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FPU: UFC 74 – Respect Review

In most sports respect is earned, but in the UFC it is taken. Just ask Gabriel Gonzaga, who got some by knocking the F out of Mirko Cro Cop and at UFC 74, Gonzaga looks to try and gain more respect with no better way then taking out UFC”s own hall of famer and comeback king, Randy “the Natural” Couture. Easier said then done then as Gonzaga learnt the hard way.

Couture was like the home town hero, as evident by his entrance and introduction – the crowd just love him.

Cool moment: Couture comes up to “back in Black” by AC/DC – give that man ten points for the first round I say.

First round saw Gonzaga unfazed and try to take it to Couture, even getting few good hits in, but Couture just hit back as hard, closing the distance and using dirty boxing to his advantage to damage Gonzaga, even (seemingly) breaking his nose at one point. Round ended with Gonzaga looking beat and shattered.

Second round saw Gonzaga missing with the “Cro Cop Killer” high kick and allowing Couture to close the distance. Match almost abruptly ended when Gonzaga said he couldn”t see, but the fight continued and Randy, like a shark smelling blood, was all over Gonzaga, not even giving him a chance – when he wasn”t punching, Couture was smothering Gonzaga and when he was, Couture made sure those strikes were effective.

Second round ended like the first, Couture looking fine, Gonzaga looking like he was going to collapse any minute.

Third round saw some exchanges with Gonzaga landing a good high kick but somehow, Couture took it and was like “yeah and?” and once again closed the distance and smothered Gonzaga. I”m thinking had Gonzaga not been so exhausted that would have rocked Coulture. But it was not to be as Couture took Gonzaga down and rained those strikes down and its over! Coulture is still your champ.

Great fight that showed why Coulture is considered pure awesomeness but Gonzaga shouldn”t feel ashamed as he showed it could have gone the other way in the first round and was unlucky to get his nose bloodied. Gonzaga is going to be a dangerous man in the UFC and as for Coulture? Best not bet against him.

As for the undercard:

Kendall Grove vs Patrick Cote was nice back and forth match which saw Cote get the duke after knocking Grove to the floor with a nice right hand strike to the temple and, despite Grove offering some resistance (including avoiding a choke), Grove eventually succumbed to punches at 4:45 at what some may consider a huge upset.

Joe Stevenson was dominate in the first half of round one in his fight against Kurt Pellegrino with “the master of the guillotine choke” making Pellegrino”s breathing a difficult task and making sure his back would be sore in the morning after executing a wicked German suplex. But Pellegrino weathered the storm and managed to get on top of Stevenson and getting a couple of decent shots in before round one ended.

Second round saw both guys trade shots with Stevenson getting the edge. One weird moment was Pellegrino seemingly collapsing onto his knees with his head down. Stevenson landed a few (free) shots but Pellegrino stood up and looked fine.

Around 2:40 into the fight, Stevenson had enough and swung for the fences. He missed big time but his momentum managed to knock Pellegrino to the floor and Stevenson was on top, managing to land some decent elbow shots and some wicked shots to the head.

Pellegrino manage to survive though and before the end round, got on top and landed one sweet right hand punch on Stevenson”s face.

Come the final round though and Pellegrino was more fatigued of the two as any advantage he had he simply could not take advantage of which let Stevenson become the dominate one, pressing Pellegrino against the cage and landing some sweet shots and pretty much guaranteeing his victory.

Awesome moment saw Stevenson escape being trapped against the cage by using his legs to walk on the cage and switch back to control.

Decent fight that showed some nice ground game, with the fight possibly going any way for the first two rounds.

Roger “El Matador” Huerta, unlike his nickname, rushed with some strikes towards Alberto Crane, coming close to hitting him, but Crane manage to take it to the ground. However, even there, Huerta was no easy prey and both guys rolled trying to get the other to submit. Just when it looked like Crane might get the upper hand, Huerta manages to escape and lands a few decent shots, including a vicious left hand shot near the end of the first round. Good back and forth action so far.

Second round and Crane”s determination in trying to get a leg submission leads him to eating a fistful of punches to the face. Crane”s determination sees him eating some more punches, as well as getting one hell of a straight kick to the ribs, sending him down (but not out) onto the floor. Crane survives till the final round but it was pretty much Huerta”s round.

Third round and Crane was so tired that when he threw a body kick, he slumped to the floor. Huerta putting himself in harms way meant that Crane was able to get his back, but in a genius moment, Huerta looked at the big screen to see where crane”s face was and was able to land a couple of back elbows and fists to his head. Eventually Huerta wins by strikes to the head.

Crane needs to build up his conditioning before the next fight and as for Huerta, it”s seems not a matter of if but when he will get the title. Fight of the night, and the big screen tactic was just pure awesomeness.
George “Rush” St-Pierre was in a must win situation against Josh Koscheck and got off to a winning start with a good takedown 30 seconds into the match. However, GSP couldn”t do much and after some jostling, Koscheck gets a takedown of his own but he too can”t do much although Koscheck lands some good strikes. Round one ends as a close fight

Round two starts with GSP living up to his nickname and rushing in to Koscheck getting in a couple of strikes, thought nothing too damaging and then getting a takedown again. GSP this time has something going and tries a kumara on Koscheck, almost getting it. GSP manages to get side control and manages to even sit on his head and even though he couldn”t get the submission, as Joe Rogan said, it was a humiliating round for Koscheck.

Final round and its striking time, and GSP had the slight edge, using both kicks and punches while Koscheck relied on powerful but reckless punches and it showed as GSP was able to land some decent shots. A takedown attempt by Koscheck saw him getting denied and instead GSP landed on top and man was he able to dominate, landing some punches that, giving GSP the victory.

Koscheck needs to learn to expect the unexpected, he thought GSP would focus on the strikes but the first two rounds showed GSP has “all the tools” and can take it to the ground as well as kick your ass, Van Damme style.

Not the best fight on the night but for fans of both guys, it was nail-biting stuff.

Fantastic event that had two fantastic matches (Huerta vs Crane and Coulture vs Gonzaga) and the rest being good fights as well which means its definitely worth checking out.

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