The crowd – as usual in Brasil, the venue was packed from the start and vocal throughout. This always adds a sense of occasion to an event, especially when compared to the empty seats and evident apathy we see from some American venues.
Technique – it was a night where subtle technique shone over flashy finishes and the likes of Lyoto Machida, Jacare Souza and Charles Oliveira put on some clinics throughout the night, while Erick Silva’s brief demolition of Takanori Sato contained some beautiful striking, especially the body kick which backed the Japanese up.
Niko Musoke – Despite being knocked down right at the start by Viscardi Andrade, Musoke dug deep and pulled out the decision victory. I love a good comeback.
Decisions – while there were no bad decisions (despite a high number of splits, they all went the right way) there were an awful lot of them – 10/12 fights going the distance. As much as there was a stack of good technique on show, that gets pretty wearing on the spectator after a while – especially coming up for 6am, UK time.
Traditional sports can have dull games, but they’re usually over within 2 hours or so – a decision laden UFC card lasts SIX hours. That’s almost a work-day…
Matchmaking – the top two matches were well made and showed it but a few fights seemed unbalanced.
Andy Ogle ranked #47 in the UFC (on Fightmatrix) and coming off a loss to Cole Miller, now ranked #21 faced Charles Oliveira, ranked #25 most recently lost to #3 ranked Frankie Edgar.
It’s seemed to me that Ogle has been booked to fail in his last three fights, set against larger, more experienced opponents and he’s still acquitted himself well, beating Josh Grispi and gamely taking the fight to Oliveira and Cole Miller.
Also Erick Silva, ranked #20 in the world and who’s losses in the UFC have come to a pair of top 5 ranked talents and a DQ was paired with a promotional newcomer, with a worse record and who has travelled the most notoriously difficult journey in MMA to fight. Takanori Sato, ranked 100 places below Silva, makes his UFC debut in distinctly hostile territory. That’s lopsided as hell and it showed on fight night.
You could even argue that someone ranked #120 in any division, shouldn’t be in the UFC, especially when they’re passing on Ben Askren.
However, that’s a rant all it’s own…
The crowd – there is such a thing as being TOO partisan.
Last of all, I’ll award honorary, KUMITE ‘of the Night’ honours.
Fight of the Night –
Charles Oliveira vs. Andy Ogle
The story that played out here was the best all night, with Oliveira’s activity and talent almost constantly threatening to overwhelm Ogle’s sheer heart. Despite that, Ogle arguably won the second round and looked capable of stealing the third before being caught in the triangle.
Drama and narrative tend to engage me more than cold technique.
Performance of the Night –
Erick Silva – for making his dispatch of Takanori Sato as entertaining as possible, with his sick body kick and skippy heel kick thing while Sato held into his leg being easily the two most memorable moves all night.
Jacare Souza – For overcoming the sheer size and strength if Francis Carmont with his impeccable takedowns and beautiful ground game.
Full Results (c/o MMA Junkie)
• Lyoto Machida def. Gegard Mousasi via unanimous decision (50-45, 50-45, 49-46)
• Ronaldo Souza def. Francis Carmont via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
• Erick Silva def. Takenori Sato via knockout (punches) – Round 1, 0:52
• Nicholas Musoke def. Viscardi Andrade via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
• Charles Oliveira def. Andy Ogle via submission (triangle choke) – Round 3, 2:40
• Joe Proctor def. Cristiano Marcello via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 29-28)
• Rodrigo Damm def. Ivan Jorge via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
• Francisco Trinaldo def. Jesse Ronson via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 30-27)
• Yuri Alcantara def. Wilson Reis via split decision (28-29, 30-27, 30-27)
• Felipe Arantes def. Maximo Blanco via unanimous decision (29-27, 29-27, 29-27)
• Ildemar Alcantara def. Albert Tumenov via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 30-27)
• Zubaira Tukhugov def. Douglas de Andrade via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 30-27)