The biggest UFC in history was also maybe the greatest card we’ve seen yet. Despite a relatively restrained main event, the night was stacked from top-to-bottom with amazing finishes, tremendous displays of heart, emotional moments, and all around fantastic martial artistry.
There’s way too much to talk about, so sound off in the comments with your reactions. Here are the results from the Rogers Centre:
Pablo Garza def. Yves Jabouin via submission (triangle choke), round one
John Makdessi def. Kyle Watson via knockout (spinning back-fist), round three
Jason Macdonald def. Ryan Jensen via submission (triangle choke), round one
Ivan Menjivar def. Charlie Valencia via TKO (elbow, punches), round one
Claude Patrick def. Daniel Roberts via unanimous decision
Jake Ellenberger def. Sean Pierson via KO (punch), round one
Rory MacDonald def. Nate Diaz via unanimous decision
Ben Henderson def. Mark Bocek via unanimous decision
Vladimir Matushenko def. Jason Brilz via KO (punches), round one
Lyoto Machida def. Randy Couture via KO (crane kick), round two
Jose Aldo def. Mark Hominick via unanimous decision, retains featherweight championship
Georges St. Pierre def. Jake Shields via unanimous decision, retains welterweight championships.
- Garza is right: slamming your opponent is *not* a good defense against being triangled. On the concrete, sure, but in the cage? Unless you’re Rampage Jackson, chances are you’re helping your opponent by just packing yourself into the choke.
- Makdessi seemed a bit reticent at first, but his striking was crisp and that spinning back-fist KO was a thing of beauty. Only on a card like this will you find a moment like that getting overshadowed (ahem…Machida).
- Menjivar shows that the “elbows are only good for causing cuts” theory has some holes in it. Great close-quarter striking to finish Valencia.
- This has nothing to do with anything important, but I have no idea why Patrick didn’t get a post-fight interview with Joe Rogan. With three first-round victories preceding him, it’s not like the show was behind schedule…
- It didn’t contribute to a win, but I love Diaz’s shoulder-butts in the clinch. There are so many striking options in trapping range that sometimes get overlooked in the battle for double underhooks and takedowns.
- MacDonald’s stellar suplexes were the first thing to make the Rogers Centre crowd roar at a deafening level. Only in his early 20s, the kid has a really bright future ahead of him.
- Ben Henderson always demonstrates the power of staying calm and collected on the ground. I don’t think he’s “un-submittable” as much as he is un-shakeable. Master your mind state.
- Machida with the Karate Kid crane kick knock out!
- Machida credited Steven Segal for helping him hone the kick, a la Anderson Silva. The two reactions I keep hearing is that one, Team Blackhouse is lying and just using their movie star friend to put them over with American audiences, or two, that Segal is a secret weapon that only they seem to take seriously. I see it somewhere in the middle — that Machida already knew that kick but that Segal is a legit martial artist who likely has legitimate pointers to give. What’s your take?
- We’re seeing more and more people figure out how to make traditional martial arts moves work in the cage. A sign of things to come? What do you think we’ll see next? (My money’s on Kali limb destructions and Wing Chun trapping on the ground. Ever seen Sifu Joey straight blast from his guard?)
- Randy Couture’s career has been amazing. Retirement + crane kick + emotional outpouring from both fighters = this was one of the most memorable fights ever in the sport.
- Hominick showed amazing tenacity throughout his fight with Aldo and that last round rally was awe inspiring. But still, the hematoma giving birth on his forehead was…disconcerting. How do you feel about the doc letting that fight go on?
- A lot of fans were disappointed with the slow main event, but some props should go to Shields. When’s the last time GSP looked like he was actually in a fight? GSP went straight to the hospital afterwards, whereas Shields looked fine at the post-fight press conference, even cracking a few jokes.
- GSP seemed to be working three solid things repeatedly: jab, Superman punch, spinning side-kick. (Edit: Forgot he was working the overhand right as well.) With his promise of a finish and “don’t blink” warning, I think he was expecting to finish Shields with the kick he worked on with Joe Rogan. Were you impressed with GSP’s performance?
Pic source: MMA WEEKLY