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UFC Fight Night: Henderson vs. dos Anjos - The Idiot's Guide to the Postscript

Lots of sudden violence occurred at UFC Fight Night in Oklahoma including a big win for Rafael dos Anjos over Benson Henderson. What did we learn in retrospect?

Photo by Esther Lin of MMA Fighting

Thanks for the awful advice. Benson Henderson by Decision? Seriously? dos Anjos straight gilded him and his toothpick, Khal Drogo style.

What are you looking at me for? I didn't pick Henderson.

Oh. No wonder your writing suddenly became less erratic, and disorganized.

Kudos to Phil for taking over. Thankfully for BE, we'll get to see more of him.

His analysis was mostly correct, and in a five round fight, that likely would have been the outcome: whether Rafael dos Anjos beat him or not. Regardless, the bout was a good display of what dos Anjos excels at: ever since watching him pursue that calf slicer with reckless abandon on Tyson Griffin, he's at his best when being aggressive and knowing his opponent is on tilt.

Fair enough. Awful stoppage though. While I'm glad certain angles made it look like John McCarthy was giving food birth to Benson Henderson, failing to give Benson the benefit of the doubt made me want to punch somebody.

Your mind wanders into some strange territory sometimes. I didn't have a problem with the stoppage and not just because I'm more excited to see dos Anjos in high profile matchups than Ben. But because Big John knew right away, as we all did, that it wasn't just that final left hand that shut off the lights. Henderson was rocked with a straight left even before that flying knee. When a knockdown is basically just a proxy for the accumulation of earlier damage, I don't think there's any room for much debate.

So what's next for dos Anjos and Benson?

I would like to see dos Anjos vs. Bobby Green. I know most of us would rather see both guys each get high profile matchups, but this is as visceral a matchup as there is at 155. As for Benson, I wouldn't mind seeing him against Ross Pearson. It's a slightly different matchup than he's used to, and it forces him to address his shortcomings on the feet. Or maybe Benson Henderson vs. Edson Barboza. That could be good too.

You called Jordan Mein by Decision. Also way off.

When it comes fight picking, sometimes it's wise to err on the side of age. Luke Thomas did some number crunching a couple of years ago per the link. It's simply the reality of professional sports, where an athlete's prime is defined less by intangibles such as experience and smarts, and more by when their bodies are most physically mature.

Still, Pyle has been a reasonable exception until very recently, so let's not take away from Mein's win. That was simply a brilliant display of what a real intangible should be: faked the shot, chamber the punch, and voila...Pyle Stew.

My only complaint?

What?

Fox Sports 1 didn't show enough replays of Mike Pyle getting brutally knocked out.

Dana White needs to do something about those guys in the production truck (#?). When they're not trolling UFC matchmaking, they're fetishizing these super-mo replays. I mean, this is why I watch the sport in the first place, but surely that time can be spent with some original content.

You also whiffed on the Francis Carmont vs. Thales Leites fight.

Yea, but since when did Leites become Jake Ellenberger? While picking Leites wasn't dumb, it's the method that I don't think anybody could have foreseen. Carmont is now 0-3 so that's likely it for him. I like the idea of Leites vs. CB Dollaway.

How about Max Holloway vs. "Not Cassius" Clay Collard?

Credit to Collard for stepping in on short notice, but that was still moderately embarrassing. Though I guess the short notice caveat is important enough that in conjunction with Holloway being a very underrated fighter...perhaps Collard shouldn't be dismissed so easily?

If he had just fought to the best of his abilities, he would be unanimously praised by the MMA community. Instead a horrendous nickname and his habit of hands down, bobo doll style defense has left fans with the impression of a trickster. I feel like Collard is a good fighter with some staying power in the UFC. But he's gonna need to readjust his attitude. I didn't care for the 'show off for the camera by eating punches' even if it was entertaining at first.

James Vick vs. Valmir Lazaro. I thought you said these guys were good?!

Oh man. If Gumby cloned himself and both fought inside a smelting machine, you might have some idea of how this fight looked. I have no idea what happened here, as I think they're both quality fighters, but this was truly a bizarre bout. Credit to both for clearly giving it their all, but seriously...what went wrong here?

This was sandbox brawling at its finest (worst?). Lazaro was throwing with all arm, and I honestly wondered if he didn't suffer from some strange existential visual disorder that made his eyes deceive him into thinking that Vick was also each one of his cornermen, who Lazaro had to additionally attack from afar.

Meanwhile, Vick was content to stand back and "trade". He landed the best punches, but I wouldn't call his performance impressive by any stretch. I say let's see a rematch, except instead of a cage, they do battle on Poke Floats.

Well you didn't really talk about the undercard, instead opting to get some stoner rock recommendations.

Indeed. And they were good. So thanks, stoners.