To many people, UFC 119 was the worst show they’d seen this year. To me, it was a slightly below average show where there were zero expectations. I guess, if the show has zero expectations, maybe it is worse because you’re still paying the same amount of money as you would to see a show with bigger expectations.
You’ll see some varied response from our crew about the show. But the one thing we all agreed on is that Frank Mir should probably stay out of main events.
Here’s what we thought about UFC 119:
Thumbs Way Down
Best Fight: Chris Lytle vs. Matt Serra
Worst Fight: Mirko Cro Cop vs. Frank Mir
This wasn’t the worst show ever, but it certainly wasn’t a good one either. I felt the standard of judging on this show was particularly poor. I didn’t agree with the decision in Nog/Bader, and the Sherk/Dunham call was just appalling. It’s another perfect example of how UFC judging favours the stronger wrestler because neither Sherk or Bader won a fight: they won a wrestling match.
The undercard was perfectly OK, bad judging aside, but neither of the main event match ups were worthy of their billing in the first place, and both were sleep inducing in practice. Mir/Crocop was a battle of two guys who have no business competing at a high level anymore. Sadly one of them had to win, and sadder still it was Frank Mir.
Thumbs Way Down
Best Fight: Evan Dunham vs. Sean Sherk
Worst Fight: Jeremy Stephens vs. Melvin Guillard or Mirko Cro Cop vs. Frank Mir
If you missed the Spike TV prelims, I logged them here.
How great would it be to see Mirko Cro Cop beat Frank Mir tonight? We actually had three guys take Cro Cop in the preview that we put out yesterday. I don’t see it, but I think it’d be a great story.
1. Jeremy Stephens vs. Melvin Guillard
Guillard came in quickly and was put on his butt. But he got back up. He’s way too cocky. It’s almost like he’s nervous and he’s faking it by pretending like he’s overconfident. It was a pretty even round in the striking department and that’s all they did. Neither guy had a real advantage and it felt a lot like a feeling out round. But they are going all out with their strikes. They just aren’t exchanging all that much.
Neither guy is really landing, though Guillard does have a speed advantage. He’s able to get in and out before Stephens has a chance to get off. But it’s not like Guillard is landing. Stephens is starting to fake shots to throw others and it’s a better strategy. They both finally land, but it’s just too bad it’s in each other’s cups. Looks like Guillard got the worst of his. Stephens looks bothered by Guillard’s Floyd Mayweather impersonation. Well, it’s not the fight anyone expected.
Unless he gets knocked out, Guillard’s going to win this fight and it’s not because of his offense. It’s going to be because of his defense. He’s keeping his distance and not allowing Stephens to do anything impressive. Stephens may have landed more shots because of his leg kicks, but it’s unimpressive. Someone might as well kick a guy in the balls. That was the most impressive moment of the fight so far. Stephens landed a body shot that Guillard didn’t like and tried to follow it up with a flying knee, but missed badly. They started to exchange really late in the fight. Guillard landed a wicked knee while Stephens was coming in but took punches as well.
Winner: Melvin Guillard by way of split decision
The scores were 29-28 Guillard, 29-28 Stephens, and 30-27 Guillard.
2. Evan Dunham vs. Sean Sherk
Dunham put him in a guillotine early and it looked deep. Sherk got out of it and did what he does best which is muscle guys on the ground. That’s two takedowns. Dunham had another guillotine and twisted on it. Mike Goldberg called it early but Sherk didn’t tap. It looked deep though. Sherk got back on top and blasted Dunham from the top with an elbow and we have blood. The cut is nasty. The ref stopped the fight to check on the cut, but restarted the round. I think the visual of the cut probably wins the round for Sherk on the judges’ scorecards, but I’d give the round to Dunham.
Here’s weigh-in results for UFC 119:
Sean McCorkle (263) vs. Mark Hunt (265)
Julio Paulino (170) vs. TJ Grant (170)
Waylon Lowe (154) vs. Steve Lopez (156)
Pat Audinwood (156) vs. Thiago Tavares (155)
Joey Beltran (239) vs. Matt Mitrione (253)
Mitrione was wearing a shirt with Marvin Gaye’s face on it that said, “Let’s get it on.”
Joe Doerksen (186) vs. CB Dollaway (186)
Jeremy Stephens (155) vs. Melvin Guillard (155)
Guillard got right up in his face with his hands down at the stare down.
Evan Dunham (156) vs. Sean Sherk (155)
Sherk looks a little bit smaller than I expected.
Chris Lytle (171) vs. Matt Serra (170)
They goofed off at the stare down with Serra trying to look taller and Lytle shorter.
Ryan Bader (205) vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (205)
Bader looks jacked and lean. Rogan called Lil’ Nog by the name of Minotauro.
Mirko Cro Cop (227) vs. Frank Mir (252)
Cro Cop looks small. Mir looks big, but not as big as he’s been of late.
Cro Cop says he feels good and it’s just another fight. Mir says he’s not underestimating Cro Cop and he’s going to look to take him out quick.
This is their last shot to sell this fight and I think they’ve done a poor job so far.
GSP says that he’s always nervous before a fight and he thinks about his fight with Matt Serra all the time. Some guys are hyped up, but he’s scared. He’s hyped up and scared, he then said. He doesn’t want to lose in front of all those people. He says it’s that same fear though that’s going to keep him sharp.
Hardy shows Matt Serra a Georges St. Pierre calendar and hilarity ensues. These photos aren’t of GSP in UFC wear. They’re more modeling shots. Hardy says GSP always has his thumb up his ass. Serra says Hardy’s motivation should be to make him ugly.
They show Hardy dead-lifting 500 pounds. The dude does look pretty strong for his size. Though, I imagine, if they showed GSP do the same lifts, he’s probably just as strong.
After showing a session with GSP and his crew, the view switches to Dan Hardy working out in Serra’s gym. The music and drama for GSP’s workouts were a bit different. He looked like the most super star of super star athletes. Hardy on the other hand looked like someone who is working hard, but isn’t as machine-like. They showed him more tired and out of breath. Serra tells him it’s his turn.
Hardy says he’s mentally tougher than GSP and GSP knows it. How would GSP know?
GSP says that Dan Hardy isn’t easy and he’s not going to go right through him.
The best part of the entire three episode series is the last three minutes with each guy throwing punches in slow motion. At least It ended strong, even if I didn’t like much of it.
You’d have to say that week one of Prime Time was pretty weak. It was a boring show that didn’t do much to whet my appetite for a fight that most fans don’t think is competitive. They have to do a better job in week 2.
Dan Hardy watched last week’s episode and said that he smells GSP’s fear. Hmmm. Not sure about that one.
Matt Serra says he’s there for Hardy, but it doesn’t seem like he really wants to be involved. He thought it was good karma to help him. You do have a feeling that once Serra is done with fighting, he’ll probably be a really good trainer/coach.
Hardy’s training ground work and Serra says that GSP is going to feel like a light weight compared to the guy who he was working with.
They show him do some power lifting and he’s doing the same jumping squats with weights that GSP was doing last week. It still looks impressive as hell. My knees hurt just thinking about doing that.
The show focuses on Firas Zahabi, GSP’s head trainer. He says Georges is like a brother to him and when he wants GSP to win, it’s like he wants his brother to win.
GSP says he’s not scared of Dan Hardy no matter what and he doesn’t care if he trains with Matt Serra.
They show GSP training with Nate Marquardt and Kenny Florian. Georges says he trains to fight an army of guys, not just one guy.
Hardy says this fight can define him for the rest of his life. Hardy trained with the Shaolin Monks in 2000.
GSP says every day he wants to get better than the day before and even though he knows he can’t be perfect, each day he knows he’s closer.
Hardy says GSP’s coach needs to shut his mouth. Poor Firas is just trying to make this fight more interesting.
Hardy’s trying to cut promos saying that it’s the age of Dan Hardy and how the Outlaw is taking the belt. I’m waiting for him to use “Exist to inspire”.
This show is failing make their fight exciting. Hardy seems like he’s cutting bad promos rather than stirring up interest in the fight.