I don’t feel like writing a full piece on this event. Why? It would just make me re-live that sad moment at the end. Not to mention… those picks. But, We’re here to talk MMA and not wollow in our pain, so…
Let’s jump right to my picks. Then, we’ll chat about this, that and the other.
For your reference, my picks:
I gave Heinisch a lot of credit, and not enough to Brunson. I think it was a reasonable line of thinking, based on their respective history though as we saw, things change. Heinisch blew his load in the first round and spent the last two, mostly in survival mode. Brunson started slow, was able to stay active throughout the second and third, and won a well-earned decision. It was by no means a boring fight, and had some really nice spots, but seemed to have been fought in second gear. I’m not sure that at middleweight, this pace can carry a fighter all the way up, and if Heinisch looked the way he did in the second round… he has some work to do (if he’s thinking top contendership).
0 for 1
The first moments of the fight were fun. Then I had to go deal with a sick dog… and missed the finish. Priorities and that. Upon watching the replay, I gave Sodiq a standing O. He was very accurate in his attacks (those I saw live) so I was waiting for one of those to knock Benitez down. It ended up being a well placed counter that did the work after all. Benitez for his part was game. How can you not like a guy who smiles while fighting? and not the antagonistic smirk, but the expression of joy – inside this punishing environment. Hey, I got THIS one right.
1 for 2
Yoel Romero and Paulo Costa came in with very bad intentions. It looked like Romero allowed the Brazilian to unload in the first, hoping he gasses out, though he did send some of his viper like, explosive counters and stung him. For the most part, Costa threw everything he had, and then some and Romero took quite a few quality shots. More of the same in the second, and finally in the 3rd round, Costa did seem to slow down. The problem was, Romero was also not at his peak. He still went ahead and put good pressure on Costa, even taking him down for a spell before running out of time. Don’t let this description make you forget what a war that was though. A thoroughly entertaining fight to cleanse the palate for the main courses.
1 for 3
There is something that happens to many fighters who face the Diazes. Not everyone falls for this trap, but Pettis did. These guys walk into a fight with a great boxer and JJ practitioner, and stand in boxing range with him, allow him to pressure and generally play to their game. Pettis threw a leg kick in the begining, but seemed to have forgotten about that weapon. He moved back straight and to the fence. I don’t know if that’s ego, or the pressure Nate put on him effectively, but Pettis, like many others, looked off. This is not to say Nate didn’t deserve this win. Of course he did, with a ribbon on top. I’m simply wondering how much of it was the effective game of Diaz, and how much the ineffective game of Pettis.
1 for 4
I don’t have much to say about this fight, other than kudos to Stipe for withstanding three rough rounds, being constantly hit by Cormier and not only did he not fall like he did in the first, he found his way back with very effective body shots, to Cormier, who seemed to be slowing down rapidly. Again, well done, Champ.
1 for 5
1 out of 5 on this one. For shame…
Congratulations to the new king, same as the old king. Stipe Miocic likely cemented his status as the longest reigning HW champion in UFC history. No small bragging rights. I don’t see a third fight with DC in the books (for reasons I will talk about below), but I do see a second fight with Ngannou. The former challenger looks like the future challenger, and as far as I can see, is the next in line.
Paulo Costa looked great for large parts of his war with Romero. His strikes are HARD. With the top of the 185 division hopefully shaping up soon, he makes a good case for contendership. Both Adesanya as well as Whittaker, are interesting match ups. Hermansson is also getting ready for a trip to the main event, so this is going to be interesting.
Still, Joe Rogan makes statements on behalf of all MMA. And these statements are “consensus” or “undisputed” or there’s “No argument”… Why, Joe? Why is there no argument about Stipe being the best HW of all time? I got an argument for you. DC is still just tied with him. DC was also Strikeforce champ. DC was double champ. DC only has 1 loss in HW. Why is there “no argument”, Joe?
Talk about DC. I am not one to retire fighters. If Daniel wants it, I’m on board. I’m a DC mark. But I got to wonder what’s in it for him. I don’t think he has goals inside the cage that he didn’t achieve. Yes, there’s always Jon Jones, but this is not a goal in and of itself, unless – it’s important enough for DC, and he believes he can pull it off. I don’t see this happening. With a career behind the mic, that has already started, and tons of potential as an on-screen personality, I see more value in hanging the gloves up now than not. But then again, it’s not MY life.
Nate Diaz is back. Woo hoo. He left because “everybody sucked”. Stockton slap. Not Surprised. I’d start getting interested with Diaz if his next fight happens in the next 8 months. Otherwise… next.
Jorge Masvidal should make a decision soon. If he’s interested in being a fun fighter, who goes for the fun fights, and get paid – Nate Diaz is calling. If he considers himself a title contender, he should pass, and fight Edwards for the number 1 contender spot, in preparations for Colby/Usman. I’m good with either one, but the Edwards one makes more sense. It’s a legit title fight eliminator, as well as a “grudge” fight for the fans. Will Leon give him his three piece and a soda back? or will Jorge give him some more?
And still we have refs standing fighters up from a dominant position. Sometimes with no warning, sometimes with very little time to make something of said position. I don’t like this.
Anthony Pettis continues his up and down roller coaster of late. I have no idea why, and weight class does not seem to be it. Something is inconsistent there, and the only thing I can think of is mentality. When he is on, it’s showtime. When he is off it’s depressing… and frustrating, because we all know there’s a “showtime” in there.
Well. This was UFC241. Let’s look at
Performance of the night:
Stipe Miocic rallies back to TKO Daniel Cormier:
Fight of the night:
Daniel Cormier Vs Stipe Miocic:
Yoel Romero Vs Paulo Costa: