– I’ll confess I had fairly low expectations for this card which didn’t look like being a thriller on paper. With that in mind I came away feeling that it had turned out to be a decent enough night of fights.
Having said that there wasn’t a great deal of skill or real stand-out performances on display here, this was more a night of rough and ready scraps that left the canvas covered with copious amounts of blood as a result.
– Court McGee emerged as the next Ultimate Fighter and it’s hard not to be happy for him considering his troubled past. Winning the contract is only half the battle though and I suspect he’s going to have his work cut out for him in the UFC’s middleweight division.
– Matt Hamill may have got the better of Keith Jardine in the battle of the TUF veterans, but it’s hardly a performance that’s going to strike fear into the hearts of the rest of the 205lb division. He failed to get his wrestling game going, looked slightly sluggish in the stand-up exchanges and was visibly tiring in the latter stages of the fight.
On the bright side though he’s got a very solid chin and I liked his dirty boxing.
– As for Jardine, he started off well and looked in control of the fight until he got caught in the second. Thankfully he didn’t succumb to yet another KO defeat but he was wobbled and with that being his fourth defeat in a row his place the UFC must surely be running out of reasons to keep him on the roster.
Will the fact that the bout won ‘Fight Of The Night’ honors be enough to grant him yet another stay of execution?
– Chris Leben did well to hand Aaron Simpson the first defeat of his eight fight career. Really Simpson played into ‘The Crippler’s’ hands though. Rather than sticking to his significant wrestling advantage Simpson decided to slug it out with the notoriously heavy-handed and hard-headed Leben who loves nothing more than to get into a brawl.
It was terrible game-planning from Simpson, but what will likely sting more is the fact that Leben also showed better cardio than the wrestler who prides himself on his physical fitness.
– Denis Siver picked up the biggest win of his career to date against Spencer Fisher to go 4-1 in his UFC career. In the end it was a solid rather than spectacular performance from the Russian born fighter in what proved to be a very close fight.
I’d like to see him mix things up a bit in future as he does have some ground skills and could benefit from being a little bit more predictable if he wants to make an impression in the upper half of the division.
– As for Fisher it was definitely not the performance he would have been hoping for, and with two losses in a row he’s now dropping down the 155lb pecking order.
His decision to move into his opponents power hand was puzzling. Perhaps it was done deliberately to avoid Siver’s potent spinning back kicks, but it came at the cost of eating a number of right hands throughout the fight.
– Jamie Yager’s heart was questioned on TUF 11 after quitting on his stool, and unfortunately for him the doubts remain after he appeared to wilt in the second round of his fight with Rich Attonito. His cardio appeared to be an issue as the bout progressed and after getting caught with a few solid shots you could see the will to fight draining from him.
– Overall I didn’t see any real evidence that the new TUF recruits are going to make an impact in the UFC, and I don’t expect to be seeing too many of them in the octagon in six months to a years time. That’s something that’s become a familiar story with recent seasons of the show though.