Well, that was pretty awesome. In one of the UFC's most spectacular cards to date, the home team put on a show with Anderson Silva, Big Nog, and Demian Maia getting some great wins. We even got to see a memorable retirement by one of the greatest legends of the cage.
A lot of people were down on this card and down on the main event, but it was a solid event from top to bottom, with submissions, knockouts and back-and-forth wars. Not one fight sucked balls, even the Jon Fitch fight. For once you'd have to agree that was a pay-per-view well spent.
My predictions: 9 for 12.
Card's report card: With five stoppages in the pay-per-view and an undercard with a fight of the night, you'd have to say this is one of the best cards Zuffa has put on in a while. Best of all time? No, we won't go that far. But given the talent they had to work with, it's hard to think it could have gone any better. I gave it an A.
Fight of the Night: Rony Jason vs Sam Sicilia (UFC gave it to Fitch Blanket)
Knockout of the Night: Rony Jason
Submission of the Night: Phil Davis (UFC gave it to Big Nog)
Biggest Upset: None
Worst judge's decision: Cristiano Marcello vs Reza Madadi
Most boring fight: None
Beatdown of the Night: Glover Teixeira vs Fabio Maldonado
* * *
Prediction: Madadi by decision
Result: Marcello by split decision
Um, fuck off. If ever there was a hometown decision, that one was it. Although Marcello performed well above his pay grade, and did more damage to Madadi than he received, I can't see how you give this fight to Marcello. I mean, I could be wrong, but it looked like he got more than enough takedowns in the first two rounds to be ahead on the scorecards. If you want to give Marcello the last round, fine.
But 30-27? Really? What the fuck kind of judging is that? That's brutal. Frankly, I think Madadi brought that decision on himself by allowing it to be closer than it should have been. He should have used his wrestling to keep top control more and take less damage on the feet.
As for Marcello, I guess charging forward like a retard wins you fans and judges, but I didn't see it winning the fight. Still, for something I figured would probably be the most boring fight, it was surprisingly entertaining.
I don't really care to match up Marcello with anybody. He didn't really win the fight, and even if you think he did, he got by on the hairs of his scrotum. I don't know, give him Myles Jury. Some other TUF 15 scrub or something.
* * *
Prediction: Camozzi by TKO in round 2
Result: Camozzi by decision
I gotta say, I didn't understanding the judging of either of the first two fights. Although I was rooting for Camozzi, I thought he lost the first and the third rounds pretty clearly. Luiz Cane looked great at 185 pounds. His glass chin seemed to disappear for the most part, except for getting rocked late in the first round.
The only way I can see Cane losing the first round after trading blows all round and taking Camozzi's back and nearly finishing him is that late punch. But fuck, you take someone's fucking back and nearly finish them and lose the round? Do judges have absolutely zero respect for jujitsu? It's like round 5 of the Diaz-Condit fight all over again.
Camozzi didn't perform well. He was doing well in the first, but began to fade in the second, and got completely outclassed in the third. I thought Cane loosened up nicely and began snapping Camozzi's head back in the third. I'm really surprised Camozzi didn't use wrestling to stop the damage.
Again, it's hard to care about Camozzi when I think he lost. Maybe Michael Kuiper?
* * *
Prediction: Moraes by submission in round 3
Result: Moraes by submission in round 3
Why did I give the losing fighter a better grade? I thought Forte fought very well, and well above his pay grade in this contest. Moraes is a world class jujitsu champion and Forte was able to get up again and again after being taken down. I had Moraes winning the first before getting tired and then Forte coming back and winning the second.
Forte was on his way to winning a decision when Moraes scored an unbelievable and beautiful back mount by literally leaving his right arm behind while jumping through the air to tackle Forte as he was trying to get back to his feet and sinking in the hooks. What was amazing about that move is that Moraes was clearly tired by the middle of round 2, so to show that kind of heart was pretty inspiring.
From that point on Moraes was in his element, and finished the fight with an awesome standing rear-naked choke. It's hard to begrudge Moraes for pulling that win out of the fire. He's the nicest guy in the UFC, and is a great sportsman. Sure, the above picture is a little bit of man-on-man loving, but the Brazilians are open-minded like that.
I actually thought these guys were at 185 when they were fighting. Having a guy like Moraes at 170 is interesting because he's a powerful grappler and won't be pushed around by the wrestlers in that division. Having said that, his gas tank is a little iffy. What do you think about Gunnar Nelson? Two elite grapplers going toe-to-toe.
* * *
Prediction: Brandao by TKO in round 1
Result: Brandao by decision
It's hard to criticize Gambino here. He just wasn't good enough. Brandao looked like a 145 pound Thiago Alves, stalking his opponent, turning in some brutal leg kicks, and landing some bombs. Gambino's chin was unbelievable, surviving at least two heavy fastballs right to the melon.
It's not like Gambino didn't try. He was working the body with kicks, went for takedowns, and gained the momentum a few times, especially in the third. But Brandao was better. He was able to pummel under at the cage, turn and break, and keep from being taken down.
Brandao was also more patient in this fight, stalking Gambino carefully and not throwing quite so many careless shots. Clearly his training with the "man who ruined MMA" is working out.
It's only one win since Brandao was wrestlefucked by Darren Elkins. I like Matt Grice. I think it would test Brandao's wrestling game. Alternately, Max Holloway would make a very exciting standup war.
* * *
Prediction: Trinaldo by decision
Result: Tibau by decision
This was a nice scrap, but in the end Tibau used his experience in the cage to wrestlefuck an anticlimactic finish to a spirited first two rounds. Gleison's strategy from the get-go was to get the Jungle Fight lightweight champion on the ground, and was on Trinaldo like a Fitch blanket for the first round.
Unfortunately, just like the Fitch fight, Trinaldo fucked up in the second when he had the juiced up Tibau in a world of hurt on the ground and tried to sink in the rear-naked choked. The mistake of not pounding out the finish came back to haunt Trinaldo since Tibau survived to the third, and then used the good old points strategy of winning the decision.
Although watching Tibau wrestlefuck his way to a victory was disappointing, Trinaldo's weight cut was also a big issue. Even though Tibau looked bigger, it's obvious that Trinaldo isn't down to 155 comfortably yet. I think another few fights at 155 will make him one of the more dangerous fighters at that weight class.
Does it matter? This fucking middleweight has been wrestlefucking lightweights for six years now, without much success. Give him Jacob Volkmann. I doubt he muscles him around.
* * *
Featherweight : Rony Jason (B+) versus Sam Sicilia (B)
Prediction: Jason by submission in round 2
Result: Jason by knockout in round 2
I think everyone knows this was the real fight of the night. Actually, it's fucking crazy to give Fitch Blanket the bonus for doing what Fitch does best. Fitch someone into his six millionth decision. But I digress.
Jason and Sicilia fucking threw down. They threw hard leather, they grappled, they pummelled each other for nearly two rounds. And then Sicilia got caught and Jason finished. It was truly an inspiring performance by both fighters.
Rony Jason is only two fights into the UFC but he looks great so far. A brick chin, amazing jujitsu, explosive offence, and a determined will, means this guy has a good chance of cracking the top 20 of a very talented division. Still, he's only been tested against two recent TUF graduates. Time for a step up.
Jason against Diego Brandao or Hugo Viana (who he won a razor close decision against on the show) sounds cool, but I want him to fight someone outside the TUF world. Rani Yahya is an interesting fight but that's another Brazilian versus Brazilian fight. Well, what about Darren Elkins?
* * *
Welterweight : Damien Maia (A+) versus Rick Story (D-)
Prediction: Maia by decision
Result: Maia by submission in round 1
Holy fuck, is Maia ever good at 170 pounds. If you thought that his quick work of Korean fighter Dong Kong Kim (or whatever the fuck his name is - Stun Gun) was a fluke (and I did) then his destruction of Rick Story should send fear rippling across the division.
Rick Story is a legitimate top 20 welterweight, with wins over Thiago Alves and Johny Hendricks. And if people think Story is on a slide anyway, nobody, and I mean nobody, has ever dispatched Story so easily and so quickly.
Story came rushing out to the centre of the cage and went straight into wrestling mode. Maia quickly obliged by taking him down, getting his back, and squeezing his fucking head so tightly that Story's life force was spraying out of his nose like a fucking soda fountain.
After annihilating Kim and Story in the first round, it's time to put Maia up against the creme de la creme. Jake Ellenberger. It's the only fight that really makes any sense. There's also Mike Pierce. Either way, he gets tested against an elite wrestler with power.
* * *
Prediction: Davis by decision
Result: Davis by submission in round 2
This was clearly, easily, obviously submission of the night. When Prado escaped that brutally tight arm-triangle choke and got back to his knees, I don't think a single person on the planet expected Davis to convert a simple wrestling clench into an anaconda in about two seconds.
Davis' transition into the choke was breathtaking and flawless. One second he reached around Prado's neck and grabbed his bicep, the next you saw 205-plus pounds of pudgy Prado go flying in the air, landing on his back, his lips quivering uselessly as he thrashed about like a fish in the bottom of a row boat about to get an oar in the face.
Davis looked outstanding once again, and completely, utterly dominated Prado in every conceivable way. He didn't have a mark on him afterward. Although Davis looked outclassed against Rashad Evans, you've got to think he's in the top five in the division.
As for Prado, the cardio, lack of wrestling, and pudge hanging off his frame make me think he'd be better suited at 185 pounds.
What do you do with a problem like Phil Davis? He beat Alexander Gustafsson. He beat Lil Nog. And Lyoto Machida and Dan Henderson are both clamouring for title shots. So, either Davis fights someone down the ladder, or the UFC makes him sit and wait.
* * *
Welterweight : Jon Fitch (B-) versus Erick Silva (D+)
Prediction: Silva by decision
Result: Fitch by blanket
Fight of the night? Fuck you and the horse you rode in on. Exciting? Do you find slow, agonizing strangulation or drowning to be exciting? You sick puppy.
This was classic Fitch blanket doing his classic blanket. This was classic Fitch being unable to finish yet another fight. This was classic Fitch doing what Fitch does best. Refuses to finish a fight, sucks a stupid fighter into his world, and drowns him in a world of leg humping.
Cocky Erick Silva looked dejected after the fight, and for good reason. He didn't have one-tenth the cardio of Jon Fitch, and when he had the blanket on the ropes, instead of finishing him with classic Silva ground and back-of-the-head, he tried to take the blanket's back.
Listen up UFC fuckhead fighters. Jon Blanket Fitch can't be choked out. BJ Penn got his back twice in their match, and was easily reversed each time, and Penn's back mount is elite. When you've got Fitch hurt, there are a number of things not to do. Do not get on his back. Do not get into his guard. Do not let him grab any part of your body.
Fitch is a blanket, a leech, a fucking poison. The best way to deal with all three is to stomp them out from at range, or set them on fire and run. Silva has lethal hands, but instead of using them, he got sucked into Fitch's world, taken into deep water, and drowned.
Fuck Jon Fitch with a sharp metal object.
* * *
Prediction: Teixeira by submission in round 2
Result: Teixeira by doctor's vagina
Fuck. Fuckity fuck. Stupid, useless, cunts of a doctor always stopping epic fights. Is this "ultimate" fighting? Or wear silk pink panties fighting? Maldonado wanted to keep fighting. The fans wanted him to keep fighting. Everybody wanted him to keep fighting except for the fucking mother hen masquerading as a cageside doctor.
Look, Fabio Maldonado took an absolute pounding for two full rounds. The level of brutality inflicted on him was something breathtaking to behold. It was more violent and vicious than Jimi Manuwa's recent manslaughter of Kyle Kingsbury.
But goddamn it, we all wanted to see another round. The referee could have stopped it a few minutes into the third and nobody would have said shit. But to stop it between rounds is just abject cuntery. It reminds me of the Big Foot versus Fedor fight. When you've got Fedor fighting, you can't ever, ever count him out. I wish Fabio was given the same benefit of the doubt.
Maldonado has the heart of a fucking lion. When he landed that left hook late in the first round I jumped out of my seat. His chin is easily the strongest in the UFC. If Dana White cuts him after this fight he's a complete asshole.
Jon Jones. There's nobody else. I mean, I guess there's Phil Davis, but really, I'd rather see Teixeira versus Jones now than old man Henderson or Machida.
* * *
Heavyweight : Big Nog (B-) versus Dave Herman (F)
Prediction: Nog via KO in round 1
Result: Nog via submission in round 2
Giving Big Nog a farewell submission of the night for that fiasco was the UFC equivalent to the gold watch. Clearly, Moraes' flying back mount and choke was better, as was Davis' amazing anaconda. Still, who's complaining? A fine way to end a career.
And it just goes to show that even a big fat out-of-shape Nogueira is still better than Dave Herman on his best day. Herman looked like absolute shit out there. His chin was straight up in the air, he stood still a lot, and he was basically exhausted by the second round. And he wasn't even the fat one.
Fat Nog getting his submission win was especially sweet because Herman was talking a lot of stupidity about how jujitsu doesn't work. In fact, I think the reason he didn't knock him out in the first is that much like Anderson Silva, he was proving a point.
A great career for a legendary champion. Thanks for the memories.
* * *
Light Heavyweight : Anderson Silva (A) versus Stephan Bonnar (C+)
Prediction: Silva by decision
Result: Silva by TKO in round 1
What more can said about this man that hasn't already been said. Anderson Silva toyed with Stephen Bonnar for four minutes before brutally finishing the man who had never been officially stopped with a vicious knee that caved his fucking chest in.
Joe Rogan started it but Anderson Silva finished it, when the suggestion was made to stay at 205 and the Middleweight champion said no. But why? Although Glover Teixeira is an exciting fight for Jon Jones, who else has destroyed guys at Light Heavyweight like the Spider?
Silva has run through three Light Heavyweights in the first round, including the embarrassing destruction of Forrest Griffin, and now this one-sided beatdown of Stephan Bonnar.
Consider this for a moment. Bonnar gave Jones pretty much everything he had for 15 minutes back in 2009, even winning the final round. Granted, Jones was still pretty new to MMA, but still. It wasn't just the fact Silva won in one round, or the fact he stopped a guy who had never been stopped, it was how he did it.
The complete disdain Silva had for his striking, wrestling, and grappling was both appalling and amazing. The fact he stood against the cage, arms down, and dared Bonnar to punch him in the face or take him down. And Bonnar tried. Boy, did he ever try.
Chael Sonnen-style, Bonnar rushed out and tried to get the takedown. Silva was having none of it. He tried to punch him and got knees and uppercuts in return. And Bonnar was even on the receiving end of the only vicious shoulder strikes I think I've ever seen where I actually thought to myself, "damn, those must have hurt."
Sure, the haters will say Stephan Bonnar was a patsy, a near-retired, washed-up has-been, and Silva is ducking the best at the end of his career. But they're, simply put, fucking morons. Anderson Silva has demonstrated over and over he's simply on another level altogether than every other fighter in the world.
I don't know why he doesn't want to fight Jon Jones, and I don't know whether he's ducking certain fighters. I do know that Anderson Silva would have more than a good chance of knocking Jon Jones out, and any other fighter on the planet crazy enough to get into the cage with Anderson Silva and let them shut the door.