UFC 139: Shogun vs. Henderson

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So here we go for another event in a 4 week span, it's UFC 139: Shogun vs. Henderson coming in from long time Strikeforce base camp San Jos?, California.


Here's the card:

Preliminary card (Facebook)

Shamar Bailey vs. Danny Castillo - Bailey is a pretty one dimensional wrestler that fought in TUF 13 and is coming in on a loss to Evan Dunham. He's 1-1 in the UFC and desperately needs a win. Castillo is also coming in on a loss but had a much more balanced fighting career on the WEC, holding a win over Dustin Poirier at LW. He's more well rounded and will probably win the fight.

Matt Brown vs. Seth Baczynski - Brown dodged the walking papers bullet with a win over John Howard but he's still not out of the woods. He's still 1-3 in his last 4 fights and 12-10 overall. In front of him is Seth Baczynski, a TUF 11 washout that has build up a 3 fight winning streak after his finale loss including a win in the UFC. I think it's pretty safe to say that if Brown loses he'll be cut and Baczynski will be on thin ice.

Miguel Torres vs. Nick Pace - From fighting for contendership to fighting on Facebook, former WEC champions can't catch a break. Torres better have learned from the Mighty Mouse fight that being on your back showing top notch BJJ isn't winning. He will be facing creative submissions beast Nick Pace who holds a win by pilory choke against Will Campuzano. Should Torres channel his old ways as the WEC champion, he would take the win in devastating fashion.

Gleison Tibau vs. Rafael dos Anjos - Both guys had recent losses to former top contender but have since bounced back with wins (and the top contenders in question were dethroned). It's a pretty even LW tilt that doesn't have any title implications. Should be fun.

Tom Lawlor vs. Chris Weidman - Lawlor is on thin ice with the UFC since his last win was a "loser gets cut" fight against Patrick C?t?. He's facing undefeated Chris Weidman who has serious wrestling credentials and has already picked up 2 wins against low-middle MW opponents. Lawlor, who's last fight was in October 2010, better come in with his A game and without any ring rust because a loss puts him on the chopping block.

Preliminary card (televised)

Michael McDonald vs. Alex Soto - Soto has his UFC debut against Michael McDonald, a guy who wasn't beaten anyone special but is 3-0 under Zuffa and is much more experienced. Unless Soto brings in something special, I don't think he'll get the W.

Ryan Bader vs. Jason Brilz - Bader tries to bounce back from his 2 fight losing skid against Brilz who's in the same situation. Altough his fight with Little Nog could be argued as stolen, his KO loss to eternal gatekeeper Vladimir Matyushenko isn't. Bader is currently also (in)famous for being the first guy to lose to Tito Ortiz in 5 years. Brilz should probably wise up and cut to MW. Bader is too big for that should he should probably wise up and well, win.

Main card

Stephan Bonnar vs. Kyle Kingsbury - The American Psycho comes out of semi-retirement to face surging Kyle Kingsbury. Bonnar hasn't been in the octagon since his hard fought win over Igor Pokrajac in 2010. Kingsbury is on a 4 fight win streak against 3 warm bodies and Fabio Maldonado but has been keeping active and showing a nice skillset. Ring rust will definitely play a factor in this fight. FOTN candidate if Bonnar is still on his game (if he's like Forrest against Shogun it's disapointement of the night candidate).

Martin Kampmann vs. Rick Story - Kampmann, who was absolutely robbed of a win against Diego Sanchez, faces Rick Story who lost his WW title ticket on a short notice fight against a very game Charlie Brenneman (who then got the smile wiped from his face by Rumble who promptly moved to MW). Story has shown to be quite good against agressive strikers by using his wrestling to stall them like against Alves. But Kampmann is a different kind of striker than Alves, using much more precise and technical strikes. Story better implement a good gameplan or he will be picked apart by punches and kicks.

Urijah Faber vs. Brian Bowles - Clash of the former champions. Bowles was the first guy to beat Torres for the WEC belt and lost it immediately after to Dominick Cruz who has held on to it ever since. No intro required for Faber, he keeps jumping from weightclass to weightclass into title shots that he then unfortunately loses. Winner of this fight gets a title shot. Bowles has an odd tendency to break his hands during fights, much like Cruz does.

Wanderlei Silva vs. Cung Le - Belfort's injury made this fight better than it would be. Cung Le, who never beat anyone of note in Strikeforce, fights Wanderlei, former Pride glory who is pretty much done as a fighter and should retire. Should Wanderlei chose to stand and trade (he will because that's what he does), it should be an interesting clash against Le's Sanshou honed striking.

Maur?cio Rua vs. Dan Henderson - Henderson, who's fought in 3 different weight classes in the past year, comes back to the UFC as the Strikeforce LHW champion (for all that's worth) and fights Shogun, who's coming in from a win against a bored and not game at all Forrest Griffin. Seeing how brutally Henderson has dispatched Fedor, Feij?o and Babalu despite being 41 and cutting weight, Shogun needs to come in top shape to win. This is supposedely a title eliminator but we all know that winner gets a direct title shot because Evans will keep getting screwed. Heck, they gave Machida title shot and he's 1-2 in his last 3.

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yeah the entire event was great.

I'm kind of upset that fans started booing during the bonnar fight as well as the kampman fight, uneducated fans are the worst. I was excited to see that Bonnar is not as one dimensional as he used to be, he had a very VERY dominant ground game.

I was pretty excited to see Wanderlei be on the winning side again, but sad to see that Cung is gonna need a new nose..lol

The main event was simply amazing, fight of the year for sure, as well as possible contender for greatest mma fight ever. I thought shogun was done, then i thought hendo was done, it was so back and forth. I scored it a draw, which would have been fair to shogun but would have sucked not having a winner. There is no way i thought shogun won, even though some do. The post fight rogan interview, shogun didn't even sound like himself, he sounded and looked like a troll..lol

Amazing event though!

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Best card of the year. Seriously amazing fights. Glad Bader is back in the win column. Glad Wanderlei won one but still think he needs to retire. And Henderson Vs Rua? Holy ****. Fight of the year. MAYBE Edgar Vs Maynard 2 ties for that spot. It was such a crazy back and forth.

I agree with you Bubba...Rua sounded like his entire jaw was broken or something. I'm sure it wasn't and it could have been the crappy sound I had for the fight but damn. I couldn't understand anything he said. Still, a tip of my hat to him for putting on one hell of a show. Such amazing heart and talent in both of those fighters.

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WOW! All-round best card of 2011 and one of the best EVER. That was AMAZING! Comments in bold as usual.

Preliminary card (Facebook)

Shamar Bailey vs. Danny Castillo - Heh looks like I got this one right. Despite being a one-dimensional wrestler, Shamar was outgrappled by Castillo. The TKO didn't look that dominant, Shamar just gave up because he probably realized he wasn't going to wrestle his way of that. He also missed weight and ended up losing the fight so he's on very thin ice if not cut altogether. Castillo lives to fight another day in the undercards.

Matt Brown vs. Seth Baczynski - The first round was pretty competitive, with both sides showing some good skills. But Matt Brown seems to have trouble surviving a submission in the 2nd round (his last 3 losses were exactly that). He dove in for a takedown, got his head caught and ended up tapping up. He struggled with the decision to do it but there was no escaping after Seth switched from arm-in to no-arm. Brown is currently 12-11 with only one win in his last 5 fights. Since he isn't Tito Ortiz, I think a trip down to Tachi Palace or Shark Fights for a while would do him good, allowing him to build his record back up and return to the UFC. Baczynski is slowly working his way up in the mess that is the WW division but I don't see him going too far. Future undercard stapple perhaps.

Tom Lawlor vs. Chris Weidman - Weidman's wrestling credentials showed. He went out and outgrappled a game but outmatched Lawlor for an impressive submission win. Lawlor didn't tap, good for him. He's a funny guy so I hope he doesn't get cut. Weidman is moving along quite nicely so his next opponent should be more challenging. Lots of dance partners available at MW.

Gleison Tibau vs. Rafael dos Anjos - Didn't watch. Rafael gets stripped of the momentum he got by beating George Sotiropoulos. Tibau isn't title material but he's a pretty solid LW fighter.

Miguel Torres vs. Nick Pace - Didn't watch. But it seems that the days of Torres coming out and submitting/KOing people are behind him. And that's why he will keep fighting on the undercard despite being a Top 10 BW who defended the BW title 3 times.

Preliminary card (televised)

Michael McDonald vs. Alex Soto - Soto didn't bring anything special and so he lost. Came out swinging, pretty intense, pretty feisty but McDonald just bid his time, got an impressive counter in and just kept pouring it on. McDonald has built a nice win streak at BW but it's very unlikely he'll challenge for the title in the near future. Maybe he should fight Torres next to see if he can pass muster.

Ryan Bader vs. Jason Brilz - I said it in the original post and I say it again, Brilz should move to MW right NOW! That or go fight outside of the UFC. His technique, defense and offense just aren't good enough to hang aroung in the LHW division. On a 3 fight losing skid, if he doesn't follow in the footsteps of Tim Boetsch, he's probably getting cut. Bader starts his long climb back to relevancy in the LHW division. Maybe have him fight Phil Davis next? IF he wins, he gets the next title shot over Rashad, much like Machida's shot at UFC 140.

Main card

Stephan Bonnar vs. Kyle Kingsbury - Bonnar still has it. He dominated Kingsbury on the feet and on the ground with a extremely solid game. Shame he couldn't get the finish but it was a dominant win nonetheless.

Martin Kampmann vs. Rick Story - When Buffer announced 29-28 Story, I almost had a stroke. That judge must have been watching Teletubbies or something on his monitor. Kampmann, like in the Sanchez fight, delivered crisp technical strikes that cut up Story's face. Rick is strong, no doubt about that, but his style of plodding forward and delivering brutal punches is just what Kampmann loves, because he can counter-strike and use angles to inflict damage. A fair win for Kampmann. No shame in this loss for Story, he fought hard but his title run is definitely on hold now.

Urijah Faber vs. Brian Bowles - Faber by patented Team Alpha Male guillotine. First round was pretty even, Bowles is a Top 10 BW and it showed. But Faber is a beast. The 2nd round was all Faber. The uppercut, the knee that followed it. That elbow next to the fence was incredible, what a hit. It's amazing Bowles didn't get KO'ed. Faber gets another shot at Cruz and he better capitalize on it this time. Bowles should probably go fight Mighty Mouse before he drops to FLW.

Wanderlei Silva vs. Cung Le - What a fight! Le showed his Sanshou roots, using a variety of kicks during the fight. Some pretty brutal exchanges from both sides, with both guys having the chance to finish the fight by TKO. Le's cardio wasn't that hot and it showed. He was much slower in the 2nd round, which allowed Wanderlei to close in and seal the deal. Rogan was calling the stoppage premature, I say bull****. Le's feet weren't driving against the matt, they were on the fence and he was balanced on his knees. He wasn't driving for a single, how could he exert leverage with his feet and knees like that? He was going out and the stoppage was fair. Wanderlei won but consider the full picture: Le's 39 and hadn't fought in a year. Wanderlei can provide some exciting novelty fights but let's not kid ourselves that The Axe Murderer is back for anything else. And that nose... GODDAMN! Rogan must have had a brain freeze when he said the stoppage was premature.

Maur?cio Rua vs. Dan Henderson - CHRIST ALMIGHTY. What can a person say about this fight other than WOW? Back and forth fight with brutal exchanges all around. This being a 5 round affair was entertaining but their cardio was still trained for 3 rounds. Henderson reminded me of Aldo against Hominick in the last round. 10-8 for sure here but he knew he had dominated Rua enough in the previous rounds to get the win. Rua couldn't force a stoppage because he was pretty much exausted as well. The only thing that could have made this fight better was a PRIDE Rules bout (only available if both fighters fought in PRIDE FC). Henderson will surely leapfrog Evans for the next title shot at Jones (provided he dispatches Machid... who am I kidding, it's Bones we're talking here) seeing how he still is the SF LHW champion and just beat the only legitimate title contender in the division.

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