With the amount of hack that the UFC was taking for the way this UFC was rounding out it must have felt soothing for the UFC brass to see the UFC finally come about. This UFC had more than it's fair share of problems, and judging by the sheer number of problems this UFC shook off, I am hope that the Next UFC will have 0 problems. Despite the early Problems the show was entertaining albeit not a star studded affair but an affair with some killer fights that I or anyone lese who saw this card, will not soon forget.
With the amount of hack that the UFC was taking for the way this UFC was rounding out it must have felt soothing for the UFC brass to see the UFC finally come about. This UFC had more than its fair share of problems, and judging by the sheer number of problems this UFC shook off, I am hope that the Next UFC will have 0 problems. Despite the early Problems the show was entertaining albeit not a star studded affair but an affair with some killer fights that I or anyone lese who saw this card, will not soon forget.
Murilo Bustamante Vs Matt Lindland
This was one fight that had a bit of controversy too it. After a brief clinch against the fence, Bustamante, was able to secure the takedown and take the fight to Lindlands half guard. Murilo worked from the Half guard to the mount where he went to the armbar. In what seemed like a very tight Armbar, Inexplicably McCarthy restarted the fight in the standing position, and let the fight go on even though it seemed like the fight was over! I was stunned by this glaring offense but the fight went on and they finished the round out in the clinch with Bustamante looking frustrated and confused by the decision of McCarthy. Round two was a fairly even round with both fighters having opportunities, to take control of the fight. Lindland had Bustamante on his back against the fence but was unable to capitalize. The second round ended, looking a bit like a boxing fight, with both exchanging flurries of strikes that didnt land, save a jab by Murilo that kissed the chin of Lindland. Round three would be the round that settled the controversy, as both seemed content to exchange flurries of boxing on the feet. Lindland looking for the clinch and the knees that would follow but Bustamante would have none of it and threw a punch that dropped Lindland. He would not let this opportunity pass him by and he went straight into Lindlands guard and grounded and pounded Lindland until Lindland stood up into Murilos waiting arms and straight into the Guillotine. Lindland basically had two title shots and he blew both of them. Bustamante by Guillotine submission at 1:33 of round 3. I was cheering for Bustamante at the end of this fight only because of the injustice of the restart in the first round. Murilo looked impressive otherwise and showed a champions resolve when the was slighted by the refs.
Ricco Rodriguez Vs Tsuyoshi Kosaka
Some were surprised that T.K was fighting Ricco. Many felt that Ricco was too much for the versatile T.K but surprisingly T.K got the fist takedown of the night, against the Submission Wrestler representing Tito and Team Punishment. Ricco was able to climb the fence and apply a beautiful Throw on T.K who is a Judo Master. Ricco then worked the side mount with elbows moving quickly to the Full mount. T.K looked like he was in trouble but managed to escape the bad position, but Ricco was able to go for an armbar that looked like it was very tight. T.K then showed off more of his impressive escapes, escaping the tight Armbar attempt, but eventually got mounted again. T.K continued to be resilient and was again able to roll backwards out of the mount and stand up to launch a flurry of his own to end round one. Round two was more of the same with Ricco going for the double let takedown this time, and T.K working for the stand up.
T.K showed a lot of heart getting out of multiple dangerous positions and Ricco showed some good guard passing ability getting to the mount but his mount seemed ineffective for part on the night. Riccos adeptness getting to the mount was the difference on the night as his weight wore T.K down, T.K valiantly tried to buck him off but there was no escape for him this time, and Ricco Dropped a flurry of Elbows and punches on T.K that ended T.Ks night. Ricco Suave by ref stoppage due to punishment at 3:25 of round 1.
B.J Penn Vs Paul Creighton
B.J Penn coming off of a disheartening loss (To Pulver) was something no one had ever seen before. It was unknown whether B.Js mental game would be where it needed to be, to again find his game and work his way to a championship bout for the now vacated UFC lightweight belt. B.J did not train at AKA under the tutelage of Frank Shamrock for this fight, and all eyes were on the young Penn. Creighton was coming in to the octagon for the first time in his career, and had nothing to lose going in against the second ranked Light heavyweight in the world. Working for the single leg takedown right from the get go, he looked like he was expending a lot of energy going for the takedown while B.J patiently balanced out and dropped sharp punches into his head as Creighton worked for the takedown. B.J Penn worked his Jiu Jitsu against the fence but instead of following up, he stood it up and seemed content to work the standup game against Creighton. B.J Penn dropped Knees into his opponent abdomen, as he worked the clinch and used sharp uppercuts into his head as he worked for the single leg for much of the bout. The fight followed a similar pattern for the duration of the fight, until B.J was able to take the mount and drop a flurry of punches onto Creightons head (that I am Sure B.J would have loved to save for Jens Pulver). Penn dictated the whole fight, and when decided when he wanted to finish by stepping over his guard and into the mount where he finished the fight on his own terms. Creighton actually fought Valiantly but was clearly outmatched from the outset of the fight. Creighton actually lasted longer, 8 minutes and 22 second then all of B.Js previous wins, Din Thomas, Kauru Uno, and Joey Gilbert Combined!! B.J Penn by ref stoppage due to punishment at 3:23 of round 2.
Phil Baroni Vs Amar Suloev
All the smack talk that Baroni had brought to this event came to a head and Phil took that challenge head on, literally. This fight was a great fight if only because of the build up that Baroni brought to the event. When it really comes down to it, Who has Baroni beaten? Not too many people right? Then why were so many people wanting to see this fight? The reason is, because of Baronis mouth. It is the mouth that almost got him in a lot of trouble with Gilbert Yvel at the weigh ins the night before. The mouth that Baroni has flapped non stop to publicize himself and this fight. The mouth that
you get the picture. This fight started with flurries of attacks by both fighters with Baroni a little more aggressive and Suloev looking calm and patient, looking for his opportunities. After a slip from a high kick attempt, Suloev recovered and came back with a devastating flying knee into Baronis face that staggered Baroni. Baroni took it right in the face and scrambled for the takedown to save his life. Amar then threw an illegal knee to the head of Baroni and followed it up with a punch while he was in the down positions before McCarthy stepped in and assessed a foul on Amar. After the Stoppage McCarthy asked Baroni if he wanted to continue but Baroni looked shook up, but decided not to take the one minute rest he was allowed under the rules of a foul and (un)confidently took to the ring against Amar.
Things looked bleak for Baroni and looked Bleaker when we went for the takedown but got mounted by Amar. Amar instead of going for the Ground and Pound, spun into an Armbar attempt but Baroni was resilient, and escaped. Baroni used his escape to take the side mount. He pushed Suloev against the fence and dropped huge rights onto Amars face that would that my whole family felt, and Baroni backed up his words and wins by ref stoppage due to punishment at 2:55 of round one. One thing about Baroni that bothered me was his attitude after the fight. He pointed and laughed at Suloev as he lay battered on the Octagon floor, while waving an American Flag. While Flag waving is one thing laughing at a injured opponent was childish on Baronis part and was unsportsmanlike to say the least. But that was that and Baroni showed off some big punches but he showed off a bigger mouth. His mouth has earned him name recognition that his talent has yet to earn. Many people look forward to seeing him again, if only because of the way he yaks off.
Kauru Uno Vs Yves Edwards
Representing Thug Jiu Jitsu, Yves Edwards came off a disappointing performance against Matt Serra, and now looked to right his career by taking on one of his own idols, Kauru Uno. Kauru Uno had suffered the most lopsided loss of his storied career, losing badly by K.O early in the fight versus fellow UFC 37 mate B.J Penn. Who would take advantage of the opportunity and step up into the lightweight Picture? Unfortunately Neither. Both fighters looked like neither was on the ball on this night and neither really took advantage of the opportunities that presented themselves during the fight. Uno had control of Edwards arm on several occasions in the side mount but could not capitalize on his submission attempts, Edwards on the other hand had opportunities to take the fight to the stand up position where he would have been most successful but he chose instead to try to grapple with the superior grappler Uno. Unfortunately, for both of the competitors neither would impress on this night and Uno took the Unanimous decision over a disappointed Yves Edwards. Where does this leave Edwards who had had two disappointing losses in a row in unimpressive fashion? Uno although not on top of his game for this fight, did enough to win and moves a notch closer to his goal to get another shot at the now vacant lightweight title. Yves First bout as a 155 lb lightweight failed to impress. He may just be better off in the 170 pound welterweight division where he has been in the past. Uno Takes the Unanimous Decision after three rounds.
Andrei Seminov Vs Ivan Salaverry
Another competitor for fight of the year, this fight showed off the best escape from a triangle that I have ever seen in my career. Round one started quickly with Salavery taking Seminovs back early. He took his back, stretched him out and unloaded on his head a brick load of punches to the side of Seminovs head that would have stopped any fight in UFC 36. This fight went on and he escaped into a firemans carry and dropped Salaverry to take the top position. It then went to a back and forth Submission frenzy of attempts with Salaverry missing a triangle, and Seminov barely missing a armbar. Salaverry was able to take the mount and again was given Seminovs back and punched to the side of the head, then went to the rear naked choke, then went back to punches and then to armbar, but Seminov showed the stubbornness of a donkey and escaped. Seminovs escapes are now legendary and his magic was seen in this fight many time over. Seminovs has better escapes than a magician but in the end they took their toll. Seminov looked drained from the punishment he took, and looked a little weary coming into round two. Round two was a leg kicking clinic with Salaverry getting the better of the exchange. Seminov countered with a right counter punch that dropped Salaverry but went into the guard and into his triangle! Seminov was in Deep, very deep into Salaverrys Triangle then a Triangle armbar, but somehow he escaped. Somebody call David Copperfield because there is a new kid on the block. I have never ever seen someone escape a fully sunk in Triangle and Triangle Armbar like Seminov did that night. I now have seen everything because if someone can escape a Triangle like that there is still hope for me to become submission master. I havent seen this much heart in entire cards let alone one fight. He took several more sharp punches that stunned him bu couldnt stop him and then an illegal to the face that should have been grounds for a restart. Salavery should have been assessed a foul and a minute rest given to right then and there for Andrei but again it did not happen. There is no way for sure to know how that knee affected the fight. Like I mentioned before the officiating was inconsistent. Baroni was given a minute why not Andrei.?
Round Three started with more leg kicks and a take down by Salavery that was the beginning of the end for Seminov. Taking the legs out from under Seminovs weary body, past his weary legs, and right past the guard of Andrei. Salaverry then trapped his left arm in a triangle and his other arm with his left leg and punished his face until The ref had to halt the bout. In another great bout, Salaverry by ref stoppage due to punishment at 2:27 of round three.
Benji Radach Vs Steve Berger
This fight was the biggest disappointment of the night as Benji Radach took the fight by Ref stoppage in 27 seconds against UFC veteran Steve Berger. Berger got caught flush by a nice right hand by Radach that stunned him and sent him to the mat. It looked like he was in trouble as Radach followed up with some solid shots before Berger went for the leg and Mason white stepped in. This was Bergers second chance at the UFC and although he was clearly in tough against Radach he was competing and continuing to work as he went for the knee bar. Radach wins by Ref stoppage at 0:27 seconds of round one.
Robbie Lawler Vs Aaron Riley
In what was one of two fights on the night that could contend for fight of the year, a newcomer from the Miletich camp made his name known and that name is Robbie Lawler. Although he is fighting in the same division as champion and stable mate Matt Hughes, some people see Lawler as the heir apparent to the current champ. Lawler put on a clinic with another UFC newbie Aaron Riley of Matt Humes AMC Pankration team. I was on the brink of crying every minute of this 15 minute war. The first round saw Aaron Riley showing off the kind of chin that Rocky Balboa made famous. I thought that the Rileys strategy for the first round was to block punches with his face until he tires Lawler out. Lawler unloaded his cannon with a combo against the fence to start the fight and followed with a knee that would have stopped most fighters cold, but Riley would not give an inch and kept coming forward like a machine. Just one minute later Lawler dropped Riley with a right left combo that would have stopped a heavyweight, but Riley recovered quickly and got his wits about him before he got himself into too much trouble. Most of round one was Lawler smacking Riley in the face, and Riley taking it and not giving an inch. In round 2, Lawler looked a little winded, and Riley went to work, mounting a workmanlike offense that included very solid combinations, knees to the abdomin and solid forearm shivers. In round three, Riley take Lawlers back in the standing position but Lawler escaped and unloaded several combinations that rattled my teeth here in Canada. Lawler controlled most of round three with bone jarring shots that knocked me out, but Riley was able to walk out of that fight with his intellect intact.
Lawler showed a good chin too, in round tow but Lawler controlled two of the rounds and took the decision after three tough, very tough rounds. If this was a coming out party for Robbie Lawler, it was also one for what should be, one of the most famous chins in MMA. Aaron Rileys chin will go down as one of the best to ever grace the Octagon. All joking aside Riley showed the heart of a champion and I personally would love to see him come back to the Octagon again.
"Referees lacked, at high Impact"
The Preliminary fights on this card were the glittering gems on card that had precious few "name" fighters. I feel that overall this UFC was a very good one and considering the fact that the number of replacements on this card were close to the hundreds, The UFC brass did a great job with the match-ups they had to work with. This UFC was better (I felt) then the last Pride event. We as the fans were very lucky that the fights did not go the distance like UFC 33, because we would not be able to see the Preliminary fights. The Prelims on this card were among the best fights I have ever seen, let alone this card. A very satisfying UFC overall. One thing that has been a sticking point for the fans in many UFCs, is the officiating. The Officiating has been inconsistent at the best of times. To be fair the referees may have the toughest jobs in the ring, but there has been some inconsistencies that I feel need to be addressed. The stoppages in this event were much better then I have seen in some recent past events in the UFC but a few hearken back to UFC 36. The Benji Radach Vs Steve Berger fight was stopped much quicker then almost all the other stoppages on the night. Aaron Riley, T.K, and Andrei Seminov all took significantly more punishment than Berger did, but their fights were not stopped prematurely. On another note, Andrei Seminov was struck with what appeared to be an illegal knee by Ivan Salavery but the fight was not restarted like Phil Baroni Vs Suloev was, when Suloev threw a similar knee to Baronis head! Seminov was also not given the one minute rest that Baroni was offered for a similar offense. Inconsistencies hurt their credibility here. The UFC is not responsible for the Officiating, as all officiating is handled by the athletic commissions, but I wish something could be done about this. John McCarthy also stopped Murilo Bustamante from cranking the armbar on Lindland when it looked like the fight was over. Lindland looked to be done, but the restart gave him another life that he did nothing to earn. Fortunately for the UFC Bustamante went on to win that fight, so the UFC Brass could breath a breath of fresh air, because I can just imagine the hell bent screams of the fans if Murilo ended up losing that fight. Other than those vents, the event went off with some great fights. New stars were born today and like Frank Mir before them the UFC has introduced some very talented stars of the future. I look forward to seeing Robbie Lawler, Ivan Salavery, Benji Radach, fight again, even the losers on the night showed incredible heart and skills. Seminov and Riley showed unfaltering heart that I have to tip my hat to, these guys belong in the Octagon. I hope to see them again soon. UFC 37 was a screaming success considering the unfortunate but uncontrollable events surrounding "High Impact". New fighters were introduced to a public that needed to see some new blood and the Kids did all they could to make the fights as exciting as possible. Till next time, Here is to UFC 38.