Satuday the UFC held the ninth finale for the Ultimate Fighter. The live event was headlined by a lightweight bout between Diego Sancehz and Clay Guida. Also, the show featured two finals bouts from the Ultimate Fighter 9: United States vs. United Kingdom.
Main Card Rumblings:
I was really impressed with the main card. I thought the fights were better than expected. Dana White had to agree as 3 fights were awarded fight of the night bonuses. The buzz from the night however was clearly the Diego Sanchez vs. Clay Guida fight. Sanchez eeked out a split decision victory, which many people feel could have gone to Guida. However, I think Sanchez was the better fighter and won all three rounds. In fact I believe the fight could have been scored 30-26 Sanchez. Granted Guida held top position much of round 2, but he took the brunt of the damage from Sanchez’s elbows from the bottom. The fight may have been a fight of the year candidate. The two had an epic staredown at the weigh-ins, during the walk-ins and as they stood in the cage. They did not disappoint. Sanchez came out firing. He looked dynamic. He landed hard punches, knees, and a head kick on the button. I believe one of the things we learned that night was that Sanchez’s striking has greatly improved. Also, we learned that Clay Guida is one tough dude. Sanchez very well may have earned himself a title shot.
Unfourtantley, the two Ultimate Fighter Finals got lost in the shuffle. Ross Pearson and Andre Winner appeared to be fairly evenly matched, but it was Pearson who won the lightweight crown. James Wilks on the other hand looked dominate over Team U.S.A.’s DeMarques Johnson in the welterweight final. Wilks really impressed.
Joe Stevenson does look like has re-invented himself and his move to Greg Jackson’s camp may have saved his career. He looked really good agaisnt the scrappy Nate Diaz.
Chris Lytle and Kevin Burns had a slugfest. Burns showcased some much improved striking skills as he had Lytle hurt badly in round 1. However, Lytle rebounded and gave the brunt of the damage to Burns in the remaining two rounds to earn a decision victory. Joe Rogan was so impressed that he assured Lytle that the fight would be fight of the night. However, after the Guida/Sanchez bout Rogan recanted on that statement. By the way, the fight did earn co-fight of the night honors.
Thoughts From The Undercard:
The undercard was filled with highly controversial split decisions. Many of those who saw the fight between Brad Blackburn and Edgar Garcia feel that Garcia won that fight, in fact some scored the fight 30-27 Garcia. Most would admit the fight was close all throughout, but it was a close decision nonetheless. Blackburn apparently injured his shoulder in the bout which may have affected his performance. However, congratualtions to Brad Blackburn who is 3-0 in the UFC. Also, many people feel that Gleison Tibau was robbed of a decision to Melvin Guillard who took a split decision victory. Jason Dent earned submission of the night honors for his anaconda choke on Cameron Dollar on the undercard. Dollar looked to have improved striking and may be a good guy to give a second chance to. Team U.K.’s Nick Osipczak proved to be too much for Frank Lester. Also, Tomasz Drwal impressed with his KO victory over Mike Ciesnolevicz.
Fight of the Night:
– Diego Sanchez vs. Clay Guida
– Chris Lytle vs. Kevin Burns
– Joe Stevenson vs. Nate Diaz
Knockout of the Night:
Submission of the Night: