Only just got time now to scribble down some thoughts on Saturday’s PPV card. I’d like to try and say at least a sentence or two about each fight, as well as rating them by how entertaining I found them. I’ll probably use this system for the next few cards and see how it goes!
BRIMAGE VS BLANCO PREDICTION: BLANCO T/KO RATING: AVERAGE
Surprised at two things, firstly how clean Brimage was able to land and secondly how tentative Blanco was throughout. Probably due to Brimage showing some decent footwork, moving in and out well keeping Blanco on his toes. The tumbling contest at the end was pretty nuts. I scored it 29-28 Brimage, 2nd to Blanco for the big knee. The judges agree and Brimage gets a split nod.
WISNEWSKI VS CLEMENTS PREDICTION: CLEMENTS T/KO RATING: GOOD
Fernando Yamasaki has a shocker, with one of the worst standups (from side control!) of the year so far. Might end up costing Wis the fight, as he gets cracked for the remainder of the 1st round and even dropped with a spinning back kick to the liver. Wis has a bit more success in the 2nd with two takedowns, but Clements consistently exposes his pretty much non-existant striking defense. I scored it 29-28 Clements, 2nd to Wis for the takedowns and dominant positions. Clements takes what is a second split decision of the night already.
ESCUDERO VS DANZIG PREDICTION: DANZIG DEC RATING: AVERAGE
The 1st round scramble was ace, Efrain coming real close to ripping Danzig’s ankle off, the ankle swelling up instantly after Danzig impressively spins out. For the rest of the fight Mac outworks his opponent, clinching and winning gritty exchanges. I scored it 29-28 Danzig, 1st for Escudero because of heel hook he came so close to finishing. Danzig wins the decision, disappointing for Efrain who will feel he could have finished with that leglock.
NJOKUANI VS MAKDESSI PREDICTION: NJOKUANI DEC RATING: DECENT
Pretty much how I saw it going down. Njokuani is really long and Makdessi had difficulty sorting his range out. Njokuani landed some decent strikes to the head, but he did some pretty serious damage to Jon’s left thigh which was a bit of a bruised mess at the bell. I scored it a clear 30-27 for Njokuani. Judges concur.
BROWN VS THOMSON PREDICTION: THOMSON T/KO RATING: DECENT
Kept flip-flopping over this fight. Brown was able to grit it out, effortlessly getting takedowns and grinding on Thomson from top position. When the fight stayed standing for long periods of time Thomson got busy and had Brown hurt, but by the time he’d managed this he was already tired and didn’t have enough for the finish. Sloppy, gnarly fight that plays exactly into Brown’s hands. I scored it 30-27 Brown, and the judges agree.
BROWNE VS GRIGGS PREDICTION: BROWNE DEC RATING: DECENT
I figured Browne would outclass Griggs, but saw this fight playing out similarly to the Broughton fight where Browne struggled to put a tough guy away. This time though he comes out to play, hurting Griggs with knees before choking him out on the mat. Good performance, but Griggs was real overvalued going into this fight so it probably doesn’t tell us anything we didn’t already know.
ALESSIO VS BOCEK PREDICTION: BOCEK DEC RATING: DECENT
Bocek did exactly what I expected for two rounds, taking Alessio down and maintaining complete control on top constantly threatening for chokes. In the 3rd Alessio mounted some decent offense, bloodying Bocek on the feet. I scored it 29-28 Bocek, with Alessio shading the 3rd round thanks to some decent escapes and effective boxing. Bocek takes it on the judge’s scorecards too.
HOMINICK VS YAGIN PREDICTION: HOMINICK DEC RATING: GOOD
Some good refereeing this time from the other Yamasaki brother, letting Hominick fight out of a tough spot in the 1st after getting pasted by a beefy Yagin uppercut. The Hawaiian lands again in 2nd sending Hominick crashing to the floor, but Hominick comes back into the fight and really marks up Yagin with a series of stiff jabs to the nose. Yagin swings wildly and with power, but Hominick is dealing damage with clean technique. The 3rd is clearly Hominick’s, the Canadian absolutely lacing Yagin multiple times and making a real mess of his face. I actually scored this fight a 28-28 draw, with a 10-10 2nd. I think Hominick coming back to bloody Yagin countered Yagin’s knockdown early in the round. Yagin gets the split nod from the judges.
TORRES VS MCDONALD PREDICTION: MCDONALD DEC RATING: GOOD
Boom. Some tasty sparring, then Mayday lands a pair of brutal uppercuts and Torres is out cold. That’s the sort of power that could make a fight with Cruz interesting. Didn’t expect that at all, thought this would be a close back and forth scrap. Massive victory for McDonald who should get Barao next for a title shot.
SCHAUB VS ROTHWELL PREDICTION: SCHAUB DEC RATING: GREAT
Holy cow. Schaub slams a spinning elbow into Rothwell’s head and closes in for the kill, but Rothwell lands a left hook that catches him on the ear as he moves forward. Schaub is so out of it he’s grappling an invisible opponent on the floor. Since when does Rothwell knock guys out cold?! Schaub’s chin is now beginning to look legitimately suspect, getting knocked out by Big Country, Big Nog and Big Ben is not exactly stellar.
MACDONALD VS MILLS PREDICTION: MACDONALD SUB RATING: GOOD
Mills immediately looks razor sharp on his feet and Rory looks unsettled, but as soon as RMac lands the takedown the fight takes on a very different look. Che gets absolutely hammered as Rory gets the mounted crucifix and mashes his face into a bloody pulp. The 2nd round starts, Rory gets his takedown early, works for position, them promptly obliterates Mills with murderous punches, forcing the bout to be stopped.
JONES VS EVANS PREDICTION: JONES SUB RATING: GOOD
Jon Jones is just a better fighter than Rashad Evans. For the first 6 or 7 minutes Rashad was able to land some tidy leg kicks and a few good punches, but then Jones starting throwing standing elbows Anderson Silva vs Tony Fryklund style and Rashed shelled up. The rest of the fight was basically Jones using whatever combinations he wanted to hurt Rashad who was unable to get off any offense. A scary performance from Jones yet again, this time because even though he couldn’t manage the finish he completely shut out the one guy who was thought to have a shot against him. Those standing elbows were also something of a revelation, I can see those finishing fights in the future. I scored it 50-45, and the judges pretty much agreed with Jones sweeping the cards.
Not sure how to feel really. The main card was definitely exciting, with some standout performances from young guns MacDonald and McDonald. The main event left me feeling a bit melancholy though, and I’m a Jones fan. I think it’s because with Rashad’s loss, there isn’t now anyone left at 205 I can see posing an interesting challenge for the champion. That includes rematches, seeing as he’s comprehensively beaten all comers. I guess I just don’t know what happens next. Henderson? Jones will kill him.