UFC 204 in Manchester, UK was a sick card. With a start time in the early morning hours in Manchester didn’t stop all of the local fans to come and cheer on the UK fighters. There were 2 decisions and 9 finishes combining for a fast and fun night. The worst part of the night was the disgusting sounding bell at the end of each round. God’s Gift, a sky scrapper, and a 46 year old man all put on a good show.
Preliminary Card (UFC Fight Pass)
Lightweight – Leonardo Santos def. Adriano Martins – Decision split – (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
The first fight on the preliminary card on Fight Pass was the worst fight of the night. Besides a couple of head kick attempts by Santos that Martins blocked, nothing exciting happened. This fight was stale as both fighters begrudgingly traded infrequent attacks that lead to a split decision in favor of Santos. Nothing else to say.
Welterweight – Mike Perry def. Danny Roberts – KO knee and punches – (RD 3 – 4:40)
Growing up in Flint, MI and having a career is nothing short of remarkable. Mike Perry is on the verge of becoming a well-known UFC fighter despite growing up in an awful place but I still hate him. Anyone who gets a “God’s Gift” tattoo on their person in a place where they know everyone will see it is a narcissism that I cannot over look. As Perry made his way to the ring I sarcastically pointed out how cool his tattoos are and wondered out loud what the tattoo arched above his navel said. Jokingly my friend said “God’s Gift” a tattoo that we openly mad fun of when we saw it on former Packers tight end Andrew Quarless. This guess turned out to be true, I guess douche guys think alike.
This fight was a brawl. Roberts clipped Perry in the first round with a head kick which Perry was able to recover from. Perry took Roberts to the ground where a lot of scrambling took place; both fighters looking for an advantageous position. After the fighters got back to their feet, Perry slammed Roberts to the ground and threw a flurry of attacks almost getting a TKO as the horrifying bell rung. In the second round Perry clipped Roberts and jumped on top of him on the ground. The camera got a good shot of Perry raining heavy elbows to the head of Roberts further weakening him. After the second round Roberts took a long time to stand up which the ref forced him to do.
By the third round both fighters were haggard with injuries. Roberts face was bleeding badly, the inside of Perry’s leg was black and blue from absorbing several leg kicks; it was obvious that both guys were hurting. In the last minute Perry landed a jab followed by a head kick that clipped Roberts. Seeing that Roberts was close to being finished, Perry grabbed Roberts head with his left hand to steady it for a power right jab. This brought Roberts to the mat who was out before he fell to the ground. The ref didn’t stop the fight so Perry landed a few hammer fist to the head of unconscious Roberts before the ref jumped in. Brutal KO and Perry was surprisingly well mannered and articulate in his post-fight interview.
Preliminary Card (FS1)
Lightweight – Marc Diakiese def. Lukasz Sajewski – TKO punches – (RD 2 – 4:40)
Before Mike Goldberg finished reading his Bud Light ad and the camera fully zoomed out to show the fighters approach each other at the beginning of the first round, Sajewski attacked and took Diakiese to the ground. Both fighters traded takedown downs in the first round one of which was amazing to watch. With Sajewski in midair, Diakiese rotated Sajewski in a way that forced him to fall head first. Sajewski was able to turn his body to prevent him from landing on his head, but this was a takedown that I will remember for a long time. Sajewski was able to wiggle out of a leg lock that Diakiese put him in later in the first round. The second round saw Sajewski just fall to the ground and give up after Diakiese landed a flurry of attacks while Sajewski was up against the cage.
Welterweight – Leon Edwards def. Albert Tumenov – Submission rear-naked choke – (RD 3 – 3:01)
This was a fairly uneventful fight or I was too busy talking to my friends instead of taking notes which are used to jar my memory. Edwards controlled the first round, dominating the action on the ground after successfully taking Tumenov down. Tumenov got some punches through in the second round and in the third round Edwards forced Tumenov to tap after getting him to the ground and in a rear-naked choke.
Bantamweight – Damian Stasiak def. Davey Grant – Submission armbar – (RD 3 – 3:56)
This fight saw one of the most hard to watch submissions I have seen. The first two rounds of this bout were uneventful but in the third round Stasiak got Grants arm in a lock while on the ground. Stasiak put all of his weight into fully extending Grants arm trying to force him to tap. Grant held out as long as he could while sporting a revealing grimace on his face. After what felt like hours in the armbar, grant finally tapped. Brain Stann stated after the tap that Grants probably suffered “significant damage to that elbow” and accurately said that his arm is “not supposed to bend like that.”
Bantamweight – Luri Alcantara def. Brad Pickett – Submission triangle choke (RD 1 – 1:59)
There is nothing I enjoy more while watching a preliminary card when the headlining fight ends in the first round. It allows me to turn off the shitty FS1 broadcast and to take a breather before the main card starts. Alcantara awarded me with what I wanted and finished Pickett quickly. He connected with a spinning elbow to the head of Pickett which lead to Alcantara throwing attacks to get a TKO. Initially Pickett survived the attack but before he could fully recover, Alcantara got him in a tight triangle choke which lead to the disheartening tap from Pickett.
Main Card (PPV)
Featherweight – Mirsad Bektic def. Russell Doane – Submission rear-naked choke – (RD 1 – 4:22)
The recap for this fight is an easy one to write. Bektic took Doane down to the mat, maneuvered into position and took control over Doane’s back. Bektic wrapped his arms around the neck of Doane which lead to Doane tapping out. Quick first fight for the main card.
Heavyweight – Stefan Struve def. Daniel Omielanczuk – Submission d’arce choke – (RD 2 – 1:41)
Stefan Struve is tall. As he walked to the ring I noticed that he towered above the guards and his trainers but I figured he was just 6’7” or 6’8”. But when he entered the ring his size was amplified especially after watching a featherweight bout. Then when the tale of the tape went on the screen, he was listed at 6’11.5” with a 10” reach advantage over Omielanczuk. That is insane! A 7 footer in MMA. Struve looks lanky and he was at the max heavyweight weight of 265. His alias “sky scrapper” is actually fitting.
Even more surprising is that Struve is decent at ground fighting at his size. He went for a rear-naked choke in the first round and was able to get a d’arce submission in the second. The cage helped him in his submission as Omielanczuk did not have a lot of room to wiggle out, he even ran his feet across the cage to try to get into better position to fight out of the choke but was unsuccessful.
Light Heavyweight – Jimi Manuwa def. Ovince Saint Preux – KO punches – (RD 2 – 2:38)
OSP got knocked out. Hard. So hard that as he went unconscious while standing, his leg got caught under his body as he collapsed to the mat. In the second round Manuwa clipped OSP which brought him to the ground. OSP showed his toughness by surviving and getting back to his feet, but shortly after the left of Manuwa finished him off.
Middleweight – Gegard Mousasi def. Vitor Belfort – TKO punches – (RD 2 – 2:43)
The old and great Vitor Belfort lost again to the hands of Gegard Mousasi. Belfort wasn’t the same after Mousasi clipped him with a leg kick to the head. Mousasi attacked Belfort as he was pressed up against the cage but survived the TKO attempt. Belfort then fell to the mat and Mousasi went for the TKO again throwing punches wildly. Belfort held him off again for some time, but eventually the offensive by Mousasi become too over powering and the ref called the fight.
Middleweight – Michael Bisping ( c ) def. Dan Henderson – Decision unanimous – (48-47, 48-47, 49-46)
This fight was insane. It was the perfect send off to a great card. I admit that I was rooting for the 46 year old Henderson as I think it is amazing that he is still fighting at his advanced age. On paper according to the rankings he didn’t deserve a chance at the belt but he is a legend and this was his last fight. Dana White gave Henderson the chance to finally get a UFC belt to serve as a cool ending to his long career, and he knew it would sell like Doritos at a board game tournament. I watched the clip of Henderson brutally finishing Bisping at UFC 100 about two hundred times. It doesn’t happen often anymore but I was hyped for this fight.
When Henderson clipped Bisping and went for the TKO in the first round I lost my mind. I stood up and started shouting. I really thought he was going to get the early TKO as Bisping was getting annihilated on the ground, but he survived. There is no way the ref was going to call the TKO to the belt holder in his home country in the first round. We had the Joe Rogan Fight Companion streaming in the back ground on a minute delay, so it was fun watching them go crazy while watching the near TKO.
In the second round Henderson clipped Bisping again with a counter jab that brought him to the ground. Henderson Jumped in the air and it looked like he was going to crush Bisping in the same exact way he did at UFC 100. But Bisping survived again showing that he has the chin of Michael Cera in Superbad. Bisping’s face was fucked up from the TKO worthy attacks but he looked fresh and more mobile than Henderson.
The next three rounds saw the two gladiators (is that too cheesy?) trade blows. Henderson got hit in the nuts which lead to time stoppage and a much needed rest for the 46 year old dad. The crowd and Bisping believed he was milking the time to rest up, which is obvious but smart by Henderson. I was on edge the whole time. Bisping appeared to be in control, but Henderson stayed in there and was able to score a few take downs in the later rounds. I honestly through Henderson had a chance at winning a decision after winning the first two rounds and keeping it close in the last three.
When the decision came down I was surprised that it was unanimous but I agreed with the call. I wanted Henderson to win, but Bisping won the last 3 rounds. Bisping grabbed the mic and immediately began praising Henderson. He said Henderson kicked his ass and that he is one of the greatest fighters in MMA history. A clearly disappointed Henderson grabbed the mic and responded with “it’s too bad they don’t score these fights based on how the fighter looks afterwards,” which was a funny jab at how wrecked Bisping looked. He then announced that his is retiring and told his family watching at home that he will be home soon. Dan Henderson is a G.
The next UFC event is a few week away on November 5th. This is a much needed break in UFC action, I am excited to be able to focus on primetime College Football the next couple of Saturdays.