By Ryan Clark | September 23, 2007
It was a weird atmosphere at the Honda Center as UFC 76 did not sell out, but ended up with two Fight of the Year candidates back-to-back to finish the show, and now many are saying this was the hardest hitting UFC pay per view in a long time.
Personally, those last two matches left me breathless. It was just everything you want out of MMA. UFC scored a big one with this show.
Matt Wiman def. Michihiro Omigawa by Unanimous Decision, 29-28, 30-27, 29-28. Omigawa took some serious punishment, especially in the last round.
Christian Wellisch def. Scott Junk by tap out to the heel hook at 3:19 into the 1st round. The crowd wanted to heckle both guys but the fighters won them over. Good fight.
Jeremy Stephens def. Diego Saraiva by Unanimous Decision, 30-27. 30-27, 30-27. Good fight but both guys wore each other out early.
Rich Clementi def. Anthony Johnson by tap out to the rear naked choke at 3:05 in Round 2.
The pay per view is on the air.
Tyson Griffin def. Thiago Tavares by Unanimous Decision. 30-27, 29-28, 29-28. This was a hard fought fight, and the numbers don't tell the story. Lots of action. Really good fight.
Lyoto Machida def. Kazuhiro Nakamura by Unanimous Decision, 30-27, 30-27, 30-27. Just ok. Maybe a little less than ok. Nothing really bad. Just kind of boring. People are here for the stars, who appear to be Liddell, Shogun, and Forest Griffin.
Jon Fitch def. Diego Sanchez by Split Decision 30-27, 29-28, 28-29. Crowd was split on who should have won. I actually had Sanchez winning, but what do I know?
Forrest Griffin def. Mauricio "Shogun" Rua by tap out to the rear naked choke at 4:45 into Round 3. This was the best fight of the year. Even better, maybe tons better, than the legendary Griffin-Bonnar match.
Crowd was going insane. Griffin was both booed and cheered, which seems to the story with a lot of people tonight. Someone near me joked that if The Rock would show up, and he told a lot of people that he was going to, that Rock in Griffin's corner versus Ortiz with Jenna in his corner would do a huge buyrate.
Someone else joked UFC should do the first MMA Doubles Fight with Liddell and Couture against Ortiz and Brock Lesnar with Jenna Jameson and Paul Heyman in their corner. Actually, that would feature some awesome promos, and probably do a great buyrate. But I can't see Dana White throwing away all his credibility for corner people. On the flip side of that argument, Jenna gets publicity at anything she does, and you know it's only a matter of time before Heyman tries something in MMA. Back to this match, it was simply awesome. A brutal, awesomely bloody, epic battle that could go down as the best MMA match I've ever seen.
Keith Jardine def. Chuck Liddell by Split Decision 29-28, 29-28, 28-29. Jardine deserved to win. Crowd went crazy for the fight, and booed Liddell when he raised his hands when it was over. They cheered wildly for the upset, then booed Jardine during his post-match interview. Weird crowd. What a fight. Easily the 2nd best fight of the year, and some may say this was as good as the Griffin-Shogun match. This was a hell of a battle. Both looked great. No one looked bad. If Griffin-Shogun is Fight of the Year, this is a close runnerup.
This show may not have sold out, but anyone who missed it is going to regret it. A fantastic last hour. Those two last matches were as brutal, bloody, exciting, and dramatic as anything I've ever seen. It was like watching a movie.
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