Just around my 35th birthday, I felt some pain in my lower abdomen. I let it go for a bit, thinking (wishing really) that it was just some cramps. When it became apparent it was not, I went to the doctor, from there a quick ultrasound test, and the following day I was under the knife. Yup, a hernia is not fun. I could feel a little balloon swell momentarily every time I coughed. Not to mention the stinging pain. Now, I am no MMA fighter, but one thing I know for sure. Robert Whittaker, whose condition by all accounts was far worse, could not fight like that.
I swear I could hear the sighs of disappointment coming from all the way in Australia. And I was bummed out like all of you. But it is what it is… It’s MMA.
Alright, let’s jump right to my picks. Then, we’ll chat about this, that and the other.

For your reference, my picks:

I respect every MMA fighter, if only just for the fact that they are willing to get into the cage, and put their health at risk for my entertainment. It is true also for Sam Alvey, though I have to be honest and say that he is not entertaining me. The fact that he constantly smiles wouldn’t have bothered me, had he given me reasons to smile too… His style is sometimes effective for his goals, and other times it is not. Jim Crute acted fast. He wasn’t going to wait for Sam to push him against the fence and tire him out. He went in and bang, dropped the smile off of Sam’s face and then… disengaged… Marc Goddard (best MMA ref) gave him a second to recover, and even though he got up on pretty wobbly feet, did not stop the fight. Crute realized his error and went in for the kill again, with a barrage that saw Alvey turtle without covering his head. Goddard saw what I did – a fighter not defending himself intelligently – and rightfully stopped the fight. Sam was no longer smiling. He was furious. But why? I get that he has the heart, and the resilience. But the rules are very clear – defend yourself at all times… Sam may be too gritty for his own good, and that is why we have referees in the cage.
1 for 1
apologies are in order on my part to Mrs. De La Rosa. I clearly and miserably mistook here. My only defense is “too depressed at the time of picking”… The differences in skill sets were so big, it made me feel kind of bad for Nadia. It was also really nice to hear an intelligent corner, making adjustments in a plan that was working, in order to make the fight even better for their fighter. What a dominant performance from Montana. Kudos. and sorry…
1 for 2
I’m normally not picking against Yaya. I guess I should have this time, but I kind of forgotten about Simon and the glorious mullet he brings along, to compliment those nukes he covers with MMA gloves. What a brilliant fight from his perspective. I could knit pick and call him out on his defense on the feet, but who the hell cares. He moves well, throws bombs, avoids the takedown, which leaves the fight in his office. He did everything right, except for the weird taking of a knee after every takedown he disengaged from. What was that for? I’m sure he had confidence, but it left something for Yaya to grab and even though in hindsight it worked out for Simon, it was an unnecessary risk to take.
1 for 3
We were all kind of perplexed to see Vannata headlining the FightPass prelims, on a card that was not exactly star-studded to begin with. Well, in the end it got the co-main even spot and allowed more people to see. The opponent looked like the spitting image of Anderson Silva all the way from the walk out, and until Vanata rag-dolled him with apparent ease. On the one hand, Vannata deserves better competition, but on the other, after his recent disappointing results, he deserved the break. Technically there’s not much more to say. The takedown was a thing of beauty, the ridiculous ease with which he controlled a bigger opponent, from inside a full guard, was a lot due to said opponent not really sure what to do. Transition to Kimura with little to no contest and just like that… Good for mister groovy.
2 for 4
I picked Adesanya to win, but deep inside I was rooting for Anderson. Nothing personal against the promising youngster. Just the nostalgic wish to see one of the fighters who made me an MMA fan, have a graceful outing against a surging star. I wanted to see a little clowning, some showmanship and stabbing counters. You know what? I did. Adesanya was a little star struck (and honestly, I can’t blame him) and did not go for the kill, even in a few spots he definitely could, having stung the spider sufficiently. As a result, Silva took a few chances, showed us he can still pull a few moves, and people, if you weren’t entertained by these exchanges, you need to reconsider your interest in this sport. Adesanya did enough to clearly win, and his next opponent may want to have all his guards up, as he will not be as forgiving.
3 for 5

On the one hand, I improved on my previous shameful picking performance. On the other, the 2 I missed… I feel bad about. Oh well. Life goes on.

Aaaaand NEW:

  • Kelvin Gastelum is the new Middleweight champion. Well… HE seems to think that. No, you’re not, Kelvin. I appreciate the shtick, and the noise you already managed to generate. I guess I lived through Covington’s shenanigans, I can take that with good humor. That’s all it is really folks, no need to lose your wits.
  • Israel Adesanya needs no more hype. The guy is phenomenal. Yet, I would definitely like to see him face a strong and skilled wrestler *cough*Romero*cough*. Not saying I have no faith in his skills. I think it’s very safe to say this guy will be a champion in the decently near future. I just want to see him tested more. Not in spite. It’s just what this sport is all about. We saw him outstrike strikers (and he will keep doing that), and even stifle Brunson’s attempts, but I’d like a top shelf wrestler to really put the pressure on him.

Aaaaand STILL:

  • Anderson “The Spider” Silva can still entertain fans. All I wanted on UFC234 was for him not to be KO’d or otherwise be run over. Whether it was Adesanya’s awe, or Anderson’s skills I don’t really care, it turned out to be a fight the fans enjoyed, a fight that helped cement Israel’s growing legacy, and a fight that did not shame the legend. A fight he can retire on.
  • Anderson won’t retire. I think that fight he talked about in his hometown is a must. Let the UFC feed someone to him, so he can retire on a win, and let’s call it a career. A hell of a career.
There isn’t much more to say with great value… so let’s continue with
Performance of the night:
Lando Vanata destroying Anderson Silva double:

Devonte Smith finishing Dong Hyun Ma:

Fight of the night:
Israel Adesanya Vs. Anderson Silva:

This is how every MMA fight should end. #Respect.
Don’t forget to check out Combat Docket for more good reads and post UFC234 fallout.

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