Well, that was a shit show. The 2012 UFC season is over and we have a new Heavyweight Champion. Although he's the old champion. Happy fucking New Year.
UFC 155 (the pay-per-view portion) was pretty terrible. I'd say it was second place in terrible only to UFC 149: Barao versus Faber. The only thing that kept it from matching it was a couple of guys named Joe Lauzon and Jim Miller. Ok, and a few other guys, but still. If I were handing out scholastic report cards, I'm basically failing half the class here.
What made the card so shitty? Dumb point fighting motherfuckers turning the Ultimate Fighting Championship into the Ultimate Missionary-style Humping. There is nothing more agonizing than watching a man lie on his back for five minutes throwing up weak baby fists at his attacker, wriggling like a worm on a hook. Well, there is one thing more agonizing, I guess. Watching the man on top of the man on his back, unable to fucking finish him off.
My predictions: 6 for 12
Card's report card: Two fights on the card were exciting, two others were decent, two were watchable, and the rest were pretty bad. The main card was awful except for the fight of the night. I hand Dana White a D and a refund request.
Jon Anik report card: Were you under the desk, servicing Joe Rogan all night? Where the fuck were you most of the time? Do you even know what your job is? F
Joe Rogan report card: "Junior dos Santos is getting DEMOLISHED here. There's NO WAY he could come back from this beating if he were given a day to rest and refitted in a robocop suit. He's getting his shit pushed in so far his parents are feeling it! It's only a matter of time before Cain Velasquez, my favourite fighter and number one guy in the world, crushes this punk and reclaims his rightful title. Dos Santos has nothing here, and there's absolutely nothing positive I can think to say about the situation that might make my job seem like I was hired to be a neutral commentator!" F
Fight of the Night: Easily Lauzon versus Miller.
Knockout of the Night: Todd Duffee, by default I guess
Submission of the Night: Derpity doo
Biggest Upset: Myles Jury
Worst judges' decision: The one judge who kept giving 30-27 to the losing fighter
Most boring fight: Brunson versus Leben (second worst of the year?)
Beatdown of the Night: Velasquez versus dos Santos
* * *
Prediction: Cariaso by decision
Result: Moraga by submission in round 3
The weird thing about this fight was how slow the pace was for 125 pounds. Neither fighter really wanted to engage, and if I had to guess who was going to win the decision it would have been Cariaso. Still, it's amazing Moraga looked as bad as he did and still got a finish. Imagine if he can show some intensity and desire to win?
Cariaso didn't show his usual aggression, just standing at range and kicking Moraga in the arms. Moraga responded by stalking and throwing punches but not much else. That's pretty much the whole fight description right there. Moraga chasing Cariaso around the cage as the latter fighter threw kicks to outpoint him.
Winner: Is he top 5 yet? Let him fight Darren Uyenoyama.
* * *
Prediction: Holloway by decision
Result: Holloway by split decision
If you thought Leonard Garcia won that fight I got some advice for you. Quit watching MMA. Go watch WWE or whatever the fuck it is redneck retards watch when they're more impressed by a guy swinging his dick around than they are what's actually happening in the physical Universe.
Look, Garcia sucks. He sucks now, he's always sucked. He sucks and he should be cut. Can he fight technically? Yes he can. Will he fight technically? Fuck, no. He's always the same fighter. He comes out slow and cautious and listens to his corner. Then he gets hit in his ugly fucking face, gasses out, and goes into full retard mode. I'm talking brain is gone chin is up arms are windmilling retard mode.
If you you thought Garcia won that sloppy bullshit with his Lisa Simpson windmilling bullshit, you're an idiot. Please do not reproduce. And you you have, sterilize your kids for the sake of the world. Garcia got countered endlessly, he got knocked down in the first, he got staggered numerous times, and all he did was walk forward throwing punches like he was trying out for the midget basketball team.
And by the way, whoever was operating the strike counter cageside for the UFC must have Parkinsons because he was clicking the button for Garcia like a fucking Atari joystick. Dude, Garcia hitting air does not count for four head shots. What the actual fuck?
Winner: Holloway looked like shit, too. Hands down, running backwards getting hit in the face, playing into Garcia's brainless game. Pretty horrible fight IQ. He's still really unproven. Give him Rony Jason.
* * *
Heavyweight : Philip De Fries (F) versus Todd Duffee (A-)
Prediction: Duffee by round 1 KO
Result: Duffee by round 1 TKO
Here's De Fries in every fight. Run forward recklessly for takedown, fail to get it, run backwards with chin up, get knocked out. Repeat. Dumb shit like this separates the men from the boys in the UFC's heaviest division. Juice monkey Todd Duffee returned to his winning ways last night taking out the unidimensional British tomato can in two minutes.
The amazing thing was that De Fries got the takedown almost immediately, and had an opportunity to take Duffee's back as he got back up, but failed. That one missed opportunity was really the only sore spot in Duffee's game. As for his chances now that he's back, they're not looking great. That aggressiveness is fine and dandy for the lower calibre fighters, but as fellow jacked juice monkey Lavar Johnson found out, it doesn't hold water against the best.
Winner: Pat Barry. Let's see if Duffee will stand and trade with him.
* * *
Prediction: Johnson by round 1 KO
Result: Jury by decision
Was I wrong about this one? Yeah, I think we all were. Everybody slept on Jury after his miserable performance on The Ultimate Fighter Live, and especially matching him up against a guy who was on a three-fight winning streak against a TUF winner and two WEC/UFC veterans. But Johnson got his ass handed to him.
Michael Johnson looked on a nun on her back for the first time last night. He had nothing for Jury, no way to get up, no chance for escape. Once Jury got him down it was like Sonnen on Silva. Johnson took it like a pinata for three rounds on his back.
So, the hype train crashes and a new one emerges. Was I impressed with Jury? Meh, not really. I was more underwhelmed by Johnson and his nonexistent ground game. Let's see how Jury does against a man with more than a white belt in BJJ.
Winner: I propose Rustam Khabilov. Let's see if Jury enjoys being suplexed on his fucking head.
* * *
Prediction: Varner by submission in round 2
Result: Varner by split decision
This was the scrap we all expected it would be and probably the second redeeming feature of the night. Guillard and Varner went to war for three rounds and it was a closely contested match. Guillard was winning the first round until he got dropped late and rocked. The second round was all Varner but the third was also close.
Guillard was uncharacteristically calm, using his kicks to land at will on Varner, who was forced to use his dominant wrestling to get it to the ground and win some points. Guillard was fun to watch though, and although he didn't have the swagger he usually does, he fought confidently and even held his own on his back. Perhaps the most amazing move of the fight was when he almost locked onto an armbar.
Melvin is now on a huge slide, having lost four of last five fights. But Joe Lauzon, Jim Miller, Donald Cerrone, and Jamie Varner are not easy fights. The UFC should not even be considering cutting him loose.
Winner: It's hard to say where Varner stands in the 155 division. He defeated Barboza, lost to Lauzon, and defeated Guillard. I'd say Ross Pearson would be fun to see.
* * *
Prediction: Perez by round 3 TKO
Result: Perez by round 1 TKO
Don't look now, but a real Mexican who is actually from Mexico is rising through the ranks of the 135-division, kicking asses and taking names. His third consecutive first round stoppage didn't look that difficult, either, taking out Byron (cool last name) Bloodworth with a vicious knee and then ground and pound. To be fair, this was kind of a mismatch.
Bloodworth didn't fight very intelligently either, considering he got beaten by Mike Easton practically the exact same way. Knee to the body, ground and pound. But I'd say Perez's ground and pound is on a whole other level. The man doesn't throw pitter patter punches, he throws to put your fucking head through the mat.
Winner: Johnny Bedford has looked great since TUF, with two finishes inside the distance. Book em, Dana!
* * *
Prediction: Wineland by decision
Result: Wineland by split decision
Dana White must feel like a moron not putting this on the PPV. And deservedly so. This was a great scrap, especially the first round. Although one cageside judge, who presumably recently stepped off a spaceship and was just enjoying his very first MMA match last night, saw it two rounds for Pickett, it was pretty much domination by Wineland.
The fight reminded me of Sam Stout versus John Makdessi. Pickett was about a second behind Wineland every step of the way. The first round was just beautiful to watch, as Wineland bobbed and weaved, dropping Pickett on at least four separate occasions. Sure, he bounced back to his feet in less than a second, but it was practically a 10-8.
Pickett, who's always game for a scrap, made it a good fight in the second and third, but Wineland's standup is just too fluid and smooth. And with the power he's packing in his gloves, he's arrived and belongs in the top 5 of the weight class.
Winner: The only guy available who isn't far below him is Raphael Assuncao.
* * *
Prediction: Leben by second round KO
Result: Brunson by decision
Worst fight of 2012? It could be. Personally I think that goes to Dan Stittgen versus Marcelo Guimaraes, but this is a close second. The shame of losing to a Strikeforce scrub on a two-fight losing streak is only compounded if your name is Chris Leben and you have the reputation of knocking motherfuckers out.
Leben is remembered for putting Wanderlei Silva to death in under 30 seconds, for his come-from-behind submission victory against Yoshihiro Akiyami, for wearing down and knocking out wrestler Aaron Simpson, for going into zombie mode and knocking flat Terry Martin, for putting Jorge Santiago to sleep. The list goes on and on.
Unfortunately, Leben is also remembered for a number of very stinky fights. Like getting owned by Anderson Silva in a way that is probably the worst result anybody has ever had against the man. Like getting laid on by Josh Koscheck during the Ultimate Fighter and proving wrestling is his weakness (a weakness he has steadfastly refused to correct in the seven years since then). Like getting outpointed by Kalib Starnes and Michael Bisping, neither of whom have any power.
And now this... this abortion of a fight. Brunson lay on Leben for most of three rounds, and despite exhaustion, Leben couldn't land a power punch to save his life. Brunson was ripe for the plucking for anybody with more than half a round's worth of cardio. Sadly, Leben's cardio was gone just as early. He looked like he was fighting in mud, wading through water. Plainly said, he looked like shit and didn't belong in the cage. He looked, to put it bluntly, like Jason Miller.
If you look at my profile I created on SB Nation when I joined here years ago, it lists my favourite fighters: Diaz Bros, Diego Sanchez, Thiago Silva, Chris Leben, Frankie Edgar. Well, speaking as a long-time fan of Chris Leben, retire. Hang em up. You're done, Crippler. You're finished.
Winner: Derek Brunson screamed like a 14-year-old girl when he won and his chances in the division are about as good as the aforementioned girl. He's literally terrible. You can pick pretty much any fighter at 185 and based on what I saw last night he will get destroyed.
* * *
Prediction: Belcher by decision
Result: Okami by decision
To quote my parents on my life choices, what a fucking disappointment. Alan Belcher talked up a big game and we all believed him. Then he went out there against a one-dimensional fighter like Okami, dropped his fucking shorts, bent over, spread wide, and let him have three rounds of lay and pray.
And who the fuck gives out a black belt in Jiu-Jitsu to a man who goes from full mount to being reversed into guard inside of two seconds? Take that fucking thing away, please. Belcher's ground game looked horrible out there. Rubber guard? Guillotine attempts? What the fuck, Alan? Did you see Boetsch drop Okami with a fucking a rubber guard? No, he stepped up to the dumb bastard and knocked the cunt out. Shit.
Winner: Okami would be the Jon Fitch of the 185 division, but Sonnen pretty much dominates that title. Honestly, I'd like him to fight Jake Shields when he gets back, so at least it's a guy who can defend against the humping.
* * *
Middleweight : Costa Philippou (B) versus Tim Boetsch (F)
Prediction: Boetsch by decision
Result: Philippou by TKO in round 3
Honestly, I wasn't impressed by Philippou. This was more a case of Tim Boetsch breaking than Costa reaching the next level of his MMA career. Timmy apparently broke his hand early, then got a vicious eyepoke, and then a head butt that split his head open. The combination of factors broke him.
Look, some men break and some don't. Boetsch broke like a porcelain doll. Junior dos Santos, for all the beating he took, didn't. Fabio Maldonado, despite being hit with a meteor shower, didn't. People ask me why I like the Diaz brothers. Because they never fucking quit. Never. Cut Nick Diaz's head open so bad it looks like a forehead mouth? Fuck your mother, fight me. Poke Nate Diaz in the eye and dominant him for five rounds? Let's go a sixth, bitch. Suplex Nate Diaz three times in one round? Still chasing Rory MacDonald at the bell. There is no quit in some guys.
But Timmy... well, Timmy broke. He gave up. He screamed uncle. He caved. He wilted. He failed. All that momentum, all those huge wins, all gone.
Winner: Costa says he's top 10. Well, that remains to be seen, buddy. You're decent, but you're a boxer with takedown defence. That's all. And you don't have the power of Chuck Liddell, so let's not pretend that's going to hold up against the elite at 185. Frankly, I think Chris Weidman destroys him. But does he deserve Chris? Alternately, I think Hector Lombard knocks him out in the first round. Let's see, give him a lion and see if he roars back.
* * *
Lightweight : Jim Miller (A+) versus Joe Lauzon (A)
Prediction: Miller by decision
Result: Miller by decision
I've always thought Jim Miller's standup left a lot to be desired. Last night he proved he works on his deficiencies. What an incredible scrap. He rang Lauzon's bell so many times in the first round I gave it a 10-8. But Lauzon persevered, go his second wind, and came back to make it a real fight.
What didn't this fight have? Huge shots, kicks, scrambles, and a flying fucking scissor hook. If Lauzon landed that it would have been submission of the decade. The way these guys fought... well, what can I say? It's how every fight should be if guys weren't point-fighting little cowards. No saving your energy, no baby leg jabs, no lay and pray. Just brawl to the wall until somebody falls.
Winner: What do you do with a problem like Jim Miller? His only losses have come against Nate Diaz (number two-ranked), Benson Henderson (champ), Gray Maynard (number three-ranked), and Frankie Edgar (dropped down).
* * *
Heavyweight Championship : Junior dos Santos (C) versus Cain Velasquez (A)
Prediction: Dos Santos by third round TKO
Result: Velasquez by decision
Ok, before I start, let me just paraphrase Ron Swanson and say don't mistake my speech here for giving a shit about this division, or attempt to engage me on dialogue about it. Heavyweight, as far as I'm concerned, is a mutant division where it's almost impossible to guess the outcome of any given fight. As a result, I don't like it all that much. Will Pat Barry use his brutal K-1 power to put away Shane del Rosario, or will Shane get it to the ground and choke him out? Who knows? It's always a toss up. For that reason, I don't even comment on Heavyweight threads on Mania.
Well, here's all I have to say about this fight. First, for those of you who were jeering and laughing at Junior losing, fuck you. Seriously, fuck yourself. I've never heard Junior say one bad thing about anybody, he's always been a consummate champion like George St-Pierre, always been a humble guy, and always seemed to have time for fans. He learned English (unlike Anderson Silva and a host of other popular fighters) and always tried to be an ambassador for the sport by representing it well with his behaviour. When he was losing last night you'd think he was smoking up at 209 every night and flipping people off based on the boos he was getting.
Second, the series is 1-1. And for the record, Junior smashed Velasquez in 60 seconds in their first fight. So, if anything, Junior's kind of got the edge on the balance here. Yes, it was Cain's night yesterday. He beat the brakes off Junior for about five rounds (although Junior seemed to grow stronger near the end as Cain weakened). It happens. It's nothing to get too excited about. it's not as though Velasquez will be champion forever now. If they fought again in six months I think you could very well see Junior winning again. Or Cain. That's the way the cookie crumbles in the mutant division where a single punch can change everything.
Third and last, when Junior survived that second round onslaught, instead of crediting his heart and his will as a champion, he was questioned. Not only by Joe Rogan, but fans everywhere. Why doesn't he just give up? He's getting clowned. He's getting destroyed. The ref should stop this. No. Junior kept fighting because he wasn't finished. He went 20 minutes beyond what anyone thought he would survive. For that he deserved not only credit, but admiration.
Winner: Well, I guess it's going to be Fabricio Werdum. Which is interesting because Junior smashed him. But again, it was one huge uppercut that put him away, and in the Mutantweight division, one punch can change everything. If Werdum can survive Cain's takedowns and land a knee, it could be an interesting fight. Still, I think the fight everybody is interested in is Alistair Overroids. Another interesting footnote to this is the fact Daniel Cormier will have to drop to 205.
Well, that's it. See you in three long weeks for Bisping versus Belfort. It'll be nice to see Bisping get knocked out again.