Just back from the bar. I didn't take notes and I'm very tired, so this will be short. Lovely lovely card. Every single fight was worth the cover charge. In fact, by the time the T.Griffin/Tavares fight ended I decided that I had gotten my money's worth, and everything else this evening was gravy. Made me wish I had brought SqueamishGuy to this card rather than the previous one. Not that this one didn't have blood, it did, but the fights were better overall. Who says you need a title bout to have a good card?
I had gone to the bar on Friday afternoon to make my reservation and got to pick my table again. My tablemate this time was a man who didn't say much, except to ask me what time it started and whom I liked in the first fight. I had my back to him for most of the evening (so I could face the screen, not so I could be rude) so there wasn't any interaction after that.
Notes from tonight:
Can ufc please stop showing celebrities in the audience? Other fighters, yes. It was nice to see Jackson, GSP and WSilva, and I wouldn't mind seeing their reactions to the fights. But of what use are actors who should be on What Not to Wear? Blech.
The first televised fight, TG/T, was non-stop, and I felt sorry for whomever was fighting after it because it would be hard for them to measure up. I like TG. I figure it must be frustrating (just a bit) to have people cheering and then realize as you look up at the screen that they're cheering for Randy Couture. Note to TT, saying "I win" after fight before the judges decision has been announced is silly and makes you look sillier. To his credit, he was classy about the decision after it was announced.
Fitch-Sanchez I have been looking forward to for awhile, and going by my general rule that the guy coming into the octagon looking more relaxed is going to win it, I expected a Fitch win. I worried that he'd be weaker because of the trouble he had making weight, but I dismissed it once it said on the screen that he used to captain Purdue's wrestling team. Wrestlers deal with making weight, so no worries. Sanchez looked intense though. He's not one of my favorite fighters, because I took a dislike to both him and Koschek in the blithering leading up to their last fight, but after this fight I'd like to see him fight again. And he was classy afterwards also. Except he shouldn't bother telling fans not to boo. If you exude class long enough they'll shut up and start supporting you.
Griffin-Rua... oh my that was just lovely. But why the heck was Rua so tired from mid -second round onwards? I expected FG to win this one, because he looked happy and excited and his pre-fight promos had the right attitude about them. Heck of a way to win: submission just before the end of the 3rd round, after you've shown everything you can do and bled for the victory also.
Jardine-Liddell. They were on their feet for pretty much the entire fight, which I mention only because, after the diversity of the rest of the fights (up, down, every which way) that was what stood out in my mind. No, I'm not happy. I like CL and I really wanted him to come back strong after the loss to Jackson. (I like Jardine too, as you already know if you read my UFC66 report
.) I wish it hadn't a split-decision. Made me wish it had been a five round fight so that there would be a more definitive ending. What I disliked even more than this result was the reaction of some of the people in the bar. Some nitwit was badgering his friends, saying something to the effect of "It was worth it just to see Chuck lose AGAIN. To some guy named Keith WHO?" I felt like turning around and telling him, "That would be Jardine, you nitwit, the guy that beat that Griffin guy who just sumitted Rua." Why is it that the stupid comments are made by the most out-of-shape guys?
Edited: I forgot Machida-Nakamura, because I'm exhausted, and because my main memory from this fight is the parasol... Seriously though, not a bad fight, just compared to TG-TT not as exciting.