It was only a few short months ago that the UFC made their debut in Toronto at 129, and while this card lacked the sizzle of the previous one it delivered the goods for a second time. Let’s dig a little deeper and discuss what made this card so darn successful.
1. I still am reluctant to go all in on Jon Jones but his stock was raised considerably here. He was tested in a major way in the first round as Machida used his craftiness to find a few holes in Jones’ previously impenetrable defense. Even early in round 2 Machida seemed in control of Jones. But then all it took was one takedown, which lead to one nasty elbow to the forehead which lead to a nasty standing guillotine. If Jones can turn it on just like that and finish an opponent as dangerous as Machida then maybe all those folks out there who have Jones #3 on their pound for pound list have a point.
2. Despite the intensity of the main event, without question the image that will live on from this card will be Frank Mir rolling through twice, holding on to a kimura and then snapping the arm of one of the absolute best heavyweights of all time. Critics will point out that the reluctance of some (GSP) to break bones sends the message that his storms are to be weathered and I would have to agree. Frank Mir does not mess around and now we have to start talking about one last shot at the title and whether or not he deserves it.
3. Obviously at UFC 141 we will get the incredible showdown between Brock Lesnar and Alistair Overeem and the winner of that will get the first crack at Junior Dos Santos but who comes after that. Maybe Cain Velasquez depending on where he goes next but I think that thanks to the shallowness of the division Mir could possibly even wait it out from here. Of course he’ll probably want another fight before then but I think that declaring Mir the #4 man in the division right now is fair and safe statement.
4. The news wsn’t all bad for the Nogueira brothers as Little Nog looked as good as he’s ever looked in the UFC tonight. Granted he was beating up a faded Tito Ortiz but still there is something to be said for earning a 1st Round TKO by simply landing an absurd number of body shots.
5. Ortiz’s post-fight interview was a wee bit absurd but refreshing for the way in which he didn’t retire. Who else has grown extremely tired of abused fighters taking the chance after their defeat to make it all about them by declaring that they are stepping away from the sport. Unlike BJ Penn, Tito Ortiz is a fighter who wants to fight. He spoke of only having one more left on his contract but if in a few months he pulls off another killer victory do we really think he’ll take that as his cue to just ride off into the sunset? I get the feeling with Tito that he’ll be more than happy to take this career thing just as far as Ken Shamrock has, no matter how pathetic he ends up looking.
6. I will grant you that the Brian Ebersole/Claude Patrick fight was kind of a snoozer (which Patrick fight isn’t a snoozer) but for me it worked because of just how damn close it was. Round 3 was Ebersole’s, I think that is clear, but if I were somebody who believed in 10-10 rounds I would have used them in both of the first two here. In our play by play I ultimately gave the fight to Patrick but this one was so close throughout that you couldn’t help but appreciate it. You hate to see a 14 fight win streak end under such a dubious decision but I don’t really think that Patrick could complain about the scorecards.
7. Chan Sung Jung gave us very little to discuss in relation to his fight with Mark Hominick but it bears repeating that he knocked out a man whose last fight was for a UFC title in only 7 seconds. Yes, it ties the official UFC record for fasted KO (tying laughing stock Todd Duffee), and yes Joe Rogan is still out there campaigning for Duane Ludwig’s UFC Fight Night 3 four second victory (which was incorrectly recorded as 11 seconds) but really the focus should be on the impressive year the Korean Zombie has turned in. After getting kicked square in the head by George Roop to end last year he spent 2011 scoring the most fantastic submission of the year and a lightning fast knockout.
8. It was certainly a night of early stoppages as 6 of the 12 fights ended in the first round. The most shocking of those may have been the way Krzystof Soszynski got man handled by Igor Pokrajac.
9. Dennis Hallman finally did something to land him in the good graces of Dana White. After showing the world his manhood at UFC 133 and then missing weight before this event he went out and straight up dominated the previously undefeated John Makdessi. I imagine that had he gone out and turned in a terd performance tonight his job very well may have been in jeopardy.
10. No word yet on where Jon Jones goes from here but I would love to see him take on the recently victorious Dan Henderson in a generational battle. Of course we would have to assume that Jones would be a huge favorite going in but, again, after his performance here tonight who wouldn’t he be favored against?
Tags: Antonio Rodrigo Noguiera, Brian Ebersole, chan sung jung, Claude Patrick, Dennis Hallman, Frank Mir, jon jones, Lyoto Machida, Mark Hominick, Mixed Martial Arts, Tito Ortiz, UFC 140