There’s A Lesson In There Somewhere

Good morning folks.

Somewhere, Ronda Rousey sat last night muttering “Unbelievable… I lost the title just so… Miesha Tate will now hold it?

If you did not enjoy UFC 196, I seriously don’t know what else they can offer. It’s not about who you were behind on the fights, if you had a favorite. It’s about the beauty of this sport. The hype leads up to an event and on that event – excuse the cliché but it’s true – anything can happen. The hype can get a boost, it can die down in a silent whimper, or, as in the case of last night – it can live up to its build-up in a pretty unexpected way.

I do, however, see a few lessons coming off of last night’s drama.

The first lesson is for Conor McGregor. Some people may be gloating. Thinking that something terrible happened to him. But Conor should keep going full speed ahead. This guy is all about testing the limits of his skills and abilities. Last night he met a fighter who is clearly a far better grappler than he is. A fighter who is a better boxer than he is. And Conor went into his wheel house willingly, electing to box with him instead of kick-box and ultimately initiating the ground game, where he ended up being submitted. And did we mention that this fight was at 170, where Nate has fought plenty and Conor did not? That’s ok. Conor’s still young and has time to think about his mistakes in this fight. Both guys deserve a lot of respect for jumping at the chance to fight each other. Conor’s lesson is – at least for the time being – In order to fight at 170 at a title threatening capacity, there’s a lot of work to be done. Nate is a great fighter, but he’s not even Rory, Tyron, Demian, Carlos or Robbie… I’m sure Conor will fight next back at 145 or 155. I for one, will continue to enjoy watching him push his limits. And Nate? Well, the checks are coming to the 209. You can take that to the bank.

The second lesson is for Dana White. If the last few months should have demonstrated anything, it is that, no matter how strong or dominant your golden goose may seem, there’s always a bigger, stronger, better one in the making. Things change, shit happens, upsets happen. If that wasn’t clear enough when Chris Weidman beat Anderson Silva, it sure as hell crystallized when Holly Holm demolished Ronda at the peak of her prime and when Conor sent Aldo home in 13 seconds. It was fairly clear when Jon Jones fought the law and the law won… I am still absolutely stunned at the gap between Holly Holm’s payday to Miesha Tate’s…. how can one fighter get paid so much and the other so little in comparison – for the same fight? Did someone completely write Miesha off? Was that fight scheduled as a “filler” until the “real” challenger decided she’s ready to step into the octagon? How come Nate Diaz gets paid on par with a main event participant, and Miesha who fought for a title (and won, may I add) doesn’t? The lesson for Dana, therefore is – stop playing favorites. Leave that to the Vegas clowns and pay your fighters fairly.

The last lesson is for us fans. The hype is ok, It sells PPV and tickets and gets us all excited for an event. But let’s take it for what it is – a tried and tested marketing tool. It is, in the end of the day – a sport. We all saw that Conor does not, in fact hate Nate and Nate – wait for it – respects Conor after all. To use the words of Diaz – Not surprised mo#@$#ers. It’s a sport. It’s ok to have favorites (I do), the key is to enjoy the fights and appreciate the effort, enjoy the ride. Every fight I watch is a whole new case study. We all just got two very interesting cases last night.

I will definitely like to hear what you learned from UFC196, so leave a comment right here if you’d like.

As for my predictions

  1. Nunes Vs. Shevchenko – Well, I was impressed with the Russian last time I saw her. She sure can hit you. Hard. But I also was impressed with Nunes, who I’ve seen on more occasions and believed her to be more diverse in her skills. It was closer than I thought, but Amanda clinched it. 1 for 1.
  2. Lawlor Vs. Anderson – Sometimes the judges mess up my predictions, and sometimes they make it work. Yesterday it was the latter. I do believe that Filthy Tom won that fight on the first two rounds. It seemed like every shot he threw at Corey stung or wobbled him. The late effort from Anderson wasn’t enough in my book to overturn this fight. The judges thought otherwise. 2 for 2.
  3. Villante Vs. Latifi – I had it wrong. This fight wasn’t very exciting. It was a test of strength more than anything and in that department, Ilir won. 2 for 3.
  4. Holm Vs. Tate – I love Miesha Tate. Always have. Since I watched her on Strikeforce, she represented for me the potential in women MMA. Before Dana admitted that women can fight, before Ronda Rousey came over. Miesha is the OG. The most well-rounded WMMA fighter. Watching Holly Vs. Rousey, and seeing how easily Holm stood back up after Ronda flipped her to the ground, I thought she could negate Miesha’s TDs and win this standing. Though I honestly have nothing against Holm, I am truly happy to be wrong on this prediction. No one deserve the success and recognition of a belt more than Miesha and last night she got it!. 2 for 4.
  5. McGregor Vs. Diaz – I’ve said it all up there, but to re-iterate, Conor made a couple of mistakes, not the least of which was relying on his hands too much, when we all know how effective he can be with kicks. A barrage of low kicks would’ve definitely further his cause better. Of course, easier said than done. Just ask the Cowboy. Diaz out-boxed him and ultimately defeated him on the feet, forcing Conor to take him down – unthinkable when you’re facing someone with as good a BJJ as Nate’s. 2 for 5

ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED!?

See you soon with more predictions and thoughts about our beloved sport of MMA.

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Who Needs Who? (The Case Of UFC And Conor McGregor)

Hello people,

Before I dive into the important question posed in the title, allow me to clarify a few things:

This is NOT a hate post.

I have nothing against Conor McGregor.

In fact, I absolutely LOVE Conor, and happen to agree with a few things he had to say (precision beats power etc.).

This post will aim to examine the UFC/Conor relationships as it appears to this MMA fan right here. It’s based on communications made public by Conor himself, the UFC and reports coming from well-respected MMA news outlets. Alright? Alright then.

Many people fell in love with the fighting Irish phenom during his rise to stardom, and make no mistake, he is the very definition of a star. Climbing the rungs of the featherweight division, finishing one after great one of his opponents until he destroyed the long reigning champ with a devastating knockout.

His ability to produce gems every time he opens his mouth, raising the stakes at a second’s notice and most importantly – his ability to back his talk up with in-cage action (at least so far), has made him not only the charismatic young man he is, but also undeniable. Fighters simply cannot find answers to his taunts and speeches.

Many of Conor’s fans would posit that he is indeed the UFC’s biggest star, especially following Ronda Rousey’s defeat, and thus – The UFC needs Conor more than he does them. This also seems to be Conor’s view of these relationships, judging by a few recent interactions in which his head seems to have expanded quite a bit…

I would argue the opposite. It all boils down to the fact that a King needs a kingdom to reign over.

So far, Conor appears to be calling all the shots. Who to fight, who not to fight (Frankie Edgar anyone?), When to fight, and at what price.

And I have to ask – why?

I don’t ask this in spite. I don’t ask this because I don’t think Conor is worthy of fighting for one title or another. I ask this because I think the UFC is making decisions based on misunderstanding the relationships.

Would I like to see Conor fight Aldo, followed by Dos Anjos, followed by Robbie Lawler in three consecutive events? Absolutely. Line them up! Would that be a smart move for the UFC? I think not.

Let’s say Conor fights Dos Anjos and wins. What’s next? How do you sell a fight with someone other than the reigning champ as an escalation after that? See, the build up to the Aldo fight was perfect exactly because Conor plowed through a weight class, making us fans salivate at the prospect of a title fight.

Would it not make perfect sense to have Conor fight a few contenders first? I’m talking only top 5 guys here folks. I don’t expect him to start from square one. Let’s say – Nate Diaz, Cowboy Cerrone, Eddie Alvarez and Anthony Pettis. You just sold out 4 venues. in fact, 5 because after that – assuming he wins them all – the title fight will be off the charts. Not to mention that, holding two titles may keep a whole weight class on hold until his business is done with the other one… And if he loses to RDA on the first shot, it may just be the last thing the UFC wants happening to the golden boy, so early in his career…

But it seems like the UFC doesn’t want to wait. They want to pound on the iron while it’s hot. Which is perfectly understandable. You may not want to run the risk of Conor being sidelined due to any of these prospective fights etc.

But that is exactly why I think the UFC misjudge that balance between – arguably – their biggest star and themselves.

Ronda Rousey is still around. There’s still a story to be told there. Jon Jones is coming back. There are a few stories to be told there. Lawler becomes a story in his own rights. Now, granted. They may not be as a big as Conor, in terms of popularity and interest, but they hold their own and provide the UFC the ability to play Conor’s story out in a way that would better benefit everyone.

It’s like this – If Conor decides to call it quits today, the UFC will continue moving forward with the smallest of dents on their potential cards. If the UFC cuts Conor (hopefully never), Conor may be the king of another promotion, but it will simply NOT be the same status he holds today.

For all of our sake, I hope both parties will continue to collaborate and be happy, but I hope that critical decisions will not be made, based on a whim. The ignoring of the Frankie Edgar no-brainer fight is not a good indication in my book.

I’m not about to boycott the RDA fight. I may have opinions, but I love MMA too much to be silly. Hell, I’ll watch Conor fight an Ox if they schedule this. I just want to see his story told a little differently is all I’m saying.

There. I said it, I meant it, I’m here to represent it.

As usual, feel free to comment, share and like.

Until next time,

December To Remember (UFC’s Greatest Month)

Ladies and gentlemen, we are liiiiiiiiive!

How many times did we hear that in the month of December, the year of 2015? On the second weekend of December alone, Bruce Buffer went all out on the microphone 3 times.

Indeed, it is a December to remember.

And for that reason, I decided to start with The Big UFC Prediction Extravaganza.

That was followed by 3 summary posts for these events:

Last night saw the last UFC event of 2015 and what can I say? It ended with a bang. I am a little disappointed at the score of last night’s main event, but it will pass. The reason we are here is to look at my predictions and say a few words to summarize this run of events which delivered.

We Roll:

Randa Markos Vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz

Another good display from the ladies. I don’t have much to say as I don’t know these ladies well enough. I can only say that both have a chance to shine in this division. Markos showed a lot of grit and physical strength. Along with training at Tri-Star, that pretty much guarantees a good future. Kowalkiewicz showed very technical striking and conditioning. She wasn’t scared to scuffle with Markos wherever the fight went. 1 for 1.

Michael Johnson Vs. Nate Diaz

I’ll be honest with you. Whenever a Diaz brother fights I have only one hope. The hope that the opponent would shut him up already… Alas, Nate showed up with a boxing presentation that was equaled only by his taunting and head games. A typical Diaz fight. But it worked. It worked wonders. Not only did Diaz put on a clinic on a very strong opponent, he was also able to get under Johnson’s skin very quickly, throwing him off-balance and securing the win very early. You can’t deny Diaz his skills, that much is obvious. I just wish – with all my heart – that he’d grow the hell up already so I can cheer for him… Calling Conor and walking out the wrong side of the cage was on par too. 1 for 2.

Junior Dos Santos Vs. Alistair Overeem

I truly believed Junior was going to circle, jab, close in once with a good punch and finish this early. Instead it was Overeem who did the circling, softening Junior a bit with leg kicks and eventually proving Conor McGregor right. Precision beats power. That was a beautifully placed touch which marked the end of the fight. Are we really going to see Reem fight for a title in 2016? 1 for 3

Donald Cerrone Vs. Rafael Dos Anjos

Oh, my heart still aches from this one… See, when it comes to Cerrone, I’m a regular fangirl…I will never pick against one of my all time favorites. I can’t. I won’t. Even when he’s facing someone who already beat him soundly. Even when that guy is a real champion who fights like a war machine. Rafael Dos Anjos just might be the first really dominant LW champion, in a division that has seen the belt change hands more often than it used to, up until Frankie Edgar dethroned BJ Penn. We will be watching as an underrated, under-appreciated champ plows through very tough competition in awe… and Cowboy? Well, Cowboy Cerrone will always be a people’s champion. One of the most fun fighters to watch and cheer for. A personification of MMA. Skills, Heart, Drive, Entertainment. The whole damn package. 1 for 4

Well, this was a terrible predictions night, clouded by my fan-hood, but when I look past that, I have to say that Joe Silva is indeed, a matchmaker extraordinaire. 4 events, very few misses. Title changes, title defenses, new forces emerging, a lot of entertainment. What can we ask more of this? and if you managed to forget, this all came only a month following the kick that was heard around the world!

Time for some wrapping up. We’ve had 4 cards with many fights, even the prelims were loaded with main card mainstay names. I will make a few picks and they will all come from main cards. Ready? Here goes:

FIGHT OF THE MONTH:

This one goes to the UFC Middleweight title fight between Chris Weidman and Luke Rockhold. A fight that featured nonstop action in all aspects of MMA and ended with a new champion.

Honorable mention: Edson Barboza Vs. Tony Ferguson

KO OF THE MONTH:

You might all be picking the obvious – Conor’s 13 seconds one punch KO of Aldo, and you know what?… you’re probably right. The magnitude of this event overshadows my personal favorite – Frankie Edgar’s KO of Chad Mendes.

Honorable mention: Except for Frankie, Overeem landed a perfect punch which deserves a shout out.

SUBMISSION OF THE MONTH:

Charles Oliveira fought one fight before a main card started… so the submission of the month has to go to Tony Ferguson, with a nice D’arce choke on Edson Barboza. Not only was that executed so well, it also prevented a possible loss due to a point deducted earlier in the fight.

Honorable mention: Supersage Northcutt taking advantage of a reckless drive of his opponent to sink in a brutal guillotine.

Agree? Disagree? Agree to disagree? Leave your comments below. Don’t be scared homie.

That’s all folks.

Before I leave you, I also wanted to share a few more external links to some interesting articles in the wake of this UFC tour de force:

Until next time, have yourself a merry little Christmas and a happy new year!

UFC Weekend Special – Part 3

Hello there people of the MMA universe and other internet dwellers. WHAT A WEEKEND! What a treat. Short preamble today, mostly to put things in context and since I have a bunch to say down the line.

The great prediction extravaganza starts right here with THIS post.

On Part 1 – we summarize Thursday’s UFC Fight night

On Part 2 – we summarize Friday night’s TUF Finale

On Part 3 (the one you’re currently reading) – we are summarizing UFC 194.

We Roll:

Max Holloway Vs Jeremy Stephens

It seems like this was a classic case of two good strikers respecting each other enough to avoid an all out war. Stephens went for multiple TD attempts – which seems to confirm this, and Max didn’t open up as he usually does. But don’t let this fool you. It wasn’t a bad/boring fight. Just not a slug fest. I picked up 1 for 1 with Holloway’s decision win.

Demain Maia Vs. Gunnar Nelson

Before this fight started I was wondering about one thing only. Will this be a BJJ contest, or would these two guys cancel each other out and opt to strike? Well, after a 15 minutes BJJ clinic by BJJ master Demian Maia, the answer was – neither. Maia just took over and dominated the fight with TD after TD and submission attempt after another. Nelson’s ability to weather this attack is testament to his ability and heart. 2 for 2. Seems like I’m well on my way to a 100% prediction night!

Ronaldo Souza Vs. Yoel Romero

Or am I?…

In my little world, there’s no way Romero knocks out Jacare, so this will either be a decision win for Souza, or a submission win. You know, I don’t like it when judging and refereeing gets in the way, but last night was a case where it just overshadowed the fight and it’s a damn shame. It’s a shame of a title contention magnitude. Leave aside the negligible spoiled prediction rate here. Three things just screamed to high heaven as wrong. One being the overall score. Jacare won rounds 2 and 3. Romero somehow got the decision win… Two, being that phantom 10-8 round… where? when did that happen?… the fact that Yoel dropped Jacare in the first (just a tumble, Jacare was a 100%) and controlled half of the round? Up until then, Jacare was out striking him… how does that translate into 10-8? I just don’t get it. and Three… that fence grab… Jacare – an excellent BJJ practitioner mind you – was well on his way to a beautiful TD when “Mr. No gay for Jesus” grabs the fence… Oh shame on you. What would Jesus do? immediately following that, Yoel drops Jacare for a TD of his own. Now, true, the ref stood them up immediately for the cheat, but come on man… that’s not enough. The judges completely ignored that. A point should have been deducted there. That really pissed me off… now Jacare has to reset his quest for a title shot. 2 for 3.

Chris Weidman Vs. Luke Rockhold

Well, while everyone were busy getting their panties in a bunch for Aldo and McGregor, mine were in a bunch for this one. My own main event of the evening. Having watched Rockhold close up, mauling Phillippou and following him ever since the Strikeforce days I knew he had it in him to beat anyone in MW. He is exactly as advertised. Strong, skilled in all disciplines, hard-working and training in AKA with elite fighters doesn’t hurt him one bit. First round was ok. I even tended to give it to Luke. Second one was definitely Rockhold’s with multiple kicks and strikes. Third started good for Weidman but then he tried a spinning kick and the fight spiraled out of control for him, with Rockhold in full mount and raining leather. Dear Herb, I normally like your reffing decisions. This should have been stopped right there and then. But I get it. A champ gets a chance to redeem himself. Not for long though. Luke picked up where he left off and finished the fight to win the belt. That, ladies and gentlemen, is the only way to win a belt off of a reigning champion. 3 for 4.

Jose Aldo Vs. Conor McGregor

It’s been quite a few hours since that moment in history – and make no mistake, that was historical in UFC terms – and still, It’s hard to find the right words to express the shock. Not that Conor won. I predicted (along with many) that he would. But damn… 13 seconds… I won’t bore you with too much verbiage here. Conor said it all – “Precision beats power and timing beats speed“. The man knows… ask Chad Mendes who’ve been a victim twice in his last fights to exactly that. Jose Aldo is a legend of the sport, and not even that can taint his status. Conor is a legend in the making. I honestly can’t say where his limits are… I’d like to see Frankie/Conor as soon as they’re ready. Regardless of the outcome of this one, I look at the list of LW UFC fighters and drool at the prospect of him going up a weight class… 4 for 5.

Thank you judges for spoiling what should’ve been a perfect prediction night… but it’s all good. 4 out of 5 following the previous night’s 6 out of 7 more than compensates for the miserable 1 out of 4 that started this prediction extravaganza

And it’s not over until Donald Cerrone sings folks!

The next MMA post can be expected following next Saturday’s event, in which we will summarize a December to remember!

We can finally rest a little…

Thank you,

 


UFC Weekend Special – Part 2

Hello there, had enough yet? Didn’t think so.

First thing’s first, let’s put you in perspective. UFC scheduled 3 events in 3 consecutive nights and at this time, after 2 of them, I’m summarizing my predictions as well as give a few of my thoughts about the fights.

It all starts on this magnificent prediction post (or is it?), then comes Part 1, annnnd noooow…. Part 2.

We Roll:

Oh, hold on please… It seems like I totally messed up the prediction post. I honestly don’t know how it came to be that fights from the prelims showed up as main card and visa versa… but you know what? I will take that in stride, just like Mr. Tony Ferguson (more on that later) and count my apparent blessings…

NOW We Roll:

Joby Sanchez Vs Geane Herrera

What a fun fight that was. Bombs launched, exchanged, momentum shifted once or twice. In the end, the revolutionary put a stop to Joby via a second round TKO. Woo Hoo. 1 for 1 in my prediction for the night.

Gabriel Gonzaga Vs. Konstantin Erokhin

After a fun night came one of the slowest, most sluggish and mainly – tentative HW fights in history, no less. For 2.5 rounds, they mostly circled, threw some shadow boxing punches and Gonzaga went for a late TD on both first rounds. In the third, Gonzaga decided to try the TD earlier and easily scored it – which only begged the question – Why? Why for the love of GSP haven’t you done that way earlier in the fight?… Oh well. If there ever was a boring decision victory, Gonzaga nailed it. On the bright side – 2 for 2!

Tatsuya Kawajiri Vs. Jason Knight

The commentators kept telling us how good Knight is, but I think we discovered a little hole in his game. Yes, TD defense is not his strong suit. Then again, it’s Kawajiri. Not the most exciting fight ever, but it worked. Also on the prediction side. 3 for 3.

Ryan LaFlare Vs. Mike Pierce

It was nice to see Pierce back with the UFC. I think he deserves another chance. Not everyone wins a belt, but Pierce is not a pushover either. Unfortunately for him, he met LaFlare who’s size and reach were just a little too much for him to solve. Mike did tag him a couple of times and all I can say is good luck for both these guys.  4 for 4.

Joe Lauzon Vs. Evan Dunham

When you have Joe Lauzon in a fight you know 2 things with the utmost certainty. One – There will be blood. Most likely Joe’s. Two – It will absolutely never be a disappointing fight. Check and Check. However, what we saw last night was a new and improved Evan Dunham. What a beautiful display of striking. Combination after combination, clinch work, distance, you name it – he nailed it. It seemed like he completely messed up Joe’s game plan and for the most part, with no answer. Great fight. I’m dropping the first prediction here… 4 for 5.

Tony Ferguson Vs. Edson Barboza

My personal main event of the evening. Ladies and gentlemen, I’ve learned my lesson. See, I picked against El Cucuy twice in the past and failed on both counts. No more. I won’t say much about the fight. Find it. Watch it. Instead, let me riddle you this – what happens if you give a guy skills on every facet of the game, striking, grappling, TD defense and then add a granite chin, a no quit mental attitude and a big gas tank to boot? Yeah, you have no choice but to call him El Cucuy. Ferguson is without a doubt – the best TUF winner ever. I see a title fight within 18 months. 5 for 6.

Frankie Edgar Vs. Chad Mendes

Frankie Edgar will forever be the most underrated, most disrespected, unappreciated phenomenon. It seems like it doesn’t matter who this guy beat or what he accomplishes, forever I will hear the same things about him. This is the guy who beat Hall of famer BJ Penn twice – while being half his size – and destroyed Gray Maynard. This is the fighter who gave Aldo his toughest title defense (at least until tonight), and if you consider the considerable size advantage Conor has, a case can be made that tonight’s main event won’t even contradict the above statement. Frankie Edgar, folks, is one of the best mixed martial artists ever. If he’d have been denied a shot at the FW title now, I think we could have closed up shop and call this boxing… Luckily, even Dana had only one answer. The right answer! more than that. Regardless of the result in the UFC194 main event, If Conor goes up to LW before facing Frankie, I will forever doubt his ability to beat him. This fight has to happen. 6 for 7 on my predictions tonight!

As the night progressed (with the exception of the weird TUF final) the fights improved and we finished strong with a shocking KO.

And on the prediction side? A resounding win! 6 for 7. I did have a good run of 100% nights, but none of them were based on a 7 fight night.

Hope you get some rest because… tonight’s the night! Aldo, McGregor, Weidman, Rockhold… and it goes on…

So, Don’t blink!


UFC 189 – Predictions

Hi everybody!

Last time we did this, it was a half-assed prediction post so let’s do it right, for this one is one of the best potential cards UFC could’ve dreamed up. I call this PPV – WWE 189 due to the ridiculous amount of promo work leading up to it. Conor McGregor is more colorful than Brock Lesner, sharper than Cheal Sonnen and normally delivers – which can’t be said for many of the big promoters.

UFC had a little hitch with Aldo pulling out, but for an MMA fan that is all that is. A hitch. Because in comes Money Mendes and all of a sudden it’s a different fight all together. Could even be a better match in a way (for the fans too).

Not to mention that there’s a co-main event there that wasn’t played up to its potential, in terms of promo. The two best WWs (With Condit breathing down their necks) meet for a title fight, but of course, Aldo’s rib is somehow more important…

 

Alright. Enough chit-chat. Let the predicting of UFC 189 coming up this Saturday, July 11h on PPV commence. (All credits go to UFC/Zuffa for all photos.) We ride!

PicketAlmeida

Thomas Almeida by TKO

NelsonThatch

Gunnar Nelson by SUB

BermudezStephen

Dennis Bermudez by TKO

LawlerMacDonald

Rory MacDonald by UD

and now! the moment millions of MMA fans have been waiting for, from Las Vegas, Nevada! This is the main event of the evening!

MendesMcGregor

Conor McGregor by TKO

SHOULD BE A GOOD ONE!

Don’t forget to get back here by Monday morning for the after MMAth!

And of course, don’t forget to watch UFC 189 on PPV – This Saturday, July 11th!

Iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii-t’s TIME!

The Morning After:

Just when you thought that UFC 188 was the awesome-est PPV in comes UFC 189 and delivers in all kinds of great. What a freaking card! How awesome did I do with my predictions? Let’s review:

1. After watching Almeida a couple of times, I jumped the bandwagon. This guy has some serious promise. First round though went all wrong from his perspective. He played right into Pickett’s strength and it almost ended there. His corner must have said the right things though, as he started the second round much better and finished Pickett with a wicked knee. 1 for 1.

2. Too many words would simply ruin the beauty that was this fight. Gunnar Nelson walks in, sets up a TD with fantastic strikes, passes, takes the back, good night. “Be water my friend” B. Lee2 for 2.

3. Head butt? Busted forehead? being manhandled for a whole opening round? That, apparently is called “Warm-up” in Jeremy Stephens’ schedule. Tough as nails, he survived what looked like an inevitable loss to Bermudez who looked awesome in the first. It all went south for Dennis after being tagged a couple of times. Then came the third and… you know it. The night of the flying knees. Stephens flattens Bermudez to get the W.  2 for 3.

4. How close did Rory MacDonald come to taking the belt? About the distance between his face and the tip of his nose…. The judges score cards after 4 had him unanimously winning this fight. Did I say fight? I meant – WAR. One of the best title fights I remember. definitely the best in WW history (and we’re talking about a division which was ruled by the likes of GSP and Matt Hughes!). Very even first round. Robbie giving a foreshadowing in the second by busting Rory’s nose. Rory nearly knocking the champ out with a barrage of head kicks and elbows in the third and fourth. Then come round 5. In which Robbie proved (mostly to himself, it seems) that he has the champion heart. A powerful punch straight on the nose crushed Rory and marked the end. I am a big fan of Rory’s and I know he’d be champion one day, but nothing can take away from the greatness of this fight. 2 for 4.

5. That was almost predictable. Not to knock off Chad Mendes at all. If you haven’t watched the fight and only read a summary, you might suspect that Mendes was close to beating Conor. You would be wrong though. At no point in the fight did Conor look like he was ready to lose. Not even throughout round 2 which he spent on his back, taking elbow after vicious elbow (and they were nasty). At the end of round 2, Conor simply got up and punched Mendes right on the button. Done. Next victim. I honestly don’t know what Aldo’s story is, but after seeing this fight, I believe Jose knows his title run is as over as over can be. Conor is one scary Irishman and the only thing that may beat Conor is Conor himself… 3 for 5 😦

What a beautiful card that was, what a great night! See you just before UFC 190 people.