Sunday, May 09, 2010

Some UFC 113 Live Thoughts

As mentioned many times in this blog, I was in Montreal this weekend to attend UFC 113. On Saturday, I braved the cold and walked from my hotel to the Bell Centre. After picking up a slice of pizza from that pizza joint on rue de la Montagne, I got to rue de la Gautiere. When I got there, I was greeted by this:

Not the most encouraging of sights

I rued the Bell Centre's crowd control choices and got to the back of the line.

My view from the back of the line to get in.

The line didn't move that slowly, though if I caught metricjulie's tweet I would have been able to avoid much of the wait. Instead, like a fool, I tried to save my phone's battery and chose not to read Twitter while in line. On the bright side, the line moved somewhat quickly so I was in without too much a wait.

As I was entering, I noticed what the ushers were wearing:

A little bit overdressed for the event, methinks. (Shakiness all my fault.)

And speaking of metricjulie, I had the pleasure of meeting Julie before the card began. We chatted for a couple of minutes before the start of the card music sounded to break up the conversation and for me to find my seat. Metricjulie, she good peeps.

I knew my seat was going to be good, as I'd sat in the section and row before, but I didn't realize how good it was going to be.

The view from section 301, row AA

And then the fight started. Some thoughts on the experience:

  • The atmosphere in the Bell Centre was incredible. A tonne of energy, and the crowd was hyped for the entire 5 hour card. I'd have to say that watching a card in the Bell Centre is much more enjoyable than the MGM Grand Arena.

  • The actual layout of the Bell Centre was awesome as well. Having the giant screens really helped, as it let them not have to put as many screen around the arena. As well, they used the racer boards well, with graphics for the fighters and the like.

  • In a trend that only I care about, the women who attended the show were dressed normally, for lack of a better term. This contrasts with the Vegas shows, where the women who attend there seem to believe that they have to dress to impress, as though they were going to a club.

As for the actual fights, I managed to go a fantastic 5-6 in my picks, though my theoretical wagering would have made me a profit of $23.25 thanks to Josh Koscheck going the distance with Paul Daley. Some more thoughts...

  • The card did not start well, with Jason MacDonald suffering a gruesome injury while successfully defending a takedown. He ended up dislocating his ankle and breaking his leg. John Salter then took the early lead for jerk of the night by celebrating his victory continually, whie Jason MacDonald laid on the ground. It'd be one thing if Salter did something to earn the win, but he was essentially gifted a win, and he's celebrating like it was the greatest accomplishment ever.

  • The prelims had some awesome fights which didn't make it to air, specifically the TJ Grant/Johny Hendricks match and the Tim Hague/Joey Beltran match. To use some comparisons, Hague/Beltran was similiar to Leonard Garcia/Korean Zombie only with large fat guys so it was at a slower speed. Grant/Hendricks was just a great fight which you should try to find.

  • Tom Lawlor came out as Apollo Creed, complete with top hat and vest and "Living in America". Lawlor hopefully will have a job for life with UFC, even if it's as a prelim on PPV or main card for Fight Night guy. He has great entrances for the live crowd, and has exciting fights to boot.

  • Poor Kimbo Slice. He makes it into the UFC, and then gets fully exposed as a poor fighter. I doubt that Kimbo Slice will mean anything going forward save for the freakshow matches in Japan.

  • Josh Koscheck took over the lead for jerk of the night in his attempts to get Paul Daley to have a point deducted for an "illegal knee". I'm willing to believe that Koscheck got poked in the eye somehow, but not kneed in the head.

  • Paul Daley then jumped well ahead of Koscheck by punching him intentionally after the fight was over. Daley then claimed that he didn't hear the bell ring, which is the stupidest thing I've ever heard. Daley had to push Dan Mirgilota out of the way to get at Koscheck, then had to turn Koscheck around to punch him. You think the fight is still going on? Heck, let's make a new list. The ways that Paul Daley got thoroughly pwned last night:
    • Exposed as a one-dimensional fighter who might as well just concede should he face an opponent with any sort of wrestling background.

    • Brought out teammate Dan Hardy for moral support. That being the same Dan Hardy who got taken down at will for 5 rounds by GSP.

    • Mocked by Josh Koscheck for the last minute of the fight.

    • Hit Josh Koscheck after the fight, which he was unable to do during the fight.

    • Came up with a lame "Didn't hear the bell" excuse after being confronted by Dana White, proving himself to be unable to improvise an interesting excuse.

    • Fired on the spot by Dana White for his actions; now left to not make money while fighting for other companies due to lack of drawing skills.

    In short, LOL Paul Daley

  • Koscheck made an attempt to take back jerk of the night by insulting the live crowd who were lustfully booing him. But Daley still wins the award.

  • I've essentially watched the rise and fall of Lyoto Machida live. I have attended 4 live shows - all have had Lyoto Machida on them. I saw Machida hit the radar by beating Tito Ortiz in his last UFC fight (before leaving then coming back a year later) at UFC 84. I saw Machida earn a LHW title match by beating Thiago Silva at UFC 94 (and save the live crowd from dying of boredom). I then saw Machida beat Rashad Evans for the LHW title at UFC 98. And finally, I saw Shogun Rua end Machida's win streak and title reign at UFC 113. All that is missing is Machida/Shogun I at UFC 104.

    It's been a rollercoaster for me to watch. UFC 84 was infuriating, as Machida spent the match doing minimal counter attacking and more avoiding Ortiz's attempts to strike. But UFC 94 had Machida get the first non-decision win of the show (in match 9 of 10!) with a spectacular knockout. He then dominated and knocked out Evans in a similiar method at UFC 98. But his performance in UFC 104 was terrible, and UFC 113 was just as bad. It wasn't the avoid and strike Machida we had seen in the past; he seemed to have forgot the avoid part of the strategy.

    I don't know what the future holds for Lyoto, but I am interested in finding out what is next for him.

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