Blue Sky: The Last Hit

S’up homies! UFC Fight Night Lee vs. Oliveira was dope, literally. In the same way a junkie sneaks into the bathroom and shoots up one final time before being hauled off to rehab. Life past the next hit doesn’t exist.

I sat atop a throne of Quilted Charmin Mega Rolls and watched all of the major sports associations remove their caches from public consumption. The NC-Motherf!@kin-AA basketball tournament was canceled completely, no glass slippers, no "One Shining Moment," no tears of joy when Duke goes down, nothing. But when the world needed a hero, needed a glimmer of light to vanquish the shadows of despair slowly blanketing the earth, one emerged. Dana White.

With the entire sports world falling around him, Dana found himself the sudden sole survivor of a bitter turf war. When all of the sports junkies across the globe writhed and contorted in pain in their living rooms from withdrawals, Dana stood out on the corner in a trench coat, slangin’ the product, the fix we all needed.

He refused to vacate on account of increased public scrutiny and maintained a direct lifeline between the fans and the precious Spice Mélange. Mr. White put on UFC Fight Night Brasilia in an empty arena and staunchly reiterated the cancelation of future fight cards was not an option. New venues would be sought, instead, and Dana would continue to operate as the Duke Leto of the smoldering sports wasteland.

If Dana was the supplier, the fighters were the supply, and they did their part; from top to bottom, the card was excellent. The female fighters continued where Zhang Weili and Joanna Jedrzejczyk left off.

Veronica Macedo and Bea Malecki had first at-bats and didn’t take any pitches. The smaller Macedo took the first round by landing big looping shots, getting inside on the taller/longer Malecki. As the fight went to the second and third rounds, Macedo began to slow down while Malecki found her range and pace. The third round hit a crescendo with the two going back and forth, the fight ending in a close Malecki decision.

Mayra Bueno Silva and Maryna Moroz engaged in an entertaining standup match that saw Moroz earn a decision victory. Later in the night, a rising star in the strawweight division, Amanda Ribas, won an impressive unanimous decision against the always-game Randa Markos. Ribas moved to 3-0 in the UFC with a notable dominant victory against heavily-hyped Mackenzie Dern. All three of the women’s matches on the card were highly competitive and displayed some of the more skilled female athletes in the UFC.

By the time Brandon Moreno and Jussier Formiga took to the cage for the featured prelim fight, I was already rocking a pair of floaties and drifting lazily on the current of a blissful high. Moreno won his third straight UFC fight after going 0-2-1 in his previous three. Moreno out-struck/out-worked a fighter who had everything to gain with a win against him. With a victory on Saturday night, Jussier Formiga would have likely placed himself in a title fight against Deiveson Figueiredo. Instead, Moreno updated his Linkedin profile and added Formiga to his bullet points of accomplishments, which include Louis Smolka and Dustin Ortiz.

The main card was a classic Fight Night sleeper, better than most PPV’s, and big wins by Nikita Krylov and Gilbert Burns highlighted the fisticuffs. Like his namesake, Johnny Walker didn’t go down easy and left you a little weary about him afterward. He was unable to stay on his feet long enough to implement any kind of coherent standup strategy against Krylov. Gilbert Burns stole 2009 Nate Marquardt’s entire style and failed to provide a bibliography, no sources cited. He KO’d Demian Maia with a counter left hook, reminiscent of how Marquardt KO’d Maia over a decade ago, countering a lazy leg kick with a straight right hand. Burns then called out the reigning, defending D-Bag of the Universe, Colby Covington.

I was "cheesing" like Kenny McCormick after taking a shot of cat piss to the face when Charles Oliveira entered the cage to the tepid applause of the camera crew in attendance. Kevin Lee entered having called Gregor Gillespie on the shin phone in his previous fight, earning himself a much-needed KO victory over a previously undefeated opponent.

"Do Bronx" dominated the standup exchanges from the beginning, using hand combinations to hide damaging leg kicks. "The Motown Phenom" was able to take the fight to the ground, but which fighter wanted it there more is debatable. Oliveira never stopped attacking with submission attempts from his back and limited the damage Lee was able to score while maintaining top position. Thirty seconds into the third round, Lee looked gassed and dejected and shot a lazy double-leg, immediately getting his neck snatched in a fight-ending guillotine choke.

I sat sinking into my Ikea loveseat riding a euphoric wave that blunted—pun intended—any worries tomorrow may have keister-stashed in the back door. For those five hours, I had forgotten all about empty toilet paper shelves, wet versus dry coughs, or wondering if essential businesses would include dispensaries.

As with any good high, it ends, rather quickly and you start going through your contacts at one in the morning sending desperate texts to old connects you haven’t talked to in years. The next thing you know, your ass starts to itch, then your neck, and then you’re picking at sores on your face. But before I could reach stage two, I realized my next fix was only a week away, Tyron Woodley vs. Leon Edwards.

Wrong (Charlie Murphy voice).

Cracks were already starting to snake through the foundation of Dana’s defiant plan to maintain his stronghold over the sports universe almost immediately after the conclusion of Fight Night Brasilia. With no venue set for a card less than a week away, the fighters were left in limbo and couldn’t make any travel plans to or from the yet-to-be-determined location. Understandably, Leon Edwards said, "Fuck all that shit," with no guarantee he would be able to return home after the fight. Not willing to risk having to live out of a Las Vegas Snooty Fox for who knows, maybe months, Edwards dropped the fight.

Colby Covington wasted no time and hopped on Ariel Helwani’s MMA show, swearing he had progressed to solid foods after eating baby food for the last three months and was begging to fill in against Woodley. Woodley, in turn, bumped his gums and put his SAG credentials to use, acting like he was in favor of fighting Covington, too.

Little did we know, it was too late, and the authorities had already closed in on Dana and his recently established sports monopoly. He was forced to cancel the next three UFC events up until the week of MMA’s most sacred religious holiday, Khabib vs. Tony. The Loch Ness of sporting events, Khabib vs. Tony has been canceled four previous times, and many fans were skeptical when the fight received its fifth different date. Imagine canceling Christmas… four years in a row.

Las Vegas has been shut down. Casinos, strip clubs, and shooting ranges are all closed, basically anything worth a damn in Vegas. Even the homies on the corners handing out escort business cards to passerbies have been shut down. California is on a statewide stay-at-home order, and cities across the U.S. have adopted policies that limit the number of people allowed to gather in public places. The NBA, NHL, and MLB have all postponed their seasons indefinitely, and have optimistically planned on a mid-summer restart. April 18 seems highly unlikely, but as recently as this week, Dana said the fight would go on with just ten people in attendance.

Khabib and Tony echoed Dana’s persistence for keeping the fight alive and agreed to fight on the moon in front of Neil Armstrong’s corpse if that becomes the only option. In Dana White I trust, but the lines on this 98 Degrees CD case taste suspiciously like baking soda. Maybe if Megan Olivi reports the temperatures in hell have dipped below zero, I’ll believe this fight will actually happen.

I guess we’ll all have to buy our own Netflix accounts and wait this shit out. Dana, when you read this, I want you to know I’m grateful for that last hit of Blue Sky you gave us last weekend. Alright homies I’m out. TYPAITH: Take Yo Punk Asses In The House (shout out to Lupe Fiasco) so we can get this shit on and poppin’ again as quickly as possible.

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