A few neat night spots in Cleveland Heights and remarks on UFC 76

Watched UFC 76 last night with my friend at Jonny Malloy’s in Coventry. Malloy’s is a big old movie theatre with a bar in the back. It vaguely reminded me of the Alamo Drafthouse in Austin — but instead of playing hipster art-house movies and indie slasher flicks, they play UFC fights.

After that, we headed upstairs to City and East, which the last time I was there, was a place called The Loft that had way too many televisions. Now, City and East is a hookah bar. Sitting on couches and puffing on a hookah is a lot of fun. The place is not pretentious whatsoever. Apparently the Ohio smoking ban allows for hookah bars, which is just fine with me.

So, back to UFC 76.

There were several fights that ended with judge’s decisions. I don’t think a victory or a loss by a judge’s decision should be considered equivalent to a win or a loss by knockout or submission. And split decisions should probably be worth even less.

Anyhow, In the Sanchez – Fitch fight, Diego Sanchez immediately rushed Jon Fitch but couldn’t get him on the mat. Sanchez didn’t seem to have a plan B.

Forrest Griffin performed amazingly in his fight. Rua landed an elbow on Griffin’s forehead that opened a gash spurting blood like something from Kill Bill. In the end, Griffin won with a rear-naked choke and Rua looked exhausted.

The main event was brutal. Liddell really deserves the “iceman” moniker. He walks in the ring like he’s going out to mow the lawn. He doesn’t bounce from foot to foot and he looks like he’s bored when he stares at his opponent. He showed no acknowledgement no matter how many times Jardine landed those bruising kicks to Liddell’s leg and side.

Meanwhile, Keith Jardine must have an incredible chin. Liddell scored with his wild swooping left hook repeatedly and Jardine kept coming back for more, despite a face t that looked like a side of beef at the end of the first round.

Just like with the Sanchez – Fitch fight, if this had gone a few more rounds, anything could have happened. It was too early for a decision to be made. Maybe we should have a tie-breaker round in the event that the judges’ scorecards are not unanimous.

I’m sad about two consecutive losses for Diego Sanchez and Chuck Lidell. They both have distinctive styles and their fights are really fun to watch. The sport needs people that stick around and build up fan bases.