Of the four UFC cards I have purchased, UFC 199 was the most fun to watch. There were upsets, unbelievable feats of athleticism, and a big reveal for UFC 200 (which lead to the UFC banning a reporter). After squashing my conflicting morals about paying to watch human cock-fighting, I ate some fast food, chugged some soda, sat in my own sweaty filth, and enjoyed watching 9 UFC fights, 2 of which had titles on the line.
Before I go into my observations of the fights I wanted to get my annoyances with the coverage out of the way. The four preliminary fights on FS1 were almost unwatchable. As the fights were going on, a huge window appeared in the corner of the screen promoting The Conjuring 2, the big sponsor for the FS1 coverage. The window wasn’t a still image showing the release date of the movie, it was the fucking trailer for the movie. It was completely distracting having a video play on the screen and my initial urge was to boycott and curse the movie (even though I do like Patrick Wilson and horror movies) but then my rage was directed towards the real villain; Fox. Every sporting event Fox produces and broadcasts is terrible. Their bold edgy graphics, dude bro analysts, and their transparent attempt to be the 24 hour First Take channel act as a repellant to reasoned sports fans.
The passing of Muhammad Ali the day before the fight also brought a unbearableness to the FS1 and PPV coverage. Muhammad Ali is appropriately called the greatest of all time and without him the UFC and combat sports wouldn’t exist in the capacity that they currently do. Acknowledging his passing and how important of a sports figure he was is important. But every member of the sports world from TNT NBA broadcasters to the 3rd string goalie on a high school hockey team felt the need to publicly explain how much Ali meant to them and to sports via Twitter. That is annoying, but I have accepted the constant need by most to be a part of every event or topic on Twitter. What I couldn’t get over is how FS1 displayed every fucking tweet about Ali from any athlete or remotely famous person opposite of the movie trailer during the fights. It is so obvious that FS1 is just trying to be “hip” and reveal that they hire someone to watch Twitter all day for useless news. If I wanted to know what some random punter from the NFL thinks about the passing of Ali, I would already be following him on Twitter.
Preliminary Fights (FS1)
Featherweight – Alex Caceres def. Cole Miller (Decision unanimous)
Women’s Strawweight – Jessica Andrade def. Jessica Penne (TKO punches)
Lightweight – Beneil Dariush def. James Vick (KO punch)
Featherweight – Brian Ortega def. Clay Guida (KO knee)
The Caceres vs. Miller fight had its moments, it felt like it went by quickly. I like the pace of the 3 round fights. The most memorable moment from this fight was the arm bar that Caceres almost fell victim too. When I saw the arm of Caceres fully extended I thought he was going to immediately tap out but instead he wiggled out of it and survived. Caceres also fought out of a choke hold in the third round. It amazes me how Caceres dominated all three rounds but was one minor mistake away from losing the fight twice.
The battle of the Jessica’s in the Strawweight fight was not a close one. Andrade was impressive with her ability to attack with a flurry of punches (punches in bunches as described by Rogan) and then scurry away before Penne could counter attack. These attacks of multiple punches occurred throughout the whole fight and in the second round I could tell Andrade wanted to end Penne. She became even more aggressive and landed several punches up until the ref called the fight. Andrade didn’t appear to be tired, she had a glaze of sweat on her forehead and looked like she got back from a bike ride not a UFC fight.
The lightweight bout between James (the worst nickname ever; the Texecutioner) Vick and Beneil Dariush did not last long as Vick was brutally KO’d in the first round. There were a couple of eye pokes that required stoppage by the ref. This was my introduction to referee Mike Beltran. Look at this guy.
Brian Ortega vs. Clay Guida was a matchup that almost went the distance. Ortega is a young up in coming fighter and Guida is a grizzled veteran who has been in the UFC for almost a decade. Guida was active and quick the whole fight and if it had continued to the end of the 3rd round he would have been the clear winner. But in brutal unforgiving fashion, he made one mistake and was KO’d by a knee to the head with just 20 seconds left.
Main Card (PPV)
Lightweight – Dustin Poirier def. Bobby Green (KO punches)
Middleweight – Dan Henderson def. Hector Lombard (KO head kick and elbows)
Featherweight – Max Holloway def. Ricardo Lamas (Decision unanimous)
Bantamweight – Dominick Cruz ( C ) def. Urijah Faber (Decision unanimous)
Middleweight – Michael Bisping def. Luke Rockhold ( C ) (KO punches)
Bobby Green steals all of the attention when he appears on the screen. He is bald with a tattoo covering his scalp and sports a complicated aggressive looking spiky beard.
Green danced his way to the ring and did a front flip as he entered the Octagon. Poirier was not phased by the flashy Green. Shortly after the fight began Green began to taunt Poirier waving his hand asking him to attack. Poirier obliged and connected a heavy punch to the jaw of Green who fell down woozy. Green got back to his feet and didn’t let the near knock out stop him from taunting his opponent who clearly wasn’t affected by the faux confidence. This lead to a quick finish, Poirier KO’d Green in the first round.
Dan Henderson vs. Hector Lombard was the most exciting fight of the card. As Henderson walked out to the ring (looking like a jacked up Tim McGraw) country music played in the arena. I will forever be confused on how people can get jacked up and excited to country music. During his walkout Goldberg and Rogan began discussing how Henderson is the oldest active UFC fighter at 45 years old. I was amazed when I heard that. I was shocked when I heard Belfort was 39 and had been fighting for 20 years during UFC 198.
Henderson is 45? That is insane.
Lombard isn’t youthful himself but he is still 7 years younger than Henderson at 38. The first round started with the L.A. crowd chanting “Hendo!” as Henderson is from California. Not long into the fight, Lombard landed a punch that dazed Henderson. Henderson somehow stayed conscious after Lombard continued to land punches. The superior ground fighter Lombard also took Henderson to the ground a few times but couldn’t get a submission. I was surprised the fight wasn’t called after how wobbly Henderson looked and how many punches he was absorbing while on the ground.
Both of the fighters turned the fight into a boxing match in the second round. Lombard was winning the fight but Henderson found an opening. He landed a knee to the head and followed that up with an elbow to the temple. Lombard was out cold.
After the fight Henderson hinted at retirement. It was fun to see him survive through brute strength and use his power to get a KO.
Max Holloway earned the prestigious honor of being my favorite UFC fighter during his defeat of Ricardo Lamas. Riding a 8 fight winning streak coming into this fight, 24-year-old Holloway is being thought of one of the next great featherweights. Holloway dominated all 3 rounds. He took a couple heavy punches to the face but he hung tough. He showed off his great take down defense as Lamas constantly tried to take him to the ground. In the third round Holloway was focusing on defense protecting his lead in the fight.
Knowing that he needed to land punches to increase his score and chances of knocking Holloway out, Lamas began taunting Holloway. He did the same hand gesture that Green did earlier in the evening, saying “fight me, stop dancing around.” In the last seconds of the fight Holloway obliged, he pointed at the ground and said lets fucking fight then. Both traded huge hay makers just swinging as hard as they could, doing nothing to protect themselves, just two dudes fighting. Man that was so cool to watch. Holloway’s career looks promising (from the UFC ignorant fan who hadn’t heard of him before UFC 199).
The co-headliner bantamweight title fight between Dominick Cruz and Urijah Faber was heavily promoted by UFC. Cruz was defending champion coming off some nagging injuries and Faber was looking to finally win a championship belt after many years of fighting. This fight lasted all five rounds and wasn’t close. Cruz dominated the fight after knocking Faber down with a heavy punch to the face in the first round. Cruz has a dynamic fighting style due to it being difficult to predict his movements. He looks peculiar in the way he bounces around but it is extremely effective. Other than that the only other thing I noticed was how the cleavage of Faber’s chin is larger than the cleavage of his ass (his shorts kept falling down during the fight).
The final fight, Luke Rockhold vs. Michael Bisping was for the middleweight title, something that has evaded Bisping after a decade of fighting. Rockhold was the big favorite and he looked the part. He is the biggest 185 pound man I have ever seen.
Bisping quickly knocked Rockhold out. He caught Rockhold on the chin and then finished him off on the ground. After the fight, a elated Bisping provided some good sound bites saying “that was the easiest fight of my life,” which was followed up with “I’ve got to be humble here even though I want to be an asshole.” An upset knock out awarding a journeyman fighter his first belt is a good way to end an entertaining card.
UFC 200 featuring 3 championship fights and the return of Brock Lesnar is on July 9th.