I thought it was a pretty good PPV.
Liddell-Couture 3 wasn't a long fight, but it was solid. Chuck looked pretty active in creating his own angles for his punches, which seemed to be the big difference between this fight and the first one. Chuck definitely hurt Randy towards the end of the first and was getting up a good deal of confidence. If Randy hadn't slipped, the fight probably would have gone another round or two, but the result would probably have been the same. Chuck's takedown defense in the first where he easily got up from Randy's takedown meant that Randy was going to have to stand and bang with Chuck for awhile. Chuck was bound to land that big right sooner or later.
Randy's retirement is probably for the best. He could stay and fight a few more times, but who would he fight? He won't be challenging for the belt again as long as Chuck has it. All he could really do is play spoiler now to Forrest, Bonnar, Tito, Babalu, Sakara, or any of the other 205 guys coming for the belt. I never found Randy to be all that exciting of a fighter, but I respect who he is and what he's done for the sport.
Babalu is next line for a shot at Chuck after easily submitting Mike Van Arsdale with a rear naked choke in the first round. His fight against Chuck should be pretty exciting contrast in styles.
Brandon Vera knocked out Justin Eilers with a great left high kick, Crocop style, causing Eilers to flop forward on the mat. On the way down, Vera landed a flying knee, followed by a punch to put Eilers out. Vera is now 6-0, has two great UFC knockouts to his name, and a great personality as he had Joe Rogan and the crowd laughing after the fight. Vera could be a big star and a legit challenger to either Liddell or Arlovski if they bring him along the right way. Like the UFC announcers said last night, Vera is kind of like a heavyweight George St. Pierre. On a side note, no one is the UFC gets knocked out like Justin Eilers. His staggering flops against Buentello, Arlovski, and now Vera are good enough that you would swear he studied at the feet of Ric Flair. I hope we see this guy back in the UFC before too long.
In the only televised fight to go the distance, Joe Riggs won a unanimous decision over a very aggressive Nick Diaz. Diaz pushed the action the whole fight and even landed a shot that put Riggs down on one knee. But Riggs landed more shots and did a lot more damage. That was the difference as everyone but Joe Rogan thought Riggs won the fight. Riggs did look gassed most of the fight, probably because he cut 30+ lbs before the weigh-in on Friday. Over the next 24 hours before the fight, he went from a weight-in weight of 169.5 to 202. The man is crazy.
Jeff Monson looks like he will be challenging for the heavyweight belt in the future as he dominated and choked out Brandon Lee Hinkle. Althought I don't know how fair it was to put an Abu Dhabi Heavyweight Submissions Champ against a wrestler from Hammer House, which is known for its terrible sub defense. I would have been shocked if this fight had gone any other way.
The biggest disappointment of the night was with Frank Mir. After winning the UFC Heavyweight title in 2004, he broke his femur in a motorcycle accident. In his first fight back, his left leg looked unstable as Cruz took him down. Cruz got dominant positioning and started raining down blows. Cruz opened up a nasty cut over Mir's left eye. Mir, despite not being able to see out of his left eye, decided to continue with the fight. He couldn't escape and ended up just eating shot after shot until the ref finally called it in the first. Mir looked like he just gave up. He looked scared and admitted after the fight that it was probably too early for him to return.