Sunday, September 1, 2013

UFC 164 Recap

Pettis has now captured the WEC
and UFC belt from Benson Henderson.
It was early into my blogging career and the calender year that I said "Champions Beware."  I thought there was a lot of tough contenders and not weak, but vulnerable champions.  From DJ getting rocked twice by Dodson, to Rousey almost being submitted by Carmouche, I saw weakness in the UFC's best.  Anthony Pettis followed up Chris Weidman's act with an emphatic statement in his title win.  He did not simply win a title fight, he disposed of the champion early in a fight he controlled from start to finish.  Here is my take on that fight and the rest of UFC 164's bouts.


  • Magnus Cedenblad had an awesome guillotine choke of Jared Hamman in the first round of their fight.  This would have won SOTN on most cards, but the main event submission eclipsed this one.
  • Al Iaquinta had a tough time following his TUF Live finale loss but he finally returned to the Octagon in spectacular fashion.  Props to Ryan Couture for being tough and not being finished by Al, but boy did he take a beating.  Al Iaquinta's takedown defense and barrage of punches to both the body and head makes him look like a monster going forward.
  • Soa Palelei and Nikita Krylov put on the most boring fight of the night.  The both gasses within a minute of the fight starting.  Soa was eventually able to muster up just enough to finish Krylov in the 3rd.
  • Chico Camus had the definition of a hard fought win over Kyung Ho Kang.  Kang used his powerful wrestling to control most of the fight but Camus was effective enough when the fight was standing to win.  His 3rd round upkick sealed the final round for him, as well as the fight.  Good for Camus to get a huge win at home.
  • While there is NO WAY this fight should have won FOTN over Porier/Koch, I do have to say it was one hell of an entertaining bout.  Lim Hyun-Gyu and Pascal Krauss when toe to toe and swung for the fences.  Lim looked gigantic at welterweight and he eventually tagged Krauss with a shot that left him beyond jelly legged.  A couple punches and knees and the fight was over.  Great win for Lim and Krauss has regained my respect as a fighter as well.
  • Tim Elliot absolutely thrashed Louis Gaudinot from the beginning of this fight to the final bell.  Elliot looked sloppy and crazy, but his lack of technique proved to be successful.  He threw very unorthodox strikes but they landed.  On the ground he was more active than Chael Sonnen and just never let Gaudinot breathe.  He also is huge for the flyweight division and he made a statement in this win.  Look for him to get a big name in his next fight.
  • I actually did not get a chance to see any of the Tibau vs Varner fight but I think I am glad I didn't.  I am a big Varner fan but unfortunately he came out on the wrong side of a split decision.  Tibau apparently won with his takedowns.  Good for Tibau who might actually make a main card in his next fight.  Despite the vast experience of both Tibau and Varner, they are still under 30 and have bright futures ahead of them.
  • I always elude to the 10 fights you cannot miss.  Poirier and Koch lived up to the #3 spot I gave it.  I believe this was the fight of the night as well as a very important fight.  Round 1 very well could have been the Round of the Year.  It started out with a striking match that Poirier was winning before Koch trapped him in a deep triangle choke.  I have no clue how Dustin didn't go to sleep when Koch tightened it up.  After he escaped he caught Koch with a hook that rocked him.  Poirier threw nasty ground and pound before eventually putting Koch in his signature d'arce choke.  Koch looked ready to tap until he heard the 10 second warning.  He held on for his life until the end of the round saved his consciousness.  Round of the Year easily!  I would argue it was more Leonard Garcia and Dustin Poirier that made Chan Sung Jung exciting rather than the other way around.  Take nothing away from Jung, but I'd rather watch a Poirier fight because he is more exciting.  Even in fights he wins easily, he gets d'arce chokes and mounted armbar/triangle combo chokes.  Dude is talented and exciting.  Back to the fight, the second round was largely dominated by Dustin Poirier in both the standup and ground game.  Koch mounted a comeback in the third round but could not finish Poirier.  He even had his back and put a neck crank in but Dustin put his finger up waving that he was fine.  The hugged it out in appreciation of each other's talents making it an excellent fight.  Koch lost the decision despite coming so close to a first round finish and dominating the third.  Both guys are just 24 and will be back for more.
  • Brandon Vera looked very good in his return to heavyweight.  He picked apart Ben Rothwell for two rounds before Rothwell found his groove.  He did some crazy head motions showing he still had something left in the gas tank in the third round.  The crowd went crazy and Vera looked puzzled.  Rothwell threw some hooks, uppercuts, and knees until he finally finished off Vera.  Rothwell called out Travis Browne wisely, but Browne is far too high in the heavyweight standings to even think about Rothwell at this point.
  • Clay Guida is a tough guy and a dominant wrestler.  If he wants to take you down, he will.  Unless you are Chad Mendes.  Mendes took Guida down when he wanted.  His sprawls were so good they almost worked as takedowns.  Guida was outmatched in the wrestling game like I have never seen before.  Oh and Guida has been finished before, but never by punches.  Again, insert Chad Mendes.  It took until the 3rd round, but Chad Mendes threw a nasty combo against the cage that had the ref stepping in and pulling Mendes off of Clay.  Mendes needed only 3:34 seconds to dispose of his last 3 opponents.  So Clay Guida, the man who had never been stopped due to punches, seemed like a bad matchup for Chad.  Mendes looked unbelievable in overcoming this threat to his climb back into title contention.  More to come about the status of the 145 lb division coming soon.
  • Josh Barnett made a triumphant return to the Octagon when he stopped Frank Mir in the first round.  While I agree Mir could have taken more damage before the ref jumped in, I think the fight was over. Barnett looked outstanding and Mir continues to struggle when people put him against the fence.  In his last 4 losses, 3 of those guys won the fight on the fence.  Carwin was the first and since then Daniel Cormier and Barnett have used that blueprint.
  • It was one of the most spectacular title fights of all time.  It was the best fight in WEC history.  It was the coolest kick ever.  The first fight between Ben Henderson and Anthony Pettis was all of the aforementioned things.  The second fight was an ass whooping from the new champ to the old.  Anthony Pettis landed a bunch of punches and kicks to the body of Henderson which clearly hurt him.  Those kicks stopped Cerrone and really appeared to hurt Henderson.  Finally he threw a weird spinning kick which Henderson capitalized on by taking Pettis to the ground.  Out of nowhere pettis threw his legs up and snatched the arm of Henderson.  Pettis rolled over and then all of the sudden they both stood up.  Nobody knew what happened, but the fight was over.  Henderson verbally tapped to the armbar and Pettis became the new champ in his hometown of Milwaukee.  Pettis then called out Jose Aldo and everyone went crazy.  More to come about Aldo and the 145 lb division this week.  Henderson had better hope somebody beats Pettis because he will not get the third fight anytime soon.  Maybe welterweight is in Benson's future?  On a side note I find this slightly funny.  Benson Henderson has been known of as the man of rubber nobody could submit since his fight with Cowboy Cerrone.  He bent his body in ways I did not understand to avoid a submission.  They kept talking about how he got his black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu before the fight.  Then he got submitted in the first round.  I found this to be a funny aspect of the fight.
Pick totals entering event: 123/213
Picks during event: 8/12
Pick totals: 131/225

UFC Bonuses:
FOTN: Lim/Krauss
SOTN: Pettis
KOOTN: Mendes

In my opinion UFC Bonuses should be:
FOTN: Poirier/Koch
SOTN: Pettis
KOOTN: Mendes and Lim

Brutal Sports Awards:
Beatdown of the Night: Elliot
Sketchiest Decision of the Night: Probably the split one between Varner/Tibau
Upset of the Night: Poirier

The Cut List:
  • Hamman
  • Vera??
Three Stars:
  1. Pettis
  2. Iaquinta
  3. Mendes

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