Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) held another successful pay-per-view (PPV) last night (Aug. 31, 2013) at BMO Harris Bradley Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Headlined by a Lightweight title bout between Anthony Pettis and Ben Henderson, the night saw some incredible action from top to bottom.
Anthony Pettis was able to score a surprising armbar submission to capture UFC gold, while Josh Barnett successfully made his return to the Octagon. Overall, it was a great way to close the month of August.
Anyway, about last night ...
More than a 'Showtime' pony
I didn't think Anthony Pettis had what it took to become UFC Lightweight champion. Sure, he's got good striking, but for the majority of his time in the UFC, he's never really displayed all-around skills. Last night changed everything. Not only was he able to stop numerous takedown attempts, but that armbar he locked up was incredibly slick. Here's hoping he can put together a run at the top.
I wasn't out, I was just resting my eyes!
The first round stoppage in the co-main event has been called premature. What I saw was Josh Barnett putting the wood to Frank Mir. Could it have gone for a few more strikes? Maybe. But when people are so quick to talk about fighter safety, I'm not going to complain when a guy who has been TKO'd six previous times in his UFC career isn't given more opportunity to fight back. Also that's three straight losses for Mir. What does the UFC do with him now?
Babyface or War Master? Who cares!
I'll be honest, there was a time when I just didn't get Josh Barnett. I didn't understand his style and really got wound up about the whole PEDs thing. Sure, he may have been the reason for the death of Affliction, but when he's in the cage, there are few better at heavyweight. He went straight after Frank Mir and made it look easy. The knees and uppercuts from the clinch? Just nasty. Now I want to see him again against maybe Travis Browne or Fabricio Werdum. Really, I just want to see him again.
Chad Mendes has reinvented himself a bit since his time in World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC). Once known as a "boring" wrestler, he's now finished four straight opponents by TKO. The way he handled Clay Guida last night was masterful. He didn't force the KO, but when it finally came, it was violent. Dare I say that he deserves the next featherweight title shot over Ricardo Lamas? Hope so.
Brandon Vera and his terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.
What happened to Brandon Vera? He once showed so much promise that people were legitimately talking about him potentially being a two division champion. Now? He's lucky if he isn't cut after that performance last night. How the mighty have fallen? I dunno, but it's pretty clear that he has something going on in his head that just isn't letting him put it all together inside the Octagon.
- Dustin Poirier continues to improve with every outing. His boxing was crisp and he landed numerous times on a very competent striker in Erik Koch. There are some concerns, namely that he found himself in some bad situations on the ground, but overall, that was the best performance of his career.
- Tim Elliott is a very interesting addition to the flyweight division. I don't know where his ceiling is, but it's pretty clear that he has the size and ability to create problems for some of the names in the division. A fight against Ian McCall or John Lineker would really give a solid indication on where he stands right now.
- Hyun Gyu Lim is ridiculously violent. I want to see him fight again.
- Chico Camus got a cooked hometown decision, especially the judge who scored the fight 30-27.
- Hopefully we don't get to see Soa Palelei or Nikita Krylov ever again.
- I saw a lot of Ben Rothwell and steroid jokes last night on twitter. I'm not going to make any here.