I had the pleasure of being at UFC 101, admittedly this was my first live UFC event. The Wachovia Center was an excellent location, but I have some words to the wise if you plan on attending the next UFC in Philadelphia.
- Do not eat or drink at the Wachovia Center! Get there early and either tailgate in the parking lot, or park and walk to a local bar/restaurant. The food and drinks are lacking in quality, and high in price (except the “Crab Fries” from Chickies and Pete’s, they are always a good decision).
- Do not fight in the audience! Some geniuses during the Aaron Riley/Shane Nelson fight, decided to show off their classiness by brawling in the audience. Two dudes got into a pushing match, and then their lady friends grabbed each others’ hair and pummeled each other ala Don Frye vs. Takayama!
- Do not watch the fights when they happen in the audience! “This is why we can’t have nice things!” Boxing (despite it’s inherent boredom), maintains a certain level of class, and I feel as though if you respect MMA as a sport we should be trying to establish dignity as well. We’ve come a long way as a sport, let’s not tarnish what we’ve worked for. The Riley vs. Nelson fight had a lot of good exchanges which went unnoticed, because people were more interested in seeing an episode of “Jerry Springer” unfold in the audience, than they were watching two professionally athletes give it their all. Admittedly, I watched a couple seconds before I came to the realization that I could see that same fight at a dive bar for free.
- Go to the Weigh In! Because it’s free and it’s awesome. Fighters walk around nonchalantly and are quick to give autographs or pictures to fans. Dana White does a Q & A before the weigh ins which was pretty entertaining, and of course the weigh ins themselves set the tone and get you excited for the next nights pugilistic affair.
All in all, watching the UFC live is something I will never forget, and plan on repeating. Hopefully, MMA will get sanctioned in New York, and they’ll have an event at MSG. I’ll keep my fingers crossed, but until then keep checking out this site because we have a lot of events coming up in our great Garden State!
Side Note: I would like to take this time to brag that I went 5 out of 5 for picking the winners of the main card. The rounds and outcomes I called were not as accurate, but most of them went the way I described (except the Sadollah/Hendricks fight). Stay tuned in the next couple weeks as I will be predicting the Ring of Combat XXVI card!
UFC 101 is going to be amazing, not just for Philadelphia and the State of Pennsylvania, but also for MMA fans living in New Jersey. Being on the East coast makes it hard to see a live UFC show, but now with the sport being sanctioned in Pennsylvania (and hopefully New York soon) we now have another outlet to see “the big show”.
This match up is really tough to call, simply because it’s Kurt’s combination of Jiu Jitsu and Wrestling versus Josh Neers overall toughness. Neer May have the stand up edge, but Pellegrino has proven in the past that he has an iron chin. I am gonna go with Pellegrino by Unanimous Decision via grappling dominance.
Amir is primarily a Muay Thai and Jiu Jitsu practitioner but he proved in his fight against CB Dollaway that he can compete against a competent wrestler. However, Johnny Hendricks is much more than just a “competent” wrestler. If Hendricks doesn’t shoot, Amir will cut him up standing. I think Amir will have many submission attempts but Hendricks is going to defend and coast to a decision.
At 6’6 Kendall Grove is an imposing figure especially against Almeida who admittedly wants to drop down to Welterweight after this fight. Putting size aside, there aren’t many people under UFC contract with the ground skills that Almeida possesses. I believe that this fight will be decided in clinch range, with Almeida trying to close the distance and shoot for take downs, and Grove trying to Thai clinch. I think Almeida is going to weather the storm and take Grove down and then win via submission.
Forrest Griffin is the king of the upset, but Anderson Silva has made former champions look like amateurs. Forrest’s chances in this fight revolve around his ability to pressure Silva without taking damage. An almost impossible task. Silva is more skilled than Forrest in all areas of fighting, except wrestling. It’s here where Forrest will have to impose his will, and then watch out for submissions. If anyone can pull it off it’s Forrest, but I feel like his “lead with the face” style and aggression are going play right into Silva’s counter-striking. Silva by TKO in the 3rd round.
Kenny Florian has vastly improved since the Ultimate Fighter, and he is without a doubt the future Lightweight Champion. However, it won’t be tonight. BJ is the same fighter as Kenny, but better. Bj has better Jiu Jitsu, better boxing, and more experience against tougher opponents. Kenny has the ability to beat anyone at 155 but I think an in-shape BJ Penn is almost unstoppable at Lightweight. Barring Kenny cutting BJ with an elbow, I am going to say BJ wins via TKO, and retains his belt.
This weeks video is a famous battle between Hamilton, NJ’s Ricardo “Big Dog” Almeida and Nathan “The Great” Marquardt, from 2003 in Japan for The Pancrase organization. Nate Marquardt was the Middleweight King of Pancrase at the time, defending against Professor Almeida. This one has a controversial ending (but a decisive victory).
Ricardo Almeida will be fighting on the Main Card of UFC 101 this Saturday (08/08/09) against Kendall Grove. Tune in and show some support for Professor Almeida!