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UFC 70 recap

By Zach Arnold | April 21, 2007

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By Zach Arnold

We start with the annoying gladiator video opener. Listening to Michael Bisping talk, it’s amazing that Spike TV actually put subtitles on the screen whenever he talked during The Ultimate Fighter. Even when he loses, I always love watching Elvis Sinosic. He’s a great character.

“Everyone always has a plan until they get hit.” — Mirko Cro Cop

Truer words never spoken.

It’s interesting to note that the Arlovski/Werdum fight was not publicized at all whatsoever in hype specials leading to the event. They spent the whole time on Gonzaga vs. Mirko. Maybe that’s a good thing.

The crowd at M.E.N. Arena looks very impressive. Also, Spike TV is using standard video shooting as opposed to the European-ish slower motion video editing/shooting. Joe Rogan calls Gabriel Gonzaga “a top 20 heavyweight in the world.” Not exactly doing the hard-sell there. Now they’re spending time putting over Arlovski.

Cheick Kongo vs. Assuerio Silva (206-265 pounds – Heavyweights

France vs. Brazil. No English spoken in the pre-fight promos. The two fight clips they showed of Silva were of him in fights he lost (against Tim Sylvia & Brandon Vera). Silva gets a good pop coming to the ring. Referee Herb Dean is outside the ring checking over Assuerio. On the TV side, they mentioned Kongo fighting the late Gilbert Aldana in the past (but didn’t mention Aldana’s drowning death). Rogan is saying that Kongo’s only ‘hole’ in his game is on the ground (mat work).

UFC sure does take its time during ring introductions and pre-fight introductions. At least compared to the late PRIDE organization.

Bruce Buffer is doing the ring introductions, including the weights of each fighter in stones. Kongo draws a bigger pop than Silva in the introductions.

Round one

The fight starts at the 23 minute mark into the TV broadcast.

The two men trade shots and Kongo looks very comfortable in stand-up. Silva gets a takedown (using a single leg grab) and Kongo holds on, only to get it back standing and back down once again (Kongo tries to apply a front neck lock but fails). Silva gets full mount. Rogan put over Silva as being formerly of the Chute Boxe Academy in Brazil. Not a lot of action. The fans are getting impatient after two minutes of little action. Kongo manages a reverse and a stand-up, which the crowd cheers. The fans start getting behind Kongo. Silva gets a clinch and can’t manage a takedown. Kongo starts laying some bombs on Silva against the cage. Silva is determined to take this fight to the mat. He got a great slam to the ground and it drew a pop from the crowd. Silva has side control and Kongo is offering no real aggressive defense. Yamasaki warns both men to start fighting. 30 seconds left. Kongo tries to get on top and Silva grabs an arm, but the end of round one. The fans politely cheer.

Round two

On the Spike TV broadcast, they are going in three minute commercial intervals during each round. Kongo tries some left low-kicks. Rogan pontificates that if Kongo concentrated on wrestling for two years that ‘he would be a killer.’ Kongo catches Silva against the cage with a flurry of stiff punches. Kongo is tagging him hard. Silva goes a takedown and manages to get on top of Kongo on the mat. Side control. Rogan says Kongo would do great if he went to The Pit (Liddell’s camp) to learn how to avoid the takedown. Kongo is holding onto Silva’s neck with his left arm, but is doing nothing else. The fans are restless and start booing. Half-way done with round two. Silva starts hitting Kongo in the ribs. A few more body shots. Kongo is tiring here. The referee (Mario Yamasaki) stands both men up. Silva needs some tape cut off of Silva’s wrist. Silva goes for a single-leg takedown and gets it, but Kongo stands it up only for Silva to do another slam back down to the ground. “Someone needs to kidnap Kongo and take him to a wrestling camp. No more kickboxing for six months.” — Rogan. “It’s an even fight, but a boring fight.” Rogan is earning his paycheck here for sure. End of round two.

Round three

Kongo went for a quick knee, then some kicks. He’s looking for the knockout. Kongo caught Silva with some stiff shots, but he’s still standing. Silva went for a telegraphed takedown and managed to once again slam Kongo. The crowd gives respect. Side control. Rogan puts over Gonzaga by saying that if Gabriel had this position, he would have finished the fight already. Yamasaki stands both men up. Kongo throws more middle kicks and punches. He’s an impressive striker. Silva tries to push Kongo to the mat but manages to get him against the cage. Silva tried for a pulldown and Kongo ended up getting top position. Kongo stands up over Silva and ends up getting caught in the guard. Kongo’s trying some ground-and-pound, but nothing effective. Rogan is begging for Kongo to get out of Silva’s guard. Kongo ended up cutting Silva’s forehead with shots. The fans applaud politely after the fight is over.

Winner: Cheick Kongo by majority decision (29-28 twice, 28-28)

Michael Bisping and Elvis Sinosic are shown backstage in their locker rooms. Then, a promo for UFC 71 (Chuck Liddell vs. Quinton Jackson).

The pacing of the Spike TV broadcast dragged throughout the night.

Terry Etim vs. Matt Grice (155 pounds – Lightweights)

Grice is pushed in a video package as a top wrestler from the University of Oklahoma. Etim is from Liverpool, so he’s the local boy. He’s put over as a fighter who wants to finish fights quickly.

This is a dark match airing on the main card broadcast. Etim receives a good pop from the crowd during his ring introduction.

Round one

The referee is Steve Mazzagatti, who looks like he is enjoying himself. Etim starts with a low-kick and caught Grice with a shot, only for Grice to catch himself with a takedown. Etim is very lanky (6’1″ at 155 pounds) with long legs. Grice works the ground-and-pound and is aggressive. Grice is laying some heavy leather here. Etim is taking a beating. Grice is now using some elbows. Grice stood up over Etim but went back into the guard. Some pretty heavy striking by Grice. Etim goes for a body scissors. The fans are restless and start booing. Etim’s bleeding from the nose. Grice stands up and allows Etim to stand up, which draws a big pop from the crowd. Etim has Grice in a front neck lock standing up against the cage. Grice manages to work his way out of the neck lock, but Etim applies it on the ground with leg scissors. Grice went out. Very exciting fight.

Winner: Terry Etim (R1 by front neck lock)

Etim got a superstar reaction in his post-fight interview with Joe Rogan.

There were a ton of commercial breaks during this broadcast.

Joe Rogan interviewed Dana White in the crowd at the M.E.N. Arena. Dana White announced that Matt Serra and Matt Hughes would be the coaches for season six of The Ultimate Fighter. Rogan then turned to Serra and interviewed him. Rogan asks Serra about his thoughts on fighting Matt Hughes soon. Serra put over The Ultimate Fighter very well, including says Chris Lytle and GSP are great guys but that Matt Hughes “is a dick… a talented dick.”

Even more commercials…

A video package aired for the Michael Bisping vs. Elvis Sinosic fight. Sinosic says the pressure is all on Bisping to win since the fight is on home turf. Sinosic also says that if the fight hits the ground, it could be trouble for Bisping. Bisping predicts another KO in the first round.

Michael Bisping vs. Elvis Sinosic (186-205 pounds – Light Heavyweights)

The crowd jeers at Sinosic during his ring introduction. Bisping received a fantastic reaction from the home crowd during his ring introduction. Bisping is incredibly amped up and excited to fight.

Round one

Sinosic goes for a couple of leg kicks. Bisping is looking to strike. Elvis lands a couple of knees to the body. Bisping manages to take Elvis down to the ground. Ground and pound action. Elvis has the guard applied and is looking for submissions. Bisping really caught Elvis clean with some punches on the ground. Bisping stands up over Elvis and goes back into his guard. A ton of hammer fists. Half-way through the first round. Bisping is landing a lot of strikes but not extremely heavy punches – yet. Sinosic has a cut on his face already. He’s juicing (bleeding) pretty good here. One minute left in round one. Bisping continues throwing punches and elbows. More ground-and-pound to end the round. The crowd cheers uproariously.

Round two

More strikes by Bisping standing up. Bisping is a little tired but very accurate on his punches. Elvis caught Bisping with a right knee and Bisping tried to wrap his legs around Elvis. Elvis went for an armlock on Bisping and the crowd was stunned. Bisping managed to get out of the predicament. Elvis is on top of Bisping and is going for a submission. Rogan put Elvis over as a black belt in BJJ. Bisping reversed position and got on top to lay more bombs in ground-and-pound action. Referee Steve Mazzagatti stopped the fight.

Winner: Michael Bisping (early R2 by referee stoppage)

Bisping held a Xyience can when he had his hand raised by the referee and also during the post-fight interview. Bisping held his son in his left arm during the conversation with Joe Rogan. Bisping said “fuck” in front of his son on accident. Dana White came into the octagon to say a word to Bisping. Dana was one happy man.

A promo package aired putting over UFC 71.

A video package aired for the Andrei Arlovski vs. Fabricio Werdum fight. Joe Rogan put over Werdum’s wins against Tom Erikson and Roman Zentsov in PRIDE. Some British officials were giving Werdum’s corner a hard time when he got into the cage. Mr. CondomDepot.com himself (Arlovski) walked to the cage and got a pretty good pop from the crowd. Herb Dean got a mixed reaction from the crowd.

According to a Canadian Press report, M.E.N. Arena security wouldn’t allow Andrei to bring in an American flag. I wonder if this is what those British officials were barking about with Werdum’s corner (they had a big flag with both the Brazilian and Spanish flags on it).

Arlovski said arena security took away the U.S. flag he wanted to walk into the arena with. Arlovski wanted to come in with both the American and Belarus flag. “I was very disappointed,” Arlovski said.

Andrei Arlovski vs. Fabricio Werdum (206-265 pounds – Heavyweights)

Round one

A few strikes traded, but both men tentative in stand-up mode. A lot of shadowing and dancing from both men. Werdum nailed a couple of shots on Andrei, then a clinch against the cage. He caught Andrei with a good shot against the cage. The crowd chants for Andrei. A low-kick from Andrei. Andrei caught Werdum with a shot and he invited Andrei to get into his guard. Andrei refused the invitation. Both men back standing. Werdum caught Andrei with a flurry of punches and hit him hard. Werdum has him in the clinch against the cage. Andrei tries to throw a couple of knees and the crowd cheers him on. Very interesting first round. A low-kick from Andrei, along with a good counter right punch. The crowd chants for Andrei once again. End of the first round.

Round two

Both men tentative to strike. The crowd is anxious and restless. Werdum tried for a telegraphed takedown and Andrei just sidestepped it. Andrei tried for a low-kick and Werdum caught his leg for a second. Werdum tried a capoeira kick. Werdum tried a right middle kick. The crowd starts clapping, hoping Andrei connects. A right kick to the thigh by Werdum. Half-way through round two and not much action. Werdum caught Andrei with a few shots but Arlovski managed to stop the flurry. Werdum has not taken this fight to the ground yet. The fans start booing. Andrei with a low kick again. A few shots from Andrei to end the round, as Werdum starts jawing with Andrei after the round.

Round three

Herb Dean told the fighters to not retreat in round three. Werdum went for a jumping kick but failed to connect. Really not much action at all going on in this round. Nothing connecting for either man. The fans try to cheer to get more action going in the fight. The fans seem distracted and are cheering at something happening outside of the ring. Werdum went for a leg grab to get a takedown but he couldn’t get Andrei down. Rogan scolds the tentative fight style and says that UFC won’t invite fighters back who are boring. The fans try to cheer once again, then start booing at the inactivity. 30 seconds left. Werdum starts laying the leather, but Andrei knocked him down. During the fight, they made sure to push Werdum as a star in PRIDE. The fight ends. The fans boo.

Andrei waved the Belarus flag around the octagon. Werdum draped himself with his big flag.

Winner: Andrei Arlovski (after 3R by unanimous decision)

The fans start booing Andrei during the post-fight interview with Joe Rogan. Arlovski apologized to the fans for the fight and the fans cheered. His English is certainly improving.

A video promo for UFC 71.

Footage of Mirko Cro Cop and Gabriel Gonzaga in their locker rooms is shown.

Randy “The Natural” Couture joins Mike Goldberg & Joe Rogan at ringside. Randy agrees with Goldberg that Gonzaga should approach Mirko the same way he (Randy) approached Tim Sylvia in their March 3rd fight. Rogan started doing the hard sell for Gonzaga, but pulled back and said that Gonzaga hasn’t faced world-class competition yet. Randy said that style-wise he would rather face Mirko than face Gonzaga in a UFC Heavyweight Title fight. Randy picked Gonzaga to win the fight.

A video package for Mirko Cro Cop aired with many of his legendary kicks in the PRIDE ring. They are putting him over big as a PRIDE star. Then footage of Gabriel Gonzaga’s past UFC wins is shown. Gonzaga says he is prepared to fight standing up against Mirko.

The lights go out and the ring introductions start. Gonzaga comes to the ring first. Little reaction. The crowd was very much into Mirko, however, and Rogan said, “That is the most intimidating man to ever come out to Duran Duran music.”

Mirko Cro Cop vs. Gabriel Gonazaga (206-265 pounds – Heavyweights)

Round one

Mirko chants in the crowd. Gonzaga throws a couple of shots. All stand-up so far. Gonzaga missed a right low-kick. He misses another one. Mirko went for a left kick, Gabriel caught it, and took Mirko down. Mirko has the guard applied. Gonzaga throws a couple of elbows. Mirko tries to grabs Gabriel’s arms to stop the punches. Randy says half-way through round one, Gabriel is winning. Dominant so far for Gonzaga. Two minutes left. More elbows from Gonzaga. Very methodical. More elbows. Now some punches. One minute left in the round. Couture says that Mirko not training in the cage (but in a ring) is a mistake before fights. The fighters are stood up with 30 seconds left. Gonzaga caught Mirko with a devastating right high-kick that just crumpled Mirko and finished the fight. It was over.

Winner: Gabriel Gonzaga (late R1 by right high-kick for the KO)

A beautiful finish to a one-sided fight. On the replays, you can see major twisting of Mirko’s leg and ankle after the KO. That was as nasty as the high-kick. The fans cheer Mirko as he tries to recover from the KO to sit on a stool in the cage. Gonzaga got a very good pop from the crowd for the result announcement. Gabriel cut a promo in portuguese after the fight. Gabriel tried to speak some English to Rogan’s second question. Randy Couture put over Gonzaga after the fight. Randy got a great reaction from the crowd.

Rogan tried to interview Mirko after the fight. He was very disappointed, but the fans gave him a good response. A good fight audience tonight for the event.

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