Most helpful critical review
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on May 2, 2013
I'm not entirely sure how I come across in these reviews anymore since not many people give me a sense of feedback but I'll continue to go as long as I think I might be helpful to someone out there. I lead with that mainly because I feel like maybe I'm being overly critical of this card but I was just not feeling it. It's kind of unfortunate too as I had specifically requested off so that I could enjoy the card from top to bottom, which included the not so common prelim card which I've had to give up a few times on the last few cards.
This feels as good a place as any for a lead in, the prelims are a mixed bag of sorts. The first two fights of the evening were fairly one-sided, even though the first fight had some a decent comeback in the second. Largely speaking they are pretty much grappling matches. The third prelim is a closer fight before a third round finish but it's not exactly a barn burner. Most impressive to me in the prelims was the match between Sara McMann and Sheila Gaff which, although short, is to me the most exciting prelim. The next two, which were the final prelims, were marred by horrible, horrible endings. Look up the result, cause if you watch the fights like I did you'll be pissed at the sudden endings which are just nightmare calls by the referees. Just so upsetting. So, largely an okay round of prelims without a real standout to watch.
The first fight of the main card involved Jim Miller welcoming newcomer Pat Healy. Jim Miller has a reputation as a submission expert with a tendency for putting on some exciting fights. To boot, he was fighting in his home state of New Jersey so he had some motivation to perform well and give the crowd a reason to cheer. Now, Pat Healy was making his debut so there wasn't a whole lot to go off of personally but he had a reputation for being a good ground fighter with most of his wins coming by submission. What ended up happening was fight of the night, something I was bit surprised at given how good Jim Miller is. The fight was back and forth and while one fighter held an advantage coming into the final round he secured his victory by taking it out of the judges hand and sinking in a submission. Certainly the most entertaining fight to watch on the card.
Phil Davis vs. Vinny Magalhaes was, in my opinion, the low point of the evening. Phil Davis is a spectacular wrestler with a decent standup but seems to excel better at using his wrestling to secure control and then a possible submission (look up his victory by use of the "Mr. Wonderful"). He was in title talk before running into Rashad Evans and since hasn't really left the kind of impression needed for that chance. Against him was Ultimate Fighter alum Vinny Magalhaes. Multiple time Jiu-Jitsu world champion he was known for his amazing ground game. After some time away from the UFC he returned in the third quarter of last year with a victory and was looking to make it two in row. Sadly, this is a rather one-sided fight with the victor looking good but that may be because there was no real sense of urgency from the loser. Strange too given how this fight felt like it was do or die for the loser.
This was my favorite fight of the night. Maybe it's due to habit but when I see Roy Nelson's name listed on a fight card there is a strong chance that I am in store for a great scrap of a fight or a fantastic knockout. Some times I get a wonderful mix of the two. Either way, I get excited for a Roy Nelson fight. It certainly doesn't hurt when he's faced with Cheick Kongo. Kongo is something of a striker in the heavyweight division, only because he's attempted to branch out his skills. But at his heart he's a striker, given how he reacts when he's trouble at least. Depending on his opponent Kongo is able to put on an exciting fight but it is a case by case thing. Luckily what seems to be true for the heavyweight division on so many occasions proved true this time as well. This is the shortest fight of the night and ends by knockout, and I mean dropped on your @ss and then face planted knockout. Ya gotta love that, especially on a card like this where it a good finish wasn't very common.
The co-main event was something of a emotional match between Michael Bisping and Alan Belchar. I say something of an emotional fight because as much as these guys talked about their dislike towards one another before the fight it didn't translate over to the fight environment. These men are known for being good strikers, Bisping with his fantastic footwork with bunches of punches and Belchar with his hot and cold streak of knockouts. So, it seemed stylistically like a good fight but didn't pan out that way. The fight went how I thought it would, in that one fighter gained a rhythm before the other fight could gain a significant offense and then was just picked apart for the rest of the fight. Well, at least before the next string in unfortunate events for the night. This didn't change the the general outcome but man was it a sucky way for it to end.
Now, the main event. Jon Jones looked to defend his title for the fifth time, which would tie with Tito Ortiz's all time record for the light heavyweight title, against Chael Sonnen. Coming off their roles as coaches on the latest season of The Ultimate Fighter (fantastic job by both fighters) they looked to end the feud which started last fall during the whole UFC 151 fiasco. That's something you can look up if you don't know already but it's largely been done to death. It was all about putting talk, or lack of if you were Jones, to performance and seeing who would come out on top. Now, if you had any emotional involvement in this fight you had a pretty obvious idea of who was going to win. I will say that the fight is largely one-sided. Luckily, the loser looked like he had the kind of tenacity needed to leave a decent impression. Then in a night filled with strange injuries/occurrences it is given one more stamp on the main event when the victor received what would probably be the worst injury of the night, which is not typically how it works. A strange way to cape off a night.
I said it before, I'll say it again, this card did not impress me. I was not into most of the fights and the few that worked out weren't strong enough to warrant a buy for the whole card. I suppose my biggest problem is besides one great knockout I didn't feel like one fight, regardless of how well either fighter performed, ever felt uber exciting or worth garnering a second viewing.