UFC 153: Where Did It Rank Among This Year's Pay-Per-Views?
UFC 153 has come and gone, and the hometown fans in Rio de Janeiro couldn't be more pleased. With big wins from Anderson Silva, Minotauro Nogueira and Demian Maia bringing the Brazilian audience to their feet, it was certainly an electric atmosphere for anyone lucky enough to be in attendance.
Now that we have a few weeks until our next UFC event, let's have a quick look at UFC 153 and how it stacked up to other events this year.
This analysis does not look at the caliber of fighters on the event as much as the quality of fights that fans were treated to. Think of this as a "was it worth your money" sort of read.
Who knows how incredible of a night Sept. 1, 2012, could have been for fight fans? Headlined by an epic encounter between dominant champion Jon Jones and iron-willed warrior Dan Henderson, it was considered by many to be the last unpredictable matchup for Jones.
You all know the story of the event's cancellation by now, so I won't rehash old information. Instead, let's look at the pay-per-view that had excellent potential to be one of the best cards of the year.
Co-main event Jake Ellenberger vs. Jay Hieron already took place, and while it wasn't a thrilling affair, Ellenberger was electric with his takedowns and landed the better shots against Hieron to win a unanimous decision.
Dennis Hallman vs. Thiago Tavares could have been interesting but was canceled from its UFC on FX 5 rebooking when Hallman was unfit to compete due to personal issues.
The striker vs. striker battle between featherweights Dennis Siver and Eddie Yagin will take place on December's UFC on FOX event. It's safe to say that fight has great potential to win fight of the night honors on any card.
The final fight that would have been on this event is a flyweight battle between John Lineker and Yasuhiro Urushitani. While the division is being met with less enthusiasm than it deserves, this bout should have been a fun way to kick off the main card. See it when the UFC heads to Macao on Nov. 10.
Not every pay-per-view can be a spectacular night of action. Sometimes, the matchups that look good on paper simply stink up the Octagon. Thankfully, there have only been three such events in 2013, but at $55 a pop, that is three too many.
The Good: Exciting main event between Rich Franklin and Wanderlei Silva. Plus, a quick and decisive victory for Fabricio Werdum in his home country.
The Bad: 72 minutes and 28 seconds of action with only one stoppage on the PPV.
The Ugly: With minimal star power, Mike Russow was the fourth-biggest name on the entire card. Lackluster fights from fighters you don't recognize or care about? Not even worth $10.
The Good: The crowning of Renan Barao as a new star in the bantamweight division, as well as a welterweight scrap between Matt Riddle and Chris Clements.
The Bad: Another card with only one stoppage. Not a travesty but quality finishes are ultimately what fans want to pay for.
The Ugly: In three consecutive bouts, fans were put to sleep by snoozers. Cheick Kongo vs. Shawn Jordan, James Head vs. Brian Ebersole and Hector Lombard vs.Tim Boetsch had the collective excitement of counting your toes.
The Pretty Good
The Good: The crowning of Carlos Condit as interim UFC welterweight champion. Plus, the UFC return of Fabricio Werdum in his dominant display of striking against Roy Nelson.
The Bad: The lack of finishes. Four of five fights went to decision.
The Ugly: The inconsistency in officiating. Josh Koscheck was warned several times about eye pokes against Mike Pierce. The multiple offenses should have cost Kos a point (or two as it did earlier in the night to Alex Caceres) which would have changed the result of the split-decision loss that Pierce settled for.
The Good: Spectacular knockouts from both Michael McDonald and Ben Rothwell. Absolutely brutal!
The Bad: The culmination of Jones vs. Evans was one-sided, but it didn't get the explosive finish we all wanted.
The Ugly: Watching the career of Mark Hominick circle the drain, as he was repeatedly clipped by power shots at the hands of preliminary fighter Eddie Yagin.
The Good: Anderson Silva asserting his dominance over Chael Sonnen. Plus, Chad Mendes and his nasty body-punch knockout over Cody McKenzie.
The Bad: Forrest Griffin vs. Tito Ortiz and Patrick Cote vs. Cung Le not providing the fireworks that were promised.
The Ugly: Forrest Griffin running away from the cage post-fight because he thought that he lost his fight against Tito Ortiz. Come on, man! Have some pride.
The Good: Three knockouts, including an excellent bout between Donald Cerrone and Melvin Guillard.
The Bad: The decision that boned Frankie Edgar out of his lightweight championship. That one still stings.
The Ugly: The terrible fight between Jake Shields and Ed Herman. Ironically, the one that was so painful to watch ended up being rendered useless due to Shields' failed drug test.
The Good: Jon Jones vs. Vitor Belfort was both memorable and highly exciting. A main event that surpassed all expectations. Plus, Cub Swanson announcing himself as a contender at featherweight.
The Bad: Michael Bisping failing to impress in a fight that should have launched him into title contentions. Ultimately, The Count came out on top in a fight that was closer than it should have been.
The Ugly: The disrespect that fans showed flyweight championship bout between Demetrious Johnson and Joseph Benavidez. While watching history being made, fans booed a fight that was better than most just because the men in the cage are too small.
The Uglier: How horrible was the fight between Matt Hamill and Roger Hollett? Between a UFC veteran making his return to the cage and a Bellator fighter coming over after making headlines in regards to a contract dispute had decent expectations in terms of quality.
The Spectacular: Edson Barboza's wheel-kick KO of Terry Etim will go down as one of the greatest knockouts in history.
The Good: All five fights on the PPV ended with an excellent finish. Jose Aldo's knockout of Chad Mendes in the main event will go down as one of the greatest post-fight celebrations in history.
The Bad: The awful decision of Mario Yamasaki to disqualify Erick Silva after a pair of strikes (in a flurry of many) landed on the back of his opponent's head. Joe Rogan was right to put the long-time referee on the spot.
The Ugly: Anthony Johnson's inability to make weight. Your middleweight debut ended up being a 197-pound catchweight. Really?
The Spectacular: Anthony Pettis' head-kick KO of Joe Lauzon to open the PPV. What a way to kick off the UFC's long-awaited return to Japan.
The Good: The crowning of Benson Henderson as the world's top lightweight. Plus, excellent knockouts from Tim Boetsch and Mark Hunt.
The Bad: Not much. Even the worst fight on this card was somewhat entertaining.
The Ugly: Rampage Jackson showing up out of shape and losing a decision to Ryan Bader.
The Spectacular: All-heavyweight card means high-impact action. Every fight on the main card ended violently.
The Good: More for your money! Because the main-card fights ended so quickly, a total of 10 fights were aired on the PPV.
The Bad: Frank Mir didn't belong in that main event. But if that's the worst thing I can say about this card, I've got nothing to complain about.
The Ugly: The face of Bigfoot Silva after Cain Velasquez brutalized him.
The Spectacular: Anderson Silva showing off his invulnerability in any situation, even when giving up a big size difference.
The Amazing: Jon Fitch vs. Erick Silva turning into a war of attrition that rightfully landed Fitch with a Fight of the Night trophy.
The Good: Big Nog making Dave Herman eat his "jiu-jitsu doesn't work" comments by submitting him with a nasty armbar.
The Ugly: The blood squirting from the mouth and nose of Rick Story as Demian Maia squeezed in a deep rear-naked choke.
The Uglier: Watching Fabio Maldonado eat countless unanswered shots from the mighty Glover Teixeira. Seriously, it was tough to watch.