UFC 191 was a rather up-and-down card. One of the ups was Demetrious Johnson turning in another virtuoso performance en route to another successful flyweight title defense vs. John Dodson. It's evident that the Johnson of 2015 is miles ahead of the man Dodson nearly beat in 2013. Therefore, Demetrious Johnson is miles ahead of everyone in the flyweight division and there's really no reason to believe he will lose his belt to another 125er any time soon. He is a phenomenal fighter with a tremendous set of skills, and is undeniably one of the top 3 fighters in the world and one of the greatest fighters the sport has ever seen.
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The big downer? Listening to an already sparse crowd boo the action through various stretches of the main event. Has there ever been a more dominant champion in UFC history whose fights are consistently booed? He doesn't click with the paying public, who either don't show up at all or do show up, boo and/or leave.
- The UFC should have Demetrious Johnson's next fight against the Cejudo vs. Formiga winner, and if it's Cejudo, then have it in Mexico. If it's Formiga, then off to Brazil they go. He's not a sell in North America and neither are his opponents in the same continent, so at least have some sort of "home country" aspect that Johnson otherwise has never had. And if he's on PPV, stop putting him in the main event, speaking of which....
- UFC lightweight Kevin Lee said fans were leaving before the main event (probably at least partially because the co-main sucked). How many more times does the UFC need to have fans leave before a Demetrious Johnson PPV main event before they actually stop putting him in main events? Boxing champions at 126 and below don't pull in good PPV numbers, and when they do (like Erik Morales and Marco Antonio Barrera) they have a clear Latin fanbase behind them but still don't even break 400,000 buys. Roman Gonzalez is the best flyweight boxer in the world with a record of 43-0 and 37 KOs. His last fight was HBO's first televised flyweight fight in 20 years. Guillermo Rigondeaux is the best 118 lbs fighter in the world with an HBO-televised win over Nonito Donaire. He's a beautiful boxer and considered boring to watch despite a 67% finishing rate, and he's not had either of his last two fights televised in the US. Juan Manuel Lopez was a superb super bantamweight in his prime and was on Showtime, not Showtime PPV. If smaller guys will be on PPV in boxing it'll be on the undercard, not the main event. Otherwise, there's a reason why boxing and MMA have never made smaller weight class fighters the main attractions. It's not that hard.
- Andrei Arlovski vs. Frank Mir really showed that Werdum vs. Cain 2 was actually the best option. That is a fight no one needs to revisit ever again unless they have run out of things to do. At least Arlovski's very honest self-assessment was on point.
- Ricky Lundell's corner advice was almost exclusively telling Mir how super awesome and phenomenal he looked. Mir won zero scorecards. Quality stuff.
- Anthony Johnson put Jimi Manuwa to sleep in his usual violent fashion. He's a top 5 light heavyweight and I don't think that's debatable. There are very few light heavyweights I'd pick to beat him, and one of them is under indefinite suspension.
- Seconds after "thanking everyone who stuck with him through thick and thin," Johnson apparently told press row "not to be a bitch about it" and write good stuff about him. He also told Jeremy Botter to "write some more on that shit." Obviously this is all in reference to media coverage of his domestic violence past, his "yoga mat" incident which he posted on Facebook himself, and allegations of animal abuse at his dog kennel.
- Corey Anderson's win over Jan Blachowicz wasn't thrilling, but it was effective and a much-needed win for the up-and-coming prospect. Light heavyweight needs fresh talent, so any success for Anderson helps the division more than a gatekeeper like Blachowicz.
- The UFC initially booked Anthony Johnson vs. Jan Blachowicz. Just let that bounce around in your brain a little bit.
- Paige VanZant was a huge favorite against Alex Chambers and predictably beat her up before finishing the blowout with a nice armbar win. It's all about development for PVZ, and her progress is encouraging. She's still quite vulnerable defensively, so we still need to see that tested.
- Mike Goldberg called VanZant's armbar "Ronda Rousey-like", because you see ... she's a woman, Rousey is a woman, Rousey does armbars, and VanZant did an armbar, and Ronda is VanZant's hero....
- Alex Chambers' corner shouldn't have let her come out for round 3, but the "anything can happen" crowd will probably disagree. She had no route to victory and many other routes to getting beaten down further. Guess which outcome happened.
- Ross Pearson had a huge bounce-back win against the favored Paul Felder, who seemed flustered by Pearson's movement, footwork, and his sharp boxing. Not to take too much away from Pearson, but I do wonder if Felder came back too soon after his incredible with with Edson Barboza on July 25th. Sure, Pearson fought on July 18th, but Felder was in a much more demanding fight and just looked off the pace for me. Back-to-back losses certainly don't bode well for Paul's chances of contending at 155.
- I won't type in all-caps when talking about John Lineker vs. Francisco Rivera here, mostly because I already yelled my guts out on Twitter, but WOW MY GOODNESS WHAT AN ABSOLUTE TWO-MINUTE SLUGFEST! (Sorry) Haymakers all over the place, zero regard for head movement, all intention to decapitate, and Lineker's power and accuracy was better. Rivera hung in as tough as he could before Lineker submitted Rivera with a terrific guillotine choke. Please reserve your ticket to hop aboard the John Lineker fun train before it's too late.
- Raquel Pennington has two UFC wins and both of them were choke finishes in the absolute dying seconds of a round. The first one was vs. Ashlee Evans-Smith, and the second one was tonight vs. Jessica Andrade in a rematch of a fight the Brazilian won in 2014. A very good performance by "Rocky" on her birthday, and maybe she will get a $50,000 gift, if you know what I mean.
- Leonard Garcia is retired from MMA, but Clay Collard is basically Leonard Garcia in spirit. I'm not too bothered either way with the decision going Tiago Trator's way, but Collard basically fights like a wild man with no plan. No defense, sloppy striking, and . He's only 22 years old so one would think he still has time to develop as a fighter, but right now he's just not good enough to stick around long at 145.
- Joe Riggs clearly said to his corner, "I can't see" between rounds 1 and 2 in the Ron Stallings fight, so his right eye was a problem before the illegal upkick in the 2nd round. Jason Herzog deemed the upkick as having caused Riggs not to continue, so the DQ was given. It's an unfortunate ending to the contest but Riggs gets his first UFC win in 9 years, although given 2 of his last 3 fights have ended in some in-cage injury to him, I'd rather he not fight again.
- Controversial ending aside, there is zero denying that Ron Stallings was getting his ass kicked and was nearly KO'd by 2015 Joe Riggs, and that's probably going to result in his UFC release.
- I wasn't paying too close attention to Nazareno Malegarie vs. Joaquim Silva, but it didn't really seem like 30-27s for Silva were justifiable just on round 3 alone. There's a stronger case for Malegarie winning than for Silva to get a clean sweep.