Sunday, November 19, 2006

St. Pierre Crowned Champion in Sacramento

SACRAMENTO - In front of an announced crowd of over 15,000 fans at the Arco Arena, Georges St. Pierre delivered a superstar making performance. The charismatic and likeable French Canadian thoroughly dominated arguably the greatest 170 pound fighter of all time, Matt Hughes. St. Pierre celebrated in the Octagon what he called the greatest moment of his professional life with his mother, basking in the glory of a win that was startling not in its result but in the ease with which it came about.

Hughes and St. Pierre both received mixed reactions, with vocal segments of the crowd cheering and booing for both men. In the first round, there were chants of USA. After St. Pierre got the best of the standup exchange, those chants changed to GSP. Hughes was willing to trade standing with St. Pierre. Both men got in good blows, but St. Pierre scored the heavier shots ducking in and out with punches, kicks and knees. After a St. Pierre punch landed, St. Pierre got the takedown and landed some punches and elbows on the ground.

The fight returned to the standing position, and St. Pierre blocked a Hughes takedown attempt. St. Pierre landed a flush punch to Hughes’ jaw and was looking to finish the fight, but the first round ended. In the second round, St. Pierre blocked another Hughes takedown attempt. St. Pierre scored a leg kick that knocked Hughes down. Hughes got back up, but was caught shortly thereafter with a high kick that rocked Hughes badly. St. Pierre followed with punches on the ground and the fight was stopped.

Hughes-St. Pierre paced a strong evening of fights at the Ultimate Fighting Championship: Bad Intentions. In the semi-main event, Tim Sylvia retained his heavyweight title by winning a decision over Jeff Monson. The crowd didn’t like the fight, which was a tactical affair with both men trying to impose their game on the other. Sylvia had a huge size and reach advantage, and carefully used his reach to land punches.

Submission grappling master Monson went for takedowns, but Sylvia blocked all of them in the first and second rounds. Monson finally scored a takedown in the third round, but Sylvia showed good ground defense. Sylvia used his long legs and arms to neutralize Monson’s ground and pound and cut Monson from the bottom. Monson went for a guillotine choke but was unable to sink it in. They ended up on the ground again in the fourth round, with both men going for submissions. Monson was unable to get it to the ground again in the fifth, and Sylvia landed the better blows standing to earn a 50-45, 49-46, 49-46 decision.

Brandon Vera picked up an important victory over former UFC Heavyweight Champion Frank Mir in just 1:09. Vera landed some clean punches on Mir at the beginning. He then got Mir in the muay thai clinch, where he did the most damage with brutal knees. Mir went down to the ground, where Vera finished him with punches and elbows. This sets up Vera as a challenger for Sylvia’s title.

Miletich Fighting Systems competitor Drew McFedries scored a major upset over Italian boxer Alessio Sakara. Both men displayed tremendous standup skills and iron chins. McFedries caught Sakara towards the end of the first round, and finished him on the ground. McFedries collapsed shortly thereafter after a hard fought victory.

Local fighters James Irvin and Nick Diaz were big crowd favorites, and scored impressive wins. Irvin scored a TKO victory over a very game Hector “Sick Dog” Ramirez. Irvin and Ramirez traded standing in the first round, with Ramirez generally getting the better of the action. Ramirez also scored a takedown, some ground and pound, and attempted a rear naked choke. Ramirez appeared close to finishing the fight with punches at the end of the round, but Irvin hung on. That gave him the opportunity to quickly turn the tide in the second round with a punch that knocked Ramirez silly. The referee stopped in to stop the fight.

Nick Diaz also stopped his opponent in the second round. Gleison Tibau looked good in the first round, attempting a series of submissions. Diaz was able to narrowly avoid the submissions, and in the second round he punished Tibau with a very precise ground and pound attack.

Also on the card, lightweight Joe Stevenson quickly caught tough Japanese fighter Dokonjonosuke Mishima in a guillotine choke. Dutch fighter Antoni Hardonk weathered a ground and pound storm from Sherman Pendergarst and stopped him with a leg kick. In the opener, Jake O’Brien scored a dull unanimous ground and pound decision over Josh Schockman.

2 Comments:

Blogger 17Haze said...

This was the best PPV I've ordered so far. St.Pierre looked so dominant and I still don't understand why Hughes didn't do more to try and take him down. I still don't think that would have made that much of a difference however.

It seems to me that UFC crowds are becoming more receptive to the grappling aspect of the game. Did you hear the crowd when Monson passed Sylvia's guard?

Overall I was very pleased and minus the Heavyweight title fight the fights were real good.

9:54 AM  
Blogger Jim Cawkwell said...

Hi Todd,

I first came across your writing at wrestlingobserver.com and followed it here once you revealed that you were keeping a blog. I loved wrestling when I was much younger and would keep up with it now but for the absurdity of the actual business that seems so apparent these days.

Anyway, good work with your reviews of the WWE programming as well as with the blog.

Though St. Pierre made me have to take a circuitous route to see my Pacquiao-Morales fight (massive call for the UFC fight here in Montreal), I did end up seeing Georges win the title and was impressed. I'm learning more about MMA all the time, though boxing is my number one sport.

If you'd like to do a link exchange, please contact me at jimcawkwell@yahoo.co.uk

My blog is www.theboxingblog.blogspot.com

Have a great day,

Jim Cawkwell

9:34 PM  

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