- First of all: were audience members where you watched the main event using the "YESH" sarcastically during the fight? Because I was seeing this, and it was mean, and it was absolutely hilarious.
- I feel like I've heard the "a serious and in-shape" Penn line way more than once since his return to the UFC. But for the first time, I actually sort of believe it. Both Mir and BJ came into this event with the same story from that famous Charles Atlas Home Strongman ad:
Basically: (1) Smaller guy gets sand kicked on him and/or is brutally GNP'd in front of a massive PPV audience by a muscle-bound bully (Brock / GSP). (2) Smaller guy acquires awesome new strength and conditioning regimen. (3) Smaller guy goes totally wolverine and never takes any crap from anybody again!
Both of these guys showed us something we needed to see from them. For me, Mir's always sort of felt like a guy who has to pull out a win unexpectedly-- the Nogueira PRIDE method of fighting opportunistically and subbing someone while being hit in the face a lot. This was not that. I was skeptical after he beat Nog, but I can't be any longer. Mir put it on Kongo far worse than even Velasquez (I believe the story used to be that Mir and Cains' careers were on opposite trajectories). And Penn for his part went EASILY into the 5th round with Sanchez, never once showing us the "exhausted BJ Penn danger face" that precedes the collapse of his TD defense. Granted, neither one of these guys have graduated to their eventual nemesis just yet, but they're showing irrefutable evidence that they really are making the changes they need to.
-How about that Kenny Florian. I never used to be a big fan of his-- I always just felt skeptical of his power standing. But I feel the same thing about this fight that I did for Sherk vs. Griffin; like after fighting BJ, Kenny and Sherk both had something they really wanted to show us but just weren't permitted in their title opportunity. For Sherk that was the strength of his boxing (which he can definitely stop showing us now, please), and for Kenny it was better boxing, better wrestling and an overall more complete game. Diego may have taken a beating from BJ, but I already feel bad for his next opponent.
-On that note: a Kenny vs. Diego rematch has to happen, but when it does who the hell does the winner fight? I'm not interested in BJ rematching either one just yet, but who's getting past those two? I figure they'll have to fast-track Gray around the duo to be safe (not that I don't think he could beat either one of them, but it's just not worth it to risk losing a prospective challenger), but past that we're coming dangerously close to the "Fitch barrier" being reproduced at 155.
- If Diego had won, "Crazy" would have become the new Karate. So I'm really glad that didn't happen. Frank Mir decking his place out like a serial killer with photos of Brock, Lyoto doing pee shots at the bar after his next victory. More fighters with cornrows. Etc.
- I don't like the idea of Penn / Aldo being contested at 145. That's more like some shit for Cerrone to do. Aside from the odd organizational crossover, I'm pretty sure Penn makes about as much per fight as an entire WEC payout. When the time is right I think it'd be much more feasible to bring Aldo up to the big show-- I could see him gaining enough muscle mass as he gets older to jump up and legitimately compete at LW, especially since he's got a pretty tall frame. Besides, if you take Aldo out of it who else is a compelling fight for BJ @ 145? It's just a really meanspirited idea, unless they're allowed to team up on him. Penn WITH a size advantage is simply not fair-- kids would get Godzillaplata'd left and right.
- I was too hard on what looked like Mini-Akiyama for beating Belcher in such questionable fashion. I still wonder if Akiyama is the right size for the division, but Belcher is way bigger than I realized.
- Struve's standup reminds me of Street Fighter 2, played badly-- sorry, this is obscure, but it was just like when someone is trying to learn the game and they keep using the same attack button over and over again... How many times in a row did he lead with "fierce knee" and get hit square in the face for it!?
- I have no idea how to logically justify this fight ever coming about, but I want Andre Winner and BJ Penn to box.
- I miss championship headliners. Don't you?
This pretty much concludes my rambling post-fight thoughts. Agree or disagree, hit me up with yours in the comments if inclined. Cheers!