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"UFC 100: Making History" Full Event Review

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Fantastic Fights, Furious Finishes, and Champions Clash at Landmark 100th UFC Pay-Per-View

While Dana White and company may have come under fire recently for promoting several different Pay-Per-Views as “Our Biggest Event Ever”, few can argue that UFC 100 was a landmark event for the promotion and the sport of Mixed Martial Arts as a whole. Everyone involved, from the fighters to the production crew to the fans, did their best to make the important event meaningful. Two title fights and a clash between TUF Coaches highlighted a stacked undercard that included fresh faces, promising prospects, and even UFC Hall of Fame Members. So, was the tagline of the Pay-Per-View (“Making History”) correct? Let’s find out, as PdW2kX and MMAFigs.com digs into UFC 100 for a full event review.

Lightweight Bout: Matt Grice vs. Shannon Gugerty

Both men look crisp during the obligatory “feeling out” portion, with Gugerty scoring an early (but not easy) takedown that lands him in half-guard. A bit of the ground game ends with Grice scrambling up only to get caught in a guillotine. We get our first “now THAT was cool” moment when Grice flips forward to try and escape, with Gugerty keeping his choke latched on. Grice puts up a valiant effort and tries to stand, but Gugerty keeps the Guillotine tight, eventually transitioning from an Arm-In Guillotine to a straight Guillotine Choke, and chokes out his opponent.

Winner at 2:36 of Round 1 via Submission (Guillotine Choke): Shannon Gugerty

For a first match, this definitely bodes well for the rest of the event: not only did we get a cool moment; we even got a choke-out. Both men showed promise: Gugerty remained calm under pressure and really worked for that win, while Grice refused to give up hope and refused to tap. It will be interesting to see how these two fare in the rapidly-filling Lightweight division, but a killer instinct (Gugerty) and a “never say die” attitude (Grice) never hurt anyone.

Middleweight Bout: C.B. Dollaway vs. Tom Lawlor

 Lawlor looks incredibly pumped, but nerves and the heat of the moment seem to be making a tentative man out of C.B. They also make a loser out of him, as he shoots for a takedown, gets caught in an Arm-In Guillotine, and gets choked out.

Winner at 0:55 of Round 1 via Submission (Guillotine Choke): Tom Lawlor

This fight is a textbook example of bad timing and bad nerves resulting in a quick loss. The pressure of being on such an important card must have been too much for Dollaway, while Lawlor turned that pressure into power and seemed focused on making his mark. Countering a takedown with a guillotine is one of the oldest tricks in the book, but it’s also one of the best: it’s hard to fault such an often-used tactic when said tactic keeps producing quality results. Lawlor may not have broken the mold with that counter, but he definitely utilized it to perfection. The UFC agreed, as Lawlor was awarded Submission of the Night once all was said and done.

Welterweight Bout: Kim Dong-Hyun vs. TJ Grant

Round 1 quickly turns into a prolonged ground game, with Kim “Stun Gun” Dong-Hyun dominating early and often. Although Grant does frequently try to change his position, even going for a submission here and there, “Stun Gun” dominates him on the ground and scores several decent shots as the two men continue to grapple. Round 2 is much of the same, although Grant does come dangerously close to getting chocked out a little over two minutes into the round. He manages to pull his noticeably-red head out at what must have been the last possible second before his lights dimmed, but unfortunately for him, no loss of consciousness means three more minutes of complete ground domination. With only 22 seconds left in the second, Grant upkicks “Stun Gun” while Stun Gun had one knee on the ground, causing referee Mario Yamasaki to deduct a point. Round 3 has the most stand-up of any of the rounds, but eventually the fight winds up on the ground once again with, you guessed it, “Stun Gun” claiming the dominant position. After an impressive performance highlighted with expert ground control and crisp striking, Kim Dong-Hyun coasts to a unanimous decision win.

Winner via Unanimous Decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-26): Kim Dong-Hyun

With this win, Kim goes 3-0 inside the Octagon, with one No Contest (his split-decision loss to Karo Parisyan at UFC 94 was changed to a No Contest when it was discovered that Karo had tested positive for banned painkillers). While I don’t think “Stun Gun” will be challenging GSP anytime soon, I can only shake my head when people say that St. Pierre has cleaned out his division. I definitely believe that people are going to start paying attention to “Stun Gun” real soon. As a potential Welterweight prospect, it’s hard to miss his raw talent, desire to win, and his ability to grow as a fighter. While he may not be ready for the top of the pecking order, I think the time is right to see if “Stun Gun” can hang with legitimate welterweight threats.  Since we’re in an era where either Mike Swick or Martin Kampmann will be the next challenger to the throne of Georges St. Pierre, a few more key wins over worthy opponents should be more than enough to earn “Stun Gun” a shot at the title. Definitely keep your eyes on this guy.

Light Heavyweight Bout: Jon Jones vs. Jake O'Brien

Jon “Bones” Jones is another incredibly-talented prospect that I’ve had my eye on for a while. He’s flash, but flash with substance. The man knows how to make a fight entertaining, but also quite vicious. This is a guy that catches kicks and nails spinning back elbows…spinning back elbows that almost knock out people. How can you not be a fan? Jones may be guilty of trying a flashy move for the sake of trying a flashy move, but you can’t deny that when he does land his flash, it lands hard. While this may have flown under most people’s radars, this was one of the fights I was most looking forward to.

Unfortunately for Jones, Jake O’Brien is no slouch. He’s even the dominant aggressor for most of Round 1, easily dodging some of Jones’s flashier stuff (head kicks and etc.) while using effective dirty boxing and clinch striking. His jab is particularly effective. Jones lands a few pestering shots and does good at blocking some takedowns, but his biggest offensive strikes are some leg kicks. Round 2 features much of the same: while O’Brien doesn’t come anywhere near “schooling” Mr. Jones, he’s definitely nullifying him quite effectively. Jones connects with that beautiful spinning back elbow of his, but it’s more of a grazing shot than anything. It does cause O’Brien to stumble a bit, though. With “Bones” closing in for the kill, O’Brien seems to panic and shoots for a leg, with Jonny Jones countering it with a Guillotine. Jones works his magic, keeps the pressure, and taps out O’Brien near the middle of Round 2, giving us our third Guillotine victory of the night.

Winner at 2:43 of Round 2 via Submission (Guillotine Choke): Jon Jones

Although it wasn’t as impressive as his win against Stephan Bonnar, “Bones” pulls out another victory over a pretty credible athlete. I’m a bit torn on this fight: if anything, it showed that Jon Jones has a lot of things left to work on if you put him against someone that can nullify all the flashy moves he loves to utilize. O’Brien was a solid striker and, in my opinion, was winning both rounds until he panicked, went for a takedown, and got caught. It hurts to say so, because I like “Bones” so much, but I believe that’s the truth. Still, the man is 22 years old and utilizes a style that is a one-way ticket to instant popularity. It’s not like retirement is staring him in the face. This fight showed that “Bones” has significant room for improvement, but all the time in the world to improve. Take my word on this one: when, not if, Jon Jones develops into a fully-rounded fighter, he’s going to be a major threat in this division. This fight may have been more of a stumbling block than anything for Jonny Jones, but a win is a win and there’s no denying that Jones snatched a submission victory from what would likely have been a unanimous decision defeat.

Lightweight Bout: Mac Danzig vs. Jim Miller

Miller and Danzig engage in some light striking for the first minute of Round 1, but Miller scores an impressive takedown in order to bring the fight to the ground. Both men seem more or less evenly matched, but Miller hits a decently-powerful elbow from the top that busts up Danzig quite nastily. Danzig picks up the pace as the blood begins to smear the canvas. Miller dominates Round 1, even though Danzig made him work for every inch. Danzig is all smiles going into Round 2, with UFC commentator Mike Goldberg summing the fight up very nicely by saying that Danzig is “bloody but far from beaten”. Once again, both men strike for a minute or so until Miller brings the fight to the ground, where once again he maintains a dominant position and peppers Danzig with strikes. Danzig comes heart-wrenchingly close to submitting Miller with (guess what?) a guillotine choke near the end of the second, but the bell sounds and Danzig is unable to claim sudden victory. Both men lay it all on the line for Round 3, but the story of the fight remains the same: both men are more or less evenly matched on the feet, but when it goes to the ground it’s all Jim Miller. Although it wasn’t easy, Miller takes the unanimous decision.

Winner via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27): Jim Miller

This was a tough fight for both men, but there’s no denying that Jim Miller earned every bit of that 30-27. There’s also no denying that Mac Danzig has a huge heart and a strong will. Miller goes to 3-1 in his UFC career, while the number 3 is also of significant importance to Mac Danzig, since this is his third straight loss. Danzig has struggled to find a home in the UFC ever since winning the 6th season of “The Ultimate Fighter”, but I hope he can rebound and get back into the “W” column. It’s sad to see someone with such obvious heart and talent stumble repeatedly. With both a “Fight of the Night” and “Submission of the Night” under his belt, Jim Miller continues to move his way up in the Lightweight division. It will be very interesting to see what’s next for both these men.

Light Heavyweight Bout: Mark Coleman vs. Stephan Bonnar

Our undercard main event features two men that are both well-known fan favorites that have nevertheless fallen on hard times and need to get a win. Mark “The Hammer” Coleman is a UFC Hall of Fame inductee, and was one of the most dominant wrestlers the UFC has ever produced. His opponent, Stephan Bonnar, is best known as the man who ushered in the “modern era” of Mixed Martial Arts when he fought a three-round all-out war against Forrest Griffin at the finale of the first season of “The Ultimate Fighter”. Unfortunately, both men haven’t been up to par in some time: Bonnar’s most recent performance saw him schooled by Jon “Bones” Jones, while Coleman looked pitifully out of shape when he fought Mauricio “Shogun” Rua.

Bonnar comes out aggressive with a wide-open stance, which ends up backfiring on him as Coleman quickly scores a takedown. Coleman is in big trouble when Bonnar transitions to an omoplata, but Coleman remains calm and works his way out of it. Bonnar gets Coleman in a modified Crucifix position, and keeps busy by pounding on the side of Coleman’s head with elbows (eventually opening him up) and blocking Coleman’s repeated attempts to get Bonnar back on the ground. Bonnar tries a flashy spin-kick to open up Round 2…big mistake. Coleman grabs his back, transitions into half-guard, then blasts Bonnar with elbows, opening up Bonnar big-time. Bonnar stays active on the ground, but Coleman continues to control him until the buzzer sounds. Bonnar shows hints of a comeback during the opening minutes of Round 3, but once again Coleman scores a takedown and controls him until the round ends.

Winner via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28): Mark “The Hammer” Coleman

I agree with the decision completely: Round 1 belonged to Bonnar, but “The Hammer” more or less dominated the next two rounds. It’ll be very interesting to see what the future holds for the UFC Hall of Famer: everybody loves a comeback, and Coleman got a great reaction from the crowd. I’m not sure where, exactly, this win places him in the super-stacked Light Heavyweight division, but I do know that I can’t wait to find out if this is the start of a career revival or one last hurrah before heading back into retirement. Bonnar, on the other hand…I certainly feel for the guy. His fight with Forrest Griffin will go down in history as one of the most important fights in Mixed Martial Arts…but it’s looking more and more like that’s all Bonnar will be known for. As harsh as it may sound, and believe me when I say that I don’t say it lightly, I truly don’t think Stephan Bonnar will ever be a credible threat in the Light Heavyweight division. I think Dana will keep him around for as long as Bonnar wants to keep putting on the gloves, but I see Bonnar as a gatekeeper at best. Hopefully he’ll prove me wrong.

Middleweight Bout: Yoshihiro Akiyama vs. Alan Belcher

The main card kicks off with the debut of popular Japanese MMA superstar Yoshihiro “Sexyama” Akiyama. Both men come out swinging hard and fast to the delight of the crowd. Belcher scores the biggest damage of the round with a looping left hook that knocks Akiyama down, but neither man looks like they’ll win any beauty contests going into Round 2: one of Akiyama’s eyes swells shut, while Belcher has some noticeable scrapes and dings. Round 2 is more of a ground battle than anything, with Akiyama clearly getting the best in that regard with superior positioning, control, and punching. Both men seemed to have gassed going into the third round, but keep trying to land big shots. Both men are more or less even in their damage for Round 3, with Akiyama scoring a takedown with little more than twenty seconds left. “Sexyama” takes the fight with what some say is a very controversial split-decision. Even Joe Rogan summed up his feelings at the end of the night by saying “Alan Belcher got robbed”.

Winner via Split Decision (30-27, 28-29, 29-28): Yoshihiro Akiyama

While I don’t agree with a ruling of 30-27, I do think that “Sexyama” did enough to win himself this match. Belcher’s offense could be summed up as “pestering”: aside from the big left in the first round, Akiyama never seemed in any danger of getting (T)KO’d. When the fight went to the ground, Akiyama dominated and left his mark. It was a hell of a fight, and definitely a hard-earned victory, but ultimately I find the decision justified. I look forward to seeing more of “Sexyama”, as he displayed great heart and some significant ground power. Belcher, to his credit, had just as much drive and passion, so keep an eye on him too. Even with the controversy surrounding the judge’s decision, you can’t deny that the main card of UFC 100 is off to a great start.

Middleweight Bout: Dan Henderson vs. Michael Bisping

The battle of the TUF Season 9 coaches is finally here, and after some pretty significant trash-talking, it’s put up or shut up time. Both men come out swinging, and seem content to keep it on the feet. Bisping lands a couple of pestering shots, but it’s all Henderson just about all the time in Round 1. Henderson is clearly outmatching Bisping in the striking department, to the point where Bisping literally flees from a Hendo onslaught. Bisping continues to circle towards Henderson’s right, completely forgetting that one of Henderson’s favorite tactics is to load up a big right and KTFO you with it. Round 2 features much of the same, until Dan nails what will most likely be called one of the biggest KO’s of 2009, quite possible KO of the Year. Bisping is out cold, stiffened up, and Henderson blasts him with one more punch before referee Mario Yamasaki can step in and prevent the limp corpse formerly known as Michael Bisping from receiving any more punishment. Bisping is out cold for the next several minutes, but does end up regaining consciousness, even leaving on his own two feet.

Winner at 3:20 of Round 2 via KO (Punch): Dan Henderson

Remember when I said that everybody loves a comeback? Well, trust me: you can call this a comeback. Henderson looked beautiful in this match, taking Bisping to school so harshly that I honestly felt a little bad for “The Count”. Bisping simply had nothing for Henderson: his striking did minimal damage, his defenses obviously weren’t up to par, and his chin clearly isn’t made of iron, steel, or any other type of metal that signifies the ability to take a strong punch and keep going. Dan dominated this one from the opening bell, and then put Bisping to sleep. For Hendo fans, it doesn’t get much better. For Bisping fans, it’s easy to cry foul over the second, post-KO shot, calling it cheap, unnecessary, and even dangerous, given that Bisping was stiffened up and clearly in a bad way. While I’ve got no problem voicing my opinion, this is one of my “it is what it is” moments. I don’t think the second punch was necessary, but I’m not going to vilify Hendo because of it. It is…what it is. The future is still bright for Michael Bisping…he’s still a major UK star, and a tough loss is one of the best reasons to go back to the drawing board and train your ass off to get better. Despite his cocky attitude, I think Bisping is really going to take this loss to heart and learn some pretty important lessons from it. In regards to Hendo…everybody loves a comeback, and I definitely love this one.

Welterweight Championship Bout: Georges St-Pierre (Champion) vs. Thiago Alves

Since this is the longest fight of the night, having gone a full five rounds, I’ll forego my traditional round-by-round breakdown in favor of a more general outline. Also, it’s hard to give a round-by-round breakdown when all five rounds can be summed up with two words: total domination. Now, make no mistake about it: everybody, including me, thought that GSP may have finally met his match with Thiago Alves. If only that were true. Through five rounds, two of which were spent with a pulled groin, champion Georges “Rush” St-Pierre shut down Thiago Alves in every conceivable way. When Thiago went to land power strikes, Rush was right there, countering, dodging, and setting up the takedown. When Thiago tried to scramble free, Rush was right there, dragging him back down. Some cried foul for GSP adopting a “Lay and Pray” tactic for much of this fight, but he always seemed very active to me. GSP was able to neutralize Thiago on the feet, and even if Thiago usually powered back up to his feet after getting taken down, GSP took Thiago down at will and “The Pitbull” had nothing for GSP on the ground. GSP scores a Unanimous Decision win in one of the most impressive victories of his entire career.

Winner via Unanimous Decision (50-45, 50-44, 50-45) and Still UFC Welterweight Champion: Georges St-Pierre

There’s not a lot more I can say regarding this win, other than it once again proves that GSP is one of the greatest fighters on the planet. I’ve got no problem saying that, one day, I think he’ll be remembered as one of the greatest fighters of all time. His post-fight interview obviously showed how badly he was in pain, but even a pulled groin couldn’t stop him from putting on one of the best performances of his career. GSP once again proved how well-rounded he is, and Thiago, as much as I love his fiery attitude and vicious punches and knees, looked horribly one-dimensional against “Rush”. All Thiago had was his power punches, and GSP had the perfect gameplan to counter him, which he implemented beautifully: dodge, counter, takedown, control. Give it up to GSP.

Heavyweight Championship Unification Bout: Brock Lesnar (Champion) vs. Frank Mir (Interim Champion)

While Bisping/Henderson had some pretty bad blood and some heated trash-talk leading up to their fight, I think all of that is pretty much eclipsed by how much Brock Lesnar and Frank Mir hate each other. From the second he walks through the curtains you can tell that Brock would like nothing better than to rip Mir’s head off his shoulders. The fight goes to the ground quickly, with Lesnar dominating despite several warnings by referee Herb Dean to keep working and not just lie on Mir. Mir, to his credit, goes for several submissions, but finds each one thwarted in turn. Brock lands much of Round 1’s offense by sandwiching Mir’s neck between his bicep and forearm, then punching Mir in the face with his free hand. Round 1 ends with Mir looking seriously messed up, but Round 2 begins with Mir sporting a smile. Brock once again tries to go to the ground with Mir, and Mir catches Brock with a big flying knee which, unfortunately for Mir, lands the fight right back on the ground. From there, Brock wrestles Mir to the cage, props him up against it in what almost looks like a fetal position, then rains down blows to the jaw and the side of the head until the referee calls the fight.

Winner at 1:48 of Round 2 via TKO (Punches) and Now the Undisputed UFC Heavyweight Champion: Brock Lesnar

Any praise thrown Lesnar’s way for his dominant performance has quickly been sunk under the tons and tons of negativity he has received for his post-fight antics, which included getting in a dazed and confused Frank Mir’s face and yelling “Talk all the shit you want now”, flipping the bird to the fans, bashing one of the UFC’s biggest sponsors (Bud Light), sarcastically asking the fans to keep booing him, and then, to top it all off, talking about how he would most likely have sex with his wife before the night was over.

To which I say…I love it.

Brock Lesnar knows you hate him. Brock Lesnar doesn’t care. And I love it.

What Brock said and did was the culmination of a year’s worth of tension and aggression, coupled with the everyday stresses of, you know, no one taking you seriously, everyone accusing you of taking roids, everyone calling you a joke and a disgrace to the sport, everyone making fun of you for what you previously did or what the tattoo on your chest looks like (A PENIS LOLZ)…you know, that kind of stuff. Brock Lesnar feeds on that hate, channels it into raw emotion, and throws it back in the face of his detractors. This is Lesnar’s third straight fight where he, more or less, completely dominated his opponent. Mir’s face was puffy and swollen by the end of the fight, to the point where he looked like a character from the movie “The Hills Have Eyes”. And the whole “protest the referee stoppage by bouncing back onto your feet” thing that most fighters on the losing end of a TKO do? Yeah, that point was kinda moot since Mir stumbled, fell, and only got back up by clutching the cage.

Say what you want about Brock Lesnar, but the man says what’s on his mind. And he’s a dangerous, dangerous man when that cage door shuts. I hope no one ever takes Brock Lesnar lightly again…because if they do, it’s only one more thing that Brock is going to use against you in order to prove you wrong. Everyone keeps saying how we’ve entered the “GSP Era” or the “Machida Era” and all that, but I’m calling it right now: we’re looking at the “Lesnar Era” here, folks. I’ll be all too happy to eat those words if someone is up to the task, but for now, that’s my statement and I’m sticking to it.

Welterweight Bout: Jon Fitch vs. Paulo Thiago

It’s so weird that this fight is going on last. I’m sure it’ll give plenty of conspiracy theorists another chance to rail against Dana White for his treatment of Jon Fitch. For those unfamiliar with “FitchGate”, a couple of months ago Jon Fitch was abruptly released and re-signed in less than 24 hours over his refusal to sign a lifetime video game contract. Fitch was then buried in the undercard in his next match, and now is faced with competing long after he had thought he would and, most likely, with people leaving the event in droves, thinking it more or less over, even if Joe Rogan announced this fight after Brock Lesnar’s interview. I try not to play conspiracy theorist, but something just doesn’t seem right about this situation.

What makes the situation laughable (laughably sad, more like it) is that Jon Fitch is still one of the best Welterweights in the UFC’s welterweight division. Newcomer Paulo Thiago, best known for KO’ing Fitch’s teammate Josh Koscheck, looked woefully unprepared for Fitch’s ground grappling and improved striking. The fight goes all three rounds, but mostly mirrors the GSP/Alves fight in that Fitch completely dominated his opponent with superior control and the ability to neutralize. Thiago does show some promise, even winning one of the three rounds on two of the judge’s scorecards, but it’s clear that Fitch has done more than enough to earn himself the victory. Bruce Buffer, sounding like he would rather be in any other place in the world, announces that Fitch is awarded a Unanimous Decision win.

Winner via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28): Jon Fitch

While I’ve always had a “love and hate” relationship with the booking principles of the UFC, this is definitely one of those “hate it” times. Jon Fitch doesn’t deserve to get buried in the undercard or fight after everyone thinks the event was over. He’s far better than that. This belonged right after Belcher/Akiyama…of that I have no doubt. I don’t see the point in trying to diminish Jon Fitch’s name value. He took the beating of his life against GSP and still refused to quit, earning himself incredible praise as a never-say-die fighter that remained gracious in defeat. Before that loss he had ratcheted up eight straight victories in the UFC, one of the longest winning streaks in that promotion’s history. You don’t bury that man…it just doesn’t make sense. You promote the hell out of him. Fitch earned every bit of this victory and I look forward to seeing who he fights next…I just don’t look forward to seeing what else the UFC can do in order to try and diminish his name value.

Now, with all of that said, it’s clear that UFC 100 was a resounding success. There wasn’t a single boring fight, and there were several notable submissions, a vicious knockout, some great back-and-forth both standing and on the ground, and plenty of high-octane action. UFC 100 would be a landmark event even if it had a lackluster card, simply because it’s so important that the UFC has survived long enough to reach 100 official Pay-Per-Views. Thankfully, everyone involved put together a fantastic night of fights, making UFC 100 historic for an entirely different reason: not only is it the landmark 100th show, it’s one of the best cards the UFC has ever put together.

If you’re a fight fan, this needs to be seen. No doubt I’ll be picking this thing up when it hits store shelves. If they come out with any sort of “Special Edition” DVDs to commemorate the event, definitely put me down for buying one. Despite having more than its fair share of controversy (Belcher getting “robbed”, Hendo’s post-KO punch, Lesnar’s antics, Fitch’s continued burial) none can deny that UFC 100 accomplished exactly what it intended to do: become “the biggest ever”. While some may claim others as worthy of the top spot, I personally believe that this is going to go down as not only one of the most important, but also one of the greatest UFC events ever. Get it, watch it, love it. It’ll be worth every penny.

 

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