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UFC 123 Review

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					Return to Motor City

The UFC returned to Detroit for the first time since the infamous UFC 9 in 1996. Back then Arizona Senator
John McCain waged a war against the "brutal spectacle of no holds barred fighting”. After a legal battle in
the Detroit courts up until the day of the show, the event was allowed to continue, but with modified rules.
The courts ruled that anyone throwing closed fists with bad intentions would be arrested. As a result the
much anticipated rematch between Ken Shamrock and Dan Severn turned into a grappling ballet, with the
2 circling each other for 30 minutes. In the 14 years since UFC 9 “no holds barred fighting” or MMA has
become a global monster. At the UFC 123 post fight presser Dana White announced 2011 would see 2 new
TV deals that would bring the sport to 1 billion homes in 170 countries. John McCain is now a fan.

Putting the Mixed into Mixed Martial Arts

The variety of skills that MMA encompasses was on display at UFC 123. Muay Thai was ably represented by
Edson Barboza in his UFC debut. His crisp leg kicks chopped Mike Lullo down to the point where he couldn’t
get off the canvass, resulting in a TKO victory for Barboza. In a contender for fight of the night, Mark Munoz
triumphed over Aaron Simpson in the battle of the elite college wrestlers. Chute Boxe prospect Maiquel
Falcão showcased his lightning quick boxing skills albeit not nearly often enough in his decision win over
Gerald Harris. Fight of the night award winners George Sotiropoulos and Joe Lauzon put on a Brazilian Jiu
Jitsu clinic every time their fight hit the floor, with black belt Sotiropoulos winning via submission in the 2nd
round. Fellow BJJ black belt BJ Penn didn’t need his grappling skills knocking out Matt Hughes in 21 seconds
in the 1st round, taking the knockout of the night award. To prove how new and evolving the sport of MMA
is Phil Davis’ modified kimura not only earned him submission of the night but put him in the MMA history
books forever, with commentator Joe Rogan christening the new submission move after Davis’ moniker,
the Mr Wonderful. The main event proved to be a tense affair in a karate meets boxing/wrestling match,
with Rampage Jackson shading a decision over Lyoto Machida. Both fighters showed they remain relevant
in the light-heavyweight division.

Return of Superman

Denis “Superman” Hallman is hardly a household name but he is one of the most experienced MMA
fighters in the game. With a record of 43 wins and 13 losses, he holds a brace of victories over Matt
Hughes, a feat only Georges St. Pierre and BJ Penn have equalled. What’s most impressive is Hallman
achieved his victories in a combined 38 seconds. Known his whole career as an extremely skilful fighter, he
also had the reputation of having the stamina for only one good round. After years of misdiagnosis he
recently found out he had Coeliac Disease, an autoimmune digestive reaction to wheat gluten. A change in
diet has seen him last into the 3rd round in his previous two fights. He easily defeated Karo Parysian, himself
a shadow of a former fighter. Looks like Superman could be around for a while.

Done

Fighters with a successful career in the UFC are either winners like Anderson Silva or entertainers like
Marcus Davis or Clay Guida. If you’re never going to win a belt you better make sure the fans like your
fights. Gerald Harris is undoubtedly a skilful fighter but underwhelmed boss Dana White on his way to a 3-1
record in the UFC (17-3 in his career). His loss at UFC 123 was the final straw and he found out by text his
services were no longer required. Also “done” is Karo Parysian. The Armenian judoka had used up all his
lives with the UFC following a drugs ban and a no show due to anxiety attacks. His lacklustre performance
in losing to Denis Hallman will be his last in the UFC.

Fergus Ryan, November 2010

				
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