Welcome boys and girls, Class is in session. Please lend me your eyes and your ears (well, your eyes at least). This here AftreMMAth post comes at the heels of UFC203 that took place last Saturday in Cleveland, Ohio.
As usual, we will cover some aspects beyond the scores of this PPV, but first, let’s see if I’ve done my homework.
Jessica Andrade Vs. Joanne Calderwood – I love watching Calderwood fight. Who doesn’t? Before the fight, I didn’t even care if my prediction would hold, because I like the idea of Jo-Jo getting closer to a title shot. That being said, Seeing Andrade in this weight class, I had to give her the edge. I did think it would come to a TKO due to G&P but submission is her bread and butter after all. 1 for 1.
Urijah Faber Vs. Jimmie Rivera – I normally never pick against Faber (unless he’s fighting Aldo or Cruz). Say what you like about him, Faber is one of the most well-rounded, toughest, fittest fighters in MMA. Like many of you and Joe Rogan, I was wondering why he wasn’t throwing right hands for 2.5 rounds. He may have his reasons, but nothing will take away the credit from Rivera for following his plan and executing perfectly. He couldn’t finish the fight and was boo-ed by one of the most classless crowds I’ve seen (and heard) so far. Well, douchebags, how many times was Urijah F’ing Faber finished in his career?…. 1 for 2.
CM Punk Vs. Mickey Gall – Well, that was an easy call really. What is there to say, MMA-wise that haven’t already been written. You don’t become an MMA fight in a day, or even 2 years. That being said, I got to respect Punk for stepping into the cage, taking a huge risk. The same goes for Gall who had nothing to win and everything to lose by fighting him. 2 for 3.
Fabricio Werdum Vs. Travis Browne – Can someone please tell me where did Travis Browne go? And who is this hesitant, pale copycat we’ve been seeing lately in his place? For a guy with his length (arms, legs), opponents sure close the distance easily. Way too easily. Without paying the price. Except for finishing him, Fabricio did almost everything he wanted to, en-route to a no-brainer decision. And the Cleveland fans (I know there are many of you Cleveland fans that disapproved, but you were swallowed up in the jeers) boo Fabricio, as if he beat their hometown hero instead of being knocked out by him… where’s your class Cleveland? We will talk about that again in a second or so. 3 for 4.
Stipe Miocic Vs. Alistair Overeem – This was a game of distance for the most part. The closer the men were – Miocic had the edge and visa-versa. It was close in the first. Really close to an upset. But Miocic found the way to escape the Guillotine and clear the cob-webs quickly after being rocked a couple of times. After that, it was a hunter on the prowl. Overeem may have pissed some people off with his jogging out of range but he did what he had to do to create distance. Trouble was, Miocic moves really well, cutting the cage and catching his opponent with high level boxing. I thought the TKO would come standing, but I’ll take G&P any day of the week and twice on a Sunday. 4 for 5.
Not too shabby of a night from my predictions perspective.
Let’s talk about class for a second (or ten):
CM Punk came to try his hand at MMA. Are there many fighters out there, more deserving of a chance in the UFC? Absolutely. Is there something ironic about a pro-wrestler coming into an MMA cage? Sure. That being said, let’s face it – Dana makes many decisions based on money potential. From booking undeserving title shots, to signing big names through to protecting his favorites. Is there a difference in Punk’s case? No. The ultimate fact remains – CM Punk, knowingly put himself at risk, and paid the price for his willingness. If only for this, he deserves our respect.
Fabricio Werdum is one of THE classier guys in the game. Hardly ever trash talks, mostly a respectful competitor and seemingly a very pleasant individual overall. To rile him up, as the crowd (with great help from the notorious couch Edmund), simply speaks to the lack of class all over that arena. What exactly did the crowd want? Really? It’s not Matt Serra coming to Montreal after dissing the Habs (after beating the local hero, mind you). It’s little old Fabricio Werdum who was put to sleep in his home town, coming to fight someone who is definitely not from Cleveland… where’s all that hate coming from?… And coach Edmund. stay in your corner and take the loss like a man… you should be used to that by now.
Alistair Overeem felt a tap. Excuses much? It’s ok to lose to Stipe Miocic. You can simply say “Yes, I tried and it didn’t work out.” or something to that effect. Anything else is simply disrespecting your opponent, and ultimately yourself.