Monday 28 May 2007

UFC 71: Liddel vs. Jackson

The main event of this particular fight card was such an anti-climax. Rampage Jackson connected with a right early on the very first round to send Liddel crashing to the mat. Jackson was on him in a flash and after landing a couple more blows to the Iceman's head referee John McCarthy called an end to the fight as Liddel went limp under his opponent's' assault. The reward for his win over Liddel is a match-up against the Pride light-heavyweight + middleweight (I think) champ Dan Henderson. I've never seen that guy fight but if he holds two belts he's gotta be kinda good.

Whilst the main event was a bit of a damp squib some of the fights earlier in the night were actually class. In recent times an underwhelming main event has been usually accompanied by similarly un-enthralling build-up matches but not last night. Karo Parisyan's fight against Josh Burkman was immense. Again, being a relative newcomer to UFC I had never seen Parisyan fight before and he is awesome. His striking was so well-timed and accurate, his blocking was strong and disciplined and I love all the judo throws and takedowns he brings to his game, so good to watch. Burkman had absolutely no answer, his punches were wild and erratic, Karo kept dodging or blocking 'em with relative ease. Every time he went to take him down Parisyan stood strong with ease. Although the fight went to a judges decision, having gone all three rounds they inevitably came down in favour of Parisyan by unanimous decision.

Another fight that stood out for me was the one between Keith 'The Dean Of Mean' Jardine and Houston Alexander. Now with Alexander making his UFC debut and Jardine being an established face on the fighting circuit I was expecting Jardine to whomp this guy and he started well... and it went well for about 10 seconds. Then Alexander exploded, the ferocity of his attack threw Jardine completely off guard and the Dean went on the retreat, back-peddling towards the wall of the octagon. Alexander was relentless and pummeled Jardine to the ground, the Dean disappeared under a flurry of blows, eventually being knocked out by a left hook just 48 seconds into the first round. Twas damn impressive

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