If you wonder why people like so many others and myself are into the UFC and MMA as we are, you need to see just two of the five fights that were on pay per view last night.
First off, besides the two fights I am about to mention, there were two other very technical, back and forth fights: Thiago Tavares vs Tyson Griffin, and Jon Fitch vs Diego Sanchez.
The co main event featured the highly anticipated debut in the UFC of Pride fighter Mauricio “Shogun” Rua versus Forrest Griffin. Forrest was the winner of The Ultimate Fighter Season 1 and many will say helped push UFC into the mainstream with his fight against Stephan Bonnar that has been mentioned as one of the greatest fights in UFC history. Shogun was just crushing people in PRIDE, including current UFC champion Quinton Rampage Jackson, who he knocked out in the first round in PRIDE. Almost everyone expected Shogun to come in and defeat Griifin, and in fact it was expected the fight would not go all three rounds. Shogun had only lost one fight since 2003 and that was when his arm was broken in a fight.
However, this is what makes the UFC so good.
Forrest Griffin is a person you cannot help but like, he will stand toe to toe with anyone and trade punches. He went right after Shogun, and proved that he was not intimidated by him and pushed the action. Forrest did something that many people never would have thought would have happened, when he put on a rear naked choke and made Shogun tap out, something that had not been done since Sep 6. 2003.
It was a fight that left you saying “wow” when it was over with, I am sure it will be on youtube soon, it is definitely worth checking out.
Then in the main event, Chuck Liddell returned to the octagon for the first time since his loss to Quinton Rampage Jackson. Chuck was taking on Keith Jardine, who was coming off a devastating loss to unknown at that time Houston Alexander. In 6 degrees of separation kind of way, Jardine made a name for himself when he knocked out Forrest Griffin not to long ago.
Many, including myself thought for this to be a dominating win for Chuck Liddell; again, however, that is why they have the fights. Keith Jardine made Liddell fight his type of fight, and wore Liddell out with body and leg kicks. Jardine with stood a Liddell onslaught that left Jardine bleeding out of about four places on his head, and in the end Jardine pulled off the biggest win with his career with a split decision win over Liddell. Just to appreciate the historic angle and to realize how significant that is, Liddell had not gone the distance with a fighter since June 2002, when he won over Vitor Belfort.
What a great event, again I challenge you to watch it, and not be hooked.
Stay tuned to the station, because soon we will have some pretty cool news about our MMA segment every Thursday with Rob Long and John Rallo.