There is no messing around in this Episode as the Production must cram two Semi-Final fights into one episode. First up is Cameron Dollar to fight against Andre Winner. Winner is already sporting a black eye pre the fight, very Franklinesque, it also comes to light that even at his age he has a habit of sucking his thumb. I used to have that as a child, I found that you can get nasty tasting clear varnish for nails. But it on your thumb and you'll never want to suck it ever again LOL. Poor guy seems to get a lot of ridicule for it. Cameron Dollar, who I have swung between thinking was fantastic, to thinking was very immature, tback and fro, suddenly reveals a religious side. He comes out with such quotes as "I gotta have faith in GOD, he isnt going to give me anything I cant handle" to "I pray every night for GODs Speed and Devils Rage" I'm not sure if he's a Christian or not. I had never suspected before this episode. I cant work out if Dollar and Damarques have been poorly represented by editing, or whether they are not as pious as they make out in public.
Cameron Dollar came out very aggressive but his shots were quite inaccurate. Winner was defensive for the majority of the time but when he chose to strike did so with accuracy. Half way through Dollar changed tactic to try for a takedown, he tried for a long time locked up, and got the takedown, after which winner got right to his feet. This didnt stop him trying and Winner was taken down again only to reverse right into mount, there was another swift reversal, but it led Dollar straight into a triangle choke.
I thought that he might have won the round had it continued to finish the last moment because of his aggression, takedowns, and because he matched Winner on control until they got to the ground
Whilsty gearing up for the second fight we learn that Ross Pearson has a reoccuring injury that means during training its not unheard of to find his Shoulder disslocating. I am not sure how wise it is to advertise an injury like that. Sometime in the future that may come back to haunt him, for if I were ever training for Pearson, I now know that his shoulder has a major weakness, one that wont kill him, but one that could certainly end the fight. Bash his shoulder hard enough, watch it disslocate and get the win. I dont think thats very responsible editing on the part of the UFC.
Meanwhile Jason Dent, who I have supported through this TUF is criticised by both Dan Henderson, his coach, and Dana White for putting on a boring preliminary fight that he won. Jason Dent admitted he took no risks, but claims that it was simply to prevent injury. He makes a promise to act outrageously in this semi-final fight as there is nothing less to lose. This has been a big bone of contention we have seen at championship level in the UFC. It is better to put on a good fight and lose, then a boring fight and win. Tim Sylvia of old, and recently Anderson Silva have come underfire for playing it safe. Just like Jason they claim it is a sensible gameplan. Dan Henderson says its just avoiding the fighters potential. I'm not completely sure how I feel about it to be honnest. I think it must be taken on an individual basis. I dont recall Dents preliminary fight being THAT boring...sooo perhaps I dissagree this time
The first round was played completely on their feet. In terms of striking Ross Pearson was fantastic, however, when they got into the clinch or when they were in the lockup against the cage, the knees of Dent were finding their mark. It was quite close, but Pearson with body shots and kicks won the round.
Between Rounds Dan Henderson advised Jason Dent to make sure the second round was played on the ground. But Jason Dent pretty much ignored him. The round cotinued with the striking of Ross Pearson, but Jason upped the anti in terms of aggressiveness. Particularly the dirty boxing and clinch work. He was so effective it was Ross who got the takedown. Unfortunatley that seemed to benefit Pearson more then it did Dent. Within the last moment Jason missed a takedown and invited Ross to join him on the back by turtling. Pearson did, and briefly caught mount. The action continued with Jason setting up afew submissions one of which was an armbar but he ran out of time
Dana cant claim that this fight was boring, but I am perplexed as to why Jason didnt listen to his corner team. Ross Pearson on the other hand listened very attentitively to Bisping, but ignored everyone else on his team, who advised him to break from the clinch.
The last round was completely different. An early takedown by Ross Pearson. meant that Dent just spent the whole time being smashed. Several times Pearson took his back without hooks, and several times came close to a stoppage, but Dent held out. Dana White admitted that although Jason had lost he had earned more respect for putting on a better performance. Dent just proclaimed that the house had messed with his head. He was not upset by the prospect of leaving the house. As pointed out, Jason Dent appears to boarder on Social Anxiety, it must have been a nightmare for him.