Now that was GSPectacular! No matter what your opinion of the Canadian UFC welterweight champion, if that fight didn't get your bloodlust running and your heart racing, you might need to be tested for dumbfuckitis at your local doctor's office.
The two fighters went to war for 25 minutes where there was never a dull moment or sense Georges St-Pierre was running out the clock. And to think that GSP managed that feat after 18 months on the couch is even more inspiring. Anyone who's ever taken 18 months off of an activity and come back to the same level as before, raise your lying hand.
My predictions: 7 for 11
Card's report card: Aside from Ivan Menjivar's submission and Johny Hendricks' knockout, the rest of the card was pretty tepid. Fortunately, the GSP-Condit fight pushes the card into the territory of solid A-.
Fight of the Night: GSP versus Condit
Knockout of the Night: Johny Hendricks
Submission of the Night: Ivan Menjivar
Biggest Upset: John Makdessi
Worst judge's decision: Damm versus Carvalho
Most boring fight: Carmont versus Lawlor
Beatdown of the night: Garza versus Hominick
* * *
Prediction: Elkins by decision
Result: Elkins by decision
Steven Siler was riding high coming into UFC 154, having defeated a series of tough opponents, including veteran Cole Miller, with a record of 16-4 in his last 20 fights. And then he met a wrestler. Darren Elkins dominated Siler on the ground for 15 minutes with ground and pound, submission attempts, and good old wrestlerape. To use the parlance of the U.S. prison system, Elkins made Siler his bitch.
There really isn't any redeeming message Siler can take away from this fight, like almost scoring a submission, or fighting takedowns, or landing a flurry of punches. He got his plumbing flushed from bell to bell, and at the end the best thing you can say is that he didn't quit.
If there's a consolation here, it might be that Darren Elkins has been underrated for far too long by the UFC brass. He's 4-0 after dropping to 145, and only has two losses in his MMA career. It might be time to make the jump up.
Give him 16-3 Robbie Peralta, who's been decimating every opponent since entering the UFC three fights ago. Or, if he's willing to be really tested, Cub Swanson.
* * *
Prediction: Menjivar by first round T/KO
Result: Menjivar by first round submission
For a few minutes it looked like unknown 22-year-old Russian fighter Azamat Gashimov was going to use a high-level top game to control and dominate veteran Ivan Menjivar on the ground. For a few minutes, that is. Then the Canadian fighter pulled off one of the sickest armbars I've ever seen.
As Menjivar rode the 135-pound Russian's arm like a fucking circus ride before the screaming brought in the referee, the angle of the arm made me think of the words "hospital" followed by "many years of physiotherapy." Now that's what you call taking a guy's arm.
It's nice to see Menjivar get a spectacular win. Relatively underrated considering how long he's been in the fight game, this was a great way to remind everybody he's still a threat wherever the fight goes.
* * *
Prediction: Riddle by decision
Result: Riddle by decision
The only thing dumber than saying you practice Gypsy Jiu-Jitsu is going out in a pink belt and not doing anything remotely resembling Jiu-Jitsu. Watching the fights with a buddy, he suggested the pink belt might be more for his proficiency in sucking.
I don't know what's wrong with John Maguire, but the guy is friggin garbage. He has no sense of urgency, heart, or spirit to win at the elite UFC level. Maybe that kind of shit works with the butter toothed Brits, where nobody has any heart, but in America you need to step it up. I don't know what to suggest, maybe smoke a joint or something. Shit.
As for Matthew Riddle, I have no idea what that grinning retard was doing either. He showed a very brief flurry of excitement at the end of round two when he did his famous Lisa Simpson windmill punching, but aside from that he was duller than an Al Gore lecture on global warming.
Although I give no mercy to John Maguire, who should be sent back to have tea and crumpets with his pink belt training buddies, Riddle can stay. But after that performance he deserves a step down, not up. I like the idea of matching him up against Justin Edwards. If you'll remember, he was the patsy who was supposed to get knocked out by Josh Neer, but instead choked him out quickly.
* * *
Prediction: Carvalho by second round TKO
Result: Carvalho by split decision
I felt like this was the first robbery of the evening. Although Fightmetric.com says it was actually a close fight (16-16, 19-16, 13-18) it's hard to see how Carvalho got the nod. All he did was kick the living shit out of Damm's left leg. Granted, it looked a little like Damm's leg had been living on the streets of Sao Paulo for a few years, huffing glue and smoking homemade meth.
But remember when I said Carvalho's striking is deadly? Not so much. His legs are incredible to watch. They move quickly, and accurately, and leave a lot of damage. That was great. But his boxing was fucking brutal. He held his limp-wristed hands out like he was auditioning for Karate Kid, and kept getting punched in the face.
Other than throw those billion kicks, Carvalho did fuck all, except high five Damm when the two almost, God forbid, made the fight exciting by going to the ground for two seconds. As for Damm, I don't know what he was thinking. Such a good wrestler and Jiu-Jitsu fighter should have taken it to the ground early and often. Although I think he won the striking match, a few key takedowns would have prevented the robbery.
Where do you match up a guy who actually lost? Dunno, but here's an easy one. Give him Pablo Garza. As for the guy who should have won, give him Felipe Arantes. I like that one because he defeated Carvalho.
* * *
Lightweight : John Makdessi (B+) versus Sam Stout (F)
Prediction: Stout by decision
Result: Makdessi by decision
Word of advice for Sam Stout: Cut your fucking hair you goddamned hippie. My buddy nailed it last night when he said that all things being equal, even if Stout wasn't getting his ass handed to him, his hair flying around every time he got punched in the face made it look even worse.
And boy did Sam Stout's hair go flying a lot last night. Stout's head did more snapping than a feminist bra-burning party. He got lit the fuck up. For a perfect summary of the fight, watch the very end of round 2 as Makdessi went to high five Stout. He'd already high-fived the air and was halfway back to his corner before Stout's hand was reaching up for the tap.
That's how it played out all night long. Makdessi stepped in, punched Stout in his stupid fucking face twice, stepped back a few feet, and then Stout threw a useless, whiplash-inducing punch at nobody. I haven't seen a guy hit so much air since Michael Jordan tried his hand at baseball.
Although Makdessi did great, you have to take into account Sam Stout's complete dumbfuckitude out there. A turn against Jacob Volkmann would bring him crashing back down to earth.
* * *
Prediction: Griggs by second round T/KO
Result: Diabate by first round submission
When the term "shitting the bed" was coined, they were thinking of somebody like Chad Griggs. In fact, both his UFC performances can be adequately described as abject shit. He's looked as stupid and useless as a fighter can possibly look inside the cage. A proverbial can to be crushed.
I honestly don't remember Griggs being this dumb in Strikeforce. He basically ran out at one of the deadliest strikers in the division, full blast, and took a punch flush on his stupid fucking chin. He then presumably evacuated his bowels at the force of the punch, his balls retracted up inside his stomach, and he handed his neck over to a man who is to Jiu-Jitsu as Mitt Romney is to being likable.
Cyrille Diabate, meanwhile, actually looked graceful for once, beating the stupid out of Griggs, handling himself on the ground, and even getting a nice submission win. It's nice to see for a guy who really doesn't get the kind of respect he deserves.
I know I've already suggested Jimi Manuwa for a bunch of guys, but this is a fight that interests me. Both guys would stand and bang, and both have absurd power and damage. It would be crazy. Another one that I like is Thiago Silva. Both have good standup, but I think Silva would want to take Diabate down before getting knocked out. It presents an interesting matchup.
* * *
Prediction: Sakara by decision
Result: Cote by disqualification
For those who picked Patrick Cote to win this one, and according to the money pool stats it was nearly all of you, I don't know what fighter you've been watching for the past five years. The guy is literally horrible, in every possible sense of the word. I wouldn't pick him to win against a one-armed coma patient, and that's a fact.
The frustrating thing is that Cote was getting his stupid fucking clock cleaned out by Alessio Sakara, dropped to the ground by brutal elbows, when Sakara went full retard and landed about 18 blows to the back of the head while the referee, Dan Miragliotta, who has a brain the size of a fucking snow pea, watched it all happen.
A couple of comments on this fight. First, Cote is full on landfill waste garbage. Cut him. Second, fire that fat fucking moron Miragliotta before he gives somebody else brain damage. Here's the thing, people. If you see one, two punches land to the back of the head, stop the fight. Warn the fighter. Take a point deduction. Restart the fight after five minutes if the other guy is able to continue.
But to watch a dozen illegal punches land while standing there scratching your big, stupid head, is unacceptable. You're incompetent, Miragliotta. You robbed Patrick Cote of his right to defend himself against illegal blows. You robbed Alessio Sakara of his right to win a fight he was close to finishing. And you robbed the fans of watching a properly refereed match under the unified rules of MMA. Fuck off, Dan.
Cut Patrick Cote. He's a fucking dunce.
* * *
Featherweight : Pablo Garza (B) versus Mark Hominick (F)
Prediction: Hominick by third round T/KO
Result: Garza by decision
I wish there was a grade lower than "F" that I could hand to Hominick. An"X"? A "Z"? Whatever the case, he didn't fight like a guy who deserves to be in the UFC, let alone having recently challenged Jose Aldo for the title. Whatever brain damage Aldo did to him with that hematoma, it looks to be permanent.
Hominick and Garza in the first round was easily "round of the night." It was exciting, fast and furious, and Garza nearly got finished with a brutal body shot. But rather than finish him, Hominick did something inexplicable. He backed off and reset. Maybe he thought he was being patient. Maybe he thought he was being conservative of his energy. Maybe he just didn't realize what a uselessly stupid thing it was.
Pablo Garza, to his credit, came back with a vengeance, and tore Hominick a second, third, and fourth asshole. He put a shitkicking on the Canadian that was unmatched other than a main event. Hominick got beaten like a rented stepmule, a ginger stepchild, and a circus monkey all rolled into one. I don't recall if "The Machine" did his little pushups exercise at the end of the fight. I was too busy looking away in disgust and embarrassment.
* * *
Lightweight : Rafael dos Anjos (A) versus Mark Bocek (C+)
Prediction: Dos Anjos by decision
Result: Dos Anjos by decision
Is there a harder worker in MMA than Rafael dos Anjos? If they handed out "Most Improved" awards in the UFC, it would have to go to him. From a middle-of-the-road lightweight to a contender, dos Anjos handled submission wrestler Mark Bocek easily. One might say he did a better job of it than Benson Henderson.
Dos Anjos brings a frenetic pace (Mike Goldbergism) and cardio to back it up that's hard to deal with. He lands flurries of punches, resets, and then attacks again. He has great takedown defense, and uses his submission skills in reverse to keep from being put on the mat. It's the kind of technique used by Nate Diaz.
Mark Bocek wasn't horrible. He was just overmatched and unprepared for the strength, conditioning, and pace of dos Anjos. There's nothing to be ashamed of. Other than having no soul.
Top of the food chain, baby. It's lonely up there. Since the winner of Cerrone-Pettis is fighting the winner of Diaz-Henderson, there's really only Gray Maynard. But he's injured.
* * *
Prediction: Carmont by second round submission
Result: Carmont by split decision
The second robbery of the night, I thought while watching it live. Fightmetric.com sees it a little differently. They gave it 10-3, 15-14, and 19-14 for Carmont. Honestly, it's hard to make chicken soup from a chicken shit fight like this. It might have helped if referee Philippe Chartier had broken up the dry humping against the fence more often.
I can sort of see what Lawlor was doing, but it didn't work. His grinding wrestling neutralized Carmont's offense, but the tradeoff was a boring, ineffectual fight. If he'd bothered to throw even one or two flurries of punches, he might have gotten the nod. Instead, he got what was probably worst fight of the night honours.
It's disappointing to see Carmont have so much talent and waste it like that. Where his training partner GSP would have used his speed and timing to shoot on Lawlor and work some top game, Carmont seemed content to stay at bay and clinch against the fence. Annoying.
* * *
Welterweight : Johny Hendricks (A+) versus Martin Kampmann (F)
Prediction: Kampmann by second round T/KO
Result: Hendricks by first round KO
Well, that was embarrassing. After I had just finished explaining to two friends watching the fight that Martin Kampmann's size wasn't a factor, and that he was technical enough to bloody "The Beard", he got knocked clean the fuck out.
"Yeah, he was technical, allright. Technically unconscious."
I have to admit, I underrated The Beard in a big way. I really thought Kampmann had the experience, skill, and sense not to stand with his hands down and chin up, but I was wrong. Hendricks came in like a freight train and fucking knocked Hamlet into the 14th Century.
My friends paused, rewound, and watched the knockout in slo-motion again and again. The first brutal left hook, followed by the atomic bomb while the world was spinning on the ground. Watch Kampmann, his head bounces twice before Hendricks' second shot lands.
Nobody wants to see GSP get knocked out by Anderson Silva. They do, however, want to see if Hendricks can do it. I think he deserves the title shot. Well, technically I think Nick Diaz deserves the title shot first, but Hendricks would be acceptable, too.
* * *
Welterweight Championship : Georges St-Pierre (B-) versus Carlos Condit (B)
Prediction: GSP by decision
Result: GSP by decision
This was probably fight of the year in my books. It really had it all. Exciting, bloody, hard fought. For GSP to overcome adversity and defeat an opponent like Carlos Condit after 18 months on the shelf is a true testament to his spirit and his skills.
There will be the usual mental midgets who come out of the woodwork and say GSP won another boring decision, but the fact is that he gave Condit a real fight and vice versa. GSP did very well against NBK for the first two rounds, and then everything changed. The fact he was able to recover after taking a shot to the head like that is really impressive. Condit has some of the nastiest finishing instinct in MMA. Rory MacDonald learned that the hard way.
Condit also redeemed himself after an awful performance against Nick Diaz. He landed some great shots, did a ton of damage to GSP's face, and despite getting his share of damage, I felt like Condit landed more. Fightmetric.com backs me up here: 38-36, 38-34, 60-36, 33-29, and 21-37 for Condit. But most of those shots were checked. GSP actually won the significant strikes war 16-2, 16-9, 9-16, 9-3, and 21-6.
Anyone who says GSP didn't land anything significant is stupid. The fourth round spit flying out of the mouth of Condit at the camera wasn't a love tap. And when NBK jumped into the air and got a stiff 1-2 to the face it probably didn't feel too good, either. GSP also opened up enough blood on Condit's face to provide a transfusion.
Still, a great performance for both guys. Condit showed he's one of the most dangerous guys in the world, and GSP showed he's the most well-rounded.
After last night, it's safe to say GSP wouldn't survive long against Anderson Silva. But we already knew that. I hope that "superfight" doesn't happen. It makes more sense for Jones to fight Silva. That's the fight fans want to see. Speaking of which, Johny Hendricks against GSP would be fun, but I think it's an easy fight for GSP to win. So long as he stays away from the left hand, he should be able to outwrestle Hendricks.
The fight I think fans really want is the one GSP wants himself. Nick Diaz. He said as much many times. The reason Diaz vacated his Strikeforce title was to fight the champion. The titles weren't unified last night. That fight still has yet to happen. NBK winning a controversial decision over Diaz didn't settle that.