Tuesday, 18 February 2014

UFC Machida vs Mousasi on BT Sport - TV Review

It's time to head into the Octagon once again as we take a look at the UFC's latest trip to Brazil, an event shown live in the early hours of this past Sunday morning on BT Sport here in Britain.

We begin in the featherweight division with Charles Oliveira taking on Andy Ogle.

As far as show opener goes this was a pretty decent affair. It began with Ogle firing in a couple of jabs before Oliveira took the fight to the ground. It wasn't long before he took the Brit's back as he went searching for a rear naked choke, and although Ogle never really looked in any trouble he couldn't shake the Brazilian off his back.

Ogle had some success in the second round, especially on the ground when he controlled the action from the guard, and it was the same when the third round began. But as the fight neared it's final two minutes Oliveira quickly synched in a triangle choke. Ogle was caught and unable to go anywhere, so it came as no surprise when he tapped out to give Oliveira the submission win.

The first of two welterweight fights saw Viscardi Andrade taking on Nico Musoke.

The first fight of the broadcast that went the distance proved to be an interesting affair, and an example of how you shouldn't count your chickens before they all hatch.

The first round saw Andrade putting together some good combinations, but when he connected with a big right that sent the Swede crashing to the mat he began to celebrate. His failure to go in for the kill straight away meant that Musoke had time to recover, and although Andrade ended up in the guard they were soon back on their feet as Musoke began to get in a few good blows of his own.

Musoke had recovered completely by the time the second round started, so much so that he began to control the majority of the action, much to the dislike of the Brazilian fans. When he took the fight to the ground Andrade didn't seem to have any answer to his ground and pound.

It was the same kind of story in the third. Andrade kept looking for another big right, but by this time Musoke could see that one coming, and when he scored with another takedown he took his man's back and synched in a body lock. At one point it looked as if he was going to transition to top position so he could go for an arm triangle, but as the seconds ticked away it became more and more apparent that he was content to keep his man's back, holding him in position but staying active enough to prevent a referee's stand up.

As for the judges, no surprises there as they gave Musoke their unanimous decision.

The welterweight action continued with Erick Silva and Takenori Sato.

The blink or you'll miss it affair of the evening began with the fighters sizing each other up for the first thirty seconds or so until Silva connected with a kick to the body. Sato then went for a single leg, which Silva responded to be delivering a few heels to the head.

Just a few seconds later Silva delivered a barrage of rights while Sato held on to his leg. It was an assault the Japanese star had no response to, and it came as no surprise when the referee stepped in to give Silva the knockout after just 52 seconds.

The co-main event featured middleweight action as Jacare Souza went up against Francis Carmont.

There was a lengthy feeling out process at the beginning of this one, and after Carmont connected with a left around the one minute mark Souza took his man's back and took the fight to the ground. Once he got there he began to look for the rear naked choke immediately, and although Carmont did a good job defence-wise Souza maintained his control throughout the round.

The second round was an entirely different story though. Carmont's striking looked top notch, and his combinations gave Souza some trouble, but the third round was a repeat of the third, with Souza taking the fight to the ground and taking Carmont's back. Once again he went looking for a rear naked choke, and once again Carmont was able to defend, and even though it was becoming obvious that Souza would get the decision he didn't stop his attack, going for another rear naked choke with just seconds remaining.

As for that decision, definitely no surprises as Souza took the unanimous decision.

The middleweight action continued into the main event as Lyoto Machida faced Gegard Mousasi.

This proved to be a very entertaining five rounder. Both fighters had their moments as they sought to get themselves into position for a shot at the middleweight title.

Machida did a good job of negating Mousasi's jab early on, and as the action progressed he got the better of the striking exchanges, especially with his left kicks to Mousasi's head and neck, and as the fight went on he always looked a couple of steps ahead of his opponent. Mousasi, for his part, had his moments, but he had quite a bit of trouble getting past Machida's defences.

The first notable ground work came in the third round when Machida scored with a trip. and both fighters put in some solid work here, although Mousasi was lucky to escape with just a warning when he connected with an up kick while Machida had one knee on the ground.

The better ground work came in the final round though. At one point Machida took his man's back as he went looking for a choke, and a scramble a few moments later saw Machida take to the air as he tried to land a big right hand while Mousasi was on his back.

So with the fight going the distance the judges were called upon for the final time as Machida took the unanimous decision.

In conclusion - when I logged onto Facebook on Sunday night there were a few posts on my news feed that basically said this show wasn't very good. To those people I have to say sorry, but I disagree.

The UFC's latest trip to Brazil was an entertaining affair, and although it wasn't jam packed with flashy highlight reel finishes it had more good points than bad, and that's the least you can ask for while watching any show.

As for my fight of the night no-prize I'm going for the opener between Charles Oliveira and Andy Ogle, even though my fellow Brit lost!

So with all of that out of the way there's just one more thing to do, and that's to give this show the thumbs up.