I think I've used that image above before but it's more appropriate this time. That was like 12 hours of non-stop MMA for me. I couldn't watch TUF Australia live so I started watching at about 8 a.m. on Saturday and finished the Pearson-Sotiropolous fight just as the next one was starting. That was pretty exhausting.
Anyway, this is going to be the size of a Bible by the time I'm done so let's get this shit started.
My predictions: 14 for 21, first place money pool, 8 perfect methods
Card's report card: Ok, as far as the fights go, it was a combined A+ for me, even without superfights. The sheer number of knockouts, submissions and all-out wars are everything a guy could want and more. Having said that, I was able to skip the commercials on the Australian card but the commercials on Fox last night made me want to hurt a Leprechaun. I give Fox an F for go fuck yourself.
Fight of the TUF scrubs: Joey Beltran versus Igor Pokrajac tied with Tim Elliott versus Jared Papazian
Knockout of the TUF scrubs: Rustam Khabilov KO suplex slam
Submission of the TUF scrubs: Mike Rio by armbar
Biggest upset: Hugo Viana destroys Reuban Duran
Worst judges' decision: Mike Wilkinson over Brendan Loughnane
Most boring fight: Colton Smith humps Mike Ricci
Beatdown of the night(s): Rustam Khabilov versus Vinc Pichel
* * *
Light Heavyweight : Cody Donovan (B) versus Nick Penner (C+)
Prediction: Penner by TKO round 2
Result: Donovan by TKO round 1
This was a surprisingly great fight, even though it went just one round, with both fellas giving each other concussive brain damage with huge shots. Canadian Nick Penner landed no fewer than two knockdowns even though he only threw a half dozen punches, but Donovan survived and kept getting back up.
Donovan then landed a huge shot of his own late in the first round and put Penner down like a sled dog at Whistler's Olympic Village. And guess what? Cody Donovan now has a Wikipedia page! Congratulations, you redneck, you.
Winner: The weird thing for Cody Donovan is that there's literally nobody way down the ladder who isn't coming off a loss. So, he either fights somebody on a losing streak or goes way up the ladder and takes on a veteran. Aaron Rosa might be the fight to make.
* * *
Lightweight : Mike Wilkinson (B+) versus Brendan Loughnane (A)
Prediction: Wilkinson by decision
Result: Wilkinson by decision
This was a beautiful little war of attrition with Wilkinson using aggression and takedowns to nullify the clearly superior defense of Loughnane's couter-punching. It was incredibly impressive, as Loughnane is a young guy and an injury replacement fighter on the show.
Loughnane picked Wilkinson apart in the first round, using leg kicks and counter punching to slow him down, but the wrestling and takedown probably gave the first round to Wilkinson. The second round was very close, and although Loughnane stuffed all takedowns, Wilkinson was coming hard, throwing everything into his punches and backing him up.
In the third Loughnane scored a knockdown punch and the two threw with reckless abandonment and "Just Bleed" beauty. Although Fight Metric isn't scientific, it's pretty clear Loughnane won the fight and if Dana White is smart he'll bring him back.
Winner: The problem with TUF scrub against TUF scrub is you don't have any gauge as to how good the scrub is. Shouldn't be difficult to find out, since 155 is stacked more than the $100s in a Fertitta wallet. He could fight fellow TUF alumni Mike Rio.
* * *
Welterweight : Benny Alloway (B-) versus Manny Rodriguez (C+)
Prediction: Rodriguez by TKO round 1
Result: Alloway by TKO round 1
This result was a bit surprising and annoying. The fact Rodriguez was a huge underdog was a little surprising, given both fighters' performances on the show. He came out like the German Army on Poland and absolutely dominated Benny for four minutes on the ground, controlling him effortlessly.
And then Benny got to feet and kicked Manny in the fucking balls. Hard. He kicked him in the balls so hard that the referee, snapped out of his reverie of fantasizing about young Thai manboys, realized a fight was going on and decided to stop it. Manny, grabbing his wrecked manhood, turned to the ref and asked him if he was retarded or just a complete douchebag. The ref realized his mistake and decided to start the match again.
Unfortunately, I suspect Manny's testicles were still leaking future generations because he did not look the same afterward and quickly got knocked out with seconds left in the round. So, remember kids. When you're losing a fight, kick a guy square in the balls, because that's the classy Cheick Kongo approved method of victory.
Winner: Well, Bobby Whittaker beat Bradley Scott who beat Benny Alloway, so MMA math says it's probably not best to match those two up. Leg humping champion Colton Smith needs a fight though.
* * *
As you can see, Mike Pierce has an incredibly good shot.
Welterweight : Mike Pierce (C-) versus Seth Baczynski (C+)
Prediction: Pierce by decision
Result: Pierce by decision
What can I say about my grades? Pierce was brutal. He humped the shit out of this fight but landed about six punches. Seth Baczynski lost, but he beat the fuck out of the leg humper, especially in the third round. It was clear from the opening bell that Pierce had no intention of fucking with the reach of Baczynski, going into full-on Fitch mode, sitting on Seth's legs and groin thrusting hard.
The problem is that Baczynski kept getting up. So Pierce took him down and humped him again. Rinse, repeat. Eventually, even Pierce got fatigued from so much groin thrusting, and Seth was able to get up and land some nice shots. In fact, Baczynski might have been able to steal the round back if Pierce hadn't landed some nice dirty boxing and scored yet another takedown.
In the third, Baczynski put it on Pierce, beating him ragged until, in desperation, he took him down again. It was an easy round to score, but one of the monkeys cageside still gave it to Pierce for all four punches he threw.
Winner: Give him brand new KO master Mike Pyle.
* * *
Light Heavyweight : Joey Beltran (A) versus Igor Pokrajac (B-)
Prediction: Beltran by decision
Result: Beltran by KO in round 3
Honestly, what the fuck is in Igor's skull that keeps it functioning while taking heavy shots? That was weird. Beltran put an unholy beating on him for three rounds, but not only was Pokrajac still standing, he'd land one punch and stagger Joey.
This fight was like sex because I kept screaming "ohhhh." Beltran came out looking in great shape, swinging hard, landing heavy shots. It seemed like Beltran landed about 50-60 punches before Pokrajac landed a single punch and stunned him badly.
It was a rockem-sockem start to the second round before they clinched against the cage again. Although Beltran has a granite skull, you almost got the sense it was a matter of time before Pokrajac landed something deadly. Beltran landed obscene, brutal shots at the end of the second round.
Pokrajac, demonstrating the same low fight IQ he did against Vinny Magalhaes and down 2-0 in rounds, initiated the clinch early in the third round. Still, what a battle. It was ridiculous when Pokrajac dropped his hands in the third and started throwing toe to toe. There was no legitimate reason for Beltran to be such an underdog in this fight. After taking James Te Huna's best shots and still come forward I knew Igor wouldn't be too much trouble.
Winner: Beltran looks amazing at 205, and I never thought I'd say that about the man. His transformation is as amazing as Ben Rothwell. How about Stanislav Nedkov? After the No Contest he's still "undefeated." And speaking of Vinny, he still needs a fight.
* * *
Featherweight : Chad Mendes (?) versus Yaotzin Meza (?) versus Joe Silva (F)
Prediction: Mendes by KO round 1
Result: Mendes by KO round 1
Wow, that was a shocking knockout win for Mendes, said nobody. Here's another suggestion. Let's get the Dallas Cowboys to play Austin High next weekend. And then we can get the New York Knicks to play some underprivileged 11-year-olds in Harlem. To follow up, we should get the U.S. Army to invade Leichtenstein.
Winner: Uh, I don't know, how about a guy in the top 100 in the 145-division?
* * *
Middleweight : Hector Lombard (A+) versus Rousimar Palhares (D)
Prediction: Lombard by KO round 1
Result: Lombard by KO round 1
The Hector Lombard of old was back last night, knocking fools out. Only he didn't just knock out anybody, he took out one of the most feared leg lock masters in the world. Hector came out classically aggressive, backing up Palhares and having him run all over the cage dodging swinging hooks.
Palhares landed some decent leg kicks buts that's about it. Lombard finally connected, dropping Palhares, and putting him to sleep with an obscenely timed KO. For his part, Palhares didn't even try and get his ground game going, he was so busy running for his life once he realized the cage door had closed.
Winner: Hm, what's Anderson Silva doing these days? Unfortunately, whoever it is, I think we're going to be waiting a long, long time.
* * *
Lightweight TUF Australia Finale : Norman Parke (B) versus Colin Fletcher (C-)
Prediction: Fletcher by decision
Result: Parke by decision
Let's just say neither of these guys are going to pose much difficulty to the 155-division of the UFC. Colin "Freakshow" Fletcher didn't fight with any sense of urgency at all, perhaps forgetting he was in a televised TUF Finale and thinking he was sparring with his bestest mate. Oi.
Parke threw takedowns at Fletcher at will, controlling the top easily and scoring mount in the second round. Although Fletcher seemed to wake up in the third and realize he was in a fight and not back in his S&M dungeon in Britain, it wasn't enough. With those stick-thin arms and legs you'd hope the guy would go and train with Paul Sass and learn some triangles or something.
Winner: I honestly have no idea. I'd say Joe Proctor, although he's coming off a loss. I was too underwhelmed to give Parke a real opponent.
* * *
Welterweight TUF Australia Finale : Robert Whittaker (B+) versus Bradley Scott (B-)
Prediction: Whittaker by TKO in round 2
Result: Whittaker by decision
This was a decent scrap and Whittaker really came on in the third round to win convincingly. There was a lot of clinching early on as Scott wanted to take it to the ground, but a knockdown gave Whittaker the round. Scott finally landed a takedown midway through the second and had Whittaker in trouble with back mount until the escape.
Whittaker used nice blitz rushes and slip and rips, while Scott used the jab all night long. At one point in the third round, just as the action was reaching a crescendo in the middle of a beautiful war, the imbecile referee Steve Perceval made some remark like "come on, don't leave it in the hands of the judges." First of all, shut the fuck up. Second, shut the motherfuck up. Do your job and let the fighters do theirs. Asshole. The same asshole, mind you, who thought Benny Alloway's kick to the ballsack was a TKO.
Winner: Well, Whittaker faces the problem that most of the dudes around him on the ladder are on losing streaks. So, the odds are he's going to get a giant jump in competition. I also think he might have to wait on the bench for a while. Dana White seems to only use Ozzie fighters when they fight outside North America. Sergio Moraes, who dropped from Middleweight and scored a nice submission in his last fight, might be interesting,
* * *
Lightweight : Ross Pearson (B) versus George Sotiropoulos (F)
Prediction: Sots by submission in round 2
Result: Pearson by TKO in round 3
First of all, Sots gets an immediate "F" for fighting like a complete moron. A complete and utter dummy. To sum up, here's his reasoning: "I'm a world class BJJ practitioner with a suspect chin and a top game that's almost impossible to escape against a world class kickboxer with knockout power and a blue belt on the ground. I think I'll stand and bang. JUST LET ME BANG, MATE. JUST LET ME BANG."
So, Sots stood and banged. And he got knocked clear the fuck out. I'm pretty sure he got concussed and brain damaged, too. The fight began with Sots getting rocked early, but survived. No takedown attempts until late in the first round, when it was useless. The second round Sots got dropped again with a leg kick and at that point it was clear he was being outclassed and had a horrible layoff and cage rust.
Sots finally landed a straight jab that rocked Pearson but instead of grabbing the takedown he thinks he's a boxer now and gets knocked down with a minute left in the second round. At one point he does the stanky leg dance, I can't remember when. He gets rocked a third and fourth time in the third round and finished after really only attempting one takedown the entire fight.
I think what happened is that Sots was outclassed in the competition, in the coaching department, and as a human being, and decided to try and beat Pearson at his own game. It backfired and he looked like shit in the process.
Winner: Ross Pearson looks way better at 155. Problem is, the division is stacked and he'll never get anywhere near the top. Yves Edwards might be interesting. Both have traded wins and losses every other fight and are somewhere around the same rung on the ladder.
* * *
Flyweight : Tim Elliott (A) versus Jared Papazian (C)
Prediction: Elliott by decision
Result: Elliott by decision
First of all, if you don't like the flyweights, check yourself before you wreck yourself. Second, watch this fight. I literally can't believe they can pack that much action into one five-minute round. And although the scorecards showed a massacre, this was a really closely contested and hard-fought matchup.
Elliott began with an early takedown, landing huge punches before both guys went through transitions on the ground. Midway through the first round, Papazian landed a beautiful knee to Elliott's head that was completely legal, but the incompetent referee, Chris Tognoni, rushed in with his apron strings flying and deducted a point from Papazian.
A quick point about this. When Papazian threw the knee, it was legal. Both of Elliott's feet were on the ground and he was a standing target. It's like saying that if Vitor Belfort put a knee down in the middle of an Anderson Silva kick to the face, that it invalidates the strike. What matters is when you threw the strike, not necessarily where it lands. For instance, if a guy throws a strike and the other guy turns the back of his head into the punch, who's really at fault here?
Anyway, after the long rest and restart, Elliott rocked Papazian badly and it was a crazy fight the rest of the way. Papazian was throwing wicked hooks, both men were staggering around. Elliott actually got outstruck in the second round, but got three takedowns including a slam to take the round. The third was probably a 10-8.
Winner: Elliott's a hell of a fighter and exciting to watch. I'd like to see him against the green-haired freak, Louis Goudinot.
* * *
Lightweight : Mike Rio (B+) versus John Cofer (C)
Prediction: Rio by decision
Result: Rio by armbar in round 3
That was a friggin impressive comeback victory. Rio was in the process of looking incredibly ordinary, when he scored an armbar out of nowhere. Rio came out firing for takedowns right away, using his wrestling to try and control Cofer.
But Rio got rocked midway through the first and then got swept after scoring a takedown. First round to Cofer. After a nice flurry in the second round, Rio landed a beautiful takedown into side control. Cofer got back up and landed some nice shots. Rio continued working and got into full mount late in the second, switching to the back, before falling off embarrassingly. Cofer used the last few seconds to punish him. The round could have gone either way, but it was probably Cofer up 2-0.
Taking advice from his corner, Rio got an early takedown in the third and shockingly goes for the submission. After losing the position, he lands a second armbar and secures it. More impressively, it was the first of his career.
Winner: Maybe Mike Wilkinson or Norman Parke from the previous night.
* * *
Bantamweight : Hugo Viana (A+) versus Reuben Duran (D-)
Prediction: Viana by decision
Result: Viana by KO in round 1
Holy fuckballs, look out Renan Barao. The TUF Brazil alum looked fantastic against Reuben Duran, landing numerous knockdowns and beating him silly. Viana has that Johny Hendricks style of jumping into every punch, and he scored an early knockdown and staggered Duran again all in the first minute.
Viana looked ridonkulously fast at 135 after competing as an undersized Featherweight in TUF Brazil. After dropping Duran for a third time it looked like he knocked him out, but it somehow continued. His fourth and final punch was a knockout. After six consecutive decisions, his first career knockout was so satisfying he was visibly sobbing in the cage.
Winner: I'd like to see him scrap Mitch Gagnon. Dude has nice standup.
* * *
Welterweight : TJ Waldburger (B+) versus Nick Catone (C)
Prediction: Waldburger by submission in round 2
Result: Waldburger by submission in round 2
It's no easy task taking on a gorilla dropping down from 185 pounds. But Waldburger more than held his own out there, and scored an impressive submission, too. The first round was a lot of grappling and wrestling, mainly with Catone on top, using superior strength to keep TJ from controlling him.
But the second round, TJ landed a knockdown punch and converts it to a triangle. Catone is fine at first, but decides he's more comfortable using his own arm to choke himself out, so he moves that across his neck.
Winner: There are a ton of options for Waldburger after his minor setback to Brian Ebersole. There's Dan Miller and Kyle Noke, two other guys who dropped from middleweight. And there's also Matt Brown, who is on a great winning streak of late.
* * *
Lightweight : Rustam Khabilov (A+) versus Vinc Pichel (D-)
Prediction: Khabilov by decision
Result: Khabilov by KO in round 1
This was utter domination from start to brief finish. I think I saw a similar fight scene in the film Irreversible. Khabilov shot for a takedown immediately and got into side control. He threw a suplex, followed it up with a second one. Pichel was still awake, so Khabilov dropped him with a judo trip and threw a third suplex that knocked him clean out. It was violent poetry in motion.
Winner: A step up in competition is called for, maybe Ramsey Nijem or Daron Cruickshank.
* * *
Bantamweight : Johnny Bedford (A) versus Marcos Vinicius (C)
Prediction: Vinicius by submission in round 2
Result: Bedford by KO in round 2
I think I allowed my TUF Brazil bias to creep in here. I like Vinicius as a human being, he's very humble, genuine, and appreciative of his accomplishments. Unfortunately, Bedford is too high level for him. It was never really close. Bedford got an early takedown, but didn't like the guard and decided he could do better on the feet. He was right.
Bedford rocked Vinicius late in the first, and before the cobwebs were clear in the second round, he knocked him down and finished him.
Winner: Bedford gets overlooked because of his status as a TUF fighter and 19-9 record, but he's actually 11-2 since 2009 and looks better in every fight. Hugo Viana is one obvious option, although if the UFC really wants to test him there's Scottie Jorgensen.
* * *
Welterweight : Mike Pyle (A+) versus James Head (C-)
Prediction: Head by decision
Result: Pyle by TKO in round 1
Anyone know what the fuck happened to the real Mike Pyle? The only other guy I can think of who's become a knockout machine out of nowhere is Cub Swanson. Pyle knocked out Gustavo Machado in 2006, and then went 17 fights without finishing anybody with his fists. Then he got his ass handed to him by Rory MacDonald and everything changed.
Pyle destroyed Ricardo Funch, finished it up with a clean knockout of Josh Neer, and now has a win over a guy who dropped from middleweight. Impressive much? It wasn't easy, by any stretch. Head came in hard and fast and put it on Pyle. He was in the process of handing Pyle his ass when he got caught in a Thai plum and a knee to the face.
Winner: Like I said, Mike Pierce.
* * *
Featherweight : Dustin Poirier (A) versus Jonathan Brookins (C)
Prediction: Poirier by decision
Result: Poirier by submission in round 1
This was a great test for Dustin Poirier after getting his gut check against Korean Zombie. He started slow, with Brookins rocking him early and swarming on him like flies on a Darfur child. But Poirier recovered and both traded good shots. After a while, Dustin started getting the better of the exchange, and Brookins started running for his life, hands down, chin up, as usual.
That recipe made for the obvious knockdown late in the first, and Poirier sank in a beautiful D'Arce choke to finish the fight. Poirier's move to American Top Team was clearly the right move.
Winner: It's weird that KZ demolished Poirier and then dropped off the face of the earth. Poirier is still right up there and could fight Hacran Dias, who was supposed to fight Mendes. There's also Darren Elkins, who's looked great at 145.
* * *
Heavyweight : Pat Barry (A) versus Shane del Rosario (F)
Prediction: SDR by submission in round 1
Result: Barry by KO in round 2
Shane del Rosario, recovering from a career-changing car accident, looked weak, flabby, old, washed up, and brain dead. When you're outwitted by notorious lamp post Pat Barry, you know you've got problems. SDR had the same problems as George Sotiropoulos, forgetting he's a submission guy and trying to trade with Barry. It got him knocked clean the motherfuck out.
SDR did well in the beginning, shooting for a takedown that was stuffed by Barry's great defense of grabbing the cage with his fingers. He got a good takedown late in the first and looked like he was going to finish, but appeared to have forgotten BJJ.
In the second round he stared at Pat Barry with his jaw open, like he expected Barry to turn around and bend over and wait for the rear naked choke. Instead, he stood there like a dumb fuck, took a punch right in his stupid fucking face, and got finished.
Winner: Pat Barry is like malignant cancer. Just when you think he's cut, he comes back. Give him Stipe Miocic. Both beat up SDR.
* * *
TUF 16 welterweight finale : Mike Ricci (F) versus Colton Smith (D)
Prediction: Smith by decision
Result: Smith by decision
The only thing more annoying than a guy who praises God for everything is a guy who has an almost pornographic fascination for the military. And the only thing more annoying than that is a guy who's also stupid as fuck, and feels an undeserved sense of accomplishment for humping someone for 15 minutes. And boy did Smith ever hump the fuck out of Ricci.
I'm shocked people all picked Lightweight fighter Ricci in this one, especially after you saw the reality show. Colton was on Ricci like a fat girl on a donut from bell to bell. Ricci never really got anything going and it didn't help when he got kicked square in the sperm manufacturing plant and Steve Mazzagatti told him to suck it up princess and keep fighting. In a way, I'm happy Ricci lost. Everybody was on his nuts just because he trains with Rory MacDonald. The key difference, however, is that Rory actually has talent.
Sufficed to say, this was the worst Ultimate Fighter ever. In the first season they were drawing on the elite of the minor leagues and future world champions. By the fifth and sixth season they were grabbing middle-rung fighters with a few prospects like Nate Diaz. By season 11 and 12 they were really getting guys who won't ever crack the top of any division. And now, based on what I saw in TUF Australia and TUF 16, they're not even getting guys who would win in Bellator or One FC.
Winner: I suggest Benny Alloway earlier. There's also Bobby Whittaker, which would be TUF champ against TUF champ. Semi-interesting. I think Smith is garbage, but his humping is quite good. Fitch and Pierce would be proud.
* * *
Heavyweight : Roy Nelson (B) versus Matt Mitrione (D-)
Prediction: Nelson by KO in round 1
Result: Nelson by KO in round 1
At first, I was a little concerned with my prediction, since Big Country looked slow and undersized against gigantic Matt Meathead Mitrione. Then BC landed hard and knocked Mitrione clean out. The end.
Here's the thing, I'm kind of glad the UFC saved the main event, but Mitrione had no business being in there with BC. He hadn't fought in 14 months and was never close to being a top heavyweight fighter. Ever. He lost to gatekeeper Kongo and his biggest wins are against guys who are no longer in the UFC.
Having said that, Roy Nelson is possibly the biggest asshole this side of Neptune. He has the most ridiculous sense of overaccomplishment and satisfaction, none of it deserved. He's lazy, dishonest, and just basically a bad human being. I feel bad for the fighters who had to call this mental midget their coach.