He didn’t get to hang out with Chris “The Crippler” Leben at Remy’s (a la your humble editor and NewsCenter 5’s Sean Kelly), but that’s because our MMA guru JC was too busy paying attention to the actual card. Here’s his review:
The dust has settled on another exciting UFC event and while the talk since Saturday night has centered around the surprisingly competitive main event, a large part of the evening went just as expected.
-Jon Fitch solidified himself as the “Best of the Rest” in a welterweight division dominated by Champion Georges St-Pierre, with a snooze-fest unanimous decision over Thiago Alves. Fitch finds himself in a precarious position atop the UFC contenders as he’s beaten everybody (outside of GSP) but his style of fighting is such that very few will spend the money to watch him fight as the main event.
-Clay Guida did what Clay Guida does. Not sure if it says more about the fight or about me, but the only part of this fight that I rewound and watched over again was when Guida pushed his corner-man’s head out of the way so he could let out a burp that appeared to originate from the depths of his soul. It was classic Guida.
-Matt Hughes continued his resurgence, with a nice submission on Ricardo Almeida that had Almeida passed out in the Octagon.
-Junior dos Santos proved everyone right (except me) and dominated Roy Nelson for three rounds. As good as Nelson looked against his first two UFC opponents, dos Santos shined a light on some glaring weaknesses in Nelson’s game. It’s hard to believe Nelson will do well against his next rumored opponent in Shane Carwin. He couldn’t take dos Santos down and Carwin will be tougher, with his wrestling pedigree. It’d also be hard to believe Carwin wouldn’t send Big Country into a dream within a dream within a dream if he connected on half the shots Junior did.
-Christian Morecraft made Stefan Struve look like Mushmouth after the beating he delivered in round 1. Unfortunately for Morecraft, the doctors let Struve continue in spite of a bottom lip that appeared to be falling off. I’m surprised to see nothing has been made of Struve’s cheapshot after the tap coming out of the 2nd round. Morecraft hadn’t even pulled his hand back from the tap before Struve hammered him with a leg kick. Shortly thereafter, Morecraft was out cold.
-Nothing can be said about the Silva/Sonnen fight that hasn’t been said already. It ended exactly as expected, but the beginning and middle were beyond shocking. To his credit, Sonnen offered no excuses after the fight (unlike Silva). He gave credit to Silva and said his heart was broken. If he showed this much class leading up to the fight, he probably would’ve heard less boo’s entering the ring. Of course, it also would’ve resulted in much fewer PPV buys (and thus, likely less $$ for Sonnen).
Make no mistake, Shaq is not the biggest thing to come to Boston this summer. In less than three weeks, Dana White brings the UFC to his hometown for the first time. This card offers something for everybody. BJ Penn, one of the top pound-for-pound fighters of all time, looks to take his title back from Frankie Edgar. UFC Legend (and star of the upcoming Sly movie “The Expendables”) Randy Couture takes on the first legitimate cross-over challenge from a boxing champion in James Toney. Westwood native Kenny Florian (who operates the Florian Martial Arts Center in Brookline with his brother Keith) takes on rising star Gray Maynard for what’s likely to be for a title shot against the Penn/Edgar winner and Brockton’s own Joe Lauzon will face off against Ultimate Fighter castoff Gabe Ruediger. Previews and predictions will come as we get closer to fight night.