The Throwdown is back again, with thoughts and analysis of tonight's UFC Fight Night 24 event from Seattle, Washington. It's going to be a long month between now and UFC 129 on April 30th, but The Ultimate Fighter season 13 featuring Brock Lesnar and Junior dos Santos should hold us over well. It was a long night of action, especially if you watched the five free fights on facebook, so let's get down to it.
- Phil Davis is a top notch young fighter. It's a shame that so many aren't content with just letting him be that, and immediately jump into how he'd fair against UFC light heavyweight champion, Jon Jones. He did well against Antonio Rogerio Nogueira tonight, but he didn't shut down the old veteran quite as effectively as many suspected. I'd like to see Davis face a steady diet of solid top 20 light heavyweights this year, and look to make his break against fighters in the top 10 in 2012. That's probably too much to ask though.
- Maybe we were severely underestimating Lil' Nog, or maybe the work he's done with my buddy Mark Munoz is really paying. Either way, Nogueira effectively defended a great deal of Davis' shots, far more than I expected him to that's for sure. On the feet, he kept his composure, but couldn't mount a quality offensive when he started giving up take downs. Just being able to do as well as he did should give Nogueira confidence going into his next fight, and I hope he returns to his winning ways.
- Dammit Dan Hardy!!!
- Whew. With that said, Anthony Johnson looked damn good for a guy coming off a massive lay off, injuries and huge weight cut. That's probably one of the best performances a fighter has had coming in with so many physical factors stacked against him. The fact that (despite what Joe Rogan says) he looked pretty damn fresh in the third round after working hard the first two rounds is telling of how the cut effects his gas tank...which is not a whole lot.
- I'd be content with Hardy fighting B level strikers in European UFC events the rest of the year. Once again, this is probably too much to ask. Maybe Hardy will cross paths with Martin Kampmann, and Johnson with Diego Sanchez? Both of those sound like great fights.
- DaMarques Johnson put up a very solid fight coming in on short notice, but once Amir Sadollah found his range and rhythm, it was all over. Amir's stand up has become more and more impressive in each UFC outing, I'm very impressed.
- Chan Sung Jung really put on a performance with Leonard Garcia once again. Although it wasn't as wild as their first fight, it was actually very similarly entertaining, but the difference was that the Korean Zombie kept his cool, avoided wild exchanges, and then slapped on a beautiful twister submission to end the fight. This was the first time I've seen the twister used to finish an MMA bout, and I couldn't be happier with the result.
- No stolen decisions for you Mr. Garcia. Lord knows you were on your way to one again.
- The facebook stream was what it was. There's a reason these fights aren't aired, and why the arenas aren't packed full. The prelims didn't have any particularly memorable bouts, but the bantamweight scrap between Figueroa and McDonald had a very fun first round. Also, Sean McCorkle was choked unconscious. What more could you ask for?