Couple three things. If Fallon Fox is psychologically/socially/culturally female, fine. If she's biologically altered to qualify as legally female for general purposes, fine but I don't really care what any bureaucrats or doctors have to say about it---she's not a legitimate female AS A FIGHTER. Her frame is still male. Wider shoulders, narrower hips, less body fat, bigger bones, bigger fists. She knocked down a much better boxer with a push-punch just from strength. And she's a cheap shot artist on top of it. It's not 'fair' and somebody's gonna get hurt. This isn't tennis or some other sport where the worst thing that happens in a mismatch is somebody loses.
And Schiavello mangling the explanation of the commission's ruling was just jaw droppingly stupid. No, she did not have the surgery BEFORE PUBERTY. And btw, it's Alexis Vi-la. Not Vi-ya. L = L. LL = Y.
And not to belabor the obvious, but Travis Room with a Wiuff has been knocked out in less than a minute in 3 of his his last 4 fights. Time to retire or for them to yank his license if he doesn't. And Mike Kyle has made the biggest fundamental change in fundamental character of anybody I can think of. He used to be a real piece of shit who would bite guys in the ring (then again he bit Wes Sims, who was even worse, but still).
And the Florida refs need to go to ref school. Embarrassing.
Thumbs, again, way up. The main was a bit of an anticlimax but the previous 7 fights just built and built.
Best fight: JDS-Hunt and Grant-Maynard for cinema with strong HM to Whitakker-Smith, Bermudez-Holloway, and Pyle-Story
Worst fight: Thompson-Burrell and it wasn't awful
Jeremy Stephens overpowers Esteban Payan for a UD in a one-way major bloodbath in which both guys drop to 145 to kick off the undercard. Payan got off to a good start but Stephens quickly 'accidentally' kicked him in the nuts and that changed everything right away. Two 30-26s.
Brian Bowles very rusty and sluggish after 18 months off but still dangerous and rocks and drops scarecrow George Roop in the 1st, but Roop takes over at the beginning of the 2nd, drops him with a hard jab, and finishes with G&P.
30 year old Karate 'Wonderboy' Stephen Thompson and boxer Nah-Shon Burrell do not combine for an exciting fight. I think Thompson able to control the stronger man in the clinch and land enough from outside to edge the fight. Judges agree via 30-27, 29-28 X 2 UD. 'Stats' show Burrell landing more which is not the fight I was watching.
Opening the midcard, Abel Trujillo just can't get Khabib Nurmagomedov off his back for any of the fight. Something like 20 takedowns, UFC record, but almost no attempts to strike or finish. Very boring but very onesided. Could call it 30-24 except there was very little damage done and judges all go 30-27.
Great fight with Brit Empire TUF winner Robert Whitakker and US winner Colton Smith. Smith steals the first with a late KD and Kimura attempt after Whitakker controls most of it with counterpunching but Whitakker doesn't let him back into the fight, stuffing all the hump attempts, winning the 2nd 10-8 and then flattening him quickly in the 3rd. Whitakker used the Tommy Hearns up jab the whole fight. The 'stats' showed the 2nd almost even in terms of strikes landed. Uhhh... no. It wasn't.
Another really good fight with Dennis Bermudez vs. Max Holloway. I have it a draw. Holloway takes the 1st 10-8 with several spin kick KDs, Bermudez steals a close 2nd with a late slam and G&P and then takes the 3rd wide but not near a 10-8, so I have 28-28. No clue what fight Goldy and Rogan were watching as they seemed to think Holloway won everything. It's 29-28 split for Bermudez. This is the problem with the directive to not score 10-8 rounds.
Another good and bizarrely similar fight and IMO another 28-28 draw as Rick Story takes the 1st 10-8 with dominance and a crushing late KD, and Mike Pyle wins the 2nd off his back with a close call Kimura and then dominates the 3rd just short of a 10-8 as Story gasses. Exactly like the last fight, the judges refuse to score a merited 10-8, Pyle gets the 29-28 SD, and a guy gets a loss on his record he didn't deserve. Really in a Sane Scoring Universe in both these fights the 1st would have been 10-7, the 2nd 9-10, and the 3rd 8-10. Still a draw, anyway.
Kicking off the PPV, Donald Cerrone-KJ Noons goes about as expected. KJ puts up a spirited fight but Cerrone has too many things going on and busts him up and pulls away as the fight progresses. I'd call the 3rd a 10-8, so 30-26. Two judges go 27. Cerrone's elbow looks almost as bad as KJ's face after the fight.
TJ Grant walks through Gray Maynard's best shots, gives them back, and does NOT let him off the hook. Toglioni or whatever the ref's name is two or three shots late on the stoppage. Supposedly this is a title shot eliminator and TJ definitely earns one. 'Bully' is the perfect nic for Maynard---he can dish it out but he can't take it. Great short fight.
Glover Teixeira outlands dangerous James Te Huna, takes him down, catches him in a Guillotine on the way up, pulls guard and rolls it and Te Huna has to tap. Makes it look not only easy but artistic. Maybe Glover can give Jones a fight.
Mark Hunt to his credit looks in lifetime best shape but it just isn't gonna be as Junior Dos Santos puts him down with a crushing right hand in the 1st but lets him off the hook. Junior inexplicably gets more stationary in the 2nd and while he still is winning the standup Hunt lands a few good shots of his own until Junior takes him down later in the round. Hunt finally gasses in the 3rd and Junior starts letting his hands fly and rocking him and then, way ahead on points, KOs him late in the 3rd with a... Spin Back Outside Crescent Kick! Very exciting fight. Have to say though, Junior made things a little harder than he had to. Think if he had just kept moving and jabbing Hunt couldn't have even touched him. And done a little better job keeping his hands up like his corner kept asking him to. That was what hurt him against Cain and he'll have to fix that before the rubber match. And he could have taken Hunt down whenever he wanted. I think he was pressing too hard for the KO.
The main like I said was a letdown after the peak of Junior's KO. I really didn't see what was gonna be different with Cain vs. Magilla this time but I was wrong---it was even quicker. Cain is just a machine and this next time Junior either has to finish him early again or keep up with him enough to make it a battle of heart and not cardio and that won't be easy, but I think if it does come down to gut check it's Junior who will come out on top. Cain quit when Junior hit him in the beginning of the first fight. When Cain hit Junior just as hard just as early in the second fight, Junior kept fighting for five rounds. Course it'd be nice to see these two guys fight with both of them healthy at least once.
I thought this was a fantastic show and quite clearly the best of the year so far. It's rare where you get a show that is exciting and the majority of the fights go the way the UFC would've wanted them to go but I think they got that here which is always a nice bonus too. For me, I lost some money on a six-fight parlay as Brian Bowles let me down (I had all favourites - Bowles, Nurmagomedov, Cerrone, Teixeira, JDS and Cain), but won more back betting on Whittaker and Grant.
Cain did exactly what was expected. Bigfoot got outclassed here even quicker than I expected him to. It was all down to the speed difference of course. Bigfoot is complaining he got clocked in the back of the head, but as I always say, he put his head there so what was Cain supposed to do?
JDS/Hunt was awesome. One of those fights where the winner always looked likely, but Hunt was in the fight enough to give a bit of doubt. The KO though looked really odd more than spectacular to me. Didn't appear to land flush but I mean, it must've done to shut Hunt down like that. Personally I'd prefer Cain to fight Werdum (if he beats Nog) next, but I get why they want to do Cain/JDS III and it's only a personal preference of mine to avoid quick rematches, so hey. I think it goes the same as last time but we shall see. They're quite clearly the top two HWs in the world by a long way at this point.
Teixeira looked great and I loved his post-fight interview too as he was marking so much for Tyson. In a way it's unfortunate that Jones has looked SO dominant as people would be absolutely clamouring for this guy to fight him otherwise, but I mean, as good as Glover has looked even I can't see him doing a thing to Jonny Bones. That aside, he's a far fresher fight for Jones (as is Gustafsson) than (sigh) Machida and the sooner Dana decides to scrap that rematch the better.
TJ Grant shocked the hell out of me. Yeah, I picked him and put money on him because I thought he had more dangerous tools than Gray and appeared to be far bigger physically, but I did not expect him to absolutely beat the hell out of him like that and put him away in two minutes. Good lord. I can't wait for Bendo vs. TJ now and I figure that will main event the Fox Sports 1 card assuming TJ isn't hurt from this one. Should be interesting to see how Bendo handles a guy who brings what TJ does.
Cerrone did what he had to do. Noons looked flat and unimpressive and it wouldn't surprise me to see him cut. He just doesn't offer that much at the elite level I don't think.
On the prelims, while I wouldn't call Bermudez/Holloway a robbery as it was tight, I did think Max did enough to take the first two rounds. But that's how it goes sometimes I guess and hey, Bermudez was in control at the end. I thought the judges definitely got it right in Pyle/Story, however, and it's really nice to see that happen for once. You could argue for a draw in fact if you gave Story a 10-8 first round, but I wouldn't and so I had Pyle 29-28. Story's in trouble I think now when you consider he's 2-4 in his last 6 and doesn't have the most exciting style in the world sometimes. I wouldn't cut him personally but then I wouldn't be making as many cuts as they are right now.
I thought it was great to see Whittaker turn out the lights on Smith like that for a few different reasons. Firstly I really didn't like how literally everyone online seemingly was counting Whittaker out because of Smith's TUF run. To me that was ignorance as it obviously stemmed from nobody watching the TUF series that Whittaker was on, as the talent level while still relatively weak was leaps and bounds above the talent level on Smith's season, and I mean, Smith had shown nothing but a decent wrestling game while Whittaker had shown violent killer instinct as well as excellent takedown defense in his win over Brad Scott. It's one thing for some of the guys on here to not know about Whittaker as we're all just fans, but guys writing for Bloody Elbow shouldn't be so US-centric and really ought to do their homework more. Erm, with that rant out of the way I was worried about Whittaker hanging his left hand like that, but then Smith's striking largely sucks and it turned out okay for him. Secondly Smith's style sucks so it was great to see him unable to lay-and-pray to another win. If I never have to see Colton fight again I don't think I'd be too upset. Expect Whittaker to get a HUGE push from Zuffa now for the Aussie market and quite rightfully so.
Nurmagomedov was super-impressive even if he didn't finish. When you remember how Trujillo was able to totally shut down a large, powerful grappler in Marcus Levesseur, to see Khabib throw him around like that was something else. Especially as Khabib isn't exactly an imposing specimen. They need to push this dude up the ladder now. I've heard Joe Lauzon mentioned but I'd prefer a fight with Pat Healy I think. On a side note, what with this guy, Khabilov, and the Frodo guy in Bellator, Dagestan has produced some insanely good fighters recently.
Haven't seen Stephens/Payan or Thompson/Burrell yet but I expect Burrell is screwed given he missed weight once and almost missed again here. As for Roop/Bowles, god damn. Hard to believe that of the TUF 8 Lightweight cast, with Phillipe Nover, Efrain Escudero, et al, George f'n Roop is the sole survivor.
Thumbs WAY up.
Best fight - JDS vs. Hunt
Worst fight - probably Cerrone vs. Noons
Best Fight: JDS vs Mark Hunt
Worst Fight: None
1) Donald Cerrone d. KJ Noons by UD: Cerrone destroyed KJ Noons and that is what I expected. KJ Noons is a good striker, but that is all he is. Cerrone just has way too many tools and he dominated this fight. Really this was a mismatch.
2) TJ Grant d. Gray Maynard by TKO in RD1 to become the #1 contender for the UFC Lightweight Title: Now I wasn't shocked that Grant won, I am shocked that he finished Maynard. Nobody expected that to happen. Grant has a zero name, but being from Canada his challenging Benson Henderson in Canada will draw well. UFC will have to pad the card if they fight on PPV or FOX.
3) Glover Teixeira d. James Te Huna by SUB in RD1: VKM would cream in his pants to have a guy who looks like James Te Huna on the roster. Glover was relentless from the start and too much for Te Huna who replaced an injured Ryan Bader in this fight. After the fight, Joe Rogan feeds Glover a line to call out Jon Jones for the UFC Light Heavyweight Title. Glover was too busy marking out for Mike Tyson being in the cage after his fight. So lame. The UFC needs to hire someone to teach these guys what to say when they win. Especially guys who are right at getting a title shot. I think Teixeira vs Machida would a nice fight to book.
4) JDS d. Mark Hunt by TKO in RD3: This was such a fun fight between with heavy hands. This looked to be the real main event for the line crowd. They wanted someone to get KO'd so bad that they booed JDS getting a takedown in RD2. I thought the takedown was brilliant by JDS. Take the bigger guy down, ride him, and get him tired. Everyone knew a KO was going to happen, but nobody predicted JDS would knock down Hunt with a spinning wheel kick. Great stuff for the UFC hype machine for his rematch with Cain.
5) UFC World Heavyweight Champion Cain Velasquez d. Big Foot Silva by TKO in RD1: Really another mismatch. I expected Cain to win this quick as their first match showed me Silva can not compete with the champ. Damn you Alistair Overeem for being too cocky in your fight with Silva. Anyways, Big Foot protested the finish, but he was not defending himself. The referee made a the right call.
Overall Thoughts: A few people told me to skip this card, but I decided to order it anyway. I am so glad I did. I thought it was a very entertaining show. Hunt vs JDS was the fight of the night. Things worked out perfectly for the UFC tonight. JDS looked great in finishing hunt and Cain looked dominant. I expect Cain vs JDS 3 to do really well on PPV.
San Jose, CA