Smark Rant: UFC 34 High Voltage

Heavyweight title:  Randy Couture v. Pedro Rizzo

Rizzo gets a rematch from 31, as they really REALLY wanted to make him a star in the worst way.  Like really, when today would you see someone getting shot after shot despite never winning or coming close?  Especially someone as inconsistent as Rizzo?  They clinch and do some dirty boxing from there, but Couture powers him into the fence for the takedown.  He does some minimal damage from the top as the round ends.  10-9 Couture.

Round two sees Couture powering Rizzo down but not really staying busy from the top.  He starts throwing better shots and Rizzo has nothing, so Big John stands them up to check on a cut on Rizzo.  He’s OK, so it’s the end of the round from there.  10-8 Couture.

Third round and Rizzo is back in tentative mode now, afraid to engage, so Couture shoots and Rizzo is forced to block.  Rizzo finally starts throwing, and pulls guard on Couture as a result, but Randy puts him on the fence and tees off for the TKO win to retain.  You’d think this would be enough to convince them to stop giving Rizzo title shots.

In contrast to the last show, we’ve now got tons of time left.  Prelim time!

Middleweights:  Phil Baroni v. Matt Lindland

So now we’re into the prelims, although this should be a hell of a fight.  They fight from the clinch and Lindland gets the takedown and works from the top.  Back to standing and Lindland throws knees, but Baroni gets a strong series of rights in response.  They slug it out and Baroni catches him with that looks like a knockout shot, but can’t quite finish.  Lindland survives the round as a result.  10-9 Lindland, but that was nearly a Baroni win by KO.

Round two sees Lindland going back to the dirty boxing, then a nasty takedown when that doesn’t work.  He works hard from the top, clearly in control for the rest of the round.  10-9 Lindland.

Round three and Lindland wraps Baroni up on the fence and quickly gets the back from there.  He gets the hooks in, but Baroni switches it back to guard.  Lindland has total control on the ground, getting the back again, but Baroni hangs in there to his credit.  Baroni even reverses and gets the back himself, but Lindland reverses out of that and accidentally knees Baroni in the head for a foul.  Baroni takes advantage and beats the hell out of Lindland, but can’t finish as the fight ends.  With the foul, it’s close, and I’d have to go 10-9 Baroni there, made 10-8 by the point deduction.  That would make it a 28-28 draw.  The judges’ decision:  Lindland by split decision (29-28, 29-27, 28-28).  I don’t get how you get 29-28 with a point deduction.

Heavyweights:  Frank Mir v. Roberto Traven

We obviously know who became the star here.  Mir was a mere baby here at 22, not yet the shit-talking bad-ass.  Mir is apparently 247 pounds here, despite looking skinny.  Traven goes to the guard right away, but Mir gets up, puts him down with a right, and finishes with an armbar to kick off his UFC career.

Big comeback for the UFC after a subpar UFC 33 show!