isn’t given any context to it before the fight is shown. This goes throughout the DVD as well, with a handful of significant fights on the DVD that one would struggle to call the “best” of 2010. Quinton “Rampage” Jackson vs. Rashad Evans would fit this bill; it was a largely successful fight in terms of revenue, et al, but it wasn’t necessarily a great fight by any stretch. It was significant but this isn’t the most significant fights of 2010. It’s the best fights.
As an introduction to MMA in 2010 this is a top notch production but the hardcore fan won’t be satisfied. This is a release for the casual fan only.
Presented in a Dolby Digital sound with a widescreen format, the DVD is top notch in A/V presentation. The UFC does one thing better than any other MMA organization in that everything on DVD looks as good or better than the initial presentation live on PPV.
Additional Fights are included, seemingly at random, and represent some of the year’s best fights as well as a couple of the more significant fights. The DVD comes with a total of ten additional fights, while the Blu-ray has a total of twenty-five.
Bonus Disc 1:
Cole Miller vs. Dan Lauzon
Melvin Guillard vs. Waylon Lowe
Dan Hardy vs. Carlos Condit
Dennis Siver vs. Andre Winner
George Sotiropoulos vs. Joe Lauzon
Jim Miller vs. Charles Olivera
Bonus Disc 2:
Junior Dos Santos vs. Gabriel Gonzaga
Chuck Liddell vs. Rich Franklin
Krysztof Soszynski vs. Stephan Bonnar 2
Randy Couture vs. James Toney
Behind the Scenes is a collection of behind the scenes moments from the shows.
If you’re a hardcore fan this will do nothing more than alternative wet the appetite and frustrate you. For the casual fan this is a great recap of the year that was in the UFC.
Anchor Bay presents UFC: Best of 2010 Running time: 315 minutes. Not Rated. Released on DVD and Blu-ray: March 29, 2011.