With UFC 144 behind us, let me give you my thoughts on the event.
It was quiet but much appreciated in many ways. The japanese fan and the fighting culture is, as Mr. Rogan observed, so different in comparison to the brazilian PPVs.
It might seem awkward, especially with UFC Rio defining enthusiasm only a month earlier, but personally I love the eastern way of fighting. While being less powerful than Americans, slower than South-Americans. they constantly seem to search their place. Not one of the local fighters fully entertained me, nor could they impress by winning in a dominant way. The reason lies in their opponents, who seem tougher and/or simply luckier…
at least that is how I see it.
Boetsch’s comeback for example was not as fantastic as Mr. Rogan wished it to be. Okami did a great job throughout the match and a single offence by “The barbarian” was enough to crush that effort. Unlike Anderson “Mr.Matrix” Silva, who easily finishes fights in a second, that looked like the famous lucky punch. It was a desperate move, and (thankfully) most times it fails.
Mark Hunt would be a great opponent for Roy “Big Country” Nelson. Nothing more and nothing less.
I like Ryan Bader, as he has an attitude and appearance that screams action hero. He has an outstanding wrestling background, but beyond that, as much as I would like to see it, he has no chance in the division. Maybe, with a bit more character, he could make a great professional wrestler (but wait, I am mixing things up again). Rampage looked aggressive, but he can not turn back the clock. That is everything I have to say.
Finally the main event brought some high-class MMA. I simply love the light weightclass, as they have countless fast and precise talents. Every fight is incredibly technical and entertaining. Every fighter is ridiculously well-rounded and has awesome cardio. As a martial arts fan I enjoy watching techniques from various styles ( Yoshihiro Akiyama’s judo throws were fascinating btw.), and Henderson delivered.
I am not a big fan of Frankie Edgar, but I have a lot of respect for his heart. Unfortunately I mostly support guys who are dominant and arrogant (See the professional wrestling reference), mocking and taunting their opponent. Henderson was relentless, he did not make a single mistake, which would have cost him the match. Much like the audience I applaud the two warriors for their performance, even though the match was decided by the judges.
This event proves that MMA can be quite stylish and humble, without loosing its bite (Man, Henderson’s upkick was nice).