Saturday, 15 September 2007

UFC 60: Hughes v Gracie on Bravo - TV Review

This past Saturday, the Ultimate Fighting Championship went to Hollywood, and featured the return of a legend as UFC 60: Hughes v Gracie took place at the Staples Centre in Los Angeles, which was broadcast here in Britain a day later on the Bravo channel. Our hosts for the evening, as usual, were Mike Goldberg and Joe Rogan, who were joined for this broadcast by Randy Couture.

First up, Spencer Fisher takes on Matt Wiman in the lightweight division. Wiman, who took this fight at short notice, did well early on, synching in a guillotine choke, and trying to get a rear naked choke moments later, with Fisher coming back and busting Wiman’s head open with an elbow. Fisher went on to dominate the second round, before connecting with a high knee to the side of Wiman’s head, with the referee stopping the bout immediately in an entertaining contest.

We then move on to the middleweight division, with Mike Swick facing Joe Riggs. The first and only round began with a long feeling out process, but as Riggs went to take his opponent down, Swick synched in the guillotine choke for the tap out victory in an impressive showing from the former Ultimate Fighter contestant.

Next, Brandon Vera tackles Assuerio Silva in a heavyweight contest. Another bout to end in the first round, the more powerful Silva slammed Vera down to the mat as Vera applied the guillotine, trapping his opponent’s right arm, making escape difficult.

We move down to the welterweight division next, as Diego Sanchez faces John Alessio. The first round saw Alessio constantly frustrate the Ultimate Fighter star by always escaping from his shoot attempts, and it was pretty much the same story in the second, with Sanchez attempting more takedowns, and Alessio on the defensive for the most part, although he did managed to open a cut on Sanchez after a left jab. The third round was definitely the best of the bout, with Sanchez jumping on Alessio’s back, and the Canadian carrying him around the ring, each man trying to go for various submission holds as the round came to an end, with Sanchez getting the win with a unanimous judge’s decision.

Light heavyweight action follows with Alessio Sakara facing Dean Lister. A quick encounter here, with Lister using some great grappling, getting the quick submission victory with a triangle choke. And a very impressive victory it was.

Main event time next, as welterweight champion Matt Hughes takes on Hall of Famer Royce Gracie in a catch weight contest, a battle of the generations if you will. After the early feeling out process, Hughes dominated after taking Gracie down. First, he synched in an armbar, with Gracie refusing to tap even though his arm was bent back, looking like it could break at any moment. Then, in the rear mount position, Hughes began to rain down with a torrent of blows, and with Gracie unable to defend himself, the referee had no choice but to stop the fight and award the victory to Hughes. A tremendous showing from the welterweight champion here.

In conclusion - it’s another impressive show from the UFC promotion here, with every bout delivering. What more can I say, except that I’m really looking forward to UFC 61, and the re-match between Ken Shamrock and Tito Ortiz.