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RICH HANSEN, MMATORCH COLUMNIST: (0.0)
That was the worst UFC event I've ever seen. Your highlights were Matt Riddle and Ryan Jimmo. Otherwise known as The Professional Afterthought and The Least Interesting Man In The World.
After a really fun bunch of fights on Facebook and FX, which led me to fall for the myth of 'Crappy card on paper equals fireworks,' and after an entertaining(ish) performance by Matthew Riddle, well, in retrospect I kinda wish someone woulda snuck up behind me with a garrote wire and killed me dead in my basement.
James Head vs. Brian Ebersole was death. But at least that was the first flaming bag of turds of the night, and it was just filler (it was the 'pink slime' if you will), so I didn't care that it stunk worse than a pile of dead fish. Whatever, I shrugged it off.
Cheick Kongo vs. Shawn Jordan was horrifying. I never understood the Jordan bandwagon. Everyone wants to say they got behind the next big thing way back when he was a nobody. Hey, no one cares if you saw Pearl Jam in 1989 at a bar in Seattle back when they were called Mookie Blaylock (yeah, I did, and you don't care, do you?). Here's your retroactive fight preview for Kongo vs. Jordan: Shawn Jordan was released by Bellator, okay? Cheick Kongo is a low-level gatekeeper, okay? Kongo wins by boredom. So, now we're at two crappy fights in a row, but at least the expectation was low as well.
And then Hector Lombard and Tim Boetsch killed the Calgary market. I suppose that's one way to thin the herd at 185; just let as many of the contenders prove to the world that they both aren't worth a hot damn, and then whoever is left gets the next shot.
Barao vs. Faber was technical (tedious), and Faber had nothing for Barao, other than a few moments in the third. So the UFC laid an egg. It happens. Not like I won't be watching Brandon Vera, UFC Main Event Fighter, in two weeks time.
ERIC HOBAUGH, MMATORCH CONTRIBUTOR: (6.0)
The undercard on FX was a solid view. Ryan Jimmo knocked out Anthony Perosh in seven seconds. Court McGee was robbed in his decision loss to Nick Ring; I felt like McGee had clearly won the fight 29-28 and it was a horrible decision by the judges. Lots of good action and good fights on the undercard.
The main pay-per-view fights were not the best collection of pay-per-view fights I have seen, making for a disappointing overall card.
The Cheick Kongo vs. Shawn Jordan fight started slow with neither fighter earning any clear advantage. It also ended that way. Kongo proved again he is not a realistic threat to any top 10 heavyweight. Jordan proved that he is not ready for UFC level fighters. Even though Kongo earned a unanimous decision, he did not help himself at all with this boring, workmanlike victory.
So much hype had followed Hector Lombard from Bellator to his first fight in the UFC, I wondered if he would buckle under the pressure; well, Tim Boetsch is a legit contender at 185 who is a handful for anyone, and Lombard lost his debut.
Round one ended dead even on my score card. Lombard landed some nice right hands and Boetsch landed several nice leg kicks. The pace slowed in the second round, but if I'm honest I expected way more from Lombard. I have seen several of his fights and this was not the way he normally fights. He looked slow and nervous in his octagon debut. The third round was more of the same. Neither fighter earned a clear advantage.
Lombard came into this fight calling out Anderson Silva and this performance does nothing to help him secure a title shot. He was the most exciting fighter outside of the UFC when he was a champion with Bellator, and this was one of the most boring co-main event fights ever. Boetsch won a split decision. Even with this victory Tim Boetsch does nothing for his title hopes either. The UFC now has a big problem on its hands. Lombard was tagged as the next big thing in the middleweight division. What do they do with him next? I think this fight sets him back as many as three big wins before he will even be considered for a title shot.
Urijah Faber vs. Renan Barao started fast and the first round ended even. Barao is for real and he looked great in round one. Faber always seems to have good striking and excellent foot work. In round two Barao used his leg kicks and won the round easily. Round three was very even, but it was obvious that the leg kicks were slowing Faber down. Round four was all Barao and Faber could do nothing with the Brazillian. Round five was more of the same. Barao won a unanimous decision and made his claim as the best 135 pound fighter in the world.
I will admit that I underestimated Barao before this fight. I thought he had not fought enough elite fighters to compete with Faber. Great champions rise to the level of who they are fighting. He completely dominated Faber. At this point Faber should consider retirement after this one sided beating. His game may be done evolving. I am very excited to see Barao fight Dominick Cruz to find who the best bantamweight in the world is. I will not underestimate him again and I'm picking Barao to win.
FRANK HYDEN, MMATORCH CONTRIBUTOR: (8.5)
There was some good action, but some questionable judging. It was cool to see Ryan Jimmo tie the UFC record for fastest knockout. This was a really good card overall. Despite the lopsided decision, it was not a blowout win for Renan Barao over Urijah Faber, at least not in my opinion. Barao was clearly better, but it's not like he was leagues above Faber. Very good fight.
DAN MOORE, MMATORCH UK CONTRIBUTOR: (5.0)
If we were giving scores for the main card alone, I'd struggle to justify awarding it any points at all. It really was a card of two halves, and up until the main card, I was really enjoying it. I blinked and missed the Jimmo win, throughly enjoyed everything involving a Canadian, and got royally cheesed off that biased judging awarded a win for Nick Ring (close, but not that close). Most cards that have limited expectation, generally end up being good, with UFC 147 as a prime example. No one expected too much from UFC 149, so I shouldn't really be as disappointed as I am, but I am and it sucked.
Hector Lombard is key to my utter disdain for the main card. After being hyped to the moon and back, he duly delivered absolutely nothing. At least that performance shut up the idiots who were clamouring for him to fight Anderson Silva next, like beating Tim Boetsch would be a formality. He hasn't beat anyone worthy thus far, and never will in my opinion. His nickname should be 'The Overrated.' None of the other fights produced anything of note, so I can't lay all the blame on the co main event. That main card made UFC 148 look spectacular. UFC 150 - UFC 152 all have massive potential, and barring any injury setbacks, things can only get better for the UFC.
JAMIE PENICK, MMATORCH EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: (3.5)
The preliminary card was really fun, as was the opening bout on the pay-per-view card, with several vicious and decisive knockouts, along with two really technically sound submissions. That kept this from being the worst night of fights ever, but the pay-per-view card itself was definitely the poorest pay-per-view card the UFC has put in in a really, really long time.
Outside of Matt Riddle's arm triangle choke and a solid main event, the fights on the pay-per-view card were atrocious, with 45 minutes of really bad MMA bringing the energy to a screeching halt. This was just one of those events that left a really bad taste in the mouths of fans, and the sooner we get past it the happier all involved will be.
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