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Review: Ultimate Fighting Championship #119

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There have been times when I've gone to a comedy club and found the "middle" act to be more entertaining than the headliner

There have been times when I've gone to a comedy club and found the "middle" act to be more entertaining than the headliner. I experienced a variation of that situation when I attended UFC #119 at Conseco Fieldhouse this past Saturday night.

Instead of looking for laughs, me and the 17,000-plus others in attendance at the pay-per-view were looking for some energetic and entertaining combat inside the octagon. Overall, the evening of mixed martial arts provided what we expected.

Of the eleven fights on the card, there were a few that didn't provide much in the way of the action normally associated with the sport, including the "main event" Frank Mir vs. MirkoCro Cop. Until Cro Cop was knocked out by a knee to the head at the 4:02 mark of the third (and final) round, the bout did not live up to the pre-fight hype and drew many boos from the audience.

I admit that I'm not that knowledgeable about mixed martial arts, but when my 14-year-old nephew Jordan and my friend Kevin – who are both big MMA fans – agree with my opinion that several of the matches lacked any real "substance," maybe I'm learning more about the sport than I ever thought I would.

It could be "hometown" bias, but the fighters with Indianapolis connections provided some of the best action of the evening. Indy's own Sean McCorkle, in his UFC debut, defeated another heavyweight-class newcomer, Mark Hunt, by submission with an old-school armbar at the 1:03 mark of the first round.

Another heavyweight from the city, Matt Mitrione earned a unanimous decision over Joey Beltran in the fifth bout on the card. Mitrione had the clear advantage when the fighters were standing and exchanging punches and kicks, especially in the second round.

The third Indianapolis representative at UFC #119 was welterweight Chris Lytle, who evened his record against Matt Serra with a unanimous decision victory. Unlike their first meeting in the octagon during the finale of Ultimate Fighter 4, Lytle and Serra spent most of their three-round rematch standing. This seemed to benefit Lytle, a former professional boxer. Several times during the fight Lytle unloaded a flurry of punches, one which opened a cut under Serra's left eye.

It's a safe bet that Lytle and Serra will have a rubber match to determine (for now) which of the two friends is the better ultimate fighter.

And based on the crowd's response to the evening of MMA, it's a safe bet that the UFC will return to Indy. Hopefully with a more entertaining main event.

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