Monday, 19 September 2011

UFC Ultimate Fight Night: Shields vs Ellenberger on ESPN - TV Review

It was a battle of the Jakes as Shields faced Ellenberger in the main event of the UFC’s latest Ultimate Fight Night, shown live in the early hours of this past Sunday morning on ESPN here in Britain.

The show began with middleweight action as Alan Belcher faced Jason MacDonald.

We saw a slow start before Belcher defended against MacDonald’s take down, engaging in a clinch against the cage. But MacDonald really wanted that take down, and pulled guard so he could take the fight to the ground.

Big mistake. Belcher immediately went on the offensive with the ground and pound. MacDonald managed to counter the first onslaught with a kimura attempt but it wasn’t long before Belcher escaped and went back to work.

It wasn’t long before it was all over, with MacDonald verbally tapping to give Belcher the impressive comeback win.

Then it was down to the featherweight division as Jonathan Brookins faced Erik Koch.

This was one of those interesting three round affairs. While Koch was hoping to make this a striking battle Brookins did a good job of turning this into a clinch war in the first two rounds, trying for the take downs and going for clinches against the cage so he could unload with the knees and the dirty boxing.

Koch had his moments, but it wasn’t really until the third round where he was able to impose his will with some nice combinations before Brookins managed to regain control with more take down attempts and clinches against the cage.

So with the fight going the distance it was in the hands of the judges with all three giving the fight to Koch. Somewhat surprising in my humble opinion, as I thought Brookins put in the higher work rate.

After an interview with Jon Jones and Rampage Jackson it was on to the next fight, another middleweight encounter, this time between Court McGee and Dongi Yang.

For two rounds these two fought an intriguing striking battle, and even though it was largely uneventful both guys looked solid with their blows. McGee also went for a couple of take downs which Yang easily defended against.

The fight suddenly sprang into life in the third round when Yang connected with a flying knee, and although he connected with a few good punches McGee really upped his game, finally scoring with the take downs he was looking for, getting the big one towards the end of the round and going for a guillotine just as the fight came to an end.

Once again the judges were called into action, with McGee taking the unanimous decision. Well, at least they got this one right!

The main event saw Jake Shields taking on Jake Ellenberger in the welterweight division.

The blink and you’ll miss it affair of the evening saw both men testing the waters with jabs and uppercuts. Ellenberger then threw Shields to the ground, with the former Strikeforce champion immediately getting to his feet.

Seconds later Ellenberger connected with two knees, one to the body and one to the knee. Shields slumped to the ground, with Ellenberger following him down for a brief period of ground and pound before the referee stepped him to give Ellenberger the highly impressive TKO win.

In conclusion - on the night that a certain Mr. Mayweather was bringing disgrace to the world of boxing the UFC showed us how things should be done with another great show, and while some of the fights may not have been that spectacular they certainly delivered, with the battle of the Jakes the fight of the night for me.

So in all the latest Ultimate Fight Night gets the big thumbs up as a perfect appetiser for what is to come next weekend.