(Never surrender, except to leg kicks. VidProps: YouTube/ZP840)
If you can imagine a fight card populated by has-beens and no-accounts, filmed by the blind and narrated by the guys from “Flight of the Conchords” (except without the genuinely funny parts), then you have a pretty good idea what it was like to watch Impact FC’s first-ever pay-per-view on Saturday night. “The Uprising” was filled with plenty of the awkward pauses, even more awkward announcing, terrible camera work and retro graphics that we’ve come to expect from fledgling MMA promotions. As for the actual fighting? It played out about like you might have predicted, too.
Indeed when, just a few moments into the broadcast, nattily attired but totally incompetent ring announcer James White forgot his lines midway through his introductory remarks and had to stop cold to confess he’d drawn a blank, you knew it was going to be a long night. Despite how many times we were informed by the play-by-play team that the action in the cage was “thunderous” or “amazing” the show – filmed around noon local time in Sydney, Australia in a partially filled arena — felt so flat that the fighters themselves would’ve been hard-pressed to break the monotony. Luckily for them, it didn’t seem like they were trying too hard.
Just as the production values left a lot to be desired, Impact FC also didn’t get any great performances out of its cast of misfits and B-listers from bell-to-bell. From Murilo Bustamante quitting due to dizziness to Daniel Acacio quitting at the sight of his own blood to Ken Shamrock collapsing (and basically quitting) after receiving a handful of leg kicks from Pedro Rizzo, it was all a pretty sad little display.
Bustamante had some chances to catch Jesse Taylor in a submission early in their fight, but couldn’t find his legs when referee John McCarthy tried to call for a stand-up a couple minutes into the second round. Bustamante stumbled, unable to get his balance and immediately waved things off. That pretty much set the tone for the rest of the night.
Denis Kang and Paulo Filho both looked respectable, but their mostly dull fight ended in a split draw. Murilo “Ninja” Rua rebounded from a knockdown to choke out Jeremy May with an arm-in guillotine that the American barely tried to escape at all before tapping. It took Paul Daley until the third round to finish the surprisingly tough Acacio. Not known for his ground skills, Daley just coasted through the first couple of frames once Acacio managed to get the fight to the mat. In the third, however, when Daley wound up on top and busted Acacio open with an elbow to the forehead, the Brazilian tapped as soon as he realized he was bleeding.
Impact FC also mixed in Josh Barnett’s win and Carlos Newton’s loss from the previous weekend’s show, which may have been confusing to the casual viewer (if there were any) as the cage, the sound and ring announcer White’s fancy outfits all appeared to change from fight to fight. Contrary to earlier reports, Newton’s three-round encounter with Brian Ebersole was actually one of the better bouts of the evening(s). After a decent striking battle, Ebersole claimed a unanimous decision.
In the main event, Shamrock answered the opening bell looking as game as ever, landing a few punches as the two veterans circled the cage. Once Rizzo started unleashing kicks to the thighs, however, things changed in a hurry. After just a few strikes to the lower body, Shamrock could no longer stand and Rizzo reluctantly came forward to finish him off with punches.
All in all, the new creepy Christian Ken Shamrock seemed a lot less fun than the chair-kicking, steroid rage-y Ken Shamrock of old. He took the loss with a half-crazy smile and a laugh … then made a number of extremely dubious claims during his postfight interview, among them: “I never quit” (Ed. Note: So, what just happened in that fight?), “I always fight top competition” (Ed. Note: Ross Clifton?) and (we’re paraphrasing here) “If the fans keep showing up to watch, I’m going to keep getting in here and fighting.” (Ed. Note: Oh, Jesus Christ.)