I've commented to others that UFC hasn't had the great matches like I remember. It could be because there are fights every other week. UFC 113 was NOT like the last couple fight cards. These were exciting. Lots of stand-up. A couple matches finished by rare-naked choke. It was a fun one.
Here's how I saw it.
Belcher vs. Cote - Belcher went after it. Pushing forward for most of the fight. Body kicks from both sides. He had a jab going and put together some combinations. Cote did tag him a few times with some good hooks, but it wasn't enough. The fight ended on the ground. For some reason I thought that Cote was a higher belt than a Purple Belt. Belcher was able to get back. Rear Naked Finish. Mateo de Leon.
Slice vs. Mitrione - NFL player vs. Brawler (I didn't know that was a style.) Slice had the same act - his "hay makers" up by his chin talking about how all he had to do was get them on Mitrione. Other than that there wasn't much new from Kimbo. Mitrione showed some good skills. From the beginning Kimbo went after Mitrione and tried to body slam him. Instead he ended up in a position for Mitrione to take advantage. Mitrione recognized that there was a triangle opportunity right away. Kimbo was able to resist the triange and end up in side control Mitrione was able to improve his position from under Kimbo's side control and was able to stand up. Through out the fight, Mitrione had sort of a grin on him - sort of crazy like. But he mixed up his stand up really well. Kicks, knees and some jabs. He also threw in some submission attempts anaconda gator roll choke. It was unbelievable that Slice could fight off those chokes. Mitrione learned a TON from the TUF and from his fight against Big Baby. His ground game was better than Slices; he fights like a middle weight. He's for real.
Stevens vs. Stout - both young guns with a lot of experience for their young years. I don't think there has been a fight that I've seen with either of these fighters that I didn't enjoy watching. The stand up was fun to watch. Not much grappling. Stout tried to use his sharp shooting technique. Stevens was throwing bombs. It went to decision, with Stevens winning.
Lawler vs. Doerksen - Good stand up. Doerksen won - Finish with another Rear naked. The weigh-in was just as entertaining.
Koscheck vs. Daley - Finally a little more ground fighting - not too technical. I don't get the fans that have been booing the last couple UFC's. I understand the fact that there is the meat head factor. But a technical ground fight is fun to watch. Unfortunately this is not what happened. Some driving take downs, but no advancement of position. The academy award went to Koshcheck for a phantom knee strike to the head and ghost toe to the eye. Josh has done the eye thing before, once or twice. The fight almost ends on the ground - until Paul Daley tries a left hook after the end of the fight. As Joe Rogan said - that was the best shot that Daley landed. Suspension has to come Daley's way. Koshcheck wins unanimously. - Update - it sounds like Dana White has kicked Daley out of the big show! Wow. I wonder if any sanctions will come down of Koshcheck for his acting job.
Rua vs. Machida - An action packed one round. Machida was prepared for the leg kicks. He went to the ground twice - and he didn't look very comfortable. But he did go to the ground with two solid take downs. To me this is not Machida's game. He is a counter puncher - waiting for an opening on an aggressive opponent and taking advantage. He's like Andre Agassi and his return serve. The thing is, this always means that you have to play your opponent's game first and then try to turn it around. Rua was so ready for this. Rua came out and threw a couple leg kicks. Lyoto was waiting. Then Rua's hands proved the difference. He lashed out with a quick 4 to 5 punch combination. A couple shots that shocked Machida and sent him to the ground. Rua followed hard and fast and a hammering from full mount finished the deal. Machida was out for a bit. He got up with a huge golf-ball over his eye.
All in all, an entertaining card. The next one up will be Rampage vs. Evans. From The Ultimate Fighter, I really ended up liking Evans. He is an intelligent fighter and a really good coach and motivator. Hmmm... Evans vs. Rua maybe this winter?