When I looked at UFC 145 a few months ago I thought that it had the possibility of being a horrible card and I'm certainly sure after last night it didn't disappoint. A few nobody fights, a few mismatches, and a main event that made GSP vs Shields look exciting and we have a recipe for the dullest card since UFC 112.
As a consolation prize I'm happy to report that I scored decently in some of my predictions. With others, however, I shat the bed like Thiago Alves in the final minute of an MMA fight.
Without further ado, my report card on this letdown:
If I've seen a more boring fight in my life, I don't remember it. Perhaps Joey Beltran vs Rolles Gracie was more boring but at least that was mercifully ended in the second round. These two chuckleheads stared at each other for three full rounds, playing cute tricks with one another and running out the fucking clock so they could do backflips at the end in an apparent tryout for the women's gymnastics team of their respective countries at the Olympics this summer in London.
Well, girls, let me let you in on something. You're not going to make the women's team, and you're not going to make the UFC rosters for much longer either. You're both hot garbage and frankly I think you make Jon Fitch look like fucking Bruce Lee in comparison. I will download this event purely for the reason of using as a sedative when I can't sleep. That, or explaining to my son how glaciers are formed.
The post-fight flips were more exciting than the fight.
Although Clements has plenty of power and is a welcome addition to the UFC welterweight roster, I feel like Keith's misfortunes were due more to Mario Yamasaki's incompetent sibling than the Canadian fighter's efforts. An inexplicable standup in the first round led to Clements reversing the momentum of round 1 and handing a split decision victory to him.
There's a few things we learned from last night's fight. Keith has an absurd chin despite the fact he holds it in the air like a flagpole on capitol hill and that the secret to beating Chris Clements for the grapplerape division that is the UFC's welterweight wrestlemania is to simply take this man down and dominate him there.
Mac Danzig (B) vs Efrain Escudero (C-)
At this point I basically needed to bathe in a bucket of ice to keep from slipping into unconsciousness from the first two fights, and this one didn't help much. Danzig and Escudero traded blows in a kickboxing/wall-n-stall match that was as uneventful as a drive through Saskatchewan. Although Mac looked like the better fighter, I was surprised he tried nothing to really finish the fight, while on the flip side you had to know Efrain was fighting for this UFC future here but he left serious doubt as to whether he cared enough.
Another reason this fight meant nothing is that while Escudero is a fringe UFC fighter, Danzig has no future up the lightweight ladder. Making this a for-all-intents-and-purposes a Bellator undercard fight.
John Makdessi (D-) vs Anthony Njokuani (B+)
After the first minute it should have been obvious to everyone in the stadium, but especially Makdessi, that his cute, bullshit, spinning backfists and kicks weren't going to work. Which should have kicked in "Plan B" in his plodding primitive skull. Instead, he chose to continue to engage Njokuani at range and get lit up on the feet. Which, considering the fact he lost a close decision to Edson Barboza with this same style of fighting, should have been an obvious no-no.
Makdessi's corner tried to tell him he had to get inside and land haymakers but the Canadian fighter was having none of it. He was determined to lose, and a determined man gets what he wants. So we've learned two things about Makdessi. The first is that he's not as good a standup fighter as we believed. The second is that he's one dimensional, and unable to change a gameplan, which makes defeating him an elementary task for anybody who watches this tape.
The hype train hit a brick of dynamite last night, sending "Wonder Boy" wondering why the fuck he thought he could walk into the UFC with a one-dimensional fighting style and expect people to stand there like an idiot and get headkicked into dreamland. Perhaps Dan "Hot Garbage" Stittgen helped with that illusion, but no longer. Thompson was thoroughly worked by Matt Brown, and what makes it that much more amazing is that Brown is fairly low on the totem pole in the UFC. In other words, if Thompson had been tossed to the wolves like Che Mills was last night, we might be waking Thompson up in a fucking intensive care ward in Atlanta.
Browne gets an "A" not only for finishing quickly, but for being the first one to break a string of coma-inducing decisionfests. He walked in, dropped Griggs with a flying knee, and choked him out in short order. And not only did he choke him out, Griggs even helped him by pushing Browne across his body to secure the early victory. Way to mentally surrender, there Chad. I hope you have a good drycleaner for that skidmark you left in your shorts.
Conventional wisdom said Bocek was going to win this fight and, of course, he did. He was the better grappler and wrestler, and was certain to take this to the ground. I knew that, you knew that, Bocek knew that. The only person who didn't seem to know that was John "I trane UFC" Alessio, who dropped to 0-4 in fights that count. Which sucks, because the only reason I picked him to win is that I figured it would be obvious that if he could keep it standing he would win. And when he was standing, he was winning.
Goodbye, John. I had high hopes for you. But you are a bed-shitting choker of the worst kind.
First of all, someone might want to check Mark's chin for signs of glassware. Eddie Yagin, a man that not one person in the world figured could win, walked into last night's match and dropped Hominick on his ass with hard punches. Twice. Yes, folks, although Mark's pretty dancing and pap-pap-pap made Yagin uglier than his mother made him, Yagin won by making his punches count. A rare treat from last night's dreckfest, and a winner of fight of the night. Which on last night's card could have been pretty much anything with a pulse.
Despite all the evidence to the contrary, people still believed the former WEC slayer was going to show up. Of course I knew the once-bitten twice-shy Torres hasn't been the terror he once was since getting KOed by Brian Bowles. And if you go in to a fight against 21-year-old Michael McDonald with anything other than a killer's attitude, you're going to sleep.
What's amazing about McDonald's win isn't just that it was a brutal KO of a former bantamweight champion. It's back-to-back KOs in a division where only 7% of all fights have KOs. That's right, over the course of the past year in the UFC, only 7 in 100 fights will result in a KO. And McDonald holds two of 'em.
When Ben Rothwell weighed in for UFC 145 on Friday looking like a 6'5" beast with abdominal definition and a mean stare, I switched my pick from "The Hybrid" to him. Then later that night I switched back. Then I switched again. And finally 8 minutes before the cutoff I switched back to the choker. And that's a shame, because I let my prejudice of Rothwell's abortion of a loss to Mark Hunt influence my gut instinct that he was going to turn Schaub into so much brain damaged muck.
Sure enough, not only did Rothwell knock out Schaub, he had the man reaching for invisible butterflies and trying to keep his soul from flying to heaven after the fight.
Rory MacDonald (A-) vs Che Mills (C)
For a few moments last night it appeared that the hype about Rory vs Che might be legit. And then Rory took him down. I haven't seen domination and brutality like that since GSP fought Frank Trigg in 2004, when the French-Canadian fighter used to have a finisher's spirit, and before Greg Jackson killed what made him beautiful to watch. Fortunately, Rory still seems to have it. Such a complete fighter at 22 years of age is positively frightening.
He needs a top five opponent now, and given the fact he almost defeated Carlos Condit as a 20-year-old should give you an indication that Rory is for real.
Everything that fight hypers said would happen in this match didn't happen. Except for Jones winning. It was a confusing, boring fight, in which Rashad did exactly what every other opponent did except for Machida: stand in front of Jones and get picked apart until he lost. Good gameplan Rashad.
So few takedown attempts, no scrambles, almost no clinches. Nothing. Worse than that, Jones didn't even use his Greco-Roman wrestling to take Rashad down and land furious elbows, which was basically his fucking bread and butter up until he became a champion. Whatever Greg Jackson does to fighters, whatever evil spirit of boringness he conjures up and puts inside their souls, it sucks.
Managing to make Jon Jones a boring fighter is an incredible feat, but if anyone can do it it's Team Jackson. Sort of like Jacques Lemaire and the 1995 New Jersey Devils. You knew it wasn't the Devils so much as it was the fun-killing coaching of Lemaire. Sure enough, he proved it again in Minnesota. And I know I'm getting off-topic, but goddamn Lemaire and Jackson are fucking assholes.
That's it. Leave your bullshit in the comments below.