Last night (Jan. 18, 2014), World Series of Fighting (WSOF) hit the Hard Rock Live in Hollywood, Florida with World Series of Fighting 8: "Gaethje vs. Patishnock" with a card that featured two title fights.
It was the promotion's biggest card to date, as it crowned a champion in Justin Gaethje who should become the face of the organization. His performance, while not career making, definitely opened some eyes as to who the best fighter in the lightweight division is.
But the night wasn't perfect. In fact, it was far from it. There were production problems as well as the inability to see the 'prelims' due to streaming issues. So with the card now in the books, let's talk about last night...
Justin Gaethje is the business...
WSOF has two lightweights of note currently under contract. Both are extremely talented, but only one has been receiving media attention. Justin Gaethje is in a weird spot with the promotion. He's clearly the better fighter, but the focus has been placed on Nick Newell.
This in no way is meant to discount what Newell has accomplished inside the decagon. He's overcome so much and is proving to be anything but a "freakshow" fighter.
But between Newell and Gaethje, it's Gaethje who is the more complete fighter. Last night, Gaethje accomplished something great. He captured a sort of major title and did so violently (watch highlights here). Without question, he's the guy who should be the face of WSOF. I just hope they realize it as well.
Anthony Johnson...scariest guy outside of the Ultimate Fighting Championship(UFC)?
Here's the thing about Anthony Johnson, even though people love talking about his inability to consistently make weight, he's really good at what he does. And what he does best is knocking guys out. Violently. Sure, he's no longer dying to make welterweight, but that reputation has stuck with him.
Last night, I began to see "Rumble" for what he is: a scary fighter with even scarier knockout power.
Mike Kyle has never been a world beater, but he's an all-around tough guy who possesses the ability to end a fight with one punch. He also has a pretty solid chin, which again, allows him to really utilize that punching power. None of that mattered as Kyle never got off the blocks and Johnson landed clean punches that sent Kyle crashed face first to the canvas (.gif here).
It was the final fight on Johnson's contract with WSOF which means he's either about to re-sign with the UFC or he's gonna continue to beat up the best available fighters elsewhere. Either way, I'm totally on board with this new and improved Anthony Johnson.
Stop hiring Bas Rutten.
Bas Rutten used to be good as a commentator. "Used to be" is the qualifier as those days calling PRIDE events are long ago. Now? Now he seems to not care at all. He's just a guy who makes some weird noises and occasionally calls for a leg lock.
That's seriously where we're at with Bas Rutten. He's become a parody of himself. It was funny when he released his instructional tapes about street fighting. His personality and saying "dangada dangada dang" were a change of pace.
The difference is that those weren't major MMA events. Or at least, sort of kinda important events. He was an embarrassment last night. He made Kenny Rice look like an old pro. I don't care about anything else but if Bas Rutten continues to call events, I may honestly lose my mind.
- Jessica Aguilar beat up some 4-0 woman no one ever hear of. Seriously, Bas Rutten had no idea who she was when he was supposed to be talking her up as an opponent for Aguilar. I get that the UFC snatched up the majority of the strawweight talent, but there seriously wasn't a better option?
- I get that promotions want to air the undercard 'prelims' but seriously, if your streaming service sucks, you gotta stop. Last night was absolutely brutal. And WSOF didn't acknowledge it at all until the main card was about to go live.
- How did WSOF get a television deal? Do they really not understand the concept of a "hot" mic? I dunno about the rest of you, but I heard every single production cue they fed to Rutten and Rice.
- $5,500 seems like an odd amount to give for the "novelty sized check" ceremony, right? I guess it's good to see they didn't give away another burner.
- Cody Bollinger and Tyson Nam had the worst fight of the year. I don't need to watch anymore fights in 2014. I just know that's going to be the worst fight of the year.
- Joey Varner is worse than Bas Rutten and that's the truth. I'm sure you could have found a better option in South Florida. Seriously, there was probably some guy calling a wet t-shirt contest at Panama Joe's who could have stepped in.