Well it turned out to be a pretty good card, but no doubt, 88 will be remembered for the brutal KO of the Iceman, Chuck Liddell.
-Many of us gave Rashad a slim shot, and he was underrated for sure. However, I think we may have been as guilty of overrating Chuck. He has been a very good champion, but the style of hands out wide and at his waist, did him in last night. As I rewatched the end of the fight, what stuck with me was the location of his left hand, it was nowhere near a defensive position. We all knew Rashad was the superior athlete and much quicker, didn't Chuck?
-Poor Rich Franklin. The mysterious black left eye and now a right eye that looks like Mike Tyson stopped by for a Midnight snack. Hammill looked huge and I think he has a future, but Franklin's striking looked pretty good. Still not sure how he will fare against a top 8-10 LHW, but I think his future is at 205.
-Dan Henderson, thanks for the win, I just didn't want to see him drop three in a row. This was a very good win and should keep Dan's name in the title shot talk (with another win, of course). Palhares showed he is a tough guy, took some big punches and almost finished Hendo. This dude is legit and I am expecting some big things from him. Where was Henderson's ground 'n' pound? Greatly absent, due to the fact that he knew the ground was no place to be. When a great fighter alters his gameplan like that, it should tell you something about his opponent.
-Nate Marquardt. I remember a couple of years ago, thinking that he wouldn;t be around long, due to his "boring" style. Not that I didn't like it, but I know the mentality of the UFC fans. Kampmann is a good fighter, and Nate looked like he was doing drills on him. Damn, I want to see a Marquardt/Almeida rematch! On a side note, Nate was at the Colorado Open BJJ/Sub Grappling tournament last Saturday, supporting and coaching his students. Even though I am from a rival school, it impressed me that he was there, when he easily could have stayed away prepping for this fight.
-Dong. Dong won, 29-28. Neither guy looked that great and you have to love the boo birds at mma events.
-Jasons. Jason McDonald is tough and I thought he was done in round one, but boy did he look to finish in round two. Lambert, I just don't know. That was a tough fight, so let's see what he does next.
-So we get Rashad/Forrest, not what I would call a big draw. BUT, it is two TUF guys fighting for a title, which lends that much more legitimacy to TUF. Add it to a card with Nog/Mir, and we could have a huge card.
Overall, it turned out to be a pretty good card. Now, hold on, as we get a ton of mma over the next few months!