Last weekend was a big one for MMA. On Saturday night was Affliction: Banned, and though this was Affliction’s debut event, it was the best heavy lineup ever seen on a single event. The UFC decided to try and offset Affliction’s viewership by putting on their own event at the exact same time. On Sunday was Dream’s Light Weight Grand Prix finale.
I rented the Affliction PPV and overall the card was solid, though I did feel that at times it was carried by the reputation of the fighters and not necessarily the quality of the fights themselves. Many of the fights were slow and the fighters were tentative, including Nogueira
In the main event Fedor Emelianenko quickly smashed and choked out Tim Sylvia, who many, including myself, though might be able to fend him off with jabs for a while.
Interestingly, Affliction could mix up the same roster of fighters for their second event. If they did, these would be the matches I would want to see:
Fedor / Arlovski
Sylvia / Barnett
Rothwell / Buentello
Rizzo / Goodridge
Nogueira / Sobral
Lindland / Belfort
Once the Affliction card was over I started watching the UFC replay. All I had caught so far was whatever was on during Megadeth intermissions. I tuned in time for Anthony Johnson and Kevin Burns, who were putting on quite a show. I thought how, with the exception of Fedor, the Heavyweights seem so slow in comparison.
In an unbelievable injustice, Kevin Burns defeated Anthony Johnson by poking him in the eye. I don’t understand how Burns was not DQ’d, or at least the fight declared a No Contest.
Cain Velasquez, a heavyweight, put a quick finish to Jake O’Brien, and Brandon Vera, fighting at light heavyweight for the first time, defeated Reese Andy in a snooze fest. So maybe I should retract my “heavyweights are slow” generalization. Frankie Edgar and Hermes Franca had to be the best fight of the card. I was happy to see Edgar win. He’s a talented, well rounded fighter, and I would hate to see him get caught with one of Franca’s head down haymakers.
In the main event, Anderson Silva demolished James Irvin with his first punch. The fight may have taken twice as long as Fedor/Sylvia, but if you take out the time spent circling, it was over much quicker.
On Sunday was Dream 5, the Lightweight Grand Prix from Japan. Little did I know that this was going to be the best card of the whole year with the best fight of the year so far. Shinya Aoki defeated Caol Uno as most people expected, but it was a good fight. Eddie Alvarez’s battle with Tatsuya Kawajiri was amazing. The fight after that was a reserve bout between Joachim Hansen and Kultar Gill. As soon as I saw it I was thinking that either Shinya or Alvarez were not going to be able to continue and Joachim was going to win the tournament even though he lost to Eddie Alvarez earlier. Sure enough that’s exactly what happened. I certainly felt like, in some way, Alvarez was the winner as he beat Hansen and could have very likely did the same thing to Aoki that Hansen did.
Since then I’ve heard a lot of people calling for a rematch between Aoki and Hansen, but what I want to see is Aoki vs. Alvarez.
All in all in was a great weekend to be an MMA fan!