UFC 113: Machida vs. Shogun 2 was a very surprising affair for me. Not nearly as surprising as UFC 112 was, but was it as controversial? I’d personally say no, not by a long shot, but many would probably disagree. Regardless, it’s a card that was very exciting for me to watch, and left me very satisfied in the end.
I will be splitting this review into several pieces since I want to review each fight that was shown on the Pay-per-view as in-depth as I can. Doing so will highlight each of my points more clearly and will be less tiresome to read, I believe, and which are some of the things I learned from my overlong review of UFC 112.
The first fight I’ll be reviewing will be between Kevin “Kimbo Slice” Fergusson and Matt “Meathead” Mitrione. Both fighters impressed me very much during their last outing on The Ultimate Fighter: The Heavyweights Finale, as each showed massive improvements to their game. Matt Mitrione defeated Ultimate Fighter rival Marcus Jones, but Kimbo impressed me even more by defeating longtime MMA veteran Houston Alexander. Despite being immediately cut from the UFC after the loss, Alexander is no joke and many wondered if Kimbo would be able to take him. Slice won the match and opened the door to a possibly long career in the UFC.
This fight, as well as the others on this particular review, surprised me very much, particularly because I had Kimbo winning it. Mitrione controls much of the first round with brutal leg kicks that would eventually lead him to victory. Kimbo counterattacks by bringing the fight to the ground as much as he can with his dominant wrestling prowess. Mitrione proves that he is no slouch on the ground, though, as he is able reverse positions and stand up when he wants to, as well as attempt several submissions.
The second round opens with more leg kicks, which Kimbo eventually succumbs to. He attempts to bring Mitrione down again, but his legs fail to give him the explosiveness required for his takedowns and slams, so he just falls to the ground. Mitrione quickly capitalizes and performs a lot of ground and pound on Kimbo’s face. Kimbo does absolutely nothing to intelligently defend himself, though, and the referee stops the match due to TKO with 36 seconds left in round two. Mitrione completely dominated Kimbo in this round.
Mitrione completely surprised me with this win. Not only did he show massive improvements in both his stand up and ground games, but he dominated Kimbo in much of the fight. Dana White, unfortunately, has officially cut Kimbo Slice from the UFC. Many fans have actually questioned this, as Slice was one of the draws for this card. Is it really so wise to immediately cut him after that? I personally think White had this planned for either fighter. Both of them are very inexperienced and are very new to the fight game. Hell, Mitrione was officially 1-0 before entering the octagon! I think the plan was to cut the loser and have him work his way back up to the UFC in one of the slower organizations if he can, while supporting the winner to see how far he can get, which is a pretty standard practice in the UFC.
The UFC has plenty of great fighters in their roster and managing all of them can be pretty taxing at times. Fans are actually complaining, for example, that top contender Cain Velasquez, will have to wait until later this year in order to fight again, since he’s next in line for the belt, resulting in what looks to be a 10 – month gap in between fights. So, with the UFC already having a difficult time managing some of their top contenders’ slots, it’s easy to see that they should just cut out some of the ones at the bottom in order to ease things up a bit.
As a fan, though, I personally wanted to see Kimbo be given one more chance within the UFC. I think he has what it takes to make it in the big leagues, and hopefully, he doesn’t give up and works hard enough to make it back in.
Check out the second part of my UFC 113 reviews where I take an in-depth look at Josh Koscheck vs. Paul Daley, and the third part, where I tackle the rematch between Lyoto Machida and Mauricio Rua.