Boy, did that ever suck. I'm referring to UFC 149, by the way. It's amazing that despite knowing how much it would suck, it still delivered on almost every suck level possible. That sort of predictability is rare, friends. Rare. And the sad thing is that the last card that sucked, from top to bottom, was UFC 148. Sandwiched inbetween these two abortions was UFC on FX 4, which was exciting, outstanding, and more importantly, not 60 fucking dollars.
Unlike UFC 148, however, the whole thing wasn't a total loss. The free card was actually pretty damn good, making this a sort of inverted quality per price pyramid. The more you pay, the more suck factor the fighting. Perhaps Dana White should be paying Ryan Jimmo the big money and letting Hector Lombard go work a taxi in Cuba or something. He even compared it to UFC 33 for fuck sakes. UFC. 33.
Anyway, it's not like I had a personally bad night. Despite shitting the bed for most of the money pool season, I won my second event last night. And what sweetened the deal was this little prediction I made:
I know I said I wouldn't do these anymore, but I just need to go on the record with the Tim Boetsch fight. If all goes as planned I'll be heralded as a God and the masses will grovel at my sandals and ask me to turn water into wine. And I'll say, "begone ye beggars, have ye no self-respect?" But secretly I'll chuckle softly and go stick it into Mary Magdelene.
You know how many people were lining up trying to get an easy sig bet win off me when I made that announcement? All I have to say to that is:
My pick: Kuivanen by TKO round 2
Reality: Kuivanen by split decision
Honestly, I don't remember much about this one other than the fact that Clarke started strong but faded in the second and third. It wasn't actually as close as the judges made it seem though. Although Clarke was hellbent on taking the Finn down, Kuivanen outstruck him most of the fight.
The first round probably went to Clarke, the second round is debateable, but the third was all Vegetable Lasagna. He landed 33 strikes, which is four more than Mitch managed the entire fight. Actually, as far as "significant strikes" go, Mitch landed one in the first round, two in the second, and three in the third. At that rate he might reach 10 two fights from now.
Thankfully, this changed from the hot bout to normal at the last second so it didn't hurt anyone's scores.
My pick: Pineda by TKO round 3
Reality: Carvalho by KO round 1
I don't feel too bad about this one, as 24 out of 24 people in the money pool picked the plucky Pineda. Unfortunately, he fought like Leonard Garcia in this fight, sans the chin, and got knocked out by a spectacular looking Carvalho. Although everybody gets caught eventually, I can't just chalk this up to a fluke like James Vick's KO knee of Daron Cruickshank on TUF Live. Clearly, Carvalho has done something right since his UFC debut. He looked calm, relaxed, found his range immediately, and outclassed Pineda for all of the one minute and 11 seconds the fight lasted.
Perhaps that win over Hatsu Hioki in 2007 meant more than I gave it credit for. I mean, not all fighters who have wins over big names from years back really matter anymore (see: Prater, Carlo), but the 33-year-old Carvalho still seems to have a shot at making his way to the front of the line if he fights like that again.
My pick: Caraway by decision
Reality: Caraway by submission round 3
Good God almighty, Caraway has a decent chin. The Nipissing, Ontario, native Gagnon was playing sweet chin music on Bryan for most of rounds one and two, but Meisha's boyfriend would not be put down. After surviving the first round, Caraway turned it on against "Gasgon" and finished in a dominant position to end round two. Round three was more of the same, as cardio seemed to play the biggest factor, with Caraway slowly strangling his way to victory.
Caraway was the favourite in the fight, and for good reason, considering he fights out of Team Butt Chin. But let's not write off Gagnon, who looked good early and often, but clearly needs to find an altitude higher than sea level to train in. I don't think Sudbury's 1,000-foot elevation cuts it.
Anthony Perosh (F) vs Ryan Jimmo (A++)
My pick: Perosh by submission round 2
Reality: Jimmo by KO round 1
Unfortunately, I don't have any gifs this week. The guy who usually makes them decided to pack his bags and join Bloody Elbow. And I'll be damned if I'm going to wade through that muck to find out where he put them.
If you watched the fight, I hope you didn't blink. Perosh basically backed straight up, hands down, chin up, and promptly proceeded to eat canvas on the first punch. Jimmo's UFC debut couldn't have been more spectacular, earning a UFC-record-tying seven-second knockout that was more than convincing to demonstrate his power.
It's hard to assign report cards based on seven seconds of action. We'll see whether the flash KO curse follows Perosh around should he unwisely decide not to retire. Bang Ludwig knocked out Jonathan Goulet in six seconds in 2006, ending a 10 fight win streak, and he went 8-6 after that before retiring. Mark Hominick was knocked out in seven seconds by Korean Zombie in Toronto, and followed that up with a loss to Eddie Yagin. And then Tim Hague lost to Todd Duffee in seven seconds in 2009, and has never really recovered from the embarrassment.
The weird thing is that Canadians were involved in all these massacres: Jimmo, Goulet, Hominick, Hague.
The only downside was that Jimmo was about as humble in victory as Nikki Minaj is classy. The robot dance? Yeah, I'd retire that one. You look like you're about to shudder out forty pounds of Montezuma's revenge on the fucking mat.
Photo Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire
My pick: Rivera by KO round 1
Reality: River by KO round 1
As I wrote in my prediction post: "So long as Rivera stays on his feet, he should end this pretty early. Delorme has a chin, but his standup leaves a lot to be desired."
Pretty much. Except Rivera was so much better than anyone could have expected. He found his range immediately, and touched Delorme's chin over and over again. Credit goes to curls for taking about 50 shots off the cranium before finally crumpling to the mat, but unconscious he finally became.
Before this fight I think ThePride was trying to find anyone he could to be his patsy on this fight, so confident in Delorme's abilities that he was offering incentives and inducements. Well, whoever owes him his sig, make it brutal, guys. Make it brutal.
My pick: Ring by decision
Reality: Ring by decision
The words Nick Ring and robbery just seem to go together, don't they? Who could forget his ridiculous robbery over Riki Fukuda, winning 30-27 after basically being dominated the entire fight? Well, that happened again last night.
Ring was circling and backpeddaling and, at times, running away from McGee. He was literally shit-kicked by Court in the third round, pinging around the cage like a fucking pinball, getting Nick Diazed with volume punches. I think you could make an argument for Ring winning the first round, but the second and third belonged to McGee:
I know FightMetric doesn't tell the whole story. It's merely a guide. But this guide pretty clearly shows who won the fight.
Matthew Riddle (B+) vs Chris Clements (D)
My pick: Clements by decision
Reality: Riddle by submission round 3
Man, what a weird fight. After Riddle promised to stand and bang with Clements, he proceeded to take him down over and over, stifling his offence, and schooling him on the ground. Not that Clements did much on the feet, throwing looping hooks that sailed over Riddle's head, and actually getting outstruck in rounds one and two.
As Clements began to come on strong in the third, Riddle put an end to it with a rather surprisingly nice standing arm triangle, which he converted to a trip and finished quickly on the ground. The fight nobody wanted to see actually turned out to probably be the best one on the pay-per-view.
One oddity took place when Riddle landed a brutal liver kick which backed Clements to the cage where he bent over gasping for breath. Josh Rosenthal, who has gone from one of the most reputable referees in the business to a guy who let Mark Munoz take 20 unanswered head shots, stopped the fight because he thought it was a shot to the balls. Fail.
My pick: Ebersole by decision
Reality: Head by decision
The second fight in which all 24 money pool pickers chose one fighter was once again wrong. Whoever showed up to UFC 149, it wasn't the Brian Ebersole who demolished Chris Lytle. The "White Anderson Silva" was at his most enigmatic last night, barely engaging, looking weak in the wrestling department, and showing no urgency and no ingenuity.
I mean, truth be told, Ebersole should still have won the fight. He won rounds one and three, and was never in any apparent trouble at any time whatsoever. But still, it doesn't look good when you choreograph a shot from 14 feet away and fail in every takedown attempt. And aside from a few one-punch combinations, Ebersole did nothing. Well, I guess he did a few really stupid karate chops to Head's thighs, which reminded me of Anderson Silva against Thales Leites.
I think we know what happened here though. Ebersole looked weak because he was. The man is clearly cutting down to 155 and this was his last hurrah at 170. Making things more difficult is the fact he was fighting a man who dropped from 185, so it's a distinct possibility Ebersole was giving up a lot of weight in this fight. Whatever the case, it was a bizarre performance.
My pick: Kongo by decision
Reality: Kongo by decision
There's some crackhead over at Bloody Tampon saying this was a good fight, but I think we all know how utterly boring and horrible it was. Clutch and grab, clinch and pinch, wall and stall, it was horrible. Jordan tried all fight to pick up the gigantic Frenchman, but failed, falling right into Kongo's favourite game of stalling.
Amazingly, Kongo didn't even land any brutal knees to the ballsack. No, it was Jordan who elbowed Kongo in the cock, leaving the man writhing on the floor for a few moments before gathering himself up to prepare for the rest of the dull affair.
Kongo's legacy as gatekeeper is solidly intact after this one, but it would have been nice to see him actually pull back and use those ranging kicks to finish Jordan when the man was clearly exhausted. But, as is normal in the modern UFC, he cruised to the pay cheque.
Hector Lombard (F) vs Tim Boetsch (B-)
My pick: Boetsch by KO round 3
Reality: Boetsch by split decision
I'm not going to gloat too much here. Nobody was a winner in this fight, least of which the fans. After getting perhaps the most anticipated fighter in the UFC since Big Nog, Hector proceeded to inexplicably stand still most of the fight, staring in earnest at Timmy like he wanted to kill him but didn't know how. Boetsch reciprocated by landing front kicks, outpointing him all night long.
Look, it wasn't domination by Boetsch, but it wasn't a robbery either. For a frame of reference:
Even if you give Lombard the second round for hurting Boetsch, it's hard to justify giving him two rounds. And again, it's not that Timmy did much either, but he did more, and that's enough. What Lombard was doing, perhaps only Brian Ebersole knows. It was weird, inexplicable, and disappointing. Everybody expected fireworks, and all they got a snake.
Having said that, this is what happens when people look at can crushers from third tier minor league organizations and attribute champion status to them. Is Hector Lombard one of the best middleweights in the world? Not based on what we saw last night against a fighter who is arguably not in the top five of the division. Can you imagine how many times Lombard would have been sleeping last night if he tried what he did against Anderson Silva?
Lombard now has a choice. He can prove himself in his next fight by growing a pair of balls and fighting in the style that earned him his fierce reputation. Or he can tuck tail and run back to the minors and crush cans again.
My pick: Barao by decison
Reality: Barao by decision
This was the easiest 22 points anyone ever got. You had to know that stylistically there was no hope for Faber. He's too classically old school, relying on wrestling and punches, whereas Nova Uniao uses wrestling in reverse to keep it standing and utilizes leg kicks to chop down opponents. We already saw this fight with Jose Aldo so it was merely a case of repeating the tactics:
"The Brazilian might have been crushing cans like Hector Lombard for years, but unlike Hector the man has proven himself in the UFC. Nobody has so much as rocked Barao, won a round against him, or been able to outgrapple or outstrike him. Renan wins everywhere in this fight. On the feet, on the ground, in the submission game."
I honestly stopped watching after the second round. I know that doesn't exactly qualify me to hand out grades, but based on what I saw I knew nothing was changing in the next three rounds. Faber might be too tough to finish, but he's not bright enough or creative enough to try anything different. As he said in the post-fight press conference, he can't get past guys who kick from range like that.
The question now is how Barao matches up against Dominick Cruz. Personally, I think that it's much more even, given Cruz's relentless attack and constant movement. As much as Barao dominated Faber, Cruz did as much or more. The bantamweight title fight should be far more closely contested than the yawn-inducing Cruz-Faber III would have been.
That's it. Horrible main card, but all in all it wasn't a horrible night given the undercard delivered.