Wow. Just, wow. After the shit stain that was UFC 148, the professional MMA league goes and totally redeems itself with perhaps the best card I've seen in the past year or more. Every fight, save one, from top to bottom on the card, was spectacular. Exciting and competitive fights, submissions, knockouts, comebacks. It had it all. It was the complete package. And it was fucking free.
I think I screamed about 10 times during the epic moments of this card, and literally sat and basked in the endorphins rush that followed. I don't know how it gets much better than this with the kind of names that were on the card. Sometimes you just get lucky, I guess.
My pick: Tamura via TKO round 2
Reality: Assuncao via TKO round 2
The Japanese curse in the UFC on American shores continues. The bantamweight fighter looked amazing against Tiequan Zhang in Saitama, Japan, but not so much in San Jose. Tamura waited to counter-punch Assuncao, who was faster, more accurate, and landed dozens of leg kicks in the first round. Tamura never really found his distance, throwing the odd late punch and never following through with more. In the bantamweight division you might as well forget it. You need to be dynamic, quick, and elusive.
Assuncao never needed his jujitsu, catching Tamura in the second round and then battering the fighter while he was stunned. The fight was never competitive at any time. Domination from the Brazilian.
Caught rushing in, chin up, hands down.
Marcelo Guimaraes (F) vs Daniel Stittgen (F)
My pick: Guimaraes by decision
Reality: Guimaraes by split decision
When Daniel "Hot Garbage" Stittgen lost to Steve Thompson via headkick KO, I figured we'd found the worst fighter in the UFC. Not so. Marcelo Guimaraes has probably taken that crown, even though he inexplicably got the nod from the judges for awkwardly dry humping Stittgen against the fence with 30 seconds left, screaming like a man who got his balls caught in his zipper.
Marcelo punches like a bitch. No offence meant to bitches, but I've seen more manly punches from trannies (don't ask me where I've seen trannies). He literally played slap and tickle with Stittgen inbetween dry humping him against the cage. Jon Fitch could take pointers on the sort of brutal groin thrusting going on in this fight.
Basically, the fight went down like this: Marcelo dry humped Hot Garbage against the cage for five minutes. Then Hot Garbage played slap fight with Marcelo in the second round, presumably tying the rounds 1-1. The third was marked for the Brazilian's effeminate pawing swipes at Hot Garbage, who inexplicably threw baby leg jabs that Carlos Condit would have been proud to call a Fight Metric statistic, and then stood against the cage and clutched Marcelo to his bosom like a mother and her newborn calf.
My reaction to the next fight
My pick: Craig by decision
Reality: Craig by unbelievable spectacular mindblowing knockout
First of all, Natal looked amazing out there. He was quicker, landed more accurate strikes, and beat the everloving dreadlocks from Craig for 9:42 of the fight. And then he got knocked the fuck out like few people have been knocked out before. Craig dropped down to batter on his corpse, but the original head kick did the work.
It was an absurd comeback. After a first round in which Natal taunted, danced, talked smack, and basically Nick Diazed, he badly rocked Craig in the second, dropping him like Maynard dropped Frankie in their second fight. It was too ridiculous to believe he could survive, and a 10-8 round would have been the minimum the judges would have awarded him. And then Natal did what Nick Diaz never does. He got knocked the fuck out.
Natal, who weirdly thought he was Shogun Rua out there by waving his arms sideways after every four-foot swinging miss by Craig, began taunting Craig with 30 seconds left in the round, daring him to fight to the finish. Craig obliged and the next thing Natal knew he was trying to sit on a stool that wouldn't stand still.
Chris Cariaso (A) vs Josh Ferguson (A-)
My pick: Cariaso by submission round 1
Reality: Cariaso by decision
Spectacular. Electrifying. Lightning quick. Back and forth. How many superlatives do you need for fight of the night? Ferguson got dropped, battered, and all-around pounded on, but he was a gamer from start to finish. Not only did he survive every submission attempt, he landed some great shots of his own, finishing the fight with back control and almost stealing the round. Although Cariaso won 30-27, it was far closer than the score showed and Josh's heart is unquestionable.
How does Cariaso look at 125? Fucking amazing. Quick, with power, and precise striking, this is a fighter who should definitely give the Dodsons and the McCalls some trouble. Despite good success at 135, creating the Flyweight division was the best thing that could have happened for him. As for Ferguson, the midget on TUF, he looked even bigger than Cariaso out there, giving him a tough match and a run for his money in the wrestling department at times.
15 minutes of creamery, creamery butter.
Alex Cacares (A) vs Damacio Page (B-)
My pick: Cacares by decision
Result: Cacares by submission round 2
Bruce Leeroy a TUF scrub? Uh, no. Not even fucking close. Cacares might just have the most ridiculously active and dangerous guard at 135, using Anthony Pettis-like long legs to throw up submission attempt after submission attempt on Page. Not only did he catch Page twice in the first round, he caught him again early in the second to finish with a vice-grip tight triangle.
Page performed well, rushing in quickly to neutralize Leeroy's newly found standup damage that he did to Cole Escovedo and Edwin Figueroa, but to no avail. The guard was too quick, and Page's passing ability non-existent. Even when he did get past the guard briefly, Leeroy's long limbs quickly threatened another submission. Although jujitsu purists might question his technique, he impressively held Page's wrists while sneaking triangle, gogoplata and armbars up.
Leeroy is one exciting prospect after a relatively unimpressive start in the UFC.
Rafael dos Anjos (A) vs Anthony Njokuani (C+)
My pick: Dos Anjos by submission round 3
Reality: Dos Anjos by decision
Well, that's it, right? The undercard and the main card are never both good. It's all downhill from here. Wrong, fuckers. Another great fight to start the main card featured Rafael dos Anjos putting a beating down on the fighter you'd expect to dominate on the feet. Not only did the Brazilian land powerful punches, he dominated the former WEC fighter on the ground, outwrestling him and taking him down over and over again.
Njokuani didn't look horrible, but he certainly has a wrestling deficiency. Not that dos Anjos needed wrestling, knocking Anthony down in the first round and stunning him on several occasions. It was a dominant performance as the Brazilian has demonstrated his impressive standup in recent fights with a knockout of George Sotiropolous, and submitting Kamal Shalorus after a huge headkick.
A performance like this has to earn Rafael a big step up in the division, especially after controlling Anthony the whole fight. As for the latter fighter, it's a little disappointing to see how one-dimensional he continues to be, despite his obvious size and strength advantage. It may be time for him to start seriously training wrestling and jujitsu in order to better utilize his considerable size.
TJ Dillashaw (A+) vs Vaughn Lee (F)
My pick: Dillashaw by decision
Reality: Dillashaw by submission round 1
For a minute, Vaughn Lee looked good out there, swinging punches, dancing around, and landing a few good shots. And then he made a fatal mistake. He gave up his back carelessly and was choked out quickly. You could see from the look on his face that he knew made a bed-shitting error.
As for Dillashaw, the man who looked sure to win TUF has rebounded with a brutalizing of Walel Watson and a quick submission of Vaughn Lee, who looked good in his fight against Yamamoto and Cariaso. I'm not really even convinced he was knocked out by John Dodson in the finale, so for all intents and purposes I think he's undefeated and really just getting better out there.
My pick: Carmont by decision
Reality: Carmont by submission round 2
GSP's pet project, the hulking Carmont has looked inconsistent in his fights in the UFC. He's nevertheless won each one by stoppage, despite some serious sloppiness on the ground. At one point Carmont had a mount and give it up in an attempt to get a submission instead of pounding Vemola out. Although there was quite a bit of back and forth out there, Vemola did what he usually does, and gassed out like a fat girl at a Mexican buffet. By the time Carmont got the rear naked choke, the world's worst national wrestling champion was ready to quit.
I'm still not convinced Carmont is for real. Yes, he's huge. Yes, he's strong. But he's sloppy, and I think a lot of middleweight fighters would ravage his bunghole for making so many mistakes. Still, anyone who trains with GSP has got to feel confident. Although I guess that's what David Loiseau and Patrick the bed-shitter Cote thought, too.
My pick: Simpson by TKO round 2
Reality: Simpson by decision
The A-train looked so-so in his Welterweight debut, surviving a bit of a shit-kicking in the first round to go back to his wrestling base and dominate the man who was pillow punched to a knockout by fellow welterweight creampuff Mike Pierce back at UFC 126. That didn't stop Kenny from putting a decent beating on the old man in the first round.
Unfortunately for Kenny fans (of which there are none), he came out and did his best Benji Radach impression in the second and third, placing his head on the mat and turtling as Simpson put the ugly on. I had it scored 29-28 Simpson, which isn't very impressive for a guy who was facing a man who doesn't have his own Wikipedia entry yet.
James Te-Huna (B-) vs Joe Beltran (C+)
My pick: Te-Huna by KO round 1
Reality: Te-Huna by slobberknocker
Holy fuck monkeys, Beltran has a chin that should be studied by scientists and used on the space shuttle. Te-Huna has arguably the best hands at 205 for five minutes and he hit Beltran with everything but a fucking bazooka in the first round, coming seconds away from finishing the Mexican making his 205 debut. But Beltran rallied in the second as the Kiwi gassed and made it a competitive fight, dropping him late in the second, and coming on strong in the third. Although it was a 30-26 score, you got the feeling Betran would have finished in the fourth round.
But damn, Te-Huna hits like a Mack Truck launched from a Russian nuclear silo. It's kind of ridiculous that Beltran survived the shit-kicking, and even more amazing that he recovered enough to batter Te-Huna into survival mode in the third. I think at 205, Te-Huna has a chance to beat anyone in the division for the first five minutes. After that though he really fades quickly. Like Nitro, the man's good for a short distance.
I'd like to see Te-Huna move up to the top 10 now and face some stiff competition, especially on a three-fight win streak with his only loss coming against an arguable top-5er. As for Beltran, I wouldn't cut the guy after rallying like that and putting on a candidate for Fight of the Night.
Good stuff, you brick-chinned bastard.
Beltran takes one of fourteen billion headshots in the first round.
The size of Munoz's asshole right now.
My Pick: Weidman by decision
Reality: Weidman by UTTER DOMINATION
I think I've seen stoppages at funerals that were earlier than Josh Rosenthal's stoppage of Weidman against Mark Munoz. Announced as a TKO by Bruce Buffer, Munoz was actually knocked out by a Weidman elbow and then took about 10 unanswered punches while his corpse lay on the canvas, Rosenthal screaming to fight back and Munoz's face responding by gurgling and spurting blood forward like a fucking fountain in DOOM 3.
Other than that, great performance by Weidman. Not only did he dominate Munoz, I don't think he even got hit. Once. A shot that might be even better than Chael Sonnen's, Weidman has made a strong argument for facing Andy Silva. But not strong enough in my opinion. Look, Weidman has been on a Jon Jones run in the past year, beating Bongfeldt, Maia, and Lawler, and now Munoz. But these aren't exactly top 10 fighters.
And Munoz got to his place at the top of the pack more by fortune than skill. A close decision over Maia and a stoppage of drug addict Chris Leben do not make for a compelling argument that you're in the top 10. Not when there's the Boestchs, Lombards, Sonnens, Okamis, Bispings, Markes, and others clawing at the top. Weidman needs another test at the top of the division. And Munoz wasn't it.
But damn, was that a superb performance. Holy shit.
Fight back! *SPLAT* Fight back! *SPLOTCH!* Fight back! *SPPPPFFFFTTT!*
Anyway, that's it. Outstanding card. Great work for most people picking fights, especially our resident Queen, -sarah- who went 11 for 11 tonight. It's going to be hard to top this one, and the funny thing is it was free. Which makes it kind of silly to think the UFC still needs pay-per-views to put on great events.