Wow. UFC 164 has come and gone and what a night! One big ass stink and one lightweight stink but damn did the great fights make up for those. First up Cedenblad v Hamman. Very short. Basically a scramble that lead to Cedenblad applying a sweet guillotine choke submission. A sub worthy of award. Couture v Iaquinta: I enjoyed the fight. Dana White nailed it at the media scrum saying that Ryan didn’t get his chin from his dad the legend Randy couture. He took a beating and kept coming forward. He dropped a hard fought decision.
Next, heavyweights Peleli v Krykov. Horrible fight. The two came out with bad intentions, but one minute in, they gassed and gassed hard. It was the worst bout of heavy breathing since Slice v Alexander. Still doesn’t top the epic kick box gas fest that was Bob Sapp v Hong Man Choi though. Peleli found some oxygen in the third round, and while on the ground, slammed his pillows on his tired opponents face. One to miss. No, no, no.
Camus v Kang was a good scrap. Camus got the win. Did it help that he was the local boy? Entertaining back and forth battle. I’m not sure that either of them put a definitive stamp on it. Lim v Kraus – Lim won with a quick TKO. Can’t really say much more. Entertaining while it lasted. Elliot v Gaudinot – fly weight time. This was entertaining, yet one sided. Elliot is huge for his weight class, but wasted little time and just beat the snot out of the green haired one for 3 rounds.
Then for Tibau v Varner from the featherweight division. Tibau is a huge man for the weight class and walks around at about 180lbs, and cuts to 145. Crazy. I liked this fight. I’m a Varner fan he just didnt do enough in the first two rounds and kept getting taken down. He needed a finish in the third but it wasn’t to be. Tibau won by split decision.
Now onto the main card. At this stage, I was 3/5 on my predictions. Some surprising moments. Poirer v Koch. I picked Koch but you can never predict what a good ass-kicking can do. The Korean Zombie finishing Poirer was just what he needed. Put on an absolute clinic but couldn’t get the finish. But these guys are tough as shit and they will fight again. This was my fight of the night by far.
Rothwell v Vera. Rothwell did as predicted, but not as quickly as I expected. He put a beating on Vera in the third round that was beautiful to behold. I even loved the showboat. He showed massive testicular fortitude by calling out Travis Browne afterward. Not sure he will get that fight but I for one would watch it. Mendes v Guida. Wow, just wow! As expected, Mendes put a beating on the caveman. Amazingly, he even got a finish by TKO in the third round. Great fight.
Barnett v Mir – Barnett gets the win as predicted but damn. Barnett came to kill. I expected a technical ground fight but all Barnett wanted to do was knee Mir in the face. Some say it was a quick stoppage, but these guys being of the stature that they are, you just cant risk letting someone take a few more shots, just because they aren’t completely out yet. Mir got back up straight away, but that says more about his conditioning than the damage he took. Barnett could have and definitely would have carried on punching him in the face. On a side note. Mir is looking the best he ever has since that devastating motorcycle accident.
As for the main event of the evening. This was shockingly amazing. People may have predicted that Pettis would win but no one predicted the finish. Arm bar in the first round. Wow. Ill be honest with you, this just wasn’t Benson’s night. I think that Pettis just has Benson’s number. Yeah I went for Benson but I’m still a believer in experience over tenacity. Nevertheless, I have to say Benson didn’t look confident going in. He just wasn’t the usual Benson, what with the new hairdo and all. Fantastic win for Pettis and a good move calling out Jose Aldo.
Finally, lets look at the post fight awards. Lim and Krauss got the fight award. Mendes picked up the best knockout and Pettis the submission. This was an event that made me feel that the UFC could be much more generous. It is a PPV after all. I think it could be argued on this occasion that every award is disputable. The clear robbery was fight of the night. How can a one sided fight that went just short of a round get the nod over an absolute war in Poirer v Koch? A simply incredible fight. OK, there was a finish. Finishes are great but its certainly wasn’t a jaw droppingly memorable one. Hmmm.
Anyway, thanks for reading and be sure to come back for plenty more UFC articles!
Arun Paul Smith