The UFC returned to England this past weekend with a huge card (12 fights!), but unfortunately the overwhelming majority ended in decisions. English Thom Burton joins me to dissect the card and pick out the gems. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IZThOjafHV8 The highlight of the night was certainly the fourth fight in the prelims. It featured Southampton's own Tom Watson (16-5) earning a 2nd round TKO victory in a back and forth fight over Stanislav Nedkov (12-1, 1), making his Middleweight debut. The key to victory for Watson was undoubtedly his proficiency in the clench, landing several clean short elbows and multiple unanswered knees before the massive Bulgarian crumpled to the canvas, unable to continue. The fight earned a double bonus with Fight of the Night and Knockout of the Night honors, netting Watson an additional $100,000. The second fight to distinguish itself pitted Kiwi James Te-Huna (16-5) against Canadian slugger Ryan Jimmo (17-2). Even after eating a leg kick early in round 1, Te-Huna asserted control and battered Jimmo with superior will and conditioning. The highlight of the fight though was Te-Huna's entrance, decked in black and pausing for a Men In Black dance number. No seriously. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=08uorvKSJXo Gunnar Nelson (11-0-1) put on a clinical performance against Jorge Santiago (25-11), out grappling and out striking him en route to a unanimous decision, but the best performance of the night belonged to Cub Swanson (19-5) who blitzkrieg-ed an overwhelmed Dustin Poirier (13-3) with superior speed and pace in the early rounds. Surprisingly, Cub also out wrestled Poirier in the third with takedowns and positional dominance throughout the final round. The main event saw a nice slug fest between Interim Champion Renan Barao (30-1, 1) against young, but talent Michael McDonald (15-2). Though Barao landed a side choke to end the fight in the championship rounds, McDonald acquitted himself admirably, dropping the Brazilian champ in the first round with a powerful uppercut. At only 22 years of age, it is certain that McDonald will fight for the championship again in the future with a greater array of skills in his arsenal and now championship experience. Barao, for his part, earned submission of the night with the ONLY submission of the night.
Robert Curtis is a columnist, podcaster, screenwriter, and WhatCulture.com MMA editor. He's an American abroad in Australia, living vicariously through his PlayStation 3. He's too old to be cool, but too young to be wise.