I was excited to see this TUF Finale, as I have trained or competed against two of the fighters, Roy Nelson and Kimbo Slice. I got myself an XL pizza for Papa John’s, a couple of 32oz gatorades and watched the fights with my girlfriend Shani. She is in Louisville right now and does not have Spike, so we logged in through Skype and I put my webcam to face my TV screen. With her and I both watching the fights and talking together, it was the next best thing to her being right beside me. That, and she won’t be able to take any pizza away from me! 🙂
The first fight we saw was Frankie Edgar vs. Matt Veach. What a great fight that was! Matt Veach is a powerhouse for 155lbs, but Frankie is just so technical. Both on his standup and his wrestling, his was doing everything right. Even when getting taken down, he did not receive and punishment and made Matt work the whole time just to hold him down. The blow that ended it all was just a short right, and a great follow through by Edgar. Matt is tough guy, he survived longer than most people in that situation could of. I look forward to seeing more from both of these guys in the future. Man is the lightweight division stacked!
Mark Bocek looked much more comfortable on his feet in this fight. He didn’t waste anytime taking the fight to the ground and securing a nice rear naked choke. Score one for the gingers!
Jon Jones is an animal! My god, can this guy be any longer? He is 6’4″, with an 84.5″ reach! For that reason alone, I would not want to be in the 205lb division, LOL. His style is very unorthdox, and highly entertaining. The osoto gari was beautifully timed against Matt Hamill. I think his ground and pound was not as effective as it could have been. You could see that he looked up at the referee to see if he was going to stop the fight. He was just throwing a barrage of punches and not really aiming. Once he started to throw elbows, that is where he really started to damage Matt. Unfortunately, I think he got a little to excited and dropped a couple of illegal elbows. I don’t think he should have been DQed in this situation. It should have been a no contest. It sucks, because they ruined a great record in Jon Jones, but he took it like a champ. I cannot wait to see that man in action again.
Perhaps the biggest fight of the night, Kimbo Slice vs Houston Alexander, was promised to be an all out slug fest. I expected this fight to last no longer than it would take me to consume a slice of pizza (which is about 60 seconds tops). Boy was I wrong! What the hell is Houston doing circling all over the cage? This man has never shown any Lyoto Macheetah style in his UFC career. The worst part – Kimbo seemed to be utterly confused and just followed him around. Round 1 = TOTAL FAIL. Shani was completely disappointed, as was I.
Round 2 was another creature altogether. Kimbo was able to get a hold of Alexander and make the fight entertaining. Between landing solid blows, a beautiful slam, and something that looked like a submission attempt – round 2 was everything round 1 should have been. Round 2 = Good fun.
Round 3, eh…well they attacked more than round 1. But both men’s fatigue kicked in, and apparently Houston’s chopping kicks paid off and was able to put Kimbo on his butt. For a moment, it looked like the fight was going to be over. But Houston, who has not seemed to be the wrecking machine that he normally is, let the opportunity slip right in front of him. The image that summarizes the fight was just after the bell had rung, and both fighters simultaneously crouched over, putting their hands on their knees to hold themselves up. It looked like two guys who hadn’t prepared well enough for this bout. It just seems that they both weren’t all there. Weird fight.
The finals at last, Roy Nelson vs Brendan Schaub. You got to love Roy, coming in sporting a big belly like Santa Claus. I have grappled against Roy back in 2003, and had met up with him during BodogFIGHT season 2. The one thing I learned about Roy is that he can take a hell of a shot – and also give one right back. Sure enough, Roy delivers! He ate some clean punches, but man did he land a hell of a right just behind the ear of Brendan. Punches back there are KO makers (unfortunately I know from personal experience). It will be interesting to see how Roy mixes in with the heavy weight division in the UFC. An excellent grappler, with powerful striking and a solid chin – the sky’s the limit!