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Recap: UFC 76
Recap: UFC 76
WOW ... The Iceman, Chuck Liddell, was defeated again last night at UFC 76. Keith Jardine was a guy that many UFC fans felt was simply a sacrificial lamb, served up on a platter for The Iceman, so he could get his career back on track after his heavily publicized loss to Ramopage Jackson back in June. Think again. My cousin reviews the shocking main event, as well as the rest of the UFC 76 card.
Mixed Martial Arts is easily the fastest growing sport in the world today. It is also the most entertaining and unpredictable. Last night, fight fans got to see two fights and that didn’t go as planned or how anyone who have expected. UFC 76 was billed as “Knockout” but now should be known as “Upset.” There were nine fights on the card and zero knockouts.
The main event of the evening had UFC’s favorite son Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell looking to get back to his winning ways and in line for a title shot. Keith Jardine was looked at as a punching bag before the fight. He sure derailed all of Liddell’s hopes.
Jardine easily won a decision in my eyes but the one judge gave the fight to Chuck somehow. “The Dean of Mean” was awesome. He landed nasty leg kicks all night to the legs and ribs of and took away the power of Liddell. Chuck was able to land some good shots but never had Jardine in trouble. Jardine was the one landing the much powerful blows and even rocked the former Light Heavyweight king.
Jardine had a great gameplan and stuck to it. He was willing to take some shots in order to land combinations of leg kicks and overhands rights. Nobody gave him a chance and proved everyone wrong.
As for Liddell, if he can’t land his classic haymakers he is just an average fighter that only looks to land bombs. That style won’t cut it anymore in the UFC. Fighters need to be well rounded and Chuck hasn’t had to show his overall skills and it’s catching up to him.
The other main feature of the evening was the much anticipated debut of Mauricio “Shogun” Rua. He had the task of taking on another one of the UFC’s most popular fihgters, Forrest Griffin.
Nobody told Forrest Griffin that he wasn’t supposed to get beatdown. In fact, he did what hardly anyone, including myself, thought he could do. He submitted Shogun in the third and final round with a great rear-naked choke.
The fight was exciting from the start and stayed that way until the tapout. Griffin’s straight ahead style and never quit attitude is what won him the fight. He was clearly in better condition and it paid off. Rua gassed halfway thru the second round and that’s when Forrest poured it on. What a amazing performance that should get him into title contention.
The matchup between Jon Fitch and Diego Sanchez didn’t dissapoint either. These two welterweights laid it all on the line in a match that went back and forth. Jon Fitch took home the win with a split decision and now should be fighting the title in his trip into the octagon.
Both fighters looked to their wrestling to set up their ground and pound. The defense was the key to the fight as niether guy was hurt at anytime. Sanchez came close to a few submissions but Fitch was able to get out of trouble and secure the victory.
Tyson Griffin has been involved in many exciting fights in his UFC career. Last night was no different as his matchup with Thiago Tavares was the best of the night. The pace was fast and furious and was nonstop from the opening bell to the final buzzer. Griffin got the win via unamimous decision and handed Taveres his first pro loss. With this win, he might just find himself in title contention very soon.
Keith Jardine def. Chuck Liddell via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Forrest Griffin def. Mauricio “Shogun” Rua via submission (rear-naked choke) Round 3, 4:45
Jon Fitch def. Diego Sanchez via unanimous decision (30-27, 28-29, 29-28)
Lyoto Machida def. Kazuhiro Nakamura via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Tyson Griffin def. Thiago Tavares via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Rich Clementi def. Anthony Johnson via submission (guillotine choke) Round 2, 3:05
Jeremy Stephens def. Diego Saraiva via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Christian Wellisch def. Scott Junk via submission (heel hook) Round 1, 3:19
Matt Wiman def. Michihiro Omigawa (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Another UFC fight card in the books and another entertaining show. Even though it didn’t live up to it’s “Knockout” billing, every fight was worth the price of admission. The sport of mixed martial arts contains some of the best athletes in the world, and to me is the most entertaining.
UFC 77 is right around the corner and will be held in our great state of Ohio. Cincinnati will be the host and I will be making the trip. I can’t wait to see more great action.
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