Friday, 21 November 2003

UFC 45 Revolution - TV Review

This week we take a slight detour away from the world of professional wrestling, as we move toward the mixed martial arts field, and take a look at the Ultimate Fighting Championship's tenth anniversary show, Revolution, from last November.
This week we take a slight detour away from the world of professional wrestling, as we move toward the mixed martial arts field, and take a look at the Ultimate Fighting Championship's tenth anniversary show, Revolution, from last November.

Welterweight contest, 3x5 minute rounds;
ROBBIE LAWLER v CHRIS LYTLE
A mixed bag here for the opening of the pay-per-view. The first round saw Lawler controlling the bout with some good grappling moves, only for Lytle to catch him with an excellent kick from the ground. However, things got a little disappointing from there on. The second round was something of a dud, with Lawler taking backward steps throughout. The final round began as the second round had, until Lawler took Lytle down to the mat. Although Lawler won the bout with a unanimous decision, it was hardly a convincing win for him.

Middleweight contest, 3x5 minute rounds;
PHIL BARONI v EVAN TANNER
A controversial finish to this contest here. The bout began with Baroni unloading on Tanner, who was stepping down in weight, and busting him open early on. It looked like the brawler from New York was going to get the early win, until Tanner shook off the cobwebs and fought back. Taking Baroni down, Tanner began to pound away on him as Baroni tried to cover up. Then, a miscommunication between Baroni and the referee saw the referee calling for the end of the bout, even though Baroni claimed that he wanted to carry on, saying that he told the referee he was okay to continue.

Heavyweight contest, 3x5 minute rounds;
TANK ABBOTT v CABBAGE CORREIRA
Most people will probably only know Abbott from his time in WCW, but he's also gained something of a reputation in the UFC as well.

Another bout that controversial. Abbott tried to take out the Cabbage early, but the Hawaiian took control with a Muay Thai clinch, connecting with some knees to Abbott's head. An attempted comeback from Abbott saw him on the end of another clinch and some more knees, which this time opened up a nasty cut on Abbott's head. Seconds later, and to the disappointment of almost everyone in the arena, the doctor stopped the fight because of the cut.

But that wasn't the controversial moment. As Cabbage celebrated with a dance in the middle of the octagon, all hell broke loose as the corner men from both sides began to brawl, with water bottles and other objects being thrown across the playing area. It didn't look pretty, and as the UFC attempts to gain mainstream acceptance, it's something that would do more harm than good.
 
Middleweight contest, 3x5 minute rounds;
FALANIKO VITALE v MATT LINDLAND
A bit of history between these two. In their previous encounter, Lindland tried to suplex Vitale but ended up landing on his own head, knocking himself out, with Vitale being declared the winner. This time it was to be a different story.

Lindland took Vitale down early on in the bout as Vitale slipped while throwing a kick. Lindland controlled Vitale for the remainder of the round, keeping him on the ground with a series of grappling moves and heavy blows. The second round wasn't as action packed as the first, as once again Lindland took Vitale down again.

The final round saw Vitale fight back more, this time taking Lindland down as he slipped. The round was pretty even until Lindland regained control and began to unload with a series of fists and elbows as Vitale lay on the mat. Vitale couldn't take anymore, and soon tapped out.

UFC Welterweight Championship, 5x5 minute rounds;
MATT HUGHES (c) v FRANK TRIGG
Hughes once again proved that he is a dominating champion but disposing of one of his toughest challengers yet, and in short order too.

Trigg took Hughes down early, but the champion fought back and slammed Trigg down to the mat, before taking control of the contest. Trigg tried to escape but getting to his feet with Hughes on his back, but Hughes soon synched in a rear naked choke. Try as he might, Trigg couldn't escape, and tapped as he fell to the mat. Hughes had retained his title in a very convincing manner.

In conclusion - I can see why so many wrestling fans are also mixed martial arts fans, especially when the likes of Ken Shamrock, Dan Severn and Tank Abbott have done well in both circles. This was only my second full UFC show, and I enjoyed every minute of it. The UFC is certainly the best they are at what they do. 8/10 for effort here, even though the opening bout between Lawler and Lytle was a little disappointing.

Match of the night had to goes to the brawl between Baroni and Tanner. I'm looking forward to seeing this rematch sometime soon.