Hello again maniacs!
Well I said I would post every couple of weeks, but since I have two weeks off work, I thought I might do a couple now!
Hugh G Reactions gets credit for giving me the idea for this post, which will be a recap of the Hunt vs Bigfoot card two and a half months on!
To make this easy I wanted to break it down to each fight and what I remember (since I am going off memory there will probably be some inaccuracies so please excuse).
The first thing I remember is being devastated at losing both the Whittaker vs Melancon and the Gagnon vs Caceres fights. Both of these would have been fun scraps that would likely have been some of the best on the night.
Garcia vs Wall
We all knew this fight was a gimmie for Garcia, with Wall a lightweight that had a week’s notice. The two things I remember this fight for were 1: Wall coming out with those stupid animal heads on & 2: Garcia looking like he was playing with a fighter that should not be in the cage with him. It was an awesome debut, but really, it went the way it should have.
Jotko vs Santos
I honestly can’t remember much about this fight, other than they both came in with a 13-0 record. I can’t even remember who won and honestly did not care at all about it.
Scoggins vs Vaculik
This was total domination from Scoggins. Seeing him go in there and demolish a seasoned fighter such as Vaculik made me think with the right training he would be a contender in the future. While a lot of people in the states wouldn’t have the vaguest idea who Vaculik is, he has been around for a while and has looked pretty good on the regional scene. But against Scoggins he looked second rate, who was relentless up until the finish. This fight had the first bit of controversy for the night, with almost everyone in the arena (including myself) believing it was an early stoppage. I doubt it would have mattered with the way the fight was going, but you had a guy who most Aussies knew better than almost everyone on that card, making his debut, in his home country and getting what we all perceived to be a raw deal. It was probably the second loudest the arena was that night and although I don’t remember who the ref was, I remember he was booed mercilessly every time he came out for a fight after that!
Magalhaes vs Ring
Another one that I remember very little about. I have never been a Nick Ring fan so was happy to see him lose, but there certainly was nothing memorable about that fight for me.
Mizugaki vs Phan
I quite liked this fight, but it was clear to see Phan was outclassed. The other big thing I remember was the fact that the crowd wasn’t really getting into it all that much despite the action. As I have said previously, MMA in Australia is still very new, but when you see two guys striking it is the most fan friendly type of fight you can get, so the lack of interest makes me think most people were only there to barrack for the Aussies and Kiwis on the card. With both the Whittaker/Melancon & Caceres/Gagnon fights pulled, it was the fight I had penned for Fight of the Night and it did not let me down at all. Also the perfect type of fight to have headlining the prelims to get people excited about the main card!
Correia vs Kedzie
This was a great fight to watch and as always the women threw down. I must admit I never get the chance to watch Invicta or any of the smaller promotions, so while Kedzie was a name I was familiar with (through forums) I had never seen any of her fights. For me the difference was that Correia looked younger and hungrier and I wasn’t at all surprised to see Kedzie call it quits after this fight. Again during this fight the atmosphere really wasn’t where it should have been at which was quite disappointing.
Hester vs Andrews
I was really disappointed in this fight because of the way it finished. I thought Andrews would have come out and controlled the fight with his wrestling and look for the finish sometime in the third. The game plan looked rock solid after the first with Andrews doing exactly what he should have. What I did not expect was how much better Hester looked in the second. It had been a decent fight to that point and it looked like the third would decide the winner. As we all know Andrews stuffed his shoulder and couldn’t continue, so it left me feeling a little empty inside. Having said that, it was good to see Hester starting to show a little bit of diversity in his game (even if Andrews isn’t a world beater).
Palelei vs Barry
I have watched Soa quite a bit on the regional scene and was pumped to see his first fight against Krylov. We all know how bad that fight was. I was willing to give him a pass on that one because of his rib, but also knew this was a fight that was tailor made for him. I was confident in an early finish and made some easy money backing that thought. As soon as Soa got on top everyone knew it was game over. Palelei was also the first Aussie/Kiwi to win on the night so that got us riled up and in turn got him riled up. I love Barry, but he is too small for Heavyweight and he never wanted to learn a ground game, so I was glad to see him go back to kickboxing.
Perosh vs Bader
I wrote a fanpost back in December (http://www.mmamania.com/2013/12/9/5194834/why-the-hate-for-mma) in response to a moronic article written by an Aussie journo about why MMA should be banned. He was using the Hunt/Bigfoot fight as his perfect illustration of why it should be illegal. I made the comment that if he had used the Perosh/Bader fight for his main argument instead, there would have been more understanding to what he was writing. That might not be a popular view for people on this site (and in no way do I think MMA should be illegal), however being in that arena it was abundantly clear after the first round that Perosh had nothing for Bader’s top game, did not have the striking or TDD to keep it on the feet and the only thing that was keeping him awake was his heart. He took at least one and a half rounds of punishment that he shouldn’t have. All I remember from about half way through the second, was wondering why is the corner not throwing in the towel, and why is the ref not doing more to try to either get Perosh to fight out or if he couldn’t, to stop it. Full credit to Bader, he dominated that fight, but it should have been stopped much earlier.
Rua vs Te Huna
I love Te Huna, and as I said in my previous fanpost, I never really followed Pride so I don’t fully understand how good Shogun was back in the day. After seeing Rua’s last fights, I was confident Te Huna could get the W. I was wrong. I can’t say much more than that. I have not seen too many knock outs live, but this was far and away the worst I have seen. The punch actually did not look too bad at first instance, but seeing the way his legs buckled and the way he fell, it was so so nasty. I was also sitting near a crowd of a few hundred Brazilians, so that certainly didn’t help. They went nuts after the KO and that just pissed me off more.
Hunt vs Bigfoot
A funny thing happened just before the start of this fight. There were two idiots getting into a blue about 5 minutes before Bigfoot & Hunt walked out. Neither of them could throw a punch and they both were thrown out… imagine missing that fight just because you got into one yourself… sucks to be them!!!!
But I digress… There’s not much I can say about this fight that hasn’t already been said. It was a war, it was a privilege to watch and I can’t be confident I’ll get to see any fights better than this one (especially at heavyweight). The first two rounds were a feeling out process and there was a knock down, but the true excitement in the crowd came in the third with the Hunt knock down. The biggest thing I remember was thinking how casually he walked over the Bigfoot afterwards, which I thought was because he was knackered. From then on it was just insane. I almost thought Bigfoot was going to get the stoppage late in the fourth when he was on top and then I thought Hunt was going to get the finish in the fifth until the ref stopped it so he could check the blood. In real time I had rounds 1 and 4 for Bigfoot, rounds 3 & 5 for Hunt and I had no idea who won round 2. I was happy with the draw, even if the crowd booed ferociously. The best part of this fight was the atmosphere. When Hunt was on top all the Aussies were screaming and when Bigfoot was the Brazilians were going nuts. For the last three rounds it was electric and it was the perfect main event, both because of the skill of the fighters and because the crowd (which was unusually subdued to that point) was going nuts.
Well that is basically all I can remember from the event!!
Cheers all, and AUSSIE, AUSSIE, AUSSIE! OI! OI! OI!