When the main event is a clunker or ends on a sour note, it’s really hard for a fight card to have staying power and be remembered going forward. However, there were a lot of lessons to be learned about fighters on this card, so gamblers will be well-advised to remember UFC 90 when these guys step into the cage again.
Anderson Silva vs. Patrick Cote
Not much of a fight here, but the fact that Cote lasted as long as he did speaks to how much he’s improved the technical aspect of his standup game. Silva wasn’t as aggressive as he’s been in the past, but he still looked tight and dangerous, as expected.
Marcus Aurelio vs. Hermes Franca
This was an interesting fight. Aurelio is tough as hell, but lets fights walk away from him, as he did in this case. I knew Franca could bang and had bricks for hands, but I hadn’t seen that many leg kicks from him before. I don’t think he’s the new Thiago Alves, though, since the kicks weren’t that hard and the damage was mostly done by pure volume and Aurelio not blocking them at all.
Sean Sherk vs. Tyson Griffin
A lot of people were probably surprised by how tight Sherk’s boxing was. I was certainly surprised that the entire fight was a boxing match, but I knew Sherk could really work the sweet science, even if he still has almost no power.
Dan Miller vs. Matt Horwich
This fight surprised me, as I did not expect Horwich to out-grapple Miller like that. I’m not sure Miller really deserved to win the fight.
Rich Clementi vs. Gray Maynard
Rich did well in the first round, but Maynard was just too much to handle in the end. It’s surprising how ‘seasoned’ Maynard seems in the ring, given his very small number of career fights.
Fabricio Werdum vs. Junior Dos Santos
I was surprised, not just that Santos won, but that Werdum was basically finished by one punch. Fabricio seemed to be a real tough dude, surviving protracted standup fights against Arlovski, Sergei, Overeem, Nogueira, and Gonzaga. I guess it goes back to something I’ve said earlier – heavyweights have so much power that any one of them is liable to get knocked out at any point. This was a real missed opportunity, as several people said that Santos was a live underdog, and I abstained from any involvement in the fight. Santos has good hands, but I’m not sold on him being a top-level fighter until I seem some wrestling and ground work from him.
Josh Koscheck vs. Thiago Alves
Koscheck must be insane to have taken this fight on short notice-he had a very good thing going in the division, and Alves is a monster. Another insane thing was how quickly he recovered whenever he was hurt. Alves is the most dangerous guy in the weight class, by far, exploding lethally at any moment. That said, I still think GSP can take him down and crush him on the ground. Koscheck has neglected his wrestling training, beefing up his standup. I expect he’ll be drilling it much harder now that he cannot take down anyone in the division at will, as he previously could. Koscheck is still slated to fight Yoshiyuki Yoshida on December 10, which is crazy. I’d imagine it’d take much longer than that for his leg to recover after it was pulped by Alves.
Thales Leites vs. Drew McFedries
Leites got hit, hard, but still has a good chin. McFedries really is dead on the ground, although Leites is very nasty. No real surprises here.