Hello there MMA fans, and welcome everyone else to this After MMAth post, following one of the best cards in recent memory (which is filled with some really good cards).
Top to bottom – excellent card, with really no let downs in terms of performance. Thirteen fights, 8 out of which ended with a T/KO finish, 4 decisions (after some very interesting fights) and a draw. I’ll take that spread any time.
In a night, following the passing of one of the fighting world’s greatest ever, it was somewhat symbolic that his son-in-law would be fighting, and to a bigger extent, that someone in fact – shook up the world. Not at the same scale of shock as Ali did, but he shook it just the same.
Let’s dig in to an excellent main card, see how I did with those predictions and talk some MMA:
Dustin Poirier Vs. Bobby Green: I really have nothing against Green and the fact that Poirier has always been a favorite of mine is also insignificant when I say this – If you want to taunt an opponent in the cage with motions to “bring it!”, be prepared for it to be brought… Green was game and confident, Dustin did not lose his cool. His attack was crisp and absolutely devastating. Dropping Bobby twice before finishing him very early, then demanding a top 10 opponent. My instinctive thought was – Diaz – Bring it Dana! 1 for 1.
Dan Henderson Vs. Hector Lombard: I’ll let you in on a very not guarded secret. Some of my picks amount to wishful thinking on my part. All I wanted is to see Hendo doing his thing (Read: Knocking people out) one more time before he retires. I suspected his chin (and it was tested) and I wasn’t sure that was a rational pick, but Henderson survived a rally (that I still believe started with an illegal knee from Lombard) and came back with a brutal elbow finish. I think Hendo just wanted to retire on an impressive win. I think he did just that. A true MMA legend, of a rare kind. 2 for 2.
Max Holloway Vs. Ricardo Lamas: Holloway’s fights don’t normally end with a decision, but this one shouldn’t fool you. Both guys cam to work hard. A beautiful fight from start to finish, including a 20~30 seconds absolute slug-fest to go out with a big bang. Holloway controlled the fight, and Lamas made a few mistakes (mostly going for unsuccessful take-downs, getting caught in the process) but mostly held his own. It’s these fights that fans don’t really care about the score. It’s about the way it was fought. With heart and passion on top of the obvious skill. Great fight! 3 for 3.
Dominick Cruz Vs. Urijah Faber: I told a friend just before the fight that if someone can, it’s probably Faber. Surprisingly, that was one of Cruz’s easier title defenses I can remember. This man is like wine. He looked absolutely great last night. Crisp, quick, accurate. He wasn’t too far from finishing the California kid, but Faber is not getting finished easily. Cruz’s movement is something to be awed by. Not only does he move in a completely unpredictable way, he also doesn’t move in the same unpredictable way each time… I always say – you can beat Cruz, but in order to do that you have to catch Cruz and that is a lot easier said than done. 4 for 4.
Am I going to have another perfect prediction night?… Let’s find out when we talk about the main event of the evening.
Luke Rockhold Vs. Michael Bisping: I generally stay away from the trash talk and the hype machine. It might be good for business, but it’s mostly aimed at people who can’t find the hype and anticipate the fights based on the fighters in it. As was the case with this fight, which wasn’t even the original one. Weidman was injured and Michael Bisping finally got his life’s wish – to fight for the belt. When that fight was made, I nodded in agreement. Yup. Bisping deserves the call and should be rewarded for his hard work and for some impressive achievements, not the least was the win over Anderson Silva (and feel free to not give the count due credit for that at your own risk).
However, up until the fight started, like so many, I didn’t think Bisping really stood a chance to win (unless it was a fluke) against a guy as well-rounded and vicious as Rockhold.
I stand corrected.
Luke can list all the excuses he wants to. I still like the guy. But no one can deny Michael Bisping his title. You think you came in overconfident? Guess what, you shouldn’t. You came to fight with a torn MCL? Guess what, you could’ve dropped out of the fight. I would still respect you. I don’t like it when fighters go injured into the cage. There are many excuses, but in the end of the day, if you don’t go into the octagon at your best, with all due respect to your opponent, you might find yourself giving excuses on live TV. Just ask GSP and Matt Serra. 4 for 5.
Like GSP, in a way, I believe Rockhold will get another shot at the title. Like GSP, in a way, I believe Rockhold will hold the title again. I like Luke. I like Bisping. It’s a night like this one that I really love MMA.
Two bomb shells were dropped during the broadcast. Conor Vs. Diaz 2 and an even bigger one in Brock Lesnar to fight in UFC 200. If after both of these, my interest was still strictly with UFC 199, I think it’s a great indication of the quality of this wonderful card.
Here are some questions for you (You didn’t think I’d let you off without homework, did you?):
middleweight and Bantemweight titles – Who’s next?
Who’s next from Dustin “The Diamond” Poirier?
Who’s next for Max “Blessed” Holloway?
Who should face Brock Lesnar? What are his chances? What are your expectations?
Just before we go, here are a couple of links you must click:
MMAJunkie reporting on a really classless stunt by Zuffa. (Not surprised MF…)
It was a night with many bonus worthy fights and fighters. MMAFighting has you covered.