The NYSAC incompetence, weigh in scandal, questionable outcomes, retirements, and a few good fights made up the peculiar card that was UFC 210.
Preliminary Card (UFC Fight Pass)
Flyweight – Magomed Bibulatov def. Jenel Lausa – Decision unanimous – (29-26, 29-26, 29-26)
It is impossible to not laugh or wonder if Jon Anik had suffered a stroke after hearing him say Magomed Bibulatov. Equally impossible is an exciting flyweight fight. This is my 50th MMA card that I have poorly recapped and I can’t remember a flyweight fight that didn’t end in a decision. Regardless, I ignorantly complained about two 125 pound men hit each other as I watched them fight.
The first round began with Bibulatov throwing a lot of kicks. After breaking out a clinch Bibulatov connected with an inside leg kick and attempted a spinning back fist. The Buffalo crowd shared the same sentiment as my and already expressed their displeasure for the boring fight through the elegant method of drunkenly booing loudly. This angered the crowded commentator booth as the acknowledged the impatience of the crowd. I will always find it surprising when the commentators are upset with the impatient crowd during the boring fight. The people who pay money to watch people beat each other up while consuming overpriced beer aren’t likely to be the people who appreciate the fine details of technical clinch and ground fighting. They want blood.
A time stoppage was granted in the first round for a nut shot on Lausa. Bibulatov threw another spinning back fist and landed a knee before the first round ended.
Lausa came out aggressive in the second round and ate a spinning back kick to the body. Bibulatov then landed a upper cut knee combo which led to a clinch initiated by Lausa. After breaking, time was stopped again for a second nut shot on Lausa which resulted in a point lost for Bibulatov. After the stoppage Bibulatov scored a takedown and ate an elbow from Lausa who was on his back. Bibulatov responded with rough elbows and ground and pound which he landed through the end of the round.
In the third round Bibulatov threw more kicks and scored another takedown. He controlled the ground fighting landing short elbows and not allowing Lausa to do anything offensively.
Women’s Bantamweight – Katlyn Chookagian def. Irene Aldana – Decision split – (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
I was excited to see Aldana fight as her last match was Leslie Smith was a war and I like seeing fighters that I recognize and watched in the past. In the first round the two fighters traded jabs and had some fun exchanges. Chookagian landed two right jabs, several kicks, and scored a takedown to end the round.
The second round saw a spinning back fist from Aldana and a right left combo. Aldana threw a high kick adding variety and unpredictability to her striking. The fighters traded leg kicks and Aldana connected with a right body shot. Aldana lost her balance and fell but got back to her feet quickly to defend the takedown attempts of Chookagian. The fighters broke from a clinch and Aldana landed a right to end the second round.
Chookagian came started the third round aggressively keeping Aldana on her heels retreating. Chookagian connected with multiple leg kicks and a body kick before eating a right from Aldana. Chookagian landed a right of her own before trading in big exchange with Aldana. The active fight ended with Aldana landed knees to improve her striking score which ultimately fell short in a split decision.
Lightweight – Desmond Green def. Josh Emmett – Decision split – (28-29, 29-28, 30-27)
The split decision for this fight between Green and Emmett was the first piece of evidence that proves the NYSAC is not experienced in scoring and regulating MMA. This fight was a textbook unanimous decision but some judge who has no idea what he is looking at scored it 28-29 in favor of Emmett. That score card makes no sense.
Green used his big height and reach advantage to defeat the short Emmett who was forced to use a lot of energy dodging the long reach of Green and charging forward to overcome his little arms. Green was the much more calm and patient fighter. Emmett used a lot of energy in the first two rounds while Green barely broke a sweat waiting for Emmett to come to him to land counter attacks. Emmett landed several overhand rights, a strike he threw a lot. Time was stopped for a nut kick on Green. After the stoppage, Green landed a leg kick and a counter on a combination from Emmett. Green clipped Emmett with a jab and landed another fight before the first round ended.
In the second round Green caught a kick from Emmett and landed a jab. Emmett landed another overhand right which was met with a counter right from Green. Emmett attempted a takedown but it was defended well by the sprawled out Green. The fighters traded kicks to end the second round.
Knowing that he was losing, Emmett came out fast in the third. Green scored a takedown and after the fighters got back to their feet, they inadvertently butted heads which opened up a wound on Emmett’s head. Green landed an upper cut, a jab, and ate right before the third round ended.
Lightweight – Gregor Gillespie def. Andrew Holbrook – KO punches – (RD 1 – 0:21)
With the first three fights going to decision the producers were rushing the tale of the tape and the intros for the final Fight Pass prelim between Gillespie and Holbrook to end before the FS1 prelims started. The anxiety levels of said producers were leveled off when Gillespie knocked out Holbrook in 21 seconds. Gillespie dropped Holbrook with a left and finished him off with hammer fist bombs.
Preliminary Card (FS1)
Light Heavyweight – Patrick Cummins def. Jan Blachowicz – Decision majority – (29-28, 29-28, 28-28)
The first fight on FS1 was a light heavyweight match between Cummins and Blachowicz. It looked like a second straight quick finish when Blachowicz dropped Cummins and went in for the kill landing ground and pound. Cummins survived and attempted an anaconda choke on the ground. The fighters got back to their feet where Blachowicz continued to unloaded on Cummins who was showing the wobbly effects of eating a lot of shots. The fighters exchanged blows in the clinch where Cummins lost his mouthpiece. Blachowicz landed knees before being brought to the ground by Cummins. Blachowicz looked for a triangle submission from his back before getting back to his feet to end the first round in the clinch.
After breaking out of a clinch in the second round, blood poured out of the face of Cummins. Cummins scored a takedown and let his blood cover the face of Blachowicz. Cummins connected with a few short elbows before getting back to his feet. Both fighters looked exhausted halfway through the second round. Blachowicz landed an upper cut and a high kick. Blachowicz sloppily attempted a takedown and ate shots on the ground from Cummins to end the second round.
In the third round Cummins unloaded on Blachowicz whose back was against the cage. Cummins scored a takedown and slipped out of another triangle attempt from Blachowicz. Cummins pulled back on the head of Blachowicz which is a move I have never seen before (called the can opener). The fighters got back to their feet and went into the clinch. Cummins landed hard knees to the head of Blachowicz in the clinch before going back to the ground where they remained until the final bell.
Cummins was in rough shape after the fight but was able to recover after getting rocked in the first round and eek out a decision victory.
Featherweight – Shane Burgos def. Charles Rosa – TKO punches – (RD 3 – 1:59)
Rosa landed kicks and Burgos landed jabs early in this fight. Burgos landed a counter shot and Rosa whiffed on several spinning back kicks. Burgos connected with a combo and ate some leg kicks from Rosa. Time was stopped for a nut shot on Burgos and Rosa continuing landing leg kicks while Burgos landed jabs consistently.
Rosa threw more wild ineffective kicks in the second round. Burgos landed a body kick and defending the takedown attempts from Rosa. Burgos was eventually brought to the ground by Rosa but was able to get back to his feet in the clinch. The fighters traded knees before breaking the clinch and Burgos landed counter strikes on a kick from Rosa. The fighters traded strikes, Burgos landed a right and Rosa landed a straight left. More leg kicks landed for Rosa which were followed up by a spinning back fist.
After a trip to the ground in the third round, Burgos dropped Rosa with a left hook. Rosa struggled back to his feet and was dropped again eating a right and a left before the ref stepped in to call the fight.
Welterweight – Kamaru Usman def. Sean Strickland – Decision unanimous – (30-27, 30-26, 30-26)
Usman began his dominance in the clinch in the first round where he landed several knees to the head and butt of Strickland. Usman scored a takedown and landed a big right from the top position. A cut opened up above the eye of Strickland who was dominated to the bell of the first round.
In the second round Usman connected with several jabs. The fighters went in and out of the clinch and Usman dropped Strickland. Usman jumped on top of Strickland landing hammer fist and body shots. Usman dominated the ground game again in the second round.
Usman came out aggressive in the third round landing jabs and scoring another takedown. He landed ground and pound before getting back to his feet. Strickland had vision issues with blood pouring into his eyes allowing Usman to dominated the third round and win in an obvious decision.
Featherweight – Myles Jury def. Mike De La Torre – TKO elbows and punches – (RD 1 – 3:30)
It didn’t take long for Jury to defeat Torre. Jury brought Torre to the ground early in the first round, took Torre’s back, latched on with both hooks, landed ground and pound with hard elbows until the TKO was called.
Main Card (PPV)
Lightweight – Charles Oliveria def. Will Brooks – Submission standing rear-naked choke – (RD 1 – 2:30)
The main card started with a quick submission from Oliveria. Kicks landed for Oliveria before he took Brooks to the ground. Brooks got to his feet, ate a knee and was quickly brought to the ground again. Brooks again got back to standing but with Oliveria latched onto his back. Oliveria couldn’t get his arms under the chin of Brooks but the pressure on the chin was enough to get the tap and the rare standing rear-naked choke.
Welterweight – Thiago Alves def. Patrick Cote – Decision unanimous – (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Alves was impressive in his unanimous decision over Cote. In the first round Cote landed a right and Alves connected with a knee, body kick, and a leg kick. Alves then dropped Cote with a left hook and went in for the kill landed ground and pound. Cote prevented the TKO but Alves remained on top of him landing consistent ground and pound until the end of the first round.
Cote punched his way out of a clinch in the second round. Alves landed powerful leg kicks and dropped Cote again. The fighters got back to their feet in the clinch which Alves broke with an upper cut. The two fighters traded kicks to end the second round.
The third round began with a nut shot on Cote. Alves scored a takedown and opened up a massive cut on the face of Cote. The fighters got back to their feet and Alves easily dodged the big wind up punches from Cote. Alves landed a hard knee to the head of Cote which Cote was impressive by.
After getting dominated Cote announced his retirement. I don’t know much about Cote but he had a long career and had a title shot against Anderson Silva.
Women’s Strawweight – Cynthia Calvillo def. Pearl Gonzalez – Submission rear-naked choke – (RD 3 – 3:45)
Calvillo is fun to watch. She has impressed in her two UFC fights both of which have been on PPV cards. Controversy surrounded this match up as it was reported to be called off the day before the fight due to Gonzalez having fake breasts. What was thought to be another dumb NYSAC rule didn’t stop the fight.
Calvillo started the first round with lots of strikes, most of which didn’t break the guard of Gonzalez. She did land a left and knee and attempted an anaconda submission. Gonzalez scored a takedown and Calvillo attempted a triangle submission that looked tight but was stopped by the first round bell.
Gonzalez landed a leg kick and scored a takedown in the second round. She looked for an arm bar that Calvillo escaped. Calvillo took the back of Gonzalez with both hooks. Gonzalez defended well and technical ground fighting occurred. Calvillo found herself in full mount twice and advantageous positions but was unable to finish Gonzalez.
In the third round Calvillo scored a takedown after trading strikes with Gonzalez. Initially Calvillo looked for an arm tringle, switched to full mount, switched to her back and eventually got under the chin for the rear-naked choke.
In her post fight interview with Rogan, Calvillo made me laugh by quoting the victory speech of Nate Diaz after beating Connor McGregor, “not surprised mother fuckers!”
Middleweight – Gegard Mousasi def. Chris Weidman – TKO doctor stoppage – (RD 2 – 3:13)
The Mousasi/Weidman fight was stopped halfway through due to the incompetence of the NYSAC. In the second round Mousasi landed two knees to the head of Weidman while Weidman was bent over with his hands close to the ground. On the second knee Miragliotta stopped the fight because he thought Weidman’s hands were touching the ground which would make him a downed opponent. The replay showed that Weidman’s hands were not down and that the knee was legal.
Then shit got weird. Doctors and rules officials entered the ring and stopped the fight. Weidman was improperly given a 5 minutes break as the replay showed the knee was legal. But the NYSAC hasn’t officially accepted replay review into their rules so the replay should have never been referenced. The fight should have been continued after the 5 minute break. Instead it was stopped and Mousasi received the victory. Both fighters were pissed after the announcement and the rematch between the two is all but inevitable. What a cluster fuck.
Light Heavyweight – Daniel Cormier ( c ) def. Anthony Johnson – Submission rear-naked choke – (RD 2 – 3:37)
The headlining fight was equally as shady as the Mousasi/Weidman match up.
Cormier missed weight. He weighed in a pound and a half overweight but was granted a second weighing after removing his clothes. Cormier grabbed the towel shielding his nudity and clearly pushed down on it relieving the scale of that extra pound and a half. Shady as fuck.
The outcome of the fight with Rumble Johnson was even more shady. Cormier is a world class wrestler. So what does Rumble do to fight Cormier? He wrestles with him. In the second round Johnson gave up his neck and tapped to the gift wrapped rear-naked choke for the overweight Cormier. Johnson then announced his retirement after the loss and when asked why by Rogan he stated about getting beat up, “ain’t nothing fun about that yo.”
Cormier then went into full heel mode calling out Jimi Manuwa and Jon ‘cialis boy” Jones. Cormier was definitely putting on a transparent face to promote his rematch with Jones.
I admit that I am easily susceptible to conspiracy theories but the result of that fight is inarguably suspicious. Rumble wrestled with Cormier and retired in his prime? Cormier was allowed to fight after missing weight and cheating the scale? There was no way the Cormier/Jones rematch wasn’t happening and it appears the UFC did everything in their power to keep that fight alive.
UFC on FOX 24 is Saturday, April 15th 2017.