UFC 211: Miocic vs. dos Santos 2

NTJjMGQ5NTI3NiMvOVRWQlpZUTVMZzhVY01lbjRwZWRaaTBZQWlvPS8xOXgzOjExODF4OTQ4LzkwMHg3MzIvZmlsdGVyczpxdWFsaXR5KDcwKS9odHRwOi8vczMuYW1hem9uYXdzLmNvbS9wb2xpY3ltaWMtaW1hZ2VzL2gzOGkza2g5ZXBhZHBqM2

I have a confession. I fear this might push us further apart, but if I don’t admit it now it may only serve to eat away at me until there’s nothing left. So here goes… I’m not interested in the Heavyweight division. Occasionally it sparks a little interest, but the premise is always the same – who can land their single knockout blow first. You only need to look down one weight class to the Light Heavyweights to see the level of technical ability shoot upwards. Jones, Gustafsson, Cormier, Davis are all supremely skillful mixed martial artists. The one dimensional style of Heavyweights such as Lewis, Mioci and Overeem just leave me a bit cold. Me and that ‘Just Bleed’ fella are not cut from the same cloth. I guess I lack that blood lust gene. The fact that  the record of consecutive title defenses for Heavyweights now stands at 4 only cements my point. Travis Browne was the one guy I thought had all the tools to mix power, althetisim and technique and become a real star. What happened to him? Does anyone really know? The internet blames coaches and spouses, but surely that can’t be the case. Can it? Therefore I’m not best placed to comment on Miocic’s win, but I will say he looks good and he seems to be a jolly nice chap.

I felt bad for Yair Rodriguez, but I do love it when we get a very clear reminder of the skill level required to be one of the top MMA athletes, i.e. not social media followers or ‘witty banter’ and trash talking. Edger put on a masterclass of what it takes to be in the at the top of this sport. I hope Yair comes back stronger as he is so entertaining when he gets his flow on. I’m right back on the Frankie train, but still aware of how much he was himself dominated by at UFC200.

Maia gave me a headache, not metaphorically, I mean literally. When I watch any grappler in the clinch I find myself writhing in my seat as though I somehow involved. It’s like how people move when playing video games.

giphy-downsized

I’m such a fan of Maia that this escalates into full on fist clenching and body contorting. Looking back, the fight wouldn’t be one I will be recommending to anyone wanting to get an understanding of my love for the man. Go watch the Condit or Nelson fights for that. He’ll always be in that group of sportsmen I will take time out to watch. Lionel Messi, Brandon Westgate, Harry Kane, Joshua, Eubank Jr, MVP. Really enjoyed hearing more from Masvidal especially the Robin Black interviews after the fight. The gangsta persona drops away and his knowledge and awareness of what he needs to work on is refreshing and positive.

Can’t wait to see Maia finally get his title shot. I’m not holding my breath though.

 

 

Advertisements

UFC on Fox 24: Johnson vs. Reis

Bugsy-Malone-Film-Stills-31

If you still have any doubt about the domination of Mighty Mouse then can you please, please, please keep this internalised as your insanity is just bringing the rest of humanity down. Yes, Wilson Reis should get mad points for his whole Bugsy Malone, small guy/pencil mustache vibe, but the poor guy looked better suited to cruise ship salsa dancing compared to DJ’s relentless and flawless technique. In every facet of mma, the guy is more advanced that the rest of the division(s). His brain can just processes his opponent’s moves quicker than they can themselves. It’s impressive beyond sport. I can barely decide what to eat most days. Seriously, I can stand in a supermarket for hours and still leave disappointed. I’ll search Spotify for whole bus journeys without committing to anything before I reach my destination.

P4P?

MMA fans notoriously have the short-term memory of a high-level stoner (there may be a connection there) and the whole ‘pound for pound’ topic comes to the surface again. For me the argument is fun but is ultimately squashing water. The names put forward for this futile debate are GSP, Jon Jones, Anderson Silva and Demetrious Johnson. Wasn’t it only last week that Cormier was a favourite for this non-existent title? ‘Remember his success at heavyweight?’ they said. Well seven days have passed so apparently we’ve moved on from that now.

Don’t take this the wrong way, DJ is most definitely one of the all-time greats. My issue is that as fans we forget so quickly. Unlike other sports, we don’t have the same loyalty to the people taking part. Which makes sense as we don’t know when we’re next going to see them compete. This guy is making history which may only make sense in the future.

Also on the main card we saw Jacare get merked to bits by Robert Whittaker. I’ve been on the Whittaker train since TUF and he looked savage in what I consider his first fight against a top UFC fighter. Which brings me to my point: this is his FIRST fight against top quality opposition. Let’s calm down with the whole ‘he’s the saviour of the middleweight division’ just for now. Against Rockhold, Romero, Mousasi or even Bisping, he’s going to have a tough night, a night that he could go dramatically either way. I’m looking forward to how this plays out. Would love to see him face Rockhold.

Waterson lost. Sad face.

UFC 210 – Cormier vs Johnson 2

hqdefault

April 8th 2017 saw the UFC return to Buffalo for the first time since UFC7. This is the forth event in New York state since the gates were reopened last November, and has begun to carry an anomalous factor when it comes to the world of MMA.

The prelims passed by without too much drama, or any surprising significance. The main card opened with a hugely impressive display from Charles Oliveira, who dominated Will Brookes from the beginning to the (very quick) end. A few leg kicks and a slick take down to back mount and game over. Brookes will be looking for his next fight to be against anyone not called Oliveira.

Thaigo Alves looked okay against Cote, who emotionally bowed out after a long career, and Calvillo continued her rapid journey to become everyone’s favourite new fighter.

The main and co main event were personally quite intriguing as I can’t think of a time when I have been equally such a fan of all four fighters. Rumble and DC are true icons of current MMA and are way ahead of anyone else currently eligible to fight in their weight division. I usually don’t go for the whole back story B.S. but god you can’t help yourself wanting Weidman to win, but if you’re not also a fan of Mousasi then please stop reading this and put your head straight in the oven.

So, controversy happened. Following the event I find myself disagreeing with a lot of the opinions being thrown around about what went down. The first issue, in chronological terms, is that it seems to be a given that Weidman won the first round. Yes, in the judges eyes he would have scored well with several take downs, but Mousasi was always attacking off his back and able to get back up. The marks on Weidman’s face and his heavy breathing at the end of the round were not the signs of someone who was clearly dominating. Second round starts and a few minutes in referee Dan Miragliotta stops the fight for what he believes is Mousasi throwing illegal knee strikes to a ‘downed’ Weidman. Cue everyone now believing Dan is the antichrist.  Although the stoppage was wrong, I don’t have as much of an issue with it. If the ref thinks he see’s an infraction then he/she has to intervene. My issue is with a referee not working that fight sticking their beak in and trying to over rule the decision, which is what happened with ‘Big’ John McCarthy. Putting it in football terms, a player is through on goal, the referee calls them as offside and whilst the opposition gets ready to take the free kick another random referee runs on the pitch and tries to over rule the decision. Makes no sense. How can they think this helps? There’s no way to go back in time and rectify the decision. So the fight was then put into Purgatory with Weidman being told he has five minutes to recover even though the strikes were perfectly legal, after which he’s told that he was TKO’d and has lost. Madness. The one definite from this clusterfuck is that Mousasi did nothing wrong… actually scrap that, he did everything right. The moronic crowd in Buffalo proceeded to demonstrate their frustrations at their ‘local boy’ losing by singling out Mousasi with their boos, rather than directing them at the general situation or the now multiple referees. Please do better, people of Buffalo.

The New York State Commission has to give itself a good smack around the head (with no interjection and no 5 minutes to recover) before we see more big events there this summer. Scott Coker and Bellator will be sitting nervously as they’ll reenter the world of Pay Per Views when they hit Madison Square Garden in June. What else is there left to go wrong?

The main event saw DC vs Rumble fighting for the light heavyweight belt. I love watching both these guys and could not predict how this rematch would go down. Could have just watch their first fight and been done with that. Rumble looked tentative from the start but landed a vicious head kick and in a replica of their first fight, DC ate it up and took control from then until he, quite easily, ended the fight with a rear naked choke, only this time in the second round.

Rumble then also bows out, saying he has a great opportunity outside of MMA. The way he so tentatively fought I can only think it either starts really soon, or involves being on camera. I’m gonna miss that guy. Charming, handsome and terrifying. All in equal measures. The light middle weight division is now looking rather thin, not counting DC’s waistline.

I guess we wait to see what happens in the next installment of the Adventures of Jon Jones.