DVD Rewiew: UFC 115 – Franklin vs. Liddell.

UFC/Anchor Bay Entertainment
Release date: August 31, 2010
When word came that Tito Ortiz required surgery and had to pull out of UFC 115, show expectations dropped considerably. Most felt it was a show lacking in starpower and not worthy of PPV status.

But when the night came, the fighters proved everyone wrong. The night ended up being full of fun fights, only four of which went to the judges.

The main event saw former UFC Middleweight champion Rich Franklin step in for Tito Ortiz to square off against former Light Heavyweight champ Chuck Liddell. Going into this card, the thinking was that anything other than a win would result in the retirement of Liddell. Once one of the most feared strikers in MMA, Chuck was 1 and 4 in his last five fights, with three of those loses being KO/TKO, all of which were brutal.

The story was that Chuck had trained harder than ever before and was in the best shape of his career. He took over a year off (including an appearance on Dancing With The Stars) and was rested, focused and ready to go.

For almost an entire round, Rich and Chuck treated fans to a fun, back and forth battle. Each seemed to score, Chuck landing a high kick that broke the forearm of Franklin, but with just five seconds left in the round, Rich landed an uppercut that dropped Chuck and ended the fight.

The co-main event saw up and coming heavyweight Pat Barry take on his idol, the legendary Mirko “Crocop” Filipovic. Both were kickboxers before crossing over to MMA and Pat grew up watching Mirko and his legendary high kick to the head. The saying goes” Left leg hospital, right leg cemetery.” Pat was giddy going into the fight and provided folks with plenty of fun soundbites.

For the first round and a half, Pat dominated and knocked Mirko down. But as time went on, Pat seemed to fade and become cautious. This led to Mirko staging a comeback and securing a choke with thirty seconds left in the third round. It was later revealed that Pat broke both his hand and his foot. The injuries resulted in some panic and the more experienced Mirko took full advantage of it

Other bouts saw Carlos Condit stage a comeback and take out rising Canadian star Rory MacDonald after being outworked for the first two rounds. With just seven seconds left in the fight, the ref decided that Rory was not defending himself. The Vancouver crowd voiced their unhappiness, but I think many knew it was a good call.

Full results:
1 Mike Pyle put Jesse Lennox to sleep (Triangle choke) in the third round at 4:44.
2 Claude Patrick choked out Ricardo Funch (Guillotine Choke) at 1:48 of the second.
3 James Wilks outworked Peter Sobotta  to earn a unanimous decision.
4 Mario Miranda mugged David Loiseau before earning a TKO (Punches) victory at 4:07 of the second round.
5 Matt Wiman beat Mac Danzig (Guillotine Choke) when the ref took Matt’s word for it that the still conscious Danzig was out. The travesty occurred at 1:45 of the first.
6 Evan Dunham earned a split decision over Tyson Griffin.
7 Carlos Condit took out Rory MacDonald via TKO (Punches) at 4:53 of the third round.
8 Ben Rothwell held down Gilbert Yvel for three full rounds for a unanimous decision victory.
9 Martin Kampmann upset Paulo Thiago for the Decision (Unanimous).
10 Mirko Filipovic choked out (Rear-naked choke) Pat Barry at 4:30 of the third round.
11 Rich Franklin KO’d (Punch) Chuck Liddel in the first round at 4:55.

This card had a little of everything and is well worth owning.