In searching for a picture of Nate Diaz I had a plethora of options from last night's one-sided smashing. I also searched Google Images for the words "brutal beatdown" and "hit by meteorite" and "face + sledgehammer" but in the end I chose the above artistic masterpiece. But we'll get to the Diaz fight later.
I dub this fight card: The Slaughter in Seattle. Very few fights were even close.
My predictions: 5 for 10
Card's report card: It was spectacular up and down. A bunch of knockouts, exciting fights and many wars. If the main event had been the fight of the year we were hoping for it would be higher than this: A
Knockout of the night: Matt Brown (UFC gave it to Yves Edwards)
Submission of the night: Derp derp derp
Biggest upset: Yves Edwards
Worst judge's decision: Gustafsson did NOT win 30-26. That's just fucking retarded.
* * *
Prediction: Jorgensen by first round TKO
Result: Jorgensen by first round submission
John Albert is kind of like Charlie Brown. You know Lucy is going to pull the football away from him as he comes running up to kick it because... well, Lucy is a bitch. But you also know Charlie Brown is a retard and a loser and he's destined to fall on his stupid face again. You feel sorry for Charlie Brown, you kind of root for him, but you know he's going to fail. Same with Albert.
Although it was expected he would get his ass handed to him against a veteran like Scottie Jorgensen, the manner in which he choked was impressive. Albert has a quick submission game and locks guys into bad positions with surprising efficiency. But then he shits the bed. Every single time.
Albert had Erik Perez in a triangle choke for several minutes but still proceeded to take some of the most brutal ground and pound I've ever seen. Similarly, he locked up a triangle against Jorgensen. Fat good it did him. He escaped, easily, and then choked Albert out with less than a second remaining in the first round. If you're wondering if this is a nasty trend, it is.
Albert was lighting up Ivan Menjivar up on the feet until... he shat the bed and got choked out late in the first. He had Perez in a triangle... and then shat the bed. He had Jorgensen in all sorts of trouble... and you get the picture. It was ugly. The man is a walking hashtag fail meme.
Winner: Jorgensen won in the first round. Great. He was also in deep trouble against Charlie Brown. Doesn't inspire much confidence. How about Bryan Caraway, who was supposed to fight Mike Easton on this card?
* * *
Featherweight : Dennis Siver (A) versus Nam Phan (D)
Prediction: Siver by unanimous decision
Result: Siver by unanimous decision
What do you get when you pit a hyper, muscled midget kickboxer against a one-dimensional puncher with no takedown defense? Well, you get a 30-24 on the scorecards. Dennis Siver gave Nam "Phran" a beating that Steven Seagal would approve of, kicking him wherever and whenever he felt like it. And he felt like it a lot.
Nam Phan has the takedown defense of a starving African baby. With Siver's cardio and strength at 145, "mini-Brock Lesnar" is a lot of juice monkey to handle for anybody, especially a TUF scrub who believes mixed martial arts consists solely of throwing a right jab followed by a left hook.
It's hard to understand where or how Phan got his BJJ black belt either. I mean, sure, he's hard to submit, but the man couldn't sweep a fucking dust bunny. He has no submissions off his back, no threats, nothing to do but cover his thick skull with his gloves and take elbows.
I don't think Siver's performance was remarkable so much as the fact that Nam Phan is a pretty terrible fighter.
* * *
Result: Trujillo by second round TKO (knees)
It's hard to figure out whether 29-year-old newcomer Abel Trujillo is a beast, or 1-2 UFC fighter Marcus LeVesseur just sucks major donkey balls. I'm guessing it's the latter, no disrespect intended for Abel, who kneed the ever-loving fuck out of Marcus' ribcage. If there's not serious internal injuries after that I'd consider Marcus lucky.
I actually think the talentless LeVesseur is 0-3 in the UFC, getting a pretty bullshit decision win over Carlo Prater. An NCAA Division III multiple time champion, he couldn't take down Trujillo no matter how many times he got elbowed to the head and back. Which was a lot. Trujillo punished him every single time.
As LeVesseur began to fade in the second, Trujillo turned it on and in the end was basically using his knee as a battering ram on his opponent's ribs, reminiscent of GSP giving Matt Serra a good rogering in their rematch.
Winner: This was an anomaly on his record, having gone to a decision in three of his past four fights against guys you've never heard of. He's also in the obscenely stacked 155-division. I like the idea of pitting him against a fellow winner in Daron Cruickshank.
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Lightweight : Daron Cruickshank (A) versus Henry Martinez (C-)
Prediction: Martinez by decision
Result: Cruickshank by second round KO
Henry Martinez fought like a bulldog. An annoying, barking, braindead, aggressive bulldog that got kicked to the teeth and put to sleep. I knew there was a pretty good chance Cruickshank would win this fight, but Martinez fought impressively against Matt Riddle and I didn't think he'd actually get knocked out. Wrong.
Not only did Martinez come into the match fighting on full retard mode, he weighed in at a pudgy 158.8 pounds, which made his performance not only embarrassing but unprofessional. He got rocked multiple times, outclassed, and ultimately completely knocked the fuck out. I mean, clean out. It was one of the nicer knockouts you'll see, although Matt Brown's was a little cooler.
Cruickshank looked impressive out there. He was calm, fought off takedowns, landed kicks and punches at will, and picked apart the pudgy midget Martinez. The knockout loss was the first of his career, which makes it even more surprising.
Winner: Put him against Abel Trujillo.
* * *
Lightweight : Ramsey Nijem (B) versus Joe Proctor (B-)
Prediction: Nijem by round one submission
Result: Nijem by decision
This was a fantastic scrap and easily my choice for fight of the night. It was a back and forth war, with Nijem dominating the first round before being dropped late, and then the rest of the fight was extremely close. Nijem's ultra aggressive style won out in the end, throwing looping overhand rights to get into the clinch and go for the takedown, while Proctor's counter punching paid some dividends.
Proctor definitely exposed some weaknesses in Nijem's game, who tends to fight a little bit like Jonathan Brookins by throwing caution into the wind and hoping he doesn't get knocked out while he wades in and grabs for a leg. Against an elite fighter that could backfire terribly, as it did against Tony Ferguson in the TUF finals.
I thought Proctor held his own out there but the wrestling ultimately made the difference, with Nijem getting on top in the first and third rounds. Just a fun fight to watch.
Winner: Nijem could face Cruickshank but he'd probably ranked higher and deserves someone else. I think the sauna slipping Tim Means needs a fight and he's also on a nice winning streak.
* * *
Bantamweight : Raphael Assuncao (B) versus Mike Easton (C-)
Prediction: Assuncao by decision
Result: Assuncao by decision
Boy, was it ever nice to see overhyped Mike Easton get his comeuppance against Raphael Assuncao. Easton came out early with his usual mean mugging style, throwing punches in bunches and hoping for the best. Then he started getting counter-punched in the face and slowed down.
After that, Easton hit more air than a wheelchair basketball game, while Assuncao picked him apart the rest of the fight. I'd like to praise Assuncao for his effort, but he was clearly fighting for a points win the entire time, showing only defensive counter-punching and backing up and circling. For that reason I thought this was the sole dull fight of the night.
Having said that, Raphael deserves to be noticed in the 135 division. His only losses in recent years came against the 145-pound number one contender, the former 145-pound number one contender, and the former 145-pound champion. He's 3-0 since dropping the 10 pounds and has looked great, especially in beating Johnny Eduardo, who is no slouch on the feet.
Winner: Sometimes, success can be too much of a good thing. Dominick Cruz is injured, so Renan Barao and Michael McDonald will fight for the Interim Championship. He's already fought Urijah Faber, but that's a possibility. Eddie Wineland is fighting Brad Pickett. That just leaves Takeya Mizugaki. Anyone else would be far down the ladder.
* * *
Lightweight : Jeremy Stephens (F) versus Yves Edwards (A+)
Prediction: Stephens by third round KO
Result: Edwards by first round KO
If you look at the above picture, even Yves Edwards was surprised he knocked out "Lil Heathen." What's even more remarkable is that was Stephens' first knockout loss in 29 fights. I guess jail weakened his chin instead of hardening his soul.
It's difficult to surmise what happened. Stephens didn't fight any different than he usually does, backing up Edwards with big punches, but the Thugjitsu master clipped him with a right, and then finished him with a brutal elbow on the ground. Eventually everybody gets caught, but I don't want to take anything away from Edwards.
That was Edwards' first pure knockout from strikes in over 10 years. As for Stephens, it's a huge setback for him and he looks like he's on the road to Joe "Daddy" Stevenson obscurity. Although Edwards is a wily veteran, he's no Donald Cerrone or Anthony Pettis, so this third loss in a row does not look good on the fight resume.
Winner: If you wanted to end his one-fight winning streak, you could feed him to Jacob Volkmann. It might even be fun to see them roll. Edwards is no easy mark on the mat.
* * *
Prediction: Swick by second round TKO
Result: Brown by second round KO
There's no other way to describe this fight than a pure asskicking. Brown beat the tar fuck out of Swick from bell to knockout, landing numerous submissions, and generally putting Swick in all sorts of trouble. Swick looked... well, fucking horrible. He looked like he didn't belongs in the UFC.
Brown landed hard shots, he locked Swick in a triangle that was fairly telegraphed, and had him in a nice D'Arce choke. At no point was Brown ever in any trouble or adversity at all. There have been times when Brown has looked mediocre or that he doesn't even belong in the UFC, but last night was a different fighter.
We also have to wonder whether Matt Brown beat up a legitimate welterweight threat, or an old and irrelevant ghost of his former self in Mike Swick. We won't know until Brown faces a guy who's had a lot of competition. I mean, don't get me wrong, Brown's KO was very nice. Not only did he connect with the KO punch, he landed a second KO punch while Swick was falling. I don't think I've ever seen that before.
Winner: I don't know about you but I am in LOVE with the idea of Brown versus Dan Hardy. Both beat Swick, granted they were years apart, and both are somewhere around the same place in the UFC after some setbacks and recent wins. That would be a great little bangfest.
* * *
Welterweight : BJ Penn (F) versus Rory MacDonald (A-)
Prediction: MacDonald by decision
Result: MacDonald by decision
Ok, now for the assfucking portion of the card. The rest of the fights were quite one-sided. The first up, was BJ Penn's insane, stupid, pointless fight against the uncrowned 170-pound kingpin, Rory MacDonald. Not only was the natural Lightweight fighter (who could probably make featherweight if he really wanted) back at his pudgy 170-pound self, he did it against a fighter who would probably be at the top of the middleweight division if he felt like it.
Rory beat the shit out of BJ Penn. Although he didn't do the damage Nick Diaz did, he did it without taking any damage himself. The Penn versus Diaz fight was a war. This was like watching a toddler get beat up by a teenager. Rory absolutely beat the brakes off Penn from bell to bell. It was painful to watch for anyone who has even a little respect for the legend that is BJ.
I never want to see BJ back in the cage again unless it's at 155. I honestly believe that a motivated BJ could defeat any fighter at that weight class, especially now that Frankie Edgar has gone down to Featherweight, and that includes Benson Henderson. He's only 33 years old, he could still do well in Lightweight. Otherwise, please never come back.
Winner: Only Carlos Condit makes sense.
* * *
Prediction: Shogun by second round knockout
Result: Gustafsson by decision
Although I would have liked to see five rounds, it wasn't looking good for the Pride champion out there. He started out quite nice, landing some good shots (Gustafsson has a chin) and getting takedowns and sweeps and leg locks. But the Swedish fighter was just too fast. Seriously, how the fuck does Gustafsson move like Dominick Cruz at 205 pounds?
It was a Sad Panda day for fans of legends. Following the first round, Shogun began fading like he always does, and by the third round he was taking huge gulps of air and struggling to stand. The fight was much closer than the scorecards reflected, but it wasn't as competitive as I'd hoped it would be.
Shogun is another fighter like BJ Penn, incredibly naturally talented, unbelievable chin, exciting to watch, but he lacks the motivation to push himself to superstardom. Certainly, he's already a champion in both the UFC and Pride, but he could be a dominant and unbeatable champion if he trained cardio like Gustafsson.
Winner: Although I'd like to see Dan Henderson get his shot, I think Alexander Gustafsson deserves Jon Jones. The only problem is that I don't see him doing much to harm Jones. They have a similar ungodly reach, but Jones has the sort of wrestling that will put away Gustafsson quickly. Using MMA math, Jones defeated Evans 50-45, who defeated Phil Davis 50-45, who defeated Gustafsson by quick submission.
* * *
Lightweight Championship : Benson Henderson (A+) versus Nate Diaz (F)
Prediction: Diaz by round 3 submission
Result: Henderson by decision
Taking off my fan glasses for a minute, this was one of the most one-sided beatdowns in UFC history. The only similar experience I can think of is GSP versus Jon Fitch. You get the feeling that if GSP fought Fitch 100 times, he'd win 50-43 100 times. You get the same feeling with Henderson versus Diaz.
Having said that, I find the hatred and schadenfreude for Diaz perplexing. I can understand people don't like the kid, but as a fan I'm surprised people didn't want to see a more exciting fight. And after all was said and done, Nate didn't pull a Nick Diaz and disrespect Henderson. He gave him props, and he was courteous and graceful in defeat. He has a style and method that gets him pumped up to fight and he uses it to his benefit. People mistake that for him being an asshole, but I've never seen anything but respect and class from Nate after a fight.
As for Henderson, he put on a clinic against Diaz, and exposed his every weakness: the leg kicks, the wrestling, the ground and pound. It was textbook. It was impressive as hell. But I think it's important to note that styles make fights. Henderson beating Diaz does not mean Pettis beats Diaz just because Pettis beat Henderson. People were writing off Nate last night like he was nothing. The kid is still a fun, exciting fighter in the UFC, and beaten though he was, he didn't quit. And just like Jon Fitch, he'll be back.
Winner: The beauty about the 155-division is there's no lack of fights to be made. Seeing what Henderson did to Diaz makes Frankie Edgar's fights even more impressive. But since Frankie dropped to Featherweight we've either got to wait for Gilbert Melendez to come from Strikeforce, Eddie Alvarez to come from Bellator (and he'll probably get a tuneup fight like Hector Lombard), or the winner of Donald Cerrone versus Anthony Pettis. I kind of feel like that fight is a waste of time since Cerrone has already lost to Henderson twice, while everybody has been waiting for the Pettis rematch since 2010.