There were two big fights this weekend for fans of man-on-man violence: Shane Mosley upset Antonio Margarito with a ninth-round TKO to win the WBC welterweight title, and heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko knocked out Andrei Arlovski in the first round of the most-hyped MMA fight outside of UFC since Kimbo Slice fell to Seth Petruzelli.
While 20,000-plus were packed into L.A.’s Staples Center to watch the pugilists, the Honda Center in Orange County was also filled with fight fans to watch Emelianenko build his mystique — the doughy 230-pound Russian hasn’t lost a fight since 2000. But the headliners disappointed. Arlovski, clearly in superior shape, controlled the tempo of the first round, then was done in by his famously weak chin when he jumped into a straight right. He immediately fell to the canvas, unconscious.
The rest of the card was similarly disappointing — a lot of fighters with some version of “former UFC” appended to their names, and it was obvious why. Although anyone who saw Matt Lindland get knocked out got their money’s worth. Not too often I get to see the balled-up velociraptor hands and leg spasms at the end of a fight. Usually I pay the girl to do that to me.