Last weekend it was Strikeforce on CBS giving people some free mixed martial arts goodness with Fedor and Mousasi showing how they became top names in the business.

This weekend, it was UFC’s turn to battle back, and with Randy Couture and Michael Bisping, they did a great job.

Nevermind the fact that Strikeforce was on CBS and reached nearly 5.5 Million viewers, having an event on Spike TV has the potential to reach nearly as many viewers, since that’s the channel which most people would typically associate with MMA anyway.

I enjoyed the hell out of the fights that I got to watch (haven’t searched the net yet for the preliminary fight videos, though I believe they’re available on  Here’s what I remember (since I meant to live-blog it but didn’t remember to):

  • Ross Pearson is a bulldog.  He stayed in on the attack, and even though I was hoping Riley would win, I liked how Pearson handled himself.  The fight ended when Aaron Riley got busted open (from a flying knee, I believe), and although I’d like to see the rematch, I’m thinking Pearson would probably win it.  Maybe Pearson can move on, fight someone else, Riley can do the same, and they can meet up again in the future.
  • Matt Brown seems to be improving A LOT since his stint on The Ultimate Fighter.  His heavy hands are still there, but I was really impressed with how he handled his jiu jitsu in his fight with James Wilks.  I thought Wilks did a great job, but Brown rocked him and then followed up with the punches for a nice win.  I’d like to see what both of these guys do over the next year, at which time I could see one (or both) of them contending to fight for the title.  At this point, I don’t think either would come close to beating GSP, though I’m clearly not an expert.
  • Andre Winner looked real good in his fight, getting a huge knockout over Roli Delgado – who I wasn’t totally impressed with (though again, I might not have noticed some of the finer points of Delgado’s strategies, since I’m no expert.  As a somewhat-knowledgeable fan?  Not impressed with Roli).  I could see Andre Winner getting another win or two and then seeing what he can do against BJ Penn.
  • Alexander Gustafsson had a HUGE knockout on Jared Hamman.  Two huge punches knocked out Hamman’s mouthpiece, flattened him, and closed Jared’s left eye.  Not surprised this ~40 second preliminary card fight got shown on the UFC 105 broadcast on Spike TV.  I’ll be looking forward to Gustafsson’s next fight for sure.
  • Denis Kang looked good against Michael Bisping, but it was The Count who impressed me the most.  He was victorious, he looked to have a good strategy, and after the match not only was Bisping humble, but he showed a human side by goofing around with his kid in the octagon with his son (who just might be a contender in about 8 years).
  • Swick vs Hardy was a good fight, though at the moment, it’s hard for me to remember any key moments of the fight.  With the decision, Hardy is going to get a shot at GSP and the Welterweight title… though from what I saw, I don’t think Hardy stands a chance.
  • Randy Couture was interviewed prior to his fight with Brandon Vera, and it sounded like he considered Vera an inferior opponent, saying that he had to beat Vera in order to get on to the real contenders in the division, and saying that he was going to make Vera fight him for three full rounds.  Sounds like Couture considered this to be half sparring session / warm-up for him, half teaching session for Vera.  I’ve heard people say this was a controversial decision, but really, it seemed like Randy Couture was doing just enough to get the victory.  Had Couture considered Vera a more worthy opponent, he might’ve tried to finish him off.  Though, I suppose this fight begs the question of whether or not Couture has lost his killer instinct.  Nogueira could probably answer that question best.

All-in-all, great night of action that gives me a couple more guys to watch for in the UFC.  They didn’t have their top talents on display like Strikeforce, but that’s not something they HAVE to do – Strikeforce does.

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