At UFC 97 TapOut had a preparty which included some runway modeling of their latest clothing featuring the sexy UFC Ring Girls Logan Stanton and Edith Labelle. Both girls started off decked out in TapOut wear and progressively wore less and less, until they were practically naked. Edith was prepared and showed up wearing clear plastic “stripper” shoes.
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Here are some nice photos of Edith and Logan partying after UFC 97. Man, I have to make it to one of these events. Hopefully as a fighter some day!
Tonight’s event was slated to be one of the best ever. It had a title match between one of the best fighters and the world named Anderson Silva, and the challenger, Thales Leites, as the main event. The Co-main event was also a one of the bigger match ups of the year between Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua, and Chuck ‘The Iceman’ Liddell. If Chuck lost this in stunning fashion, then Dana said he would never fight again.
Of course, the question is though; did it live up to its hype?
This match up was pretty one sided looking on paper. Luiz Cane is an incredibly powerful and technical striker, not to mention his ground game is top notch, and has wrestling just in case he needs to take someone down, or prevent the takedown. Steve Cantwell though, is not as well rounded, but still has pretty good skills. Steve was definitely going to be tested in this fight though.
This round was all stand up. Luiz Cane was controlling Steve Cantwell rather easily in the stand up game, constantly pushing him back. Cane was throwing excellent strikes from all angles, and was very aggressive. He was using an entire array of kicks, knees, many punches, and even a thai clinch here and there. Steve Cantwell was trying to muster something together, but everything he did was countered, and he was taking serious abuse because of this. Cane had Steve bleeding about half way through the round, basically from absorbing so much of Canes brutal punishment. This was about as one sided as you can get for stand up, without knocking someone out.
Cane came out in this round connecting again like it was the first round. He was landing power strikes over and over, until eventually Steve finally found some openings about halfway through the round. Steve then landed a head kick, followed up by a couple punches and a solid knee, and finishing with another head kick. Most of the combination landed, but Cane has an impressive chin, and keeps coming forward. Steve did do a much better job at the end of this round, but it was not enough to take the round.
This round, believe it or not, started out just like the other two. Cane, was yet again using his superior technical striking on his feet, to punish Steve badly. This round was very one sided with all the same attributes of round 1. A lot of strong heavy talented hand and knee strikes connecting viciously with Steve’s head, over and over. Cane was also punishing the body quite a bit wit his knees. Cane did some serious damage near the final minute of the round, but he could not really get Steve off balance for the finish. Steve though, in the end started trying the flashy moves to see if he could pull something off, but tonight was just not his night.
This match yet again was very uneven on paper. Cheick Kongo is a strong striker, who has had professional kickboxing experience, and recently has improved his ground game and ground and pound quite a bit. Antoni Hardonk though, is still missing some key components in his game to make him a better fighter such as takedown defense, and his ground game is still pretty poor.
The bout opens with some great leg kicks from each fighter. Antoni Hardonk though, was using his body kicks quite well, which got the attention of Cheick Kongo pretty quickly, and because of this he clinched with Hardonk. The clinch was then broken up by Yves Lavigne (the ref) and the fight went back to stand up striking. Kongo, then catches a kick from Hardonk, trips him to the ground, and then starts landing leg kicks while Hardonk is on his back. Again Yves stands the fight up. Kongo comes in with a couple punches and initiates another clinch, scoring some knees to the legs and a takedown against the cage. Kongo finishes the round with some ground and pound, more then likely scoring him the round
Kongo begins the round with a body kick that lands solid. Hardonk fires a leg kick back but instead is caught with a punch and goes to the ground. Kongo follows him hoping to add extra damage, but Hardonk effectively uses his guard to prevent and posturing and power strikes. Kongo then starts to land hammer fists and a couple heavy rights, but nothing serious. Kongo lands a big elbow, than follows up with a big overhand while still in the guard, dazing Hardonk. Kongo finishes him soon after with some more power punches.
This match was a great match for Krzyztoff because of his improved ground game, where as Brian Stann had basically none. There stand up was nearly even as well.
Krzysztof and Stann begin the round with striking. Krzysztof lands some leg kicks, but neither fighter amounts to much in the stand up department. Stann throws an overhand though and is caught with a takedown by Krzysztof. Krzysztof immediately gains mount, and moves to side control. Stann escapes though and gets back to his feet, only to be immediately taken down yet again. From here Krzysztof is in Stann’s half guard, and attempts a Kimura. Stann defends it though, but opens his half guard and allows Krzysztof to pass into side control. From here Krzysztof attempts the Kimura again, and completely bends Stann’s arm behind him, forcing him to tap out.
Shogun was at one time a king of Pride. He won a tournament where the number one middleweight of pride (which translates the lightheavyweight division of the UFC) only came top four. His name was Wanderlei Silva and he lost to Ricardo Arona. After this, Shogun was widely considered number 1 in the world, even during Chuck Liddell’s title reign in the UFC. Now though this fight was going happen years after it would have been considered a super fight. Fans would still see some fireworks though, and an exciting match up.
Shogun comes into the round using powerful leg kicks, and countering Chucks strikes pretty easily. Chuck was throwing over hands, but every time he did, he took a devastating power counter by Shogun. Shogun was coming in with good strikes, and usually ending each combination with a heavy leg kick slowing Chuck down fast. Shogun finds a quick hole in Chuck’s defenses though, and scores an easy takedown. He then gets Chuck’s back, drops down and attempts a heel hook. He misses the opportunity though and attempts to get Chuck’s back a second time but fails. They stand up exchange, and then clinch. Chuck immediately takes Shogun down in the clinch game but immediately backs out of Shoguns guard and asks him to stand up again. When they stand back up, Shogun takes his time and fires a powerful left hook, causing Chuck to go down hard to the canvas, and take a lot of hammer fists, causing the match to end from referee stoppage.
Anderson Silva in this match, is going to tie the UFC record for title defenses, and score the most consecutive wins in a row, but only if he wins the bout. This match had all the makings to be an excellent ground war, or a terrible match up where neither fighter could get the other into their favoured position. Sadly, this fight went the way I was hoping it would not, and the fighters did not please most fans.
The first round had few strikes actually thrown and even few landed. Anderson Silva did score a trip, and also defended a takedown. Thales had a takedown stuffed but attempted to pull guard after. Still though no damage was really inflicted in this round and no positions were gained
Thales starts this round out waiting for Silva to make a mistake so he could score a takedown, which worked perfectly. Thales had a powerful takedown, but could not follow up with anything. Then Silva put a body triangle on Thales and started landing some strikes from the ground. Silva eventually got back to his feet by pushing Thales off of him. After the fight was stood up, only a couple leg strikes were landed, and a couple headkicks were thrown.
This round is when the heat was turned up by Anderson Silva. He was landing ferocious leg kicks and side leg kicks, and also some strong and heavy punches. Thales though, throughout this entire round was all takedown attempts, and pulling guard. He could not catch Silva though with any of it, and was taking serious damage to his legs. By the end of the round Thales was very slow, and the crowd was getting restless with him.
This round was, yet again filled only with leg kicks, side leg kicks, and a couple punches. Thales basically did nothing but stand there this entire round. It was a very slow round, and little happened. Silva was also attempted leg punches for the first time from stand up to stand up position.
This round again Anderson dominated. He landed leg kicks and Thales had no answer. Thales attempted some takedowns, but they were stuffed. Anderson did go into Thales’ guard a couple times and landed some serious ground and pound, but did not try to finish him there. Thales, again, did virtually nothing other then go to a decision with Anderson Silva.
This was a very slow fight to most fans, but Anderson Silva did everything he needed to do to win, but it was not enough to impress his crowd that night. It was barely Silva’s fault though because he had few options in what Thales was giving him. I think his next showing will be better, and it could be against Georges St.Pierre
Overall, this card was pretty good, but the main event was lacking a bit. I think 98 should be better, and much more exciting to the casual fan.
Chuck Liddell vs Mauricio Shogun Rua Video – UFC 97
Sorry, the original video seems to be deleted. The only thing I can find at this point is the preview video. If I find the video again I will post it.
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The title match between Anderson Silva and Thales Leites at UFC 97. All 5 rounds of this championship fight.
The title match between Anderson Silva and Thales Leites at UFC 97.