Fighting Emotions (UFC Sao Paulo)
I don't know about you, but when I looked at the card earlier in the week, I was as excited about Saturday night, as one would be pondering the wavelength of cardboard boxes. or something. But of course, in hindsight, as far as entertainment value, I guess it was a slightly better product than, say, #UFCMoscow... talking about painful memories.
Here are the moments who moved the needle up a notch and made me react.
Tracy Cortez made her debut, and having watched her get the nod in the contender's series, I was actually looking forward to it. Cortez fought with a lot of confidence, up a weight class and in a hostile territory. Does she have things to improve? Sure. But she showed a pretty diverse game, while leaning on her bread and butter to secure the win. I like the attitude and energy too. I hope she makes a good run in the UFC.
Douglas Silve de Andrade de Silve de Douglas de Sandradsilva de Douglas Vs Renan Barao was a fun fight. Nothing earth shattering, but a good old brawl between two powerful guys. It was clear the DSDA landed with more power, though Barao (if I recall correctly through the fumes of multiple Modelo Especials) landed more. What was not clear was how the heck was DSDA able to continue moving pretty damn fluidly, through almost 14 minutes, without say... dying of oxygen deprivation? a featherweight fighter with Middleweight sized muscles, should have started asking for Hardy's inhaler after throwing three of those big shots, yet he made it to the final horn quite vertical...
How about Randy Brown people? Raise your hand please, if any of you predicted him winning by submission. Make some noise if you saw him pulling this off - of his back! I literally stared at the screen speechless when that happened. No knocking Brown, but excuse me? Where did that come from? Nice touch with the gentlemanlike call out to Michael Chiesa. Well, Mike, you've been given a heads up about the mama talk.
Bobby Green seemed surprised, when the judges in Brazil, gave the Brazilian Trinaldo the decision. Really, Bobby? I know many people were angry with the decision and thought that Green won that fight. I will say this very clearly - I think he won. But you are in Brazil, and unless you've been hiding under a rock for... well, since MMA started, you should know that you have to show the judges that you won, and never leave any room for interpretation. Bobby did the elusive movement thing, but failed to demonstrate - consistently - that he's punishing Francisco for every miss. He did not send the message empatheticaly enough, and that's on him. He had every chance to do so, but chose the shenanigans instead of some really strong flurries.
Good job, Ricardo Ramos. I have very little to say, but very smooth work. Just go watch it. It isn't very long.
Another set of clapping hands go to James Krause. Worked very effectively on his back, with the dangerous Moraes on top and in a dominant position. Got the fight back to the feet, and never looked back. Here's an example, good people of interwebs, for a fighter following a game plan to the T. Here's a fighter who listens to his corner, who gave him valuable input throughout the fight (Looking at you, Antonio Arroyo, who did the exact silly opposite). Here's a guy who kept disciplined, not trying to please anyone, and waiting for the actual "right moment" to finish. If you are starting out in MMA, I'd highly recommend watching this fight, with the volume on and listen to the fighter, the corner, as well as Michael Bisping's commentary.
Holy Cow! Charlie Oliveira! What the what? The king of submissions with another phenomenal knockout victory. He may be the Brazilian version of Cowboy Cerrone. A boatload of highlights and finishes, but no belt. Again, just go and watch that, in a loop. What a thundering KO.
The less I say about the main event, the better. All I can do is give a recommendation to each one of the culprits in this fiasco. Jacare - either retire, or back to 185. Blachowicz - you do NOT call for a title shot, coming of a win over a finished Rockhold and this performance against yet another 185er... Man, that was a painful fight.
And finally - let me ask you a question.
Last time, we talked about card populated with many, globally unknown fighters. This time, I'd like to ask you good folks - What was the point? What significance did any of these fights have for the winners, or the losers? I'm really asking.