10 Thoughts on UFC: Best of 2009 (Blu-Ray)

Join me as I give 10 Thoughts on the first UFC Blu-Ray release of 2010: “UFC: Best of 2009!” This is the third of the “Best of 200X” series that UFC has released since 2007, and with the success they had in 2009, it looks like this can easily be the best of the series. [About 10 Thoughts,] This may end up looking like an organized rant/event review/Blu-Ray review hybrid, but the purpose of this column is to give you an idea of what you are walking into before you make a commitment and buy it. After all, Blu-Rays seem to be getting more expensive day by day. Without further adieu, LET’S GET IT ON!

Boxart, boosh.
Resolution: 1080i 16:9
Sound/Languages: Stereo, English
Bonus Features: Over 3 Hours of Bonus Fights, Behind the Scenes (6 Hours Total)

Opening the package, Blu-Ray Main-Menu and Presentation
1. This is easily the most-sleek box-art UFC and Anchor Bay have ever produced. Brock Lesnar deservingly gets the cover after his dominating performances over Couture and Mir, as well as being their biggest star with money-making power. GSP and Brock Lesnar grace the covers of the discs, and we actually have a little booklet telling us what’s on the Blu-Ray, which is nice.

2. The normal “Tale of the Tape” bug is replaced by a special “Best of 2009” themed “Tale of the Tape” bug. The time-clock is also “Best of 2009 Themed”. With these themes, it feels more vintage and less like I’m just watching a DVRd fight from last year. It’s a nice touch.

Yoshiro “Sexyama” Akiyama vs. Alan Belcher from UFC 100
3. While watching UFC 100, I remember I was extremely disappointed that I missed the fight that stained the octagon with blood, but as soon as Akiyama/Belcher started I couldn’t care less… this fight was awesome. I can’t wait to see Akiyama fight again in the UFC; his kicks are lighting-fast and his octagon psychology is among the best in the octagon.

Anderson “Spider” Silva vs. Forrest Griffin from UFC 101
4. I love how people say this fight was fixed. The fight wasn’t fixed… Anderson Silva really is that good. Forrest Griffin was knocked out way before the fight was called… I believe he was out on his feet after the first knockdown. Forrest Griffin is big in believing that showing facial expressions during a fight is actually a weakness. Forrest Griffin visibly smiled, chuckled and showed disbelief after Silva bashed his fists together and told Griffin to “bring it”. It wasn’t a surprise to me when Griffin was knocked out while Silva was backing-away and throwing counter-jabs. With all that being said, that has to be the most embarrassing knockout in the history of MMA. (Or a close 2nd right after Gray Maynard knocked himself out with a DDT).

Lyoto Machida vs. Rashad Evans from UFC 98
5. Even though I highly dislike Lyoto Machida, I must admit that this fight deserved to be on the Blu-Ray solely because of the knockout. Vicious. I’m angry that Machida/Rua 1 wasn’t on this set as I have STILL yet to see it, so I guess that means I’ll have to go buy the DVD.

Keith Jardine vs. Thiago Silva from UFC 102
6. Is Keith Jardine really still considered to be a top light heavyweight in the UFC? He has a glass chin and has lost four out of his last five fights. Keep him around as a stepping stone for newcomers in the division and keep him on the main-card… he’ll supply some entertaining knockouts.

Jon “Bones” Jones vs. Stephan “The American Psycho” Bonnar from UFC 94
7. This fight is a good reference of what Jon Jones is capable of. He displays such ridiculous, off the wall offense in this fight that you’d think this was a sparring session with a dummy. Jones essentially tossed Bonnar around like a rag-doll and hit him with elbows and strikes that had me rewinding every minute or so. The funny thing is that there are a lot of people out there who think his offense is a “flashy” joke. This is just the way Jones fights… it’s his thing. He’s the real deal.

Randy Couture vs. Antonio Minotauro Nogueira from UFC 102
8. This fight was nothing short of amazing. Part of the reason it was so much fun to watch is because it had that mega-fight feeling that Wanderlei Silva and Chuck Liddell had in 2007. Though it wasn’t fight of the year caliber, it was one of the most exciting fights of the year; both veterans wanted to prove that they still have it… and guess what? They still do.

Awesome Blu-Ray Feature
9. “UFC: Best of 2009” is presented as a year in review feature narrated by Mike Goldberg. Throughout the feature, Goldberg will segue us to a fight that was meant to be in the feature. There are parts of the year, though, where Goldberg just brushes upon his subject’s fight and moves on to the next topic. This year, UFC included a new feature called “Jump to Fight Mode” where you can press the “enter” button and jump to the fight Goldberg merely brushed upon (when the prompt pops up) even though it’s not in the main feature. For example, when Goldberg talked about GSP’s performance in 2009, he briefly mentioned his fight with BJ Penn, then a little box on the corner of the screen popped up that said “Jump to St. Pierre/Penn UFC 94”. This feature is way more convenient than jumping to the “Bonus Fights” box and was a great addition to the Blu-Ray. Anchor Bay and Zuffa’s Blu-Rays improve with every release.

Final Thought
10. “UFC: Best of 2008” was more of a recap of the most popular fighter’s bouts. While it was definitely entertaining, it lacked some of the better fights of the year. “UFC: Best of 2009” on the other hand featured all of the best fights from the top of the divisions to the bottom. Not only did you have your GSPs and your BJ Penns, but you also had your Carlos Condits, Yoshiro Akiyamas and Nate Quarrys. This Blu-Ray is easily worth your $20.00. Go read some more Inside Fights content, enjoy some March Madness and on Saturday, when your direct-deposit hits, go treat yourself to this Blu-Ray. You won’t be disappointed.

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