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Thursday, October 30, 2008

UFC 90 Anderson Silva VS Patrick Cote


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Introduction

Mixed martial arts clearly became a significant form of both mass entertainment and - as Bruce Lee put it - an expression of the human body, the latter being, no doubt, the original field of operation of these ancient traditions, now living and breathing through competitive events around the world. Though many may consider men who enter the proving grounds little more than hired human pitbulls to rip each other apart for hard cash and radical amusement, I tend to utterly reject this rudimentary view, concluding that professional level mma is the combat of highly disciplined human spirits, opposing each other for the duration of the bout, probably ending up as unified in the process as we could conceive, simply through their magnificent shared experience of being in a cage where the damage one suffers is the wit one failed to exhibit. That is how, in my opinion, the mma fighter fights against herself/himself.

Japanese people compete to gain an insight of their own current abilities through the collision process of their skills with that of other's. To me, the ultimately glorious moments of mixed martial arts are not of those of KOs and submissions. They are of those of hugging the formal rival at the end of the bout, circulating the most honest, uncompromised, pure respect each fighter deserves simply by stating themselves on the proving grounds, regardless of the results. The ensuing peace between fighters after a good collision is such a palpable, legit sensation that it never got old so far - and won't ever will.


This here is a review of the UFC event UFC 90 Silva VS Cote, time to punch that Read more button, baby!

Introductory thoughts about the more significant lineups

Logically enough, consensus reality is yet to reveal a warrior who puts an end to the rigorous reign of current UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva. How- and where logic comes in? Easy: if there would have been such man already - then Anderson wouldn't be the Champion - see? But he IS, and he certainly looks at the top of the mma game. The Spider is unstoppable ever since his Octagon debut, now giving a title defense to a passionate possessor of Thermonuclear Fists, a warrior who established himself as a force you got to reckon with via exceptional Octagon performances characterized by tremendous punishment resistance and steep willingness to knock rivals silly with one punch stopping power. This particular individual, Canadian crusher Patrick Cote earned himself the right of going for the belt by scoring a decision win over Ricardo Almeida in UFC 86 Jackson vs Griffin, arriving to his greatest challenge to date as a man who have never tasted the power of knockout yet.

Josh Koscheck is coming back to the wars, too. Relentless demonstrator, merciless carrier of the blond alien lifeform some - meaning: less paranoid persons - do fall in for, mistaking it for hair, Josh loves being hated by the audience, and he is considered by many as one of the best wrestler in the UFC. Amidst these many, you will find UFC President Dana White, as well. THAT man surely knows a good wrestler when he sees one. When Koscheck is not busy deconstructing Chris Lytle's uppermost organic features like he was back in UFC 86 Jackson vs Griffin, then he is perfecting his mma skillset with peculiar emphasis placed on his standup capabilities. Today he steps in on short notice as a substitute to Diego Sanchez, a man he handed his first loss to, also a man who was supposed to meet Thiago "The Pitbull" Alves, A.K.A. Epic Destroyer of Matt Hughes.

Sean Sherk vs Tyson Griffin

Given the similar fighting styles these two competitors do sport, a well balanced collision of decent pace and passionate exchanges should occur, and, this is a notion even reality considers as the most probable possibility by the night. Sherk looks more convincing at the respective ends of every single rounds, and, since this one goes for the distance, an eventual decision win is awarded for the Muscle Shark, setting him on a trail that might lead him back to title contention. A former Lightweight Champion of the UFC, Sean wasn't successful at reclaiming the belt against The Prodigy BJ Penn in UFC 84 Ill Will, yet the Sherk you saw today is a Sherk you would keenly put in front of The Little Buddha again. You know why? Easy: to see what happens, yes?

Fabricio Werdum vs Junior dos Santos

I had zero, zero and a little bit of zero idea yet about who Junior dos Santos is, though, from now on I will remember him thoroughly, no doubt. This here well composed Brazilian puts Pride! veteran Fabricio Werdum away in 80 seconds, scoring a remarkable knockout victory over the experienced contestant. To this day, I fail utterly- and epicly at my attempts of being impressed by the performances of Werdum that I have seen so far. To me, he seems a safety player, I hardly notice him in the Octagon, thus I confess that I feel rather satisfied by his devastating upset loss, and certainly hope to see a NEW Werdum with a hungrier, meaner, badder look in his eyes next time. Please just don't post this review to him AND me along with it before his next match. Kudos to Junior dos Santos for upsetting an individual, who, I think, wore a bigger head than he deserved by the night. Hey, you know what? Don't EVER tell Werdum about this review. My more serious stance though remains of hopes- and desires about seeing a Fabricio perform who wants to STATE something, and is about to state that radically. Looking forward to witnessing both fighters again.

Gray Maynard vs Rich Clementi

UFC Veteran Rich Clementi likes to break the will of the opposition, while his current opponent, Gray Maynard was pretty good so far at exhibiting JUST that. Gray already have built a solid reputation for himself by delivering convince power in the recent smaller events of the UFC, called the Fight Nights. Maynard handed Frank Edgar his first professional loss - practice how tenderly you can say: "professional loss" - now getting a Main Card debut - as results of rearrangements - against this here seasoned Veteran Rich "No Love" Clementi. Practice how tenderly you can say: "No Love."

The story of the fight is Maynard's ability to take Rich down every time he - Gray - wishes to, resulting in highly technical ground periods that may give you more and more solid impressions of a series of intensive stalemates. Personally, I think the match had an interesting character to it, seeing how effective Maynard was at denying chances from the opposition of expressing itself, though he wasn't exactly going for the kill, either. The Bully - that's the nickname of Gray - sure did bully Rich's sitorgan around on the ground for three stable rounds, and that is something that earned him the well deserved W. We may want to see this Maynard character against top level opposition - not that Clementi isn't that, but maybe he needed to eat this loss in to turn truly top level. The Bully harvests intense BOO! from the audience, the majority probably would prefer to see an Octagon painted in the tones of red. Maynard apologizes for not delivering a knockout. Apology naturally accepted as far as I am concerned, after all: an apology that you need to ask for is a compromised one, anyway. And I loved the match, too, which I do apologize for.

Thiago Alves vs Josh Koscheck

Watching this collision is a memorable experience as this one will ask you whether you see Thiago Alves winning this fight - or do you see Koscheck losing it? This is the first time I saw Josh Koscheck in grave danger, - and it was HIM being in it, not me, either - even on multiple occasions. Alves' s strikes have serious power and pixel precision, a left hook buckles Koscheck to the ground - why, what were you thinking? - who though is saved by the considerable punishment resistance he wasn't forced to rely on lately. Or at least not publicly. Or at least I wasn't aware. Or at least you're getting my point, right? Alves wants this win more aggressively than Koscheck does, commanding the seasoned Professional to take the role of the Intensely Stalked, while Thiago himself demonstrates keen readiness to showcase his stiff mma skills as your utterly solid, relentless Stalker. A massive portion of the bout is characterized by a series of highly effective leg kicks thrown by the Pitbull, softening up Koscheck enough to do battle against a - shall we say? - puzzled- and relatively frustrated variant of the same fighter.

Koscheck does not look good getting owned, and he knows that. He expresses in the prefight interview that he hates to lose more than he loves to win. This here loss he suffers is a precisely- and thoroughly administered one though, Alves triumphs in a clear, smooth, decisive fashion. A trite, and nevertheless very wise - bleheh! - notion of mixed martial arts is that the mere impact of a serious loss may prove to be a radically influential factor on a warrior's career. Koscheck's previous loss was against current UFC Welterweight Champion Georges St. Pierre. That particular loss made an evidently better fighter of him, - of Josh, though maybe of GSP, as well - now we are to see if he can undergo Yet Another Transcendental Experience and come back after this loss to Thiago Alves as a better man.

As for the Pitbull: this dude has my pure attention and admiration ever since he destroyed Matt "I got more knowledge than him" Hughes. Now Alves have spoken more lines in the language of sober ferocity, stating that he is not just ready, but should be put into veerry warm title contention as soon as possible. If you say this kid isn't ready to face GSP or the Little Buddha: then you are a representative of his insurance company. I know this joke did not work. Not on me, at least. Sorry, sometimes you need to offer jokes that do not work, so a consecutive one, which though has a chance to harvest honest laughs, might propel you into amazing distances - worry about the direction at the proper time, at the proper place. And NEVER offer the working joke when they anticipate you to! See? SEE??!!

Anderson Silva vs Patrick Cote

The main event of the night had a very tense, and, as such: evidently pleasant character to it. The exquisitely beatiful feeling out process naturally invites a small minority - deliberate redundancy - to resonate their private misery by reciting the consensus mantra of it, but the Champion commands them to switch emotional channels once he demonstrates his trademark explosiveness on Cote's amazing blocking skillset! To be precise: the Canadian is brave enough to defend a stupendous flying knee with his nose! I always liked Cote, now my admiration increased even further, as this man surely has a granite chin attached to a gameplan, let alone the two solid Thermonuclear Fists to back those up with. Unfortunately, these two great athletes did not reach the conclusion their lineup already deserved by he night. Following two suspenseful rounds in which both Cote and Silva exhibit a willingness to unleash intense assaults of considerable risk factor, they do remain deeply dedicated to conserve energy to the later periods, too.

The Canadian starts to write history: he takes the Champion to the third round, an accomplishment on its own, as Silva never entered the third period before since his UFC days. This is something that even the fabric of reality must give a reaction to - let alone the right knee of Thermonuclear Fist Patrick Cote. Unfortunately, an old injury decides to show its hideous face around, putting an immediate end to this contest. You can see Cote's right knee pop as he jumps on his feet. The fighters, the audience, the Joe Rogan and the reviewer who writes this are all disappointed. But none of us shall be: the match had such evidently promising qualities that it will be re-organized again, it is, if I am not mistaken, official. I read at the absolutely ├╝bertacular mma site Sherdog that Anderson Silva is targeted by the UFC to collide against Chuck Liddell. Hmmmm, even a HMMMMMMMMM! A clever decision by the organization, and here is why: defeating Anderson Silva is the most effective, most convincing option Liddell may take the position he was looking quite good at with, that being: the image of The Iceman who fights on an entirely different vibration level than the casual(ty) mortal does, thus, the Iceman destroys your ass if you do not step away. Funny part is: that there is no funny part. I'm a huge Chuck fan, and I think he was looking very good with this image. Hell, he was looking so good with it that Rashad Evans himself did not believe that he could knock Chuck the BEEP! out, and, when he did, poor dude - Rashad - almost felt sorry- and embarrassed about his stupendous accomplishment. "Sorry guys, I know I shouldn't have done that."

Of the remaining bouts, I did not bear much interest, therefore I wrap this up, having the focal points of the night accounted on. Hope you had a fine evening and found the review useful - thank you for reading it, and see you next time.

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Thursday, October 23, 2008

Righteous Kill

Radical Liberty

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Director of Righteous Kill, Jon Avnet is coming back to you shortly after he delivered 88 Minutes, the biggest mistake Al Pacino ever committed so far. Giving his face and name to that movie was a shocking development in the fabric of the known Universe, also it was one by which sanity performed an almost fatal illegal operation, thus a restart was unavoidable.

Now amazing Jon Avnet convinces yet another Big Gun to star in his latest, and - logically - freshest direction along with Al Pacino, who decides to stuck around to see if he can erase THAT 88 Minutes from his mind. Certainly you could help us doing the same, Al. If I recall correctly, Robert De Niro had/has a reputation of never turning down a role he is asked to play, either. He certainly had some shocking deliveries, like Showtime, where Eddie Murphy and him were supposed to be funny for 90 minutes. Thank the Upper Heavens it wasn't 88, though.

Fortunately, the results of De Niro and Pacino teaming up again since times immemorial makes for a solid crime story, with stable elements of murder mystery added to it. Many do claim that Righteous Kill writer Russell Gewirtz redefined the term: predictability with his work, but I tend to disagree: Gewirtz's narrative actually has a subtly playful fabric to it. Surely, you can announce yourself the Bad Enough Dude if you rip it apart, yet the plot works quite fluently if you let it to, dismissing the constant urge of thinking about where it might unravel to.

According to observations, no one, or at least very few is getting any younger, those of the latter class even seem to choose to stay away from showing themselves around for too long. The days by which De Niro and, particularly Pacino, could deliver credible action-oriented roles, are numbered. De Niro still has- and always will have the 1976 Taxi Driver Psychopath in himself, that adds an ageless quality to his persona, Al, on the other hand, lives- and acts on the respective shadows of his tremendous charm and passion, similarly timeless qualities that would be still present, in case Al wouldn't spend most of his time making everybody sure that they are still present.



Mannerisms are noticeable in Righteous Kill, but, you know what? I don't mind at all, I love to see Pacino and De Niro demonstrating the "best mannerisms" they think they possess. After all, why show a bad one of those, especially with millions of people watching. Fortunately, the script is aware- and fluent enough to offer relevant dialog work and corresponding screentime for both of these actor giants, while the supportive roles of Carla Gugino and popular/notorious American rapper 50 Cent are of further significance. Carla Gugino is an eloquent lady in real life, something that does not prevent her from committing brutal moments of overacting in this particular motion picture. At least this gives you something to remember her by. 50 Cent is great, since the character he plays is absolutely compatible with the Hip Hop culture 50 Cent is an essential part- and even noted representative of. Human Bull Brian Dennehy will be here, as well, to deliver his trademark Don't Even Try To Get Wise With Me, Boy! look. Here it is, as it is appearing in Righteous Kill:



Sorry, wrong order. This is the

- You Trying To Tell ME About Proper Roastbeef, Boy?

look. Let's try this one more time:



- Don't Even Try To Get Wise With Me, Boy!

Thank you Brian, you still have it, man! Sometimes the story is present in a movie only to make you/let you wonder where it is hiding. Fortunately, it plays an essential role in Righteous Kill. The buildup revolves around two cops, yet, one of them has a tendency of losing it, more precisely: he sometimes loses it, and loves losing it. Righteous Kill shares primal similarities with the classic movie Seven and its now-myriad variants.

The mutual prime element of these films are the mysterious punisher character who ruthlessly regulates sinner- or hedonistic butts according to the standards of a - given or invented - moral code. The nice thing about standards is that you can find one behind every single bush you encounter. The narrative here is quite similar. Righteous Kill focuses on a couple of crimes and their - closely - related criminals, whom, according to the punisher character, did not get satisfactory sentences for their misdeeds. The proper sentence the punisher cop is really fond- and keen at giving is: death, naturally. But not naturally.

Righteous Kill bears similarities with the great series Dexter, as well. The serial killer protagonist of the buildup in question needs to kill to satisfy his endless urge to do so. As Japanese people say: to live, you need to eat. So you eat, to keep on living. As with Dexter: to live, he needs to kill. So he kills to keep on living.

The peak sequences of Righteous Kill are very precious, but also are very short. Not a factor to blame the movie with, though. Their shortness is absolutely acceptable, even fruity, as their abruptness delivers an extra field of operation, making you realize that you just witnessed how the former dilemma of a lifetime informs you about having found the darkest answers. Having found the darkest ones - and loving them. You know what makes the darkest answer easy to spot? They are the ones that are frighteningly logical, and the punisher cop will paint HIS answers frighteningly logical, as well.

This protagonist character of Righteous Kill faces with the dilemma of how to handle his inner sense of justice when he sees it being totally ignored. The cop expresses that he always loved to kick the ass of rapists, bullies, video game designers and the likes, and he never could get away with seeing THEM getting away. Two options are given: first, be the good guy all the while, and see what THAT reality collides you with at the end of the line. Refused to take a peek? The punisher cop will tell you what prize is up to you: a handshake from the Mayor and your name engraved in a **** silver placket. The punisher cop refures to thread along this path. He chose to create a reality that offers much more satisfactory rewards than that - but all decisions come with a price.

In order to make this reality effective, the punisher cop must claim the radical liberty to take the position of one who properly judges and ruthlessly administers.
Once again: the punisher cop is being asked how to handle his inner sense of justice when he sees it being totally ignored. The answer is to serve it anyway.



- Hey... hey... just... like... once, you know?
- .... what do you mean... just...o...once.....



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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

UFC 89 Bisping VS Leben review


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Introduction

Mixed martial arts clearly became a significant form of both mass entertainment and - as Bruce Lee put it - an expression of the human body, the latter being, no doubt, the original field of operation of these ancient traditions, now living and breathing through competitive events around the world. Though many may consider men who enter the proving grounds little more than hired human pitbulls to rip each other apart for hard cash and radical amusement, I tend to utterly reject this rudimentary view, concluding that professional level mma is the combat of highly disciplined human spirits, opposing each other for the duration of the bout, probably ending up as unified in the process as we could conceive, simply through their magnificent shared experience of being in a cage where the damage one suffers is the wit one failed to exhibit. That is how, in my opinion, the mma fighter fights against herself/himself.

Japanese people compete to gain an insight of their own current abilities through the collision process of their skills with that of other's. To me, the ultimately glorious moments of mixed martial arts are not of those of KOs and submissions. They are of those of hugging the formal rival at the end of the bout, circulating the most honest, uncompromised, pure respect each fighter deserves simply by stating themselves on the proving grounds, regardless of the results. The ensuing peace between fighters after a good collision is such a palpable, legit sensation that it never got old so far - and won't ever will.


This here is a review of the UFC event UFC 89 Bisping VS Leben, time to punch that Read more button, baby!

Introductory thoughts about the more significant lineups

Human transformation is one of the most fruity things a human can go through - assuming it points to- and even progresses along the positive direction. Chris Leben is after a radical positive transformation, one which you can not miss out on. The heavy hitter Ultimate Fighter contestant who had a deeply intimate relation with many advanced forms of body abuse: punished all in the Octagon with the dynamite Nature gave him as a left hand. It was current UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva who stopped The Crippler, and, as Chris expresses, this loss was a life changing experience to him. Meaning Leben.

Reciting this, and seeing that it was indeed, are two completely different things. Leben comes to you as a sober, well composed individual, letting you, inviting you to appreciate the mere path he took to reach to this point. Not everybody is able to do this. Some do fall tremendously after a loss, sustaining damage that might never let one to heal completely. Sad, yes? Veeery. It's always nice to see this notion being laughed at by an individual who summoned proper power to better herself/himself, though. It is "himself" time now.

Leben is facing Michael Bisping, the number 1 mma Favorite of Britain, and, it must be rightfully so - and we know that it is, anyway - because the Brits love a good fight, and they know when they see one. Bisping never looked as he would be in a dire despair on the Proving Ground, this fighter definitely has an aura of "semi-invincibility" around him by the day, sewn out of charisma, skills, and the undeniable fact that all, cite that I, herein: all is yet to see a Michael Bisping whose hive is in fatal danger in the Octagon. Leben assures us that Michael did not see a striker of his caliber yet, while Bisping tells us that he has more to offer in more areas than Chris does.

The next focal attraction of the night is Keith Jardine taking on Brandon Vera. Well, some claim you can not open a debate about tastes and preferences, I think this is an utterly false notion. Let us notice: debates about tastes and preferences often do yield the most fruity of results. Or bloody. But those debaters do not get the point at all. While it would be nice to state that one does not have the right to eradicate any opinion, including this one, question also forms if one have the right to state an opinion that deliberately lacks all flexibility. Such an opinion surely could be incapable to count with certain information that is about to ensue yet by the birth of the opinion. Yes?

Question forms: where am I going with this?

I'll tell you: I'm going to this to the Octagon phenomena of Brandon Vera. I don't know if his style is my cup of tea. But, since I do ask this question, it's probably not. The dude seems to have a hard time recently of deciding which weight class he should fight in, then, when he decides, he comes out, assuring us that he will shatter all conceptions we ever thought to be true about mma, then, he puts up such a

booooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooring

fight with Tim "I am not afraid of Fedor" Sylvia that the bout in question forces you to write down the Top 5 Things More Boring Than Watching This Fight Is, being sure that those mental constructs are very rare, and very precious ones to be greeted by. Therefore, should be recorded and remembered. So, Brandon Vera, who, at least reminds me of Sagat from Street Fighter II, always comes out to redefine mma, yet goes away recently with redefining excuses. He always has two of those, each hidden carefully under the gloves. "Yes, I broke my hand and that kind of changed my gameplan, and yes, I was totally OK when Werdum sat on my chest and started to throw bombs to smash my face in while I was totally helpless, but the stupid Ref interfered at the THIRD bomb and didn't want to see my nose being crushed beyond recognition, MAN, are! you! kidding! me!"

One dude I never heard an excuse, even a slight reminder of those from, and I serioulsy doubt if someone ever will, is: Keith Jardine. Whow, I love this fighter. He is indeed a mean apparition, he totally could be the definite role model for a dark fantasy video game boss character, wouldn't you agree? A very humble and calm person in real life, the former debt collector - imagine the delight when he knocks on your door - is the only warrior who defeated two UFC Champions of the recent era. Indeed, he holds wins over Chuck Liddell and current Champion Forrest Griffin. Jardine's career is a roller coaster so far: he gets temporarily murdered by Wanderlei Silva in UFC 84 Ill WIll, and now he returns to eradicate the current hopes of Brandon Vera of establishing himself as Za! Force! to Rekonvid!

Marcus Davis vs Paul Kelly

Hardened veteran Marcus Davis is coming off of a loss against Mike Swick, - see the account of the aforementioned performance taking place in UFC 85 Bedlam: < - (t)here - thus the Irish Handgrenade arrives to the Birmingham Octagon with sober hopes- and related determination to administer a thorough lesson for a younger and very powerful talent of mma in the persona of local favorite, Paul Kelly. The evenly placed start period, characterized by cautious respect from Kelly's- and sobriety of Davis's part is about to get tensely, welcomely prolonged during the entire first round. Marcus exhibits crystal clear command of safe distance which he can offer major resistance from, eventually luring the younger contender to make a takedown attempt in the second round. Davis's ground techniques are not of those you want to regard as jokes that no one ever heard: the Handgrenade sinks both arms in at the fence and scores a submission victory over Kelly: guillotine at its best and worst, depending on which perspective you witness its radical unraveling from.

Paul Taylor vs Chris Lytle


Fortunately, Chris Lytle could keep the same head Josh Koscheck have blooded up in UFC 86 Jackson VS Griffin. Lytle holds a stagnate, nevertheless significant position in the UFC, similar to that of Jason McDonald's: whenever some tremendous talent seems to rise with intent to resonate an mma verdict of primal significance, it is a safe bet to throw that particular singer to the lair of Chris Lytle or Jason MacDonald's. Fate did ot yet decide whether to make a stable filler fighter from Lytle, or to make true superstar out of him. Chris rendered a very stable performance against Matt Serra in the finale of the 4th season of the Ultimate Fighter TV Show, his "loss" is but the result of his marketability: Serra and his cinematic charisma is much easily marketable, so, in such a close fight as the two of them did put up, it was no question who should and who MUST go away with the W when such an even match is delivered.

Paul Taylor is a crazy British man who runs on crystal clear energy and expresses its tremendous flow in furios pace and a constant willigness to exchange without breaks - but, not necessarily without breaks. Taylor made one huge slugfest with fellow English gent Paul Kelly whom we have just seen getting submitted by Davis. Though Kelly and Taylor delivered a very memorable tempo in UFC 80 Rapid Fire, one of them had to lose by the night, so, one of them did, indeed. Coming off of a win he harvested in UFC 85, Taylor is on the not too secretive stalk to claim precious trophy in front of the home audience, as a win over Lytle is a huge accomplishment for every warrior on the Faceth of this Eartheth! Sorry, could not resist. I mean: I could, but changed my mindeth and hath committedhath it anyway.

Taylor and Lytle have a mutual, firm determination of presenting the fight of the night for the audience, and let me tell you that this cited determination is of the eloquent caliber, and is forged out of pure, rampant relentlessness waiting to be precisely expressed by both of these contenders. Scarce are the times when a furious starting pace decides to stuck around to characterize the whole bout, yet, this is the case herein. Lytle and Taylor came here to wage a toe to toe war with hands shapeshifted to the forms of blazing guns with a seemingly unlimited supply of ammo. No feeling out process here, more precisely: the entire bout is a feeling out process, a series of back-and forth questions and answers, yet the lingo is superintense right from the beginning. This massively standup oriented quality collision is but occasionaly interrupted by brief periods of takedown attempts or clinch assaults at the fence. Both warriors prove to be possessors of excellent chins - one per kopf of course - and fists, - two per kopf of course - in addition, combine the mutual love of fighting that connects these great warriors, and you get as strong of a candidate for a fight of the night as you ever hoped to get a thorough look at, indeed. The match goes to the distance, filling out its glorious 15th minute, in which Taylor manages to present exceptional effectiveness. It's not enough to take Lytle apart, but gives you the definite impressions that he managed to leave a strong stimuli on the retinas of the Judges. Not so. Chris Lytle goes away with the decision W. Both warriors seem a bit puzzled by this outcome, but, most importantly: they show respect: intact and immaculate to each other after the fight, not if this particular respect would spend a split second in absence when they fought. Quite the contrary: this is the tremendous feeling that fuels this fight to be as good as it is. A classic collision, not much doubt about that.

Sokoudjou vs Luis Cane

Brazilian heavy hand Luis Cane is no longer a newcomer to the UCF Octagon, you could see his ass being disqualified in UFC 79 Nemesis due to an illegal knee on the downed opponent. Cane returned in UFC 85 Bedlam and definitely destroyed a relatively reckless Jason Lambert. Luis is about to face Sokoudjou, the African Assassin, someone whom we have seen in UFC 79 Nemesis, and he lost by that particular night, too - only that he did it to - hold on to your chair - another man. Sokoudjou lost to Lyoto Machida, to be exact. Machida's question after the fight remains a classic. "I beat the Alaskan Assassin. I beat the African Assassin. What other Assassin do I have to beat to get a title shot?"

Sokoudjou comes out on fire - not literally, but metaphorically - and maintains dominant Octagon presence throughout the feeling out process in which he offers primal aggression, placing plenty of kicks and shots on Cane's body. Though the African Assassin starts with tremendous readiness to deal quality damage, Luis is prepared enough to take what Sokoudjou has to offer. These are the moments by which Joe Rogan gives us a quite cunning notion, pointing out that surely there are fighters with blatant power in theirs legs and fists, yet, as soon as such a fighter meets with someone who is ready and able to take their BEST shots - that's when the nice mindgame starts which will tell us a whole lot about that particular fighter. Not to mention how much it will tell for the fighter itself - AND his opponent.

By the second round you realize that Luis Cane played a very sober game here: Sokoudjou comes in much less aggressive probably due to the relative exhaustion he got into throughout the rigorous pace of the first round. His actions and attacks are still very dangerous, and he can still demonstrate explosiveness, yet a moment comes by to greet a Luis Cane who is about to take the initiative. Some rather precise kicks to the body and vicious knees on the face are offered by the Brazilian, and, prior you could say "Coal mining is a wonderful thing, Father, but this is something that you will NEVER understand", Sokoudjou goes down from a two punch combo hit, while the next moment, naturally finds him being ruthlessly assaulted by Luis, punching out a TKO on the African Assassin at the fence.

Great performance by both fighters. Sokoudjou met a guy who was prepared enough to finely get along even with the most ruthless African Assassin to date, and, luring this dangerous Predator unto deep waters by the second round: the Brazilian capitalized on Sokoudjou's emptying gas tank via tremendous wits and an impressive display of powerful precision. A focal moment of the night.

Shane Carwin vs Neil Wain

Shane Carwin comes to this bout with an immaculate record that - logically enough - holds no loss, and, making supershort work of bulky Britain warrior Neil Wain: Shane Carwin leaves this bout with his immaculate record intact- and growing. This massive man handles matters really fast so far: his latest match prior to this in UFC 84 Ill Will never saw a second minute. In fact, out of the 10 professional mma matches Carwin won so far - only one, cite that I, herein: 1 managed to get past the second minute. Dudette is an animal, got to keep an eye on him, hope he does not mind the slime.

Keith Jardine vs Brandon Vera

An interesting feeling out process to characterize this one - interesting in the regard that Jardine decides to take Vera down right after the first moment and its inherent introductory exchanges of mild efficiency did occur. Brandon connects with some elbows from the ground, one of those opens a cut on the top of Jardine's head. While the brief ground period to characterize the middle sequence of this round does not yield particular results, its ending certainly delivers pretty much cinematic drama, as Brandon rocks Keith with an uppercut, but Keith answers and buckles Vera while he - Keith - is on the recover run. The Dean of Mean offers some rather good quality fence assault, but, good quality fence assault often gains the attention of higher powers that will make attacker and attacked move in such improbable manners that no shots will connect, no matter how fluently - SIC! - they should. Check the final seconds of the first round - Keith executes amazing combos on the naked air, though, if he would do the same on Brandon - then surely we would have had the Epic Victor! here.

From this point on, the match takes on a stable, consistent character by which you will notice that Keith hardly throws his leg kicks around. This is the result of Brandon connecting with a rather funky push-kick on Keith's knee, which you will see - the kick, not the knee, more precisely: both - in the replay. That does not look good for sure. In this here fight, Keith probably has a battered knee to wage this war on with. The noted, consistent character of the bout outlines, then, eventually thoroughly delivers a stable thrill factor which though fails to push the meter to the Epic Excitement! region this time around. Keith wins the bout with a split decision.

Quite admirable performance by both fighters, we got to see though that it was more of the match of getting out of harm's way than the match of defining the path harm might be invited along. Keith and Brandon aren't destined - dare we say: designed? - to deliver together what we want, that being: Epic Battles. This is not to say that the match was not good though - it's just that you need to say that it wasn't.

Michael Bisping vs Chris Leben

Chris Leben propels himself forward for 15 minutes of the 15 minutes the bout is scheduled for, creating a pleasant possibility for Bisping to retreat constantly and poke precise counters while on the evade run. Leben's epic left surely has its dangerous moments in this impressive collision, even better: we got to admire The Crippler's readiness to come forward no matter what: by some rather passionate peak sessions, you will even see Leben completely throwing away his defenses, provoking Bisping to strike his "naked" face. If you do not count a coating of blood on the face as some sort of appliance, that is. Bisping is too good of a fighter to being defeated by a strategy that builds solely on the urge to unleash harm, regardless how prepared the harmer is to eat in all the punches and kicks rolling in harm's way.

While Leben was truly super-integral in this bout, I have the impression that Chris's tremendous desire to knock Bisping out took dimension away from his - Chris's - game, a circumstance to claim a toll on The Crippler's current performance and the resultant record. Leben behaves very classy after the bout, addressing the Birmingham audience via an impromptu minishow with an intact message in it. Since this kind of expressed- and well channeled Octagon charisma is the trait to separate stock fighter - what a hideous expression, heh, sorry about that - from the Fighter You Will Remember, we can be sure that Leben will be back. Bisping defends his home turf in a quite impressive manner, there is no place to smuggle doubt through about the decision, not this time. The Count leaves the Octagon with his reputation intact- and growing, and well deservedly so, no doubt. Watch the leg kick Bisping's little son delivers on his dad's leg. The kid already has promise, don't you think?

Of the remaining bouts I did not bear much interest, therefore I wrap this up, having the focal points of the night accounted on. Hope you had a fine evening and found the review useful - thank you for reading it, and see you next time.

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