Rory vs Jake was a highly anticipated co-main event that garnered more prefight media hype than the main event championship bout. Number three and four ranked welterweights in a title elimination match, fireworks seemed inevitable.
Unfortunately the fight didn't live up to the hype and Dana White openly voiced his dissatisfaction during the post fight media wrap ups.
Rory jabbed Jake for three rounds as the two circled each other both poised awaiting any opportunity to pounce, but it never arrived. In the past Jake has shown the ability to remain patient and measured when unable to blitz opponents, however against Rory his technique and timing deficits were exposed and exploited. As for Rory he had never faced anyone as big and powerful as himself and had no choice but to stay calm and alert, neither would have succeeded by reacting recklessly or rushing in.
My UFC fantasy pick (username talkfight) was Rory via decision, I predicted this because of the way these two match up. Both rely predominantly on size, power and wrestling to work their striking, these three aspects seemed evenly matched and neutralized each other. This resulted in the most influential and determining factors being technique and timing.
This sport isn't about concussions, blood, bruises and breaks, those are just the unfortunate results of pure human competition and not the motivating purpose of mixed martial arts. Rory and Jake simply proved they are evenly matched and style wise nullify each others strengths, against any other welterweight contenders they possess multiple possible advantages.
Media bloggers and sports fans can learn a lot from just watching Rory and Jake in terms of combat athletics and avoid buying the marketing hyperbole and raising expectations for what is in all actuality an ordinary night of TV.
It's important to place every fight in context with the entire card, one fight does not an event make no matter how far up the billing. Each event has plenty of bouts to enjoy, skip or forget. Armchair coaching won't help a growing television audience become students of the game and the sport of MMA is a fight game not a reckless blood brawl or simply a TV fist fight.
Watch, learn, respect.