Well, after what was labeled as the biggest grudge match in the history of the UFC, Rampage and Rashad Evans didn’t necessarily put on the slam bangingest fight of all time. I actually thought it was better than I expected, but when you sell a fight so hard, and it’s a one-fight card, the main event has to deliver. And according to most of the FGB crew, it didn’t deliver.
Here’s what we thought about the show:
Thumbs In The MIddle
Best Fight: Diego Sanchez vs. John Hathaway
Worst Fight: Todd Duffee vs. Mike Russow
I covered the entire prelims in the post right under this.
Diego’s first fight back at 170 is up first.
1. John Hathaway vs. Diego Sanchez
Sanchez tried for a takedown early and didn’t get it. Hathaway timed a knee to the head perfectly and nearly separated it from his neck. Hathaway spent three minutes trying to finish it. Sanchez took a lot of punishment. Could be a 10-8.
Diego got a takedown, but took too many clean shots. He also landed a few, but he lost another round. He’s leaving his head out there to be destroyed.
Hathaway kept it on the feet and stuffed every takedown attempt. He made Diego look amateurish on the feet.
Winner: John Hathaway by way of a unanimous decision
One judge gave Hathaway the first round 10-8.
2. Jason Brilz vs. Antonio Rogerio Noguiera
Brilz is waiting for Nog to engage and the he’s looking to shoot. He took Nog down and made Nog work. Nog wasn’t able to set up his left hand.
Brilz got another takedown. Nog sunk in a guillotine and so did Brilz. Brilz held it for at least 30 seconds. Nog can’t set up his punches because Brilz is waiting to shoot and grab a leg.
Both guys are tired. Brilz is shooting at will. Nog looks more fresh, but he can’t stop the desperation shoots. Nog crucifixed his arms with a minute left but Brilz got out of it. Great transitions and reversals and escapes in the round. Could be 29-28 Brilz.
Winner: Antonio Rogerio Nogueira by way of split decision
The crowd heavily booed the decision after cheering for Nog the entire fight.
3. Mike Russow vs. Todd Duffee
I’m live at the MGM at UFC 114. I’ll have play by play of the
prelims and then in another post, play by play of the live show.
Be back in an hour when the show stars.
1. Ryan Jensen vs. Jesse Forbes
I missed this fight but was told Jensen won by guillotine.
Winner: Ryan Jensen by way of first round submission
2. Joe Brammer vs. Aaron Riley
I missed much of the first round trying to figure out what happened in the first fight, but my friend DocG says he thought Brammer won the first and noted a flying knee as the big reason.
Riley scored a trip takedown in the middle of the first. Both guys are landing with Brammer landing the cleanest shots.
Riley scored another couple trip takedowns and dominated the pace of the third. Brammer threw some nice head kicks near the end of the round, but Riley blocked them. Close fight, but he wins it.
Winner: Aaron Riley by way of unanimous decision
30-27, all for Riley.
3. Cyrille Diabate vs. Luiz Cane
We have been following this one closely and for good reason. It’s a super grudge match that we’ve been waiting six months for. The UFC is fully behind it and thus, we’ve added a lot on our end too. We’ve recapped every UFC Primetime episode and have added the now infamous conference call as well.
And now our preview.
The FGB crew, along with Stevie J from Angry Marks and friend of FGB JP, are here with predictions for the main event.
Rashad Evans vs. Rampage Jackson
Duan: Evans by unanimous decision
Alan: Evans by unanimous decision
Big D: Jackson by 2nd round TKO
Stevie J: Evans by unanimous decision
JP: Jackson by 2nd round TKO
Cactus Jim: Evans by unanimous decision
GG: Evans by unanimous decision
I’m not convinced that Rampage’s mind is on fighting right now. And even if it was, I still wouldn’t pick him to beat Rashad. This is a guy who struggled wildly with Keith Jardine, and got completely dissected by Forrest Griffin. I have always had the same one criticism of Jackson; and it concerns his movement. He’s flat footed and plodding. I think he struggles with guys who can utilize distance well, and that is where I think Rashad will have his number. This is going to be a boxing match, and technically Evans will be superior. Rampage does have the power to change the fight with one single shot, but I’m banking that he doesn’t find that shot.
The first episode was excellent. Let’s see if they can build on it for week two.
The first shot is of Rashad buying suits. He said when he looks good, he feels good.
Shane Carwin comes to train with Rashad. Shane works Rashad up against the wall so that Rashad can work fighting off the cage. Rashad tells Rampage that he needs to stop eating twinkies and looks fat. He’s worried that he’s not going to make weight. He said he sweats margarine.
They show him working his wrestling with King Mo.
Rampage is training in England before heading out to Vegas next week. He ran five miles and said it’s his best time ever. He also had a breakthrough in his jiu-jitsu. But he didn’t say what it was.
He says that he doesn’t like when he turns into Rampage because he always has to apologize for things he does when he becomes Rampage.
Rashad talks about leaving his family and how hard it is. Rashad bought Rampage a Snuggie to keep him warm when he knocks him out. He web cams with his kids every night and his son says that Rampage is going to win. He thinks he’s mad at him for being away.
And then because The Ultimate Fighter went so long, the show cuts out on me here. Bummer.
Thanks to http://prommmanow.com we have the audio to today’s heated Rampage/Rashad conference call.
These dudes either really annoy each other or they are fantastic actors.
Listen to it here.