Simply MMA: UFC 69: Shootout
UFC 111 is the biggest night in Dan Hardy’s career. After defeating the likes of Gono, Davis and Swick, Hardy know finds himself fighting for Welterweight title against, in my opinion, the pound for pound best fighter in the world. Obviously Hardy is a huge underdog for that fight, in a poll on the UFC’s website 90% of voters picked GSP to come out on top this Saturday. Of course they have every reason to be confident, GSP has beaten the likes of Penn, Hughes, Alves, Sherk, and many more. Practically nobody is giving Hardy a chance. Then again no one gave Matt Serra a chance either.
So let’s look back to April 7, 2007. The night Matt Serra shocked the world.
Live from the Toyota Centre in Houston, Texas. Your hosts are Mike Goldberg and Joe Rogan.
Welterweight bout – Luke Cummo vs Josh Haynes
Its Ultimate fighter 2 finalist vs Ultimate fighter 3 finalist, both coming off loses.
They circle to start before Cummo connects with a left. They both come forward throwing punches with other easily dodging. They start swinging at each other with Haynes landing a body kick. They clinch up against the cage. Haynes gets the takedown and pushes Cummo against the fence. Cummo manages to bring the fight back to the feet. They clinch against the fence again before breaking up. Cummo lands a front kick to the body and just misses a head kick. Big left hand rocks Haynes who immediately goes for a takedown but Cummo overpowers him. Cummo presses forward and begins to throw a combination of punches. Round ends with a failed takedown attempt by Haynes.
Superman punch misses Cummo. Cummo connects with a couple of jabs and a right hand. They clinch with Hayes throwing knees. Cummo pushes him up against the cage before they break free. Front kick by Cummo, landing a couple of body shots after. Cummo comes forward with punches but Hayes connects with a right. Big right hand by Cummo finishes the fight. Hayes is so out of it he takes down the referee.
Good opener to start the night. First time watching these guys (hey I don’t watch TUF) and it was clear Cummo was the better striker. Maybe the five inch reach had something to do with it.
Welterweight bout – Pete Spratt vs Marcus Davis
More Ultimate figher alumni, Davis comes into this fight with a seven fight winning streak while Spratt is coming a win against Jeremy Jackson.
Davis immediately comes forward with punches which Spratt backs away from. Again Davis comes forward and they clinch up. Takedown by Davis into half guard of Spratt. Spratt tries desperately to escape but Davis stays on him and gets the side mount. Spratt manages to scramble back to half guard. Davis ends up back in Spratt’s guard and lands some punches before Spratt gives him his back. Davis gets double under hooks and looks for the choke. Spratt manages to avoid it. Davis gets a body triangle but still struggles to get the choke. With twenty seconds to go Spratt manages to turn into the guard of Davis. They stand up just as the horn sounds.
Inside leg kick by Spratt. He lands another one and misses with the head kick. They clinch, Marcus slips Spratt takes advantage, landing punches and kicks. Leg kick by Spratt, Davis is bleeding from his head. Body kick by Spratt but loses his balance and Davis moves into his guard. Davis goes for side control but Spratt brings it back to the feet. Trip by Davis and again goes back inside the guard. He postures up and grabs a leg lock which leads to the tapout.
Good fight and a good win for Davis over the experienced Spratt.
Middleweight bout – Pete Sell vs Thales Leites
Sell is coming over that devastating loss to Scott Smith, where he literally had the fight won. Leites makes his second octagon appearance after losing to Martin Kampmann in his debut.
Leites immediately shoots but Sell avoids. Beautiful takedown by Leites and he goes for an arm triangle. Sell defends but gives up his back as Leites starts to throw punches to the head. Leites gets both hooks in and looks for a choke. Sell manages to defend so Leites moves back to the arm triangle. Sell avoids again and is mounted for a second but he does a good job to bring the Brazilian back to half guard. Leites throws punches and elbows from the top. Arm triangle attempt by Leites but Sell survives as the horn sounds.
Leg kick catches Sell to begin Round 2. Sell comes forward throwing punches. Takedown attempt by the Brazilian but Sell avoids and they clinch up against the cage for a while before splitting. Leg kick again by Leites and shoots again but Sell stuffs it. Sell goes for a guillotine as Leites slams him to the matt. Leites manages to escape and is in half guard. Elbows and punches from the top by Leites who transitions to full mount. Again he goes for the arm triangle as Sell tried to roll. He lets go and lands more punches to Sell. More elbows from the Brazilian as the round closes.
Last round, leg kicks by Leites. Shoot attempt by Leites but Sell overpowers him and he ends up on top. Sell stays in half guard before brining it back to the feet. Another takedown attempt by Leites but Sell avoids again. Flying knee by Leites followed by a right hand. Takedown by Leites as Sell goes for the guillotine again. Leites manages to escape again and is in half guard. Punches to the head of Sell against the cage. Sell gets mounted but he manages to make it to the end of the fight.
Leites unsurprisingly gets the unanimous decision. Dominating performance by the Brazilian but kudos to Sell as he show great heart to survive such a beating.
Heavyweight bout – Heath Herring vs Brad Imes
Herring makes his return after his disappointing loss to Jake O’ Brien in his UFC debut. He takes on fellow Texan and Ultimate fighter 2 finalist Brand Imes.
Herring quickly takes the centre of the octagon. They clinch up and Imes manages to take Herring down and immediately gets mount. Herring manages to turn out of it and is in Imes guard. Imes looks for an arm but Herring avoids and gets side mount. Imes manages to get Herring in a backwards triangle and looks for a leg. He goes for the toe hold, Herring avoids but gets caught in again in the backwards body triangle. Knees to the ass of Imes before the ref for some reason stands them back on the feet. Herring avoids a big left and connects with one of his own that stuns Imes. Another left drops Imes, Herring goes for the finish landing hammerfists and punches from side mount. Imes exposes his back as Herring continues to throw. Imes rolls and tries to create some distance. Round ends with Herring throwing punches in side mount.
Leg kick by Imes to start, Herring comes forward with punches that drop Imes. Herring goes into the guard of Imes throwing punches to the body. More punches from the top by Herring. Imes is now bleeding from the nose. Ref stands them with two minutes left. Herring connects with more punches and jabs. Imes is being overwhelmed here, his eye is swollen at this point. More punches by Herring, Imes shoots but it’s easily stuffed. Herring spins and gets the back and lands more punches to the head and body. Imes manages to reverse and ends the round on Herring’s back throwing punches.
Big knee connects to with the chin of Herring. They clinch up for a moment. Another knee by Imes connects. He gets a headlock, more knees to Herring’s head. Herring drops, Imes gets his back and throws punches. Herring manages to reverse and ends up in side mount. North-South position now, Herring lands an illegal knee to the head. Ref brings them back up. They tie up again for a moment. Good body kick by Herring. Imes pushes Herring up against the cage. Herring throws more punches. Clinch again but Herring gets the takedown and finishes punches from the guard to finish the fight.
Herring gets the unanimous decision in a sloppy but fun fight.
On to the main card..
Middleweight bout – Kendall Grove vs Alan Belcher
Groves come in after a win over Chris Price while Belcher comes in after a devastating KO win over Jorge Santiago.
They feel each other out to start. Takedown by Belcher into side control. Grove manages to spin out and their back on their feet. Muay Thai clinch by Grove and starts to throw knees to the body. Belcher breaks free as Groves connects with a left hand. They clinch up, stomps to the foot by Grove followed by knees to the thighs. They split. Body kick by Belcher, Grove gets the clinch again but amounts to nothing. Straight kick by Grove followed by another one. Mauy Thai clinch applied again, more knees to the body. Belcher slips and Grove now has his back. Belcher manages to get back on his feet and pushes Grove against the fence. Roles reverse and now Belcher finds himself against the cage. Ref splits them, Grove misses a straight kick. Belcher tries to bring in to the ground but the horn sounds.
Grove misses the flying knee. Leg kicks by Belcher. Knee to the body by Grove and again, Belcher again goes for a takedown but ends up with Grove but he can’t get it. Grove ends up in side mount throwing elbows to the head. Belcher manages to get back to his feet. Straight kick by Grove, Belcher answers with a body kick. Good right hand by Grove and again gets the Muay plum. BIG knees to the head of Belcher followed by elbows. Huge takedown by Grove and he transitions to half guard. D’Arce choke applied by Grove from half guard, Belcher holds on but goes to sleep.
Good fight right here and great performance by Grove in his first true test after the Ultimate fighter. His Muay Thai skills in particular really shone here.
Middleweight bout – Mike Swick vs Yushin Okami
Both men top contenders in the middleweight division at this point and both undefeated in UFC competition (not counting Swick’s fights in TUF)
Fight starts off slowly, Swick obviously not going in all guns blazing like he usually does. Body kick by Swick, Okami answers with a leg kick. Okami lands a right as Swick misses the uppercut. Swick lands a body kick. Flying knee by Swick but Okami gets a body lock and presses Swick against the cage and overpowers Swick to the ground. Swick tries to stand but Okami manages to get half guard. Elbows to the head of Swick. Okami gets the kimura but Swick manages hold on to fight another round.
Swick misses a spinning back kick. Body kick by ‘Quick’ Swick, Okami answers with an overhand right. Body lock again by Okami, Swick manages to avoid the trip but eventually gets taken down. Okami lands some punches from the guard but the ref stands them up. Swick comes forward swinging, Okami clinches and brings the fight back to the ground. Ref stands them again, Swick again comes forward and rocks Okami with a right hand. Okami tires to clinch but Swick continues to throw punches. Horn sounds as Okami shoots for the takedown.
Slow start to round 3, Swick comes forward swinging but Okami lands a right. Okami shoots but good sprawl by Swick. Okami catches Swick again with a right hand. Swick explodes with punches but Okami counters with a left before getting the takedown and transitions to mount. Ground and pound by Okami, Swick tires desperately to escape but Okami continues to land. Ref is on the verge of stopping it. Swick gives up his back but Okami still throws from the top. Swick manages to roll on into Okami’s guard but Okami applies the rubber guard to avoid damage from Swick. Swick gets out of the rubber guard but it’s too little to late as the horn sounds.
Okami gets the unanimous decision. Good fight though it got slow in places.
Lightweight bout – Roger Huerta vs Leonard Garcia
Oh boy. I’m gonna do my best to cover this but in all honesty none of my words are gonna do this fight any justice.
Immediately they start swinging at each other. They clinch, Huerta gets the takedown but Garcia immediately scrambles to his feet. They start swinging again, both connect with leg kicks. Huerta comes forward throwing kicks, he goes for a takedown, Garcia goes for a guillotine but Huerta passes to side mount. Huerta pushes Garcia against the cage. Garcia looks for an arm but Huerta gets his back. Suddenly Huerta has both hooks in and looks for the choke. Huerta then decides to roll to mount but Garcia escapes before any damage is done. Huerta misses the high kick but connects with the straight kick. Garcia goes for the guillotine again, Huerta slams him but Garcia still has it. Huerta breaks free and lands punches from the top. He passes to half guard and lands more punches. They briefly bring it back to the feet, Garcia looks for a kimura. Back on the feet and they start to throw again. Huerta gets the easy takedown and lands more punches from the top. Garcia starts to throw from the bottom! (Not the best tactic but still AWESOME!) Garcia rolls and gets on top on Huerta but the round ends before he can do damage.
Phew! What a round!
They start swinging widely again. Huerta misses a wheel kick. He comes forward with a body kick and they clinch. Huerta gets the takedown right into side control but Garcia brings him back to guard. More punches from the top. Garcia lands a knee as they go back to the feet. Garcia catches Huerta with a left and misses and overhand right. Huerta lands a combination of punches, Garcia lands a left hook. Big knee by Huerta, they continue to swing at each other with Huerta getting the better of it. Huerta begins to connect with more punches but Garcia continues to throw. Huerta easily gets the takedown and quickly gets the mount. Garcia manages to roll but gives up his back. Huerta goes into the guard with more ground and pound. Garcia stands up and they continue to swing for the fences. WHAT A FIGHT!!!! They clinch up and Huerta gets the takedown and throws punches from the top as the round ends.
Garcia goes for the takedown but Huerta throws him to the cage and hits a leg kick. They continue to throw. Leg kick caught by Huerta and he gets the takedown. Huerta lands from the top with elbows and pushes Garcia up against the fence. Pace has slowed down a notch. Huerta passes to side mount but Garcia somehow manages to roll out and get the back. Punches to the head of Huerta, Garcia looks to get both hooks in but Huerta rolls him over and throws more punches from the guard, Garcia answers with punches from the bottom but he is getting overwhelmed at this point. Fight ends with Huerta throwing more punches from the top.
Huerta gets the unanimous decision. Awesome fight, like I said none of my words can do it justice. In my eyes it’s worth the price of the DVD alone. If you have not seen this fight I seriously recommend you do so.
Welterweight bout – Josh Koscheck vs Diego Sanchez
Ugh I ain’t looking forward to this. So yeah huge bad blood between these two for some reason but I’m too tired at this point to even look up why.
Now after seeing other fights these guys have been in, before and after this fight, this should have been awesome but no it wasn’t
Fight starts with them circling with Kos throws a couple of high kicks but Diego avoids. Sanchez comes forward but Kos backs off. Crowd already restless. Kos lands a right hand as they continue to circle. Flying knee attempt by Sanchez but again Koscheck backs off. More circling, they are throwing punches but they both back off and avoid when the other comes forward. Kos connects with a right hand. Not much happens after that both being really cautious at this point. Kos shoots and gets the takedown, the round end as Diego reverses.
More of the same as the last round to start. Both throw leg kicks. Crowd boo again. Kos connects with a right and lands a combo of punches as Diego comes forward. Nothing really noteworthy happens until Kos hit a nice one-two combination but he doesn’t follow up. Kos is out striking Diego at this point, which in this fight isn’t saying much. Diego throws a high kick, round ends soon after.
More of the same, circling and dodging. The boos are deafening by this point. Absolutely nothing noteworthy happens in this round so why bother, Koscheck wins by decision. NEXT!!!
Welterweight Championship bout- George St-Pierre vs Matt Serra
First title defence for the French Canadian after claiming the belt against Matt Hughes at UFC 65. Serra earned this shot by winning the welterweight bracket on the Ultimate fighter 4. Obviously everyone expected St-Pierre to win here. He finally won the title and many predicted this to be one of many title defences in the career on St- Pierre. No one gave Serra a chance in hell.
They touch gloves. Serra comes forward with punches but St-Pierre avoids. Body kick by St Pierre, leg kick by Serra. Another leg kick by Serra, St-Pierre misses a high kick. Serra continues to land that leg kick, he comes forward and lands a shot to the body. Another shot to the body of St-Pierre. Superman punch by Serra. Leg kick by St -Pierre, Serra checks it. Big right by Serra glances the back of St-Pierre’s head who backs off but loses his balance, Serra takes advantage and connects with a couple of rights. St-Pierre back to his feet, BIG LEFT HAND by Serra, St-Pierre is ROCKED. He goes for the single leg but Serra avoids. BIG RIGHT HAND DROPS ST-PIERRE Serra goes in for the kill landing some bombs from the top. Big John has seen enough. Holy Shit! Crowd goes nuts.
Damn! That is one of the biggest upsets in UFC…hell MMA history right there, 2007 was full of them might I add. No one expected that, except Matt Serra of course. Great performance by Serra, he picked his shots carefully and didn’t get sloppy. St- Pierre just never got going and before he could BANG! Serra overwhelmed him, landing bomb after bomb. As it turned out this loss would be the best thing that could happen to St-Pierre as he has come back a better figher. As much as I love St-Pierre I always been a Serra fan after his war with Shonnie Carter so it’s great to see him have his moment of glory. Like I said one of the biggest upsets in MMA history, until Minowaman defeats Fedor in Dream’s Super Hulk Tournament 2. Hey it could happen.
The 411: Well the St-Pierre/Serra upset is worth the price of the DVD alone but there is alot more to the card that just that. Garcia/ Huerta is just an awesome, awesome fight while Belcher/ Grove and Herring/Imes also deliver. Kos/Diego brings the score down a notch but don't let it put you off. This is a really solid show. As for this Saturday, well will see. Just don't count Hardy out just yet. After all this is MMA, anything can happen
|Final Score: 7.5 [ Good ] legend|