Monthly Archives: August 2010

UFC 118 at the theater

Posted on by 0 comment

M’girl and I usually watch all the UFC events. Sometimes we stay home and order it on PPV, and other times we go out – usually to a sports bar. Thanks to MMA Roundup, we got free tickets to see UFC 118 at the AMC Theaters at Westgate.

I will talk about not only the fights, but first I want to review the experience of seeing UFC in the theater. It was a unique experience…an experience I will probably not repeat unless some changes are made. NOTE: these changes need to be made by Fathom Events and possibly the UFC. These issues are not the fault of AMC.

The first aspect of this I did not care for is the lack of an undercard. For this fight, there were a couple of fights before the PPV shown on Spike. However, the theater did not show these fights. Instead, they showed the countdown show that previously ran on Spike and Directv’s 101 Channel. I believe most of the other people there had seen it before too, because almost everyone was talking to their friends.

I would have liked to seen the undercard live at home, but then I would have been late to see the main card. The theater was about 60-70% full, and showing up at 7pm PDT would have meant sitting in the front rows (blech). We recorded the undercard on our DVR, but didn’t get to see those fights until after we got home from the PPV.

The next consideration about going to the theater is money. First, even though our tickets were free, if we were to purchase them we would have spent $30. The hi-def version at home is $54.95, so the savings for two people would have been about $25…until we figure in the cost of food and drink. The candy, popcorn, and sodas we bought was $21…negating the savings we would have had. It is true that we could have done without the candy and popcorn but drinks were still needed (about $13 for drinks alone). But figure in any more than two people and it would be cheaper to stay home and order it. I do not see reduction of ticket prices as a possibility. I do not think a cheaper price would entice me to do it again, and the theater has to make their money. Since the UFC event takes about 3 hours, the theater should be compensated for about the price of two movies.

After all these issues, we then sat down to enjoy the show. The audio was only coming out of the front speakers when it started, and seemed to improve as the night went on. By the start of the first fight, the audio was one of the positives about the night.

Seeing the fights on the big screen was probably the best part of the experience. Seeing the fighters about 2-3 times actual size was a nice touch, but it was almost too big. At the end of the evening, I would have to say that I am glad to see fights on a screen this size, but I think I prefer the HDTV at home to the big screen. I have watched IMAX 3-D movies with no problems, but watching this type of event on a screen this large this close was a little dizzying at times.

I know this has been a negative review of seeing UFC at the theater, but I believe there is an audience for this. The best audience for this would include: younger people that do not have access to the event at home, people not interested in drinking alcohol while watching the fights, and people that don’t have a lot of friends interested in UFC. I just don’t fit into these groups.

That being said, let’s talk about the card.

The first fight was Marcus Davis and Nate Diaz. Since Bubba has a wee bit o’ Irish in him, I was rooting for Marcus “Irish Hand Grenade” Davis. The first round was fairly even, but turned bloody when a large gash opened up over Davis’ eye after what appeared to be an accidental clash of their heads. The cornermen patched up the cut as much as possible in between the first and second rounds, and after a doctor examined it they continued fighting. It was at this time that Diaz appeared to find his range and landed the better shots. Between Diaz’s strikes and the blood draining into his eye, Davis steadily weakened until Diaz choked him out in the third round. Some question the speed (or lack of speed) of the stoppage as Davis appeared to pass out from the choke about 10 seconds before the ref stopped it.

Next up was Kenny Florian and Gray Maynard. The winner of this fight had previously been promised a shot at the lightweight championship, adding a little more importance to the bout. This fight went to the judges after three rounds, and Maynard won convincingly after taking Florian down repeatedly. This was not the most exciting fight of the night but still interesting.

Demian Maia and Mario Miranda were up next. Maia’s last fight with Anderson Silva was still fresh in everyone’s mind, and expected him to come out fired up. Maia controlled the fight to a unanimous decision after three rounds, but couldn’t finish Miranda, another well-schooled BJJ student. Miranda’s counters to Maia’s submission attempts were nothing less than spectacular, but Maia’s skills were too much of a match for Miranda to gain any momentum.

I think it would be safe to say that no one outside of Boston was watching for either of these fights, though. The moment we were waiting for was finally here: James Toney v Randy Couture. Toney chased Dana White around the country, begging for an opportunity to show that boxing was where the skill was, and the UFC was full of a bunch of chumps. The trash talking continued long after the bout was finally signed, and included Toney dressing up a Couture action figure with an evening gown and purse.

But now was the time for the trash talking to stop and the fighting to start. Couture repeatedly said he would not box Toney, but would take him down and beat him up. Well, Couture could not have predicted it any better. The initial single-leg takedown attempt failed, but seconds later Toney was on his back, receiving the good old ground and pound from the UFC hall of famer. After 3:19 of the crowd chanting “Randy” and “UFC”, Toney either tapped out or begged the referee to stop the arm triangle and the one-sided beating he was enduring. In a post-fight interview, Toney declared that his ground game was “alright”. I know it’s a tired clichĂ©, but between his manner of speech and the self-evaluation of his skills, he clearly acted like a boxer that had taken one too many hits to the brain.

After the fight, Dana White declared the boxing experiment officially over and declared there would be no more boxers fighting in the UFC. Thank God.

It is a little hard to believe that Toney/Couture was not the main event, but that honor was reserved for the UFC Lightweight Championship, a rematch between the former champion BJ Penn and the new champion Frankie Edgar. Many fans, myself included, expected Penn to come out swinging, ready to retake the championship from Edgar. But Penn wasn’t the only improved fighter after having his title taken away. Edgar came out of the dressing room looking more like Clay Guida, displaying the same type of bouncy energy Guida is known for. Edgar moved from side to side in an unpredictable manner, causing Penn to never find his rhythm. Edgar repeatedly took down Penn, and assumed control of the fight for all five rounds. Going into the fifth round, his corner was heard saying “do not let this guy take even one round!”

Knowing that Penn still had great BJJ skills, Goldberg and Rogan emphasized the importance of not letting up; good advice knowing how Anderson Silva beat Chael Sonnen after being dominated for four and a half rounds. By continuing to pressure Penn until the end of the fight, Edgar escaped that fate and won a unanimous decision, 50-45 on every card.

Overall, the card was entertaining, and I’m glad we saw Toney get his butt kicked after all the smack talk. However, I don’t think I’ll be seeing any more fights at the theater.

Category: MMA, UFC