UFC 117 Results and Opinions

UFC 117 Results and Opinions

Some people MMA fans had stated before UFC 117 that they weren’t impressed with the overall card. Yes, the much hyped match between Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen was definitely alluring, but the rest of the card seemed “average”. However, the same thing was said about UFC 116 and that turned out to be a fantastic card. Personally, I think this card might have been slightly better or at least on the same level as UFC 116. Great fights, drama and for anyone who saw the main event, there was heartbreak. MMA UK analytically breaks down the epic events of UFC 117 for you.

Roy Nelson Vs Junior Dos Santos

This fight was always going to be a brawl, but I don’t think anyone realised it would last three rounds. Junior Dos Santos dominated Roy Nelson throughout the fight with superior striking and pure aggression, knocking Nelson down in the first round.

 After that first knockdown Nelson couldn’t gather his bearings and really form a strong attack and instigate his game-plan, which was surely to take Dos Santos and utilize the grappling skills that he was known for in his career. Anyone that thought that Nelson wanted to stand and strike with Dos Santos was a fool, but he did show a much more superior chin than all of the opponents that had fought Dos Santos before that fight.

The one thing that I found impressive was Dos Santos takedown defence.  Nelson weighed a good twenty pounds more than Dos Santos and he was still able to stuff the takedown of Nelson numerous times. I’m not trying to imply that if Dos Santos fought the likes of Brock Lesnar, Shane Carwin or Cain Velasquez, that he’d be able to stuff there takedowns as they are top quality wrestlers. However, by being able to stuff the takedowns of someone who weighed more than him can only strengthen his confidence.

Matt Hughes Vs Ricardo Almeida

“Age ain’t nothing but a number”. A saying that certainly rings true with Matt Hughes, as arguably the greatest UFC Welterweight of all time proved once again that even though he’s reaching the latter end of his career and is definitely past his prime, he can still hang with the majority of fighters in the Welterweight division.

I didn’t post my predictions as I let JB and Kris have the limelight for this event, but I thought that Almeida would’ve posed a more difficult opponent for Hughes that his mentor Renzo Gracie did. My lack of confidence in Hughes seems certainly stupid as he managed to submit the high level BJJ expert with a choke that I’d never seen before. According to Hughes the choke was an “old wrestling move that I’d forgotten about” – well I don’t think any of us who saw that choke will forget it anytime soon.

Preliminary Fight: Stefan Struve Vs Christian Morecraft

Earlier on in the week, MMA UK had a really awesome article about comeback victories. After seeing this fight, I wish that I hadn’t jumped in with it. Can we please remember that Stefan Struve was on the cusp of possibly being cut by the UFC if he had another loss.

Morecraft used his size to overpower Struve and take him down to the ground and by then most people thought that it would be over as Morecraft unleashed some vicious ground and pound for the majority of the round. Struve did attempt some submissions from the bottom, but he couldn’t stop Morecraft during the first round.

Struve came out in the second round and anyone who was watching thought that Morecraft was one hard punch from a win. Until, Stefan Struve unleashed a vicious straight right that knocked Morecraft to the ground. Struve followed up with the punch with a flurry of punches, gaining the TKO in seconds. Morecraft must’ve been thinking where it all went wrong, whereas Struve lives to fight another day.

Clay Guida Vs Rafael Dos Anjos

Many people thought this was going to be Fight of the Night and it was definitely Fight of the Night worthy. Clay Guida is certainly a fan favourite who brings a ton of energy to all of his fights and Dos Anjos is a great grappler who is well known for his submissions. However, Guida’s time at Greg Jackson’s gym may have strengthened the one area of his game that many people had criticised him for – his striking.

His head movement was pretty good and his striking was crisp and because of this Guida was able to throw a great punch that smashed Dos Anjos jaw. Dos Anjos did manage to fight through the second round but by the third round he had to tapout as Guida put a significant amount of pressure to the jaw of Dos Anjos.

Jon Fitch Vs Thiago Alves

I’m a huge Jon Fitch fan and he did exactly what we’re accustomed to when you see a Jon Fitch fight – grind his opponent down during the fight and break them down mentally. Alves said that he wanted Fitch to be “the best Jon Fitch he could be”, and I’m not sure if he was the best Fitch he could be, but he was good enough to beat Alves.

However, I feel that the main thing that beat Alves wasn’t Fitch though. If anything Alves was his worst enemy because of his inability to cut weight. Blame it on ring rust or blame it on the fact that his cardio was down because of the weight cut, but Alves is in a sticky situation with his career.

Some may argue that he’s too big to fight at Welterweight and that he should move to Middleweight to ease up on the weight cut (much like his welterweight compatriot Anthony Johnson). However, the main difference between Anthony Johnson and Thiago Alves is that Johnson’s frame fits as a Middleweight. Thiago Alves is a short fighter who would probably get beaten by the larger fighters in the Middleweight division. Alves needs to sort out his diet so he can cut weight easier or he’ll be in danger of losing another 20% of wages for the fight.

Fitch still looks incredibly impressive and as his win streak gets bigger, it’ll be impossible to deny him a title shot. Whether he moves to Middleweight, or stays at Welterweight no-one can deny that Fitch deserves a title shot somewhere.

Anderson Silva Vs Chael Sonnen

Chael Sonnen, you’re a huge trash talker and you have no qualms about telling people how you feel about your opponent.  However, the one thing no-one can ever say is that you don’t back up your words. Sonnen beat Anderson Silva up like no-one has ever beat Silva up before in his life.

Everything that he said he was going to do, Sonnen did and he did it with authority. Let’s bear in mind that this wasn’t the Silva that fought Demian Maia, Silva definitely tried to fight Sonnen. However, I firmly think that much like the rest of the world, Silva underestimated Sonnen hugely. Silva managed to lock in a tight triangle choke near the end of 5th round that destroyed Sonnen’s chance to be the new Middleweight champion.

There are similarities between Silva and his Team Blackhouse compatriot, Lyoto Machida. When Machida first fought Shogun, we really saw a chink in the armour of Machida. Before that fight, Machida was seen as unbeatable, until he faced Shogun and won a controversial split decision. However, we saw that Machida was not unbeatable and the same was shown last night with Silva.

If Sonnen had a little better submission defence, he might have been the champion. However, even though he lost the chance to win the title, he earned many fans that had doubted him beforehand.

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