Nate Diaz vs. Clay Guida
I didn’t care much for the judging in this fight. Guida wins a split decision but for what? OK, it’s impressive that you stymied Nate Diaz on the ground, but less so when you had the dominant position every time on the ground and yet administered no offense yourself. In the stand up, Diaz clearly got the best of him in Rounds 1 and 3. You never know what will happen when the Diaz’s are involved after a fight but Nate was a good sport about the decision. Clay bores us all by saying thanks to everyone he’s ever met in his life. Joe Rogan has to cut him short. Did he just win an Oscar? No , just an undercard lay-and-pray split decision victory. Shut up Clay..
At this point the live crowd has witnessed six straight fights going to decision and I’m wondering if that will effect their excitement level later on. (Granted, many of the people don’t arrive until the start of the PPV card)
Winner: Clay Guida by split decision
Karo Parisyan vs. Dong Hyun Kim
I liked the first two rounds. Some nice grappling by both guys going on. Kim clearly wins the first round, Karo clearly wins the second. Third round, NOTHING happens, and it’s basically a coin toss as to who to give Round 3 to, and decide the fight… Karo wins the split decision. Really disappointing Rounds 2 + 3 by Kim, given his reputation, and his great showing in the first round. Karo had his mouthpiece falling out of his mouth the whole fight and almost lost a point for it, which would’ve made the difference in the fight obviously.
That makes SEVEN OUT OF SEVEN straight decisions for the live crowd!! When a fight actually gets a finish they will go crazy.
Winner: Karo Parisyan by split decision
Stephan Bonnar vs. Jon Jones
Best moment of the night so far as Jones lands a WICKED spinning elbow that knocks Bonnar out momentarily. Jones gives him a little too much time before pouncing on top of him, and Bonnar is able to recover. Goldberg calls it a spinning backfist (sigh). Jones hits an incredible suplex on Bonnar in the second round!!! Holy shit. I love this guy; sick talent and such a unique style; nothing like the generic guys that UFC typically churns out. Alas, the third round is a dud yet again, and we go to the scorecards again in what should be a unanimous decision for Jones.. and it is
Winner: Jon Jones by inanimous decision
Lyoto Machida vs. Thiago Silva
Amazing. What odds could I have gotten on LYOTO having the first finish of the night?? We saw two men with identical 13-0 records matched up but clearly Lyoto was in a totally different class than Thiago Silva. He completely dominated the round and then finished the fight with a nasty leg sweep takedown followed by one punch on the ground right before the buzzer that knocked Silva out.
Lyoto with a nice interview afterwards that gets the fans hyped up. I guarantee Dana White breathed a sigh of relief after this result. If this fight went the distance, it would’ve been a real close call whether they’d have enough broadcast time for a 5-round main event to finish.
Winner: Lyoto Machida by KO Round 1
MAIN EVENT: Georges St. Pierre vs. B.J. Penn
St. Pierre grinds the Prodigy down for 4 rounds, scoring takedowns, ground and pounding, etc. for a dominant victory. After 2 rounds, B.J. had taken enough punishment that he just didn’t have much energy and from that point GSP was able to pass his guard at will. I don’t fault his conditioning, he was just beat up. GSP looked awesome but was clearly the much bigger guy and the weight advantage in my opinion made all the difference. I think both St. Pierre and Penn are incredibly talented and are pretty even in terms of skill, and in a situation like that, the bigger guy will prevail, and St. Pierre was the bigger guy. I don’t think any less of B.J. Penn after this loss. He was fighting up, and could probably beat a lot of guys at that weight, but not a super-elite fighter like GSP. I still consider both guys to be top 5 pound-for-pound.
Winner: Georges St. Pierre by TKO (corner stoppage) Round 4
Recap / overall thoughts: It was a ok show that didn’t live up to the hype. On paper, it looked fantastic but Diaz/Guida was a big letdown, while Parisyan/Kim and Bonnar/Jones had their moments but kind of fizzled out with unsatisfying finishes. The main event was a nice exhibition of GSP’s skills but he usually doesn’t win flashy and this was no exception. The highlight of the night was Lyoto Machida’s crushing win over Thiago Silva. Offensively, he looked explosive, and defensively he once again was amazing. He was basically untouched. I’ve got him as a solid favorite to beat Rashad Evans.
Addendum: I’m watching the MMA Live recap show and they are interviewing Karo Parisyan, who makes a classic mistake. His opponent, Dong Hyun Kim’s previously undefeated record was brought up and Karo dismisses it, says that Kim was only fighting tomato cans! Maybe true, but, Karo- you just beat the guy. Why tear him down like that? Wouldn’t you rather be the guy who just beat a tough, undefeated fighter? If he only build up his record by beating up on cans, then why should we be impressed that you beat him?