If there’s one thing I learned from last night’s UFC Fight Night on Spike TV (aside from the fact that “Rambo” comes out this Friday — did you guys know Stallone is Rambo?), it’s that there’s a reason some guys are main event fighters and some guys aren’t. Josh Burkman and Mike Swick? Sorry, they just aren’t. Not yet, anyway.
The fight between Swick and Burkman was about as exciting as a seniors tennis championship. For three rounds Burkman tried to bull his way in for a takedown, pressing Swick against the cage. When that didn’t work, he kept doing it. For the next two rounds. And got exactly zero takedowns. For his part, Swick looked to stay on the outside and win with his striking, though he landed only sporadically and never appeared to have Burkman hurt or even more than slightly annoyed.
Somehow, Swick got the decision, though how the judges saw fit to give this to either man is a mystery to me. One judge scored the fight 29-29, which is about as close to accurate as I can imagine.
On the whole the event offered a little more excitement, though not much. Thiago Tavares failed to put away or even sufficiently dominate the very mediocre Michihiro Omigawa. Nate Diaz looked sharp with a triangle choke submission over Alvin Robinson. In the best fight of the night by far, Kurt Pellegrino recovered from an early head kick that nearly knocked him out to defeat Alberto Crane by TKO. Patrick Cote also got himself another win when Drew McFedries folded up shop after catching a good uppercut on the chin.
For a night of fights on free TV, it’s hard to complain. Unless you consider that there was a time in recent memory when Fight Night’s on Spike TV didn’t necessarily mean that every fight would feature either a reality show fighter or a guy struggling to get to the middle of the pack.
Because I want to give the UFC the benefit of the doubt, I’ll go ahead and say that this card might have been affected by the fact that they put on a pay-per-view event in a foreign country just four days earlier. But then, who thought it was a good idea to try and put on another event inside of a week? Doesn’t it usually work the other way around, where you put an event on free TV the week before a pay-per-view, in order to drum up interest in it?
Instead, we get a Burkman-Swick snoozefest as a main event, which even the UFC didn’t try too hard to convince us was a compelling matchup. Let’s just hope this doesn’t become a habit for the UFC, and the days of decent fight cards of free TV don’t go the way of un-ironic heavy metal band.