Tonight was the night of UFC on Versus 6. It is also the last UFC card that will air on the Versus channel. It was also the first UFC title to be defended 100% live on free TV. The Light Heavyweight title was defended via tape delay on Spike back at UFC 75.
And what a night of fights it was! Top to bottom I felt that every fight delivered the way it needed to.
First things first. Can Dominick Cruz FINALLY get some respect? Perhaps the respect was there before...but so was the title of being 'boring'. I never got that, Cruz's fights were always rather exciting...his performances mixed things up more and delivered more variation in his attack then say GSP who recently looks to exclusively jab and inside leg kick(Koscheck and Shields) or exclusively wrestle(Hardy) in his title fights. I don't like GSP any less for it, but Cruz seemed to catch a bad rap.
Dominick Cruz was anything but boring in this fight. Some of that can be attributed to the game-ness of Demetrious Johnson, but equal parts have to be attributed to Cruz. He mounted Johnson on multiple occasions, performed two stunning suplexes and also took his back. The fight was filled with Cruz mixing it up on the feet and in the grappling department, scoring multiple takedowns and trips.
Cruz's opponents have the highest winning percentage of ANY of the seven UFC champions. He brings it every single fight in an awesome display of footwork, cardio, and variance in offense. I would certainly hope that the number of detractors he has declines after tonight's performance.
Struve vs Barry was a fun fight to think about heading in. The tallest vs the shortest heavyweight, two guys who primarily opt to kickbox. It was nice to see Struve perhaps prove the 'stand and bang' labelling of this fight wrong by pulling off a slick triangle. Barry didn't look horrible in defeat, and I would like to see him get at least one more shot. It's clear grappling is still the hole in his game, even if he is trying to shore it up. I remember one of the first comments I ever read regarding Barry vs Struve said something to the effect of 'Great, I get to see Struve triangle Pat Barry'...well played, commenter who I can't remember the name of.
Johnson vs Brenneman - I've been saying a lot from the start that I felt that Johnson was more then likely going to blitzkrieg Brenneman in the first. Well, that's pretty much exactly what happened. Brenneman seemed to recover fairly well from the headkick...or at least as well as one could be expected to recover from a flush headkick, but he was wobly before it landed, went out at least momentarily from it...and would not likely have survived Johnson's pending onslaught. That KO was coming sooner or later.
Wiman vs Dangzig - I don't know about anyone else, but I thought this fight was awesome. These guys fought their asses off and seemed to constantly be landing something or performing some form of offense on the other. I'm not sure what people think of the decision, but I felt it went the right way.
I won't say much as far as the preliminary fights go. But I will say I had a dream that I missed the card and had to look up the results after...and Paul Sass won by heel hook. It was a little freaky to see him actually pull it off in the fight. I love the idea of a 'novelty' fighter who is an absolute specialist at certain things. I look forward to watching him progress.
All in all I would say it was a fantastic night of fights that delivered a load of excitement. The final Versus card truly was the best in terms of quality and I can only hope that the lure of a free title fight plus the fact that the fights themselves were so consistently good will result in strong ratings.