One of the most anticipated main cards had arrived and the focus was mainly dwelling in one division.
The night boasted potential to the brim and the night did not fail to impress but rather worked out some aggression and ego’s.
The opening fight between Nikita Krylov and Ovince Saint Preux (who had my treadmill jam – Rick Ross ‘Can’t Hold Me Back’ as his walkout song!) was in one word quick. Both relatively unknown to main events but they got a chance to show their strengths tonight. Almost as soon as the fight began we saw Ukrainian Krylov go in for Haitian Saint Preux and take him down. From the outside we saw Krylov managed to get a guillotine on Saint Preux and somehow thought he had the submission set. Little did he know that while in half guard, Saint Preux was setting up one of the rarest UFC moves: the ‘Von Flue Choke’. While already in a clinch, he snuck an arm over Krylov’s head and squeezed into a guillotine. Within a few seconds, Krylov went limp and Ovince Saint – Preux got the Submission, definitely can’t hold him back now!
Next up was Jake Shields vs Hector Lombard who highlighted the importance of being an all round fighter and not relying on one advantage. The strength of Olympic Judo champion Lombard was evident throughout as he threw Shields around the octagon with no problem however, a downfall on his part was that he failed to deliver on any groundwork. It is a shame to see such a good stature of fighter lack the range of skills so well advertised in the UFC. Shields managed to hold out until decisions taking a barrage of hits, even trying to throw in a last minute guillotine but it was too late and decisions gave the fight to Lombard.
After these 2 relatively lacklustre matches, we had our energy levels cranked up by way of Diego Sanchez and Miles Jury. In a way it was like seeing the winning fighter against the newcomer and Sanchez was the winner of the TV Series ‘Ultimate Fighter’ Series 1 and Miles Jury was quite new to the octagon. In true Sanchez style, we got a whole lot of ‘mean muggin’ and chanting before they started but that was short lived. Jury had obviously done his homework and wasn’t fazed by Sanchez’s trademark wild ways. Jury landed a lot of punches and good takedowns that were visibly effective including a cut to Diego face nonetheless The decisions spoke for themselves and Myles Jury managed to defeat and somewhat tame Diego Sanchez.
Co – Main Event
The co- main event was between Tyron Woodley and Carlos Condit and even though the fight had all the potential to be a slug fest it was not to be. The 1st 2 rounds were pretty equal with Woodley getting some good takedowns and Condit landing a few shot but round 2 would see Woodley start to open up to techniques and power. Already having strength behind his fists, Woodley began to use leg kicks on Condit which paid off in the end. As Woodley got a takedown, he managed to hurt Condit’s knee however he recovered back to stand up. It was a kick that deflected onto Condit’s leg that took out his right knee and gave Woodley the T.K.O. Some were upset with the result but sometimes thats just the way it goes.
With the Welterweight champion George St Pierre vacating the title for a while, the race was on to crown new champion and there were none hungrier than Johny Hendricks and Robbie Lawler. Both losing to the vacated champ in the past they knew what they came to do: finish what they had started.
The opening rounds saw Johny Hendricks shine through with some great combos, concentrating on jabs and leg kicks. He planned to keep up the tempo and catch Lawler off guard. By round 3 Lawler was on form and ready for what Hendricks had on the menu, he began deflecting attacks and landing some combos of his own, leading to a various cuts on Hendricks face. Round 3 and 4 went to Lawler which he backed up with some hard hits that almost took Hendricks out with 2 minutes still left on the clock but he held on. Round 5 would be the decision maker as both fighters got a serious pep talk in their corners and came back in to win the belt. Blatantly stunned by Lawler’s blows, Hendricks put up a good fight, gaining back momentum and landing some perfects hits to counter act Lawler’s blows. In the end both fighters went the distance and proved they were worthy of the title fight. After some deliberation the judges crowned Johny Hendricks the New UFC Welterweight Champion of the World.
Roll On UFC 172