Holy donkey dick, did Dustin ever get skullfucked. I haven't seen a one-sided main event beatdown like that since Homer Simpson took on Mike Tyson. It saved the night, actually, since although there were some decent fights, it was a decision-fest. Eight of the 12 fights went to the incompetent ringside judges, and if it weren't for the wise decision to extend main event fights to five rounds, we would have seen nine.
There were some real surprises on this card for me. I went five for six on the undercard, feeling pretty good about myself. And then the MMA gods reached down and Erick Silva'd the back of my head, releasing my bowels for a good old two for six. If it hadn't been for a moderately huge robbery, I'd have finished even for the night.
Let's begin grading, shall we?
Jesus, I haven't seen so much running from a fighter since Carlos Condit was last "standing and banging". Actually, if we got together Carlos, Soto, and Kalib Starnes, we could have a good old triathlon. Actually it's more like Nascar. They just go around and around the cage turning left. I literally had to look away from the TV because Soto was making me dizzy and motion sick. Maybe that was his plan to win. Who the fuck knows.
The point is, Soto sucked and he lost. Rivera, meanwhile, looked decent in his fight, but he didn't really seem like he was in a hurry to finish. Soto spent a few moments in the second round stumbling around drunk looking for a couch to crash on, but Rivera sort of stepped back and let him sober him. I was a little fearful Rivera might pull a Nick Denis and knock himself out with seconds to go, but the gods were kind.
I feel stupid picking against a Nova Uniao fighter now. But that's what I am. Stupid. A few seconds into this fight I basically stopped watching and took the opportunity to grab a sandwich. Curran proved the old adage that the definition of dumb fuckitude is trying the same thing that isn't working over and over again and expecting different results. When I saw Eduardo kicking like Edson Barboza and Curran doing his best impression of Terry Etim, I expected a KO in short order.
Fortunately for Jeff he seems to have legs made of titanium and he's as good at poking people in the eye as Jake Shields. That, and Johnny's poor cardio, had Jeff with serious momentum late in the third. Not that it helped much, since Jeff didn't seem to realize he was down two rounds, and continued happily to a unanimous decision loss.
Rafael dos Anjos (A+) vs Kamal Shalorus (D-)
I don't want to be too hard on Kamal. After all, he threw everything he had with his face into dos Anjos' leg, but he couldn't break it. Doubtless he's been trying to break legs with his face for years, but he's still not mastered the art. In a losing display I expect we've seen the last of the former undefeated WEC prospect.
TJ Grant (A) vs Carlo Prater (C+)
It's almost silly how stacked the 155 division is. It's actually kind of stupid. If it weren't enough that guys as skilled as Jacob Volkmann aren't even in the top 10, TJ Grant just announced his arrival with a demolition of veteran Prater. And it's not just that he beat him where we expected him to beat him. He schooled a jujitsu black belt and made him look new. It's hard to criticize Prater much. He wasn't punched in the back of the head and he survived three rounds.
I had no basis for picking Cody. I knew that. There was really no reason to expect he could beat Marcus. But I just had a hunch. A feeling. A gut instinct. So I picked the McKenzietine, first round. And the result could not have been more gratifying. It's amazing. I mean, we all know Cody's a one-trick pony, but everybody loves a good trick.
This pretty much went exactly as we all expected it would. Yang is a bull, true, but like most bulls, he fades quickly after he blows his load raging. If there's a criticism I'd levy to Tavares, it was leaving the result in doubt by continuing to stand with Yang. Tavares could have used his wrestling to wear him down and keep away from the huge whinging punches. We've seen this replay before though when it happened with Court McGee and Chris Camozzi.
Tom Lawlor (A) vs Jason MacDonald (F)
I don't really know what happened to be honest. One second I was wondering why MacDonald looked like a cancer patient who just walked out of the hospice and the next he was lying on the floor doing a microscopic bacterial study with his face. Fuck.
Everything that's wrong with judging is demonstrated in the one judge's decision to award 30-27 to Igor. I mean, fuck, I might be able to be convinced he won a narrow decision, but three minutes of lay and pray does not negate the absolute chin bruising he took in the last two minutes of the first. Fabio hit Igor with punches that would have put a brick wall to sleep.
The rest of the fight was good. I thought Igor was outpunched in the rest of the fight but he definitely landed the better and harder shots. This was fight of the night until the main event. Not that I want to make a big deal about it, but the actual stats show Maldonado beat the breaks off Igor, but in the end the judge's were impressed with the wobbles. Just look at the first round stats though, and then try and wonder to yourself how some dumb fuck subliterate judge actually scored it for Igor.
Derp, derp, derp, 10-9 Igor!
I don't really have any right to grade this fight. I looked away in shame for Jeff after he crumpled to that body shot and then spent the next 30 seconds scrambling and grimacing like it was his first night in prison and Yves was named Bubba. Then I went and took a shit.
This was the Cerrone we expected to see against Nate Diaz. Which I think just goes to show what level Diaz is on right now. He might just destroy Bendo and Frankie at this point. But I digress. Cerrone was spectacular. That inverted spinning reverse elbow? Are you fucking kidding me? Are you training under Anderson Silva from a time machine in 2006?
Stephens was game, but he looked very ordinary out there. He cut Cerrone nicely with elbows on the takedown but he was no match for Cerrone's elite standing game. I very much welcome the next fight with Cowboy. Bra-fucking-vo!
I think we've already been over this. The judges are horrible and need to be fired. And I say that as a guy who picked Amir. Speaking of which, this is a guy who's never, ever lived up to his TUF run where he was subbing guys left, right, and centre. He's boring, predictable, and has a huge weakness in the 170 division with getting taken down. He has no future whatsoever at that weight class and 155 is even more stacked. His only option may be to quit (fat chance) or to move up to the weight he actually won TUF.
Although I reiterate I'm stunned out of my mind, I did say in my predictions that Dustin hasn't really fought any genuine world beaters yet. Jung showed what he looks like against the elite. That was shocking. What a beatdown. That might be beatdown of the year. Props to Dustin for surviving that long, and the only reason he gets a C+.