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Length: (VHS) 134 mins
Thanks to the good people down at http://www.ufcvideo.com the official UK distributor of UFC videos I have been given some UFC videos to review this time I review UFC:36. UFC has been in existence for some time now but it is only recently they have caught mainstream attention in the UK with their weekly shows on Sky Sports and most recently the PPV event they hosted at Royal Albert Hall. Now I am going to look at what all the fuss is about.
For those of you have not seen any UFC action before here are the basic concepts behind it. UFC is Mixed Martial Arts where competitors of the same weight class compete against each other to show their various Martial Art disciplines and to see which is best. The competition takes place inside a metal caged octagon and is contested like Boxing with rounds and a decision coming by submission, knock out or by judges decision. So there are the very basic rules of UFC now on to the tape.
The presentation of this video is completely different from UFC:35 which I reviewed last week. This event is more for the first time or casual fan where as UFC:35 I feel is for the long time UFC fans as it is straight action. The video starts with music and lights as well as being welcomed to UFC:36. Very glitzy opening which leads us to the first fight.
The first bout is a light heavyweight battle between freestyle fighter Evan Tanner and Jiu Jitsu specialist Elvis Sinosic. This match was quite quick with Sinosic landing early kicks but after that it was all Tanner as he forced Sinosic to the ground and from on top continuously uses the forearms on Sinosic to the point in which he draws blood and the referee stops it. A quick brutal match a nice easy way to start the event off and get us in to it. It is now that we have our first stop with the commentators Mike Goldberg, Jeff Osbourne and guest Ricco Rodriguez all three analyse the event. Use of video packages which was something we didn’t see in UFC 35 gives background to the less informed.
We are then in to our second match of the night a middleweight contest combating Pat Miletich against Matt Linland. This is a very one-sided affair with Matt taking Pat down from the start and not looking back. Pat blocks a lot of strikes to begin with but Matt breaks down his defences and even Pat’s attempt at a triangle arm bar is to no avail as Matt continues the punches and the referee brings it to a stop. Two quick knockouts the ultimate night for a fan of hard hitting action its knock out fever tonight.
The quick knockouts bring about the first title match of the night with Matt Hughes defending against Haiyato Sakurai the foreign master of shooto. This was 4 rounds of tactical genius by Hughes proving why he is the champion. His tactics never changed and wore down the UFC debutant. Haiyato is very dangerous on his feet with his kicking ability so Highes kept the match on the ground. Although Hughes didn’t do much on the ground it stopped Hiayato from using his main weapons. The awesome slams from Hughes took the wind out of Hiayato’s sails. In the 4th round Hiayato is unable to defend himself so the referee stops it in favour of Hughes. Hiayto leaves before the announcement and Hughes gives an emotional interview to round the match off.
Now on to our first heavyweight fight of the night with Pedro Rizzo squaring off against Andrei Alonski. This was a very even stand up fight no shoots or throws just a battle of striking. For the first round it was very even with both just standing toe-to-toe trading kicks and punches. The welts from the force of the kicks to both competitors legs was clear to see. The second round sees a good high kick from Andrei. The match is still very tactical and fought in the centre of the octagon there aren’t many combos being used. Both guys show mutual respect for each other with the constant touching of gloves. It is in the third round that this enthralling encounter is brought to an end with Rizzo landing a straight right hand punch to Andrei knocking him out. The last two matches have gone longer but still knockout fever is running wild.
It is now to our main event of the evening with the natural Randy Couture defending his heavyweight crown against the baby face assassin Josh Barnett. Randy shows why he is champion by immediately taking control and incapacitating Barnett by muscling him up against the cage. Randy then brings him down and has the on top position Josh defends himself well but a few punches get through, Josh attempts an arm bar which is countered. Barnett to his credit fights to his feet which is to no avail as he is greeted by a choke submission attempt by Couture. Josh gets some good knees in to end the round showing he is still in it. The second round starts as carbon copy of the first with Randy backing Josh to the cage and taking him down. There is a change though as Josh fights with elbows from the ground. Randy is then his own worse enemy as he rushed to change position and Josh takes the on top position to which he rains down punches from and completely dominates Couture until the referee stops it and he is the new champion.
A match from earlier in the night is screened to finish the tape off due to none of the matches going the distance. This match though follows the trend as Frank Mir beats Pete Williams in seconds with an arm bar tickler submission hold that makes Williams tap.
This video was the complete polished event outside the octagon with video packages, entrances as well as more commentator segments. Although this may not appeal to the hardcore UFC fan who just wants the action it did compensate for the unpredictable shortness of fights. I thought this video was a good way to ease people in to UFC with high paced action lots of knockouts and a complete show you cannot ask for more than that. I think something in between the presentation of UFC 35 and 36 on video would make for the ultimate watching experience as you need to find a balance between in octagon action and outside segments. Still another awesome video produced by UFC.
Points: 8 / 10
UK: £14.99 (DVD)