UFC Fight Night 33 was far better than UFC Fight Night 32—even though the main event ended in a draw.
Though the main card was high-quality in terms of entertainment value, the prelims were a dull affair. The two highlights: Ben Wall walking out dressed like a furry before getting KO’d in under a minute, and a great scrap between Nam Phan and Takeya Mizugaki that saw the latter’s hand raised via unanimous decision.
The main card started with one of the most technical, evenly matched women’s fights the UFC has ever had. Longtime fighter Julie Kedzie met newcomer Bethe Correia. Too bad that FOX Sports 1 blacked out for many viewers, cutting off an early portion of the contest. Furthermore, Greg Jackson’s Matt Serra-level shouting eclipsed some of the action. It’s hard to appreciate what’s going on when all you can hear is Jackson screaming about how amazing a mediocre combo was in order to sway the inept judges. It didn’t work though; Correia took home a split decision victory.
Dylan Andrews and Clint Hester met next. It looked like they weren’t going to continue the card’s momentum, but they pulled through. The bout had spurts of inactivity, but for every dragged-out clinch or half-guard hangout session, there was at least one fiery exchange or big hit. The fight was stopped in between the second and third rounds on account of an Andrews shoulder injury, giving Hester the victory.
The next fight was short and sweet; Soa Palelei came, saw, and conquered Pat Barry‘s consciousness. After shrugging off Palelei’s first takedown, Barry couldn’t duplicate his success. The Australian threw Barry to the mat, passed into mount, and turned off Barry’s brain with a barrage of punches. It was all over in 2:09.
Ryan Bader vs. Anthony Perosh was the first lackluster fight of the night. What was expected to be a squash match for Bader turned into a 15-minute grind fest. Bader earned a unanimous decision victory. There’s not much else to say about it. The fight happened and will be forgotten by tomorrow morning. Let’s move on.
Next up was the co-main event: James Te Huna vs. Mauricio “Shogun” Rua. The “Pride never die” slogan proved true in this fight. Rua lawn chair’d him. The knockout was so impressive Dana White called it “KO of the century” (though Chris Weidman might disagree with that assessment).
Mark Hunt vs. Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva met in the night’s main event and produced the magic that the UFC has been lacking for some time. “Warriors” is thrown around way too much, but the two were warriors. By the end of the 25-minutes, both men were lathered in each other’s blood. Hunt-Silva was a fight were martial artistry erupted into bar-brawling and then reverted back again. Even though it ended in a draw—typically a result that pleases nobody—it wasn’t a mood-killer. We get to see that fight happen again, and we’re pumped for it. There aren’t enough hyperboles to explain how great it was. Watch it. You won’t regret it.
TL;DR: The card was worth the time it took to watch. The fights were competitive and the fighters involved mattered—two traits that are becoming rarer as the UFC holds more and more shows.
Mark Hunt vs. Antonio Silva, majority draw (48-47, 47-47, 47-47)
Mauricio Rua def. James Te Huna via KO (punches), 1:03 of Round 1
Ryan Bader def. Anthony Perosh via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)
Soa Palelei def. Pat Barry via KO (punches), 2:09 of Round 1
Clint Hester def. Dylan Andrews via TKO (doctor stoppage), 5:00 of Round 2
Bethe Correia def. Julie Kedzie via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Takeya Mizugaki def. Nam Phan via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-28)
Caio Magalhaes def. Nick Ring via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Justin Scoggins def. Richie Vaculik via TKO (punches), 4:59 of Round 1
Krzysztof Jotko def. Bruno Santos via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
Alex Garcia def. Ben Wall via KO (punches), 0:43 of Round 1