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UFC 77: A Fan's Perspective

ufc 77 fan experience
The following is a write up from UFCmania reader Drew "Mr. NC-17" Hall, who had the privilege to attend UFC 77: "Hostile Territory" this weekend at the U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati, Ohio.

My Shot at Glory UFC 77

Hey all of you Maniacs! It's me "Mr. NC-17" on the scene from UFC 77! I just want to thank UFCmania for giving me this chance to write up my UFC 77 experience, considering it is my first-ever event. Second, thanks to the readers and bloggers who make this site worth coming back to. Now here is my "Shot at Glory." Here is my UFC 77:

Have you ever felt like a kid at Christmas, and somebody stole every present except one? But when you open that present you realize it is that crappy sweater somebody always buys you?

Well, that's how I felt after UFC 77.

All of the fighters who I chose to win (except Stephan Bonnar, Alan Belcher and Demian Maia) lost, And all of the fighters I cheered for with my heart and soul, you guessed it, lost.

Not to mention many of the fights where just lackluster and underwhelming.

Regardless, the crowd level and noise at the U.S. Bank Arena can not be matched. I actually left tone deaf for a couple of minutes after the match because of how loud it was. Not one person sat down, everybody was on their feet going absolutely bonkers.

It felt better than a college football atmosphere.

I have lived in Cincinnati for all of my life, and Rich Franklin is almost as big as the Cincinnati Bengals. We all cheer for him when he wins, and we all feel sick to our stomachs when he loses.

You win some, and you lose some. I understand that. But in all honestly, doesn't the saying "you learn from your mistakes" apply to Rich Franklin?

He got caught in the clinch repeated times and he left his face wide open. I don't know if the crowd noise rushed Rich to make poor decisions because he wanted to win for his town, or what.

Not to take anything away from Anderson Silva, but in all honesty, I think he still can be defeated by a couple of names that the UFC has to offer in the middleweight division. He might be able to defeat Rich Franklin over and over, but here after watching Anderson Silva fight, I have come up with a list of fighters who can defeat Anderson Silva.

  • Chuck Norris
  • The Incredible Hulk
  • The Country of China.

Reasonable enough?

Bad jokes aside, here is a list of the real competition currently in place at 185 pounds:

  1. Thales Leites - If you watched the same fight as I did, Anderson Silva looked a little suspect on the ground. I think when Thales takes down Anderson, he will submit him.
  2. Martin Kampmann - A kick boxer with phenomenal ground skills. The kid can take a hit, and he can sure as heck hit. I think Martin is the most suited fighter to defeat Anderson Silva.
  3. Drew McFedries - How do you defeat a slugger like Anderson Silva? Throw in a guy who possibly has the heaviest hands in the weight class. I think Drew vs. Anderson would be an incredible slug fest, and if Drew can land one punch, Anderson could go night-night.
  4. Travis Lutter - Now, you probably just threw all my credibility out the window. But go back and watch round one of Lutter vs. Silva. Lutter won that round in dominating fashion. But if Lutter came in with the proper cardio, and if he made weight, I believe Anderson would have been submitted in round one.

Now enough about that. Let's talk about the Fight of the Night: Tim Sylvia and Brandon Vera!

Sylvia is one huge dude. He walked by me and I am 6'4" and he made me look small.

ufc 77 fan experience jardineSee this is the time I wished I was at home watching it on the PPV. Because when a lackluster boring fight happens, you can quickly change the channel to another sports channel to get some updates. Or hit up UFCmania and talk about what's not happening.

But no, this time I got stuck watching Sylvia stand there and slow dance with Vera.

At his height and weight, Sylvia is very hard to overcome no matter what fighter you are -- even 6'11" Gan McGee couldn't stop him.

Who in the heavyweight division can out-strike Tim Sylvia? Andrei Arvloski? I am pressing the panic button and calling your name. Will SOMEBODY stop this fighter? Big Nog? Cheick Kongo? Mirko Cro Cop?


Brandon you disappointed me, but I will let you have a pass because there is unbelievable potential there. Plus, you broke your left hand.

That's one tough dude.

Now to the other lackluster fights. Everybody whined and complained about Jason MacDonald/Yushin Okami not being on the main card. If this fight would have been on the main card and it was before the Sylvia/Vera fight, I honestly think people would of stopped watching the Vera/Sylvia fight.

This fight practically got booed from start to finish. Nothing but laying down, and clinch work ... Argh!

It was awful and painful to watch. Jason MacDonald knew it. He wanted to be exciting but he -- like many others -- fell to the game known as "Okami!"

The good thing about going to a UFC Event is you get to catch the undercard fights. These bouts are usually almost always entertaining.

Well, the same held true at UFC 77.

The fight between Jason Black and Matt Grice was one of the most high energy fights that I have ever seen. The crowd was off the hook for this. I was very surprised to see this, but it was the first fight of the night, and man it could not of been better.

It was back and forth all three rounds.

The second frame, in fact, was possibly some of the best action I have ever seen in a MMA fight. I beg you to find a video when it becomes available and watch this fight.

Great action.

It was ruled a draw, but the scorecard was read wrong, and the fight was ruled for Matt Grice (which is how I saw it.)

Josh Burkman was awful. He put on a horrible fight for the most part. He had one exciting moment when he dropped Petz with a hook and knocked him out but did not finish.

I have never seen a crowd jump up in excitement and then boo the next three seconds because Burkman got lazy and did not finish when the finish would have been easy.

Demian Maia submitted Ryan Jensen in two minutes ... no surprise. But the crowd was cheering heavily for Jensen. I do not know the reason -- he looked like complete and utter shit. I think Marlon Sims had a more exciting fight plan than Ryan Jensen.

Overall, even though my boys Rich Franklin and Jorge Gurgel lost, the atmosphere alone was worth paying the $200.

When you have a crowd in unison for one fighter, nothing can top that. I have walked on the Cincinnati Bengals field, I have been to the Bronx and watched the Yankees play in Yankee Stadium. But on Saturday night, when hope and excitement for one fighter was at its peak, I don't know if anything will ever be able to top that collective reaction.

Even with the loss, the crowd was fantastic and we rocked U.S. Bank Arena so hard the café and bars next to it probably thought an earthquake was happening.

No matter how many Bisping/Evans, Sanchez/Koscheck fights there are on a card, if you see that the UFC is coming to your city, or even six hours out from your city, make the trip.

How many times can you actually say, "I saw this fighter live!" No matter what card you have, I guarantee you that there will always be one good fight.

ufc 77 fan experience sherkAnd even if it is not the most technically sound fight, the crowd itself will hype it up and sell it as a good fight. What is better than that?

The fans -- and the fighters you cheer for -- is an incredible rush. I have never been to a UFC event before, but after Saturday night, they have me coming back.

In fact, my ticket is already pre-punched for the next time the UFC comes remotely close to my hometown.

Maybe you all will care to join me? Well, how does March 2 sound? You won't be disappointed.

The experience alone is worth the price of admission.

This is "Mr. NC-17" signing out. Hopefully, I catch you on the boards, blogging about how much you hate me and this column.

Until next time.

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