The SmarK Rant for The Ultimate Fighting Championship VII: The Brawl in Buffalo!

The Ultimate Fighting Championship VII: The Brawl in Buffalo!

– Live from Buffalo, NY.

– Your hosts are Bruce Beck and Jeff Blatnick, with Don "The Dragon" Wilson on color.

– The draw seems like an easy win for Marco Ruas, along with a Shamrock v. Oleg superfight.

Open Weight tournament quarterfinals

Paul Varelans (Trapfighting) v. Gerry Harris (Karate)

Man, Varelans just doesn’t give up, does he? Varelans gets the quick takedown off the fence and Harris has no clue what he’s doing down there. Varelans throws elbows to finish at 1:04. You’d think a choke would have been the easier course of action there, but whatever works I guess.

Mark Hall (Tae Kwon Do) v. Harold Howard (Jiu-Jitsu)

Howard is still looking kind of crazy. Howard comes in and just takes him down with a straight choke, but Hall ends up on top. And in fact Hall does some pretty good damage, drawing blood from top mount position and busting Howard’s face open with headbutts. And in fact, Howard taps to end it at 1:42. Kind of an upset there.

Remco Pardoel (Jiu-Jitsu) v. Ryan Parker (Karate)

Pardoel made a good showing for himself last time. Remco backs Parker up onto the fence and takes him down by the gi, then wraps him up with the gi choke while in full mount. Parker’s got no defense here and Pardoel just patiently waits him out and finishes at 3:03 with the choke.

Marco Ruas (Vale Tudo) v. Larry Cureton (Kickboxing)

Cureton’s got a bikini tanline going for some reason. This should be quick and brutal. Ruas just MURDERS him with a DDT-like takedown, but Cureton manages to spin him over. Cureton does well for himself for someone with no ground game, pounding him from the top. But then he tries to stand it up and Ruas grabs the leg and makes him tap from the ground with a deadly kneebar and anklelock at 3:30. Much better fight than I was expecting for Cureton, but this tournament is clearly Ruas’ to lose.

Open Weight tournament semi-finals

Paul Varelans v. Mark Hall

This is like Rey Mysterio v. Great Khali, but Hall is game. He throws punches and Varelans actually takes him down with a headlock. And after a few elbows, Varelans finishes with a keylock on the wrist at 1:04. Darn, I was hoping to see the little guy make it to the finals.

Remco Pardoel v. Marco Ruas

Ruas throws some leg kicks, but gets trapped on the fence in a guillotine attempt by Pardoel. And it stalls right there, as Pardoel holds the choke attempt and Ruas waits him out, and FINALLY they go to the mat 6 minutes in, at which point Ruas breaks free of the choke and works his way into that kneebar again. They do an interesting technical battle on the ground and go to the more traditional mount with Ruas still on top, then he passes the guard and gets side mount. A choke apparently finishes at 12:27, although nothing was evident. Maybe it was a Darth Vader Force Choke?

Superfight: Ken Shamrock v. Oleg Taktarov

Oleg gets the takedown and they’re immediately doing nothing, with Shamrock on top in this case. And that goes on for 10 minutes, with Shamrock throwing occasional shots and otherwise total inertia. Finally, 15 minutes in, Big John stands them up. And back we go again to the guard, until Big John’s had enough and stands them up again at 20:00. This is where rounds and judges would really benefit a fight. So yeah, back to the guard, more random punching from Shamrock. 28 minutes, another reset, and you can tell Oleg doesn’t want to fight here. Overtime comes and they’re actually throwing fists, and so Oleg pulls guard and rides it out until the time limit expires. What a yawn this "superfight" was.

Open Weight tournament finals

Marco Ruas v. Paul Varelans

Varelans comes in without thinking and Ruas kicks at the knees in vicious fashion. Varelans desperately wants a takedown and Ruas just won’t give into him. Varelans catches him with a guillotine, but Ruas catches him with a hard right against the fence to break free and STOMPS THE TOES. No wonder he’s the King of the Streets. Ruas continues to work Varelans over on the fence, chopping at the legs. Varelans is clinging to the fence for dear life, and Big John resets them. Varelans is dead meat now. Ruas evades Varelans and keeps throwing the leg kicks, and Paul is having trouble staying upright. Even worse, Ruas keeps moving, forcing Varelans to walk on the beat-up leg. Finally, after infinite patience, Ruas gets enough kicks to put Varelans down to a knee, and then finishes with strikes to win the tournament at 13:17. What a great performance.

The Pulse

A solid tournament and a crappy Superfight still leave this one as a good show overall. Unfortunately I don’t have the Ultimate Ultimate, so I’ll be skipping to UFC VIII next instead.

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