Disappointing Night for Calgary (UFC 149 Review)

The UFC made their first trip to Calgary this weekend as they held UFC 149 in the Saddledome bringing another fight to the Canadian fans. For many though the card was a shadow of its former self with injuries changing almost every fight in the card. In some last second problem solving by the UFC fights were rescheduled and rematched to put together a pretty good card. The main change in the card was the main event as Jose Aldo was to defend his Featherweight title against Erik Koch. Aldo went down with an injury in while he was training forcing the UFC to make a quick change. Instead of the Featherweight title fight they would feature the Bantamweight title fight between Urijah Faber and Renan Barao. This would be the new main event in Calgary but that fight in itself was not without change. Originally scheduled for UFC 148 as the co-main event to the Silva vs. Sonnen the bantamweight title fight would now be switched to a few weeks after. This fight was also to feature a different fighter as Bantamweight Champion Dominick Cruz was supposed to take on his The Ultimate Fighter coaching opponent Urijah Faber for the title. While filming on the show and training Cruz blew out his knee forcing him out of the fight and giving Renan Barao a shot at the interim title against Urijah Faber. The fight would now essentially be for the next true title shot when Dominick Cruz returns from injury. For Urijah Faber it was a disappointment as he was looking forward to taking on his rival in Cruz but would try to win the interim belt in order to get back to his rival. After fighting for years in multiple MMA promotions Faber had won everything there was to win besides a UFC title. When he first entered the UFC he looked to earn the UFC title fighting Dominick Cruz in 2011 but could not get past him to achieve his last goal. Continuing to fight in the UFC Faber showed that he is one of the best lighter weight fighters in the UFC continuing to go through most of the division and back to the top with a title shot. Meanwhile Renan Barao has been rolling in the WEC for years and moved up to the UFC in 2011 and has continued his pace. Fighting to a 31-1-0 1 NC record Barao is clearly one of the best Bantamweight fighters in the world. He was likely the next in line to fight for the title after Urijah Faber and Dominick Cruz fought but go his shot early. Both fighters were essentially the same styles coming into the fight as they both had well-rounded skills and were able to finish fights standing or on the ground. Although they were very similar they had slight differences as Faber may have been the better fighter on the ground while Barao had more power on the feet. Both fighters squared off after a night that saw many last-minute replacements put up a good show as Barao looked to continue the success of the replacements. The first round saw Barao’s experience and power on the feet highlighted as he punished Faber for coming forward. Faber would move forward towards Barao and then eat a number of big punches as Barao seemed to be in complete control of the striking game. The second round saw much of the same as Barao landed the better of the strikes although Faber seemed to be getting in a groove and landing more of his punches. The rest of the fight followed the same pattern as Barao continued to dominate the fight on the feet with Faber looking to do anything to get a round. After multiple takedown attempts Faber would never get the fight on the ground. The fight would finish with none of the rounds really providing anything. It was a clear win for Barao who took the unanimous decision and the interim Bantamweight title. For Barao his win means a date with the reigning Bantamweight Champion Dominick Cruz who will take on Barao when he recovers from his injury. For Faber it is more of the same as he will continue to fight in the Bantamweight Division and will likely remain at the top in hopes of getting his rematch with Dominick Cruz eventually.

 

The rest of the main card did not seem much better as the Calgary fans may have left disappointed. Two of the fights that seemed to be great bets on being exciting did not live up their hype. The first was a fight between Cheick Kongo and Shawn Jordan in yet another fight that was changed. Originally Cheick Kongo was to fight Minotauro Nogueira but an injury to Big Nog gave Shawn Jordan the chance to fight one of the top contenders in the division. Both fighters are strikers and would face off in what many believed would be a boxing match. Unfortunately for the fans the boxing match never broke out as both fighters wrestled to a decision victory. The wrestling side of the UFC can be very exciting but when two strikers wrestle it is essentially rolling around with a little bit of punching. The fight was not exciting but Cheick Kongo did take the win with a unanimous Decision finally stringing together a number of wins as he looks to make one more run at the Heavyweight title. The Next fight was also a disappointment especially for one fighter who made his UFC debut. Hector Lombard would take on Tim Boetsch in another match-up that looked to be a stand up war between two goo fighters. Lombard was expected to make an impact after winning his last 25 fights while Tim Boetsch has been one of the better fighters in the division providing excitement in every fight. It was another fight that did not live up to expectations though as both fighters did not seem to be going for the finish and except looked like they would be satisfied with the decision. It did go to a decision as the lack of work from Lombard lost him a split decision in his UFC debut with Tim Boetsch winning but not impressing. Overall the main card at UFC was very disappointing as no fight really lived up to their billing. For those who watched the preliminary fights you received the best of the night as the undercard far outshone the main card in a night that the UFC would like to forget.

 

The fights were not great n the main card but the rest of the fight card saw enough to let a disappointed Dana White give out $65,000 bonuses. The “Submission of the Night” was an easy decision as the only decent main card fight earned the bonus after Matthew Riddle locked in an Arm Triangle to beat Chris Clements. The “Knockout of the Night” came from the undercard as Ryan Jimmo made his UFC debut with a seven second KO of Anthony Perosh. The “Fight of the Night” also came out of the undercard as Bryan Carraway and Mitch Gagon took home the bonus after Carraway came back to win the fight with a rear naked choke late in the third round. The bonuses reflect the few highlights on an otherwise forgettable card as they did not impress in their debut in Calgary.

 

Fight Results:

Main Event:

Renan Barao def. Urijah “The California Kid” Faber [Interim Bantamweight Title]

(Unanimous Decision)

 

Main Card:

Tim “The Barbarian” Boetsch def. Hector Lombard

(Split Decision)

 

Cheick Kongo def. Shawn “The Savage” Jordan

(Unanimous Decision)

 

James Head def. Brian “Bad Boy” Ebersole

(Split Decision)

 

Matthew Riddle def. Chris “The Menace” Clements

(Submission; Arm Triangle, Rd. 3)

 

Undercard:

Nick “The Promise” Ring def. Court “The Crusher” McGee

(Unanimous Decision)

 

Francisco “Cisco” Rivera def. Roland Delorme

(KO; Rd. 1)

 

Ryan “Big Deal” Jimmo def. Anthony “The Hippo” Perosh

(KO; Rd. 1)

 

Bryan “Kid Lightning” Caraway def. Mitch Gagon

(Submission; Rear Naked Choke Rd. 3)

 

Antonio “Pato” Carvalho def. Daniel “The Pit” Pineda

(TKO; Rd. 1)

 

Anton Kuivanen def. Mitch “Danger Zone” Clarke

(Split Decision)

 

Upcoming Events:

UFC on Fox 4: Shogun vs. Vera (Saturday August 4th; 8:00 pm ET)

– Free Live on Fox/Sportsnet

– Los Angeles, California (Staples Center)

Main Event: Mauricio “Shogun” Rua vs. Brandon “The Truth” Vera

Notable: Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida vs. Ryan “Darth” Bader

 

UFC 150: Henderson vs. Edgar II (Saturday August 11th; 10:00 pm ET)

– Denver, Colorado (Pepsi Center)

Main Event: Benson “Smooth” Henderson vs. Frankie “The Answer” Edgar [Lightweight Title]

Notable: Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone vs. Melvin “The Young Assassin” Guillard

Notable: Jake Shields vs. Ed “Short Fuse” Herman

 

UFC 151: Jones vs. Henderson (Saturday September 1st; 10:00 pm ET)

– Las Vegas, Nevada (Mandalay Bay Events Center)

Main Event: Jon “Bones” Jones vs. Dan “Hendo” Henderson

Notable: Michael “The Menace” Johnson vs. Danny “Last Call” Castillo

Notable: Takeya Mizugaki vs. Jeff “Hellbound” Hougland

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