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UFC: Best of 2009(TV) (2009)
Grab a ringside seat and relive all the thrilling action with this compilation of highlights, milestones, behind-the-scenes footage and bone-crushing battles from the UFC's 2009 season, featuring a big celebration for its historic 100th event. Matches include Brock Lesnar and Frank Mir's heavyweight unification title fight, the light heavyweight championship bout between Lyoto Machida and Rashad Evans, and many others.
For more about UFC: Best of 2009 and the UFC: Best of 2009 Blu-ray release, see UFC: Best of 2009 Blu-ray Review published by Martin Liebman on March 11, 2010 where this Blu-ray release scored 3.5 out of 5.
Director: Anthony Giordano
Starring: Mike Goldberg
» See full cast & crew
UFC: Best of 2009 Blu-ray Review
The tale of the tape says that this two-disc set is a must-own for UFC fans.
Reviewed by Martin Liebman, March 11, 2010
Once you finally step into the octagon, that's when the real work begins.
2009 was a banner year for the Ultimate Fighting Championships. Not only has the sport grown immensely in popularity since the first UFC in November of 1993 in Denver, Colorado, but it has attracted some of the best fighters from around the world and about the world of professional sports. Former wrestlers, boxers, and football players; masters of various fighting styles; all-out brawlers; and even some scrappy fighters who rose through the ranks of UFC's own reality television show make up the sport's diverse population and dot the exciting landscape of mixed martial arts, and it only takes watching but a few fights and getting to know a few stars before one can see why the sport has catapulted over so many other, similar ventures and into the consciousness of mainstream America as a viable sporting alternative for the all-important entertainment dollar. Not even 20 years since its inception, the there have been 110 UFCs, the latest classic having taken place in Sydney, Australia, halfway around the world from the sport's birthplace in Colorado. 2009 saw a milestone event, UFC 100, headlined by a memorable fight between superstars Brock Lesnar and Frank Mir. With other fighters -- Georges St-Pierre, Thiago Alves, Forrest Griffin, Anderson Silva, and Lyoto Machida to name a few -- still fighting at the top of their games and enthralling fans with every punch and kick, it's no wonder that 2009 will be remembered as one of the sport's most exciting years.
UFC: Best of 2009 looks back on the year that was in the world of mixed martial arts; with 15 Ultimate Fighting Championships -- UFC 93 through UFC 107 -- not to mention UFC's own reality series and a wealth of the world's most talented fighters going at it in several memorable match-ups and at a few historically-significant events, there was plenty of material worthy of inclusion in this best-of collection. Not content to settle for the top helping of the cream of the crop, UFC and Starz/Anchor Bay have painstakingly gone back through the entire year that was and packed this two-disc set with over two-dozen fights, all of them instant classics and well worth repeat viewings. With superstars like Forrest Griffin, Keith Jardine, Chuck Liddell, Brock Lesnar, and Frank Mir making up just a fraction of the roster that's included in this set, fans will find plenty to cheer about all over again during the year that was, a year that will long be remembered for a myriad of reasons, chief among them, of course, the many great fights that dotted the UFC landscape over a memorable 365-day span.
UFC: Best of 2009 isn't just a collection of fights strung back-to-back-to-back. UFC fans demand more, and this set delivers a formidable collection of UFC 2009 history that offers a highly-detailed examination of the year that was, making this not only an excellent retrospective set for the hardcore fan but an excellent jumping-in point for newcomers eager to embrace the sport in 2010 and beyond. The set delicately balances catering to both the established fan and the viewer that's wanting to figure out the nuts and bolts of how UFC works and becoming acquainted with its top superstars and, indeed, even some of the lesser fighters that are working hard to rise in the ranks and in the hearts and minds of the sport's fan base. This superbly-produced video collection offers highlights of additional fights, interviews with UFC superstars, and behind-the-scenes glimpses into the world of UFC. Still, the highlight of the collection -- and any UFC video release -- comes in the form of the uncut fights themselves, and while a few overlap from previous UFC Blu-ray releases, most of the content is new to Blu-ray and collector's won't feel let down by the included fights, listed both as part of the primary program as well as the additional 14 fights included as supplemental material spread across both discs. In addition to the below-listed fights that are presented in their entirety as part of the primary program, this set additionally offers profiles on various fighters as to the state of their careers in 2009 as well as general background information on the world of mixed martial arts and the Ultimate Fighting Championship's rise in popularity and prestige throughout 2009.
The Following fights are included across this two-disc set:
Hughes vs. Serra
Condit vs. Ellenberger
Marquardt vs. Maia
Franklin vs. Belfort
Quarry vs. Credeur
Silva vs. Griffin
Evans vs. Machida
Liddell vs. Rua
Jardine vs. Silva
Sanchez vs. Guida
Couture vs. Nogueira
Lesnar vs. Mir
UFC: Best of 2009 Blu-ray, Video Quality
UFC: Best of 2009 suits up on Blu-ray with a 1080i, 1.78:1-framed transfer that's similar to a high quality high definition broadcast, reflective of the various events' original airing parameters. Like the previous UFC Blu-ray releases consisting of newly-minted footage, Best of 2009 features a stable, pleasant image that's not going to rival new releases of filmed blockbusters but it does offer sharp, crisp, and nicely detailed imagery throughout. Fine detailing is nicely realized, whether creases in the mat, stains of blood on the floor, or scars and freckles on the fighters' skin. Colors are well-balanced and natural; the myriad of shades found on both on-mat advertisements inside the octagon for products like Bud Light and Harley-Davidson motorcycles, or the many shades found on the fighters' trunks, appear stable and natural in tint. Blacks, particularly as the crowd fades into darkness throughout the background, are deep and true, while fighters' skin tones appear fairly natural across the diverse shades that cover almost the entire human spectrum across the wealth of fighters featured in the collection. The image does struggle with some bouts of softness, a bit of noise, a few jagged edges, and a generally flat look. Though not a knockout of a transfer, this one delivers about all one could reasonably expect of a new release of fresh footage captured for a high definition television presentation.
UFC: Best of 2009 Blu-ray, Audio Quality
UFC: Best of 2009 pounds its way onto Blu-ray with a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack. This is a case where source material is what it is, and while listeners aren't going to feel immersed in the the fights via a full and seamless 360-degree sound field or experience every blow through prodigious bass, this sonic presentation reproduces the original broadcast elements to a satisfactory level. Though centered about the hard-hitting world of mixed martial arts, UFC: Best of 2009 is primarily a dialogue-driven program. Dialogue is crisp in both narration during the segments that look back on the year that was and during the play-by-play and color commentary accompanying the fights themselves. Despite the two-channel presentation, there's a positive and substantive feel to this sonic presentation. Musical delivery is satisfactorily clean and brings with it a fairly hefty feel that nicely sets the tone for each fight. Ambient crowd noise and other environmental support is, of course, limited to the front. Though not exactly a show-stopping sonic presentation, UFC: Best of 2009's Dolby Digital soundtrack offers a clear, articulate, and satisfactory presentation that's a good match for the video presentation and the content of the program.
UFC: Best of 2009 Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
UFC: Best of 2009 includes several "bonus fights" that aren't included as part of the primary body of the feature. The fights are available individually both under the "special features" tab of the menu or during the program by selecting a pop-up icon that appears when the option is turned on inside the "special features" tab. The following bonus fights are included:
St-Pierre vs. Penn (UFC 94)
Swick vs. Hardy (UFC 105)
Akiyama vs. Belcher (UFC 100)
Machida vs. Silva (UFC 94)
Nogueira vs. Cane (UFC 106)
Bonnar vs. Jones (UFC 94)
Griffin vs. Franca (UFC 103)
Diaz vs. Guillard (Ultimate Fight Night)
Sherk vs. Edgar (UFC 98)
Stevenson vs. Diaz (The Ultimate Fighter 9 Finale)
Penn vs. Florian (UFC 101)
Carwin vs. Gonzaga (UFC 96)
Velasquez vs. Kongo (UFC 99)
Cro Cop vs. Dos Santos (UFC 103)
Disc two additionally contains a piece entitled Behind the Scenes (1080i, 20:08). It offers interviews with UFC fighters, commentators, coaches, sport officials, and others, all sharing their thoughts on the fighting styles of several UFC superstars.
UFC: Best of 2009 Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
UFC: Best of 2009 hits hard and doesn't relent from beginning to end. A veritable gold mine for UFC fans, and other than the pricy but well-worth-it four-disc collection of the best 100 fights of all time as voted on by UFC's most knowledgeable and ardent fans, there's not a better way than this release to dive into the world of UFC for the first time on Blu-ray disc. This set offers a fine cross-section of fighters and styles from the year that was, a year that saw a significant numerical milestone for the sport but, more importantly, saw the further growth of the sport around the world, thanks in large part to a top-flight collection of fighters at the top of their games. This joint venture between UFC and Starz/Anchor Bay should satisfy fans. Though there might be some disappointment as to the absence of a multichannel sound presentation, fans can rest assured that it sounds fine in context. The 1080i picture quality is on-par with the previous Starz/Anchor Bay UFC releases, and a fair amount of bonus materials round out a set that should find its way onto every hardcore UFC fan's Blu-ray shelf.
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