With Shane Nelson/Aaron Riley pushed to the pay-per-view portion and the jail cells at the Wachovia Center presumably already filled to the brim, we are primed and ready to bring you UFC 101 results and fairly obvious observational humor. The question is, you ready for this? If the answer is yes, hit that ‘Read more’ button, playa. If no, then move along and go back to Googling various combinations of “adorable kittens” over and over again, like any other Saturday night. The rest of us will be booing along with the Philly fans.
Let’s do it. Remember to hit refresh often, cause this train is only gaining steam.
Joe Rogan and Mike Goldberg sound just a little more juiced than usual, perhaps from feeding off the energy of the Philly fans? Or maybe it’s just meth. Rogan tells us that BJ Penn is a monster at 155, and Kenny Florian is “as good as he’s gonna get.” Wonder who Rogan favors in this one?
Pellegrino comes out to some Fitty Cent. We made it almost nine minutes before Rogan and Goldie start pimping their Twitter accounts. At least that’s out of the way.
They trade right hands to start and Pellegrino wastes no time lifting Neer up for a big slam. Neer recovers guard quickly and does a good job of stopping Pellegrino from improving his position. Neer tries for an armbar and it’s somewhat close, but Pellegrino slams his way out. Pellegrino continuously works to half-guard, lands an elbow, then does nothing much else. So the round goes. Score it for Pellegrino.
Pellegrino fires away near the start of the second, but Neer covers up and Pellegrino grabs the opportunity to shoot for a single-leg. It takes him a second, but he finishes it and puts Neer on his back again. Neer’s pretty active off his back, and he’s not suffering from a lack of submission attempts, but Pellegrino ain’t having it. He avoids a triangle and an armbar and even takes Neer’s back near the end of the round. Neer is bloodied and swollen and likely needs a finish in the third.
Neer presses forward in the stand-up, landing decent kicks as he pushes Pellegrino back, but “Batman” responds with another takedown. And we’re right back where we we’ve been the entire fight. Neer is going frustrated on the bottom. They’re both doing some talking, and Neer is motioning to the ref in a ‘Can a brother get a stand-up?’ kind of posture. Pellegrino mounts Neer in the final thirty seconds, but Neer reverses him and puts Pellegrino on his back for the first time. Too little, too late. The horn sounds and Neer looks pissed. Pellegrino’s attempts to comfort him probably aren’t going to help.
All judges score it 30-27 for Pellegrino.
Almeida clinches against the fence right away and Grove is using his freakishly long skeleton limbs to fight for underhooks and avoid the takedown. Grove separates and Almeida lands a solid punch. Grove catches Almeida with a kick to the body on his way in and we’re back to the clinch. Almeida uses the body lock to get a leg trip and he lands in Grove’s guard. Almeida passes and Grove rolls to his knees, then gets to his feet. Almeida slams him down before the rounds ends, and it’s definitely enough to take the opening frame.
Almeida gets a takedown and Grove goes for an armbar that looks pretty damn close. Almeida tries to go with it and Grove is cranking that thing, but Almeida works his way out after a very close call. Almeida launches some ground-and-pound, moving from half-guard to side control. He’s pounding Grove with punches and elbows, but Grove gets back to his feet and even lands a good knee. Almeida finishes the round with another takedown, likely taking this round as well.
A good right hand from Almeida off a Grove kick and the Big Dog moves right into a takedown. Grove doesn’t stay down long, getting back up and working out of the clinch. Almeida is slowing down visibly now. His answer for that is to try a flying armbar-type jump that is nowhere near doing anything positive. Grove can’t capitalize on the opportunity to do some GnP, so Almeida gets back up and eventually manages another takedown. This is looking like an Almeida decision all the way as long as he doesn’t tap out due to exhaustion in the final minute. Grove kicks Almeida off him and tries to come on the attack in the stand-up game. Almeida stays out of trouble and clinches again to end the final round.
Ricardo Almeida def. Kendall Grove via unanimous decision. 30-27 on all scorecards.
Is it me, or does Hendricks look like a crazed rabbi with that beard? I heard he has a real “orthodox” style. Get it? Huh? Fuck you guys.
Sadollah keeps Hendricks at bay with some kicks, then decides to charge in with a series of straight punches. Hendricks responds with a left hook that drops him and follows up with a torrent of left uppercuts that send Sadollah to his knees. As he’s getting back to his feet Hendricks hammers him with about five shots to the back of the head. That’s all Big Dan needs to see. He moves in and stops it just as Amir gets back to his feet. Early stoppage, and Philly fans let their displeasure be known.
Johny Hendricks def. Amir Sadollah via TKO (punches) at 0:29 of round 1
Shane Nelson vs. Aaron Riley
Nelson is coming on strong in the early going. He lands a left that briefly drops Nelson, then pushes him back with a head kick and another big left. Riley deftly rolls out of a Nelson single-leg attempt and goes back on the attack. Nelson tries a punch combo followed by a head kick, but can’t find Riley. Riley comes back with hard knees to the body in the clinch. Riley is clearly in control right now.
Riley continues to dominate the stand-up, mostly avoiding Nelson’s strikes and mixing in high kicks that seem to catch Nelson off guard each time. Riley uses a leg trip to get Nelson to the mat. Riley is in total control. He’s not in a hurry to put Nelson away, but he’s also not taking any damage. Riley adds one more leg trip before the end of the round. Greg Jackson is loving it.
Nelson shoots in deep for a takedown, but Riley fights it off. They clinch against the cage and Riley uses another leg trip to put Nelson on his back and work out of his guard. The crowd seems to be getting worked up about a fight outside of the cage right now. Riley continues with his ground and pound routine, but the crowd is not paying any attention at all. At this point, I even want the camera to pan over and pick up that action. Riley finishes the fight on top of Nelson, feeding him elbows, and he’s got this decision in the bag.
Aaron Riley def. Shane Nelson via unanimous decision, 30-27 x 3
Griffin comes out first, to the Dropkick Murphys, naturally. Silva follows, looking not all that much bigger than usual, but maybe slightly less defined than he does at middleweight. Silva gets booed during the introductions and responds with a series of funny faces.
Griffin tries for the promised head kick to start, and misses by a mile. They’re both feeling each other out and taking it easy. Silva catches a Griffin kick and almost puts him on his ass afterwards. Silva bobs and weaves his way in and drops Forrest with a right hand. Griffin gets back up and Silva is damn near mocking him now. He drops Griffin again and adds a few strikes on the ground, then offers his hand to help him up just like he did with Patrick Cote. Now Silva has his hands by his waist, imploring Griffin to come in and attack him. Griffin seems displeased with being somewhat mocked. Silva avoids all his punches and backpedals away, catching Forrest with a short right in response that drops him. That’s it, Griffin is done. He wants no more of this Anderson Silva Jedi striking attack, and you can’t blame him.
Silva runs around celebrating his most dominant victory in recent memory, while Griffin immediately gets up and leaves the cage, heading back to the locker room. Can you even do that? Silva proves to be uninterviewable yet again in the post-fight talk, answering the questions he wants and not the ones Joe Rogan asks.
BJ Penn vs. Kenny Florian
Florian makes his walk to the cage and gets about five feet before a fan snatches his hat off his head. There goes that sponsor money, but Kenny is unfazed. That’s focus, people! BJ comes out sporting a shirt with the slogan “Penn State of Mind.” Just asking for a lawsuit, man.
Uh-oh, Big Dan is working this one. Don’t be surprised if the fight gets stopped during the introductions.
Penn starts fast, coming right after KenFlo. A right from Penn briefly drops Florian. Kenny keeps circling around the perimeter and Penn keeps cutting him off. They clinch against the cage and Penn seems much stronger than Florian. Florian tries for a body lock takedown but Penn avoids it easily. Florian shoots for a single-leg, and already we’re talking about whether Penn is gassed. He isn’t. Everyone calm down. Penn drops Florian again with a punch and follows with a knee. He barely lasts through the round.
Florian tries some leg kicks to start the second and then presses Penn against the fence. He’s not really working for a takedown, and not doing a lot of striking. It’s like he’s just trying to stay out of punching range. Penn gets warned for a punch to the back of Florian’s head. Florian tries for a single-leg and they’re back in the clinch. Penn lands a good uppercut that wobbles Florian. Florian finishes the round with a few decent leg kicks. Is it possible he won that round?
Florian throws out a couple head kicks with nothing to show, then it’s back to the clinch against the fence. Florian seems to be working a little more diligently for the takedown, but Penn is completely unconcerned. They separate and Penn unleashes a few hard punches. Whenever they begin to trade Florian seems like he’s always one punch away from getting KO’d. At the moment, however, Florian is the one who’s dictating the pace. Penn seems increasingly frustrated. Florian tries two straight Superman punches and gets tagged for his trouble at the end of the round.
Penn hurts Florian with a left hand in close and Florian responds by clinching again. Now Penn turns the takedown attempt on Florian, scooping him up and slamming him down. Penn works out of Florian’s half-guard and lands some decent elbows. Penn passes and gets to mount. Florian gives up his back and Penn softens him up with some heel strikes to the gut. Penn sinks in the rear naked choke and Florian can’t fight it off. He taps with just over a minute left in the fourth.
BJ Penn def. Kenny Florian via submission (rear naked choke) to retain his UFC lightweight title.
Following Anderson Silva’s example, Penn also basically refuses to answer any direct questions. At least he directed us to a website where we can get all our BJ Penn needs satisfied.
That’s it for me, Potato Nation. Hope it was good for you. See you back here in the morning.