Sunday, 10 June 2012

UFC Johnson vs McCall on ESPN - TV Review

It’s time to enter the Octagon once again as we take a look at the UFC’s latest foray onto the FX channel in the States, where Demetrious Johnson and Ian McCall met for the second time in the Flyweight title tournament, an event shown live in the early hours of this past Saturday morning on ESPN here in Britain.

The broadcast began in the bantamweight division as Eddie Wineland faced Scott Jorgensen.

This was a great way to open the show. As is the custom with this weight division it was fought at a frantic pace as they gave us an enjoyable striking battle.

Wineland looked great in the first round, his stiff jab putting Jorgensen on his backside at one point. He did a good job of controlling the action, and when Jorgensen managed to take the fight to the ground Wineland got back to his feet within seconds.

Jorgensen came back a little in the second round, his right opening up a cut above Wineland’s eye, but when he tried to take the fight to the ground Wineland again managed to get back to his feet within seconds.

As the round entered it’s final minute Wineland connected with a three punch combination that sent Jorgensen crashing. The referee quickly stepped in to give Wineland the knockout win.

It was up to welterweight for the next fight as Mike Pyle went up against Josh Neer.

This very enjoyable encounter saw both men testing the waters at the beginning until Pyle took the fight to the ground. As he tried to move into position Neer did a good job on the defensive side of things.

When the fighters returned to their feet Pyle staggered to the cage for some reason. Neer took this is as a sign to finish the job and unloaded with the heavy leather. His body shots looked lethal, but just when it looked as if he could get the win Pyle connected with a blow that sent Neer crashing to the canvas. The referee stepped in immediately to give the veteran the knockout win.

The welterweight action continued as Erick Silva took on Charlie Brenneman.

These two certainly didn’t waste any time. The action was fast and furious throughout it’s only round, and it was a joy to watch.

Both fighters looked impressive throughout with their striking, although the most impressive work came on the ground. Silva’s transitions from one submission attempt to another looked tremendous.

The best was yet to come. As the first round entered it’s final minute Silva took Brenneman’s back. He then flattened him out and synched in a rear naked choke for the submission win.

Filler material in the form of the Tim Means/Justin Salas lightweight battle followed.

This one didn’t last long. Means rocked Salas within seconds, and from there he was all over him like a cheap suit, unloading with a series of blows and knees. Salas wasn’t given any time to recover as the referee stepped in after just 66 seconds to give Means the TKO win.

The main event saw Demetrious Johnson taking on Ian McCall in the semi-finals of the Flyweight title tournament.

The only fight of the broadcast to go the distance proved to be a very enjoyable back and forth encounter as they picked up where they’d left off three months ago.

Both fighters put on good performances, with Johnson in particular looking on top form throughout as he put McCall on the ground with a short right.

McCall, for his part, scored with some impressive takedowns, the only problem here was that Johnson managed to get back to his feet within seconds.

With neither man able to put the other away the judges were called into action. There were no problems with the scoring this time as Johnson took the unanimous decision to advance to the tournament final.

In conclusion - one again Dana and his crew put together a top notch show. Every fight was enjoyable as we got to see some great knockouts, a great submission and a three rounder that delivered in every way.

As for my fight of the night once again I’m like a kid in a sweet shop, and while it was tempting to go for Silva/Brenneman I’m going to plump for Wineland/Jorgensen.

So with that being said let’s finish this thing by giving the UFC’s latest show the big thumbs up.

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