Friday, 27 August 2010

UFC 109: Relentless - DVD Review

It’s time for one of those strange occurrences again, a DVD review of a pay-per-view I’ve already reviewed, and this time it’s a battle of the legends in the two disc UFC 109: Relentless.



Disc 1 begins with the preliminary bouts, and an appearance from fighting’s first family as Rolles Gracie took on Joey Beltran in the heavyweight division.

When you see a Gracie in a fight you expect a certain standard, and sadly this Gracie couldn’t live up to that standard.

He did okay early on as he scored with a take down, but he visibly tired as the first round went on and as Beltran upped his game.

Gracie looked absolutely shattered as the second round began, and there was actually one moment where referee Herb Dean asked him if he wanted to fight, so it came as no surprise when Beltran got the TKO win after some ground and pound work.

The heavyweight action continued as Tim Hague faced Chris Tuchscherer.

This was one of those fight that had it’s good and bad moments.

A good first round was followed by a lacklustre second in which both fighters were left gasping for air at times.

Hague got his second wind in the third, and as Tuchscherer continued to flounder Hague looked for the win that just wouldn’t come, bringing the judges into the equation as they gave, for some strange reason, the majority decision to Tuchscherer, a decision that left me wondering if this fight had been judged by the three blind mice.

It was down to light heavyweight for the next fight as Brian Stann took on Phil Davis.

Now this was more like it, an exciting three rounder with the debuting Davis putting on an excellent display of ground work, taking Stann down at will and controlling every aspect of the fight.

Stann tried his best but it just wasn’t enough as all three judges scored in favour of Davis, and rightfully so after this tremendous performance.

Action from the lightweight division followed as Phillip Nover went up against Rob Emerson.

The great action continued with these former Ultimate Fighter contestants. Both guys put on good performances, with Nover looking like he was going to get the submission with a guillotine.

Emerson came back well with some good ground work in the second and the third, although Nover managed another guillotine attempt.

So with the fight going the distance the judges gave their unanimous decision to Emerson.

The lightweight action continued as Melvin Guillard faced Ronys Torres.

Another good three rounder which was also a great example of the striker against the grappler. Guillard’s striking display was top notch, but on the other hand Torres’ ground work was just as good, especially his take downs. It was a pretty even fight, with Guillard taking the close judges decision.

The final preliminary saw further lightweight action between Mac Danzig and Justin Bucholz.

Yet another three rounder that proved to be a nice all round affair saw good performances from both men, both in the stand-up game and on the ground.

It was a very even fight, with Danzig closest to getting the stoppage when he took Bucholz’s back and went for a rear naked choke in the final few seconds of the fight.

Yet again the judges were called upon to render a decision, with all three scoring in favour of Danzig.

Then it was on to the main show, beginning with Matt Serra against Frank Trigg in the welterweight division.

This didn’t last long. After the obligatory feeling out period Serra caught Trigg with a big right. Trigg’s legs gave out on him, and after a brief period of ground and pound the referee wisely stepped in to give Serra the TKO win.

It was up to the middleweight division for the next fight as Demian Maia faced Dan Miller.

An interesting three round battle saw both men kind of cancel each other out for the first two rounds. There wasn’t really any ground work to speak of until the third when Maia was able to take Miller to the ground. His offence was effective, although the fans weren’t too happy. The Brazilian came out on top here as he earned the unanimous decision.

Then it was back down to welterweight as Mike Swick took on Paulo Thiago.

Thiago put on a great performance here, beginning his onslaught with the first blow of the fight, a head kick, signalling his intent. Swick was able to keep up with him in the first, but a right/left combination was the beginning of the end. A d’arce choke sent Swick into la-la land, giving Thiago the highly impressive submission win.

The co-main event featured middleweight action as Nate Marquardt went up against Chael Sonnen.

For many this was the fight that put Sonnen on the map. From the moment he scored with his first take down he dominated the majority of the action.

Marquardt had a few good moments of offence, a hard elbow to the forehead that opened Sonnen up, a couple of guillotine attempts, and some ground and pound just as the third round came to an end.

However, it just wasn’t enough, and it was Sonnen who took the unanimous decision and a title shot against Anderson Silva, and we all know how that one played out.

The main event featured the battle of the legends as Randy Couture faced Mark Coleman in the light heavyweight division, the first time that two UFC Hall of Famers had faced each other.

This was vintage stuff from the Natural. Couture imposed his will on the fight from the second it started, and while Couture looked tremendous Coleman looked sluggish and unable to compete.

The ending came in the second round. Couture took the fight to the ground, took Coleman’s back, unleashed with the ground and pound before putting his lights out with a rear naked choke. Another awesome performance from Couture, while Coleman looked like someone in need of retirement.

Disc two is where you’ll find all the usual pre and post-fight stuff.

In conclusion - another good DVD release here, and although I’m still a bit miffed that they still cut out a lot of the non-fight stuff, including the majority of Bruce Buffer’s excellent introductions, it was great to see those remarkable performances from Sonnen and Couture again, and it’s for this reason that this release gets my recommendation.

With thanks to Duane Farr at bluraymma.com for supplying a copy of this release. UFC 109: Relentless is available to buy online at www.fightdvd.co.uk.