Yeah Eliot!!!!!! Way to go!
Ok, now that I got that out of my system, lol, let me start with a couple of things.
Awesome job by the UFC, using their platform to give back to our soldiers via the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund. Agree or disagree with the war, supporting our troops and their families is absolutely neccessary and anything short of that is despicable.
Thanks to Zuffa for 3 free cards in the past week and a half. No matter how the cards turn out, having these events makes it much easier for me to justify the money I spend on ppv each month. And by "free" I mean not having to pay an additional amount beyond my normal monthly bill and watching commercials. Sorry, but there is always somebody ready to redefine the term, "free".
So the sometimes entertaining, often disgusting season has come to an end. The ripple effect has yet to be seen...
-One last thought on the antics. When TUF 1 came on, it was a new venture and nobody knew what to expect. We all saw the drama that surrounded Chris Leben and the attention that brought him. I can say without hesitation, that he probably would have been out of the UFC long ago, if not for the recognition TUF garnered him. So, we shouldn't be surprised that the amount of poor behavior has escaleted to this point, when fighters know they can get as much, or more, attention from misbehaving as they can from fighting. The question now is, "who will be the new and improved Junie Browning in future seasons?". Fasten your seatbelts and grab that little paper bag from the seatback in front of you.
-Junie vs Kaplan. Very impressive performance by Junie, albeit against a clearly inferior opponent. Refreshing statements from him, but it is going to take a lot more than that for me to forget TUF Junie and support UFC Junie.
-Eliot vs Jules. Very impressive performance by Eliot, albeit against a clearly inferior opponent. Noticing a trend here? Was Eliot's striking impressive? Yes. Was his ground attack? Of course. But most impressive was his focus, determination, confidence and overall mental state. I'm glad we got to see a couple of guys like Eliot and Krystof get televised, they deserved it. Now obviously, Jules needs to go back to the minors, but the confidence a win like this gives a fighter, can not be overstated.
-Krystof vs Primm. Mildly impressive performance by Krystof, albeit against a clearly inferior opponent. I think Brookhouse may be correct in the misplacement of all the Krystof love appearing on the net. He is just such a cool dude, that I think we all want him to be a world beater. I hope at this point in his career, he can still find ways to improve.
-Wilson vs The Athlete. Wilson is clearly on the upswing and i just don't know what MacDonald's place is right now, though it appears to be gatekeeper. I hope he doesn't get cut by the UFC, but he really could use a big win soon.
-Johnson vs Burns. Pretty good fight, though I had Johnson winning both rounds. I think Johnson's size is amazing and difficult to deal with. I hope he continues to improve and round his game out. Oh, by the way, OUCH! Best head kick since Gonzaga vs CC?? Burns is also very tough and should have a nice UFC career before it is done.
-Bader vs Vinny. Damn, Vinny is huge at 205. My guess is we will see him several more times at least. Note to Darth Bader: Metallica does a version of "The Imperial Death March", get it and use it! Bader fought smart and has a lot of power in his strikes. When he caught Vinny and put him down, I think what won him that fight, was his ability to control himself and not dive onto Vinny, who went down and rolled to replace guard. Bader stayed up, avoided the ground and landed the hammer strikes that finished the fight. Job well done. Lot's of potential in the TUF 8 LHWs.
-Nover vs Efrain. Good fight, not a great fight. I still believe that Nover has more skills, but Efrain used the Kryptonite and took him down at will. Efrain put the fight where he wanted it and controlled position, was more effective and forced Nover to swing for the fences, which he easily ducked and slipped. I really look forward to seeing both of these guys in the near future.
Overall, I think it was a pretty good show, even though it didn't have the coaches fighting or any traditional fan favorites to anchor it. We saw some devastating strikes, some good subs and some competitive fights.
I know that some people don't have a lot of interest in the preliminary fights, but i view it as a nice reward for guys that contributed to TUF and otherwise may not ever get the chance to fight on a UFC card.
I really appreciated the flow of the broadcast tonight. I watched it live and it still seemed to flow very well in comparison to past Fight Nights and Finales. The one thing I truly dislike about free cards is not seeing the corner time between rounds, so this was a big improvement to me.
Lastly, I can't wait to see Mall Cop, featuring MMA supporter Kevin James and some bald headed Dutch guy...I mean very handsome Dutch guy. Damn, that scene where he was rolling in front of the glass doors so awkward and slow, really had me laughing!
Next up in 2 weeks, UFC 92: The Ultimate 2008, should be a great event!