UFC 84 Recap

Thiago Silva vs. Antonio Mendes

Calm, Composed Silva Stops Mendes

Entering the ring, Mendes did not look physically imposing. His tall, lanky frame did not seem as though it could handle the lean, rugged looking Silva. But Mendes was able to connect with a high leg kick from the outset that rocked Silva. Yet Silva showed composure beyond his years and managed to by his time in the clinch. Fully recuperated, Silva managed to gain top position on the ground and administered what is becoming his trademark: violent ground and pound, which forced a stoppage. With this win Silva has extended his winning streak to four straight victories and has earned a future bout with an elite fighter.

Wilson Gouveia vs. Goran Reljic

Reljic Prevails in a Slobber knocker

This fight was nonstop action, where momentum shifted back and forth, with monster shots being delivered by both fighters. Reljic was in control for most of the first round by showing an array of flashy leg kicks, which were reminiscent of his fellow countryman, Mirko Cro Cop. During the latter half of the first round, Gouveia, throwing wildly, connected and pushed forward, stunning and taking Reljic down.

The second round was a war from start to finish. Gouveia built off the momentum created at the end of the first and clobbered Reljic with his trademark left hook dropping him. Yet, Gouveia was unable to finish, throwing an abundance of punches and gassing himself out. Reljic weathered the storm, scrambled to his feet and landed an overhand haymaker that finished Gouveia. What a back and forth slugfest that never lacked action.

Gouveia is simply not very dynamic. He kept his hands low, showed no movement and took massive punishment. But he has a granite chin, which enabled him to keep coming forward. Reljic is a diverse fighter who exhibited toughness and managed to survive an onslaught to secure a win in his UFC debut.

Keith Jardine vs. Wanderlei Silva

The Axe Murderer is back with a vengeance

Chalk Keith Jardine up as another highlight reel knockout victim of Wanderlei Silva. If this fight showed you anything about Wanderlei Silva, it is not to get anywhere close to him. When a fighter chooses to fight inside with him, the results are usually devastating. That was the case for Jardine, who instead of staying on the outside and using his jab, decided to trade close range. Silva caught him with several punches and finished him with shockingly destructive ground and pound.

With this first round knockout, Silva has re-established himself in the division and shown the UFC fans just how dangerous he can be. As for Jardine, he fought similar to how he did against Houston Alexander, reckless and without discipline. Once again, his lack of focus cost him the fight.

This bout, without question, should earn KO of the night. After the stoppage, Jardine lay prone on his back, eyes rolled to the back of his head; put to sleep by Silva’s barrage of punches. Silva punctuated his return to prominence and puts a potential career at middleweight in doubt. Rematches against Quinton Jackson or Chuck Liddell could be in the cards.

Tito Ortiz vs. Lyoto Machida

The Dragon Extinguishes a Legacy

In what could have been the last fight of Tito Ortiz’s UFC career, the perplexing style of Lyoto Machida earned him a unanimous decision victory. From the moment Machida entered the octagon he did not look intimidated, instead he was eerily calm, as if unaware of the magnitude of the situation.

Machida fought precisely the fight he wanted. He was able to slow the tempo and dictate the pace. Machida fights defensively, always shifting positions, never staying in one spot. By using constant movement, fakes of all sorts, he keeps his opponents off balance.

Ortiz’s occasional takedown attempts were stifled by the slippery and elusive Machida. Even though Ortiz was physically stronger, he was unable to take Machida down and unwilling to fully commit to aggressive striking. Machida displayed phenomenal takedown attempts and a combination of diverse kicks that often found their mark. Rarely did Ortiz put together effective striking combinations. When Ortiz forced Machida backwards he was able to land some solid punches but it was a rare occurrence.

Throughout the fight, Machida was able to implement his strategy and land two devastating knees to the body, the second of which buckled Ortiz’s knees. Despite a desperate, last second triangle attempt, Ortiz was essentially ineffective. As the fight came to an end, Ortiz was left cut and bleeding from above his eye, his thighs blistering red, and his ribs battered and bruised.

In the post-fight interview, Ortiz was graceful in defeat but showed no real remorse for his lack luster performance. He has had a great career but never evolved into a diverse fighter. His takedowns and ground and pound had always been his bread n’ butter, but when those are controlled, he is lost. Machida on the other hand has a bright future. This win propels him to the top of the division but his style is not fan friendly. Machida does not seem to have a killer instinct and needs to be pit against an explosive striker who will force him to exchange.

BJ Penn versus Sean Sherk

Penn Reins Supreme

BJ Penn made it abundantly clear who the true UFC lightweight champion is. From the outset, Penn controlled the fight by landing jab, after jab, after jab. Sherk was a sitting duck and refused to incorporate head movement. That was fine for BJ, who consistently found a home for his punches. Penn was never in trouble and fought patiently, dissecting Sherk with a steady dose of straight jabs.

Sherk, who was expected to attempt takedowns, rarely did so. Instead he seemed content to try and stand with Penn, where he was clearly outclassed. After a slow paced fight, it was finished in explosive fashion, as Penn landed a knee and continued with strikes. This victory should squash any doubt about Penn’s conditioning or focused, because he fought at the pace he was comfortable with throughout the contest.

At this point, there are very few meaningful fights left for Penn at lightweight. Without a doubt, he stands atop the division with no clear cut challenge. A rematch with Georges St. Pierre makes the most sense, in what would pit two of the UFC’s biggest and best stars.

Other Notables

  • My question is, does Joe Rogan ever change his shirt? It seems that he wears the same basic outfit every single time and it’d be nice if he changed up his style on occasion.
  • Heavyweight prospect Shane Carwin is a beast. Aside from his enormous and chiseled frame, the straight right hand he fired off on Wellisch. He finished the fight so quickly it is difficult to gauge his progress, but from a purely physical stand point it looks as though this guy is going to be an animal.
  • Lightweight Rich Clementi, veteran of the Ultimate Fighter Comeback, has reeled off four straight victories and has positioned himself for a meaningful fight.
  • Despite losing tonight, Wilson Gouveia has been apart of two incredibly exciting fights in his last two. He is always worth watching because of the action he brings and should be commended for the consistent performances.

Comments

  1. Reljic has an 81 inch reach…thats just one inch less than Tim Silvia. He impressed me with some good technical striking. The only problem is he didn't have a jab or combinations. When he gets those down he is going to be a beast.

    Even after this fight I don't get BJ Penn. He doesn't look physically imposing. He doesn't trade with great technique, never keeps his hands up. Yet he dominates people. I hope he does get that fight with GSP because I don't think anyone close to his size can beat him.

  2. damn sherk and titio lost grrat fuck

  3. whodini says:

    tito sucks and he knows it now and BJ always did look soft in the middle like he doesnt train hard

  4. whodini says:

    and another thing war machine isnt who he thinks he is also

  5. Deakson says:

    great article, well written and broke down the fights creatively.

  6. Oswald Gobblecock says:

    BJ doesn't trade with great technique Morey? His punches are very precise, about like Anderson Silva's.

  7. Businessman says:

    BJ looked great and Sherk did not look so good…in fact, he looked smaller and weaker??? I wonder why? While BJ was in great shape and finally taking this serious, he has always had trouble with bigger, stronger guys. I predicted a BJ win but this looked to easy. I wonder why Sherk struggled so much? Maybe because he lost his prescription card???

  8. dane drebin says:

    i thought sherk looked the exact same as he always has and just because he is stronger bj is actually the bigger one he's got a hell of a lot of reach on sherk. a lot of those times sherk would come inches away from bj's face but his arms were too short. why he didnt shoot more in the third or second for that matter i will never know. he must have been taking motivational speeches from frank shamrock before his fight.

  9. Great Fights!!

    So good to see Wandi back on form! Give him Rashad Evans then a title shot!

    Sad to see Tito go out on a whimper… Machida is a slippery fighter, that went just as expected for me (except for Tito's submission attempt)

    Penn should defend his title against either Ken Flo or Huerta then move up to WW and fight GSP – To go straight to GSP would de-value the whole lightweight division…

    Sherk looked crap… I expected more takedowns and a closer fight… he looked totally outclashed – Penn messes people up more than any other fighter (Joe Daddy & Sherk looked in a bad way)

  10. When Wandi had Jardine on the ground he had his left hand on his neck holding him down. I don't know the rules on choking. Is that legal?

  11. I think choking like that is legal.

    I am not 100% sure but I don't see how its that different from a rear choke.

    I think Wandi was more trying to hold him in place then throttle him into a black-out.

  12. dane drebin says:

    the only thing worse than getting beat to a pulp by the axe murderrer is when he's got u in the rape choke hahah

  13. Rape choke haha. Thats probably the perfect name for it. It hurts like hell too, not that it's cutting off the blood to the brain. But if they put the pressure directly on the adams apple it really sucks.

  14. alot of good fights on this card

  15. Enjoy the sum up and status assessment of each fighter. BTW, neither Rogan nor Mike Goldberg seem to ever change their shirts. Think you should call for tshirts to be sent to both from cage Today fans!

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