June 18, 2010

Recycled Post

This was intended for the DownNDirty site, but it never got published. I didn't want it to go to waste, so here you go.  Enjoy.

UFC 115  
Chuck Liddell vs Rich Franklin
“The Beginning And End Of An Era”

Five months ago history was made at General Motors Place in Vancouver as Team Canada won Olympic Gold. Saturday night history may have been made again in the same building as just over 20,000 fans saw UFC(ultimate fighting championship) hall of famer Chuck Liddell fight for what might be the final time.  Liddell was knocked out but Rich Franklin with about 10 seconds left in round one, a round that Liddell most likely would have won.  Liddell,  in typical form was throwing a huge right hand trying to knock Franklin out and left his head wide open.  Franklin did not miss, as his response split Liddell’s lip open all the way to his chin and knocked him out cold.   Liddell was responding to growing criticism that his out of the ocatagon lifestyle was keeping him from fighting effectively.  He showed up in great shape and was well on his way to proving lots of people wrong when disaster in the form of Rich Franklin’s fist struck.  Liddell had even added leg kicks back into his arsenal, as Franklin found out the hard way.  Liddell broke Franklins arm with a kick very early in the fight.   I think its wrong for so may people to speculate that Liddell is done, it’s his decision, and he’ll do what’s best for him.  I will say, that as a novice fan of MMA(mixed martial arts) I wish I could have seen him fight more. 

Earlier in the same evening, the same group of fight crazed Canucks may have seen the birth of a new star in MMA.   Rory MacDonald took on Carlos Condit in the second fight on the pay per view card.  Condit is an experienced MMA fighter, a legitimate bad ass, with a 24-5 record.  MacDonald is a 20 year old kid, fighting on his first pay per view card, and was fighting in front of his home crowd, as he is from a nearby city in British Columbia.   Condit won the fight, on a technical knockout with seven seconds left in the third round, but that was hardly the story of the fight.    It was the opinion of most of us who gathered to watch the fight, that MacDonald won both of the first two rounds before running out of gas and succumbing to Condit.  The energy from the crowd was like nothing I had ever seen on a UFC pay per view.  Multiple times during the fight the partisan Canadian crowd chanted “ Rory, Rory!” urging their countryman on.   MacDonald served notice that he will be a force to be reckoned with in his division.  He even got kudos from UFC President Dana White on his twitter feed during the fight.   Condit fought a great fight, and took all the punishment MacDonald could dole out.  He took advantage of a worn out MacDonald in the third round and thoroughly dominated the round.  Most of us expected Condit to win, but we were cheering on MacDonald to get the upset.  This fight was the fight of the night in my opinion.

Next up is UFC 116 on July 3.  The main event is the return of heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar.  He will take on interim heavyweight champion Shane Carwin.  Lesnar is returning from a serious illness and hasn’t fought in over a year.  He has dominated the heavyweight division thus far, so it will be interesting to see how Carwin fares.  UFC will be held at the Garden Arena at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

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