My 3rd live UFC PPV took me to MI. I live in Chicago so it was about a 4 hour drive for myself and 2 MMA buddies.
Downtown Detroit would make an interesting muse for a horror writer. My friend commented that we were in the real life version of Resident Evil. Scattered pockets of angry, cigarette smoking people shuffled aimlessly in between abandoned buildings and closed down businesses. Cue the song "O'Death" by Jen Titus.
Detroit does have nice architecture, though. For example, all 8 of you Maniacs who still follow baseball - Tigers stadium is beautiful. Seriously. I took pictures.
We spotted some gals with an Ontario license plate who : did the slow drive by, sized us up, raised the volume to Lil Wayne's "Lollipop" and sped off in their Toyota RAV 4. Canadian gangstas, son!
The Palace At Auburn Hills
This is a great venue. Easy parking ($15), quick moving lines and the design of the arena prevents too much congestion. We were in Section 213 - Row 2 - seats 15 through 17. The view was off center (towards the right side end of your line of sight) but still very good. You could see into the cage without any obstructions. No binoculars were needed and the overhead screens gave an excellent recap of anything that you may have missed. About $150.00, gents.
Lentz - Griffin :
Lentz tried to blanket Griffin (surprise). Griffin reversed Lentz several times and even initiated some TD's of his own which resulted in some entertaining slams. Lentz did manage to show some nice kicks. However, Griffin landed more significant strikes and finished stronger. Griffin won 2 RDS without any doubt. The term "robbery" is very appropriate in this case. Why Griffin was not on the main card is a mystery to me. He always brings it - win or lose. And he won this fight. The judging was an injustice.
Kelly - O'Brien
Kelly kept the pressure and landed a higher rate of significant strikes. O'Brien was tough but had no answers for Kelly's accuracy and speed. Kelly got the impressive TKO victory in the 2nd RD after he floored O'Brien for the final time. It was very entertaining while it lasted.
Barboza - Lullo
Barbazo simply blazed Lullo with very fast MT strikes. Lullo pulled guard and attempted to sub Barboza with an omoplata once or twice. Good stuff. However, Barboza defended well, got the fight back on the feet and proceeded to destroy Lullo's knee with pinpoint strikes. The ref mercifully ended it for Lullo (who displayed alot of heart by coming out in the 3rd RD). Barboza looked like a larger version of Aldo. Promote Barboza to the main card!
Karo - Hallman
Drew texted me that Karo was the favorite. Really? The UFC hype machine gone insane. Again. Too many factors were against Karo and he was facing a tough veteran in Hallman. This fight was fool's gold for the Karo fans, bro. Karo came in with love handles, appeared listless in the clinch and was dropped and finished in a very embarrassing way. I was not surprised to learn that he was cut by the UFC soon thereafter.
Simpson - Munoz
Very entertaining fight that had alot of back and forth brawling, wrestling and heart shown by both fighters. Munoz appeared to land the more significant strikes so it looks like his training at BlackHouse was time well spent. The judges got this one right. I thought it was FOTN.
Brown - Foster
Another entertaining tilt that had a furious flurry by both fighters when they decided to exchange. Foster's wrestling was the key to outclassing Brown. After the 1st RD ended, Brown got in Foster's grill and decided to engage in some trash talking. Hilarious. If someone whupped my ass in the 1st RD - I would be a bit more humble instead of engaging in false bravado. I was glad that Foster got the sub finish. No need for that type of bush league behavior, IMO.
G Sot - Lauzon
Everything that Lauzon does, G Sot does better. That cliche was appropriate for this fight. G Sot deserves a title shot in 2011.
Davis - Boetsch
Davis was in control the entire time. It was an awesome display of MMA. Striking, wrestling and a fight ending submission. My favorite fight of the night because I had missed Davis' other fights and he lived up to the hype in this performance.
Harris - Falcao
Falcao's aggressive bursts of striking put Harris down and a deep RNC would have ended the fight if it was not for the time ending/ref stopping the hold. Most in the crowd were confused at what happened. I thought the fight was over because Harris tapped out. Nevertheless, RD 2 continued with the same aggressive offensive output by Falcao as Harris was dominated.
And then we entered the Twilight Zone. Falcao (for reasons unknown) put on the brakes and decided to dance with Harris. Harris, content with survival and not being KO'ed, danced along while flicking out some weak jabs. The boos were VERY LOUD - especially after Harris had the delusional idea to raise both of his hands in a mock victory routine after the fight was over. It got so bad that the mandatory interview was skipped after the winner was announced.
BJ Penn - Hughes
I have never seen so many grown men hug each other in excitement.
Machida - Rampage
I gave the 1st RD to Rampage based on the fact that he came forward and attempted to push the pace. However, it should have been a draw but we all know 10-10 RDS are rare in MMA. The 2nd RD goes to Rampage for some decent strikes and clinch control with a good TD. The 3rd RD goes to Machida for actually doing some damage with his strikes and mounting Rampage.
Just after the fight ended a Rampage fan exclaimed, "Page via domination!" I looked at him dumbfounded and he gave me a "howl" for my troubles. Where was drunken Shogun fan when I needed him...
I spotted Florian signing an autograph for someone near the stadium exit. He looks like he walks at around 160 lbs, max. I can see him making the 145 lb weight class.
People who look like they live inside a Walmart with plastic chains around their necks. They either weighed around 110 lbs or 250+ lbs. And none of them were black. Or from TN. Go figure.
MI women = alcohol (on the OJR scale of attraction). Bring a dime piece with you cuz you ain't finding it here. Brutal.
This PPV was one of the best in recent memory. Exciting fights (minus the Harris - Falcao RD 3 stinker), 7 finishes and quality fighters from top to bottom. This event is a must for your MMA dvd collection.