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Running time: (VHS) 135 mins (DVD) 153 mins
This week I have been lucky enough to get my paws around the latest offering from those very nice people down at UFCvideo which is UFC 44. After an impressive outing last time round at UFC 43 I was very interested to see if UFC were going to continue its upturn since Sudden Impact.
This event was once again headlined by a highly anticipated main event which saw Tito Ortiz go against Randy Couture to se who was the real Light Heavyweight champion. After Tito Ortiz skipped his match against Chuck Liddell at UFC 43 Randy Couture stepped in to the picture and was proclaimed the interim Light heavyweight champion after beating Liddell and the failure of Ortiz to come and defend his Light heavyweight belt. So both guys had claim to the title held by Ortiz and the only way to sort this feud out was in the octagon. The build up reminded me of the Shawn Micheals situation in the early 90’s in the WWE when there were two intercontinental belts but there was no storyline behind this feud in UFC.
- Tito Ortiz vs Randy Couture
- Andrei Arlovski Vs Vladimir Matyushenko
- Tim Sylvia vs Gan McGee
- David Loiseau vs Jorge Rivera
- Rich Franklin vs Edwin Dewes
Highs and Lows
The main high for me was the way that the production of UFC events have changed as back at UFC Vendetta I noticed quite similar production methods as those used in WWE but as the events have gone on I am noticing a switch and shows are now produced more like big boxing events. The cards are now stacked towards the main event with an under card and one main match everyone came to see as well as this the new style entrances made by the fighters to the octagon is very similar to what you see at boxing events.
The main event itself was absolutely awesome one of the most engrossing contests in UFC for some time a fight for all fans. There was something for everybody in the fight but no matter what your knowledge of UFC you could really get involved in the match. It was a rare occurrence of a super hyped match surpassing all expectations, which is a testament to Tito and Randy.
I was glad to see no Tank Abbott on this event, although he is a favourite of mine his recent bouts have proven he should of stayed away from the Octagon and just have people remember him for what he was like in heyday but saying this Randy Couture is still doing well for himself in his 40s so there is no reason that he can’t come back.
With all these positives though there were a few negatives which was the quality of the under card which seems to get weaker as the events go on. I remember when UFC first started releasing videos again I believe back in 2002 when you had at least two titles on the line at each event and an under card which featured established names like BJ Penn, Jens Pulver, Bustamante, Rodriguez and Liddell. So it just depends like I said earlier if you prefer the new or the old approach to producing UFC shows.
As I say every time it is always worth shelling out the little bit extra on UFC releases to buy the DVD as you get 4 extra fights and considering there are 5 matches on the VHS release your almost getting double your moneys worth for just a few extra quid.
- Prelim fights:
Dave Strasser vs Karo Parisyan
Josh Thomson vs Gerald Strebendt
Jeremy Jackson vs Nick Diaz
Caol Uno vs Hermes Franca
- Behind the Scenes Action
- Ultimate Music
The main event is really worth waiting for in this release and is the best main event in some time from my perspective. Like I said the under card could of done with strengthening in my opinion as I think in UFC there are not enough feuds and grudges going on in the under card at the time of the event. If you’re buying this release solely for the main event you will not be disappointed.
Points: 6 / 10
UK: £17.99 (DVD)
USA: $17.99 (DVD)