As I type this, Omar Figueroa, Jr. and Nihito Arakawa are beating the living hell out of each other on Showtime Championship Boxing and it's the best fight I've seen all night. But you're not here to read about that, you're here to read about UFC on Fox 8 and Demetrious Johnson's brilliantly dominant title defense against John Moraga.
Johnson's technique is amazingly on point and he's clearly a rare talent. His timing, speed, ability to explode into takedowns and his striking skills make him a devastatingly effective fighter. It's just unfortunate that he's having to showcase that talent against a guy like Moraga who has never fought in the UFC outside of the Facebook prelims.
That's not a knock on Moraga, who was willing and even had a moment where he hurt Johnson, but he didn't seem on the same level the way that a guy like Dodson has in the past.
Still, Johnson being given the opportunity to be showcased multiple times on national TV is a fantastic thing for him, the division and the sport as a whole.
- I got a lot of heat on Twitter for saying that I enjoyed Rory MacDonald beating Jake Ellenberger. I get that it wasn't the kind of "exciting" technique that Johnson showed in the main event, but it was very good technique and a smart fight. Ellenberger had no chance to win the way Rory fought and that's the point of the sport. The way it was playing out, with Rory executing a simple and beautifully effective technique, he had like a 99% chance to win. Standing in the pocket and trading with Ellenberger, whose only chance to win was to land a bomb, would have reduced those chances dramatically. Maybe he didn't make any fans tonight, but he did win over a dangerous opponent without ever really being in any bit of trouble. And I found that impressive and interesting to watch.
- Robbie Lawler looked great tonight, but I feel like people aren't really putting it into context. He beat Bobby Voelker. Voelker is a tough guy, but he's not exactly a worldbeater, you expect a guy like Lawler to look good against a guy like Voelker. But Lawler did his job and didn't disappoint, so he deserves credit for that. And there are a lot of very fun fights out there for Lawler now.
- Liz Carmouche got her first win over someone with a career winning record tonight, beating Jessica Andrade. Of course, as I tweeted earlier, @brentbrookhouse: Here's the career records of opponents Andrade has beaten: 0-1, 0-1, 1-1, 0-1, 1-2, 2-12, 0-1, 3-3, 8-2. Women's MMA is still kind of sorting itself out in a big way.
- Michael Chiesa is a better fighter than a lot of people give him credit for being, but he wasn't quite ready for the intensity and variety of attack of Jorge Masvidal. The next 12-16 months for both men should be interesting as they try to figure out exactly where they fit in this roster.
- Melvin Guillard at Grudge looks good through one fight. It's not the camp I'd have put him at, but he has limits on who will accept him and I just hope that he fits there for a long time as he'd definitely benefit from life and career stability.
- Ed Herman and Trevor Smith put on a hell of a war tonight as well. Both guys really need to work on their finishing instincts though. Herman had Smith BADLY hurt in the first round but then just kind of looked at him and waited for him to recover. Smith did the same thing later, it was a little maddening. But still a very fun fight.