UFC 115: Main Card Review and Fighter Report Cards

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UFC 115: Main Card Review and Fighter Report Cards

The UFC's debut show in Vancouver is now in the books and by all accounts it was a big success. 

The event was a sellout, the crowd electric the whole night, and the fighters delivered some great action in the octagon throughout the night. 

The night will be forever remembered for the likely end to the legendary "Ice Man" Chuck Liddell, but there was a lot of other noteworthy action to talk about. So without further ado, here are my fighter grades for the UFC 115.

 

Carlos Condit defeats Rory Macdonald by TKO in Round Three

Despite what Condit said after the fight, he was convincingly losing this fight according to the judges score cards right up until the ref stepped in to stop the fight with seconds left in round three. This was rightfully awarded fight of the night by UFC President Dana White.

MacDonald should remember the huge crowd support he received in this fight and the fact that he took a former champion almost the distance and won. Inexperience likely cost him this fight, but he is 20 years old and has a bright future.

Carlos Condit (B)  - Condit displayed all his durability and experience in this fight to mount a good comeback in round three.

He said after the fight that coach Greg Jackson told him to let it fly in round three. The "Natural Born Killer" certainly did that, and really took control of the fight when he needed to most.

After landing solid strikes he began to hurt the young Canadian and once the fight hit the floor he overwhelmed MacDonald with elbows and strikes to earn the win and more importantly a B grade from me. It's no higher as he lost the first two rounds.

Rory MacDonald (C+) - Rory "The Waterboy" MacDonald will have learned some valuable lessons in this fight. For all his domination in the first two rounds there are times when you will come up against fighters that you won't be able to put away. 

His inexperience cost him and knowing that he was up two rounds he possibly should have been a bit more cautious in round three.

Nevertheless, at 20 years old he remains one of the best prospects in the sport today. I'll give him a C+ for his great potential and good rounds one and two.

 

Ben Rothwell defeats Gilbert Yvel by Unanimous Decision

This was a pretty uneventful fight and was a real atmosphere killer in GM Place last night. Rothwell showed the more well-rounded game and earned the win.

The highlight of the fight was Yvel grabbing Rothwell's foot and not knowing what to do with it during a scramble on the floor. 

Ben Rothwell (C+) - As Rothwell said in the postfight press conference, this was a bittersweet victory for Big Ben.

Yes, he got the win but it wasn't the best performance and he certainly did not win any new fans. Now at 1-1 in the UFC his next opponent will be interesting as it will say a lot about what UFC management think of him. He gets a C+ could do better.

Gilbert Yvel (D) - To put it simply, the "Hurricane" has just not arrived since the Dutchman joined the UFC. Now 0-2, his future has to be in doubt because on top of the losses he has not brought the explosive KO shot's and lethal striking that was expected from him. He gets a D and may also be out of a job.

 

Martin Kampmann defeats Paulo Thiago by Unanimous Decision

Entering UFC 115 this was the fight I was most looking forward to. However, it didn't really turn into the close fight that was anticipated. Kampmann dominated Thiago in every area of the game and put down a real marker in the Welterweight Division. 

Martin Kampmann (A) - Kampmann made a huge statement in this fight by getting a convincing win over a top ranked Paulo Thiago. 

The Dane's striking was excellent and he mixed it well with his wrestling and jiu-jitsu to surprisingly control Thiago on the ground. This fight put's the Xtreme Couture fighter right in the mix at 170 lbs and the night couldn't have gone much better so he gets the A grade from me. 

Paulo Thiago (C -) - Thiago just did not look right in this fight. I think it was partly due to Kampmann being that good, but the Brazilian did not get his game going at all in Vancouver. 

It's back to the drawing board for Thiago as he looks to have a real problem when faced with good strikers who can wrestle, ala Fitch and Kampmann. He gets a C- and has a lot to work on.

 

Mirko Cro Cop defeats Pat Barry by Submission in Round Three

This fight was one that certainly did live up to expectations, watching live was a pleasure. The first round delivered the striking battle that everyone had hoped for.

Barry dropped Cro Cop in the first but did not go for the kill, something which he ended up regretting. Maybe this a new Mirko Cro Cop we are seeing.

Mirko Cro Cop (B+) - Cro Cop wins be submission was a sentence I never thought I'd be writing last night at UFC 115. But the Croatian looked like a different fighter in Vancouver.

His energy levels were high and it seemed that fighting Barry has really motivated him for this fight. He gets a B+ and hopefully he will have his contract extended by the UFC, Cro Cop is back.

Pat Barry (C+) - For Barry this was the high point of his career thus far despite the loss. The fact that he was fighting his idol was definitely a factor. I still think Barry will regret not pouncing on Cro Cop when he dropped him in the first. 

Knowing now that Barry had a broken hand and foot which was why he stopped throwing the right hand that had been so successful has changed my view of his performance slightly. He gets a C+ , room for improvement but if he ever gets it all together he is a huge threat in the division.  

 

Rich Franklin defeats Chuck Liddell by KO in Round One

The end of this fight was an amazing moment at UFC 115, tinged with some real sadness. Seeing a legend of the sport like Liddell motionless on the canvas and leaving the arena a mess was not a nice site for any fan, including myself. But the performance of Franklin should not be over looked. 

Rich Franklin (A+) - Dana White has been saying all week that you should never write off Rich Franklin. "Ace" proved him right with a big performance on Saturday.

Both fighters had great striking exchanges for most of the round, but the finishing moment came right at the end of the round when both were trading blows by the cage. Franklin caught Liddell and dropped him as Chuck was doing his customary pressing. 

When you add in the fact that Franklin broke his arm early in the fight checking a Liddell kick, his performance goes up a few more notches. Franklin gets an A+ and now surely right in the mix, fights with the likes of Rampage, Machida, or Griffin calibre fighters likely await.

Chuck Liddell (C) - Putting the history and KO aside for one second, Liddell was actually doing quite well in the fight up until the KO. He was landing strikes and mixing in good kicks which we haven't seen for a while, which is why he gets a C .

But Liddell's failing on Saturday was his chin, which has disappeared in recent fights. Now having suffered four KOs in his last six fights it looks like Chuck's career is officially now on ice.

Dana White has guaranteed that this is it for the "Iceman" and his fighting in the UFC. I hope it is this time and Chuck has done so much for the sport and anything now is just tarnishing his legacy.   

 

That's a wrap on the fighter report cards from UFC 115.

On the whole I think it was a great event and a huge success. Having it experienced it all first hand I fully expect the UFC to be back in Vancouver for another event.

What would you grade each fighter?

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