Reviewed by Steven Wilson of MainEventRadio.com
Ive never been an avid follower of the MMA world, but like many wrestling fans, I have started to become more interested in the product thanks to the debuts and successes of Brock Lesnar and Bobby Lashley. With that in mind I thought it might be a good idea to offer some of my readers a chance to hear about some of the latest UFC DVD’s that are coming out. Recently Anchor Bay Entertainment Canada acquired the rights to distribute UFC dvd’s here in Canada and are currently promoting the releases of UFC 106 and 107 on separate 2 Disc DVD sets, so what better time to jump in and see what’s going on.
We begin with UFC 106, which featured a headline matchup of Tito Ortiz vs Forrest Griffin. It was originally scheduled to feature Brock Lesnar defending his UFC Heavyweight Title but due to the much talked about illness that has kept him out of action for months now he had to pull out. Instead UFC 106 would feature the return of Tito Ortiz who many thought would never return to the UFC after a public falling out with the UFC and more specifically UFC Owner Dana White. Much like the world of pro wrestling, its not a surprise that relationships were mended and second chances were given. Ortiz’s opponent was to be Mark Colemen however he had to pull out due to Knee Injury. The card was being torn to shreds but the new main event of Ortiz vs Forrest Griffin 2 was soon announced. Ortiz originally fought Griffin in his first match back following some time off back in 2005/2006 (during said time off he guest refereed for TNA on PPV) The first fight was a strong one which was ultimately won by Ortiz thanks to spilt decision. So the question was now would Ortiz return triumphantly or would Griffin even the score?
Continuing what seemed to be a unlucky streak heading into this show, Ortiz entered the octagon with a visibly painful black eye suffered during training for the fight. On top of that Ortiz was coming back from back surgery as well so anything could happen in this fight. When the fight began Ortiz went at Griffin full out scoring take downs and some decent ground and pound to begin both of the first 2 rounds. Griffin would keep his cool and slowly but surely score some points with the judges thanks to his ability to get back to his feet and use them against Ortiz landing some decent leg strikes.
By the time the third round came about Ortiz looked to be running out of gas, hard to say if it wasn’t fully ready for his return or if Griffin had injured him heading into the 3rd round but Griffin would dominate most of the 3rd pounding away on Ortiz and as a result the winner of the 2nd bout between these two men would be the exact reverse from the first as Griffin won via split decision. Before the decision was even read both men were saying a rematch was likely and they both proceeded to make references to injuries they sustained coming into the fight which garnered much heat towards Ortiz but its good fodder for a rematch down the line.
The undercard of UFC 106 began with Amir Sadollah who outlasted an initial blast from Phil Baroni and systematically picked him apart for the rest of the fight to pick up a decisive win. This was followed up by Antonio Nogueira vs Luiz Cane which didn’t last long as Nogeueira caught Cane with a vicious left punch that sent Cane reeling and the fight ended via TKO in just under two minutes. The third undercard match featured a welterweight battle between Paulo Thiago against Jacob Volkmann. The first round was dominated by Thiago who nearly ended it at the end of the round catching Volkmann with a solid punch. The second round started the same with a solid kick to the face but Volkman was able to calm things down from there and survive the second. Much of the same in the third round and although credit goes to Volkmann for surviving the distance it was an easy decision for Thiago.
The main event of the undercard was a much anticipated battle between Welterweights Anthony Johnson and Josh Koscheck. The fight starts off well with a back and forth strike fest but the fight was nearly called off when Johnson kneed Koscheck to the face while he was down, although it was illegal, the replay would make it seem like a lot of acting on Koschecks part and at best he was poked in the eye, the fight would continue, and ironically the second began with what was a eye poke to from Koscheck onto Johnson, again the fight continued however seconds later Johnson would receive another poke to the eye, this was turning into something worse than a wrestling match at this point and it looked like the eyepoke of doom was going to end it but the fight would continue. A strong battle from there and Koscheck would eventually take Johnson down, ground and pound and with only seconds remaining in the second round choked Johnson out for the win.
One of the strengths of UFC DVD’s is the vast array of extras. On both the 106 and 107 DVD’s you get the Countdown and weigh in specials, as well as behind the scenes access features. You also get the entire Preliminary Card which usually go unseen unless the main card fights go short, meaning you get over 4 hours of action during each 2 disc set.
Moving onto UFC 107, BJ Penn vs Diego Sanchez for the Lightweight Championship would headline what was a slightly better overall event than UFC 106. The fight began with some dominance courtesy of BJ Penn as he dropped Sanchez early who to his credit stayed throughout the first round eventhough he was unable to mount any significant offence on Penn. The same situation would play out in the second, third and fourth rounds. It was clear that Penn was going to win this heading into the 5th round so Sanchez could only hope for a knockout, instead it was all Penn once again capping it off with a vicious shin kick which opened up Sanchez, blood pouring, and a decisive victory for BJ Penn.
The main attraction of the non main event matchups was heavyweight title contender Frank Mir taking on the Frenchman Chiek Kongo. As the fight began you could tell both men were ready to tear eachother apart, but Mir impressively made quick work of this one dropping Kongo and quickly choking him out in just over a minute. Another strong fight on the undercard was Kenny Florian against a guy who is rising in popularity, Clay Guida. This was a great back and forth bloody battle which eventually saw Florian gain advantage, winning both the first round and the fight itself when he choked Guida out two minutes into the second. Also featured on the undercard was Jon Fitch defeating Mike Pierce via unanimous decision and Stefan Surve defeating Paul Buentello via decision. One of the better prelim fights from 107 ended up being featured on the main show as Alan Belcher knocked out Brazilian Wilson Gouveia in what was awarded fight of the night, that fight is definitely worth checking out.
If you’ve been thinking about getting into MMA and more specifically the UFC then I’d suggest picking up a couple of DVD’s like UFC 106 and 107 as they were not only both enjoyable events but are a good way to sample the product for about 20$ each and get acquainted with it before shelling out 50+$ immediately for a single PPV.
UFC 106 is available now on DVD from Anchor Bay Entertainment Canada, while UFC 107 will be available on February 23rd. You can pick them up at your local DVD retailer or order it online via the likes of Amazon.ca, For more details on this and other Anchor Bay releases check out http://www.anchorbayentertainment.com/index.asp?p=Home