I've been a fan a long time. UFC 1 and shit. Royce Gracie fighting Kimo Leopoldo at UFC 3 blew my fucking mind. Some would call me hardcore. I buy nearly every pay per view and have done so for years. I watched all the prelims last Friday, and paid attention - just to give you an idea of my 'fan-ness'. On to my story:
Unfortunately I bought significantly over priced tickets for UFC 149; which now looks like it belongs on free TV. I wouldn't have paid for the PPV as it currently stands. There are only 2 fights on this card that have any sort of title implication either immediately or down the line (Faber/Barao and Lombard/Boetsh). Both should prove to be exciting; but should be bolstering a bigger card, not supporting the whole thing.
I love Kongo and Big Nog, but both of these guys are coming off brutal losses. My instincts tell me zombie Nog will show up due to a lifetime of injury and lack of recovery time from his broken arm. Despite being billed as a kickboxer, Kongo is routinely fleeced on the feet. Hopefully we see something special out of this fight, even though it means nothing in the division. I will fight for a UFC heavyweight title before either of these guys. I weigh 150lbs.
Bahadurzada is exciting but he's fighting a guy in Clements, who if you are paying attention is mostly known for beating guys who aren't very good and being beaten badly by guys who are just slightly better. When I youtubed "Chris Clements highlights" the 3rd result was of Rory Markham, a UFC reject, beating the hell out of him. This is disappointing. He did however knock out Lautaro Tucas(?) who decided to employ the strategy of "run right at the guy in a straight line with my face in the air while employing zero offense or defense". It was... impressive?
Jimmo vs. Perosh. I want to be a fan of Jimmo seeing that he's a fellow Canadian, but he fails to impress even in victory. His growth as a fighter is either stagnant or non-existent, depending on where you're standing. His last fight was a VERY controversial decision win over Thierry Sokoudjo - who if you don't remember was punted from the UFC roster back in 2008 and has failed to put together any meaningful victories since then (that's 14 of his fights ago). Boo. Perosh looked good in his last victory against Nick Penner, but he fails to make me a believer. Where is he in the UFC 205 division? Who knows.. somewhere near the bottom. Very near the bottom. At 39 Perosh is likely going to produce workmanlike results until he retires. There is no relevance in this fight.
Bibiano is an exciting entrant, but he's fighting Delorme who was relegated to free fight undercards before now. Fernandes is untested against opponents most people know anything about; and most of his fights were in Japan. Anyone who knows MMA knows fighters coming from Japan usually look markedly less impressive in North America. Let's hope that doesn't happen this time. Buuuuut hey - at least Bibiano has a highlight reel I didn't fall asleep to, which is more than I can say for most of these guys. Go Bibiano.
Bryan Caraway vs. Mitch Gagnon. Fantastic! Gagnon is game but he's severely undersized if this fight is to be contested at 145 as advertised. He has had trouble against bigger guys who were less skilled than their UFC counterparts. I see him getting subbed. Bryan Caraway is best known for threatening Rhonda Rousey, and has the physique of an out-of-shape teenager. Nobody gives a shit about Bryan Caraway.
McGee vs Ring. While Ring is eccentric outside the ring he certainly isn't when he gets in there. I think his knees are shot and, like McGee, has failed to ever excite me in a fight. McGee is a grinder with good stamina and will probably employ a boring strategy; exploiting Ring's cardio issues to a UD. McGee got bombed on by Constantinos Philippou in his last fight, and proved he struggles to be exciting even when someone is beating the shit out of him. His personal story is inspiring. His performances are not.
As I go through the table scraps remaining on the card, I see a couple 'loser goes home' fights, (Mitch Clarke vs. Anton Kuivanen, Antonio Carvalho vs. George Roop). Looser goes home, both winner and looser go home; I left my 2 fucks at home, so I have no fucks to give about either of these fights. I'll talk about em' anyway.
Clarke might have an impressive record, but I can't shake the disappointment that he couldn't have even taken more of a beating from a UFC newcomer in John Cholish his last fight. As a fellow Canadian, this was disheartening. He looked like he broke. Anton Kuivanen's last fight was a loss vs Justin Salas, who was last seen getting lit up like a Christmas tree by Tim Means.
Roop is coming off 2 loses - the last one, if you don't recall, his mouthpiece was bounced off the cage via a brutal overhand right courtesy of Cub Swansen. "Roop keeps his chin straight up in the air" says Rogan..... he sure does. My girlfriend employs a more sound boxing stance while applying makeup in the morning. Carvalho may be able to dispatch him in exciting fashion providing he's not riddled with injury. Even if he does he's still a long way from relevance.
After seeing this card being decimated I decided that maybe I'd better educate myself a bit more on these fighters before passing a harsh judgement. I did; and I was genuinely more disappointed thereafter. I've got a similar deflated type of feeling I used to get in high school after finding out the substitute teacher wasn't going to be some young scantily clad hottie. She just shows up in a dumpy frock smelling like feta cheese and gets right to teaching you the KREBS cycle.
Jesus vs. Godzilla couldn't save this card. Free handjobs at the door couldn't save this card. What is a man to do?
My new strategy is just to get as drunk as humanly possible for the event, and hope that by some miracle at least more than 2 of the fights become exciting. I just don't think most of these guys are either technically or physically capable of providing said excitement. Maybe the UFC will make a gesture for the people that were sold a Cadillac and delivered a Pontiac. Maybe someone will take a monkey with them for their walk in. Juuuust maybe...
A note to the UFC: I care about Canadian fighters, but only to the extent that the fight isn't just a being given as a "favor" to Canadian fans. They have to be good fighters who are currently relevant in their respective divisions. I don't watch guys with excitement based solely on the fact that they share the same flag. If I wanted to see regional talent I could do so at a significantly reduced price - all while playing slot machines and getting hammered on $3 doubles at some casino here in Alberta.