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Length: (VHS) 140 mins (DVD) 160 mins
This week I have been lucky enough to get my hands on the latest UFC offering UFC 43: Meltdown thanks to those good people down at ufcvideo. After having mixed views on the last release Sudden Impact I was quite looking forward to see if this event would be back in line with the likes of Vendetta and Onslaught.
Most fans had come to see the history making main event between Chuck Liddell and Randy Couture, which was set to be the most intriguing main event in some time. Chuck Liddell a seasoned fighter in the UFC finally got the chance to headline a big event at UFC 43 so I was very interested to see how he got on but Randy Couture was aiming to make history by becoming a champion in two different weight classes as the match was for the interim Light Heavyweight Championship.
- Frank mir vs. Wes Sims
- Ian Freeman vs. Vernon White
- Vitor Belfort vs. Marvin Eastman
- Tank Abbott vs. Kimo Leopoldo
- Chuck Liddell vs. Randy Couture
Highs and Lows
Even before watching the event the card got me interested. Even the prelim fights which feature on the DVD looked awesome with Rizzo and Lindland both featuring in the prelims who are both arguably deserving a place on the full card at any event. Then you had the UK interest of being able to watch our very own Ian Freeman in action. Add in the continuing path of Tank’s return and a history making event we have quite an event on our hands.
The production was again top notch not improving much from previous releases but they had already got this to very high standards so it wasn’t surprising that the production hadn’t improved much. I like the way now on the DVD you watch the introduction sequence first hyping the event before you can get to the menu which I think is an ingenious idea.
For drama and tension Chuck Liddell vs. Randy Couture has to be one of my favourite matches of 2003. You could not make a more intriguing match if you tried and they didn’t fail to deliver as you were on the edge of your seat from the start. It may not have been a fight classic but with the nerves for Liddell stepping up to main event and with the Light Heavyweight title being up for grabs as a fan you can’t of expected a five star classic.
In previous UFC reviews you have heard me complain that the DVD extras were going down hill and becoming less and less well someone out there must be listening to me as the extras have dramatically improved from 42 to 43. In the behind the scenes section alone you have 15 chapters including a lot of pre and post match footage as well as lots of footage from the weigh ins which for a hardcore UFC fan like myself makes great watching.
The one major Low of the event had to be the continuing return of Tank Abbott. I am a huge fan of the man and all you have to do is listen to the roar of the crowd when he comes through the curtains to understand why he has come back as the fans still love him. Tank though is not performing at the level he use to back in his prime which is understandable but his current comeback is tarnishing his good name and reputation and in my opinion he is just in the UFC now for the entertainment value like when Hogan came back for his last since WWE.
- Prelim fights
Pedro Rizzo vs. Tra Telligman
Matt Lindland vs. Falaniko Vitale
Yves Edwards vs. Eddie Ruiz
- Behind the scenes footage
- Spanish Commentary
- Ultimate music
I thought this was a well produced history making night of action. They focused on the main event but even though the lower card was not given much hype and attention it was a solid card top to bottom although not all matches lived up to expectations. I thought this event brought UFC closer back in line with the likes of what they were producing at Vendetta and Onslaught.
Points: 7.5 / 10
UK: £17.99 (DVD)
USA: $17.99 (DVD)