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About AdamTH17

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  1. Bang on the money with your prediction there Wand! I'm trying to set aside the time and effort to watch Shamrock/Gracie II but it's difficult. I'll be immensely surprised if it's anything other than Shamrock sitting in Royce's guard for 36 minutes. The time isn't that much of a factor to me, if you asked me to watch Keith Hackney and John Hess slug it out for 36 minutes I'd be all over it. It's just the knowing what's going to happen, and the knowing it's going be shit that makes it off putting. That, and the fact there'll be fuck all to talk about other than "Royce maintains guard" 500 times. I'll try to whack something up for it tomorrow morning.
  2. The most heat a RAW PPV will have had in years.
  3. Yeah they made the official announcement at Axxess over Wrestlemania weekend, 32 participants coming from 17 different countries. Only thing I can find for a date is "Summer 2017".
  4. It's been confirmed that UFC 216 will take place in Edmonton, Canada. Won't link a source because I'm on my phone but a quick scan of Twitter will tell you all you need to know. Have to presume this is the date they run Bisping/GSP. If not then my excitement for that fight has really depleted.
  5. UFC 5 - PART ONE Date: April 7 1995 - Charlotte, North Carolina - Attendance: 6000 - Buy Rate: 260,000 Let's give one another go then, yeah? 7 months ago, UFC hosted their third event, and their first taking place within Charlotte, North Carolina. The show was advertised under the premise of the anticipated rematch taking place between Royce Gracie, and Ken Shamrock. Following their fight at UFC 1, which Royce won in mere minutes, it was obvious that their rematch was the money match to make. Their first fight was a massive factor in setting the UFC wheels in motion. How could Royce, this skinny little Brazilian force this chiselled statue of a man in Shamrock to voluntarily submit? It massively reinforced the ideals of anything being able to happen in the octagon, and it paved the way for Gracie's Jiu-Jitsu to dominate many a fighter in the company. This is a big fight, reflected in the surge of attendance and buy rate this show garnered. In comparison, their last outing in Charlotte garnered just half the attendance, and only a 90,000 buy rate. It's a fight people were very much willing to pay for, and it's going down. At the time of this show, Gracie had won 3 out of the 4 tournaments hosted by the UFC. The only occasion he didn't win was due to dropping out, citing fatigue as the issue. His last fight was his toughest to date though. Dan Severn had taken apart his two opponents in the quarter and semi finals, before dominating Gracie for a long duration of time in the finals. Royce proved too intelligent for a fighter like Severn however, submitting him with an arm triangle in just under 16 minutes. Though he's been tested before, still nobody is able to find a method of beating Gracie. There's a lot of new faces on this show. With the exception of Dan Severn, all the other tournament participants were fighters making their UFC debut. It's a smart move, introducing a lot of fresh talent to a big PPV audience. I'm a fan of the booking coming into this event as well. Severn fought well against Royce, but couldn't beat him, and now needs to re-establish himself in another tournament to merit his rematch, yet with 7 new competitors, will he be able to overcome guys who may be real unknown talents? His excellent wrestling pedigree was evident for all to witness at UFC 4, yet his issues in finishing fights eventually cost him. All of the physical attributes are there for him, and I'm excited to see if he can develop the skill set to compliment them. My knowledge on these new fighters is literally non-existent, so it's going to be a fun opportunity for me to broaden my MMA horizons and check them out. It's making for a very interesting looking card, so without wasting anymore time... Jon Hess vs Andy Anderson The first thing I notice is that the production is way up on this show. The music, the stage, the lighting. It's all streets ahead of their set up from their previous shows. Big John even has a branded shirt! It only has "UFC V" emblazoned across it, but I'm satisfied! I know I spoke briefly about unknown quantities, but Hess is really out there. He's no sanctioned record, and is the founder of an art called SAFTA. Anderson supposedly has 86 knockouts in bare knuckle challenges, so take that as you will. It's a weird situation. Here's this fantastic upgrade in production, and here's some new carny as fuck fighters to go alongside it. From the get go it's clear any boasts in regards to technique is utter fabrication. They just start flailing at one another and hope that something connects. Hess drops Anderson, tries to jump on him, misses, and has to pull guard. They both stand up and Hess is chasing Anderson down. He's utter dross, but he's 6'9 and that has to account for something. He clubs on Andy until he goes down and the stoppage follows soon after. Todd Medina vs Larry Cureton Both guys are being played up as strikers, which makes an interesting change from the last show. The success of guys so far has mostly come from those whom can control their opponent on the ground, so this should make for something a bit different. Scratch that, Medina goes for a sloppy takedown and lands it. Cureton is clueless fighting off of his back, and just tries to throw anything he can land with. All he can hope for is to hold Medina as closely to the body as possible. Todd throws headbutts from the top and Cureton submits. This is a fascinating example of fighters just copying what's been successful for others. The message seems to be, if you can wrestle in the slightest, you should do it. Guys like Medina have no idea how to progress from the guard, it's nothing more than emulating what they've seen from the likes of Shamrock and Severn, yet if you can take away a strikers ability to hit you then you're always going to have the advantage. Every time we see a striker hit the canvas, they panic and inevitably tire themselves out. This was no different. It's eye opening seeing just how abysmal the takedown defence of these strikers is. Medina's wrestling was really poor yet it was still enough to get Cureton on his back, where he was never going to win the fight. Oleg Taktarov vs Ernie Verdicia Oleg is a sambo fighter from Russia, whom has never lost a fight before this event. Black belt in both Judo and Sambo, so there'll be no prizes for guessing his strategy tonight. Ernie is a kempo karate fighter, working as a paramedic. There's something hilarious about his entourage all being fellow ambulance employees. The announcers bill this as a striker vs grappler. I doubt Verdicia is going to buck the trend. Ernie actually manages to land on Oleg, and in a combination of Oleg pulling guard and Ernie falling over, winds up on top. Oleg is comfortable working from half guard, and rightfully so. Ernie's top game poses no threat to him. He rides out Ernie's laboured offence before throwing him to the side and choking him out with a side headlock. Easy stuff for Oleg, who never looked anything other than being in complete control. This felt like a UFC 1 bout, with an easy opponent being given to a likely finalist for no other reason than a showcase of skills. Dan Severn vs Joe Charles You can tell the UFC has high hopes for Severn. Unlike the other fighters, where their videos detail their fighting style, Severn's is solely dedicated to how he managed to drag Royce into a gruelling battle. It's smart booking, because if he does well (and he really should given this pool of fighters) then he's already being built as the likely challenger to the winner of Gracie/Shamrock. Charles was an accomplished high school wrestler and judoka. Within the opening four seconds, Severn has Charles on his back. He's a lot more aggressive than in his last showings, quickly transitioning to side control to strike Charles. Severn is forced to be pulled into guard, but when Charles tries to move, takes the back and slaps on a choke to send him into the next round. Easy pickings for Severn, with his work from guard being a lot better than against Royce. Obviously, Charles is nowhere near the league of Royce but it's good to see Severn adapting from what let him down on the previous show. Dave Beneteau vs Todd Medina Beneteau is filling in for the injured Jon Hess, whom broke his hand during his fight earlier in the night. He had to beat Asbiel Cancio to get here, which he did by winning in 20 seconds, so at least he has some pedigree behind him. Medina makes his way to the octagon, and it's revealed he's great pals with Joe Son and Kimo. Here we fucking go then. Dave lands the takedown early and throws some headbutts from side control. Medina is trying to wriggle out, but Dave is a big fucker, and it's not working out for him. Beneteau grabs the mount, breaks free of Medina's grip and pounds away until the towel is thrown in. This completely backs up my point from earlier. Anyone with even the slightest knowledge of wrestling is trying it, just because they're trying to emulate others. Medina was the guy working from the top in his earlier fight, yet in this one he's been put on his back at the tip of a hat. It's a good tactic, because it's evidently working, but this company is crying out for a good all-rounder. Oleg Taktarov vs Dan Severn Severn holds a 55lb advantage heading into this one, meaning if he gets Oleg on the floor, I don't see him allowing him back up. Two chaps who are actually decorated in their wrestling skills, so hopefully we get something resembling competitive in this one. Dan takes Oleg down from the head, and quickly follows with a sharp knee to the face. That looked like it hurt. Severn is throwing hammerfists from the top but isn't causing much damage, so he has to settle for keeping himself in the half guard. He's able to shift into full guard and start leaving some considerable bruising pn Oleg's face. Rough stuff. Severn has some old fucker in his corner barking orders, and it's magnificent. Troublesome moment for Severn as Oleg goes to trap an arm, but Seven counters with another brutal knee which cuts Taktarov up underneath the eye. Oleg is folded up at the moment and his face is just pissing blood. Knees keep landing, and Oleg keeps bleeding, and Big John calls this one off after 4 minutes. The correct call, because Taktarov was completely pissing blood by the end of this fight. Another stellar demonstration of wrestling and ground and pound from Severn, a much improved ability again of engaging when on the ground and actively seeking a finish. The first knee he threw came out of nowhere, it considerably rocked Oleg and subsequently allowed Severn to control the rest of the bout. Taktarov gets a nice ovation as he leaves the cage. Dan Severn vs Dave Beneteau The tale of the tape is interesting reading. Severn, the Greco-Roman wrestler matched against the Judoka wrestler in Beneteau. They both lock horns by clinching to start, Severn closing the distance and holding Dave up on the cage. Beneteau connects with a strong uppercut which momentarily wobbles Dan, but his following takedown attempt comes to nothing. Severn manages to back Dave back onto the cage with the clinch and scores with some clean knees to the body. Beneteau swings for the fences with a right, allowing Dan to improve his position on the cage considerably. Severn is still maintaining control of Beneteau, but a takedown attempt hasn't looked though it's been coming from either men. Eventually, Severn catches an off-guard Beneteau with an outside trip and straight away looks to the finish. He can't connect with any powerful strikes but a keylock is what takes the submission victory in 3:03. The celebrations are really underway, with his entire entourage flooding himself and Big John with champagne a in the middle of the cage. You'll notice I haven't included the fight between Royce Gracie and Ken Shamrock. I won't bother making excuses, it's late, I know they fight for a long time, and if it's the sort of fight I envision them having I'll end up drifting off. I've split this overview of UFC 5 into two sections, and the second section will solely focus on the Gracie/Shamrock rematch. As for the tournament aspect, it was a bit of a slog to get through. Most guys are now realising that wrestling is a really effective method of victory, yet there's a serious lack of understanding of how to capitalise once your opponent is actually on the ground. It's all well and good being able to put somebody on their back, but unless you have an idea of what to do next, there's not particularly much point. The new fighters were fairly disappointing. I was excited to be introduced to seven brand new guys, but none of them made any sort of impression on me. You could probably sort them equally into guys capable of stopping a takedown, and guys who haven't a clue, and you've gotten yourself some brackets. Severn winning the tournament was pleasing, because he's now primed and set for a showdown between the Shamrock/Gracie winner, and that's going to be a big money fight irregardless of the winner. I wasn't feeling this show much. They made a lot of effort improving the production side of things, but they could have taken a large chunk of that into investing in improved fighters. The viewing audience understands that wrestling is a valuable tool, it's not particularly necessary to have these cans with no experience of grappling in to prove that time and time again. You aren't getting many exciting fights either. Once a fight hits the floor, you're either seeing an expert like Severn beat the shit out of his opponent, or somebody not as well-versed like John Hess clubbing their opponent like a gorilla. It had an impact on the crowd as well. By the tournament finals, they weren't particularly loud or active because they understood once the fight hits the floor, nothing much exciting is going to happen. Of course, the mega-long Shamrock/Gracie bout didn't help matters, but this was an issue progressing throughout the night. I'll see how I feel after visiting the superfight tomorrow, but as it stands, this show is a bit of a miss for me.
  6. Featherweight really is a cracking little division at the moment. A lot of people, myself included, thought it would really suffer from losing Conor but it's in a lovely place at the moment. Similarly to Middleweight, I get the feeling that the best of the best (Aldo, Holloway, Edgar, Cub, Zombie) are all fairly interchangeable in their rankings positions and could all beat guys in that division depending who was having the better day. There's not one match-up that I get the feeling would be anything other than a barnburner, either. Aldo/Holloway, Cub/Yair, Zombie/Yair, Aldo/Cub, Edgar/Holloway, Choi/Zombie are all fights that could feasibly occur that I'd be all over. You've got a lot of new, fresh faces challenging for the belts unlike divisions such as Light Heavyweight where someone like Shogun is probably a win away from a title shot. Yair, Cub and Holloway still feel like relevant newcomers to the title chase, Zombie returning after so long in such excellent fashion feels like a new signing, Pettis if he can get his weight sorted, and I'd wager a lot of money Korean Superboy is going to be back amongst that mix in the not too distant future.
  7. Utter lunatic by the sound of things. After reading about the crimes he's been sent down for, I wish Keith Hackney turned his bollocks into puree.
  8. I saw a nice idea somewhere for the Flyweight belt, which suggested if Sergio Pettis gets past Cejudo (unlikely, but stranger things have happened) then have a FOX card with DJ/Sergio headlining and then Anthony fighting in the co-main. Caught up on Lobov/Swanson, and Lobov looked far more well-rounded than I seem to remember him being. Swanson was clearly the better fighter but it wasn't a monumental difference. Just a professional, good showing from him. The fact that Lobov, an unranked guy who's got the same amount of losses as he does wins managed to go the distance against the #4 ranked contender shows the leaps and bounds he's made in the last few years. I suppose it makes a big difference having McGregor in your corner. He's not somebody I ever see giving trouble to the top 5, but I could see him hanging in and around the top 15 pretty soon. Featherweight would be a lot more interesting if Yair gets past Edgar at 211. Any combination of Yair vs Holloway/Edgar/Swanson is a million times more appealing than the possibility of Aldo/Edgar III.
  9. UFC 4 Date: December 16 1994 - Tulsa Oklahoma - Attendance: 5,857 - Buy Rate: 120,000 Number four! We head into this event with the landscape looking a little different. For the first time, Royce Gracie isn't walking into a show as the champion. That honour belongs to Steve Junnem, whom won the tournament despite the final being his only participation. Junnem is back tonight though, and you have a few nice little stories leading into this event. Can Junnem prove he's a legitimate champion? Can Gracie overcome the fatigue issues that forced him to drop out? Will any new fighters prove a challenge for our more regular combatants? There's a chap by the name of Dan Severn making his debut tonight as well, you might know him. No introduction video this time, but the commentary team do run down the preliminary fights. Joe Charles beat Kevin Rosier (from UFC 1) and Marcus Bossett beat Eldo D. Xavier. Charles and Bossett would now act as the potential alternatives for the night in the event of injury. A good idea given the events from UFC 3, as it allows the crowd to familiarise themselves with the fighters somewhat, and also means they aren't just being handed an easy fight which they haven't earnt. It also means they won't have the advantage of coming into a fight fresher than their opponent. Ron van Clief vs Royce Gracie At 51 years of age, van Clief is still the oldest participant to fight within the UFC. He's a 10th black belt in karate, and seems like a nice guy which is a shame given the total mugging Royce is going to give him. The crowd is really in on this, they're in great voice especially for the Gracie train walkout. We're underway and van Clief is on his back after five seconds. Gracie is just happy waiting on Ron to make a mistake, holding side control and making Ron carry his weight. There's no submission attempts from Royce, he isn't actively searching to lock anything in, he's just content to wait for his opponent to panic and try to move. He's happy to sit in the guard of van Clief, he's in no danger at all from the top. He transitions to take Ron's back and the rear naked choke earns the submission win just under four minutes. Easy pickings for Royce, but this was an incredibly favourable match for him. Ron had nothing to threaten Royce with and everybody seemed to know it. Joe Son vs Keith Hackney They go full pro-wrestling with the introduction of Son. The first shot we see is of him and Kimo stood in the dark reading bibles together. He states "you guys will see the spirit of the lord of the Jesus Christ tonight". He's a practitioner of JoSondo! Put the belt on this chap, Vince. He comes out carrying a cross, similarly to Kimo. The commentary team don't even try to hide the fact they have no idea what's going on. Imagine Joe Son on The Ultimate Fighter? This should be interesting. We know that Hackney has power in abundance after finishing 600lb Emmanuel Yarborough. Hackney tries to close the distance but gets taken down whilst doing so, Son just satisfied to hold Hackney in a front facelock. Only when Keith starts to work to his feet does Joe try for a choke, but it's too late and he winds up being taken down. Hackney just starts whaling away on his bollocks! It's all legal mind, so fair play to him. He essentially starts to strangle Son and there's the submission. Hardly anything pretty, but Hackney has a knack for these entertaining finishes. Melton Bowen vs Steve Jennum Melton is a former golden-gloves winning boxer, the first pure boxer I think we've had so far. He's in good shape and has the stiffest nipples I've ever seen on a man. Jennum is the defending champion. Nobody is really buying Jennum as the guy, even the announcers aren't making any effort to endear his skills. Jennum tries to keep at range with a variety of kicks, but he's doing no damage. He is engaging though, which is a lot more than can be said for Bowen. They clinch, and Jennum takes Melton down. He's managing to continually land with his ground and pound but Bowen doesn't appear to be in a world of trouble. Bowen, the boxer, manages to work Jennum back to a standing position. There's no excuse for that. Jennum scores a lovely judo takedown and Bowen is gassed. Oh, and Jennum is gassed as well. He finally bursts into life after smothering Bowen and locks on an armbar for the tap. Jennum is wank. He looked knackered after two minutes, and allowed a boxer to wrestle his way to his feet. I hope Royce twists his head off. Anthony Macias vs Dan Severn Macias is the hometown fighter. That hasn't been a good omen for previous shows, but we might see him buck that trend. Severn is carrying a big weight advantage coming into this fight, to the tune of 70lbs. Christ! We start off with Severn completely ragdolling Macias, but he can't get him down properly, meaning every time he tries to lift him he's taking some heavy elbows to the head. He manages to eventually land a gorgeous suplex, followed by a picture perfect german suplex. The man is freakishly strong. He takes the back and Macias just seems to cover up. The choke soon follows to send Severn through. Really entertaining fight, Macias looked exciting on the feet with his Muay Thai background so it's a shame he's out. A huge debut for Severn, leaving a massive impression on this crowd. Royce Gracie vs Keith Hackney Interesting clash of styles. Royce is the submission wizard, slick as you can get, whereas Hackney hasn't anything in terms of technique but a lot of power. He's a big chap as well which might leave Royce vulnerable when going for the takedown. And we see it straight away! Royce is just a little too far away with his first attempt and eats two uppercuts in the process. And a second takedown is stuffed! Gracie is flustered, he starts rushing in with strikes to little avail and the crowd can tell he's not on the ball. Hackney keeps making the mistake of having his back constantly against the cage, and it allows Royce to clinch with him. Hackney starts throwing shots though! He connects a few times and Gracie isn't pleased one fucking bit. He's composed enough to clinch however, throwing knees to the ribs before pulling guard and attempting an arm triangle. Keith's having none of it, and starts nailing Royce with hard shots from a stacked guard. Royce weathers the storm enough to pull Hackney into a tight guard, managing to straighten out the arm and forcing the tap! This was excellent stuff. We had seen vulnerabilities from Royce in terms of his wrestling against Kimo, but this was the first time we saw how he handled being smacked around by a heavy hitter like Hackney. Both guys came out of this looking great. Gracie manages to keep his shit together against a powerful, unorthodox fighter and Hackney was tagging the former champion pretty consistently. The best fight so far from these early shows. Give this a watch. Dan Severn vs Marcus Bossett Bossett is filling in for the injured Steve Jennum. Piss off, Steve. I can't find anything on Bossett other than he's a heavyweight mixed martial artist. He lands a nice body kick in the opening exchange, but when throwing another gets his leg caught and thrown to his back. Severn's on top and uses an arm triangle to submit Bossett in under a minute. Another fantastic showcase for the Beast. Dan Severn vs Royce Gracie You have to think Severn has the advantage here. He has not only the size and weight, but an immensely accomplished wrestling background to counter the takedown game of Gracie. He's also been in the octagon for a much lesser time, and absorbed less punishment than Royce. There's a big feeling out process, before Severn dives in and shoots for a single. I'm looking forward to seeing if Gracie has to use a more aggressive submission style now, Severn isn't likely to leave many holes in his game. Royce holds him in guard as they swap small strikes to the head. Severn will be more than happy to lay on Gracie, there's an 80lbs difference that Royce is being made to carry. There's a lot of smothering here, Severn isn't looking for any strikes or to set up anything to tap Gracie out with. There really isn't much to write home about. Severn is laying on top of Royce, Royce is happy to keep Severn in the guard. Dan lands with some nice rights to the side of Royce's head, but again Royce deals with them capably enough. He begins to actively search out submissions from the bottom, throwing his legs up for any variation of a triangle, but getting nowhere. Dan is fighting conservatively, but smartly. He's in no rush to go for the finish and he's very aware how easily Royce can lock in a submission. We're at the 15 minute mark, and there's still not much in terms of actual action. Royce has spent all that time on his back. But Severn commits his head too closely to Royce, letting Gracie wrap his legs around the neck and try to slap on a triangle, he starts wrenching and wrenching and locks it in and the tap soon follows. The Gracie family flood the octagon to see out the show. Another surprisingly entertaining show. The main event was a bit of a snoozer, but they still managed to maintain the big fight feeling based on how excellent Severn had looked in his two fights beforehand. If you look at the amount of submission victories it's clear to see the path to victory is there, and more guys are now beginning to implement these takedowns into their arsenal, despite maybe not having any prior knowledge or even experience of what to do from the ground. This was a really enjoyable show though, and probably my favourite of the four so far. Severn looked like the man, before being caught by Royce. Steve Junnem fucks off after one fight, Hackney/Gracie was a great clash of styles and Joe Son is Joe Son. Good stuff from the UFC.
  10. Haven't caught up on the main event yet but Ray/Lauzon was a war, a proper barnburner. Dodson looked irritatingly good in comparison to Wineland, and Iaquinta's knockout of Sanchez was lethal. It pales in comparison to what Perry did to Ellenberger though, a genuinely sickening finish if there ever was one. Then Perry decides to do a fucking spineroonie whilst Ellenberger's on the floor, legs spasming out trying to remember which planet he's on. Cock.
  11. Happy to hear that Tuli is doing alright for himself! My lasting memory of him from UFC 1 was him staggering around the cage, blood pissing out of his eye, with a toothless mouth looking incredibly sorry for himself. Nice to hear that he's got something going for him still. And Kimo is a character to say the very fucking least, my word. He's got the intensity shtick down perfectly, wouldn't want to be locked in a cage with that fucker for any period of time. I think if I'd purchased UFC 3 on PPV, I'd be annoyed. You market the show based on a match that doesn't happen, and you eventually don't see either guy win the tournament! The whole mantra of "anything can happen!" can be a real double-edged sword, and I think UFC 3 was a great example. Maybe it's exciting for some having guys drop out, but when it's your two biggest stars I wasn't a fan to be honest. It didn't help that Junnem and Mitchell were the two blandest fighters imaginable.
  12. Took a bit longer than expected to get this written up. Going to aim to churn 3/4 of these out weekly I think. UFC 3 Date: September 9 1994 - Charlotte North Carolina - Attendance: 3000 - Buy rate - 90,000 We're back for the third installment of the UFC. When we left UFC 2, Royce Gracie had his grip on the company firmly held. He had just won his second consecutive tournament, and in convincing fashion. Predictable as his approach to victory may have been, nobody was able to provide any form of defence for it. Gracie was the man to beat coming into this show, where the UFC reverted back to the 8-man style tournament as opposed to the 16-man tournament from the following show. As with the first two shows, there's a showcase and clashes between various different disciplines of combat sports, with the winner taking home $60,000. This was also the first show to be hosted outside of Colorado, and so far the lowest drawing event to date overall. The obvious plan for this show was the eventual rematch of Ken Shamrock and Royce Gracie. It was the feature focus of the poster, and they were deliberately kept apart to try and ensure a meeting in the final between the two rivals. Open up with another video package. This time the main focus is of Gracie, detailing his general arse-kicking of everyone he's come across, from a plethora of fighting backgrounds. There's no doubt he's the face of this company at this point, and why not? Emmanuel Yarborough vs Keith Hackney Yarborough is huge. 6'8 and 600lbs. That's utterly gargantuan. He completely towers over John McCarthy, whom is a giant in his own right. He comes from a Sumo background and it's hardly a challenge to see why. Hackney is a practitioner in the art of Kempo Karate and stands at a meagre 5'11 in comparison to Emmanuel. He's got a frame of muscle but that size difference is jarring. Hackney throws an open-palmed strike, the first of the fight and drops Yarbourough, but Emmanuel is able to get to his feet where he shoves Keith through the door. The commentators try to say it was burst open at the same time as some dickhead trying to lock it shut. They re-engage, with Hackney keeping his distance with kicks and punches. Yarborough catches a kick but Hackney uses it to close to distance and just smack away at Emmanuel, constantly bombarding him with shots from the side. This goes on for about 45 seconds until Emmanuel submits to the strikes. Hackney's striking technique is garbage, but he's clearly got power in his hands. I'd be interested to see him again, but alas he would be forced to withdraw from this tournament due to injury. Shame. Ken Shamrock vs Christophe Leininger This should be interesting. Shamrock is back again, in his second tournament showing. Christophe is making his debut, and is a two time US National Judo Champion. You'd think they would be giving Shamrock cans to smash through if they wanted him against Royce, but that certainly isn't the case here. Ken really looks the stuff here. Compared to his appearance at UFC 1, he looks a lot more lean and shredded. Leininger shoots a surprisingly sloppy takedown and is stuffed convincingly, but winds up holding Ken in guard. This gets maintained for a while, with Leininger hooking and keeping Ken as controlled as he can. Ken seems comfortable to just throw headbutts from the top, whilst Christophe keeps Shamrock at bay with some punches from the bottom. Christophe goes for a triangle, but Shamrock is able to sweep and take his back alarmingly quickly, and smoothly. Gorgeous transition. Leininger tries to sweep Shamrock, but Ken is too strong, and too stuck to the body and can nail Christophe with some hard shots to the head and body. The submission comes not long after. Shamrock looked fantastic here, his shoot wrestling was of a fantastic level, with his transitions on the ground and power from the top. Leinigner, despite all his credentials is completely gassed out. Harold Howard vs Roland Payne Howard is a Gojo-Ryu Karate specialist, whilst Roland is a Muay Thai guy. Howard even comes out to the octagon with his own version of the Gracie train! Roland is also the hometown guy, yet given how well Pat Smith did in his hometown the previous events, that may not be a good omen. Roland doesn't seem to want any of Harold on the feet and looks for a takedown, getting it, but not being allowed to hold Harold down for long. Roland's wrestling is questionable at best, his best tactic for a takedown seemingly to be wrap his body around a leg and hope for the best. He can however back Howard up against the cage with some kicks, but a big right hook drops him for the 46 second finish. Royce Gracie vs Kimo Leopoldo The champion returns! In his pre-fight promo, the announcer says Kimo wants to deliver his own version of "Kimo-Therapy" - taking home the award for comment that would have you lynched in the modern day. He also preaches the message of Jesus throughout half of the year. This is interesting, he's entering wearing a wig and robe, arms wrapped around a cross. Utter mentalist. Kimo comes out the gates quick, with Royce wasting no time engaging in the clinch. Kimo is demonstrating some good defence at the moment, preventing Royce from taking it to the ground. The commentary team rightfully point out this is by far the longest time Royce has remained on his feet. Gracie manages to somewhat stagger into a takedown, but it's Kimo who ends up taking Royce's back as they fall! Royce tries to spin out, but Kimo is strong as fuck and completely flips Gracie straight back onto his back. Royce is trying to get something going from the bottom, but Kimo's size and power is making that really pissing difficult for him, meaning all Gracie can do is maintain a guard. We even get some hair pulling from Gracie! Kimo is busted up a little from some punches as they head to their feet. Royce pulls guard and Kimo follows, only to be met with an armbar leading to the submission. Great fight, and just a preview of what could happen if somebody has the natural tools equipped to give Royce some problems. Kimo had those tools, but couldn't take advantage with his actual skill level. Nonetheless, a thoroughly entertaining fight between these two lads. Gracie would subsequently drop out of the tournament, blaming fatigue and dehydration. Felix Mitchell vs Ken Shamrock Mitchell is filling in for the injured Hackney, which is a shame because I'd be all in on Shamrock/Hackney squaring off. He's gotten himself a background in Shaolin Kung Fu. A rare example of these early shows where two guys are fairly equally matched in terms of physical attributes. Ken spends the first 30 seconds throwing some really sloppy takedowns. Given his level of wrestling, he's giving Mitchell, a Kung Fu fighter, an easy job in terms of staying on his feet. There's a lot of clinching, with Ken looking to apply a choke from a back clinch. There's little effort involved though, Ken is happy to just maintain control over Felix at the moment. There's a lot more clinching going on now. Just passed the four minute mark, Shamrock uses an inside trip to take Felix down and take the submission via a Rear Naked Choke. Ken goes down hurt after the match, though there's speculation that he just didn't want to fight in the final after finding out Gracie pulled out of the tournament. Either way, he's out of the final, meaning in our culminating match, we've got... Steve Junnem vs Harold Howard What a mess. Following Gracie pulling out, Howard straight up received a BYE to the final, whereas Junnem is replacing the injured Shamrock. Between the two men, the total fight time tonight clocks up at a whopping 0:46. Considering the company was originally targeting the big rematch between Shamrock and Gracie, they can't have been over excited about ending up with Junnem and Howard headlining. Nonetheless, this is what we're getting. Howard's first offensive move is taking a flip bump. Naturally, it doesn't work and he takes a hard right hand for his troubles. Howard slaps on a guillotine and uses it to pull Junnem down, and it's in tight. Not tight enough however, Junnem slipping out and tagging Harold with another shot. He takes Harold to the ground with ease and punches away until the towel comes in. Steve Junnem is the winner of UFC 3. $60,000 for 1:26 minutes of work. This show was a bit of a mess, really. The first round matches were all fine, and Gracie/Kimo was a genuine highlight, but as soon as Gracie and Shamrock pulled out then you've gotten yourself real problems. Nobody really gave a flying fuck about Steve Junnem winning, as literally nobody in the crowd paid to see him fight. Whilst the fights themselves were entertaining, seeing the promotions two biggest stars both pulling out of their fights wouldn't particularly leave me as a paying fan eager to purchase the next PPV. This has to go down as a miss for the company.
  13. That's been the norm for ages. The interviewer will ask their generic question, and then have the answer they already know recited back to them, and then say thanks and shuffle away. I presume it's a Vince thing to stop them developing any signs of charisma or character that might give people reason to cheer them.
  14. It's gotten people talking at the very least. I couldn't care much really, it's doubtful they're going on last and he's an obvious stopgap for Orton/Styles at Summerslam. If they're trying to establish Orton as a face, then they've done a good job because nobody is going to want Jinder to win. They can even use the Balor concussion angle (which I'm almost certain they will) as a means of establishing Jinder as being a dangerous chap. Corbin would have probably been a better fit, but I'm sure he'll get his time in a couple of months. It's helping with the expansion into India, it helps them promote the unpredictability of the company (which they've been sorely lacking as of late) and it gives Orton somebody to look decent against. Whilst I don't agree with the arguments of "People always want new stars!" primarily because Jinder isn't going to be a star, he's going to have a match for the title and slip back into midcard obscurity (with a slightly higher profile albeit) he's a bit of fresh blood in the title scene. Who knows? He might have a fucking stormer of a match and the smarks will hop on board the Unhinder Jinder movement.
  15. Another thing is that Dana is hardly going out of his way to dismiss Johnson as a draw. He's not trying to sabotage him in any possible way, he's 100% doing his best job to promote him but Johnson isn't giving anything back. Dana has headlined cards with DJ, he's put him in the co-main to big matches such as Jones' comeback fight, he's had him headline FOX cards, he's constantly banging on about DJ being the greatest of all time after he wins, so it's not his fault that Johnson isn't drawing massively. Dana absolutely knows how to market Johnson, which is as one of the best of all time. It's not his fault that DJ is happy to conduct the same old interview, with the same old soundbites from Rogan, against nameless guys every single time he's booked to defend his belt. Though people mention it often, there's a huge issue in regards to the guys he's fighting. Wilson Reis' last fight before this was on the UFC 208 preliminaries, and it wasn't even the featured bout. You can harp on in the build-up about how dangerous he is, but it's easy as fuck to just say how good a guy is. The majority of UFC fans, I'm willing to bet, wouldn't have much of a clue who Wilson Reis was before they announced this fight. If you're going to announce DJ as the "GOAT" then people will just presume he's going to steamroll through the likes of Reis. Flyweight desperately needs someone who won't just be satisfied to shake hands, be all respectful and then lose to DJ. If they had a McGregor, or a Garbrandt esque character in the division then I could feasibly see a Johnson headlined event doing a lot better. At the moment it's hard to get fans to tune in when they've presented DJ as being on a completely different level to everyone else in that division.