UFC 105 Results
***Randy Couture def. Brandon Vera by Unanimous Decision
---Dan Hardy def. Mike Swick by Unanimous Decision
---Michael Bisping def. Denis Kang by TKO (Punches) [Rd. 2, 4:24]
***Matt Brown def. James Wilks by TKO (Punches) [Rd. 3, 2:27]
***Ross Pearson def. Aaron Riley TKO (Doctor Stoppage) [Rd. 2, 4:38]
***John Hathaway def. Paul Taylor by Unanimous Decision
***Terry Etim def. Shannon Gugerty by Submission (Guillotine Choke) [Rd. 2, 1:24]
---Nick Osipczak def. Matt Riddle by TKO (Punches) [Rd. 3, 3:53]
---Dennis Siver def. Paul Kelly by TKO (Spinning Back Kick and Punches) [Rd. 2, 2:53]
---Alexander Gustafsson def. Jared Hamman by KO (Punches) [Rd. 1, 0:41]
***Andre Winner def. Roli Delgado by KO (Punches) in [Rd. 1, 3:22]
*** Correct Picks --- Incorrect Picks
I went 6-5 (%54.5) at UFC 105. My overall record now stands at 115-65 (%63.9) and 14-4 (%77.8) in main events. For the record, I scored the first and third rounds for Randy Couture based on his stifling octagon control and, especially in the third round, the big shots he landed from the clinch. I understand that Brandon Vera came closer to finishing Couture, but you can't dominate less than thirty-seconds of two separate rounds and expect to walk away with the win.
It's pretty late so I'll get to my detailed reactions tomorrow, but I want to admit that I've been too conservative lately. For example, I had written a pick of Alexander Gustafsson, but switched it to Jared Hamman, the favorite, at the last minute. I also had a feeling that Dennis Siver might score an upset KO, but I picked Kelly anyway. On top of that, I picked Denis Kang against my better judgment, even though I knew Bisping was being underrated. I don't blame myself for the Hardy fight, though. I really liked Swick there, but he just didn't have it tonight. I also never would have guessed that Nick Osipczak would take it to Matt Riddle like that.
Oh well, my chance at redemption is just one week away at UFC 106.
Sunday Morning Reactions:
- After taking some time to cool down, I've concluded that, while it's true that I should be less afraid to go with my gut, my full-card picks for UFC 105 weren't all that bad. Despite just staying above .500, I still finished well into the top half of all the thousands of prognosticators on MMAPlayground. Basically, it ended up being a tough night for a lot of people with six upsets in eleven fights. On top of that, I did win money at Bodog Sports with a two-fight parlay bet on Matt Brown and Ross Pearson. So at least I knew which calls were worth laying down on.
- Speaking of Ross Pearson, did he look legit last night, or what? Arron Riley does lack signature victories, like I said before, but he's definitely an experienced and crafty veteran. So it's downright freaky how Pearson basically used him for target practice last night. That flying knee that caused the cut, and subsequent TKO finish, was an absolute beauty. The UFC will have to be careful not to rush Pearson into the deep waters of the lightweight division, but, that said, he looks like he could contend for the title one day if he continues to improve at this rate.
- That Matt Brown victory was way more stressful than it needed to be. Brown was rocking James WIlks every time the two were separated, but he inexplicably kept letting Wilks cling to him and do nothing. In Wilks' defense, he did an amazing job of soldiering forward after being clearly rocked so many times. His resilience was reminiscent of slasher-movie villians like Jason Voorhees or Michael Myers. Then Zombie-Wilks managed to lock up that painful looking kimura in the third round. I wasn't to concerned though. I knew he'd have to actually rip Matt Brown's arm off and start beating him with it before "The Immortal" would even begin to consider tapping out. That guy's so mentally strong that his psychological fortitude could beat your personal best bench, believe it.
- As I said above, I knew Mike Bisping was being overlooked and undervalued in his fight with Denis Kang and I really should have thought about it more carefully before picking the Canadian based on his nationality. It was the kind of sentimental error that I hope not to make ever again. Of course, Kang did rock "The Count" in the first round and was ahead on the cards going into the second, but, even at the start of the second, Denis looked to be questioning himself and I felt pretty sure that Bisping would take him out. Then, of course, he did. I still don't think Bisping will ever be able to handle top guys at middleweight like Belfort, Marquardt, Maia, or Sonnen-- much less Anderson Silva-- but the Bisping haters out there are going to have to accept that he's definitely top-ten.
- I still don't think Dan Hardy deserves a shot at Georges St-Pierre's welterweight belt, but his defeat of Swick did raise his stock in my mind. Then again, Hardy could have swarmed Swick a couple times to put the fight away and I'm really not sure why he didn't. Still, it was clear that Hardy has tightened up his striking technique without losing any of his vaunted power. His takedown defense was impressive as well, but it won't be enough to stop GSP's TD's and G'n'P: I predict a vicious second round stoppage via knees on the ground.
- I've had just about enough of Joe Rogan's editorializing during the coverage of the fights. Asking Brandon Vera leading questions like "Do you think you were robbed?" and saying that MMA judging needs to be overhauled while standing right there in the octagon is unprofessional. It's also unfair because it hampers MMA fans' opportunity to make up their own minds about the quality of a decision. I still like Rogan and most of his opinions are fine, he should just keep them to himself until after the broadcast, or at least until after the post-fight interviews. Personally, I thought the decision was correct. Brandon Vera clearly won the second round, but, outside of the first thirty seconds of the first round and the last thirty seconds of the third round, he spent the rest of the fight getting controlled and pummeled by Couture. I also find it odd how little credit Couture seems to be getting for lighting Vera up with repeated strikes to the head from the clinch. Did Randy look like the "Natural" we remember from his victories over Belfort, Ortiz and Sylvia? No, but that's because he's like three-and-a-half years away from turning fifty. Give the guy a break and accept that decisions via dirty boxing are now his only viable avenue of success.
- Speaking of Tito, if he gets by Forrest Griffin, I think the UFC should set up Couture vs. Ortiz II with Couture getting a light heavyweight title shot if he wins and Ortiz being one more win away if he gets his revenge on Couture.