The UFC just cannot catch a break, with two fights falling through at the last second for reasons beyond their control. Clearly Jeremy Stephens deserves to be in jail if the accusations against him are true. It doesn’t matter how entertaining of a fighter you are in the Octagon, you cannot beat people to an inch of their life in real life. It is amazing that Stephens has had this warrant for nearly a year and took no steps to address the situation. Throw in Dennis Hallman missing weight for the second straight fight and his release and this was a tough card on the UFC.
Dana White’s portrayal of the authorities in the Stephens matter was that they were playing games, not allowing Stephens to post bail to fight and waiting until the last second to arrest him. But looking at it from the police’s position Stephens has avoided them for over a year and could be considered a real flight risk. A bad situation made worse by Stephen’s negligence.
That is enough of that, on to the fights:
- The injury to Travis Browne was unfortunate but his reaction to that injury is really what lost him that fight. After his knee was hurt, Browne seemed to panic, drop his hands and leave himself wide open for Antonio Silva to wade right in with heavy shots. Big win for Silva and likely not a major set back for Browne.
- John Dodson and Jussier da Silva wasn’t the most thrilling fight, but it had a very exciting conclusion. Both fighters had a feeling out process in the first round, but in the second round Dodson really let his hands go. And it was the left hand that really did the damage. And now Dodson has the chance to become the fourth TUF champion to become UFC Champion. His fight with Demetrious Johnson promises to deliver action worthy of Johnson’s Xbox 360 sponsorship.
- Both Michael Johnson and Mike Pierce pulled awesome, come-from-behind KOs out of the hat and really closed the prelims with a bang.
- Shinya Aoki made very short work Arnaud Lepont, putting the Frenchman to sleep with a triangle choke. Lepont was clearly over his head and talked his way into this fight, but it is a nice stepping stone for Aoki who should now challenge for the One FC Lightweight title.
- Speaking of the One FC Lightweight title Kotetsu Boku pulled an awesome comeback when he knocked out Zorobabel Moreira. In the first round Zorobabel was all over Boku, peppering him with strikes and it appeared Boku injured his knee. The second round picked up right were the first left off and then suddenly Boku landed a punch that rocked Zorobabal. Boku was able to pounce and finish the fight, becoming the Lightweight Champion in dramatic fashion. It was an extremely gutsy performance and Boku did an excellent job of keeping his cool and waiting for his chance.
- It was the weekend of ruptured testicles as both Jens Pulver in One FC and Thiago Santos were on the receiving end of brutal groin shots. Santos was on his back playing guard when Eric Prindle landed a full on axe kick to the groin, minutes after the ref warned both fighters to watch out for low blows. Pulver’s nut shot on the other hand was the result of an errant leg kick from 19-year-old Chinese fighter Ya Fei Zhao, who Pulver was clearly beating. Both fighters struggled to stand within the five minute break granted for low blows and the DQs were rightly awarding in both cases.
- Brett Rogers got a good old fashion Kyokushin beat-down from Alexander Volkov, as the former Strikeforce Heavyweight contender did next to nothing in this fight. Apparently Rogers broke his arm blocking a kick in the opening minutes, but that only partially explains the extremely poor showing on Friday night. His entire career is built off a knock out of Andrei Arlovski, before we knew how shot he was as fighter. Rogers is never going to be a relevant heavyweight again and never actually was one in the first place.
- Jessica Penne won the Invicta Atomweight Championship with her usual impressive grappling. Invicta continues to build their brand, but this card, while solid, wasn’t overly thrilling. While Invicta is growing their depth, as a promotion there is still a lot of room for improvement as a promotion. I originally wanted to compare Invicta to Bellator when it was just started out, but even then Bellator was on ESPN Deportes. Invicta has to collect a lot more talent before they can even hope for a TV deal on that level, but with Strikeforce in its death throws Invicta seems to the destination for up-and-coming female fighters.
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