For a free payperview event this was pretty damn good. Not only did it leave me feeling really good about the fights but it left me looking pretty damn good after I picked every one of them correctly. I shouldn’t have though. Michael Bisping had no business winning that fight against Matt “the Hammer” Hamill. Aside from getting gassed in the late second and third rounds, Hamill was dominant. I don’t think Bisping landed three punches all night. Every one of his shots was blocked by Hamill’s guard and that left Bisping retreating the entire fight. He was running away from Hamill, he wasn’t pressing any action. I’m sorry but Bisping got beaten up badly and deserved to walk out the loser in his hometown, booed, and disgraced. I feel very bad for Hamill who should have won that fight and walked away with his head held high about his performance instead of having to think about a possible rematch. Do you want to see the rematch? I sure as hell don’t. Bisping sucks and doesn’t deserve it.
The rest of the night though was no downer, on the other hand the fights were pretty close to spectacular. You’ve got to be impressed with Houston Alexander, man that homeboy has some serious punching power as he would tell you himself. Hopefully in his next fight we get to see him against somebody more dangerous than Alessio Sakara — not to take anything away from Sakara, but he just isn’t in Alexander’s league — perhaps someone like Ryoto Machida if he wins his fight at 76 vs. Kazuhiro Nakamura.
And then there’s Chiek Kongo’s win over Mirko “I’m overrated” Flipovic. I knew, not thought — knew that Kongo would win that fight because Cro Cop seriously is overrated. He’s a one dimensional fighter and it amuses me to listen to all of his fans whine and complain about his two straight losses. I just want to tell them: “Dude, your favorite fighter blows, get over it.” Kongo on the other hand does not blow. Shit, that is one scary dude. 6’4″ 240 pounds of pure muscle, he’s got probably the most well-defined physique in all of MMA and he’s every bit as dangerous on his feet as he looks. The scary thing is, he’s only getting better. You can tell that Juanito is working on his ground game and if you guys didn’t pick this up already, Juanito’s fighters don’t lose, these guys are up there in Big Bear training hard and smart with one of the best trainers in the game. Look for Kongo to move up (obviously) and take on a more well rounded fighter this time. I think a Kongo — Gonzaga or a Kongo — Arlovski fight would be awesome. Maybe you give him Frank Mir but you can’t say at this point that Frank Mir is a tougher opponent than Cro Cop. No offense to Mir, he just hasn’t been fighting for awhile. He’s had one fight and beat up some bum in Antoni Hardonk. Now, Mir looks good, he definitely looks like he could be the Heavyweight champion like he once was but he needs to work his way up to get the title shot just like everyone else. So what would I do? I think it should be Kongo vs. Gonzaga next. It just makes sense for everyone. They both fought right around the same time and Gonzaga presents a much tougher challenge for Kongo. If Kongo wins that fight, he definitely deserves a title shot. Now, who gets the next title shot against Couture? You know the UFC is looking at Fedor right now and doing all they can to get that set up as they should. If they can’t manage to get Fedor signed (which definitely is a possibility with his outrageous demands being what they are) then I think you just have to get Couture in the ring against Noguiera (even though Noguiera looked like shit against Herring who isn’t even any good) and have him win. Personally, I’d give Arlovski the title shot right now but the UFC is just being bitches towards him right now. Then the winner of Sylvia vs. Vera could be line for the title shot with the loser seeing winner of Kongo — Gonzaga. At any rate, the depth at heavyweight looks real good and will only look better with Mir’s continued ascension of the ranks and Arlovski brought back to action hopefully soon.
Now onto the main event and the fight of the night. I have to tell you I was looking forward to this fight more than any fight I’ve ever anticipated. And this was a fight that lived up to every ounce of the hype that surrounded it. Henderson and Jackson battled each other for 25 hard-fought minutes and you really got to see a great MMA fight. These guys battled and battled on the ground and standing up, in the clinch and in each other’s grils, it was sick. The thing I really walk away with besides realizing how good Henderson is after watching him live for the first time, is just how good Rampage is. He’s a brand new fighter folks. He won that fight 49-46 going away and did it impressively. He controlled a world class greco roman wrestler on the ground, in fact he did more damage to Henderson on the ground than Henderson did to him. And man, Jackson can strike. He is DANGEROUS on his feet. If Henderson didn’t have the chin that he has he would have been out cold in round three when he took a couple of those shots. Dan has head like concrete, I mean damn.
Next up for Rampage looks to be Shogun after he whoops up on Forrest Griffin. This looks to be a great chance for Rampage to avenge his previous loss to Shogun Rua. This is by no means the Rampage that got his ass beat by Rua in Pride a few years back, let that be no mistake to any of you out there. Rampage is a beast now and I can’t wait to see him against Rua and then Wanderlei when Wanderlei beats Liddell in December.
Well, that’s it for now. MMA fans check back here in a week and a half when I go into UFC 76: Knockout.