Rating the Card: UFC Fight Night 70 (7.5/10)

Thiago-Santos UFC Fight Night 70 had, well, let’s just say a lot of changes made to it, most of them due to visa issues. Just a week before the event, a number of scheduled bouts were scratched from it including a fantastic welterweight fight between Erick Silva and Rick Story that everyone was looking forward to. That left UFC matchmakers Sean Shelby and Joe Silva scrambling to find replacement fights just a week out, and when fans found out about these fights, not many were excited for them, and the card itself flew way under the radar. Fortunately for fans, though, Shelby and Silva proved why they continue to be the premier matchmakers in mixed martial arts as UFC Fight Night 70, despite all the late-notice fights, turned out to be a very fun free Saturday night card. The event kicked off with a short-notice bantamweight bout between Danny Martinez and Sirwan Kakai. This was a better fight than anyone expected. Kakai showed off some tremendous knees from the clinch but Martinez kept eating them and kept walking forward. Considering the short notice nature of the fight, it was better than anyone expected. The same could be said of the next fight between Tony Sims and Steve Montgomery. This welterweight bout was booked on short notice and flew under the radar, but it proved to be an exciting fight as Sims won in devastating fashion with punches. While the first two prelims were solid, the next two weren’t that good. The welterweight fight between Leandro Silva and Lewis Gonzalez was a grinding affair that pretty much bored the audience for 15 minutes. The main event of the prelims, a welterweight bout between Joe Merritt and Alex Oliveira, was a little better but it wasn’t anything special either. Overall, the prelims were decent, especially considering all four of the fights were booked on one week’s notice. Next up was the main card. It kicked off with a featherweight fight between Hacran Dias and Levan Makashvili. This fight had its moments, but overall was a stinker, and arguably the low point on the entire card as it was a 15-minute grind between two wrestlers with limited striking ability. Thankfully for the fans, Thiago Santos made everyone quickly wake up as he brutally knocked out Steve Bosse with a head kick in middleweight action. This was one of the best knockouts of the year so far in the UFC, and it’s the type of knockout that will open up people’s eyes about Santos’ potential. The next fight was also a middleweight bout, this time between Antonio Carlos Junior and Eddie Gordon, but this one was a wrestling-heavy affair up until late in the third when Carlos Junior earned the tapout. Everyone forgot about this one though when welterweights Santiago Ponzinibbio and Lorenz Larkin put on a show in the co-main event of the evening. This was an all-out war for nearly 10 minutes until Larkin was able to catch Ponzinibbio’s chin and finish him, and was well deserving of “Fight of the Night” honors. And it was followed up by a fantastic main event between middleweight Yoel Romero and Lyoto Machida. I found this fight fascinating. Both men were were tactical and technical in this fight, one that looked like it was going to decision until Romero was able to take Machida down in the third and knocked him out with ground and pound. It was a fantastic finish, and a very good way to end what turned out to be a solid night of MMA action. Overall I’ll give UFC Fight Night 70 a 7.5/10 rating. There were a few really great fights on the card and a handful of highlight-reel finishes, but there were also a number of dull fights that brought the overall rating down, although I did factor the short-notice fights into my rating. Still, it was a pretty good card, and a nice way to end the first half of 2015 UFC action. Up next: UFC 189 — I can’t wait for that one.

Written by Adam Martin.

Leave a Reply

The Parting Shot Podcast – Episode 111: Tim Means, Showdown Joe, Mike Russell

Post-UFC Fight Night 70: And the Bonus Goes to…