UFC – Ultimate Fight Collection 2011 Edition

| December 29, 2011

Tomorrow night, the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) will finish their historic 2011 run of fight cards with UFC 141, which features a #1 contender bout between Heavyweight Championship contenders Alistair Overeem and former UFC Heavyweight Champion, Brock Lesnar.
Before heading into 2012, which is sure to bring just as many, if not more, memorable bouts between the best athletes currently competing in the sport of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), take a look back over the 12 months of outstanding UFC action from July 2010, when former Heavyweight Champion, Brock Lesnar, defended his belt against Shane Carwin at UFC 116, to June of 2011, when Carwin fought current Heavyweight Champion, Junior Dos Santos, in a title elimination bout at UFC 131.
This DVD collection from Anchor Bay Entertainment is astonishing. In years past, the UFC was disappointingly cheap with their DVD productions, with events being released with none of the pre-fight footage with commentators Joe Rogan and Mike Goldberg, with no walkouts, no footage in the corners in between rounds, and even post-fight interviews excised. Not anymore. The 2011 Ultimate Fight Collection is a mammoth, 20-disc collection of every single event from July 2010 to June 2011, and every event has custom titles introducing the card, all of the pre-fight interview footage with the fighters discussing their opponents, training strategies, gameplans, etc.; walkout footage; post-fight interviews inside the Octagon with Rogan; and, most surprising of all, the UFC has even included pre- and post-fight press conference footage for added context in the bigger fights, typically co- and main events.
For just a preview, some of the best additional footage includes, for UFC 118 on Disc 3, five-time UFC champion and UFC Hall of Famer, Randy Couture, cracking jokes with the press after his successful victory over boxing legend, James Toney; for UFC 129 on Disc 13, martial artist and film star, Steven Seagal, in the locker room of former Light Heavyweight Champion, Lyoto Machida, going over strategy, as well as post-fight footage of Seagal in the crowd talking with UFC President, Dana White, about the two consecutive spectacular front kick knockouts from training partners Machida and the UFC Middleweight Champion, Anderson Silva, both of whom spent time training with Seagal; and, for UFC 130 on Disc 15, former Heavyweight Champion, Frank Mir, and his opponent, Roy Nelson, joking during the press conference and at the hotel before the fight about how their friendship has been growing as their high-profile fight has been getting closer.
Beyond the extra footage, most important, of course, are the fights themselves, and the UFC was wise to include not just highlights of events to save time and money. They didn’t even skimp on the preliminary or undercard fights. Every fight from every event is presented in full, with no editing. Older fans of the UFC, who have suffered the frustration of events being released on DVD with fights missing, even when the fighters were of the caliber of former Light Heavyweight Champion, Frank Shamrock, and former Lightweight Champion, Sean Sherk, will be pleased to find the entire card on each disc. The only exceptions are for the events that were aired on free TV (either on Spike or Versus).
Lastly, in addition to the events themselves, there is a bonus disc that includes candid interviews with fighters conducted by Joe Rogan (of special mention is Welterweight Champion, Georges St. Pierre, telling Rogan his only motivation for lifting weights is so he looks good); special segments with fighters answering humorous personal questions (of special mention is Randy Couture talking about him and his sister getting in a fight when they were kids and how she hit him over the head with a broom); fighters offering technique tips either in the locker room pre-/post-fight or at their respective training camps (of special mention is top MMA coach, Greg Jackson, demonstrating a last resort counter to a double-leg takedown); and, last but certainly not least, even more fights! The bonus disc contains an additional ten fights from the events aired on free TV (of special mention is the fight between young Lightweight prospects, Charles Oliveira and Efrain Escudero [winner on the eighth season of the UFC reality show The Ultimate Fighter], which ends with an outstanding submission finish).
Even the packaging and the artwork for this release are worthy of excessive praise. The collection comes in a slick black cover, the front displaying the UFC logo and the iconic UFC gloves and the back featuring a stunning picture from the Heavyweight Championship fight between Brock Lesnar and Cain Velasquez from UFC 121. The 20 discs are contained in a booklet housed inside, and as you flip through the various pages, you see that the discs, turned at particular angles, combine with the pages to render more amazing pictures from the various fights included in the collection.
I know the holiday season has passed, but that’s okay. This is a gift you should get for yourself. As MMA fans enter the New Year with the UFC poised for its biggest year in its nearly 20-year history, the Ultimate Fight Collection 2011 Edition is an excellent road map, providing the twists and turns that led to the spectacular last half of this year (which featured possibly the greatest MMA fight of all-time courtesy of MMA legends Dan Henderson and Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, who battled to an action-packed, five-round decision last month at UFC 139) and that points towards 2012, which is sure to take fans, old and new, along for another incredible ride through the most exciting sport in the world.

About the Author:

Kyle Barrowman is a graduate of the Cinema Studies program at Columbia College in Chicago. In addition to his work for Film Monthly, he has previously published essays for Cashiers du Cinemart, Offscreen, and The International Journal of Žižek Studies, on subjects ranging from film noir to Alfred Hitchcock, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Bruce Lee.
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