Monday, July 21, 2008

UFC Fight Night 14 Review

This was a really solid card. Was I glad I watched Affliction live? Yes. Am I glad I still got to watch this card? Also yes. I preferred the Affliction card. It was just stronger top to bottom and the atmosphere was just bigger. However, for a free show, Fight Night 14 was really solid. There was only one boring fight in my opinion and there were a few really impressive performances. I also liked the Spike reskin on the presentation with all the graphics. It looked much more contemporary and stylish. Let's start breaking down the fights.

Tim Credeur v. Cale Yarbrough: This fight was not televised but this was a nice win for Tim by TKO in round 1. I got the pick right but not the prediction.

Rory Markham v. Brodie Farber: Farber fought very well connecting with some great shots early on. Unfortunately he pulled an Andrei Arlovski, smelled blood, and went in hands down and got caught with a huge leg kick that knocked him out cold. Markham says that's how most of his fights go down but if I was him I'd work on fixing that asap. You won't last long in the UFC doing that. I got the pick right and came oh so close to getting the prediction right too, but no cigar.

Jesse Taylor v. CB Dolloway: I really didn't care who won this fight because I don't like either of these guys. I was surprised though at how exciting it was. I thought it was just going to turn into a wrestling match. Jesse wanted to do that but CB tried to stand up and when Jesse took it to the ground CB showed his superior grappling and submission abilities by taking Jesse out with a Peruvian neck tie. Guaranteed you will see more and more of those now that someone pulled it off in a real fight. I was impressed with CB in this fight after two terrible losses to Amir on TUF 7. I got the pick right on this but not the prediction.

Anthony Johnson v. Kevin Burns: I'm telling you right now I'm throwing this fight right out of the window. How the judges could actually rule this fight a win for Burns I have no idea. At best it should've been a NC and at worst Burns should've been DQ. However the fact remains that due to a poke in the eye Johnson could not continue and he lost the fight. It was a solid stand up battle which is surprising considering Burns prowess on the ground but I guess he wanted to prove what he had on his feet. It was a great fight with a terrible ending. I hope there's a rematch soon.

Cain Velasquez v. Jake O'Brien: This fight was one of the most impressive fights of the night next to Anderson Silva. Cain just dominated O'Brien. Cain took O'Brien down right away which was smart because as good as Cain might be on his feet that's where O'Brien excels. Once Cain got the fight to the ground it was total domination. He got O'Brien locked down in a cross position and just doled out punishment until the ref was forced to stop the fight. You could've said Cain's first fight was a fluke but he proved he belongs in the UFC with this win. O'Brien was a legit contender in the heavyweight division and Cain just destroyed him. I bet Cain is on the fast track to a title shot. I think if he wins his next two fights he's got his chance with the heavyweight division being so thin. I got the pick right here but not the prediction.

Hermes Franca v. Frankie Edgar: This was a great fight. Edgar dominated the fight but Franca landed his shots and proved why he's so dangerous on his feet and on the ground. He hurt Edgar toward the very end of the fight and almost caught him in an arm bar early on. Edgar's wrestling and ground and pound was just too good though controlling almost the entire fight. Edgar is inching ever closer to his title shot. My guess is two more fights max. Maybe just one if he can beat his next opponent with anything other than a decision but you can't argue with the guy's resume. I got the pick and prediction right on the button here.

Brandon Vera v. Reese Andy: In what was the most underwhelming fight of the night Vera looked absolutely sapped by dropping down to 205. I'm not sure if this was simply because it was his first try or if he's just not good at cutting weight. In either case he won a very unimpressive decision by counter punching and remaining in a dominant position for the whole fight. I got the prediction right but not he pick.

Anderson Silva v. James Irvin: In what has to cement Anderson Silva as one of the top two P4P fighters in the world he simply dismantled James Irvin. Silva tried to feel out Irvin but Irvin swung a leg kick that got caught and Silva dropped him with one punch. Silva looked absolutely stellar at 205. Granted Irvin is no Forrest Griffin but he wasn't a nobody either. I really hope Silva intends to keep fighting at 205 until someone proves he doesn't belong in the division. I understand it's his responsibility to protect his belt first but he can't have title fights more than 2-3 times a year. So he can easily get in a couple 205 lb fights assuming there are no injury concerns. I got the pick right here but not the prediction.

This was a really solid card and I had a stellar night going 7-0 with a bonus point for getting the Edgar fight 100% correct. Saturday night solidified that there isn't a true number 1 P4P fighter. Anderson Silva and Fedor are 1a and 1b and completely interchangeable. The true winners this weekend though were the fans. I think both promotions did well for themselves but the fans got one great card and one good card showcasing the two best fighters in the world prove why they're the best. You can't really ask for anything more. Stay tuned as I'll be previewing this weekend's EliteXC card and updating my heavyweight ranking based on the Affliction show which shook a lot of things up. Until then,

Soccer kicks and head stomps...

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