THE TWO SHEDS REVIEW by Julian Radbourne – now in it’s 10th year!
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The bumper feast for British MMA fans concluded in the early hours of this past Thursday morning as the UFC brought us their twenty-first Ultimate Fight Night, headlined by Kenny Florian and Takanori Gomi, and shown live on ESPN, with Mike Goldberg and Joe Rogan handling commentary duties.
The show began with lightweight action as Ross Pearson faced Dennis Siver. This all European affair looked pretty even throughout, with good performances from both men, although Siver looked the worse for wear as Pearson opened up a cut under his left eye as well as bloodying his nose. All three judges scored in favour of Pearson, a decision you can’t really argue with.
It was up to the middleweight division for the next fight as Nate Quarry took on Jorge Rivera. A battle of the veterans saw Rivera put on an excellent boxing display. He rocked Quarry quite a few times in the first round, and the Rock man was able to recover the first couple of times. But the recovery wasn’t as quick as the round went on, and it was early in the second that Rivera knocked Quarry down again, with the referee stepping in after twenty nine seconds to give Rivera the TKO win.
After a power failure killed the lights in the arena we saw filler material in the form of Caol Uno against Gleison Tibau in the lightweight division. This one saw some good work from both men until a Tibau left rocked Uno. From there it was just a matter of time before the Brazilian got the win, sealing the deal with some nice and ground to get the TKO.
With the power fully restored we finally got to the big boys of the heavyweight division as Roy Nelson faced Stefan Struve. The blink and you’ll miss it affair of the evening. Big Country soon cut the big Dutchman down to size with a huge right before moving in for the ground and pound to secure the knockout win, ending a tremendous performance for the big guy.
The main event saw Pride’s last ever lightweight champion Takanori Gomi go up against Kenny Florian. This was another impressive performance from Florian as he dominated the visiting Japanese star, first in the stand up game in rounds one and two and then on the ground when he got the take down in the third, moving to take Gomi’s back to synch in the rear naked choke for the submission win. Florian is definitely back to his best after his unsuccessful title challenge.
In conclusion – the final part of our MMA feast proved to be a fitting conclusion. I was going to call these the UFC’s lesser lights, but given the performances of the likes or Roy Nelson and Kenny Florian it just wouldn’t seem right. So in all another great showing from the UFC crew here as we now look forward to Abu Dhabi next weekend.