The Hometown Kid Comes Through (UFC 164 Review)

ufc_164UFC 164 would honour a longtime and major sponsor as they would travel to the home of Harley Davidson in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. They would do this to help celebrate the 100th anniversary of the motorcycle company in the place that they were founded. The UFC would give their sponsors a good show overall with some great fights throughout the card but more importantly would bring in some hometown favorites to fight. A number of Milwaukee based fighters would look to win in their hometown but the most important of all of them was Anthony Pettis. Pettis grew up in Milwaukee and was looking to achieve his greatest accomplishment in the place he grew up. It was a show in what hometown advantage could be as Anthony Pettis had the home crowd behind him while lightweight champion was far from home and did not have many friends in the crowd. Hometown advantage is a strange thing in the UFC as it may not have as big an effect on the sport as it would in others. In baseball home field can mean the last chance to score in the 9th inning while in the NFL or NCAA football it can provide some extra energy. In the UFC it can have an effect and then it can have absolutely no effect on the fight once-so-ever. MMA is a sport that relies on judges that may be affected by the crowd who can cheer for their home favorite and influence the decision. On the other hand the crowd cannot knockout or submit a fighter in the ring. The MMA may be the easiest sport to eliminate the crowd as a KO or submission ends the fight with no questions and no judges. It is the most definitive way to end the fight and is always what fighters are looking for meaning the fans may not have the effect they want. Pettis was hoping that the fans would have an effect on him and his fight as he would take on Benson Henderson to earn the UFC Lightweight title. The fight would be a rematch from the last WEC card where Pettis would go to Henderson’s adopted hometown and earn a win and the WEC lightweight title. Now both fighters would meet again this time in Pettis’ hometown as Henderson looked to erase the loss while Pettis was looking to earn the belt he thought he deserved. Pettis came into the UFC as the WEC champion but would not get a shot at the UFC title with terrible timing and a number of title rematches that would continue to push him back. There was no denying Pettis though as he would continue to fight and continue to win in big ways that would earn him the title shot he had wanted so badly when he entered the UFC. Henderson would come into ht eUFC as a former champion but with good timing would rise in the UFC in just enough time to take on Frankie Edgar and beat him for the UFC title. Now he was looking to defend it and erase a bad memory by winning his belt and beating the man who made his name against Henderson with a highlight reel kick. The fight would be highly anticipated as two fighter who put on a great show the first time they fought would try to do the same thing on the biggest stage in MMA. Both fighters would stay standing for the start of the fight as they tested each other out in the stand up game. Pettis would win that battle as he would begin to land some vicious body kicks that sent Henderson reeling. Henderson would begin to look for the takedown to avoid the body kicks and would earn it taking the fight to the ground. It turned out to be a mistake as Pettis would lock in an armbar from the guard putting Henderson in a difficult spot. Pettis would not let go as he would finish the fight forcing a verbal tap from Henderson and winning the Lightweight title. It would be the second time that Henderson would lose to Pettis and the second time that a belt was on the line. There is no doubt that the two fighters will meet again but when they meet could be a different story. Pettis took the place of TJ Grant in the title fight and Grant will likely be looking at a title shot again when he returns meanwhile Pettis would call out Jose Aldo in what would amount to a super fight. There are plenty of options for Pettis and as the new lightweight champion will have his pick of who the next challenger will be.

Before the lightweight title would go up for grabs two heavyweights that were cut from the same cloth would face off. Heavyweights are known for the power and the ability to earn KOs in almost every fight but Frank Mir and Josh Barnett took a different approach to things. Both Mir and Barnett made their way in the heavyweight division through the ground game as two of the best wrestlers in the game. Mir had been doing it for years in the UFC and would earn the title in 2004 and 2008. Meanwhile Barnett would earn the exact same belt in 2002 but would leave the UFC and hone his skills in other promotions including Strikeforce. When Barnett left the UFC Frank Mir was a rising star and many were wondering if those two fighters would meet. It seemed like it may never happen as the man who sat atop the UFC heavyweight division has left on top and did not seem like he wanted to come back. Then he would sign a fight contract and immediately everyone knew what his first fight should be when he came back to the UFC. Even Mir knew what that fight should be as he would ask for the fight and look to earn his spot as the best wrestler in the division. With the title of best heavyweight wrestler on the line both fighters wanted this one and they would come out with almost no question about where they wanted this fight. Then again the build-up could have been all talk as the fight began with both fighters not even thinking about the ground game. They would both stand and trade with each other as they would get into the clinch and beginning to land elbows and short shots. Eventually Barnett would begin to press Mir against the cage and set him up for a big shot. Barnett would land a big knee that put Mir out and forced the referee to stop the fight although Mir and many others believed it was a too quick of a stoppage. Mir was out though and the referee was protecting the fighter that likely would have lost anyway. A rematch is not out of the question but Barnett will be looking to continue to move up the rankings while Mir will want revenge for what he thinks was an unfair loss.


Fight Bonuses

Submission of the Night
There was no question what this would be after the main event as Pettis would make his night even better winning a $50,000 bonus for his Armbar submission of Benson Henderson to win the UFC Lightweight championship

Knockout of the Night
Chad Mendes would continue on his KO streak earning his fourth KO straight against Clay Guida who had never been knocked out in his career and that was enough to convince the UFC to hand Mendes the $50,000 bonus

Fight of the Night
The Fight of the Night would come from the undercard as Pascal Krauss and Hyun Gyu Lim would earn the Fight of the Night bonus for their short but great fight that would end with Lim earning the first round KO


Fight Results

Main Event:
Anthony “Showtime” Pettis def. Benson “Smooth” Henderson [Lightweight Title]
(Submission; Armbar, Rd. 1)

Main Card:
Josh “The Warmaster” Barnett def. Frank Mir
(TKO; Rd. 1)

Chad “Money” Mendes def. Clay “The Carpenter” Guida
(TKO; Rd. 3)

Ben Rothwell def. Brandon “The Truth” Vera
(TKO; Rd. 3)

Dustin “The Diamond” Poirier def. Erik “New Breed” Koch
(Unanimous Decision)

Gleison Tibau def. Jamie Varner
(Split Decision)

Tim Elliott def. Louis “Goodnight” Gaudinot
(Unanimous Decision)

Hyun Gyu “The Ace” Lim def. Pascal “Panzer” Krauss
(KO; Rd. 1)

Chico “The King” Camus def. Kyung “Mr. Perfect” Ho Kang
(Unanimous Decision)

Soa “The Hulk” Palelei def. Nikita “Al Capone” Krylov
(TKO; Rd. 3)

“Raging” Al Iaquinta def. Ryan Couture
(Unaninmous Decision)

Magnus “Jycken” Cedenblad def. Jared “The Messenger” Hamman
(Submission; Guillotine Choke, Rd. 1)


Upcoming Events:

UFC Fight Night 28: Teixeira vs. Bader (Wednesday September 4th’ 7:00 pm ET)
Belo Horizonte, Brazil (Mineirhino Arena)
Main Event: Glover Teixeira vs. Ryan “Darth” Bader
Notable: Yushin “Thunder” Okami vs. Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza
Notable: Joseph Benavidez vs. Jussier Formiga

UFC 165: Jones vs. Gustafsson (Saturday September 21st; 10:00 pm ET)
Toronto, Ontario (Air Canada Centre)
Main Event: Jon “Bones” Jones vs. Alexander “The Mauler” Gustafsson [Light Heavyweight Title]
Notable: Renan Barao vs. Eddie Wineland [Bantamweight Title]
Notable: Brendan “The Hybrid” Schaub vs. Matt Mitrione

UFC Fight Night 29: Maia vs. Shields (Wednesday October 9th; 7:00 pm ET)
Barueri, Brazil (Ginásio José Corrêa)
Main Event: Demian Maia vs. Jake Shields
Notable: Erick Silva vs. Dong “Stun Gun” Hyun Kim
Notable: Rony Jason vs. Jeremy “Lil’ Heathen” Stephens

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