Maybe this can partially be blamed on my position writing about combat sports, but sometimes, it feels really easy to overwhelmed by all the crap parts of being a fight fan. Sometimes, the amount of nonsense involved is simply overwhelming.
Endless contract negotiations preventing great fights? Check. Undeserved interim titles wasting the time of athletes and fans alike? Two weeks until UFC 265! Fake bad blood and otherwise ugly fight promotion? Guaranteed for as long as Conor McGregor continues to draw clicks. Weigh misses, inept judges, these goddamn Internet stars making millions ...
It’s a bunch of BS.
UFC Vegas 32’s main event even involved a bit of untruth. Cory Sandhagen and TJ Dillashaw are great athletes, but when the promotion is selling Dillashaw’s return from performance enhancing drugs as a comeback story ... gross.
Fortunately, the preliminary opener between Adrian Yanez and Randy Costa served as a wonderful palate cleanser. It was simply an excellent, back-and-forth contest between excellent 135-pound prospects.
Let’s take a step back first and look at the build up. Originally, the bout was placed on the undercard. The bout between arguably the two best prospects of the night, both of whom are knockout artists and both riding win streaks, was placed on the preliminary portion of the night.
Fortunately, MMA Twitter agreed! There was something of an online rally for the two, arguing that the organization responsible for promoting its athletes should properly promote its athletes. Yanez and Costa helped fuel the fire with a goofy debate about soda and candy (I’m a cereal man myself), as well as their generally amiable interactions.
It worked. Yanez and Costa earned their well-deserved slot as the main card opener, and more people saw one of the best, most impressive fights of the night as a result. The two continued to be quite friendly through weigh-ins, the touch of gloves, the immediate aftermath — everything except the actual bout, which was exceedingly violent.
Costa showed why he has six first-round knockout wins in six victories. The man is a SPRINTER! He came out and blasted Yanez for about three straight minutes, touching him relentlessly with stiff jabs and following up with right hands that landed at a scary rate. It was an impressive display of offense against a man known for his counter punching prowess.
The tide turned, however. Yanez is known for his slickness, but when that wasn’t working, he turned to grit and showed his heart is strong. When Costa began to slow down, Yanez was immediately in position to take control. He began backing the taller man up, sticking him with hard shots.
Now able to put his own offense on display, Yanez showed out. His combinations were brilliant, as Yanez ripped gnarly punches to the mid-section before lining up the fight-finishing uppercut. The end results was a tremendous performance from the victor and a strong showing from the defeated man, surrounded by no needless narrative or annoying antics.
All action, No BS.
For complete UFC Vegas 32: “Sandhagen vs. Dillashaw” results and play-by-play, click HERE!