Wednesday, 16 April 2008

UFC 78: Validation - DVD Review

You’ve read the live show review, now read the DVD review, as for the first time The Two Sheds Review reviews an Ultimate Fighting Championship DVD, taking a look at UFC 78: Validation, headlined by British star Michael Bisping going up against his fellow Ultimate Fighter star, Rashad Evans.

This DVD gives me the chance to view the preliminary matches that weren’t shown on the television broadcast, so it’s these which we begin with, starting in the welterweight division and Tamdan McCrory and Akihiro Gono. McCrory is a tall, gangly welterweight, some nine inches taller than his Japanese opponent. The first round saw both fighters achieve good moments, with McCrory landing with some bombs early on, while Gono took his man down and ended the round on top on the ground. The second round began slowly, and McCrory was taken aback a bit when a low blow from Gono wasn’t ruled as such. Gono then took control, knocking McCrory off his feet and then going to work on the ground, synching in an armbar for the submission victory. A good performance from Gono in his UFC debut here.
Down to the lightweight division, as Marcus Aurelio faces Luke Caudillo. Beginning slowly, with little to no action as both fighters were up against the cage, things got a whole lot better when the referee re-started things. Aurelio took Caudillo down and went to work immediately, unloading with a constant barrage of strikes to the head, which Caudillo had little answer to, so it came as no surprise when the referee stepped in and stopped the fight, awarding the TKO victory to Aurelio just thirty seconds before the end of the first round. Aurelio looked great in this one, a totally dominating performance.
Sticking with the lightweights, it’s Joe Lauzon against Jason Reinhardt. This was a quick and dominating performance from Lauzon, going to work as soon as the bell began, taking Reinhardt down, easily moving from position to position while on the ground, before synching in the rear naked choke to get the submission victory. An excellent performance from Lauzon, who will hopefully go on to great things in the lightweight division.
Back up to the welterweights with Thiago Alves against Chris Lytle. An exciting first round saw both fighters really unload on each other, each connecting with good, strong shots, with Alves securing first blood as it were, connecting with a right hand and opening up a nasty cut above Lytle’s left eye. The battle of the strikes continued into the second round, with each men having their moments, but while Lytle was winning the battle of the fists, Alves was winning the battle of the kicks, and in particular his hard kicks to Lytle’s left leg, which left him noticeably limping as the round went on. But then, to the annoyance of almost everyone in the arena, the doctor stopped the fight due to the cut above Lytle’s eye, awarding the victory to Alves. A very good fight, spoiled by the ringside physician, especially as I’ve seen far worse cuts in combat sports over the years. Nevertheless, two good performances here.
Then it’s on to the main card. Now, as I’ve already reviewed these fights, I’m not going to go over old ground again with my usual in-depth reviews, so it’ll be just a few words on each of the bouts here.
First up, Spencer Fisher versus Frankie Edgar in the lightweight division. An excellent three round war, with top notch action from start to finish, with Edgar winning the unanimous judge’s decision. Just as good second time around.
Then it’s up to the middleweight division, with Ed Herman and Joe Doerksen. A great bout with each fighter dominating a round each, before Herman connected with a hard left in the third to get the knock out win.
In the welterweight division, it’s Karo Parisyan versus Ryo Chonan. A cracker of a three round fight here, in which Parisyan dominated the debuting Japanese star to win the unanimous decision.
This was followed by the first of two light-heavyweight fights, with Houston Alexander facing Thiago Silva. A dominating performance from Silva which saw him get the victory in the first round with a ground and pound technical knockout.
And in the main event, the second light-heavyweight fight, with Michael Bisping facing Rashad Evans. Another great three rounder with each fighter putting in good performances, and Evans getting the split decision.
DVD extras come in the form of some behind the scenes segments, and a look at a Rashad Evans training session.
In conclusion - as I said in my introduction, this is the first UFC DVD I’ve ever reviewed, and after watching it I was left a little surprised and a little disappointed. Don’t get me wrong, the fights on here are great, but there were certain aspects on the production side that I didn’t enjoy.
With the exception of the main event, there were no pre-fight build-ups or post-fight interviews. Even Bruce Buffer’s introductions were cut, so anyone knew to the UFC watching this release wouldn’t have a clue if someone like Karo Parisyan trained in judo or tiddlywinks. No background information was given was given on either the fighters or what styles they were trained in, and for me this was disappointing. And I don’t even remember being introduced to Mike Goldberg and Joe Rogan either.
But overall it’s a very good DVD with great performances all round, let down by the lack of basic information on the fighters.
UFC 78: Validation can be purchased online by visiting www.fightdvd.co.uk.