UFC 244 AfterMMAth (The Bullshit Middle Finger Belt Edition)
This corner of cyberspace was on a little hiatus, due to... well, stuff. Lucky me too, as otherwise, I'd have to be writing post after post about, yet another one of my favorites losing badly. So welcome back, one and all. Today's AfterMMAth is the BMF (Bullshit Middle Finger) edition. Expect fireworks, President Trump, and all kinds of shenanigans.
Let’s jump right to my picks. Then, we’ll chat about this, that and the other.
For your reference, my picks:
Boy, did I not see this coming. Here I am, thinking that Lee, going back to lightweight with the same set of tools is a recipe for Gillespie climbing further up the ranks. I saw a wrestling competition coming, in which Gregor would come out on top. But no, Kevin had to go to Tri-Star MMA and get all game plany, and shut down any attempt to wrestle, striking well and keeping at range. Nice crisp striking and maintaining the range was key, and Lee found the finish with a really beautiful combination, culminating in a perfectly executed head kick. Lights out.
0 for 1
There's not much I can say about this fight. It was fought in special slo-mo, and low volume. The good points - Lewis had the patience not to gas out quickly, and Ivanov was able to take it to the ground here and there. The Bulgarian is tough as nails, and this is not a cliche, as he took hammers to the head and did not even bend. If I'd care enough, I'd go into the decision, but since this night was not my most successful one, picks-wise, to hell with it. I'm taking the point!
1 for 2
Seeing the way Pettis hurt Thompson, I thought that Luque, who always fights with sharp strikes, might find the way through Thompson's varied screen of strikes. This wasn't due to underestimating Wonderboy. I've written mountains of words in his defense after the disappointing fights with Woodley. Styles make fights, and Woodley was just a different kind of animal. I should've taken my own damn advice... Thompson reminded us all what a 58-0 kickboxer can do in 15 minutes. Everything measured, accurate (how about those spinning head kicks), constantly filling the space between him and Luque, with something sharp and dangerous. His movement was spot on, the timing. Wonderboy simply didn't allow Vicente to go through with power, and made him eat a combo in return for any attempt. I was so happy to see Thompson doing work, I forgot I even picked Luque... his time will come, no doubt.
1 for 3
If in the Thompson fight I went with power, in this one, I thought I was going with technique. I thought Kelvin could get inside and use his fast and powerful boxing, to hurt Till. Till, however focused on effectively using his reach, especially with kicks and jabs (well, duh...) and driving the fight through its course. I was not amazed by either of them, but I can understand how the fight developed the way it did, with both guys respecting the other's notoriety and not willing to commit to anything that will drag them back. In the end it seems to have been size and physical strength, that enabled Darren to get the nod from the judges.
1 for 4
I picked Jorge for the apparent difference in power. I don't think I was wrong. Diaz tried doing what Diaz does, but got a barrage of very powerful shots for his trouble. The first two rounds were close to 10-8 rounds, with Jorge simply landing at will, pushing the action, and visibly having fun in the cage. The third round may have fooled some folks, but do not be fooled again, Jorge was still very much in control, and was geared up to continue doing so in the 4th and 5th rounds if necessary. He did not show any sign of fatigue, so there was absolutely no indication that the direction of this fight was about to change. Clear cut win for Masvidal. Wasn't even close to being close.
2 for 5
2 out of 5 on this one. Slightly less embarrassing than the last time out... only slightly.
Congratulations to Jorge Masvidal! The Bullshit Middle Finger champion of three pieces and sodas. On a serious note, I was kind of angry with Jorge for taking this fight, instead of the Leon Edwards #1 contender fight. I thought Jorge was going for the actual belt with all his focus and purpose. This distraction was a risk (albeit, not as great as it seemed) that might have sent him back down the line. He took it, and then took it to Nate, and now poised to make a claim for a title shot against the winner of Usman Vs. Covington. I'm good with either a fight with Edwards (an actual grudge match) for the contendership, or straight up title shot. Watching Jorge fight is simply tons of fun.
What did you think of Corey Anderson knocking highlight reel factory Johnny Walker out??? Look, I saw Johnny lose before, and I anticipated this happening sometime. But Corey Anderson? I wouldn't think that in a million years. Sorry Mr. Anderson... man, did he find the openings. He made it look like Johnny made his previous opponents look. I only wish he'd skip the unnecessary taunting at the end. I wasn't aware of Walker being anything but respectful coming into this fight.
Still, Nate Diaz cannot lose fights. Do not get me wrong here. I am a fan of the fighter known as Nate Diaz. I think very highly of his abilities. He is by far my favorite of the Diaz Bros. But Diaz does not lose fights. He's cheated out of them, due to any number of reasons. Every time it's something else. This time it was a doctor (poor doctor, may not be able to travel to NY or LA in the foreseeable future). Was Nate able to continue? Sure. Was Nate willing to continue? Hell yeah. Was it wise to let him continue? VERY debatable. What difference would it have made? In my opinion - none. Masvidal would've just caused a lot more damage. Rogan, constantly pumping the "later rounds Nate Diaz", I mean, come on son... any other day - maybe. Saturday, November 2nd? No way in hell. Diaz had absolutely nothing to offer Jorge. Just... drop this nonsense please.
This ending also kind of put a cloud over the overhyped, silly BMF nonsense. No triumphant achievent, The Rock must have felt like he attended another WWE event with all the noise and the "oooh, Montreal screw job" anti-climax. President Trump in attendance (Shown about once in the whole broadcast). Big Major Fuckup...
12 champions. Just pick one. Give him/her a fight and put it on top of the card in MSG. To quote Bruce Buffer - "The world's most famous arena". That place you invested so much in legalizing MMA in. I don't know. None of the explanations (excuses) I heard, convinces me that a PPV event in the big apple can go without a title fight on top, and with this embarrassing made-up participation trophy as "a thing".