UFC 163 was the inaugural Pay Per View aired on new UK channel BT Sports. It was also the first time I got to watch a UFC event as intended, as opposed to squinting at a dubious stream on my phone screen. I was really excited for this and even though the main card didn’t kick off till 03:00 our time, I still managed to power through the pre-lims and special 1 hour documentary that BT Sports put together to bring people up to speed on the Ultimate Fighting Championship. The main event was a UFC Featherweight Championship title fight between Brazilian fighter Jose Aldo and fan favourite Chan Sung Jung aka Korean Zombie. Second billing was a Light-Heavyweight contest between another Brazilian superstar, Lyota Machida, and the American college wrestling champion Phil Davis. The sold-out Rio de Janeiro crowd were making their voices heard, and the chorus of cheers any time a Brazilian fighter entered the octagon was deafening.
After a varied card consisting mainly of Middleweight bouts (out to UK fighter Tom ‘Kong’ Watson who left an awful lot of his own blood on the Brazilian canvas), we were set for Lyota ‘The Dragon’ Machida and Phil ‘Mr Wonderful’ Davis. Davis, ranked number 7 on the Light-Heavyweight contenders list was a rank outsider to Machida, the current number 1 contender and former Champion himself. Machida’s striking and takedown defence is phenomenal, and the general consensus was that Davis would struggle. Despite scoring a few takedowns on Machida, Davis' offence wasn’t great. His striking was ok, but he never looked like he was going to rock Machida. The judges’ decision to award Davis the victory after the 3 rounds was an odd one. The Brazilian crowd made their displeasure known and poor Phil Davis struggled to have himself heard over the chorus of boos in his post-fight interview.
The omens for Korean Zombie were not good as he entered the ring to ‘Zombie’ by The Cranberries. Seriously dude, in the year 2013? Get some better walkout music! I love watching Chan Sung Jung fight – the ‘Korean Zombie’ nickname is testament to his aggressive ‘I only go forwards’ fighting style. However, very little of this was shown in the first two rounds. Aldo’s lethal kicking skills were absent too; save for the one inside kick he threw that supposedly broke his foot. Korean Zombie turned up the pressure in the third and fourth rounds, but an overhand punch to Aldo cracked off his head and dislocated Jung’s shoulder. The pain was visible on his face and Aldo did not hesitate to swarm him before referee Herb Dean stepped in to stop the fight. An unfortunate ending for sure and I know I’m not the only one who would’ve liked for this fight to finish out the 5 rounds.
So begins my journey with watching UFC events. I know I’ve always liked when the guys over at Mishka have covered MMA events in the past on their Bloglin as it helps break up the never-ending flow of streetwear news. I’m a complete novice at this (in case you hadn’t already clocked), but hopefully the more I watch the more savvy I’ll become with my coverage. Until next time fight fans…