THE TWO SHEDS REVIEW by Julian Radbourne – now in it’s 10th year!
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This is going to be one of those strange events for me, as I’ve been asked to review a DVD release of a pay-per-view I’d already reviewed. The release in question is the two disc UFC 107, headlined by B.J. Penn defending his Lightweight title against Diego Sanchez.
Disc one is where you’ll find the fights. First up are the preliminary bouts, beginning with Kevin Burns against T.J. Grant in the welterweight division. An interesting back and forth battle saw Burns drop Grant early on. But Grant came back well with some good ground work.
An inadvertent low blow from Grant gave Burns a brief rest period, but it didn’t do him much good when Grant connected with a big right that sent him down. Grant followed him, with the referee stepping in to give Grant the TKO win.
The welterweight action continued with Demarques Johnson and Edgar Garcia. Another great back and forth affair with Garcia looking like he was going to get the submission early on with a Peruvian neck tie, which Johnson was able to escape from.
But despite being rocked Johnson came back strongly, hitting Garcia with an up kick which set up the triangle choke for the submission win.
It was up to the middleweight division next as Rousimar Palhares faced Lucio Linhares.
So what do you get when you put two BJJ black belts against each other. A great ground fight.
Palhares put on a great offensive display in the first round, with Linhares countering with a great defensive display.
Palhares looked a little gassed in the second round but he did enough to once again show his mastery of leg locks by getting the submission win with a heel hook.
It was back down to welterweight for the next fight as Johny Hendricks took on Ricardo Funch.
The first fight on the show to go the distance was a very cagey fight to begin with, but as the fight progressed Hendricks began to dominate more and more. Everything he did was impressive, and it came as no surprise when he got the unanimous decision.
Matt Wiman against Shane Nelson in the lightweight division was next.
This was a scrappy affair to begin with, with Wiman complaining about an eye poke early on. But as the fight went on it became a very entertaining affair, with Wiman looking the stronger throughout.
There was another unfortunate incident early in the third when Wiman caught Nelson with an accidental low kick. He ended the fight strongly though, and it was enough to earn him the unanimous decision.
The final preliminary saw Alan Belcher face Wilson Gouveia in a catchweight bout, made at 195.
Nothing but striking in this one, no ground work to speak of as both men basically tried to beat each other up, with Belcher connecting with a right to the body and following up with an uppercut. It wasn’t long before the referee stepped in and gave Belcher the impressive TKO win.
The main show began with heavyweight action as Paul Buentello took on Stefan Struve.
I really enjoyed this fight first time round, and it was just as good second time round. The highlight for me was when Buentello cut the giant Dutchman down in the second, dropping him with a big right as he telegraphed his flying knee.
As well as that we saw some great ground work in the first and great kicks in the third from Struve, which was enough to earn him the majority decision.
The lightweight fight between ESPN’s best MMA analyst Kenny Florian and Clay Guida was up next.
These two put in a great effort, and both were bloodied up by the end of the first, with Guida the worse of the two.
The end came in the second when a big Florian right to the jaw sent Guida crashing. A rear naked choke later and Florian had the submission win.
By the way, am I the only one who thinks that Guida needs a haircut?
The welterweight clash between Jon Fitch and Mike Pierce followed.
Now considering that Fitch’s five previous fights had all gone the distance it was pretty obvious how this one was going to play out.
It was a workmanlike performance from Fitch, solid and not overly spectacular, controlling the fight for the most part until the final few moments, when Pierce rocked him with a left hook and finished the fight with a flurry.
No surprise from the judges as Fitch took the unanimous decision.
Brock Lesnar’s best buddy Frank Mire took on French kickboxer Cheick Kongo in the heavyweight division next.
The blink and you’ll miss it affair of the show. After a brief feeling out period Mir connected with a big left that sent Kongo down, and after a guillotine choke Kongo was out of it, giving Mir the very impressive submission win.
Then it was on to the main event as Diego Sanchez challenged B.J. Penn for the Lightweight Championship.
Mike Goldberg said it best when he said that Penn is great at making good fighters look ordinary, and that was certainly the case here.
From the very beginning of the fight, when Penn knocked Sanchez down you knew that he wasn’t going down easily. His striking was superior, his take down defence was superb, and Sanchez just couldn’t handle him.
Penn looked as fresh as a daisy when the fifth round started, while Sanchez’s face looked a mess, and it was in this particular round that Penn finally finished his man off. The doctor was called in after Penn opened up a cut above Sanchez’s left eye, and he quickly stopped the fight. This was Penn at his best, and it was a joy to behold.
Disc two is where you’ll find the special features, pre and post fight stuff. You know what I mean.
In conclusion – this is the first UFC DVD release I’ve reviewed since UFC 78, and my opinion of them hasn’t really changed.
While the fight action is great, there are little things that missing here, and while I can understand that the fighters entrances are, for the most part, left out so they don’t have to pay royalties for the music they use, there are other things that could easily have been included.
For instance, we don’t see the initial introductions from Mike Goldberg and Joe Rogan. Most of Bruce Buffer’s ring introductions are also cut, except for the two feature fights. That’s a shame because he really is the best in the world at what he does.
So in all, good fights, but missing those little touches that make UFC shows so special.
UFC 107: Penn v Sanchez can be purchased online at www.fightdvd.co.uk.