UFC 84 Post Fight Breakdown
There was a lot of buildup to the UFC 84 card as far as what would happen. Would Wanderlei Silva prove to the world he is still one of the most dangerous fighters of all time? Would Machida hold up to the pressure of a high profile fight against Tito Ortiz? Who would emerge the UFC Lightweight Champion of the world, Sean Sherk or BJ Penn?
In the main event BJ Penn established a jab and stuck to it using his speed and reach to frustrate Sherk. Sherk tried a takedown and appeared to have it, but BJ’s incredible balance and takedown defence kept him standing and Sherk didn’t have an opportunity to try again. It was all standing and Sherk had some left hooks that could have knocked out anybody if landed flush, but that’s about all he could mount. BJ was able to consistently score and beat up Sherk. Near the end of the 3rd round BJ had Sherk backing up and he dropped him with a flying knee and followed up with some hammerfists as the round ended. It took a few moments, but was evident Sherk was not able to continue and BJ Penn was crowned the lightweight champ after 3 rounds. BJ looked like he could have went another 3 rounds, which should satisfy all the critics who were on him about his conditioning. In his post fight interview he started hyping a rematch with George St. Pierre at 170. After his domination of Sherk Saturday it leaves no doubt there aren’t many competitive matchups for him at 155 if at all, and he still feels he should have won the first St. Pierre fight. Maybe this fight will happen in 2009 when the UFC does it’s first outdoor show in Hawaii?
Wanderlei Silva wasted no time in showing what he is made of. Jardine came out with a looping right hand, where Wanderlei backed out and was cautious. The next time Jardine tried, he fired back and landed a few shots dropping Jardine, where he landed a few more strikes before the referee called a stop to the action giving Wanderlei the KO victory at 44 seconds of the 1st round. Jardine was unconscious briefly and went to the hospital for a cat scan to make sure all was well. There is some talk of Wanderlei possibly going to 185 since he is a smaller 205er but the only fights at 185 that would be of much interest would be against Anderson Silva, possibly Dan Henderson. But at 205 there are a number of people, including Quinton Jackson who Wanderlei has brutally knocked out a few times, and would love nothing more than to do it again, and become the UFC’s Light heavyweight champion. Maybe a 2nd fight with Chuck Liddell? Or rising Lyoto Machida? Hopefully he gets to fight again soon, and we can have our next challenger to the Forrest Griffin vs. Quinton Jackson matchup set for July 5th at UFC 86.
Lyoto Machida and Tito Ortiz had a strategic, but boring fight. Tito chased Machida around for 3 rounds, while Machida was smart in frustrating Tito not allowing him to establish a clinch game, and landed shots from the outside as Tito tried to close the distance. At the end of the first, in a Tito like move, Machida spun off the cage, slammed Tito to the ground, trapped his arm and was dropping hammer fists on him when the round ended. Tito didn’t attempt any takedowns after this, and was content to ride out the decision knowing full well he was down on the cards. It was disappointing from a former champ of 4 years, and talking so big about going to another organization, you’d think he’d go down hard, and try to really make a statement. He did have a triangle/armbar late in the fight that looked close to finishing it, but it wasn’t enough as Machida won the match unanimously to continue his undefeated streak. Tito had a super long after fight interview, and you had to feel sorry for Lyoto as he seemed to be merely an accessory in this fight.
In other action 5 out of 6 newcomers to the UFC came out with victories. Goran Reljic remains undefeated when he beat Wilson Gouveia by TKO in the 2nd, Rousimar Palhares submitted Ivan Salaverry with a beautiful armbar in the 1st to also win 75K with his submission of the night bonus. Dong Hyun Kim beat Jason Tan by TKO in the 3rd; Thiago Silva remained undefeated when he beat Antonio Mendes by TKO in the 1st
Yoshiyuki Yoshida put Jon Koppenhaver to sleep with a choke in the 1st round. Thierry Sokoudjou made quick work of Kazuhiro Nakamura using his power to overwhelm Nakamura with strikes in the 1st round winning by TKO. Rich Clementi continued his winning streak with a tough decision victory over the game Terry Etim in an entertaining bout again. Clementi needs to be on a main card, his last 2 prelim fights were amazing, and it’s an injustice to not have the on the main card. Hopefully he will get a bigger named opponent next time. Possibly somebody like a Joe Lauzon, or Sean Sherk?
Shane Carwin set the night off with a big knockout of Christian Wellisch, and was the contender for KO of the night until Wanderlei stole it when he dismantled Keith Jardine.