The SmarK Rant for UFC 111: Georges St. Pierre v. Dan Hardy
– Live from New Jersey.
– Your hosts are Mike Goldberg & Joe Rogan.
– I didn’t have my laptop and was watching with a group, so I’m gonna have to do this mostly from memory.
Mark Bocek v. Jim Miller
Normally Bocek would deserve to lose just for being a ginger kid, but he’s from Toronto so he gets a pass from me. THIS TIME. I’m not gonna say that Bocek was robbed because it was a close fight, but everyone I was watching with basically had it 29-28 for him. Miller had the kimura attempt in the first round which I think swayed the judges, but the second round was dominant for Bocek even while he was bleeding all over Miller. Third round was another close one with most of it spent on the ground, and I wasn’t able to pick who was going to get the edge from the judges. They had it 29-28 Miller, but you could go either way without too much argument. Good fight and a good start to the show.
Jon Fitch v. Ben Saunders
Give Saunders credit for stepping up, but he was completely out of his league here against someone as high-level as Fitch. That being said, Fitch should have been able to stop him and he couldn’t. Even so, total domination from Fitch, as he controlled on the ground with no trouble and pounded Saunders pretty relentlessly. Pretty annoying restart from the referee, however, as he kind of gave into the crowd’s booing and stood them up while Fitch was completely in control on the ground, but it ended up meaning nothing because Saunders couldn’t do anything standing up either. Third round sees Fitch just destroying him on the ground, for the 30-27 unanimous decision. Worst fight of the night, easily.
Kurt Pellegrino v. Fabricio Comoes
Really great energy from Pellegrino in front of the hometown crowd. The first round was some seriously great submission attempts and reversals, with the highlight being Comoes trying for a choke from Pellegrino’s back and getting dropped RIGHT ON HIS HEAD and nearly breaking his neck in the process. That was sick, man. Even so, I’d give the first round to Comoes for holding a choke attempt for nearly a minute before Pellegrino was able to escape. Second round was all Pellegrino, however, as he threw knees from the clinch, took him down, and submitted him with a rear naked choke for a convincing win on home turf.
Interim Heavyweight title: Shane Carwin v. Frank Mir
Holy FUCK is Carwin scary. My wife is a huge Frank Mir fan and was thinking he had a shot based on the countdown show, but Carwin absolutely dismantled him here. After a slow start in the clinch against the fence, Carwin got a second wind (the longest fight of his career at 3:38, ya know) and just unloaded with some of the scariest bombs I’ve ever seen. Mir was out before he hit the mat the first time, and again with the shitty refereeing job from Dan Miragliotta as Carwin was allowed to drop four undefended shots to the head of an unconscious Mir before it was finally stopped. So now you’ve got Brock Lesnar as champion with three terrifying knockout artists lined up directly below him. Maybe he should get another disease and call it a career for his own safety.
Prelim fight: Tomasz Drwal vs. Rousimar Palhares
Given we only have the main event left, this must be a short one. And indeed Drwal slips while trying a kick and Palhares just destroys him with a DEEP heel hook, holding on well past the time when Drwal was tapping. I mean, really, you can feel the guy tapping on your leg, release the damn hold. Joe Rogan actually confronted him about that (via interpreter Murilo Bustamante) and he kind of apologized for it, but that doesn’t fix Drwal’s knee.
Welterweight title: Georges St. Pierre v. Dan Hardy
I give Hardy all the props in the world for guts, but even if you refuse to tap to sickening armbars and keep fighting, you need to show some offense to gain true respect. And really, this was St. Pierre absolutely dismantling Hardy for five straight rounds. I told my wife at the beginning of the fight that Georges would basically take Hardy down at will, and that’s exactly what he did. The first round was terrifying if you’re Hardy, as St. Pierre had at least three clear submission chances (including an armbar that was practically wrenching Hardy’s arm out of the socket) and not only takedowns but basically passing Hardy’s guard at will. Second and third rounds were more of the same dominating takedowns (somewhat boring the live crowd, as they wanted more of a standup fight) and basically ensuring that Hardy needed a knockout to win. Fourth round was the same story, with Georges sinking in a kimura and basically standing above Hardy with a “What the hell do I do now?” look on his face. Dan Hardy is truly Gumby, that’s the only explanation. Fifth round was more takedowns and punishment, as George looked for some way to finish Hardy and couldn’t find a choke. He went for a kneebar in the closing seconds, but didn’t have the time to end it that way. Personally I was shocked that only one judge had it at 50-43 for St. Pierre. Afterwards Georges was apologetic for not finishing the fight, and noted he would watch the tapes with his coaches so he could get better. What’s “better”, ripping some dude’s arm right out of the socket and beating him into submission with it? Because that would be pretty cool, actually. I guess the next logical challenger is Jon Fitch again, but really St. Pierre needs some better competition in this division.
Jared Hamman v. Rodney Wallace
As noted by Joe Rogan, Hamman “looks like a postman” and Wallace is an insanely jacked, Bobby Lashley-style muscleman, but fighting is not weightlifting. Still, Wallace was showing power all through the fight, catching Hamman with some hard bombs that should have knocked him silly. Whether it was a lack of power on Wallace’s part (doubtful) or an iron jaw from Hamman, I don’t know. First round was close but I’d give it to Wallace for the flurry of punches that couldn’t quite knock Hamman out. Second round is all Hamman, as Wallace is tired and the postman is able to control on the ground with some surprisingly effective ground and pound. The third round was equally surprising, as Wallace was apparently gassed but still showed up to fight, nearly knocking Hamman out again with wild swings, but Hamman was able to control on the ground and even threw effective strikes from the bottom. I really enjoyed this fight, actually, even if neither guy is likely to be going anywhere from here. Judges called it 29-28 for Hamman, and I can’t disagree too much, but I could have been swayed to give Wallace the third round as well.
Kind of a great show overall, although it might depend on how big of a St. Pierre fan you are to get the most enjoyment out of it. The Carwin destruction of Mir was SICK and will probably be replayed a lot, and now the heavyweight division is a hell of a lot more interesting than it was a year ago. Strong thumbs up from me.
Tags: Brock Lesnar, dan hardy, Frank Mir, Georges St. Pierre, gsp, Mixed Martial Arts, shane carwin, UFC