At the end of the preliminary card for UFC 149 I was actually thinking that this column would be different from normal. It's usually a 50/50 mix of positive and negative comments about the night's action, but the prelims had been so good (aside from a rocky Facebook stream) that I couldn't see anything but sunshine and rainbows.
Unfortunately, the main card brought everything back down to Earth. It was a brutal three hour pay-per-view broadcast for the UFC that saw the Calgary crowd chanting "refund" among other, less kind, things.
Let's take a run through the evening's action:
- Renan Barao fought okay, but the fight still wasn't very exciting, and with it following a string of miserable fights it had very little hope of being received well without being a shootout. He fought capably and with skill and earned the interim belt, but it was far from memorable. Also, watching him celebrate like a madman while the crowd booed with displeasure at the action was a little odd.
- Urijah Faber is just offensively dead right now. He doesn't attack much, he's given up on his wrestling in favor of single shot striking. He used to be an offensive dynamo, but now he's just giving away rounds by not attacking.
- Hector Lombard may have had the worst debut in UFC history when hype is taken into account. "You've never seen anyone this fast or who hits this hard" was the gist of Joe Rogan's pre fight hype. Then Lombard stood flat footed and refused to attack but in very brief spurts while Tim Boetsch hit him with enough leg kicks to win without doing much. The sad thing is, this is how Lombard has fought pretty often, but no one seemed willing to remember that.
- For Boetsch, it's a good win. But it's going to be remembered for being a bad fight.
- Cheick Kongo and Shawn Jordan held each other against a cage for 15 minutes. It was an incredibly bad fight. Dana White called the fight "disgusting" on the Fuel post-fight show, and then said Yves did a "disgusting" job by allowing them to clinch without fighting. Kongo won, the fans lost.
- Brian Ebersole spent most of his fight with James Head looking for takedowns, not doing a ton offensively but also limiting what James could do. It wasn't a horrible fight, but it wasn't good and really set the downward trend for the show.
- Matt Riddle won with an impressive arm triangle submission in the PPV opening fight. It was a decent enough fight and probably the most entertaining of the PPV.
The positive stuff is after the jump...
- Nick Ring had to earn his win over Court McGee on FX. I thought Ring had done enough in the first two rounds to get the decision, but it was very close. McGee came out in the third and just went all-out trying to take out a faded Ring. He couldn't get the finish, but made a statement. He also proved that his cardio makes him a really tough fight as he's not going away until the final bell.
- Roland Delorme didn't look like he had any business in the cage against Francisco Rivera. Rivera just blew him up with his striking, using great angles and combinations to control the fight. Delorme didn't give up mentally, but his body got to the point where it finally had had enough and he went down.
- Ryan Jimmo has been pretty incredibly boring in his career and I jokingly tweeted that he was going to do something shockingly violent and entertaining and fool us all. Then he tied the UFC KO record with a 7 second knockout of Anthony Perosh and I looked like a genius.
- Let's all be careful with our reaction to the Jimmo fight. That's not the guy he has been throughout his career, there's no "you need to apologize for calling him boring" nonsense. He's been in some truly awful fights in his career, if he keeps doing this, we can re-evaluate. For right now, it's the exception.
- Bryan Caraway looked good in his fight against Mitch Gagnon. Gagnon had good moments through the fight, but Caraway survived on guts, got takedowns and position and eventually locked in a rear naked choke. I like giving Caraway grief because he acted like a dork during all that stuff with Ronda Rousey, but he showed something tonight. Not really great skills, but great toughness and ability to find a win.
- The two facebook fights were entertaining. Antonio Carvalho's knockout of Daniel Pineda was fantastic while Anton Kuivanen and Mitch Clarke had a good fight that ended in a close decision.
- It's late and that main card took it out of me. Goodnight, all!