UFC 105 fulfilled all promises in providing an entertaining night for all of us watching at home. Tonight we saw a variety of fighters who used a wide variety of skills to finish their fights.
This article is to break down how and why each fighter won or lost their respective fights.
Ross Pearson vs. Aaron Riley
Many of us said that TUF season 9 winner Ross Pearson was thrown into deep waters against tough competitor Aaron Riley. Pearson proved he can contend in the UFC coming up with a TKO victory due to Doctor stopage (Cut).
Pearson started the first round by bringing the fight to Riley with a mix of various strikes. Riley seemed tight and uncomfortable while Pearson was clinching and hitting him with knees, punches and elbows.
To start off the second round, Pearson seemed to have Riley's timing down and pegged him with power shots. Midway through the round Pearson catches a jumping knee and ends with a flurry and Riley emerges with a bad cut very near his eye.
When the fighters separated, the referee called the doctor who ended up calling the fight.
In reality, the cut was pure luck, however, if it didn't happen Pearson would have continued to control the fight and would have won either an Unanimous decision or TKO stoppage anyway.
Alexander Gustafsson vs. Jared Hamman
Little is known about either fighter. The fight was shown on TV basically to fill up space. Hamman started to bring the fight to Gustafsson with punches in bunches. Gustafsson was back pedaling and accidently poked Hamman in the eye.
Right after the Referee break, Gustafsson lands a perfect shot up the middle between Hamman's hands and dropped him. A follow up barrage of ground strikes ended the night for Hamman.
James Wilks vs. Matt Brown
The first round was very close with Brown trying to stay on the outside and land strikes while Wilks was trying to stall by holding Brown against the cage and taking him down. The first round left with Wilks on top being that he scored on the one takedown he achieved.
The second round started off with Brown coming out throwing punches and high kicks which he uses to bait Wilks into shooting for a takedown. A properly timed Flying Knee left Wilks on his back defending a ground and pound attack from Brown.
Brown utilized the Muay Thai clinch landing knees while Wilks pushed him up against the cage. Brown appears to be the better grappler constantly reversing positions and defending well against takedowns.
Another flurry by Brown drops Wilks to the ground. After a reversal by Wilks, Brown locked in a Triangle Choke right as the bell sounds.
In the third round, Wilks looks very tired but still throwing strikes. After a brief exchange against the cage, Wilks seems to go for broke with a tight Kimura arm lock.
Brown rolls through at an awkward angle to alleviate the pressure and after another shuffling of positions, Brown winds up in the full mount position. Wilks no longer having any strength to defend intelligently is forced to turtle up and lose the fight.
Andre Winner vs. Rolando Delgado
Delgado started off the fight by using his reach advantage to catch Andre Winner with leg kicks and long jabs.
Delgado appears to be making only one mistake, which is leaning out too far with his left punches. When anyone does that, it leaves him open to either a Right hook or Overhand right.
Using the latter, Winner knocks Delgado down but lets him get up. After some minor clinching and striking, Delgado leans out too far and Winner capitalizes using the same overhand right and ending the night very early for Delgado.
Delgado lost the fight because he failed to take the fight to the ground against a very dangerous striker.
Michael Bisping vs. Denis Kang
The fight starts off with both fighters trying to find the range of their respective strikes. Kang lands a overhand right that led us to believe that Bisping learned nothing from his previous fight.
Bisping, however, shows his new found Jiu Jitsu skills by defending well against Kang's attempts to pass guard and land strikes. Kang briefly attains full mount but Bisping used perfect hip escapes to control Kang's upper body.
The second round starts of with some basic striking and Bisping shooting for a takedown. The attempt is successful and Kang finds himself on his back underneath a hail of ground and pound by Bisping.
Kang quickly gets cut and decomposed but gets back to his feet. After two more takedowns and more punishment, Kang is finished.
Bisping won this fight because he stayed very busy when he was on top position and landed more damage in one minute than Kang did his whole time in top position.
When Kang was in top position he took his time, and really attempted to pass half guard too much, when he really should have been raining down strikes.
Mike Swick vs. Dan Hardy
Swick goes right toward Hardy attempting to take him down. Hardy found an opening and caught Swick with a hard right that wobble Swick a bit. Hardy must pack a lot of power in those punches, because Swick looked visibly off his game.
Swick pushed the action against the fence, looking to take Hardy down. Finding it ineffectual, Swick moves to a clinch which finds both fighters throwing knees and punches to the body.
The second round Hardy lands a big left hook followed up by a right hand which wobbles Swick. Hardy makes a tactical error in attempting a takedown, and Swick's great defense keeps the fight standing.
In the latter part of the round, Swick appears to have Hardy's timing down, catching some left hooks of his own. Hardy landed shots of his own that seemed to be more effective, being that Swick still seemed a little wobbly on his feet.
In the third round, Hardy definitely appears to have the upper edge, constantly keeping Swick on the back pedal.
Swick fights back like a true warrior; however, Hardy's shots seemed to take too much out of him. Hardy also showed a a solid chin by shaking off anything Swick threw at him.
Hardy caught Swick with hard shots while he was coming in and prevented Swick from doing to much to him. Swick used a bad strategy in keeping the fight against the fence and not keeping it in the stand up realm using his kicks to maintain his range and distance.
Hardy will be the first British fighter to challenge for a title and has earned the right to do so.
Randy Couture vs. Brandon Vera
Vera started the fight intending to finish it. After a flurry of a kick and four punches which hurt Randy a little bit Randy took the fight against the fence.
Randy held Vera against the fence the whole round landing knees to Vera's thighs and an occasional punch to the face. Vera found himself on the ground during the round but got back up to his feet without taking too much damage.
Second round Vera attempts to put Randy away while Randy attempts to take the fight to the cards where he will likely win. After a restart due to inaction by the Referee Vera lands a head kick followed up by a body kick that drops Randy.
Randy managed to control Vera in his guard, and the action gets restarted again. Randy gets a hold of Vera and realizes that he has to do a little bit more work to win the fight now.
Randy starts landing some punches while clinched against the fence. The second round ends with Vera looking a bit worn out due to the constant grappling against the fence.
Third round is much of the same. Everytime Vera gets distance he tries to strike and put Randy away, while everytime Randy can he will hold him against the fence.
Randy throughout the fight had Vera against the fence for about 12 minutes of the 15 minute fight and achieves one takedown. Vera aggressively clinches for 45 seconds and gets a takedown of his own against Couture.
Not too much damage taken by Couture while he works to get back to his feet. The fight ends and Couture gets an undeserved Unanimous Decision win.
Randy won this fight because the judges believe holding a guy against a fence and kneeing his legs is more effective than strikes. In my opinion the two takedowns from each fighter cancel each other out.
I also believe the judges should give more points to a knock down than to the stalling tactics that Randy used. The fights are scored on effective striking, grappling, aggression and octogon control.
Randy won the octogon control; however, Vera won the aggression being that he was trying to finish the fight. Vera also had more effective strikes and the grappling was even. Vera should have won this fight but unfortunately he got robbed.
Two great things will come from tonight's events.
1. We get to see GSP beat down Dan Hardy.
2. We get to see Machida knock out Couture.