Everything we thought, or at least hoped, we would be getting with UFC 119 was what we got tonight. Once again, the WEC delivered a night full of action. A decision won with technique, a huge head kick KO, an old guard submission, a rematch for the ages and the hype train moving right along with another big KO. It was a fantastic night that gave us a little bit of everything. In we go.
- To start with, my predictions. This was probably the first time in my life that I did this well. I went 9-2 on the night; 5-1 on the prelims and 4-1 on the main card. I missed the Horodecki-Ratcliff fight and the Roop-Sung Jung fight. Not too bad. Also not bad was the fact that I nailed the exact form of finish in 3 of my 4 main card picks. Hominick by split decision, Torres by submission in round two and Cerrone by unanimous decision. I picked Aldo to win by KO but I thought he would do it in round one instead of round two. Still, a very good night for me in the picks. Okay, I'm done patting myself on the back now.
- There really isn't anybody left for Jose Aldo to fight. You'll hear that a lot in the coming days. He doesn't just win, he destroys people. I've repeatedly compared him to Anderson Silva. Here's the thing about that comparison. There is a clear cut way to beat Silva, as shown to us by Chael Sonnen at UFC 117. We have yet to see a single weakness in Aldo's game. What's the gameplan going into a fight with Aldo? Hope to not get killed? Simply put, he's too good for the WEC. As great as the promotion is, he needs a bigger stage. I can see them giving him another fight or two at featherweight and it just feels like a waste of time. Move him up to 155 and bring him into the UFC. He's the one guy I would pay to see fight Frankie Edgar.
- The Jamie Varner-Donald Cerrone war was seriously entertaining. Do they really hate each other? I don't know. Remember, I'm always skeptical. But they certainly act like it and the crowd bought into it big time and they were more involved in this fight than any other matchup on the card. As soon as the bell rang, Cerrone was across the cage and in Varner's face and he never really let up. It was a great war that may be marred just a bit by what happened during and immediately after. We didn't see it on TV but Stephan Bonnar told us that after the first round ended, Varner walked over to bump gloves with Cerrone and instead of obliging him, Cerrone gave him the finger. So Varner flipped him off back and they went about the fight. Once it ended, Varner bumped gloves with Cerrone and Donald reciprocated initially and then thought better of it and sort of shoved his arm at Varner's neck before walking away. Varner then went over to shove Cerrone in his back, and lightly did so, before thinking better of it right when the ref came up to grab him and move him away. Cerrone had turned around like he was going to go after Varner again. It gave an ugly ending to an otherwise spectacular fight. Brent Brookhouse over at Bloody Elbow thinks that there should be some form of punishment for Cerrone and I wouldn't mind that at all. He needs to be reminded that you can't be doing that kind of thing. There just isn't any room for it in a sport like this.
- Really happy to see Miguel Torres get back in the win column and, for the most part, look like the Torres that we came to know and love. He seemed a bit tentative at first but when the time was right the killer instinct was there. This win undoubtedly puts him right back in the thick of things and that's a good thing. If Urijah Faber wins his next fight then he may be Torres next opponent. After tonight, that's a fight I would once again like to see.
George Roop and Mark Hominick proved that, at least as far as sport goes, it's better to fight smart with superior technique than go out and have a a barn burning brawl. Sure, you'll entertain a lot of people if you do so but you won't win a lot of fights that way and you'll certainly shorten your career unnecessarily. Both Hominick and Roop pumped the jab all night and kept distance which worked wonders for them. Roop put himself on the map with the huge head kick KO whereas Hominick may have hurt his stock by fighting the way he did. Speaking of which, there is no excuse for a judge to award that fight to Leonard Garcia. Should have been a unanimous decision win for Hominick.
- Stephan Bonnar had his rough spots tonight but I largely enjoyed listening to him on commentary. He's a big upgrade from Frank Mir and his voice doesn't annoy me as much as Kenny Florian's does. I look forward to listening to him in future broadcasts. Still can't stand Todd Harris. He actively makes me want to mute the TV. Also happy to have Buffer doing the fighter introductions. Not because I think Buffer is anything special but because I didn't like Joe Martinez. Announcing, whether you like it or not, is a big part of sports and I need to enjoy who I'm listening to.
Overall, couldn't ask for much more. As previously mentioned, the WEC always comes strong with their fight cards. Whenever there is a night of fights like this it makes me feel less and less like a merger with the UFC is the right way to go. They've just got to promote them better. I look forward to seeing the viewership for this show. If you didn't catch it, you missed a hell of a night.