Great free UFC show. I ordered the PPV last weekend since I only pay for Weidman cards at home these days. The free show card overall was much better, but the top two fights last weekend were worth the purchase. It's interesting to see that the next PPV is followed by a Fight Night and Fox show that both have way more depth and appeal. They should rethink how they book these shows.
Anyway, thumbs up for the show.
Best fight: I would probably go Diaz vs Johnson followed by McCroy vs Samman.
Worst Fight: Jury vs Olivera.
Gave the show a thumbs up. Especially since it was free.
Best Fight: Nate Diaz vs Michael Johnson
Worst Fight: Alistair Overeem vs Junior Dos Santos on main card, Sarah Kaufman vs Valentina Shevchenko on undercard
Best Performances; Rafael Dos Anjos, Nate Diaz, Charles Oliveira
Really loved the first round of Nick Lentz vs Danny Castillo. Some great mat work by both.
Thought Nate Marquardt KO’ing CB Dollaway was a huge upset. Nothing against Marquardt but I can’t see him hanging with the top middleweights at this point of his career.
I really loved Karolina Kowalkiewicz in her fight vs Randa Markos. She had some great movement the whole fight and never tired. She could be someone to watch out for in the future if she keeps progressing. Markos was not a pushover opponent for her but I question her strategy of trying to stand with her and not trying to get her to the ground earlier.
Nate Diaz vs Michael Johnson was a great fight. Nothing like those Diaz bad boys to keep your interest in a fight. Diaz looked great and his posturing during the fight was fun to watch. Too bad they bleeped out his whole promo. I would love to see the build up for a Diaz vs McGregor fight! Could you imagine the shenanigans that would ensure with that one! Make that fight happen!
Dos Santos vs Overeem was a huge let down and didn’t really make either look great or want to make you see either in title contention. They were both fighting not to lose. Winning a boring fight doesn’t make you want to put money into a PPV buy to see you in a title fight. The heavyweight division is in trouble. After Velasquez vs Werdum who do you want to see fight?
Disappointing that Cowboy couldn’t get out of the gates against Dos Anjos. Big fan of Cowboy. Dos Anjos looked great though.
Everyone up and down the card wants the big payday against McGregor.
Thumbs up. Good card to end the year. Some changing of the guard evident.
Best fight: McCrory vs. Samman
Worst fight: Miller vs. Alers (for a 'contest', Overeem vs. JDS until the KO)
Best performance: RDA, Oliveira
Worst performance: Johnson
Scary debut for 6'4", 254, 83" reach, action figure looking HW Francis Ngannou, outcardioing 23-y-o skilled wrestler Luiz Henrique and knocking him silly with a left shovel hook in the 2nd. Vincente Luque avenges a debatable SD loss from TUF, rocking Haydar Hassan and putting him out with a Rolling Anaconda that has him doing the chicken on the mat and with no clue what happened when he wakes up. Kamaru Usman survives some early headsup work from Leon Edwards and wears him out for a UD.
Cole Miller vs. Jim Alers off to a decent start when Alers sinks a finger deep into Miller's eye in the 2nd and it's a NC. Nik Lentz coming up in weight takes a SD over Danny Castillo (3rd straight SD loss) in a fight that starts out great but both gas quickly. Lentz sounds seriously physically ill on his promo. Tamdan McCrory and Josh Samman stage a rare entertaining 99%-grappling match that's back and forth for a round and a half then McCrory gets on top and stays there until Samman reverses him late in the 3rd which just allows McCrory to snag and constrict a triangle till Samman is forced to tap. McCrory then leaps the fence to high five Rogan. Muay Thai fighter Valentina Shevchenko comes in as a 1 week sub and completely dominates a much more MMA-experienced Sarah Kaufman at all ranges for 2 rounds until fading in the 3rd (with a 1 week camp this is not puzzling) and takes a ridiculously split decision. 'Punchcount', apparently based on Bizarro World planet along with the one judge, comes up with a 162-65 strike advantage for Kaufman. After a shaky 1st, Nate Marquardt saves his career catching CB Dollaway coming with a 1 punch right hand KO at the beginning of the 2nd. Note to Rogan and whoever else, it's not a 'counter' unless the other guy punches first. Miles Jury drops a division (and looks emaciated) and changes camps but Charles Oliveira despite missing weight by 5lb manhandles him down, takes his back when Jury misses an arm bar, and sinks jumping standing Guillotine the instant Jury regains his feet, and it's over.
UFC-debuting Karolina Kowalkiewicz is either better than she looks technically or Randa Markos has gone way backward training with Farah Salami. Close first, Markos edges the 2nd, and KK wins the 3rd way big, maybe 10-8. 29-28 either way, 28-28, or 29-27 Kowalkiewicz all possible decisions. But Markos' worst performance IMO. 29-28 x 2, 30-27 Kowalkiewicz. We're starting to see the level rise in the women's divisions.
Nate Diaz shows up in actually suspiciously muscular good shape and feeling like fighting for a change and paintjobs Michael Johnson, who fights an increasingly stupid fight, for a 29-28 UD. MJ was effective with low kicks in the 1st then abandoned them, and left his footwork in the dressing room.
Junior Dos Santos and Alistair Overeem stage an almost action-free display until Overeem, looking by far the smaller of the two, catches him with an awkward left hook in the 2nd that sends him crashing to mat and finishes with 3 hammerfists. Reem trained with some cold weather guru for his S&C. Junior went to ATT but apparently too late. He's done. Really both looked awful till the KO but Reem is suddenly in pole position for first shot at the Werdum-Cain 2 winner.
Rafael Dos Anjos wastes no time repeating his previous win over Donald (maybe his nickname should be 'Chokeboy' instesd of 'Cowboy') Cerrone, this time ripping into him with knees and kicks to the body from the bell, a barrage of punches, stuffing a desperation TD and pounding him out. Cerrone once again chokes in the big fight but it may not have mattered, as RDA has somewhat obscurely developed into a top 5 P4P fighter and him vs. Conor suddenly looks like a superfight.
Thumbs up show
Best Fight: Rafael dos Anjos vs Donald Cerrone
Worst Fight: Alistair Overeem vs Junior dos Santos
Even though everyone said dos Anjos looked smaller because he could be off the PEDs I think he probably came in lighter for camp due to the IV ban.
I guess they could pair up Overeem vs Rothwell and maybe dos Santos vs Travis Browne. If they did dos Santos vs Gonzaga, then Dave is right, no one is doing him any favours.
Thumbs in the middle due to overall fight quality,
The only moments that stand out are the Diaz promo, Overeem's KO after a dull fight vs. JDS, and RDA thrashing Cerrone in record time for a 155 title fight. The prelims were dull with no stakes making them completely forgettable.
Best fight: RDA over Cerrone as it created another very clear next potential opponent for McGregor who looked very strong while beating Cerrone.
Worst fight: Markos/Kowalkiewicz, bad selection to open the FOX card after almost an hour break between fights. Not a fan of strawweight fights as openers as finish rates are low and an opener needs to be more action oriented.
Good evening (early morning here in Ireland).
Tonight's UFC on Fox was an excellent end to an excellent year of fights, particularly the second half of the year which provided some incredible matchups including Lawler V McDonald 2, McGregor V Mendes, McGregor V Aldo and Weidman V Rockhold. From the fights tonight, it was amazing to see a motivated and prepared Nate Diaz. He was a 4/1 underdog due to one fight in two years (not to mention a stinking attitude at times) but he displayed everything that makes fans love the Diaz brothers. I, myself, am not a fan of his persona but his fighting abilities cannot be denied and he entertains like very few fighters.
The co main event started out in the fashion of the Gonzaga fight from last weekend but once JDS and Overeem woke up, it improved immeasurably. JDS needs to retire. The damage he has taken from the fights with Cain and Stipe have left him very vulnerable and considering he is a very affable man, it would be really disappointing to see him continue and for his mental well being (as well as his physical) to diminish.
It is very interesting to see how the UFC proceed with Overeem, however, given his big win and his contract being expired. For the first time, the UFC could potentially be on the back foot with some of their fighters. McGregor is negotiating ludicrous contracts and fighters like Overeem and Benson Henderson are surely too good and important to their respective divisions to allow them to fight elsewhere.
The main event was a massive disappointment simply because, like most fans of MMA, I love Cowboy. To see him completely dominated and pummelled viciously was difficult to watch, although it is testament to the ever improving talents of RDA. His finish tonight could have potentially set up a monster fight with Conor with the angle available of RDA seeking vengeance for his fellow countryman. Whereas for Conor, it is an opportunity to solidify his belief that he is the greatest MMA fighter on the planet.
Hopefully some of these musings help.
UFC on FOX
Best: Diaz vs Thompson
Worst: Overeem vs Dos Santos
NXT Takeover London
Best: Emma vs Asuka
Worst: Corbin vs Crews
I think Asuka could have a match of the year level match with Seth Rollins. She's unbelievable. Tough to not give Balor/Joe the nod for match of the night, but I was more entertained by the opener so that was the tiebreaker for me. Plus the main event is always expected to reach a certain level, so when an unexpected match delivers so well, I feel it gets the benefit of the doubt. Corbin has become a better worker, but I'm just not into his matches. Same problem now with Crews. He needs to take the next step before he can be in the main event picture. I was surprised Dawson and Wilder retained the tag belts, but it may just be so they can drop it to the white hot Jordan/Gable combo. It still boggles my mind that WWE needed 3 hours of gimmicks on Sunday to have great matches, while NXT continues to do it in a normal, one on one match all the time. And when there are stips in NXT, it means something -- in WWE, it's just December so that's what they do.