I don't know if it's something in the water in New Jersey, or there was some astrological reason for the confluence of events seen yesterday, but it was pretty ridonkulous. Two eye pokes, a broken toe, and a broken thumb on one card? I haven't seen that much bad luck since Oedipus thought he'd found a sexy MILF.
As a direct result of that bullshit, last night's card sucked some serious chrome off a bumper hitch. The fights were boring, which was a disaster for an already weak card. It's almost like Zuffa doesn't care much at this point. Let's throw a bunch of Strikeforce guys and dudes we can't decide whether to cut on the undercard, and then fill the pay-per-view with dudes who are so far out of contention that even Mike Bohn is struggling to find 35 post-fight facts about them.
Card's Report Card: D-minus. Let's face it, the undercard was mostly boring, with two injury finishes, two decisions, one very late submission, and a girl fight. The paid portion of the card featured one decent scrap, an agonizing slap fight, a quick KO, an eyepoke, and the greatest mismatch in UFC title fight history.
My predictions: 8/11. Of course, I knew if I left the pool I'd start destroying. It's Murphy's Law. Or is that just evidence that God exists to fuck with people?
Fight of the Night: Jim Miller choking out to some Strikforce guy
Knockout of the Night: Roy "I said I was going to cut to 205 and you all believed me LOLZ" Nelson
Submission of the Night: Pat "Fitch" Healy
Biggest Upset: Cody McKenzie wrestlefucking Lenny
Worst judge's decision: Whichever judge gave Lenny a round, not awarding a 10-8 for the first round of Siler versus Holobaugh, and which judge gave Vinny a round.
Most boring fight: So many to choose from but Davis versus Vinny was awful
Beatdown of the night: Cody McKenzie basically treated Lenny like Jimy Hettes treated Nam Phran.
[DISCLAIMER NOTE - All UFC images in this post were sourced from Facebook.com/UFC and are the intellectual property of Zuffa LLC/Josh Hedges.]
* * *
The good news about Kurt Holobaugh is that he looks pretty good when he loses. The bad news is the losing part. For most of the first round, Holobaugh took a terrible beating at the hands of Steven Siler, who worked his technical Muay Thai to create an opening and then sent this fight south.
Once on the ground, Holobaugh was pretty useless. He survived, in the sense that he somehow escaped a deep rear-naked choke, but he was dominated. I gave the first a 10-8.
Holobaugh came to life in the second round, showing some good grit and brawler's spirit. But as soon as this went south again in the third round, helped in part by Kurt's own #ultrafail attempt to judo throw Siler, it was all over. Sort of similar to when he fought Pat Healy in Strikeforce.
Winner: Steven Siler is easy to forget in the 145-pound division. He looks like a nerd who can't fight worth shit, but has quietly compiled a 4-1 UFC record. His one loss came against the surging Darren Elkins. I think it makes sense to continue having him fight middle-of-the-pack fighters. Feed him Eddie Yagin.
* * *
Featherweight : Cody McKenzie (B) versus Leonard Garcia (F)
Prediction: Garcia via TKO2
Result: McKenzie via decision
This was a shit-show of a fight. Cody McKenzie came out wearing swimming trunks and the haircut of a homeless guy living under a highway in Miami, and proceeded to grapplefuck a clearly out-of-shape Leonard Garcia for two of the three rounds.
Garcia is a terrible fighter. We've known this for a long time. But in the past he has at the very least "warred" against his opponents, giving them trouble before going on to the inevitable loss. This is a guy who gave the Korean Zombie all he could handle, who impressed the demented judges with his windmill punches against Nam Phan, who lured Max Holloway from a technical fight into a breathless brawl.
Last night, Garcia was officially a bag of shit. He was completely dominated in the first two rounds, getting worked on his back like Jenna Jameson early in her career. Even in the third round, Lenny could barely offer more than a drunken off-balance swing or two, which McKenzie easily swayed away from each time. If the UFC doesn't cut Garcia this time, the only conclusion I can come up with is that Lenny is Dana's official ball washer.
Winner: Although I'm sure McKenzie is basking in the glow of beating the worst fighter at 145, he should probably know he's taken the crown with Garcia gone. So, take someone from the bottom of the list and give him to the Alaskan assclown.
* * *
Picture caption: Boop! I got your nose. Seriously, what the fuck was Bryan Caraway doing out there? Bedford would wade in and Caraway would duck his head, send out a blind jab, and then follow with a right cross. If Johnny wasn't so busy respecting Caraway's takedown, he might have put a whooping on the boy.
The fight wasn't terrible, but Bedford must have known all he had to do was defend the takedown and he'd easily win this thing. Unfortunately he looked to be too concerned about it because he was far from "brutal" in this fight. Caraway has some great grappling skills but he's too one-dimensional for my tastes. When he meets a better grappler or a fighter who isn't afraid of his takedowns he's going to get knocked out.
Winner: I like Brad Pickett and I'll tell you why. Pickett isn't likely to be impressed by Caraway's takedowns and he's more than likely to clown Caraway while he tries. It's true that Pickett is top 10, but so is Takeya Mizugaki and Caraway lost a very close decision to him. Also interesting would be TJ Dillashaw, although both are from Alpha Male so it's unlikely.
* * *
There may be dumber fuckers than Kevin Mulhall. There may be evidence of water on Mars, too. The point is, Mulhall is clearly in the running for interplanetary moron. Look, I know there's a stupid rule that says you can kick a guy in the balls with all your might and the other guy gets five minutes to rest whereas an eye poke is an immediate loss. I know that. That doesn't mean fuckwit Kevin needs to follow the letter of the law.
A good referee might have asked whether he was ok to continue, perhaps let Villante recover a bit by sending St.Preux to his corner, or taking some initiative or control over the situation. Instead he asked a fucking stupid question: "Can you see?" To which Villante was probably thinking, "No, asshole, the black dude just speared me in the fucking cornea with his finger." Instead he responded politely in the obvious: "No." Fight's over.
Imagine if ball kicks were like that? Cheick Kongo would be undefeated.
"Do your balls hurt?"
"I THINK I JUST HAD A FUCKING VASECTOMY!"
"Do you feel any pain in your sac right now?"
"DOES YOUR MOTHER LIKE GANGBANGS? I'M DYING OVER HERE, ASSHOLE!"
"Ok, cool, fight's over. I'm giving the win to the ball kicker."
Anyway, this was a terrible end to a terrible fight. OSP was outstriking Villante by a ratio of about 6:1 and dude had absolutely nothing whatsoever going for him. Still, a shitty call from a terrible referee. What I can't understand is why a billion dollar company like Zuffa allows its product to suffer by the dozen referees on the planet licensed to make shitty decisions. Can we train 100 more of these fuckers? In a country the size of the United States, can they find at least 10 guys who aren't complete fucktards?
Winner: OSP looked pretty awful and slow in this fight. It would be interesting to see how he'd do against toothpick and senior citizen Cyrille Diabate, if the guy is healed up.
* * *
This one is honestly too short to really assign letter grades, although I thought Khabilov looked completely in control until the injury. And although his suplex attempt fell short, it clearly worked in his favour since Medeiros broke his thumb trying to defend it.
Khabilov is a really exciting prospect in the ridonkulously stacked 155-division, and I suspect just one of the many of the first wave of Russian Sambo murderers to come to North America like the ones tearing it up in Bellator or Khabib Nurmagomedov.
As for Nancy Boy, it's got to suck to be off for three years, come back to the cage and get injured inside of three minutes. That's going to take another year to heal so we won't be seeing Nancy for a while. And by the way, the 209-Gracie camp can't fucking buy a win these days.
Winner: An intriguing matchup presents itself between Khabilov and Anthony Njokuani, who just defeated a strong wrestler. I don't really know if he deserves him, but a really great fight would be against Jamie Varner.
* * *
Lightweight : Jim Miller (F) versus Pat Healy (A+)
Prediction: Miller via decision
Result: Healy via SUB3
Really? An "F" for Miller? Yeah, really, an "F" for Miller. Look, it was a great scrap and Jimmy did well for the first five minutes or so. If not for the bullshit "saved by the bell" rule, Healy would have been sleeping at the end of round one. But we all know that fights aren't just five minutes.
Pat "Fitch" Healy got Miller down and Fitched the life out of him. You could see at the end of round two that Miller was badly hurt, and I'm not talking about his body. His will was broken in that round. The last round was just a matter of time before he got submitted. Miller quit. That's not easy to say for one of the baddest warriors in the UFC, but he did. He quit.
Look, everybody can have an off night. But Miller talked a lot of shit before the fight, looked past Healy, didn't come prepared for his grinding style, and let Healy play to his strengths. In my book that's a fucking "F". It's like Igor Pokrajac jumping into an armbar. It's fucking dumb.
Winner: Ok, so I underestimated Pat Healy. The Fitch is strong in this one. But let's not get carried away just yet. I think a scrap with Diego Sanchez would test his mettle (although if the Diego who showed up for the Gomi fight comes again he's getting finished). Alternately, Healy was crying for Gilbert Melendez in Strikeforce. Why not give the baby his bottle? If he's so eager to get knocked out, let's see it happen.
* * *
This was one of the worst fights I've ever seen. And it didn't have to be that bad. The way Davis fought reminded me of our favourite welterweight champion. He fought scared, careful, and boring. Although Joe Rogan was banqueting on Davis' nut salad all night long, I thought Mr. Wonderful looked putrid out there.
Much like GSP, there are two kinds of Phil Davis. One that is aggressive, stronger than a fucking mechanical bull, and a beast on the ground. The other is a timid little girl, running from every limp wristed jab, and avoids all contact at any cost. Which do you think has a chance against Jon Jones?
The Phil Davis that fought Alexander Gustafsson and Tim Boetsch was a straight up killer. With a wrestling base second perhaps only to Rashad Evans or Jon Jones, Davis is best when he takes guys down, drowns them in deep water, and then gator rolls them for the finish. He's so friggin strong, I have no doubt whatsoever he could have manhandled Magalhaes on the ground. But he never tried to find out.
There's a difference between being a moron and jumping into an armbar like Igor Pokrajac, and refusing to fight an MMA fight because you're scared of what might happen if you roll with a guy. The difference is gameplanning cowardice. GSP is a master of this art, as he demonstrated against Jake Shields. A guy he could have elbowed for 25 minutes, GSP refused to go to the ground with Shields, choosing instead to jab him for 25 minutes. The result is the most unwatchable performance of his entire career.
Same with this abortion. Phil Davis can only look back at this fight and hope nobody remembers. Oh and as for Vinny, he's garbage. Same as he ever was.
Winner: You don't get a step up with a shit fight like that. One matchup I really, really like is Ryan Bader. Both have wins over the muscled out scrub, Vinny. Both are wrestlers. Bader is on the rebound after dropping two in a row. It's a perfect time.
* * *
Heavyweight : Roy Nelson (A+) versus Cheick Kongo (F)
Prediction: Nelson via TKO3
Result: Nelson via TKO1
You've got to give it to the fat man. He hits hard as fuck. That overhand right was brutal and Kongo didn't stand a chance. What was most interesting was that Nelson initiated the clinch to start the fight, and also that Kongo landed no shots to the balls whatsoever.
Knocking out Kongo is becoming less amazing these days but it's still impressive. A timid man for 265 pounds, Kongo likes to use his ginormous reach to hit guys from range and actually likes playing counter-puncher. Sometimes it works to his benefit, like it did against Pat Barry and Matt Mitrione. Sometimes it doesn't.
Roy Nelson is a douchebag. An arrogant, insolent, indolent man who thinks far too highly of himself for his accomplishments. And yet, it sure is fun to see him knock people out.
Winner: Is Nelson top 10 yet? Hard to say. The MMA media have him ranked sixth, but I'm not so sure. He's always lost when he steps up in competition. I think I heard some buzz about him fighting Daniel Cormier but I don't see the point to be honest. I like Travis Browne.
* * *
When Michael Bisping asked the fans after the fight if they were not entertained, I hoped he was going to get lustily booed. That was a shit performance from both fighters, a terrible fight, and about as far from entertaining as a fight can get.
This was classic Bizzy, landing pillow power the entire fight, while Belcher ran around with his hands down hoping something different was going to happen. It was terrible to watch because Belcher didn't seem to realize he was getting picked apart on the feet but he refused to try to grab Bisping and drag him down.
The horrible truth is that neither of these fighters are "in the mix." Both choke each and every time they get a step up in competition. Belcher has "talent" but the fucker doesn't really seem to know how to use it. The combination of this fight being meaningless, boring, and finished with an illegal foul (that really didn't seem to bother Spits one bit) made for one of the worst fights of the year.
Winner: What can you say about Bisping that hasn't already been said. He's not going to suddenly turn into anything other than a weak puncher with a technically sound standup game. I like Hector Lombard a lot because I think it'll really answer two burning questions (as Mike Bohn would love to say): 1. Can Lombard redeem himself and become relevant in the UFC and 2. Can Bisping outpoint a man with as much firepower as Dan Henderson.
* * *
Light Heavyweight Championship : Jon Jones (A) versus Chael Sonnen (D)
Prediction: Jones via TKO1
Result: Jones via TKO1
The best part of Sonnen last night was his walk in attire. That's it. He was, as I predicted, outclassed by the better wrestler, beat up and beat on by the stronger fighter, and finished in the first round.
And thank fuck for that. Because if Jones didn't get the finish in that last minute, Chael P Sonnen would be the reigning, defending champion right now. Thanks to the rules, if a fighter cannot continue, then the other guy wins. It's how Vitor Belfort got that ridiculous 205-belt back in 2004.
For Sonnen, it's just another classic assfucking by the almighty. He's been so close to winning gold so many times, but always comes up short just at the last possible moment. Which is great, because nobody deserves it more than Chael Sonnen.
Winner: Personally, I'd like to see the superfight with Anderson Silva. But it won't happen. I guess Alexander Gustafsson is next, but I'd rather see Glover Teixeira. I know he doesn't "deserve" it, but I honestly think Glover could win that fight. And that's really the whole point, innit?
Thanks to the fact Jones didn't get taken down, I hereby claim my sig bet with Jonnyboy6969:
"Chael P Sonnen sold me wolf tickets to UFC 159."