Considering that the event went through a series of unfortunate hiccups before a fighter even stepped foot in the cage, such as Brock Lesnar’s illness, Mark Coleman’s injury and Karo Parisyian’s last minute call-off, UFC 106 still delivered solid entertainment on Saturday night.
In my opinion Tito Ortiz – Forrest Griffin 2 wasn’t as good as the first, but it was still close enough, for the first couple of rounds at least, to hold your attention. The third round was a disappointment though as Ortiz ran out of steam and was little more than a human heavybag for the remaining five minutes.
Despite claiming to be back to 100% after back surgery, In reality his performance was very similar to many of his fights prior to his 19 month layoff.
Despite claiming that he was robbed and should have won the fight at the post-fight press conference Ortiz did eventually admit that he may have bitten of more than he could chew by facing Griffin for his fight back, and I think that’s an accurate assessment. There’s no doubt that his original opponent, Mark Coleman would have been an easier option, particularly with regards to cardio.
For Griffin this was a good way to get back on his feet and gain confidence after the Anderson Silva defeat and he appeared iback to his old self and in good spirits after the fight. He also appeared content with Ortiz’s idea that the two should do a rubber match, perhaps after a stint as coaches on Season 11 of TUF.
The Josh Koscheck – Anthony Johnson fight was a slight let down due to the repeated eye pokes from both men which forced the fight into a series of stoppages that disrupted the flow of the bout.
It also seemed to make up Koscheck’s mind to take the fight to the floor, and from that position he had a clear advantage as expected. After his victory he called out Dan Hardy, and in a perfect world the two should face with the winner going on to face GSP. That’s definitely not going to happen however but he has certainly given a good case for him to be considered next.
As for Johnson, he remains an exciting stand-up fighter, but his weakness from his back is likely to rule him out of becoming a serious title contender in the future.
I’m not entirely convinced that Paulo Thiago is a major force in the division yet but he put in a good performance against Jacob Volkmann and showed that he is a capable fighter both on his feet and on the ground.
Antonio Rogerio Nogueira’s victory over Luis Cane was one of the highlights of the night, and is also significant in terms of the light heavyweight division. If he can continue that form into his next fight then he may well become a title contender in 2010. It will also be interesting to see how Cane bounces back from the first genuine defeat of his career next year.
Amir Sadollah has every right to be happy about his performance. There was clearly a marked improvement in terms of the improvement in his striking and significantly after his last defeat, he showed that he can take a punch as well.
After the fight Dana White confirmed that Phil Baroni will get another chance in the octagon, but despite showing his heart and toughness, his lack of cardio suggests that he won’t last long in his second stint in the promotion.
Ben Saunders victory over Marcus Davis was as noteworthy as any on the card at UFC 106. Once again showing the effectiveness of his knee strikes, Saunders quickly overwhelmed ‘The Irish Hand-Grenade’ who had difficulty dealing with the definitive height and reach advantage enjoyed by his opponent.
For Saunders this win puts him back in the frame as a credible opponent in the welterweight division. Davis on the other has now suffered back-to-back defeats and the first KO of his career. At the age of 36 he will now have to act fast if he is to arrest his decline.
I believe that Kendall Grove is often unfairly labeled as a fighter who is only one more defeat away from being cut from the UFC. The truth is he is a solid fighter who more often than not puts on an entertaining fight in the octagon. Defeating Jake Rosholt is a worthy and somewhat unexpected win on his record that should earn him some credibility and respect from the fans.
Brian Foster was another standout performer in the undercard, and showed that the exciting fight he put on in his UFC debut against Rick Story was no one off. Luckily for him he also claimed victory this time round and has put himself out as one to watch in the welterweight division.
Caol Uno and Fabricio Camoes fight always looked destined to go to the judges scorecards but few would have predicted it ending in a majority draw. It’s a frustrating result for Uno who could use a definitive win at this stage, but it’s not such a bad result for Camoes to start his UFC career with.
After showing impressive ground skills in his previous fight I was looking forward to watching George Sotiropoulos fight Jason Dent and he didn’t disappoint, with another confident display of his BJJ skills. Hopefully he can now move on to face a tougher test in his next fight so we can accurately assess just how much of a threat he poses in the lightweight division.