Sunday, May 24, 2009

UFC 98 - Almost Live Blog

lyoto-machida-rashad-evans-ufc-98Here is the UFC 98 experimental live blog that wasn't really live because I didn't tell anyone it was coming. Perhaps, we will really do a live one for UFC 99. Is that something you might be interested in?

Rashad Evans versus Kyoto Machida; Matt Hughes vs Matt Serra - Live from Vegas, Baby.

9:04 - UFC invites you to text in who you think is going to win because boy, we really want to know who you think is going to win.

9:06 - Rogan points out that Serra has called a name that rhymes with stick about 500 times. Seriously, Serra has a mouth on him. No one has ever doubted his ability to speak quickly - but has he ever really done more than his shocker over GSP? One lucky punch is something that MMA has no answer for. No one is invincible, and no one is useless. 1 punch can put everyone down. Unlike boxing, there is no such thing as invincible.

9:09 - Sean Sherk takes on Frankie Edgar. I really like Sherk, but I will also quickly admit that it was no shock when he had a Performance Enhancing Suspension.Dude, is just too shredded to not be a bit suspicious. And I would think having the nickname "the muscle shark" would put a target on your back. Sherk is 35, Edgar is 27. Here is the over-the-top Bruce Buffer....His quick neck twist to each fighter during introductions never gets old to me.

9:14 - We are underway, and Edgar has a clear tattoo advantage. They both weigh 155, it says, but Sherk looks like he is way bigger than Edgar. I think this has been a very entertaining first round. They are chasing eachother on their feet and exchanging blows. I think Sherk looks better, but Edgar did not come tonight to get beat. Good stuff so far.

9:20 - As Round 2 is starting, I am feeling like Sherk is about to take this thing over. He has been landing the majority of the punches in the first minute, and they seem to do way more damage. 3:35 mark, Edgar drops Sherk on what may have been a slip. Sherk has 3 career losses; Matt Hughes, GSP, and BJ Penn. Not bad at all. Edgar looks like he is disagreeing about my theory of Sherk taking over. Edgar is showing himself quite capable and pouring it on late in the round.

9:26 - Edgar's corner just told him he won both rounds before the 3rd. Why would you ever do that? Why would you tell your fighter that he already has the fight won? That made no sense to me. Edgar is fighting well, and now you wonder why Sherk isn't using his amazing wrestling skills. I never understand why these guys are so quick to stand up for 15 minutes if the opponent is willing. Edgar's kicks are really setting a tone now. With 1 minute to go, it looks like Edgar is now in the driver's seat. I didn't see this coming. Sherk needs a rally, and I am not seeing it. WOW! A Guillotine at the final gun for Edgar! He did not get a tap, but that will surely get him the decision.

9:33 - Let's go to the cards: All 3 judges say 30-27, Edgar! I guess his corner was right, and I expose myself as someone who should not work in a MMA corner. Add Frankie Edgar to the small group who has handled the Muscle Shark.

9:35 - Crowd loves BJ Penn. Rashad Evans enters wearing a sweet pink shirt and hanky in the suit coat.

9:39 - Chael Sonnen vs. Dan Miller is up. Chael promises to slam him down and punch a hole in his face. Ouch. I picked Miller here, let's see if I can go 0-2. Sonnen jumps in after Yushin Okami had to bail with a training injury.

9:45 - Very early in Round 1, Miller had the Guillotine pretty tight, but couldn't finish. That often results in spaghetti arms. Look for Miller to be gassed now. Sonnen is now raining down strikes as Miller cannot get back up while against the fence. And here come the forearms. Miller is not enjoying Round 1. Sonnen apparently has claimed to be the fastest white man alive. I will offer no personal challenge. Miller was beaten like a rented mule in the first round. Yikes.

9:52 - Round 2, Miller is getting pounded again. He had a chance with another guillotine and even another arm bar, but he is too gassed to do anything but get beat on. Sonnen is administering a pretty good beating.

9:57 - Dan Miller tells his corner "something's wrong". Funny. Miller is trying to do something, but Sonnen is got this in the bag. I need to stop picking fights if I cannot tell you anything about one of the fighters. I am not sure I have ever seen Chael Sonnen fight before, so to pick against him seems pretty stupid now. Absolute pounding. And a fairly boring fight.

10:04 - 30-27, 30-27, 30-27. Let's get some better fights, please.

10:07 - Xavier Foupa-Pokam vs Drew McFedries, at 185 next. Professor X dances like a goofball on his way to the ring. But, Rogan says he is a bad man, so let's take a look. This fight should be awesome. XFP was a late replacement addition for James Irwin, so I am getting behind McFedries. Career records: 20-10 versus 7-5.

10:14 - 2 giant rights from McFedries brings this fight to a conclusion in less than 40 seconds. Total destruction. The dancing goofball is no longer dancing.

10:20 - They show the two lockerrooms of the main event, and Evans is warm and working. Machida is standing in a hoodie with no expression. He looks like he is pretty bored.

10:26 - Mike Tyson is here. I guess he can still get chicks.

10:28 - It is finally time for the main event before the main event. Hughes vs Serra. This only has one possible outcome, said Joe Rogan. One of these guys will be eating crow before long tonight. Bad blood is quite an understatement. I am leery of both of these guys, but I am going to go with Hughes (sorry, Hughes) because for years he was the best fighter the UFC had. Serra may not be much more than a big mouth. We shall see. Oh, I don't like Serra at all. So forgive my bias against the blowhard.

10:32 - Hughes looks determined and ready to destroy Serra in the walkout. Can a country boy survive?

10:35 - Serra is 34, Hughes is 35. This is a fight we have waited for 4 years to see. So, if nothing else, Serra is great at selling a fight, eh?

10:38 - Wow. What a start as a head butt looks like it knocked Hughes silly. Hughes looked like he might not get out of the first minute, as he was loopy. Serra was fine, and looked very calm and confident. Serra was thrown later, and Hughes tried to go for the read-naked choke, but it wasn't very close. Serra looks like he won the first. I swear, more often than not, Hughes loses the first round and digs himself a hole. He even asked his corner if Serra knocked him down, but that was a clear head butt to the chin.

10:49 - 2nd Round was won by Hughes, and by a healthy margin. Hughes took him down and landed repeated blows to the ribs, and got a few more in to the head. Serra did a nice job of looking bored with it all, but he took a pretty good beating there. I have this thing locked up at a round a piece.

10:55 - 3rd Round is interesting to say the least. Hughes takes down Serra, they get stood up, and Hughes is taken down by Serra. In a tied fight going in, you can surely see a draw here, but I think Hughes wins 29-28. Although my bias may be my enemy here. A big hug for all involved as Serra and Hughes share a warm embrace.

10:57 - decision time: 29-28 for Hughes in a unanimous decision. The 16th UFC win for Hughes ties Chuck Liddell for all-time career win leader in octagon history. Hughes wins, but by an eyelash. And yet again, he looks like he has surely lost a step or two, but he also appears to have no interest in retiring. Serra is the fighter that most resembles Michael Chiklas. Honestly, I am a bit disappointed at that fight, too. Not sure I can say this was $55 yet.

11:02 - Time to talk up Evans and Machida. I wish I had an idea of what is going to happen, but I have no idea. But, I am excited to find out. I am really torn with Evans, because anyone from the Ultimate Fighter tv show is kind of rated a letter grade down. If you win a reality show, you should not be quite the same quality, right? But, he appears to be the real deal, since, you know, he is unbeaten and all. Machida has done nothing but impress since coming to the UFC, but since he has no bits to speak of, he has been largely under-rated. I am taking Evans, but I would not bet this fight if I were a betting man. The title at 205 is on the line. That means 5 rounds of 5 minutes....

11:17 - Let's have a good fight, eh? UFC 98 needs it.

11:19 - It took nearly 2 minutes for either fighter to make contact as Machida kicked Evans at 3:04 of the round. Machida kicks again at 2:00, and Evans has not done a thing. Machida drops Evans with a kick in the final minute, and it might be possible that Evans did not touch Machida the entire round. It is tough to win a round if you do not make contact with your opponent. Round to Machida. His kicks are wicked.

11:24 - Round 2: This round might have saved the PPV. After a very entertaining exchange and really a solid round, Machida rocks Evans and then 30 seconds later the kill is complete. Machida with a relentless flurry of fists and feet that put Rashad to sleep late in the round. A most impressive display for the Brazillian, and there is no doubt he is a worthy winner. He has never lost a round in the UFC, and we saw why. His opponents have no idea what to do with him.

11:30 - Here is your new 205 Champion of the UFC - Lyoto "The Dragon" Machida. Now, with GSP, the Spider, and the Dragon all holding belts, we are seeing the impact of the kicks and the athleticism required to get to the top. The grapplers might be on the way out of the spotlight. Karate is back! Machida is putting on a show as he stole the mic from Rogan and is not giving it back.

So, there you have it. A reasonably entertaining conclusion to a night without the best fights ever. UFC 99 is June 13th as the UFC rolls out another mediocre European card. But UFC 100 looks very good.

Good night, and good luck.

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