The Monday mop-up: Quick thoughts from UFC 78 and beyond...


By Jesse Holland

UFC 78: "Validation" was an entertaining event. It had slick submissions, brutal TKO's and a heart-stopping welterweight war.

Too bad those were the preliminary fights.

UFC 78 wasn't exactly a barnburner, but it did have its moments. My favorite happened to be during Tamdan McCrory vs. Akihiro Gono, when a beer-battered patron screamed out "Put him in a body bag Johnny!"

You just can't beat the classics.

Speaking of Grandpa's old cough medicine, when did arenas start selling bottled beer? I know the Prudential Center (PC) just opened and they're still working out the kinks, but I get the impression that no one in vendor management ever went to a heated playoff game (or heard of Monica Seles).

I'm sure after the first person gets their head split open they'll rethink their strategy.

While we're on the topic of strategies, where were the veterans on Saturday? In fairness Joe Doerksen was a late replacement, but he looked like a shell of himself against Ed Herman.

And Spencer Fisher? Not to take anything away from Frankie Edgar but for a guy with 20 wins I expected a much better takedown defense. Fisher couldn't have been more flat-footed if he was fighting in ski boots.

Karo Parisyan is a talented fighter but if he wants that spot in the main event he's going to have to start finishing people. In his last 10 fights, nine of them have gone to the judges.

I guess that's better than not making it to the judges, which is what unfortunately happened to Chris Lytle. His war with Thiago Alves was the most exciting fight of the night. Not bad for only two rounds.

The big screen showed two cuts near Lytle's eye: One above the brow and one on the eyelid - which may or may not have allowed his eyeball to go flying into the fourth row if Thiago connected.

It was the right call, but then again Thiago himself could barely see as a result of the beating he took. From the left side he kind of looked like Sloth from the Goonies.

Note to UFC lightweights: Joe Lauzon is coming.

The crowd at the PC was really behind Houston Alexander and there was a prolonged air of disappointment after he was stopped. I took no pleasure out of picking against him in my predictions, but I just couldn't see him getting past a BJJ black belt - from Chute Boxe no less - without ground training.

And who is responsible for training Rashad Evans? Someone better get on the Bat-phone and page Billy Rush. If Rashad thinks he can walk into a five-rounder with Rampage and suck wind for the last three rounds, he's gravely mistaken.

It was nice to see Rampage make a cameo, but when did his head become the size of a Volkswagen? I'm not sure what he said to Michael Bisping between rounds, but the Brit looked awfully tentative on his feet.

I would have been on my feet if the UFC had made the Henderson/Silva announcement during the event and not after it. As would the pay-per-view viewers at home - assuming the three people who actually ordered UFC 78 weren't in the bathroom or fetching a snack between rounds.

And why did Evans fetch his mouthpiece off the Octagon floor without letting the referee wash it off? The same Octagon floor that had sixteen sweaty/bloody fighters rolling around on it for four hours?

Not since the debut of two girls/one cup have so many people dry-heaved in unison.

It was a glorious night for the female fans. Between rounds I took a leisurely stroll to the little boy's room and lo and behold the line was about fifty deep. I glanced over and saw a few women sporadically filing in and out of the ladies room with no wait. They nodded at our cross-legged line with a deep sense of satisfaction.

There won't be much fallout from UFC 78 because the magnitude of the event was about 2.4 on the Richter scale. Not that it matters; UFC 79 is only a month away.

I may have to add four days to my Advent calendar.

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